MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has some choice words about the Oakland Athletics' relocation process

Rob Manfred thinks one MLB franchise in the Bay Area is more than enough
Jul 9, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during the first round of
Jul 9, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred speaks during the first round of / Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
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Rob Manfred recently made several comments about the state of the Oakland Athletics' relocation process, none of which are going over well with the fanbase. He also claimed that he's planning on stepping down as Commissioner of MLB after his current term ends in 2029. Many fans seem to be rejoicing about the latter.

About the A's relocation, Manfred was quoted saying “I am confident that the deal in Las Vegas is solid, that the A’s will build a stadium in Las Vegas and play there in 2028,".

The commissioner has been explicit about wanting to get the ballpark situations for the Athletics and the Rays figured out as soon as possible so the league can move forward with expansion. Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports that Manfred wants the expansion process started by the time he leaves office in 2029.

That doesn't necessarily mean that MLB will have two new expansion teams for the 2029 season, but that Manfred at least wants forward momentum on that tract by the time he leaves. But because the Athletics are currently slated to start playing in Las Vegas at the start of the 2028 season, the assumption is that the earliest MLB could expand to 32 teams would be 2029.

When questioned about fans being upset about Oakland's situation, Manfred stated "First of all, we do have a major-league team in the Bay Area. It's not like there is not an available option. The Giants obviously still play there.".

This is an outrageous comment to make. Yes, obviously there are two teams in the Bay Area, just like there are multiple franchises in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. The state of Missouri even has two teams.

That doesn't mean it's okay to rip a franchise out of its community, never mind the fact that there are still questions about the viability of the Athletics move and whether they can finance their portion of the project.

Manfred's tenure as commissioner has been interesting. On one hand, several of the rule changes that have been made haven't gone over well with the general fanbase. He's been quoted as calling the World Series trophy a "piece of metal", and has stated that he thinks it's good for the sport that the best teams don't win championships.

On the other hand, MLB revenues have grown substantially under his stewardship and unlike his predecessor, he's never faced an extensive collusion lawsuit from the Players Association.

Ultimately, Manfred's tenure will draw mixed reviews. He's mostly been fine, with a few bouts of bad decision making. When compared to Selig, he seems like a gem. But going out on this note -- helping John Fisher force the Athletics out of Oakland and railroading two expansion franchises into the league will likely leave a bitter taste in the mouths of the vast majority of MLB fans.

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