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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.”

Activism

Sheng Thao Sworn in as New Mayor of Oakland, Pledges New Direction for the City

Mayor Thao provided a few minutes on the program to introduce to the community Dr. Kimberly Mayfield, the newly appointed deputy mayor, who has served as vice president of external affairs and dean of the school of education at Holy Names University, a leader of the Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) and a member of the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.

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Mayor Sheng Thao, sworn in as the 51st Mayor of Oakland, is flanked by her son Ben Ventura and her father “Richard” Nou My Thao at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, Jan. 9, 2023. Photo courtesy of Alain McLaughlin Photography.
Mayor Sheng Thao, sworn in as the 51st Mayor of Oakland, is flanked by her son Ben Ventura and her father “Richard” Nou My Thao at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, Jan. 9, 2023. Photo courtesy of Alain McLaughlin Photography.

Mayor Thao appoints HNU’s Dr. Kimberly Mayfield as deputy mayor

By Ken Epstein

Sheng Thao, a daughter of Hmong refugees who overcame homelessness and domestic abuse to attend university and build a life for herself and her family in Oakland, received the official oath of office Monday afternoon as the new mayor of the City of Oakland.

Sworn in at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Oakland by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, she stood on stage surrounded by friends, family, and staff members. She was flanked by her son Ben Ventura, who performed a musical piece on the cello, and her father “Richard” Nou My Thao.

The mayor called on Oaklanders to join with her to create a more humane, inclusive, and just city. She spoke about her commitment as a progressive to significantly improve the quality of life for residents, making the city safer and cleaner, building 30,000 units of truly affordable housing, fostering jobs, promoting economic development, supporting small businesses and providing solutions to homelessness that recognize the dignity of the unsheltered.

“I know what we can do together, Oakland,” she said. “Our city’s’ best days are still to come. The Oakland that we all know is possible and within our reach.”

Newly appointed Deputy Mayor Kimberly Mayfield (left) with Mayor Sheng Thao. Photo courtesy of Alain McLaughlin Photography.

Newly appointed Deputy Mayor Kimberly Mayfield (left) with Mayor Sheng Thao. Photo courtesy of Alain McLaughlin Photography.

Mayor Thao provided a few minutes on the program to introduce to the community Dr. Kimberly Mayfield, the newly appointed deputy mayor, who has served as vice president of external affairs and dean of the school of education at Holy Names University, a leader of the Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) and a member of the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.

In her remarks, the mayor focused on the city’s long fight to become more inclusive and equitable.

“We believe everyone deserves a seat at the table, not just a few, not just the wealthy, not just the well-connected,” she said.

“Sometimes, we take our shared progressive values for granted, our advances toward justice and equality,” said Mayor Thao.

She reminded people that “a…century ago, our city was dominated by members of the Ku Klux Klan (where) Klan members burned crosses in our hills and marched through our streets. As recently as the1970s, freeways were made possible by tearing down thriving Black, Latino, and Asian communities,” she continued.

“We recognize what we have overcome together to remember what is worth fighting for every day…(and) to take stock of how far we still have to go.”

Promising a “comprehensive” approach to public safety to make all neighborhoods in the city safer, she said she would bolster anti-crime programs like Ceasefire and “we will fill (police) vacancies with home-grown police officers who know our community, who look like us.”

At the same time, she said, the city must increase opportunities for young people, reinvigorating the summer jobs program (for youth) and enhance the school-to-work pipeline so young people can gain experience and job skills.

She said she would beef up the many city departments that are currently operating on skeleton staffing, promising to fill the staffing vacancies that “plague our city.”

Mayor Thao said she herself is a renter, and that she “will fiercely protect Oakland renters. If you are a renter in Oakland, you’ve got a mayor who’s got your back.”

Speaking about the Oakland A’s proposed waterfront real estate development promoted by former Mayor Libby Schaaf, Mayor Thao said the city will continue negotiations to keep the team “rooted in Oakland.”

“Working closely with the A’s, I’m hopeful we can reach a good deal, (based) on our Oakland values,” she said.

The former mayor’s plan for building the proposed waterfront real estate development at the Port of Oakland was dealt a major setback this week when Oakland failed to secure more than $180 million in federal funds to help pay for infrastructure development for the project.

Speaking of the importance of the appointment of Mayfield as deputy mayor, the Mayor’s Office explained her role in the new administration:

“Mayor Thao was thrilled Kimberly Mayfield agreed to join her team because of her tremendous and longstanding leadership in Oakland. In recognition of her vast experience, it was decided that the best role for her would be as deputy mayor where she will be an instrumental part of the leadership of both the Office and Oakland.”

In her introduction at the Paramount Theatre, Mayfield said, “Today is not about political agendas…It’s about the power of the people…it’s a recognition of the rejection of the status quo. This new chapter begins with a mayor that understands how to build a culture that works for everyone. Thank you, Mayor Thao for the opportunity to serve.”

