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Giants rally in the eighth for epic win over A’s

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Oakland – The Bay Bridge series is always exciting.  This battle never gets old, and tonight was an epic performance.  Eight runs scored in one frame led to the Giants rally in the eighth.  It was something you just don’t see too often in baseball especially at the Coliseum.

The A’s have been consistent in their wins but tonight, the bullpen failed and former Oakland player, Stephen Vogt capped the night off with a three-run blast against his old team.  San Francisco’s 10-5 win over the A’s was a stellar comeback.  

“Felt like we did’t get out for an hour,” said manager Bob Melvin.

The eighth inning lasted so long, Oakland used four pitchers in one frame.  Vogt had four at-bats that didn’t get him on base.  But his fifth at-bat, capped off a phenomenal offensive outburst for the Giants in the eighth.    

After Vogt lined out, Melvin made a pitching change.  Back-to-back singles from Buster Posey, and Alex Dickerson.  Evan Longoria’s RBI single drove in Posey to make it a 4-3 game.  A.J. Puk replaced Yusmeiro Petit.  A wild pitch by Puk led to Dickerson scoring to tie the game 4-4.

Puk also walked Austin Slater.  Melvin made another change, Lou Trivino replaced Puk.  Kevin Pillar cleared the bases with a double driving in both Longoria and Slater to extend their lead to 6-4.  Then pinch-hitter Donovan Solano and Brandon Crawford hit back-to-back singles.

Melvin made his final switch in the frame with Ryan Butcher replacing Trivino.  After striking out Mike Yastrzemski, Vogt went yard with a three-run home run.  That gave San Francisco a good lead, making the A’s work hard to dig their way out of a hole too deep.

“I think we have to just move on from this one, we’ve been playing well up to this point,” Melvin said.  “We just basically had a bad inning today.”

“It’s just one game, it is what it is,” said Chris Bassitt.  “We can make this a huge deal but it’s just one game.  Lick your wounds, come in tomorrow and do your job.”

Oakland was in control early on, Mark Canha went deep in the second recording his 20th home run.  Josh Phegley’s RBI single in the second made it a 2-0 A’s lead.  Crawford went yard in the fifth to cut the lead in half.  But Oakland’s offense stayed hot.

By the sixth, Bassitt gave up a double to Dickerson and Longoria followed with a single scoring in Dickerson in to tie the game 2-2.  That knocked Bassitt out of the game, and the bullpen took over.  Profar Jurickson led off the frame bottom of the inning with a single.  Phegley’s sacrifice bunt advanced Jurickson to third.  Marcus Semien’s RBI single made it a 3-2 game.  And Matt Olson’s RBI singled drove in Semien to extend the A’s lead 4-2.

The Battle of the Bay Bridge series is always exciting.  Oakland opened up up Mount Davis to accommodate the 53,367 fans that showed up for the series.  With both teams making a push for the postseason, the Bay Bridge series focuses on the rivalry across the bridge.  Vogt a fan favorite in Oakland, had missed the entire 2018 season rehabbing from shoulder injury after he was released by the A’s.

“It was really special for me with the fans,” Vogt said.  I was very moved by them cheering.  The way that I was received the first time back, it really meant a  lot to me.  Obviously, this is a special place for me and for my family.  To come back and have the fans say ‘Thank you’ or ‘Hi’, it was a very neat moment.”

Notes – In Bruce Bochy’s final farewell tour, A’s manager Bob Melvin gifted him with a bottle of red wine from the team.  

Photo by Michael Urakami/MLB

“It’s always a lot of fun (Bay Bridge Series) especially with Mount Davis opened (upper level seating at the Coliseum),” said Melvin.  “As far as Bochy goes, I guess I’ll have a few more wins in my pocket once he retires.  He’s been so big for the Giants and what he’s accomplished.  

He’s been a friend of mine for a long time, we talk quite a bit.  Its hard not to like the opposing team whens he’s over there.  He’s one of the greatest of all time and will be headed to the Hall of Fame, deservingly so.  It’ll be kinda weird knowing this is that last time he’ll managing in Oakland.”

