Oscar Goodman has been mayor of Las Vegas for 11 years, and in that time probably his most defining characteristic is that he’s never met a sports franchise he didn’t like. (And that’s saying something, given that this is a guy whose Wikipedia entry includes an entry for “Controversies: Thumb amputation and caning.”) He’s publicly wooed the Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins,San Diego Chargers, and Pittsburgh Penguins, all without the barest hint of where these teams would play if they relocated to Vegas.
Still, even Goodman had never done what he did last week: told reporters that he was in “very serious” talks to built a 45,000-seat domed stadium and that Las Vegas had been “designated an American League city.” By whom, Goodman wasn’t saying — I’m pretty sure the last time baseball divvied up territories by league was during expansion discussions in the early 1960s, so it’d be pretty bizarre for MLB to revive the concept now.
Baseball business observers likewise greeted Goodman’s pronouncement with skepticism, noting that MLB says it doesn’t intend on moving any teams across state lines anytime soon and that Vegas doesn’t really need a baseball team to compete with the casinos as an attraction.
Still, even merely hinting that he was going to lure a major-league baseball team was enough to get Goodman’s name in the papers — and even got our old friend Zennie Abraham speculating that clearly it’s the Oakland A’s headed to Nevada. Which doesn’t seem very likely, but if it does happen — even if in the year 2050 — Goodman was vague enough that he’ll be able to claim credit. That’s always a good way to pad your Wikipedia entry, and nobody even has to lose their thumbs.