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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Tampa Bay Rays have received permission from Major League Baseball to explore a two-city plan in which they would play the first half of the season in St. Petersburg, Fla. and the second half in Montreal.

Be smart: Like self-driving vehicles and colonizing Mars, this international timeshare idea is certainly fun to think about. Sadly, there's almost no chance that it actually comes to fruition.

What they're saying:

  • "The news definitely surprised me," Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier told The Athletic. "We were talking on the bus today — it's weird to think about splitting games."
  • "Love it. Wouldn't it be kind of cool? Let's do a little 'European Vacation' in the middle of the summer, head north of the border," said former Rays manager Joe Maddon, before adding that he couldn't see this actually happening.

What we have here is a classic game of chicken: The Rays are trying to scare St. Petersburg into ponying up for a new stadium. But Mayor Rick Kriseman has already called their bluff, effectively closing the book on this until 2028, when the Rays' lease is up.

Between the lines: Consider all the challenges associated with a two-city agreement. How do you attract free agents when they know they won't be able to settle down in one city? Which city hosts the playoff games? How would broadcast rights work? The logistics would be insane.

Go deeper: What MLB expansion might look like

Go deeper

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.