Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred visited San Francisco this week to make an announcement and address obvious concerns for the future of the leagues second ball club across the bay.
After opening a replay center at the MLB Advanced Media office in New York in 2008, it was expanded in 2014 to accommodate the enhanced challenge rules that were implemented for in-game play.
This week the commissioner announced that Major League Baseball plans to open a second replay center in San Francisco. Manfred stated the league will expand its MLBAM San Francisco office, which is located near AT&T Park. “At some point you want to have redundancy, meaning if New York goes down, there’s someplace else you can go,” Manfred said. “The proximity to the Silicon Valley for a technology company like MLB Advanced Media is very important, and it just makes sense in terms of the economics to do it where we have an existing facility.”
To make room for the change, Manfred announced the league plans to close its Western Operations office in Phoenix which opened in 2005. The plans for the San Francisco office are still in the works, so there is no definite timetable on when it will open.
Amongst other issues, Manfred addressed the concerns surrounding the future of the Oakland A’s and where the team will play. He stated blatantly he believes it is in the best interest of the league, and the ball club, that they remain in the East Bay. A’s majority owner Lew Wolff has of course been lobbying MLB to allow him to build a new stadium for the team in San Jose, which would require three-fourths of the owners to agree to a change in territorial rights. “The fundamental goal is to help the A’s get a new facility, which they desperately need, in Oakland,” Manfred said. “It’s a long process and it’s a difficult process, but progress is being made. The A’s preference is for the Coliseum site. I see a new facility that is really, really successful.”