Capitals

Selig still working on Bay Area territorial rights

Selig still working on Bay Area territorial rights

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Bud Selig is telling the Bay Area baseball teams and their fans to be patient.

The commissioner is still working on the issue of territorial rights and determining whether the Oakland Athletics will be allowed to proceed with plans to build a new ballpark and relocate some 40 miles south to San Jose - into the Giants' territory in technology-rich Silicon Valley.

Selig said before Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday that he has been in regular contact recently with his special committee appointed in March 2009 to evaluate the issue facing Northern California's two major league clubs. He reiterated the A's can't survive in their current venue in the aging Oakland Coliseum and need a new ballpark.

Selig insists the situation is ``still on the front burner.'' He has spoken recently with A's managing partner Lew Wolff, Selig's longtime friend and fraternity brother at Wisconsin.

``I have a committee very hard at work, ongoing with all that, and they continue to work hard,'' Selig said. ``I've been talking to them a lot the last four or five days. There isn't anything more to say. I know you'd like to talk about it. I'm sensitive to that, I appreciate it. But let's concentrate on Game 2 of the World Series.''

The City of Oakland still believes it has several suitable locations to build a new ballpark for the A's. Yet Wolff has his sights on San Jose and has repeatedly said his franchise has exhausted its options in Oakland after years of trying.

Certainly the way the upstart A's played this season as baseball's biggest surprise team, they have Selig's attention. Oakland swept the Texas Rangers in the final three games of the regular season to capture the AL West crown and reach the playoffs for the first time in six years. Then, manager Bob Melvin's bunch pushed the World Series Tigers to a deciding Game 5 in the division series.

``The way they ended their season was remarkable. They played brilliantly,'' Selig said. ``They extended the Tigers. They had a remarkable year, a year that certainly nobody forecast. I mean it really was. It's what made this year I think so interesting in so many different ways. We had teams that nobody thought would win, and the second wild card really produced a lot of things it's supposed to produce, and that's interest the last two months of the season, and it did.''

Selig said he still has no timetable for making a decision on whether the A's can move - and wouldn't even respond when asked whether it would get done during his tenure as commissioner.

``I don't think there's any question that they need a new ballpark. That would not be a shocking front-page story I don't think,'' he said. ``I don't feel any pressure. The only thing that will guide me ultimately on every issue is what I think is in the best interest of baseball. That is the only pressure I ever feel.''

Also Thursday, Selig said he would examine the idea of adding instant replay down the outfield lines and for trapped balls.

``I don't know that I'll change the rules, but we'll certainly be ready for what I call bullets down the right and left field line and for trapped balls,'' Selig said. ``I will reconvene my 14-man committee as well as all the clubs to discuss instant replay. In talking to a lot of people, really, I know there has been a lot of comment of a lot of people who have very strong opinions.''

In addition, Selig said he has no concerns about the way the Red Sox handled the hiring of new manager John Farrell away from the Blue Jays this week.

``I've had no complaints from the Toronto club at all. None. Zero,'' Selig said.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

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Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler