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Oakland mayor says MLB commissioner Rob Manfred warned city A’s could move to Las Vegas; Manfred says nothing on tap

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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed in a television interview Tuesday that Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred warned city officials that the Athletics could relocate to Las Vegas if the city didn’t drop its lawsuit to stop Alameda County from selling its share of the Coliseum to the team.

Manfred confirmed Tuesday that Las Vegas came up during a meeting with Schaaf, but said there are no plans for the A’s to move.

“In a recent meeting with the mayor of Oakland, I did mention Las Vegas in the context of pointing out that the A’s might have to relocate if a new stadium can’t be built in Oakland,” Manfred told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “There is, however, no plan to move to Las Vegas.”

Oakland and Alameda County share ownership of the Coliseum; the city wants the county to sell its half of the stadium to Oakland instead of to the A’s. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the city can’t match the A’s offer of $85 million for the venue.

City Councilman Larry Reid told the newspaper earlier this week that Manfred had made the suggestion that Las Vegas could be a possible relocation site for the A’s in meetings with city officials last week.

“The reports of that are accurate,” Schaaf said in the interview with KTVU-TV. “[Las Vegas] is the city that came out of his mouth.”

Oakland will soon lose its NFL team, the Raiders, to Las Vegas, possibly as soon as 2020. So Manfred’s choice of a possible relocation city was meant to strike a nerve, Schaaf said.

“Obviously he chose his city wisely as far as exposing a pain-point that all Oaklanders feel about losing our sports teams,” she said. She later called the lawsuit “misguided.”

Oakland had sued Alameda County to block its sale of its share of the Coliseum to the A’s and a judge issued a temporary restraining order last week, blocking the transaction. The A’s, who want to build a new stadium at Howard Terminal on the waterfront and redevelop the land around the Coliseum, are hoping it would help subsidize the cost of a privately owned new stadium.

A’s president Dave Kaval said last week that the franchise was “blindsided” by the restraining order being granted.

“I will say, though, that I absolutely see a path to a new ballpark right … at Howard Terminal,” Schaaf said. “As well as really giving the A’s the opportunity to do a community-serving development out at the Coliseum, as well as to maintain that as a background plan. I see this path. I am confident we will get there.”

Schaaf told KTVU that the city’s lawsuit was filed “over my objection.”

“I don’t think that it serves the public when two governmental entities are suing each other,” Schaaf said. “It certainly is my direction that the city and the county work collaboratively. We are co-owners of this land. The board of supervisors are so well-intentioned. They want to do right by their constituents, which are our constituents, so I believe we will get something done collaboratively and put this lawsuit behind us.”

The next court hearing in the city’s lawsuit is scheduled for Nov. 14, according to the Chronicle.

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Yankees to start Masahiro Tanaka vs. Astros’ Zack Greinke in Game 4 after postponement

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Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees has been postponed due to expected inclement weather in New York on Wednesday night.

First pitch for Game 4 will be 8:08 p.m. ET Thursday. Game 5 has been rescheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET Friday, which originally had been tabbed as a travel day, if necessary.

“It gives everybody a day off and an opportunity to collect ourselves,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “It changes our pitching a little bit; how beneficial is probably easier to answer after I see how guys perform and how the pitching plays out.”

The Yankees — who were planning a bullpen day for Game 4 — have announced they will go back to Masahiro Tanaka on regular rest. He blanked the Astros over six innings in Game 1 on Saturday, throwing just 68 pitches during a 7-0 win.

The Astros will counter with Zack Greinke, also on regular rest. The 2009 Cy Young Award winner, who was acquired from Arizona at the July 31 trade deadline, has struggled through two starts for the Astros this postseason, including the Game 1 loss to the Yankees in which he allowed two homers and three runs in six innings.

In Game 5, the Yankees likely will start James Paxton against the Astros’ Justin Verlander.

The Astros have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The winner will face the Washington Nationals in the World Series.

Having Wednesday off will be welcome for New York after manager Aaron Boone used five relievers to cover 4 2/3 innings in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Astros. Starter Luis Severino threw 36 pitches in the first inning and was pulled in the fifth. Boone deployed key arms Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton in the loss, although none threw more than 11 pitches.

Games 6 and 7, if necessary, are not affected by Wednesday’s postponement and will be held in Houston on Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday’s matchup is the first postseason game to be postponed since Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Nationals and the Chicago Cubs in 2017, and the first LCS game to be called off since Game 3 of the Baltimore OriolesKansas City Royals series in 2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Astros, Yankees to play Game 4 of ALCS on Thursday after rainout

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Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees has been postponed due to expected inclement weather in New York on Wednesday night.

First pitch for Game 4 will be on Thursday at 8:08 p.m. ET. Game 5 has been rescheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET Friday, which originally had been tabbed as a travel day, if necessary.

The Astros have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The winner will face the Washington Nationals in the World Series.

The move could affect pitching plans for both teams. The Astros could bring back Zack Greinke for Game 4 on regular rest, and the Yankees — who were planning a bullpen day for Game 4 — could instead go back to Masahiro Tanaka on regular rest.

Tanaka blanked the Astros over six innings in Game 1 on Saturday while throwing just 68 pitches to get through the Houston lineup exactly two times.

Games 6 and 7, if necessary, are not affected by Wednesday’s postponement and will be held in Houston on Saturday and Sunday.

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Joe Maddon agrees to be new manager of Los Angeles Angels

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The Los Angeles Angels have reached an agreement with Joe Maddon to make him their next manager, the team announced Wednesday.

A source told ESPN that Maddon is expected to receive a three-year contract in the $12 million to $15 million range.

Maddon, 65, is returning to the Angels organization after spending five seasons with the Chicago Cubs and leading the franchise to its first World Series title in 108 years in 2016.

He had been linked to the Angels job ever since the team fired Brad Ausmus on Sept. 30, a day after Maddon and the Cubs announced they were parting ways.

The Angels finished 72-90 during Ausmus’ only season as manager.

Maddon spent 31 years in the Angels’ organization, the last six as Mike Scioscia’s bench coach from 2000 to 2005. Prior to joining the Cubs, he served nine years as Tampa Bay Rays manager, leading that team to its only World Series appearance in 2008.

Maddon signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Cubs prior to the 2015 season, and the team finished above .500 in each of his five seasons. His .582 winning percentage ranks second all time in franchise history, behind only Frank Chance (768-389, .664, from 1905 to ’12).

In 2016, Maddon guided Chicago to 103 regular-season wins and then a long-awaited World Series title that postseason. He was credited with changing the culture and creating a loose atmosphere for his players during a pressure-filled time when they were picked by many to win it all.

Maddon inherits a franchise in turmoil following an Outside the Lines report that team employees allegedly were aware of Tyler Skaggs’ opioid use prior to his July 1 death and didn’t inform the commissioner’s office. The Angels could face significant sanctions from Major League Baseball if it finds the allegations were true.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.



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