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An SB Nation blog for Oakland Athletics fans



Updated: 2017-12-11T12:38:58-08:00

 



Peralta Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday, Dec. 12

2017-12-11T12:38:58-08:00

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Want your voice heard on the stadium issue? Public session starts at 7:00 p.m.

The Peralta Community College District board of trustees is holding their next meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 7:00 p.m. For folks who support the Oakland A’s desire to build a new stadium near Laney College, this meeting could be your chance to voice that opinion. The board ordered an end to ballpark discussions with the A’s last week.

Meeting information

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 12
Time: 7:00 p.m. PT
Location: 333 East 8th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606 (map)

An organization that calls itself Rooted In Oakland is strongly in favor of the Laney site, and they offered the following talking points in an email to me this weekend:

  1. Job Opportunity: The ballpark would generate thousands of jobs and workforce development opportunities.
  2. Economic opportunity: The ballpark would bring in millions of dollars of economic opportunity to small businesses, from Oakland to Eastlake, to San Antonio to Chinatown.
  3. Community opportunity: Ballpark leaders want to prevent displacement and provide the much-needed affordable housing to teachers, families, and students in the Laney College community, and surrounding area.
  4. Academic opportunity: The ballpark will create revenue that benefits Laney College's academic programs.

From the perspective of A’s fans, the Laney site also represents one of the best chances of keeping the team in Oakland. There are arguments to be made in favor of the current Coliseum site (here’s one, and here’s another), but one way or other options are few so seeing any potential doors close does not help the goal of stAying.

Click here for full minutes for the upcoming meeting.




Elephant Rumblings: Winter Meetings Begin!

2017-12-11T09:12:55-08:00

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Expect a few frenzied days...

A’s Coverage:

MLB News:

Baseball Interest Stories:

Today in Baseball History:

  • 1959 - The A's Arnold Johnson gives the New York Yankees an early Christmas present when he gift wraps Roger Maris in pinstripes. The Yankees acquire the slugger in a seven-player deal that sends P Don Larsen, RF Hank Bauer, 1B Marv Throneberry, and LF Norm Siebern to the Athletics.

Best of Twitter:

  • Would you have any interest in taking Ellsbury and his contract if the A’s also got a couple of good prospects?



Reality Check: Ballpark Options Aren’t Few, They’re One

2017-12-08T07:00:04-08:00

So you let your economic decisions be heavily influenced by English professors, then wonder why your business sits $20,000,000 in debt. Such is the thinking of the Peralta trustees and with it the A’s hopes of building a cool stadium at Lake Merritt. No worries: that land should become available again soon when Peralta goes bankrupt, but the A’s have to pivot now — and if options did not exactly abound before, they sure as heck don’t now. On the plus side, the A’s faced a series of hurdles – from leasing or buying the land, to appeasing the NIMBYhood, to securing private financing, to passing muster with the arduous EIR and permitting processes – and if they were going to be felled at some point, best that they had the rug yanked out from under them now rather than a year or three down the road. Sadly, Libby Schaaf’s favorite site, Howard Terminal at Jack London Square, just has too many potential “deal-breaking” issues to be truly viable. Those include the complete lack of public transportation, unearthing of toxic soil, pushback from the NIMBYs in that neighborhood, and the predicted Candlestick-like wind off the water. What the A’s can’t afford is to risk (again) trying to overcome multiple hurdles any one of which has the potential to derail the entire project. Building at the Coliseum site, while not sexy, has one major advantage and that is the removal of nearly every obstacle. Really, the A’s face just one: raising the money for a project that apparently just has not captured the fancy of private investors. It’s a big problem, for sure, but it’s also a single problem. No privately owned land to try to lease or buy, no neighborhood opposition, no EIR concerns or questions around whether or not it is a location that can successfully house a ballpark. It’s like the difference between a batter who has elite skills but struggles some with outside pitches, recognizing breaking pitches, two-strike hitting, and lefties, and a batter who only struggles to hit the curve ball but man can he not hit the curve ball. It’s a big, big problem not to be able to hit a curve ball, but if you can just master that one skill you have it made in the shade. Whereas that first hitter? I don’t know which problem is going to get him, but only one of them has to and he’s toast. So you have the Coliseum site, the option that gets the fewest people excited whether they are fans or investors, but which sits on acres and acres of property that are as “ballpark ready” as a site can be. No private owners to convince, no neighbors to haggle with, no surprises underground, no railroad tracks in the way or wind tunnels waiting to wreak havoc. The A’s best option at this point is also really their only option, and it is to design not a ballpark but an entire village community so robust it captures the fancy of enough investors because it is no longer “in the middle of nowhere” – it is in fact the middle of somewhere itself. “The ballpark? It’s next to the two restaurants. The restaurants? They’re next to the shops, near the low-income housing, across from the mini-mall...” You get the idea. Heaven knows there is enough space. Mostly all there is, in fact, is space, currently in the form of asphalt. That’s what makes something beautiful and vibrant difficult to imagine, because right now the land is primarily an unattractive bastion of nothingness. But so was Disneyland when it was just flat ground in the Middle of Nowhere, Anaheim. Now it’s a small city unto itself and I hear attendance is pretty good. The A’s would get nowhere trying just to build a new ballpark next their old ballpark. That’s just a face lift. The trick is to create an entire community around it that makes not just the ballpark, but the greater location, a vibrant go-to spot in Oakland. The Dave Kavalry is going to have to sell investors on the value of this kind of project, and while word out of his camp is that it’s a tough sell the reality is [...]



Oakland A’s DFA Joey Wendle, re-sign Simon Castro

2017-12-07T19:20:04-08:00

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The book closes on the old Brandon Moss trade.

The Oakland A’s officially announced the signing of pitcher Yusmeiro Petit on Thursday, which meant they needed to make room on the 40-man roster. They cleared a spot for Petit by designating 2B Joey Wendle for assignment.

Wendle came to Oakland in a straight-up trade for Brandon Moss after the 2014 season. He spent the next three years toiling in Triple-A Nashville, but was unable to put up anything better than a league-average batting line at ages 25-27. A couple of brief cameos in MLB resulted in solid defense but a poor 73 wRC+ in 118 plate appearances. He did record one cool moment in 2017, knocking a go-ahead grand slam in front of his family and friends in Philadelphia.

The trade for Wendle was one of the least popular in Billy Beane’s tenure. Most A’s fans were disappointed that the All-Star Moss (albeit injured) only fetched one unheralded prospect in return, and to make matters worse the prospect never made an impact in the bigs. Unless he winds up back in Nashville, Thursday’s move will close the book on that deal.

The remaining middle infielders on the 40-man roster include Jed Lowrie, Marcus Semien, and top prospects Franklin Barreto, Jorge Mateo, and Yairo Munoz. There’s also Chad Pinder, but really he should be an outfielder now. Max Schrock isn’t on the roster but could also be a candidate to play in Triple-A in 2018.

In other news, the A’s re-signed reliever Simon Castro, reports Melissa Lockard of Oakland Clubhouse. Castro pitched in 26 games for Oakland last season, finishing with a 4.38 ERA in 37 innings. Like last year, he’ll be a non-roster invitee at spring training, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. They also added LHP Eric Jokisch, a 28-year-old who spent the last four seasons in Triple-A.