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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Thu 4/20/23 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really is the end of an era! And probably the retirement of this thread, too.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Fri 4/21/23 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There sure are a lot of pissed off fans I have talked to since I last posted here. I had forgotten that back in 1993 when the Water Hoarders were looking to move away from San Francisco, it was Oakland who helped them stay in the Bay Area and so now, they wonder why they are not being returned the favor.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 4/21/23 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In this article from BaseballAmerica.com, Athletics ownership is compared to the Chargers' in the NFL during their final years in San Diego.

But certainly Oakland didn't offer compensation for unsold tickets.

Also, from Bill Shaikin in the L.A. Times:

"Column: MLB and As Should Do the Right Thing and Keep Team in Oakland"


BY BILL SHAIKIN

APRIL 21, 2023 5 AM PT

If baseball mythology really came to life, if teams really were civic assets and owners really were stewards of those public trusts, Rob Manfred would have issued a starkly different statement when the Oakland Athletics decided they wanted to move to Las Vegas.

Instead of extending his support to the "A"s, the commissioner should have said the following: “I appreciate the effort the "A"s have put into pursuing a new ballpark in Oakland. But, in baseball, we do not abandon our fans unless we have exhausted all of our options. The only team to move in the past 50 years— the Montreal Expos— did so because the league already had stepped in to buy the team.

“I respect that John Fisher, the "A"s owner, sees Las Vegas as his most viable option. Before I ask owners to consider approving a move, I am asking any investors interested in buying the "A"s to contact my office. Any buyer would be required to keep the team in Oakland and pay for a new ballpark next to the Coliseum, where the "A"s currently play.

“If a qualified bidder emerges, my office will negotiate a sale in which Mr. Fisher would receive full and fair market value. If no qualified bidder emerges, I will recommend owners approve a move to Las Vegas.”

That is pretty much what happened in 1992, when the San Francisco Giants had agreed to move to St. Petersburg, Fla. But the league wanted the Giants to stay in San Francisco, and the team was sold to local investors.

I asked Manfred last year if he would take the same approach if the Athletics wanted to move from Oakland.

“I think John Fisher — really at my urging — has done everything humanly possible to find a viable stadium plan in Oakland,” Manfred said then. “He’s spent millions and millions of dollars. He’s focused solely on Oakland for years.

“Secondly, unlike the San Francisco situation, Oakland was granted permission to explore the Las Vegas alternative, for the simple reason that the progress in Oakland at the time was not far enough or fast enough.”

Fisher pursued a complex deal for a waterfront ballpark in Oakland, a project that real estate developer and former "A"s managing partner Lew Wolff previously had called “close to impossible.” Fisher declined to consider a new ballpark on the Coliseum site, which sits on development-ready property with a freeway on one side and subway and train stops on the other.

The Oakland Athletics' average attendance of 10,129 is lowest in the majors.

“When you’re going to privately finance a ballpark, to the tune of a billion dollars,” Manfred said, “I think you’re entitled to a certain amount of respect, with respect to where you want to make that investment.”

That is unfortunate. Joe Lacob, whose Golden State Warriors won four NBA championships within eight years, has said he would buy the "A"s and build at the Coliseum. Lacob built a privately financed arena for the Warriors in San Francisco, and he shrugs off NBA luxury taxes in the pursuit of trophies. For an Athletics fan, this would be about as fan-friendly as it gets.

Baseball cherishes its antitrust exemption, which allows the league to control where its teams play, without fear that an owner unilaterally would decide to move his team.

The league touts this relocation control as fan-friendly, and not without reason: In the last half-century, the Raiders have moved from Oakland to Los Angeles to Oakland to Las Vegas; the Rams from Los Angeles to Anaheim to St. Louis to Los Angeles.

But the "A"s would have been playing in San Jose by now if the San Francisco Giants had not invoked their territorial rights to block the move. San Jose sued and lost, with courts reluctantly citing the antitrust exemption. The league declined to push back. The commissioner works for the owners, after all, and no owner wants to lose any of his rights.

And now? The commissioner works for the owners, and Fisher does not want to sell. If Manfred leaned on Fisher to sell, every other owner might wonder when the commissioner might try to push him out too.

Fisher fields a noncompetitive team, which is not a sin among his fellow owners.

Frank McCourt was forced out of Dodgers ownership because the spectacle that was his divorce trial revealed that he and his ex-wife diverted massive amounts of team revenue— $189 million, the league alleged— for personal use. The potential for fans in other markets to wonder if the owner of their team did something like that— well, that was a sin among his fellow owners.

On his way out, Fisher ought to do one decent thing for Oakland. In 2019, the "A"s agreed to pay $85 million for half-ownership of the Coliseum site. If the "A"s secured their waterfront ballpark, they could have been partners with the city of Oakland in determining how to reuse the 150-acre site.


