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Oakland A's

Donaldson’s Walk-Off Homer Lifts A’s Past Orioles

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Oakland, CA – Bottom of the ninth, the A’s were down by two and the Baltimore Orioles were in control. A leadoff infield single by Yoenis Cespedes got the rally going for Oakland. Brandon Moss followed with a single before Josh Donaldson’s three-run homer capped off the night.

Donaldson’s walk-off homer lifted the A’s past the Orioles 5-4. He hit his second walk-off of the season and third of his career. Baltimore had regained the lead after Manny Machado went deep to left field with a two-run homer in the seventh. He gave the Orioles a 4-2 lead while reaching base in a career best 17 straight games.

“I enjoy those moments,” said Donaldson. “It’s one of those things where you’ve got to try to relish the opportunity, and anytime I can step up to the plate with an at-bat to help our team win the game or win the game right there, I feel better about it.”

“Sinker… That’s my best pitch,” closer Zach Britton said. “He put a good swing on a good pitch. You kind of just tip your cap to him.”

Donaldson crushed Britton’s first pitch over the left field wall in what seemed like a ball that got lost in the night air. The anticipation that something would happen after Oakland put two on in the corners with no outs brought the crowd of 27,232 to its feet.

“Two good teams, small margin of error,” said Baltimore’s manager Buck Showalter. “I thought Tilly presented himself well against a good team, Tommy threw the ball well. Zach made one bad pitch.”

Jeff Samardzija tossed seven innings in his third start with his new team. He allowed six hits, four runs, one walk, four strikeouts, two hit batters and two home runs. Both Jonathan Schoop and Machado hit a pair of two-run homers off Samardzija.

“The first thing I said when I came here was, ‘I love how these guys play the game, from the first out to the last out. They don’t quit,'” Samardzija said.

Not a bad way to kick off the second half of the season. The A’s got on the board first when Coco Crisp hit a single in the third and advanced to second on a wild pitch. John Jaso followed with a double to right field scoring in Crisp to make it a 1-0 game.

Schoop’s two-run blast put the Orioles up 2-1. Derek Norris went deep in the fifth and tied the game 2-2 before Machado’s two-run homer. But there’s a reason Oakland has the best record in the Majors. They have won nine of their last 12 games and 12 of their last 13 home contests.

“We always have a feeling here at home, when we’re within shouting distance,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin. “That we have a chance to win. We’re always thinking good things are going to happen.”

City Government

Are City Staff Behind the Scenes Already Moving Forward on Fisher’s Port Project?

Some members of the committee were deeply concerned that this zoning change may have been made without the approval of the City Council or going through the Planning Commission.

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Howard Terminal on Port of Oakland Map

At a Zoom meeting last week between members of the community and representatives of the City of Oakland’s Planning Department, city staff shared zoning maps for the purpose of discussing modifications to industrial zoning regulations.

The maps illustrated parts of the Port of Oakland that are restricted solely for industrial use, meaning that the city does not allow residential or other commercial construction on those properties.

However, community members inadvertently viewed one zoning map that showed Howard Terminal as removed from the city’s industrial land use protections. Staff at the meeting were not able to explain that map and referred questions to others in the Planning Department.

The 55-acre Howard Terminal, which plays an important role in Port of Oakland operations, is the public land targeted by billionaire John Fisher as the site to build his stadium and real estate development project.

“The map of Howard Terminal was just white on the sheet of paper; the hashtag for industrial land use was not on Howard Terminal, and when asked about this, the Planning Department staff at the meeting said this change was not under their purview and referred us to someone else,” said one of the community members who attended the meeting.

Some members of the committee were deeply concerned that this zoning change may have been made without the approval of the City Council or going through the Planning Commission.

As some people said, Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Administrator may support the A’s development project, but they do not have the authority to unilaterally make those zoning changes without going through a public process.

Contacted by the Oakland Post, one member of the City Council said, “The council has not yet approved residential zoning at Howard Terminal. That proposal is expected to come to council in a few months.

“Also, because it is waterfront tidelands, it will need permission from the state lands commission, which doesn’t normally allow housing on tidelands, and that hasn’t happened yet either,” the councilmember said.

The Post contacted the Planning Department for an explanation of the new Howard Terminal zoning map and also contacted the Mayor’s Office and a spokesperson for the City Administrator, seeking an explanation of this map.

By the Post’s publishing deadline, none of the officials had responded to the following questions:

  • It appears that changes shown in this zoning map have already been implemented. Is that the case?  If so, what process did they go through for approval?
  • If it is no longer industrial property, what uses of the land are now permitted under the zoning of Howard Terminal?
  • Who in the administration has already approved this modified zoning map of Howard Terminal?

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Community

Silence From Oakland A’s on Negotiations with City Over New Stadium Deal  

The silence comes after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said that lawyers on both sides will continue negotiations toward an agreement. 

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Oakland A's Photo Courtesy of Rick Rodriquez via Unsplash

The Oakland A’s were mum July 30 over whether the team and the city will continue to negotiate over a new stadium in Oakland. 

The silence comes after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said that lawyers on both sides will continue negotiations toward an agreement.

“We are going to resume our talks with the A’s,” Schaaf said Thursday. “The lawyers are starting to draft a final agreement.” 

City councilmembers approved a non-binding financial plan for a stadium at Howard Terminal, the terms for which the A’s didn’t agree with. 

Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval said then that the A’s had not seen some of the terms until the day the council voted on them. He said Major League Baseball would immediately evaluate the city’s proposal. 

