In the flurry of NBA Playoff headlines and narratives in Portland and Oakland this week, a nugget of baseball news flew under the radar.
On Monday this week, the Oakland Port of Commission voted unanimously to exclusively negotiate for a potential waterfront ballpark for the A’s, allowing them four years to conduct an environmental report on their site.
Our own John Canzano made sure to get his thoughts on the table on this move for OregonLive, calling it a good development for both markets.
This was good for Oakland. Also, good for Portland. Also, it might be a toothless gesture designed to buy Oakland time to find another, more feasible site.
Still, movement is your friend, Portland.
Canzano reached out earlier this month to Major League Baseball to try and gauge Commissioner Rob Manfred’s attitude toward the MLB to PDX campaign. Canzano got an answer that was more of a non-answer:
John Blundell, the director of media relations for MLB, told me in a statement:
“There is not an ongoing expansion or relocation process in place. MLB is currently working with Tampa Bay and Oakland on their local stadium situations. Beyond that, there is nothing to say at this time.”
Portland is ready right now. Not in five years — now. It’s here to help. Either by becoming an immediate destination for one of those franchises. Or by pushing them into a solution so the league can get about expanding by two.
What MLB doesn’t understand is how fleeting the window is in Portland.
JC also cautions MLB, though, that it would be the wrong move to sleep on the Portland market that is so eager to help their expansion or relocation efforts:
What I’m saying to Manfred and his bosses is that if MLB drags this out for years, Portland won’t be there. The city will move its focus and passion to the next big sports thing. Bidding for an Olympics, maybe. Or landing an NHL franchise to put in Moda Center.
Read Canzano’s full column here.