If you are a fan of the Oakland Athletics staying in Oakland and dislike the recently instituted ghost runner, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has some bad news for you.
During an interview with Chris "Mad Dog" Russo on SiriusXM, Manfred expressed pessimism that the Athletics will be able to figure out a new stadium in Oakland, though he had something different to say about the Tampa Bay Rays' situation:
“I think the mayor in Oakland [Libby Schaaf] has made a huge effort to try to get it done in Oakland. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen ... I'm not positive about it."
“I think the A’s have proceeded prudently in terms of exploring the Las Vegas alternative, given the lack of pace in Oakland. I think they have to look for an alternative. I see Tampa differently. I think a properly located facility in Tampa, that Tampa's a viable major league market. I've got a lot of faith in [Rays owner] Stu Sternberg. I think they will find a place to get a ballpark built and I think baseball can thrive in Tampa.
When asked if Oakland could leave within the next five years, Manfred said "oh yeah" twice then added "something has to happen, we can't go five more years in the Coliseum."
The Athletics, currently playing the widely maligned RingCentral Coliseum, have been looking for a new home for years. They landed on their current plans for a ballpark at Howard Terminal back in 2018, but progress in getting approval for the project has been slow, with one Oakland city council member recently saying he doesn't see an official vote coming this year.
At the same time, the A's have been pursuing a "parallel path" in Las Vegas, with Manfred giving them permission to look into relocation to a city that has welcomed an NFL, NHL and WNBA team in the last five years.
Judging from Manfred's words, betting on Vegas appears to be where things are trending.
Rob Manfred sees ghost runner rule staying in MLB
One of the most significant, and controversial, on-field changes of Manfred's tenure has been the addition of an automatic runner on second base in extra innings. Some fans appreciate the quicker endings. Others despise the artificial pressure.
Manfred told Russo the rule would likely stay in place, claiming MLB clubs, players and and a majority of fans have liked the change (a number of players might disagree with that).
Rob Manfred tells @MadDogUnleashed the ghost runner/extra inning rule will likely stay. ‘The clubs like it,the players like it.And I think overall the fans like it.I think it does bring sort of a focus to the end of the baseball game in a way that has been positively received.’
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 29, 2022
The ghost runner rule is currently used in the regular season only, with the old extra-innings rules reserved for the postseason.