A's ask for five more years in Oakland


A's ask for five more years in Oakland

A's owner Lew Wolff apprears content to keep his team playing at the Coliseum in Oakland until 2018, as he proposed an agreement with the Coliseum that would keep the A's playing in the facility for five more seasons. The A's lease with the Coliseum expires after next season. 

A matter of public record once submitted to the city, the exact text of Wolff's letter appears below:


December 21, 2012

To all concerned and interested:

I believe our organization has been and continues to be a positive member of the City of Oakland and Alameda County community.

Our policy regarding the JPA is to agree on the most mutually beneficial lease relationship to remain in the O.co Coliseum. To that end, we seek a lease extension that will allow us to remain here for the next five seasons. Our president, Mike Crowley, who has administrated our lease for the past 16 years, has full and complete authority to enter into a lease agreement that we hope will be beneficial to our fans, the City and County, and our organization.

Yes, we need a new baseball venue, and sadly, we have not found any path to one in the City of Oakland or in the City of Fremont. None of the three City of Oakland administrations that we have operated under has ever presented a realistic approach for a new ballpark to us. The lack of viable options here is not the fault of any public administration or private party, but rather is due to broader circumstances that impact the elements needed for a Major League Baseball venue.

Regardless of the outcome of our efforts to obtain a new facility in the City of San Jose, we would remain at our current venue for a minimum of five years. If an opportunity arises for the JPA to implement a new or renovated stadium for the Raiders or any other tenant, our lease would have a cancellation clause in favor of the JPA.

I stress that the A's organization certainly prefers to remain in Oakland for the next five years rather than being forced into looking elsewhere for a temporary home venue. If possible, we should retain the 130 full-time jobs and the almost 800 union jobs that encompass a full baseball season, the fun of the A's, and Major League Baseball in Oakland for five more years.

I believe the A's have a great deal to contribute to the area for the next five years, and even thereafter. I further believe, and hope that having the benefit of a five year income stream and the jobs our organization brings in will be viewed as a benefit to the City and County. Simply, Mike Crowley needs an authorized party with whom he can negotiate and complete a new five year lease between the JPA and the A's.

Thank you for any time and consideration you can afford this request.


Lewis N. Wolff

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

A's coach plays part in Schwarber's World Series comeback

Ryan Christenson has a reason to follow the World Series even more so than most years.

Christenson, who manages the A’s Double-A Midland squad, is also skippering the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. One of his players happened to be Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber, if only for the briefest of periods.

Schwarber, as is well-documented, played in two AFL games as a quick tune-up before joining the Cubs’ active roster for the Fall Classic. It’s an unprecedented path, as Schwarber hadn’t appeared in a game for Chicago since April 7, when he tore the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee.

When he crushed a double off the right field wall in Game 1 against the Indians’ Corey Kluber, Schwarber became the first position player in major league history to get a hit in the World Series after recording zero hits during the regular season.

His preparations for the grand stage took place in the relative anonymity of the Arizona Fall League, and it presented some unique conditions for Christenson to manage under.

“It’s such a unique situation to see someone thrust into that after missing so much season,” Christenson said in a phone interview before Game 1. “To have a chance to be activated this time of year, it’s something special if he can pull this off. If he (sparks the Cubs), literally the guy can be a legend.”

Schwarber appeared in just two games for the Solar Sox, going 1-for-6 as a designated hitter. Christenson didn’t have much hands-on interaction with Schwarber — the Cubs had their own staff members on site helping him with treatment — but Christenson saw Schwarber’s swing rounding into form even in his brief time in the batter’s box.

“The bat speed is there,” said Christenson, who hadn’t met Schwarber previously. “I love watching him work in the cage. He’s got a great swing. I don’t think it would take someone of his caliber long to get his timing and pick up where he left off. It’s a simple swing.”

The Cubs asked Christenson to work Schwarber into the top of the batting order with the Solar Sox so as to maximize his number of plate appearances. They also asked one other favor.

“The only request they had was that I took it easy with him on the bases … not trying to score him from first base on a gapper.”

Schwarber’s mere presence in the Arizona Fall League created a delicate dynamic. The league is geared toward up-and-coming prospects who have yet to break into the majors, and Christenson said AFL officials were concerned about Schwarber dropping in and taking playing time away from those players.

Each major league organization sends at least six players to the AFL. Of those six, one is designated a “priority player,” meaning they must play at least four days a week, so innings can be tricky to spread around.

Adding to the sensitivity of the situation, the Solar Sox’s roster includes not only Cubs prospects but also those of the Cleveland Indians. Christenson needed to avoid a situation where Schwarber was stealing at-bats away from prospects of the American League champs — the team that Schwarber was training to try to help the Cubs beat.

But things unfolded smoothly, and Schwarber showed appreciation for getting the chance to drop in for a couple games.

“I’ll definitely be pulling for him,” Christenson said.

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

A's claim left-handed reliever off waivers from Cubs

CLEVELAND — Left-hander Giovanni Soto has been claimed by the Oakland Athletics off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.

Soto was designated for assignment Saturday to open a spot on the 40-man roster for slugger Kyle Schwarber, who was activated from the 60-day disabled list following knee surgery in April. Schwarber was put on the World Series roster Tuesday and went 1 for 3 with a double, walk and two strikeouts in the opening 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Soto was traded to the Cubs from Cleveland on April 11 and was 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 33 relief appearances for Triple-A Iowa. He made his big league debut with the Indians in 2015 and appeared in six games and 3 1/3 innings.

Oakland claimed him Wednesday.