Since the "A"s are rushing to call themselves Las Vegas, they should have no say in what happens to that Oakland property, let alone profit in any development from it.

The Athletics don’t need the money. They are saving hundreds of millions in potential moving costs, since Manfred has said the league will not assess the team a relocation fee.

The right thing to do is for Fisher to make clear the "A"s will donate their interest in that land to the city of Oakland. Manfred should not have to lean upon him to do that.
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 4/23/23 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few comments from The Athletic:

Quote:
What we know — and don't — about the "A"s

The last few days have felt like a funeral in Oakland, leaving fans like me watching YouTube playlists of 2012 season highlights with Adele's "All I Ask" on repeat.

There's still much to be worked out — but now that we've had some time to parse the news in Pulse land, here's where things stand:

? The details of how this latest development went down are grim. Oakland's mayor said the "A"s blindsided the City amid active negotiations last week — potentially as a last-ditch effort to gain leverage? — and she responded by simply calling things off. Oof.

? The team expects to pay $1 billion toward the proposed $1.5 billion stadium project on the land it's purchasing, leaving a not-insignificant $500 million up for public funding. That sounds like a big question mark.

? If all goes according to the plan, the stadium could apparently be open by 2027. But that leaves a very awkward few years to fill.

? The team's lease in Oakland expires after the 2024 season and it sounds like there's a deal to play at the Vegas Triple-A stadium starting in 2025. But could that move happen as early as next year? I mean, it could be an all-time tough sight for *these* "A"s to be playing in Oakland as a lame duck for even another year.

Meanwhile, this all could have a trickle-down effect for MLB expansion. Heartbroken "A"s legend Dave Stewart is among the leaders of the movement to bring a team to Nashville. At least we'll have the "A"s restaurant at the Oakland Airport, Stew.


Note: Yes...I will be posting another thread about potential expansion, not just Nashville but other options that have been bandied about.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Wed 5/3/23 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big rally coming up this Friday in Oakland.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Thu 5/11/23 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now the latest on this story is they have a new land deal for a different site! Surprised
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sun 5/14/23 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the L.A. Times:

Column: "Sitting on the Top of the Bay? Giants Have a Lot of Work To Do"

BY BILL SHAIKIN

MAY 11, 2023 5 AM PT

SAN FRANCISCO — The crowds were sparse and muted, the atmosphere less than festive, the players household names in very few households in the San Francisco Bay Area. The home team was down 5-0 in the first inning on Monday, 8-0 in the third inning on Wednesday.

Oakland? Nope.

With the Oakland Athletics declaring their intent to move to Las Vegas, this could be a moment for the entire Bay Area to embrace the San Francisco Giants. The timing is not good. The "A"s are willfully and shamefully dreadful, but the Giants so far are uninspiring and mediocre.

The “we never rebuild” Giants were pummeled twice within three days by the rebuilding Washington Nationals. Six weeks into the season, the Giants are six games behind the first-place Dodgers in the National League West, one game ahead of the last-place Colorado Rockies.

The Giants are not moving, at least. The "A"s say they are, and there is no shortage of opinions around here as to why. Lew Wolff, the "A"s former managing partner, pointed the finger at the Giants’ longtime president.

“If we move out of California, it’s because of Larry Baer,” Wolff told The Times.

Baer declined to respond. Wolff had wanted to move the "A"s to San Jose, and San Jose had wanted the "A"s.

Baer represented a Giants ownership group that refused to yield its territorial rights to that city, citing revenues from fans and businesses there that it used to help cover the privately financed ballpark in San Francisco. Bud Selig, then the league commissioner, did not lobby the Giants to yield.

The "A"s have had a decade since the San Jose option vanished, with no ballpark to show for it in either Oakland or Las Vegas.

The Athletics grandly announced three weeks ago they planned to buy one site in Las Vegas. This week, they pivoted to another site. Both would depend on public funding, with "A"s owner John Fisher coming off as less of a deal maker and more of a guy walking around Las Vegas wearing a sandwich board reading: “My major league team can be yours for hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.”

With no deal in place, "A"s fans have taken up collections for folks sitting in camera range at a game and wearing a T-shirt that says “SELL” or “FISHER OUT.” When the "A"s return to Oakland on Friday, fans plan to set up cardboard cutouts of Fisher in the stadium parking lot, then invite fellow disgruntled fans to hurl tomatoes at the cutouts.

The pitch: “Throwing rotten produce is one of the world’s oldest forms of expression.”

The tomatoes remain atop the hamburgers at Oracle Park, still beautiful 23 years after the Dodgers’ Kevin Elster baptized the place by hitting three home runs in the first game here.

The Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014, then won a franchise-record 107 games in 2021. That season appears more of an outlier with each passing day; the Giants otherwise have not posted a winning record since 2016.

