Well folks, we have a World Series winner. The Rangers dispatched the D’Backs last night with some late heroics from former Oakland Athletic Marcus Semien. The game was close until the 9th, when Alek Thomas misplayed a ground ball into center field that allowed Josh Jung and Nate Lowe to come around and score. With a 3-0 lead and two outs, Semien crushed a ball to left center for a two-run homer that gave the Rangers breathing room to capture the first World Series championship in franchise history.
Meanwhile, Oakland A’s fans are left wondering what could’ve been if Semien had stayed in the Bay. As we sit here today, a World Series win seems well out of reach for this organization.
In Athletics’ news, early Wednesday former Miami Marlins and Montreal Expos executive David Samson took to his radio show Nothing Personal and spent roughly ten minutes discussing the A’s relocation plans. Samson noted that the relocation vote, to be held by the other 29 owners in about two weeks, is likely to end up passing.
Samson has a unique perspective, having held an executive position with the both the Expos and the Marlins from the late 1990’s through the mid 2010’s. Samson played a role in the Expos sale in 2002, and the subsequent purchase of the Marlins by his stepfather Jeffrey Loria. Additionally, Samson was a key player in the Marlins' rebranding to the Miami moniker in 2012.
There are a number of reasons why Samson’s word is to be taken with a grain of salt, but none worth getting into here. You can read about him if you wish, skim through the conspiracy bits, and draw your own conclusions.
However, he does raise some interesting questions. We can say with certainty that the other owners wouldn’t force John Fisher to sell the A’s for being cheap. There would have to be extenuating circumstances or outright criminal conduct for that to happen.
But as was noted yesterday, if there were a referendum in the Nevada state legislature due to Schools Over Stadiums getting the $380 million approved in public financing for the stadium at the Tropicana site rescinded, things could get hairy for Fisher. Samson notes that Fisher would likely be unwilling to finance that portion of the bill himself. Personally, I don’t think there’s any chance Fisher ponies up a dime more than he has to and he’s not going to go out of his way to make up the difference if he doesn’t get the taxpayer money.
Samson also states that despite the vote likely passing, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the A’s are certain to move to Las Vegas. Even if the vote passes, there will be a lot to work out ahead of time, so it’s a point well taken.
In other news, MLB will announce the Silver Slugger finalists today, with the final awards being handed out next Thursday. While we won’t expect any Athletics to surprise us with a nomination, we can hold out hope that any of Zack Gelof, Tyler Soderstrom, or even Brent Rooker might make their way into the conversation next season.
For now though we wait, as MLB enters its five-day quiet period before free agency officially opens up. This weekend might be quiet but next week is likely to be a busy one.