Rob Manfred Addresses Issues Surrounding Several Franchises
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred during the league's Winter Meetings was asked about his level of confidence in the A's remaining in Oakland, and said he is "encouraged that the mayor and city council found a way" to put the RingCentral Coliseum lawsuit behind them and "make a commitment to negotiation" with the team on the ballpark site, according to Susan Slusser of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Manfred said, "It was, is, and remains my hope that the A's remain in Oakland. One of the things baseball has done well over decades is maintain its commitment to its current cities and we'd desperately like to maintain our commitment to the city of Oakland. I think the wild-card game and the excitement surrounding it shows there is a fan base there, but the clock is ticking. It's time to get to it in terms of that stadium" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 12/12).
RIGHTS FIGHT: In Baltimore, Jon Meoli writes Manfred yesterday "expressed his support for the viability of baseball long-term in Baltimore." Manfred said that the "perceived nearing conclusion" of the TV rights fee dispute with the Nationals "could solidify that." He added, "The uncertainty surrounding the MASN situation is on the road to resolution. ... That decision should move the process along in terms of getting MASN into a more stable situation, and I'm sure that as the team becomes more competitive -- which I think it will with the great baseball operations people they have hired -- that the attendance in Baltimore will pick up" (BALTIMORE SUN, 12/12).
SMOOTH SALE-ING: In N.Y., Deesha Thosar notes Manfred revealed that the Mets have been "following protocol and ownership guidelines 'to a tee'" following the news that Wilpon family is selling its majority stake in the franchise. Manfred must be notified "before they even market the team and be kept apprised as they make progress in that sale process." He said, "I do not expect that there will be any governance issues associated with the plan that they have in place for the transition of the Mets. It's a pretty standard-looking transaction in terms of path-to-control and transition" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/12).