A's skid reaches six with 4-1 loss in Anaheim

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A's skid reaches six with 4-1 loss in Anaheim

May 23, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLB PAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) If given a choice of cutting down the potential tying run at home plate or delivering a tiebreaking hit late in the game, Torii Hunter would always go with the clutch defensive play.On Monday night, he didn't have to choose. He did both.Hunter threw out Andy LaRoche in the seventh inning and had an RBI double in the eighth, leading the Los Angeles Angels over the skidding Oakland Athletics 4-1."Throwing the runner out is much better," said Hunter, playing his first full season in right field after winning nine Gold Gloves in center. "Defense is everything to me, man. I've got to be honest. I've gotten better as a hitter, but defense is what got me here and I'll never forget that. So I never slack on defense, no matter if I'm struggling at the plate or not."LaRoche and Cliff Pennington singled against Jered Weaver with two outs in the seventh, and Coco Crisp lined a single to right field on a 1-2 pitch. Hunter charged the ball while third base coach Mike Gallego frantically waved LaRoche around, but Jeff Mathis slapped the tag on LaRoche while falling backward."Whether they sent him or not, I was just ready to throw. And that's what you should do as an outfielder," Hunter said. "You've always got to be ready to make the play. Mathis stayed in there pretty good, so you've got to commend him on that."The Athletics had scored only six runs over their previous four games, so Gallego's decision to send LaRoche in that situation was the only one."I was all for it," manager Bob Geren said. "The way it turned out, it was a close play and a pretty nice play by the catcher."Bobby Abreu grounded into a fielder's choice after former Angels closer Brian Fuentes (1-7) opened the eighth by walking Erick Aybar. Hunter greeted Michael Wuertz with a double to the wall in right-center on a 2-2 pitch, easily scoring Abreu.
GUTIERREZ: A's Fuentes sounds off on Geren's managing
Jeff Mathis capped the rally with a two-out, two-run single off Wuertz, who came in holding opponents to a .103 batting average - the best mark among AL relievers.Fuentes has been charged with the loss in each of his last four appearances, setting an Oakland record. The A's have dropped six straight overall.Scott Downs (2-1) worked a scoreless eighth, retiring David DeJesus on a groundout after giving up two-out singles to Hideki Matsui and Conor Jackson. Rookie reliever Jordan Walden pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save.Weaver, the AL pitcher of the month for April, failed in his fifth attempt to become the major leagues' first seven-game winner - this time with a hard-luck no-decision after four straight losses.The right-hander, whose previous victory was a shutout at Oakland on April 25, allowed one run and six hits over seven innings with five strikeouts and three walks against a starting lineup that had seven players batting .255 or lower.Weaver has one more chance to get his first victory in May. A loss or a no-decision next Saturday at Tampa Bay would make him the first major league starter to win at least five games without a loss one month - and then lose four or more the following month without a win - since July-August 2003, when current teammate Joel Pineiro did the swift about-face with St. Louis."I think I just got off to too good of a start, so the expectations are high. I guess I'm back to being a normal pitcher," Weaver said. "But it's nothing I'm worried about. I'm just going to keep throwing the ball and let the chips fall where they may. I guess quality starts aren't good anymore. You've got to pitch complete games and shutouts."Josh Outman allowed a run and five hits in seven innings after getting recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to make a spot start for injured Brandon McCarthy in the opener of a four-game series between the AL West rivals.It was the fifth straight game in which an Athletics starting pitcher allowed only one run, and none of those games resulted in a victory - the first time that has happened since the franchise moved from Kansas City to Oakland in 1968.Outman, making his first big league appearance since June 19, 2009, made 16 previous starts for Oakland before missing last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old left-hander won his last four starts with the River Cats before getting recalled."I was pretty excited, but I was trying to keep my emotions under wraps," Outman said. "It feels like being at home. I feel like this is where I belong. I didn't prove that in the spring, but hopefully I can show over a period of time that this is where I should be."Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Abreu. Matsui, who spent last year with the Angels, tied it in the third with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly - his first RBI against the Angels this season after 22 fruitless at-bats.NOTES: Oakland designated LHP Jerry Blevins for assignment to make room for Outman on the 25-man roster. Blevins appeared in 15 games with a 4.40 ERA. ... The A's haven't lost more than six straight games since a season-ending seven-game skid in 2009.

