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A’s Win With Donaldson’s Walk-Off Homer

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Oakland, CA – This series is full of surprises, in two games we’ve seen remarkable plays in the ninth inning. Tonight, the A’s came away with the win after Josh Donaldson hit his second career walk-off home run to give Oakland the 3-1 victory over the Tigers.

“You had that feeling when he came up, to be honest with you,” said Scott Kazmir. “First pitch, didn’t miss.”

After eight scoreless innings, Coco Crisp doubled on a sharp ground ball down the left field baseline. Then John Jason singled on a line drive to left field. With runners on and one out, Donaldson blasted a three-run homer off his first pitch.

“He threw me a slider,” said Donaldson. “Just kind of missed in the area where I could hit. Thankfully I didn’t miss it. I’ve had a few at bats off (closer) Joe Nathan.”

“When you’re pitching against a guy who is throwing the ball that well and you’re not scoring any runs, you know you have to be pitching perfect,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He was that close.”

Kazmir tossed his first complete game since July 3, 2006 against the Boston Red Sox. He’s allowed one run fewer in 6 of his last 11 starts this season. Both Kazmir and Anibal Sanchez were in a pitcher’s duel for majority of the game. Oakland went scoreless until the ninth while Detroit mustered one run from Torii Hunter.

His only error was yielding a solo home run to Hunter in the fourth. Kazmir scattered six hits, walked none and struck out eight almost going the distance. Sanchez allowed three hits and struck out nine. Both pitchers were outstanding however, only one team can walk away with the win.

“Throughout the whole game, Anibal and I, it just seemed like we were just battling it out, out for out,” said Kazmir.

“Boy, Sanchez was unbelievable tonight,” said Melvin. “It took us a while to score some runs tonight, but we kept grinding on it.”

The A’s won on a walk-off for the fourth time this season. Oakland’s starting pitchers have allowed two runs or fewer in 15 of the last 19 games and are 11-3 with a 1.96 ERA. The A’s who remain in first place in the American League West lead the Tigers 2-1 in this four-game series.

“The last two games of this series definitely had the playoff energy, that electricity, that feel,” closer Sean Doolittle said. “When you’re going up against a team like that, it’s fun. This could be a big character building win for us.”

“That was a tough spot to bring Joe in,” said Detroit’s manager Brad Ausmus. “He had no margin for error. Sanchez pitched outstanding, but his pitch count got a little high. He said he felt good to start the ninth, and he’s one of our horses and deserves the chance to finish the game.”

The Tigers have lost eight of their last ten games and continue to struggle offensively. Nathan recorded his fourth blown save of the season and allowed two earned runs in his previous 18 2/3 innings. Kazmir retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced making it difficult for Detroit’s best hitters to get on base.

“Putting up the effort he did today, it was definitely, definitely a good feeling for us to get that win for him,” Jaso said. That’s awesome to do for a starting pitcher who puts together a great performance like that against the Tigers.”

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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