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: 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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Oakland reportedly a ‘top two expansion site’ once A’s leave

Oakland will be an attractive expansion city, sure, but what does that mean exactly, and who does this information actually benefit?

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According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Oakland might not be without a baseball team for long after the A’s eventually vacate for Las Vegas. It’s just a little note in a longer article, so, here it is in full:

Although the Oakland A’s will be moving to Las Vegas, the city may not be without a team very long.

High-ranking executives say that if Oakland officials and an ownership group secure a site to build a new ballpark, they will join Nashville, Tennessee, as the top two expansion sites in the next five years.

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Notes: Oakland bargaining with A’s name, Red Sox own Pirates TV now

The A’s won’t be the A’s anymore if Oakland has anything to say about it, and Fenway Sports Group owns the Pirates’ TV station now.

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The Athletics are leaving Oakland, we know this much to be true. Or, at least, we’re pretty sure we know this to be true, but until John Fisher gets a bank to agree to pay for the portion of stadium costs that Nevada isn’t taking care of, well. Chaos isn’t out of the question just yet, is all. Anyway! It’s going to take time for all of that to go down, so extending the lease with Oakland is a possibility, even if the eventual outcome is still the A’s heading a little bit east for Vegas.

Extending the lease isn’t going to come free, though, and I don’t mean that the A’s are going to have to pay for it, either. In addition to the usual fees for stadium usage, the mayor of Oakland, Sheng Thao, has said that the A’s need to relinquish their team name to the city as part of a deal to continue to play in the Coliseum while they wait for their home in Vegas to be built. That’s according to Scott Ostler of the SF Chronicle, who reported as much earlier this week:

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John Fisher has another bridge to sell you

The A’s owner must be so happy to have a local newspaper that will just let him say whatever unchallenged.

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Last month, due to the A’s moving to Las Vegas, I was introduced to the “journalism” of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It’s the largest newspaper in Nevada, and used to actually put out the kind of work you’d expect from a newspaper. Ownership changed hands in 2015, though, with the paper ending up in the hands of Sheldon Adelson, who has been referred to as a “kingmaker” for his sizable financial support of right-wing political candidates. Not like the newspaper landscape in America is run by a bunch of left-leaning folks or anything that would make Adelson an exception, but he’s not who you want running a paper even among the kind of people who tend to do that sort of thing.

Anyway, from people who are more knowledgeable about where the paper has been and is, I’ve learned that its mission statement these days is basically to let rich people do what they want without questioning them. Which is why any figure of any kind of authority who sides with the wealthy won’t be questioned even a little bit about, say, whether the A’s are going to spend all of the public money they’ve been approved to spend by Nevada or not, or how lawyer who is partner at a firm that puts together cases for clients looking for stadium financing isn’t exactly an unbiased expert source for your story on whether the A’s are going to be good for Vegas or not. And why A’s owner John Fisher got a chance to say whatever he wanted unchallenged in an interview with the Review-Journal’s Mick Akers, who was also responsible for the aforementioned pieces.

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Notes: MLB airing D-Backs’ games, more bad Las Vegas journalism

Another team dropped by Bally, and another piece of “journalism” on the Las Vegas A’s ballpark.

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MLB announced on Tuesday that they are taking over the production and distribution of Diamondbacks’ games. A bankruptcy judge approved Diamond Sports Group’s request to “shed” their contract, as ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez put it, making Arizona the second club to have their broadcasts become MLB’s responsibility: less than two months ago, the Padres became the first.

Blackouts for fans in the “home television territory” have been eliminated for Diamondbacks’ games in the process, by way of a few different options. A “direct-to-consumer” streaming plan through MLB.tv is available, for either $19.99 per month or $54.99 for the rest of the 2023 season: it should be pointed out that this is a separate charge from the usual MLB.tv subscription, so if you’re in Arizona, for instance, and wanted to watch Diamondbacks’ games on the service you previously could not since they were blacked out, that’s still designed solely for out-of-market games.

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A’s ‘not likely’ to hit public funding cap with Las Vegas ballpark, says people who are new at this

We’re gonna need some better journalism than this.

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Good news, everyone! The CEO and President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said that the A’s aren’t likely to use all $380 million in public funds that they’ve been allotted for a new ballpark in Vegas. The Las Vegas Review-Journal relayed the news in the way only an outlet that regurgitates authority figures without checking them can: by quoting them extensively and never raising an eyebrow about it.

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Educators against the Las Vegas A’s

The A’s stadium is probably happening, but there’s a new hurdle to clear, at least.

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If you’re still holding out hope that the Athletics are stymied in their quest to take up residence in Las Vegas, then you’re not alone. The Nevada State Education Association (NSEA) has formed a political-action committee called “Schools Over Stadiums,” with the aim being pretty clear from that name. From the Los Angeles Times’ story:

[Alexander] Marks said his organization is concerned about the more than 3,000 statewide vacancies for teachers and educational staff and is outraged that a stadium is being presented as a financial benefit for the people of Nevada.

“Our priorities are misguided,” Marks said. “If stadiums were the fix, I don’t know why we wouldn’t build 10 of them.”

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