MLB commish Rob Manfred sees Las Vegas and future World Baseball Classics as viable
Might a team be headed to Sin City in the next few years?
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred made waves Tuesday when he revealed the league had -- and would impose its -- unilateral say over rules come next season. Naturally, rumors of a pitch clock, reduced strike zone and the automation of intentional walks followed.
But whereas those changes could be coming to MLB in 2018, Manfred also speculated on other changes that could be years off -- like the future of the World Baseball Classic and the potential for a franchise in Las Vegas. Here’s what Manfred said, per Jeff Passan:
Rob Manfred, on rumors this will be the last World Baseball Classic: "I intend to keep the WBC alive and going as long as I'm commissioner."— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 21, 2017
Rob Manfred: "Las Vegas could be a viable market for us." Says legalized gambling is not an issue.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 21, 2017
The former is in reference to a report from-- barring, that is, a substantial uptick in revenue. Of course, Manfred was never going to confirm as much -- not when the tournament is weeks away -- but you wonder if there’s been a change of heart since that initial rumor.
As for the Las Vegas aspect -- who knows? Manfred has two stadium situations he’d like to resolve, one in Oakland and one with Tampa Bay, and casting Las Vegas as a viable relocation destination could help those efforts -- particularly since it would remain in play, even if the A’s or Rays were to move to the other most viable location in Montreal. The National Hockey League and National Football League have taken steps to take the stigma off Las Vegas as a professional sports destination, so perhaps there’s more fire here than smoke.
Either way, we’re probably a few years from any team playing its home games in Sin City. Insert your own Pete Rose jokes here.
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