There’s not much new to report on around the game, but there has been a bit of chatter relating to the Athletics, so we’ll round it up here …
- In response to a reader question, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle provides an initial assessment of the potential impact of the pandemic on the Athletics’ plans for a new ballpark. As she explains, it’s still far too soon to know how the outlook will change. But there’s little doubt the ambitious project — which has advanced through multiple tough stages and finally seemed on track to being realized — will face new hurdles and potential for delay or modification.
- The A’s are of the few teams that haven’t yet decided how to handle non-team employees during the MLB shutdown. Per Slusser, via Twitter, the Oakland org hasn’t yet promised salaries through the end of May but also hasn’t decided against that course. It’s unclear at this point whether the Athletics will follow the majority of ballclubs that have guaranteed ongoing paychecks at least to that point of the year.
- Perhaps this helps explain why the Mets snapped up Tim Tebow under then-GM Sandy Alderson? It turns out that when Alderson was running the Athletics, he tried to pull off an even bigger cross-sport stunner. Alderson tells ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (audio link) that he tried to keep Michael Jordan from joining the White Sox when the NBA legend decided to try his hand at baseball. To woo Jordan west, Alderson was willing to put him directly onto the A’s active roster. That likely would not have turned out terribly well from a baseball perspective, but it sure would’ve made the MJ saga even more interesting to follow at the time.
- Oh, and one more development: Mark Canha — who is hoping to build off of a breakout 2019 season — is trying not to obliterate private property with his MacGyver’ed batting practice setup.