Tonight there is a double scoop of sports on TV. At 8:03 PM EDT, the World Series Game 3 starts; at 8:20 PM EDT, the NFL Monday Night Football game kicks off. Thomas Paine labeled the social situation of his age as “the times that try men’s souls.” Here in Curmudgeon Central, it is times like these that make us glad that God invented the DVR and the TV remote.
Game 1 of the World Series was as interesting and dramatic as could be wished for. A game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning sent the game to extra innings which produced a walk-off home run. Game 2 of the World Series was interesting for a while, but the game turned into a rout in the later innings. Yesterday was a travel day for the Rangers and D-Backs; action tonight and for the next couple of days moves to Arizona.
I have no personal links to either the Rangers or the D-Backs; I have never lived or worked in “Dallas” or in “Phoenix”; I have friends who live in both cities; so, there is no tipping of the scales for me on that dimension. In situations such as this, the rule here in Curmudgeon Central is to adhere to the “Hedonism Principle”. I will root for the team that is behind in the Series to even things up such that the World Series goes to 7 games.
- More games to watch and enjoy = the “Hedonism Principle”.
One last item to clean up before moving away from this year’s World Series … I mentioned last week that I did not foresee these two teams duking it out in the World Series in 2023 nor did I recall any other prognosticators doing so. But I did run across this item at one of the sports gambling sites on the Internet giving you an idea how many – if any – folks called this pairing in advance:
“In March [of this year] the odds on a D-backs/Rangers World Series were 1,750 to 1.”
Let me stay on the subject of baseball here and present to you a stat that came to me from a reader who obviously loves mining baseball data for oddities. I used to try to “fact check” his communications but have come to take them at face value. So, here is his latest missive:
- In 13 post-season games this year, the Phillies struck out 120 times.
- In the entire decade of the 1990s, Tony Gwynn only struck out 188 times.
There has been no real news recently about the intended move of the Oakland A’s to Las Vegas but if I am to believe a report on a travel/tourism site, there must be things happening in the background. The proposed site for the stadium that will be needed to house the A’s will require the demolition of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino. According to the travel site, they have had access to an “internal memo” which says that the Tropicana will close sometime between late 2024 and mid-2025. The structure will need to be imploded and removed to create space for the stadium and a new hotel/casino that will go up adjacent to the stadium.
Assuming that information is accurate, I would draw a couple of conclusions:
- The time frame is right. The A’s lease in Oakland runs out soon. The team – and MLB presumably – have targeted 2028 as the year the team will move into the as yet to be constructed stadium in Las Vegas. Ergo, the demolition of the existing hotel at the stadium site by mid-2025 makes sense.
- There has been no announcement of a formal vote of the MLB owners approving the movement of the franchise from Oakland to Las Vegas. However, if this level of detail is afoot in the planning processes, I would have to think that Commissioner Manfred has “read the room” and is confident that there are 23 votes out there in favor of this franchise relocation. Any such move needs a 75% vote of the owners; that means there needs to be 23 of the 30 owners in favor of such an action.
Three venues have been floated as trial balloons about where the A’s might play until the new facility is ready. Obviously, one is to extend the lease in Oakland and hope there are no more sewage backups into locker rooms and dugouts. Two other ideas seem more aesthetically pleasing but less practical:
- Play “some” home games at Oracle Park – – home of the SF Giants. The problem with that idea is where to play “the other games” that are not held at Oracle Park. There needs to be a solution for all the A’s home games not “some” of them.
- Play at least “some” home games at Las Vegas Ballpark which is the home field for the Las Vegas Aviators of the Pacific Coast League – – a AAA farm team affiliated with the A’s. The stadium has seating for 8,196 and can hold 10,000 fans including standing room. Moreover, it has no dome to allow “climate mitigation”.
I suspect that the MLBPA will not be happy to accede to a situation where some of its members will get to play outdoor baseball in Las Vegas in the summer in front of 8,196 fans in a sellout. This is why I am convinced that things are going on in the background on this whole situation.
Finally, since I mentioned hedonism above, let me close with this observation by Woody Allen related to that concept:
“You’ll live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………