Athletics

MLB commissioner tells Oakland to drop lawsuit or A's could relocate

MLB commissioner tells Oakland to drop lawsuit or A's could relocate

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was in attendance for the A's AL Wild Card Game loss to the Rays at the Coliseum, but he also has made his presence known in Oakland in even bigger ways recently. 

The San Francisco Chronicle's Phil Matier reported Sunday that Manfred told Oakland officials they need to drop their lawsuit of the Coliseum land site to the A's or risk the team relocating to another city. 

“He kind of laid down the law,” City Councilman Larry Reid, who also sits on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, said to the Chronicle. 

The A’s want to develop the 155-acre Coliseum site to help pay for a privately financed ballpark, which they have proposed be built at Howard Terminal near Jack London Square. One warning Manfred made to officials is that the A's could make Las Vegas their future home, just like the Raiders are. 

“The commissioner pointed out that Bay Area fans will soon be going to Las Vegas to see the Raiders and that unless things changed, Bay Area fans may be going to Las Vegas or elsewhere to see the A’s as well,” Reid said to the Chronicle. 

The A's moved their Triple-A affiliate to Las Vegas this season and saw great results. The Las Vegas Aviators led all of the minor leagues in attendance (650,934) and average attendance (9,299) in their inaugural season. 

While the $150 million Las Vegas Ballpark seats 10,000 fans, the Aviators recorded 47 sellouts in 2019 and housed a stadium record 12,111 fans on May 14. 

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Oakland already has lost the Warriors to San Francisco this year and will lose the Raiders to Sin City in 2020. Manfred is making it clear he doesn't want to see the same happen to the A's, but the county, the city and the A's brass all have to be on the same page. 

It feels like the three haven't come together in quite some time.

How Sean Manaea is taking on leadership role with A's, in rotation

How Sean Manaea is taking on leadership role with A's, in rotation

MESA, Ariz. -- Sean Manaea has come a long way since the AL Wild Card Game in October.

A trip overseas proved to be an escape and a well-needed adventure to discover the loss to the Tampa Bay Rays wasn't all his fault.

It was a perfect reset for Manaea, who will have a different role this season. Once in the group of youngsters, he now finds himself sandwiched in between the fresh-faced and experienced arms of those vying for spots in the A's starting rotation in 2020.

"[Manaea] is at a different point in his career right now, too," manager Bob Melvin told reporters prior to Manaea's Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. "He's not just that young, talented left-hander, he's had to make some changes along the way because of the injury -- do things a bit differently but he's excited about a full year, as are we because, like I said, (his) numbers were fantastic last year."

Manaea's spring debut left a lot to be desired, and he knew that. 

He left after 1 1/2 innings giving up six hits, six runs and two home runs.

"Results-wise, I mean, six runs is six runs -- that sucks, and I don't really know what happened," Manaea told reporters after his outing. "I think, just leaving stuff down the middle and ultimately that's what I was trying not to do. I just wanted to go out there and throw my slider and get a feel for it, and I think I accomplished that today."

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Manaea said it was a good starting point to work on for a spring outing, and the hits he gave up were just lessons to learn from.

He maintained the positive attitude BoMel touched on that makes him special on the team and in the clubhouse. Manaea said the slider moved well, and he was really happy with the movement overall. Just not the location. 

"For the most part -- for some of the part -- it was pretty decent," he smiled. 

Talking about a spring training outing can often feel pointless, but one thing is certain. The laidback vibes, weather and baseball a month in Arizona can bring will resonate throughout Manaea's season.

A's Mark Canha will never forget the time he autographed a potato

A's Mark Canha will never forget the time he autographed a potato

MESA, Ariz. -- Imagine approaching A's Mark Canha and asking him to sign ... your potato.

Well, a fan did that on Sunday prior to the A's Cactus League game against the D-backs: 

"You never forget when you sign a potato," Canha told NBC Sports California on Monday. 

Oh ... c'mon, I had to ask him about it.

"The guy was just like 'Hey Mark, will you sign my potato?' and I was like, 'Yeah, I don't have a problem with that.'"

Canha also said it might have been the weirdest thing he's ever signed. He can add that to the collection of autographed cell phones, babies -- well, a baby's bib.

One of the most interesting parts of this potato (wow, I can't believe I just wrote that) was the fact that there are multiple signatures on it and it's stood the test of time to some degree, so that's quite impressive. 

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"I've signed some weird stuff," he added. "Some kids want you to sign their arm."

"That [potato] had to be one of the weirdest," Canha said.