In 2018, the Giants hired Farhan Zaidi away from the Dodgers, to develop a new generation of champions while managing the transition from the likes of Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt.

“It was never going to be a shock-and-awe rebuild,” Zaidi said.

The Giants’ ownership never wanted to rebuild, and Zaidi said he was on board.

“Philosophically, I don’t really believe in the full teardown, because baseball is unpredictable and you can get surprising performances from everywhere,” he said. “That’s obviously what we got in ‘21. I think every team has a chance to have a season like that every year.

“When you pull the plug, you’re kind of eliminating a little bit of that. It can create a more comfortable narrative — ‘Hey, we’re rebuilding and we’re going to be under .500 for a few years!’ — but it’s sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re not going to try to compete, it’s pretty easy to do.”

The Giants wooed Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa last winter. They settled for a collection of veterans: outfielders Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger, and pitchers Sean Manaea, Taylor Rogers and Ross Stripling. All five thus far have performed below league average.

“It’s our expectation to make a run at the playoffs every year,” Zaidi said. “You want to get to a point where that is the sustained equilibrium and not even have the question of ‘Should we tear it down?’ ”

This is what every team wants to do, and it is much easier said than done. What the Dodgers have done over the last decade is remarkable.

Zaidi cited three prospects whom he hopes will impact the Giants this season: infielder Casey Schmitt, who homered in his debut Tuesday, catcher Patrick Bailey and pitcher Kyle Harrison.

In the meantime, the Giants are short on winning and star power. The Giants once sold out 537 consecutive games, a streak that extended into 2017. They never have announced a crowd below 20,000 here.

In their last seven midweek games, they have sold as few as 20,203 tickets, and no more than 23,397. Tickets for this week’s games were available on resale sites for as little as $1.

“We’ve never seen the disparity between weekends and weeknights that we’re seeing now,” Baer said.

Baer attributed the disparity to a city hard hit by vacancies in offices, the rise of remote work, and the collapse of the latest tech bubble.

“Downtown has been so slow to recover,” Baer said. “We’re a downtown ballpark.”

The fans seated behind home plate Wednesday wore an assortment of Giants jerseys, with the names a tribute to the distinguished history of the franchise: Barry Bonds and Posey; Will Clark and Willie Mays; Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum.

There were plenty of Crawford jerseys, in honor of the shortstop who is the last player remaining from the World Series championship teams. However, Crawford is on the injured list, and I saw no one wearing a jersey with the name of a player on the active roster. The next bobblehead the Giants give out will feature the team mascot, a seal.

Crawford stands out in Bay Area baseball lore for more than his play. When he was 5, he was photographed looking forlorn, his cap backwards and arms crossed, at what he thought would be the last game he would see in San Francisco. The Giants had announced a move to Florida, before local investors rescued the team, signed Bonds and built Oracle Park.

Crawford does not believe the "A"s moving to Las Vegas would be a positive for the Bay Area, even though the Giants would have the region all to themselves.

“The Bay Area likes being able to have two teams to root for,” Crawford said. “As a kid, I liked the A’s too. I was Giants No. 1, but especially after moving out to the East Bay, I was able to get to a lot of "A"s games also. It was actually a little bit easier. BART went right to the stadium.

“I enjoyed watching the "A"s growing up. I feel like there’s more of a rivalry now with fans, where they don’t like both. As a kid, I did.

“Would it potentially mean more fans for us? I guess. But I always enjoyed the Battle of the Bay.”

That’s fun. Battles for taxpayer dollars and a .500 record, not so much.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Mon 5/15/23 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The most current update is, it's going to be the Tropicana site on the Strip. This is starting to look more real every day. Here's the link.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sun 6/11/23 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the L.A. Times:

"Column: Athletics Owners Are Failing on Las Vegas Move. It’s Time for Rob Manfred to Act"


BY BILL SHAIKIN
STAFF WRITER

JUNE 9, 2023 5:15 PM PT

It’s hard to tell whether the Oakland Athletics are a bigger farce on or off the field.

On the field, the "A"s are on pace to lose 127 games. No major league team in the entirety of the 20th century lost so many games in a single season.

Off the field, the "A"s soon could go 0 for 4 in potential host cities, striking out in the pursuit of a new ballpark in Oakland, Fremont, San Jose and maybe now in Las Vegas.

The question is not where team owner John Fisher and president Dave Kaval might look next. The question is why Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred would trust them to wrap up the Vegas deal, let alone let them look for another stadium deal, when Fisher and Kaval have proven they cannot get a deal done.

MLB wants the Vegas deal done.

For two decades, the "A"s have pitched a new ballpark as a panacea. In 2009, long before Fisher and Kaval and Manfred were the faces attached to this saga, then-commissioner Bud Selig said this: “The 'A’s cannot and will not continue indefinitely in their current situation.” (Narrator: They can, and they have.)