“Unfortunately, I can’t provide a comment,” Oakland As spokeswoman Catherine Aker said on July 30 when asked whether “the Oakland A’s are going to continue negotiations with the city of Oakland over a new ballpark at Howard Terminal.”

“Lawyers from both the City and the A’s have agreed to continue working toward an approved project,” said Justin Berton, Schaaf’s spokesperson. 

“Mayor Schaaf and City staff are excited about the progress that is being made. This moves us one step closer to making the vision of a world-class waterfront ballpark a reality,” Berton said. 

The $12 billion project would include a $1 billion, 35,000-seat ballpark as well as an adjacent development including up to 3,000 residential units, a hotel with about 400 rooms, 1.77 million square feet of commercial space and a performance venue seating about 3,500 people.

Major League Baseball has told the A’s to consider other cities for a new place to play. Kaval has said publicly that in Oakland it’s Howard Terminal or bust. 

The A’s have already visited Las Vegas and Kaval has previously said Howard Terminal and Las Vegas are “parallel” paths the team is pursuing.

The A’s wanted the City Council to vote on the non-binding financial plan the team put forward in April. But the council chose to vote on an amendment to that. 

Kaval was happy that six city councilmembers voted yes for the Howard Terminal proposal, but disappointed that the council did not vote on what the team proposed. 

Following that vote, he said that the A’s hope they can get final approval from the Oakland City Council on a new stadium by the end of baseball season.

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Bay Area

Where Do Negotiations Go Now After A’s “Howard Terminal” or Bust Ultimatum?

The A’s are seeking to develop 55 acres at the Port of Oakland. The proposal includes a 35,000-seat baseball stadium, which would cost $1 billion, or 8.3% of the total project.

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Oakland A's Photo Courtesy of Rick Rodriquez via Unsplash

FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2016, file photo, Oakland Athletics President David Kaval gestures during a news conference in Oakland, Calif. TheAthletics will be phased out of revenue sharing in the coming years as part of baseball’s new labor deal, and that puts even more urgency on the small-budget franchise’s plan to find the right spot soon to build a new, privately funded ballpark. Kaval, named to his new A’s leadership position last month, is committed to making quick progress but also doing this right. That means strong communication with city and civic leaders as well as the community and fan base. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

John Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nikki Fortunato

Rebecca Kaplan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oakland’s City Council rejected the A’s proposed non-binding term sheet, which the team had presented to the City along with an ultimatum, “Howard Terminal or Bust.”

At a packed City Council meeting last week, attended by 1,000 people on Zoom, many residents were angry at what they viewed as the A’s real estate “land grab” at the Port of Oakland and either said that the team should leave or stay at the Oakland Coliseum in East Oakland.
Rejecting the A’s term sheet, councilmembers at the July 20th meeting voted 6-1 with one abstention to make a counteroffer, approving city staff’s and Council’s amendments to the A’s term sheet.

Council’s vote was to continue negotiating with the A’s, and the A’s gained substantial concessions, $352 million, enough to return for further negotiations, in Oakland. The Council’s vote didn’t derail A’s pursuit of Las Vegas.

Now, over a week since Council’s vote, neither A’s President Dave Kaval nor owner John Fisher have spoken publically on the A’s intent to continue bargaining with Oakland for their proposed $12 billion waterfront development at Howard Terminal.

The A’s are seeking to develop 55 acres at the Port of Oakland. The proposal includes a 35,000-seat baseball stadium, which would cost $1 billion, or 8.3% of the total project.

In addition to the stadium, the development features 3,000 condominium/housing units; over a million square feet of commercial space (office and retail); a 3,500-seat performance theater, 400 hotel rooms and approximately 18 acres of parks and open space.

The most fundamental sticking point, along with all the other complications, is whether a commercial/residential development, ‘a city within a city,” in the middle of a working seaport are compatible uses for the land. Many experts are saying that the existence of upscale residences and thousands of tourists strolling around will eventually destroy the Port of Oakland, which is the economic engine of the city and the region.

According to Kaval, who had pushed for the Council to approve the ultimatum, “We’re disappointed that the city did not vote on our proposal … we’re going to take some time and really dig in and understand and ‘vet’ what they did pass and what all the amendments mean.”

Although the A’s stated a willingness to be open to the amended terms Council approved, Kaval expressed uncertainty whether the Council’s amended term sheet offers “a path forward.”

“The current [amended] term sheet as its constructed is not a business partnership that works for us,” said Kaval, saying the team would have to examine the Council’s counter-offer before deciding to resume negotiations or return to Las Vegas or focus on finding a new home someplace else.

City Council President Bas and Mayor Libby Schaaf joined city and labor leaders to discuss the Council’s vote. Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan made it clear that the amended term sheet the Council approved should be considered a “road map for future negotiations … a baseline for further discussions.”

Upon Kaval’s dismissal of the Council’s stated positions, Fife said, “I don’t know where we go from here,” abstaining from the vote on the proposed term sheet.

Many find Kaval’s statement confusing because he used words like partnership but apparently ignored and/or disregarded the City of Oakland – the A’s major stakeholder and a business partnership since 1968, more than 53 years.

Some are asking if the A’s understand that Oakland’s 53-year relationship with the team is the basis for the meme “Rooted in Oakland?” Are the A’s willing to accept, as the Council has determined, that the terms of the business “partnership” must be equitable and mutually beneficial for all of “us”?

And the question remains after a 53-year relationship, is it reasonable to terminate that relationship or negotiate further for an equitable and mutually beneficial business partnership?

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