A's Exec VP/Baseball Operations Billy Beane is "so confident in a new ballpark" that he made a trade yesterday with "one in sight," sending Ps Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Nationals in a five-player deal, according to Martin Gallegos of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Beane said, "We're in last place right now and the direction we are heading in is to try and get younger and be disciplined with that plan, particularly as it relates to a new stadium. There's only one way to open a stadium. Successfully. And that's with a good, young team" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 7/17). Beane yesterday said that there will be a "different philosophy once the team has a new ballpark." Beane: "Really what's been missing the last 20 years is keeping these players." He added, "Finding players has never been an issue for us. Keeping them and ultimately keeping the faith and commitment from people who follow the team, that's got to be done by keeping them around. Again, I've been assured by ownership that that's what we're going to do as it parallels with the stadium" (ESPN.com, 7/16). In S.F., Susan Slusser wonders might there come a day when A's fans can buy their favorite player's jersey "secure in the knowledge they won't have to replace it in another year or two?" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/17).
In Detroit, Chris McCosky noted Tigers and Blue Jays personnel on Friday were forced to inspect the "damage left by the combination of a Metallica concert on Wednesday and subsequent heavy rains" at Comerica Park. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said, "It's not pretty." (DETROIT NEWS, 7/15). Also in Detroit, Anthony Fenech noted centerfield was "all but torn to tatters." But the conditions were "good enough to play" and the game started "without a hitch." However, two Tigers outfielders "chimed in on the grass pregame, requesting anonymity." One said, "Brutal." The other said, "It's terrible" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 7/15).
JUST GIVE IT TIME: On Long Island, Greg Logan writes just as the construction process for the new Nassau Coliseum is in the "early stages, so is the development of a boxing program that is expected to become a fixture of the entertainment calendar." Boxing promoter Lou DiBella said that it is "fair to expect three or four major boxing cards per year." But he added that the Coliseum "also can accommodate small regional shows featuring what he called 'Long Island-centric' talent" (NEWSDAY, 7/17).
PANHANDLE ON THINGS: In Florida, Jim Little reported a plan is "in the works to build a new arena in downtown Pensacola" to attract an NBA G League team. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward said that a plan was "being developed to build a new arena if Pensacola is selected" to be the site for the Pelicans' affiliate. Hayward added that it would "likely be a public-private partnership" (PENSACOLA NEWS JOURNAL, 7/15).