Photo by Michelle Minahen/Oakland Athletics

Athletics Director and head coach, John Beam threw out the first pitch for the A’s vs Giants game.  Beam led his Laney College football team to the State Championship and won in 2018.  He was recognized as leading the #1 team in the nation and as the California Community College Football Coach of the Year.

“I have been coaching football for 40 years,” said Beam.  “I stay in it because of the kids.  I get paid to have fun.”

Before Beam began his career at Laney, he was the head football coach at Skyline High school for 22 years.  The next chapter of his life began as Laney’s Running Backs coach in 2004, and in 2005 he was promoted to Offensive Coordinator where he led an explosive offense that won 3 conference championships and five straight bowl game appearances.  By 2012, Beam was named head coach.

“My assistants are unbelievable, many are Skyline graduates,” Beam explained.  “Friendships that started off as student-teacher developed over time and that’s what I like about this job because I can see those transformations.  People say its a new generation but the kids still want to learn and be taught how to play the game, and we enjoy that.”  

The A’s have been a huge contributor to Oakland schools and community colleges.  They donated $100,000 to the Peralta Community College District after their offer to build a ballpark next door to Laney was shutdown.  Another commitment from the A’s is to support the Peralta College Workforce Development Program.  Which will honor four scholarships annually for student studying business, digital media, communications and technology.

“The A’s have been phenomenal partners with us (Laney College) and with Oakland,” Beam said.  “Our championship rings, the A’s helped pay for them.”  I appreciate the A’s bringing me here to throw out the first pitch.  I wish I would’ve done better with that pitch but [Marcus] Jensen (A’s Bullpen Coach) did good by catching my grounder.”

Bay Area

Planning Commission to Hold Public Hearing on Oakland A’s Real Estate Project

The Planning Commission will consider whether the Final EIR was completed in compliance with state law, represents the independent analysis of the city, and provides adequate information to decision-makers and the public on the potential adverse environmental effects of the proposed project, as well as ways in which those effects might be mitigated or avoided.

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By Post Staff

The Oakland Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the Oakland A’s Stadium and Real Estate Development. It will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m., according to a city media release.

“During the hearing, the Planning Commission will consider whether the Final EIR was completed in compliance with state law, represents the independent analysis of the city, and provides adequate information to decision-makers and the public on the potential adverse environmental effects of the proposed project, as well as ways in which those effects might be mitigated or avoided” according to the media release.

The 3,500-page report was released the week before Christmas 2021, leaving little time for community advocates to read and critique the report.

After the commission makes a recommendation, the Oakland City Council will consider certification of the Final EIR, likely in February. A “yes” vote by the council does not mean the project is approved but is a major first step toward approval.

Community advocates are asking the commission to postpone the meeting, so that the community has time to read and analyze the 3,500-page report in time to provide public comment. You can contact the commission at drarmstrong@oaklandca.gov or cpayne@oaklandca.gov.

The following are Planning Commission members:

• Clark Manus, Chair

• Jonathan Fearn, Vice-Chair

• Sahar Shiraz

• Tom Limon

• Vince Sugrue

• Jennifer Renk

• Leopold A Ray-Lynch

To read the Final EIR, go to:  https://bit.ly/32KZ3pT

 

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Activism

Environmental Advocate Margaret Gordon Turns Against Oakland A’s Development 

“We, as a community, should hold everybody to task around the issue of equity,” West Oakland community leader and environmental advocate Margaret Gordon said. “The A’s started off talking about equity and ended up putting [all the costs] back on the city. That’s not equity. Unmitigated environmental issues — that’s not equity. I don’t believe they are going to [build affordable] housing — that’s not equity.”

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West Oakland community leader and environmental advocate Margaret Gordon, co-founder of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), has served on the Port Commission and has struggled for decades to reduce the impact of industrial pollutants that cause respiratory illnesses and improve the overall air quality in her community.
West Oakland community leader and environmental advocate Margaret Gordon, co-founder of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), has served on the Port Commission and has struggled for decades to reduce the impact of industrial pollutants that cause respiratory illnesses and improve the overall air quality in her community.

