Oakland A’s fans seemingly had good news late last week. It appeared as though progress had been made between the organization and the City of Oakland, with new documents detailing how the city would be picking up the costs of some of the infrastructure in the area surrounding the Howard Terminal site. With a vote slated for October 26, there seemed to be some positive movement towards the A’s staying in town.
Leave it to Rob Manfred to throw a bucket of cold water on that hope. In an interview with Sports Business Journal, the commissioner stated that he was not certain he could see a way forward for the ballpark at Howard Terminal.
Rob Manfred may be driving force behind relocation
One certainly has to wonder how much Manfred is trying to force the A’s to Las Vegas. Coming out and saying that he cannot see a path to success at this time, just after the city had seemingly made several concessions to keep the franchise in town, is certainly strange.
It is also worth noting that Dave Kaval made certain to reference Major League Baseball and their directives in his e-mail to the fans at the end of the season. He stated that they were continuing to keep an eye on Vegas and consider locations for a ballpark there as per MLB guidance.
Obviously, A’s ownership and MLB are going to try to squeeze every last cent they can out of the city and surrounding county for the new ballpark. The less they have to pay, the more money stays in their pockets, which is right where this ownership likes to keep it as much as possible.
But this may not be entirely on Fisher, Kaval, and company. Manfred could be trying to shove this team to Las Vegas to put a competitive team in a major media market, instead of having the desert sit through an expansion franchise. While Fisher and Kaval could presumably tell him that they have a deal with Oakland that would work, they are also going to listen to the league’s directives.
Rob Manfred says he does not see a path forward in Oakland. He may be doing more to push the Oakland A’s out the door than anyone realizes.