A's C Powell identifies with 'crash-test dummy'


A's C Powell identifies with 'crash-test dummy'

June 1, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVEA's PAGE A's VIDEOPaul Gutierrez

OAKLAND - Be sure about this: Billy Beane's reminder to Kurt Suzuki to avoid home plate collisions was about Suzuki, and not necessarily an A's system-wide dictum.Which is why Landon Powell smiled wryly when I asked him about it following Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees."Oh no, I'm the crash-test dummy," Powell, the A's back-up catcher, said with a laugh Wednesday afternoon. "I'm the stunt double."If you have a front-line catcher like (Buster) Posey or (Matt) Wieters or (Joe) Mauer, or Kurt, you want those guys to catch 130 games. With me, I'll catch maybe 30 games a year. Plus, I'm a little bit bigger."Powell, all 6-feet-3, 265-pound of him, laughed some more."So, my job's to get in front of the plate."Posey's season-ending ankle injury on a clean play last week when he was run over by Florida's Scott Cousins has sparked claims, mostly from the Giants and Posey's agent, that a rule has to be put into place to protect catchers from such collisions.RATTO: Posey injury a can of worms for baseball
Don't count Suzuki among those calling out from the wilderness."As a catcher, you have to be ready for plays like that," he said. "It's a part of the game, playing the game hard."I personally don't think they should change the rules because, it would make it too tough. When you're catching you know you're putting the gear on and there's a possibility of getting run over. That's the chance you take."According to ESPN.com, Beane was the first executive in baseball to reach out to a player about covering home plate."He just said, 'What happened to Posey was awful and a freak accident, but I don't want it to happen to you. Don't put yourself in a vulnerable position,'" said Suzuki, who is 5-11, 196 pounds. "He said (to) keep doing what I'm doing but don't stand in front of the plate."I'm not a guy who does that anyway."

Mayor Schaaf on Raiders relocation: 'Oakland has something no other city ever will'

Mayor Schaaf on Raiders relocation: 'Oakland has something no other city ever will'

The Oakland Raiders have officially filed for relocation to Las Vegas. And Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has responded. 

“It’s no surprise that the Raiders have filed for relocation," Schaaf said in a statement. "Oakland welcomes the chance to show them and the NFL’s other owners why Oakland is the only home for the Raiders and always will be.

“Our winning team of the Lott Group, the County and my colleagues on the Oakland City Council has accomplished so much in the last few months. We’ve identified the mechanisms to responsibly finance public infrastructure improvements, we have in the Lott Group a private partner prepared to finance stadium construction, and we have an entitled site for a world-class NFL stadium and new development that enhances fan experience while invigorating East Oakland's economy. 

“But this isn’t all Oakland has to offer. Oakland’s Raiders stadium will be on the most transit-accessible site in the nation, in the sixth largest television market, and in one of the wealthiest and most innovative regions in the world. But above all else, Oakland has something no other city ever will -- a die-hard fan base that is loyal and true to the Raiders and wants to see them stay here in Oakland where they were founded. Only Oakland brings the Raiders and the NFL a competitive stadium proposal, along with legacy and loyalty.

“I look forward to the League giving our team a chance to compete.”

Now that the fate of the Raiders' relocation is in the hands of the NFL owners, a vote could come at the NFL owners meetings in late March. It’s uncertain whether Davis has the votes needed to relocate, but there has been momentum building for such a move over the past several months.

Davis has said that, even if the Raiders are approved for relocation, he plans on playing in Oakland the next few years while a Las Vegas stadium is built. The team has already sent out season ticket pricing to fans for the 2017 season. The Raiders have one-year team options to play Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The Las Vegas stadium isn’t expected to be ready until the 2020 season.

The Office of the Mayor Libby Schaaf and Scott Bair contributed to this report.


Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant named starters in 2017 All-Star Game

Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been voted to start the NBA All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive season, and this time there was a measure of suspense.

Curry will join Rockets guard James Harden in the backcourt for the Western Conference squad, as voters snubbed MVP candidate and triple-double specialist Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.

Joining Curry and Harden in the starting lineup for the West will be Warriors forward Kevin Durant, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis.

A combination of fan balloting (50 percent), player balloting (25 percent) and media balloting (25 percent) comprises the overall vote.

Curry’s selection is sure to generate considerable debate, as Westbrook leads the league in scoring (30.6 points per game), is second in assists and 11th (10.4) in rebounding (10.6). Westbrook also leads the league in PER at 29.56.

Moreover, he is bidding to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double over the course of a full season.

Coming off back-to-back MVP seasons, Curry ranks 12th in scoring (24.6 points per game), 15th in assists (6.1), second in 3-pointers made (158) and eighth in steals (1.81). His 92.6-percent shooting from the line ranks second in the NBA.

He is the first Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain to start four straight All-Star games.

Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, leads the team in scoring (26.2) and blocks (1.71) and double-doubles (16). He’s second in rebounding (8.6) and third in assists (4.7). His 54.4-percent shooting from the field is 10th in the league and tops among perimeter players.

Durant will be making his eighth appearance, and his fifth as a starter.

The Eastern Conference starters are as follows: guards Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers and DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors, with frontcourt players LeBron James of the Cavs, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Jimmy Butler of the Bulls.

All-Star reserves, which are chosen by NBA coaches, will be announced on Jan. 26.