The former Port Commissioner says, ‘The A’s should adopt fair and equitable benefits to Oakland or stop lying and saying (they’re) doing community benefits.’

By Ken Epstein

Until recently, West Oakland community leader and environmental advocate Margaret Gordon had been on board with billionaire John Fisher’s massive real estate and stadium development project at Howard Terminal, which is public land at the Port of Oakland.

She has now withdrawn her support and is actively opposed to the development. In an interview with the Oakland Post this week, she said she was involved since the beginning several years ago, working with others to produce a community benefits agreement with the A’s, which the A’s were expected to pay for.

But the A’s have gone back on their promises, she said.

“We, as a community, should hold everybody to task around the issue of equity,” Gordon said. “The A’s started off talking about equity and ended up putting [all the costs] back on the city. That’s not equity. Unmitigated environmental issues — that’s not equity. I don’t believe they are going to [build affordable] housing — that’s not equity.”

Gordon, co-founder of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), has served on the Port Commission and has struggled for decades to reduce the impact of industrial pollutants that cause respiratory illnesses and improve the overall air quality in her community.

She said her goal in working with the A’s development was to design social justice and environmental justice projects to support West Oakland, Chinatown, Jack London Square area and Old Oakland, four areas that would be most impacted by the massive project.

“We agreed with the City to sit down and do a community benefits agreement, which included education, environmental improvements, housing, jobs, business development,” she said. “We met for almost two years trying to develop our own agreement with the City and the A’s. We finalized our draft, telling them that this is what we want.”

But then the A’s shifted their position. “All of sudden, the A’s stopped the process. We wanted more conversations as part of negotiations. But there never were negotiations to finalize the community benefits agreement,” she said.

“There were no sit-downs with the A’s or city staff. Never.”

Gordon said she was not encouraged by the role of the mayor and city staff in the process. “I don’t see who is going to hold the A’s feet to the fire to enforce community benefits,” not the mayor, the city administrator nor city staff, she said.

She said city leaders are “so hungry for money and development, as long as it’s not in [their] neighborhood, [they] don’t care,” she said, adding that the A’s and the City should adopt benefits to Oakland that are “fair and equitable, or stop lying and saying you’re doing community benefits.”

She said poor people, African Americans, Latinos and others are not going to benefit from this project. “I don’t see them building affordable housing next to the million-dollar townhouses. I just don’t see it.”

People took tours of the Howard Terminal area in December, and it dawned on them that the plans were to create a “whole new city within Oakland,” an exclusive gated new city for rich people

“They decided to release the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) during the holidays, minimizing public input,” she said. “The staff, the City of Oakland, they obviously don’t care [about community benefits], otherwise they wouldn’t have written the EIR the way they did,” said Gordon.

“They keep talking about equity, but they’re not practicing equity. This [Environmental Impact Report] is evidence of that. This is all problematic.”

Many of the needed mitigations have not been addressed, Gordon continued. The stadium would be built where thousands of huge semi-trucks are parked now at Howard Terminal, but the City and the A’s still haven’t said where said where the truck parking will be moved, meaning they may be going back onto city streets, polluting residential neighborhoods.

Nor have the officials offered solutions to the large traffic jams that will be produced by the development.

Not only will Oakland residents not get community benefits, they will also end up footing the bill for a lot of the project, Gordon continued.

“We the public are going to end up paying for the infrastructure,” she said. “This is going to use public money.” Over $800 million in public funds will be used on the project.

“The A’s should be paying for this. The rich people who are going to be moving over there should be paying for this,” said Gordon.

“I am not surprised to hear that the A’s have reneged on promises made to the community,“ said Paul Cobb, publisher of the Oakland Post. “The A’s want hundreds of millions of taxpayer money, but they don’t want to pay for community benefits like every other developer does.

“They renege on affordable housing and then turn around and bully our elected leaders by saying if they don’t get what they want, they will leave. Our elected leaders should end this drama now. They need to focus on jobs, homelessness, public safety and real issues affecting Oakland residents, not the ongoing give-and-take sham game played by the A’s.”

