New baseball commissioner Rob Manfred hopeful of Athletics getting new ballpark in Oakland

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NEW YORK — New baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is optimistic the Athletics will be able to get a new ballpark in Oakland.

The A's have been blocked from building a stadium in San Jose, which is in Santa Clara County, a territory of the San Francisco Giants. A month after the club scrapped plans for a ballpark in Fremont, then-Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a committee in March 2009 to analyze the team's hopes of obtaining a stadium in its current territory.

After the team reached an agreement with San Jose on an option for land and Major League Baseball didn't act, San Jose sued MLB in June 2013, claiming an illegal conspiracy to block a relocation. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this month upheld a lower-court decision dismissing San Jose's antitrust claims.

"I don't think of the Oakland issue as Oakland-San Francisco. Oakland needs a new stadium," Manfred said during an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, the first business day of his five-year term. "There's a new mayor in Oakland. We just prevailed in the San Jose litigation, so things are moving around a little bit out there, and I'm hopeful we can make progress on getting a new stadium in Oakland in the relatively short term."

Libby Schaaf took office as Oakland's mayor on Jan. 5.

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