Separating fact from fiction as Raiders prepare for relocation vote

Separating fact from fiction as Raiders prepare for relocation vote

Last week was a sports business headline grabber in the Bay Area. On Tuesday the Golden State Warriors went all Cirque Du Soleil for a groundbreaking ceremony for Chase Center in Mission Bay. Then, the Oakland Raiders filed their relocation papers on Thursday, making a pair of gut punches for Oakland sports fans.

It’s time to separate the fact from fiction and examie what comes next...

FACT

- The Warriors will be playing in the Chase Center in San Francisco for the 2019-20 NBA season.

- The Raiders officially filed relocation papers on Thursday, Jan. 19 with the NFL for permission to relocate to Las Vegas.

- The Raiders have raised season ticket prices across the board for the 2017 season in Oakland.

- Nevada has $750 million dollars in public money approved for the construction of a $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed Raiders stadium in Las Vegas.

- If the relocation is approved, the new home of the Las Vegas Raiders would become the largest taxpayer-subsidized stadium deal in NFL history, more than the $600 million in public money used to build the Atlanta Falcons’ $1.5 billion stadium and $500 million the public is picking up for U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis for the Vikings.

- Sand’s Casino Chairman Sheldon Adelson has pledged $650 million dollars of his own money to help build the Las Vegas stadium. Negotiations with Mark Davis on the details of his investment are ongoing. The Raiders have a deal with global investment bank Goldman Sachs to assist in financing the Las Vegas stadium deal.

- The Raiders plan to be playing in their new Las Vegas stadium by the 2020 NFL season. The Raiders have lease options to continue playing at the Oakland Coliseum in 2017 and 2018. 

- The cost of the Raiders' one-year lease extensions at the Oakland Coliseum is in the area of $3 million a year.

- Oakland and Alameda County still owe a large chunk of the $95 million dollars of debt for the Oakland Coliseum retrofit that brought the Raiders back from Los Angeles.

- NFL owners will next meet in Arizona from March 26 to 29. A vote on the Raiders relocation may take place at that time, or it may be postponed. Davis needs 24 "yes" votes to approve a relocation.

- Rams owner Stan Kroenke paid $550 million dollars to the NFL to relocate from St. Louis to Inglewood.

- The San Diego Chargers will be moving to the new shared stadium in Inglewood scheduled to open in 2019. In the interim they will play in the StubHub Center in Carson. It will be the smallest capacity stadium in the NFL at 27,000 seats.

- Relocation fees for the Raiders and Chargers have not been publicly released.

- The A's continue to review sites in the Oakland area for the building of a new ballpark.

- The Oakland Alameda County Coliseum is the only location in North America that has a MLB and NFL team playing in the same facility.
       
- Las Vegas will have its first NHL team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, skating next season in the new T-Mobile arena in Paradise. 

FICTION

- The Raiders' request for a relocation vote has been officially added to the NFL owners meetings scheduled in Arizona from March 26-29. 

- The exact location of the Las Vegas domed stadium has been selected.

- Mark Davis has $500 million dollars to put into the Las Vegas stadium deal. 

- Las Vegas is a stronger economic market than Oakland.

- The Raiders have a lease to play in Sam Boyd Stadium, home of UNLV football. 

- The Raiders have announced they will be selling seat licenses for their Las Vegas stadium.

- The Raiders are interested in exploring a remodel of the Coliseum as a football-only facility.

- The A’s are interested in exploring a remodel of the Coliseum as a baseball-only stadium.

- The A’s will move quickly on announcing new stadium plans based on the four-year minimization of MLB revenue sharing money, which begins this season.

- The A’s have selected Howard Terminal as the site of their new ballpark.

- Mark Davis has an interest in selling a major stake in the Raiders to Sheldon Adelson or any other interested billionaire to help him build a new stadium in the Bay Area or Las Vegas.