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Bay Area

Final Environmental Impact Report Released for Possible New A’s Stadium Ballpark

“Releasing the final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) is a major milestone on our path to build a new waterfront ballpark district that will create up to 18 acres of beautiful public parks, more affordable housing, and good jobs for Oaklanders,” Mayor Schaaf said in a statement. “The 3,500-page document is thorough and exhaustive, and it ensures that the project is environmentally safe and sustainable,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

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Rendering of proposed A's stadium at Howard Terminal. Image courtesy of UC Berkeley.
Rendering of proposed A's stadium at Howard Terminal. Image courtesy of UC Berkeley.

Draft Report not amended to address community concerns, short timeline means minimal public input

By Keith Burbank, Bay City News and the Post News Group staff

Oakland officials have released a final environmental impact report for the A’s proposed new stadium and development at Howard Terminal, a process with a short timeline over the holidays allowing only for minimal public comment.

The report is required by the California Environmental Quality Act and analyzes potential effects of the project on the surrounding environment.

The timing of the release of the port was of concern to many. It was released on Friday, a week before Christmas, and goes to the Planning Commission mid-January, a small window of time during a busy time of year for the public to read and comment on the report.

Further, the final report does not include any significant changes to the draft version, which means it was not amended to consider more than 400 comments made on the draft version. However, city staff did respond to each comment.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a strong supporter of Oakland A’s owner John Fisher’s stadium deal, was enthusiastic about the report.

“Releasing the final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) is a major milestone on our path to build a new waterfront ballpark district that will create up to 18 acres of beautiful public parks, more affordable housing, and good jobs for Oaklanders,” Mayor Schaaf said in a statement. “The 3,500-page document is thorough and exhaustive, and it ensures that the project is environmentally safe and sustainable,” Schaaf said.

The mayor said the report’s timing keeps the city on track to bring about the final vote to the city council in 2022, bringing the city “one step close to keeping our beloved A’s rooted in Oakland.”

Others were less enthusiastic. The East Oakland Stadium Alliance and port business leaders are raising concerns and urging caution.

“During the Draft EIR (Environmental Impact Report) phase, our coalition and others submitted detailed comments regarding the need for the city to revise and recirculate the Draft EIR, which was inadequate on numerous fronts, but it appears the city has chosen to ignore these requests and refused to re-circulate,” Mike Jacob, Vice President and General Counsel of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association in a press release from the East Oakland Stadium Alliance.

Jacob also said that the timing of the report, released just before the holidays, reads like the city playing “hard-ball” with the community. “Port stakeholders are working around the clock to keep goods moving during an unprecedented supply chain crisis and community advocates are focusing on issues like feeding and housing those in need,” he said.

Jacobs also decried the city’s lack of progress on Seaport Compatibility Measures or a Community Benefits Agreement, despite the challenges he says the project presents for the maritime and West Oakland communities. “Until these items are presented to the public for review, in addition to a thoroughly vetted financial plan, the City and County cannot in good faith make judgments about whether this project is worth the numerous costs to our taxpayers and community,” he said.

“We ultimately anticipate the FEIR will confirm what we already know: the A’s and the City are simply not interested in funding the significant investments necessary to prevent this project’s disruption to the Port of Oakland’s supply chain or address its significant negative impacts to West Oakland and the environment.”

A’s president Dave Kaval also called the release of the report a milestone, one that is three years in the making. But the team needs a decision from the elected officials in Oakland as soon as possible, he said.

Keeping the pressure on Oakland, the A’s are also still considering moving the team to Las Vegas, paving paths for the team in both cities. He said there is momentum on both paths.

Kaval said the A’s are in the final stages of selecting a potential site in Las Vegas, which he thinks will be announced in the next month or so.

City officials will recommend to the Oakland Planning Commission that it certify the report and send it to the city council for approval.

City officials and the A’s are now negotiating the final agreements. The Planning Commission will take up the city’s recommendation on Jan. 19, and the city council may vote on the report in February, which, if approved, would complete the environmental review process.

This article is by Keith Burbank, Bay City News, and the Post News Group staff.

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