Here is Manfred, his successor, in 2021: “The Oakland process is at an end.”

Here is Manfred, in July 2022: “It needs to happen now. It needs to be done.”

Here is Manfred, in December 2022: “We’re past any reasonable timeline for the situation in Oakland to be resolved.”

Maybe Oakland was the issue. Or, as it turns out, maybe not.

In April, Fisher and Kaval said they would make a deal in Las Vegas. The deal was supposed to have been done by Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday.

Or, at least, sometime before major league owners meet next Tuesday.

Now? They’re still working on it, a process marked by ineptitude so prolonged and so public that Oakland congresswoman Barbara Lee this week found time to write Manfred and threaten baseball’s antitrust exemption.

There is a small group of specialists who negotiate stadium deals from coast to coast. I talked to one who has worked on MLB deals for years. He is not involved in the Las Vegas deal, but he is astounded at how Fisher and Kaval have failed at the basic give and take that accompanies any negotiation.

Some legislators will vote yes, no matter what. Some will vote no. But, in a public hearing Wednesday, several legislators practically pleaded for Fisher and Kaval to give them something: help us get to a yes vote, a vote that we can defend to our constituents.

One legislator asked the "A"s to consider a 9% ticket tax, the same tax assessed on tickets to concerts and shows in Las Vegas.

Another legislator asked them to guarantee their community benefits promises by writing them into the stadium bill.

The stadium negotiator was flabbergasted that the team had dodged both requests. How, he wondered, do the "A"s not at least offer to discuss a smaller ticket tax? That could be a way to a yes vote, since legislators could say they got the "A"s to pay a tax the Raiders and Golden Knights do not pay. Perhaps the "A"s even negotiate a mechanism to recoup that money in later years.

And, when a public hearing last week revealed citizen anguish that a baseball stadium might be a higher funding priority than public schools, it should have been a no-brainer for Fisher and Kaval to say this: “We want to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. If we are fortunate enough to become part of this community, the 'A’s will donate $1 million a year to public education in Las Vegas.”

Here is what the Athletics would be getting in Las Vegas: $380 million in taxpayer money toward a new stadium, plus free land for the stadium donated by a private company, plus no property taxes because the team would donate the land to a public agency, plus no rent because the agency would waive it, plus revenue from naming rights. That’s a half-billion dollars worth of goodies right there.

The legislature went home for the weekend, tired of waiting for the "A"s to give enough to get the votes.

If there is a deal to be made — and there is — Manfred should dispatch one of those stadium negotiation specialists to Vegas this weekend and let him do the talking. Fisher and Kaval have promised new ballparks at four locations in the past six years, and two in the past six weeks. Their track record speaks for itself.

If Fisher really draws the line at his $1.1 billion contribution to the stadium, so be it. However, his team’s lease in Oakland expires next year.

The "A"s might still pull victory from the jaws of defeat in Las Vegas. Or they could find themselves homeless after the 2024 season, barnstorming like the Savannah Bananas.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 6/12/23 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reverse boycott planned in Oakland at tomorrow's "A"s-Rays game. This should be interesting!
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Mon 6/12/23 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say good for their fans! Make yourselves heard.

I read someone mention the other day that with the Sunken Diamond having over 4000 capacity, Oakland should play their games there. They would most likely all be sellouts. Razz
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Wed 6/14/23 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lol, funny. Laughing

I loved seeing the fans rally, but even with their plan there were 27,000 fans. I don't think Las Vegas is going to draw 27,000 fans regularly, if they keep using this kind of business model for the team.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sat 6/17/23 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vegas officials have approved the expenditures.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 7/21/23 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have quite a few updates on this one for later!
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 8/1/23 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tonight is "fan protest" night in Oakland. I'd like to see how this goes.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 11/16/23 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And...the owners have voted approving the move. Sad
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Fri 11/17/23 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is sad news. Sad
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Fri 11/17/23 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They had a long run in the East Bay. It makes me wonder how they think they can get any fan base in Vegas. This is not the Raiders, and not a big spending team, so what are their plans?
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Tue 1/30/24 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just heard the Tropicana is closing in April. To make way for the new ballpark construction! Surprised That is where Raul and I spent our honeymoon Very Happy
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Tue 2/6/24 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well can you believe this - the Las Vegas mayor is now saying they should stay in Oakland! Exclamation
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Wed 2/7/24 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She has since backtracked. Article from Sports Illustrated
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Wed 2/28/24 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought this was sad to see. Workers have removed the long standing sign on the Coliseum that read, "Rooted in Oakland Since 1968." Sad
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PostPosted: Wed 2/28/24 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Jints without Brandon Crawford, and the "A"s' final season in Oakland.

What a summer this will be.
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