Jemile Weeks helps RiverCats clinch postseason berth

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Jemile Weeks helps RiverCats clinch postseason berth

Jemile Weeks two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning lifted the Sacramento River Cats to a 4-3 win and their record sixth-straight Pacific Coast League division championship Wednesday night. ensuring the Cats their 11th postseason berth in the franchises 13 seasons.

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In 2010, Sacramento became the first team to win four-straight division titles. Since the PCL went to the current four-division format in 1998, Nashville and Salt Lake are the only clubs other than Sacramento to win three-straight division championships.

It's a truly remarkable feat, said Dwight Hall, the PCLs director of baseball operations, seemingly even more so in today's game. You have to salute the A's player development efforts, Billy Beane, as well as the River Cats club and their fans for providing an outstanding atmosphere for those efforts to flourish.

River Cats general manager Jeff Savage agreed.

This accomplishment speaks to the dedication and professionalism of the Oakland Athletics front office, Savage said. I am so happy for manager Darren Bush and his coaching staff, all of the River Cats players, and our loyal fans, who have supported this franchise throughout this incredible run of championships.

Weeks likely will not be taking part in the River Cats' playoff, instead returning to Oakland with the other September call-ups as the A's make a postseason run themselves.

The Cats will open the first round of the playoffs at Raley Field on Wednesday, Sept. 5 and Thursday, Sept. 6 with 7:05 p.m. start times. Games three, four and five will be played on the road at the home of the PCL Northern Division champions.

A's place Davis on DL, DFA Alcantara; recent acquisition called up

A's place Davis on DL, DFA Alcantara; recent acquisition called up

OAKLAND – The Oakland A’s placed Rajai Davis on the 10-day disabled list today retroactive to April 22 with a strained left hamstring, the club announced Tuesday. The A’s also recalled right-handed pitcher César Valdez and outfielder Ryan LaMarre from Triple-A Nashville and designated right-handed pitcher Raul Alcantara for assignment.

Davis was batting .214 with a home run, seven RBI and one stolen base in 15 games before the injury. He had back-to-back multiple hit games over his final two games (4-for-10, .400) after hitting .167 over his previous 11 contests.  This is Davis’ fourth career stint on the disabled list, but his first since 2013.

Valdez joins the A’s for the second time this year.  He began the season at Nashville and was 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA and .211 opponents batting average in two starts when he was selected by Oakland on April 20.  The 32-year-old right-hander made his first Major League appearance since 2010 that day, a start and no decision in the A’s 9-6 win over Seattle (4.0 ip, 5 h, 3 r, 3 er, 2 bb, 4 so).  Valdez was optioned back to Nashville the next day but did not pitch for the Sounds.

LaMarre was acquired from the Angels on Sunday for a player to be named later or cash considerations.  He was assigned to Nashville and went 1-for-5 yesterday at Colorado Springs.  The 28-year-old right-handed hitter began the year at Triple-A Salt Lake and hit .268 with seven RBI, six walks and four stolen bases in 10 games before he was designated for assignment by Los Angeles a week ago today.  LaMarre is batting .261 in 11 games overall at Triple-A this year.  He made his Major League debut with the Reds in 2015 and also appeared in five games with the Red Sox last year and is 2-for-30 (.067) in 26 games over his two seasons in the majors.

Alcantara pitched in three games for Oakland and was 0-1 with a 16.71 ERA.  He allowed a .323 opponents batting average and surrendered three home runs 7.0 innings while walking five.  Alcantara began the season as the A’s fifth starter, but his last two outings were in relief and his appearance on Sunday was his first game in nine days.

The Oakland A's media services provided this report.

 

Kaval: A's considering future move into Raiders' locker room

Kaval: A's considering future move into Raiders' locker room

OAKLAND — The Raiders are likely to play at the Coliseum for the next two seasons at least, but the A’s are daydreaming about the time they can finally call the venue their own.

One idea they’re considering is moving their home clubhouse into the space that currently serves as the Raiders locker room, which would more than double the current space they have.

Beyond that, imagine the possibility of the A’s current clubhouse being transformed into a “club” type area for fans to schmooze and enjoy some beverages. Team president Dave Kaval says both ideas are on the table for after the Raiders move to Las Vegas, which they’re planning to do for the 2020 NFL season.

The No. 1 long-term goal for the A’s, obviously, is to find a location in Oakland and build a new baseball-only stadium. The homework continues on that front, with Kaval maintaining the promise for that announcement to come sometime in 2017.

The Raiders have lease options to play at the Coliseum for each of the next two football seasons, with their plans for 2019 uncertain as their Vegas stadium is built.

Regardless, there will be a gap from the time the Raiders execute their move and the time the A’s are ready to move into their potential new digs. They apparently plan to make the most of that time at the Coliseum, which is the only two-sport complex remaining in major North American professional sports.

Kaval addressed the idea of shifting the home clubhouse into the Raiders’ locker room space.

“Well, it’s considerably bigger than our current locker room, and so we could have a more player-friendly area, more lounge space, be more spread out,” he said as the A’s wrapped up a 10-game homestand Sunday. “Even space for training facilities we don’t have now. And so it just provides a lot more flexibility, and a better draw for players if they want to play here in Oakland.”

That last statement shouldn’t be overlooked. As much as current Athletics would appreciate any upgrades to their day-to-day situation at the Coliseum, the improvements might also help a bit when it comes to attracting prospective free agents, who could be sold the idea of better conditions at the Coliseum and the promise of a brand new ballpark to come.

The A’s try to make use of every inch of space available in the current Coliseum set-up, but it’s an antiquated situation to say the least. Players sprawled out on the floor doing stretching exercises outside the A’s weight room often have to deal with reporters stepping around them as they get off the media elevator.

“I think it could be huge,” catcher Stephen Vogt said of possibly shifting the clubhouse to the Raiders’ locker room. “There’s triple the size of what we have. It’s kind of funny to think that we have the smaller locker room but they’re here for (only) 10 days a year basically. That’s just the way it is. If they are truly leaving and they’re not gonna be here, we could really utilize that space.”

Added Kaval: “We do have space in here, but when it’s a multi-purpose stadium it’s always challenging. Everything we’ve had to do over the years has been temporary.”

One consideration regarding the Raiders’ locker room: It’s a farther walk to the entrance of the field, with an extra flight of stairs to climb. That’s something to consider because baseball players tend to make quick trips back to the clubhouse during a game more so than football players do to their locker room.

But Kaval said he’s already talked to A’s manager Bob Melvin about some of the logistical challenges, and he emphasized that any changes wouldn’t happen without positive feedback from the coaching staff and players.

One change the A’s already have implemented this season with players in mind: They’ve dedicated an expanded luxury suite area solely for players’ families during games and also expanded the nanny service they provide for players’ children during games.

As for the A’s ballpark search, Kaval says the four sites the A’s are considering are all “neck and neck” — the current Coliseum site, Howard Terminal, a site near Laney College and one at Brooklyn Basin, on the other side of Highway 880 from Laney.

“We continue to have meetings with all the key stakeholders,” Kaval said. “I think we’re really happy about the acceleration of those meetings. We’re starting to talk more business terms, starting to get into some of the final feasibility (decisions) so we can make that final announcement this year on a location.”