WHO KNOWS?

- What will happen with the Ronnie Lott/Fortress investment group that is negotiating with Oakland and Alameda County? 

They have no agreement of any kind with the Raiders to play in their proposed $1.25-billion, 55,000-seat stadium.

Three previous third-party investor-backed deals to finance and construct new sports venues in Oakland have failed. Floyd Kephart, Forest City and Colony Capital all struck out.

- What will the NFL charge the Raiders for relocation to Las Vegas and where will that money come from? 

The NFL is a proponent of two teams playing in one stadium in major metro areas, as we have seen work with the Jets and Giants at Met Life and with the Rams and Chargers in Inglewood.

The Raiders have adamantly opposed sharing Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers.

- What legal or business actions will the Oakland authorities pursue against the Raiders and NFL if the team receives approval for a Las Vegas move? 

- Will the Warriors and Raiders pay back tens of millions owed the city and county for the improvements of the Coliseum and Oracle.

- How will the A's use the incredible leverage they will have if they wait until the Warriors and Raiders leave town?

Former A’s partner Lew Wolff said that the A’s won’t require a penny of public money to build a new stadium. Wolff is now out and A’s owner John Fisher could easily change that position.

PLACE YOUR BETS 
 
Oakland has been dealt a bad hand and it doesn’t look like it will get any help from the house. But I do not believe the Raiders will receive relocation approval at the NFL owners meeting in March.

Remember, the momentum was behind the Raiders and Chargers to get a "yes" vote on their proposed move to Carson in January of 2016. Owners instead voted 30-2 to approve the Rams' move to Inglewood. 

If the Raiders do get approval, the A’s and Major League Baseball could have a big surprise for Oakland. As the last team/league standing, they could ask for hundreds of millions in public money to support stadium construction. They could ask for control of all the land around the Coliseum at pennies on the dollar. They could threaten to move to another city with MLB approval.

This sports saga reads like War and Peace, but it's light on the peace and we're only getting started...

NBA Gameday: Kings, Pistons going in opposite directions

NBA Gameday: Kings, Pistons going in opposite directions

The Sacramento Kings are in a free fall. They come into Detroit mired in a five-game skid and they are a season-high 11 games under .500 when they face the Pistons on Monday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

DeMarcus Cousins was the only Kings player to score in double-figures in the team’s 102-99 controversial loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday evening. The NBA’s two-minute report conceded that the officiating crew made an error in the final minute of the game when they called Cousins for a push foul on an attempted dunk by All-Star Dwyane Wade.

The game was tied at 99-99 at the time of the infraction and Sacramento should have had the ball with 14 seconds remaining. Instead, Wade went to the line to give the Bulls a one point lead.

Detroit is riding a three-game win streak, including a big 113-112 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Marcus Morris led the way for the Pistons, scoring 25 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against his twin brother Markieff. Detroit has had an up and down season, but they definitely playing better than when they faced off with the Kings two weeks ago in Sacramento.

LINE

Pistons by 5

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 16-27, third place in Pacific

Pistons: 21-24, fourth place in Central

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Anthony Tolliver vs. Tobias Harris -- The last time these two teams met, Tolliver dropped in 17 points on 3-of-7 shooting from long range to help the Kings erase a big deficit and come away with the win. Harris went blow for blow with Tolliver, scoring 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting, but it was the Kings who prevailed. Cousins versus Andre Drummond is always a marquee matchup, but the game will likely be decided by someone other than the two All-Star bigs.   

INJURY REPORT

Kings: SF Rudy (left Achilles tendon) out for the season, SF Omri Casspi (calf strain) out.

Pistons: SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (rotator cuff) questionable, SG Michael Gbinije (forearm) out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings lead the season series 1-0 after coming away with a win at Golden 1 Center Jan. 10. Detroit holds a 133-118 advantage over the Kings all-time and a 36-25 edge during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTABLE

“I think our team’s effort was incredible tonight. I think we did everything the right way to have a chance at winning this game, we just fell short.” -Cousins following the loss to the Chicago Bulls