Schools Over Stadium loses lawsuit over petition, but plans to start over

Schools Over Stadium has been slowed down, but they aren’t giving up on cutting off the A’s stadium funding in Las Vegas.

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Let’s rewind to September for a moment. The A’s and the state of Nevada pushed ahead with plans for a publicly financed stadium, and the state’s educators pushed back with the filing of a petition meant to cut off said public finances. The plan was to get the petition its required signatures and put it on the ballot in 2024, so that the citizens of Nevada could decide if they wanted their tax dollars to go towards yet another new stadium, or if those funds should instead be put toward anything else. Like, say, the educational system that desperately needed them.

I wrote about that issue at Baseball Prospectus (no subscription required) after speaking with the Nevada State Educators Association:

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Notes: MLB settles lawsuit, non-player contracts, Vegas strike

MLB settles a pesky lawsuit, changes the way contracts for non-players work, and a strike looms in Las Vegas

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Once Evan Drellich wrote up a piece on the reasons why there could end up being a settlement in the antitrust suit filed by the Tri-City ValleyCats, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, and Norwich Sea Unicorns, it felt like settling was an inevitability. And on Thursday, that’s what we got: the trial was scheduled to begin on November 13, but now there won’t be a trial, as the lawsuit has been settled.

These three teams, all disaffiliated by MLB before the 2021 Minor League Baseball season, invoked the move as a breach of the Sherman Antitrust Act, saying that it was “a horizontal agreement between competitors that has artificially reduced and capped output in the market for MiLB teams affiliated with MLB clubs.” With the Supreme Court not yet agreeing to hear the suit, however, and chances of SCOTUS actually overturning the antitrust exemption being slim, it makes sense that the suing parties would be open to settling. MLB, too, as slim as those chances might be, don’t want to risk it or draw attention to their exemption if they don’t have to, so of course they’re going to settle. They want to disaffiliate more teams later, and the less the spotlight is on them, the quicker this can all be forgotten about without a trail of official statements left behind, the better for them.

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Notes: Trevor May’s retirement speech, MLBPA and the antitrust exemption

Trevor May has parting words for his old boss, and the MLBPA formally supports a lawsuit challenging MLB’s antitrust exemption

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MLB relief pitcher Trevor May retired earlier this week, and he did not go out quietly. The A’s pitcher took to Twitch to deliver his retirement speech, and it was a pointed one. Something tells me this guy doesn’t like A’s owner John Fisher very much (transcription courtesy Neil deMause at Field of Schemes):

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Notes: Kim Ng leaves, Alyssa Nakken interviews, NBA scoopsters

The first woman to be an MLB GM leaves her position, the first potential woman manager in MLB gets an interview, and why can Shams and Woj act the way they do without being punished for it?

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Sure, the Marlins made it back to the postseason in no small part because the barrier for entry is so low these days. And yes, they made it with a negative run differential while sporting a 38-50 record against teams with records better than .500. Consider the restrictions placed on general manager Kim Ng, though, in terms of spending and actually being able to improve the team with ease, and the job she did in Miami is probably a whole lot better than what those figures alone suggest.

Which is why Ng declining her side of a mutual option with the Marlins is an intriguing bit of Monday morning news, since it opens up quite a few possibilities. Does she not want to work with the Marlins at all, when jobs in locations such as with the Boston Red Sox are now open, and rumors of their interest in her have already been swirling? (The Red Sox don’t spend like they could, no, but after running a team with “stadium debt service” holding everything back, their brand of penny-pinching is going to feel a lot different.) Is this simply a standard option decline in order to negotiate a better deal with the Marlins, now that she has more leverage than she did back when she first became the club’s general manager — the first woman to be an MLB GM at all, and the first woman GM in any of the four major sports leagues in North America?

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Notes: Orioles’ new lease, A’s stadium supporters sue, Brewers, Royals updates

Just some Friday notes on the billions, plural, in public funding for a few MLB teams that are currently being discussed or handed out.

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The Orioles have a new 30-year lease with the city of Baltimore to keep playing in Camden Yards. It should have been a pretty open-shut acceptance months and months ago, since the Orioles receive a $600 million public subsidy that’s already been set aside for them by signing said lease, all to be put toward stadium renovations, but team owner John Angelos has been a nuisance for at least that long, holding up a deal in attempts to acquire land, for free, that wasn’t available. All so the Orioles could build a Battery-esque space around Camden that they could profit from, just like the Braves.