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Bay Area

City Fails to Win $182 Million Federal Grant for Oakland A’s Howard Terminal Project

Opponents said the lack of a recommendation by the U.S. Department of Transportation “shows the lack of credibility — likely based on concerns over safety, economic viability, disruptions to port traffic and supply chains, echoed by maritime stakeholders — for the future of the project with key public transportation and political stakeholders that should prompt an overall re-evaluation.”

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A city document suggests $600 million will be needed for offsite infrastructure.
A city document suggests $600 million will be needed for offsite infrastructure.

By Keith Burbank | Bay City News

Oakland may miss out on millions of dollars in grant money that could advance the Oakland A’s proposed ballpark at the city’s port.

The U.S. Department of Transportation failed to recommend that Oakland get $182.9 million in the initial round of funding for the city’s Waterfront Mobility Project. Oakland has not received official word that it was denied the grant money.

The city has been securing dollars for the offsite infrastructure needed to support a new ballpark at the Charles P. Howard Terminal.

“While we are disappointed to have not been selected in the first round, we believe we put forward a strong application and are well positioned to secure other funding sources,” said Fred Kelley, director of the Oakland Department of Transportation. “We will continue to pursue other funding sources to ensure our projects have the resources they need.”

Oakland applied for grant money through the Mega Grant Program, which funds “large, complex projects that are difficult to fund by other means and likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits.”

The ballpark proposed by the Oakland A’s would seat about 35,000 people, and the development overall consists of new housing, parkland, an entertainment venue and commercial space.

Not everyone wants the A’s to build a new park at the Port of Oakland. Groups have come together in opposition, hoping to have the A’s build a new park in East Oakland at the current Oakland Coliseum site.

Groups led by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association sued to stop Oakland from issuing a required environmental impact report for the proposed ballpark.

The opponents said the lack of a recommendation by the U.S. Department of Transportation “shows the lack of credibility — likely based on concerns over safety, economic viability, disruptions to port traffic and supply chains, echoed by maritime stakeholders — for the future of the project with key public transportation and political stakeholders that should prompt an overall re-evaluation.”

A city document suggests $600 million will be needed for offsite infrastructure. The city has secured or is in the process of securing more than $320 million of that money, according to city documents published in December.

Former Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was a strong supporter of the project.

New Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said at her inauguration Monday that she will work with the Oakland A’s on a deal to keep the team in Oakland while protecting Oakland values.

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Bay Area

City Council Committee Hears Report on Economic Impact of Oakland A’s Howard Terminal Proposal

Outgoing Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administrative team argues that an economic analysis of the impact of the Oakland A’s $20 billion real estate development at the Port of Oakland is impossible to analyze until behind-closed-door negotiations between City staff and A’s owner John Fisher’s team are completed, and there is a final deal.

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John Fisher, Oakland A’s owner and real estate developer
John Fisher, Oakland A’s owner and real estate developer

Report says A’s proposal “underestimates” costs and “overestimates” revenue projections

By Post Staff

Dr. Nola Agha, a nationally recognized sports economist and University of San Francisco professor of Sport Management, this week presented findings of her study on the revenues, costs, and economic impacts of the A’s proposed development at Howard Terminal to the Oakland City Council’s Community & Economic Development (CED) Committee.

Agha’s independent study was commissioned when the city failed to provide the independent economic analysis of the project’s proposed development agreement and financing framework requested by City Council in April.

Agha’s report at Tuesday’s CED meeting was based on information about the proposal available to the public, provided by the Oakland A’s, Oakland City Administrator Ed Reiskin, and the City Council’s July 2021 non-binding term sheet, and includes updated projections based on the current economic forecast.

Outgoing Mayor Libby Schaaf’s administrative team argues that an economic analysis of the impact of the Oakland A’s $20 billion real estate development at the Port of Oakland is impossible to analyze until behind-closed-door negotiations between City staff and A’s owner John Fisher’s team are completed, and there is a final deal.

The danger, however, is that once a final deal is completed, there would likely be a rush to pass it without looking at the details and economic analysis behind it.

The report was commissioned by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which has significant concerns about the impact the proposed project would have on the survivability of the Oakland Port.

The report focused on three primary concerns with the A’ proposal:

  • Revenue projections are overestimated;
  • Direct cost projections are underestimated;
  • Indirect, unanticipated, and often inconspicuous costs have not been accounted for.

Summarizing her findings,  Agha said, “Both the team and the City have made a lot of assumptions in designing the financing framework for this project, all of which put the City and taxpayers at greater risk down the line.

“A close look at the available information reveals that the project requires a historically large and growing public subsidy to be financially feasible. Publicly funded stadiums typically don’t pay off, and this one is unlikely to be any different.”

To read the full report, go to: https://assets.nationbuilder.com/oaklandstadiumalliance/pages/109/attachments/original/1664404798/Evaluation_of_the_revenues_costs_and_impacts_of_Howard_Terminal_-_Sept_21_2022.pdf?1664404798

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