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Notes: MiLB lawsuit, Rob Manfred’s lies, Nevada educators

Another win for the latest suit against MLB, Manfred calls someone else a liar, and more on Schools Over Stadiums.

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Earlier in September, a judge in New York state’s highest civil court declared that the lawsuits of the Tri-City Valley Cats and the Norwich Sea Unicorns, both former Minor League Baseball affiliate clubs, can proceed to trial in November. This was a significant victory for them, as Evan Drellich detailed at The Athletic, as Major League Baseball wanted to have the suits dismissed: not settled, but just gone.

Drellich, later in the month, tweeted out part of the transcript from the virtual meeting between the two sides, where the judge was “not having any of” MLB’s pleas for a delay in the trial — if the trial had to happen, MLB wanted to keep pushing it off as long as possible. From the sounds of it, though, the judge believes this should all proceed, which is good news for a few reasons. Most promising of which is that, the longer MLB’s antitrust exemption stays in the spotlight and looks like it does more harm than good, the better.

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Notes: Cubs’ concessioners, Manfred on Royals’ ballpark, Angels’ land deal

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The Cubs and White Sox might split the attention and allegiances of Chicago’s people, but UNITE HERE Local 1 workers at their two home parks are united in their labor. Concessions from Guaranteed Rate Field showed up at Wrigley on August 15 to show support for their crosstown cousins, who are currently negotiating a new contract with the concessionaire, Levy: the bargaining process has been going on for a year now, meaning Wrigley’s concessioners have been working without a new contract this whole time.

And that matters, too, since, as this piece at FOX 32 Chicago tells it, there’s a $5 gap between what entry-level workers make at Guaranteed Rate Field compared to Wrigley: the difference is because the White Sox’ concessioners recently reached a new contract with their concessionaire, Delaware North.

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On no-trade clauses and ‘losers’

Eduardo Rodriguez is stuck with a losing team for a couple more months, but it’s in a city his family doesn’t mind being in.

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On Thursday, Ken Rosenthal wrote about the failed trade of Eduardo Rodriguez to the Dodgers for The Athletic. It broke down the trade that failed to materialize thanks to Rodriguez’s invocation of his no-trade clause, which came out of a desire to stay in Detroit, where his Miami-based family didn’t mind spending their summers. In the piece, Rosenthal says there are no winners here, that both the Tigers and Dodgers failed in different ways. That, there should be no problems with: the Tigers could have used some pieces to help a rebuild along, the Dodgers needed a starter like Rodriguez (who has a 2.96 ERA right now and who has been pretty damn good outside of his last year in Boston, which was just average) right now. Neither got what they wanted, and since Rodriguez can opt out of his Tigers’ deal at year’s end, and very well might do so given his performance so far this season, well. There won’t be another chance to collect on him.

What I take issue with is this line of thinking that followed:

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Rob Manfred will be re-elected as commissioner (and that’s okay)

Rob Manfred is good at the things the owner wants him to be good at and bad at the things I want a commissioner to be bad at.

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Per The Athletic, current MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to be re-elected for a third term at some point this week. While I understand the grumbling and gnashing of teeth and all that over the imminent re-election of a man who has to be constantly given column space to assure us that no, he actually does like baseball, the reality of things is that this is good news. No, really!

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On AQI, solidarity, and scabs

Something has to be done that treats dangerous AQI with the gravity it deserves.

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When will Major League Baseball games set to be played in dangerous air quality conditions be regularly canceled instead of becoming a debate every time out? Maybe it’s best not to ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to. What we do know, however, is that Thursday’s contest between the Pirates and Padres in Pittsburgh was delayed due to the poor Air Quality Index, and then eventually played.

We’re going to have two stories converge into one here, so just bear with me. Jason Mackey, the Pirates’ beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, published a story on the delay and the game on Thursday. That story won’t be linked to here, because the Post-Gazette is on strike, and has been for months — so yes, McKay continuing to write for the Post-Gazette (along with other portions of the sports desk there) is scab behavior and should be treated as such. What I can link to, though, is McKay’s tweet on a quote that didn’t make it into his story.

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