Giants, A's territorial rights saga takes new, confusing turn

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Giants, A's territorial rights saga takes new, confusing turn

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News has been around baseball long enough to know where the bodies are interred, and who put them there. He also has people of influence whispering in his ear when they want something disseminated sans fingerprints, so when he drops a report, people tend to notice.Saturdays item, though, that baseballs other 28 owners are inclined to uphold the Giants claims to the territorial rights to San Jose, smacked not of resolution to the problem, but unsubtle arm-twisting to force the Giants and As to come to an accommodation, as Vito Corleone liked to put it 40 years ago.The report, summarized briefly, was that the Giants claim to San Jose was more persuasive to the other owners, who could if they thought it was good for the game make those rights go away with one vote and a round of drinks.

This of course came as a surprise to Lew Wolff, the As front man, who said he hasnt heard a thing about it. Which means of course, that either he hasnt, or he has.Thats the beauty of baseball. You always have to guess how many lies you get to before the truth emerges. And because everyone in the business of baseball with any heat knows the art of misdirection even better than Sun-Tzu.So lets break down the possibilities.1. The Madden report is right, in which case John Fisher and Wolff are selling the team as quickly as possible, because they have already poisoned the Oakland well as comprehensively as possible.
2. The Madden report is wrong (meaning he was given disinformation, not that he wasnt told what he says he was told), in which case one can infer that whoever leaked it either works for or supports the Giants claim.
3. The Madden report is wrong, in which case whoever leaked it was trying to push the process by which the two sides argue over the amount of the tribute the As give the Giants.
4. The Madden report is wrong, in which case someone was just trying to do a little mischief and get the owners attention from the Mets and Dodgers for a few minutes.In sum, either we have reached the end game because the other owners are sick of the two sides and their tedious posturings, or we have reached the end game because the As want some action one way or another.Or someone (gee, I wonder who that could be) is trying to kill the plan via leak.The question resides, ultimately, in which team baseball places its greater hopes, and by team, we mean ownership group. Wolff has Selig, but Seligs alliances shift with circumstances, as Bob Lurie can happily tell you with a map of the scars on his psyche.The Giants have the economic might, but their ownership has now changed twice in three years and the new guy, Charles Johnson, isnt an insider by any means.And yes, its Johnson rather than Larry Baer, because baseball owners deal with the guy with the most money in the game, not the one who is the public face.If Baer is a player here in any way, its because hes had 20 years to make relationships with other owners. Not that that matters all that much, but in an argument, you use whatever weapons you have at your command.In short, this is about lobbying, and effective whispering, and pressing buttons on the right keyboards. Bud Selig doesnt run baseball, but he has access to those who do, and he is not going to take the lead on an ownership question of this magnitude. He will seek consensus among the strongest of his employers, and without knowing where they stand, we cannot know where the future of San Jose baseball stands.And Bill Madden either has moved the story along, or he hasnt, depending on why whoever told him San Jose was dead told him San Jose was dead.If youre confused, dont be. This isnt reading tea leaves. This is reading mulch.

Manaea dazzles, A's offense comes on late to beat Yankees

Manaea dazzles, A's offense comes on late to beat Yankees

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka struck out a career-high 13 to rebound from the worst stretch of his major league career but wound up a hard-luck loser when reliever Tyler Clippard's wild pickoff throw sparked a go-ahead, two-run eighth inning in the Oakland Athletics' 4-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Sean Manaea (3-3), starting because Kendall Graveman was scratched with a sore pitching shoulder, matched Tanaka and allowed four hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and a walk. Ryan Madson pitched a perfect eighth and New York loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against Santiago Casilla before Didi Gregorius hit a sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez popped out.

Tanaka (5-4) left with the game scoreless after allowing Adam Rosales' one-out single in the eighth, and Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis followed with run-scoring hits off Clippard. Stephen Vogt added a two-run homer in the ninth against Jonathan Holder.

With Aroldis Chapman sidelined by left shoulder inflammation and Dellin Betances moved from setup man to temporary closer, the Yankees' bullpen has stumbled of late.

Squaring his shoulders more than in recent starts, Tanaka allowed five hits, walked none and threw 76 of 111 pitches for strikes. He got 25 swings and misses - his most in the majors - and the usually undemonstrative 28-year-old tipped his cap to applauding fans while he walked to the dugout.

Tanaka was booed loudly in his previous home start, when he was chased by Houston after allowing three homers and eight runs in 1 2/3 innings. And he had been pounded for 14 runs over 4 2/3 innings in his previous two outings.

His return to form not surprisingly took place with Austin Romine behind the plate. Tanaka has a 2.21 ERA when pitching to Romine and a 12.27 ERA to Gary Sanchez, New York's No. 1 catcher.

Tanaka struck out eight of first 11 batters and nine of his opening 15. He fanned Mark Canha in a 10-pitch at-bat leading off the eighth, then was replaced after Rosales' hit to center.

Clippard threw past first baseman Chris Carter for an error that allowed Rosales to reach third, and Rajai Davis hit a two-hopper to third baseman Chase Headley, who threw to the plate in time for Romine to tag Rosales, who slid headfirst.

Matt Joyce, who had struck out his first three times up, drew a walk and Lowie singled to right as Rajai Davis came home and Joyce took third. Khris Davis grounded to Gregorius, who stopped the ball with a slide deep in the hole, and Davis just beat the shortstop's throw.

FLEET WEEK

The crowd of 39,044 included many sailors in their naval whites.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: Graveman and RHP Jesse Hahn are likely both headed to the DL with ailing shoulders. ... 1B Yonder Alonso missed his second straight start because of a sore right wrist, an injury sustained when hit by a pitch from Miami's Jarlin Garcia on Tuesday.

Yankees: A day after CF Jacoby Ellsbury went on the seven-day concussion DL, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said it was hard to predict when he will return . The medical staff was determining what Ellsbury can do. "It won't be much for a few days," he said. ... Chapman is to play catch Saturday, his first baseball activity since May 12.

UP NEXT

LHP CC Sabathia (4-2) pitches Saturday for the Yankees after winning consecutive starts for the first time since June 10 and 16 last year. RHP Jharel Cotton, 3-4 with a 5.68 ERA before he was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on May 11, will be recalled to start for Oakland. We was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in a pair of minor league starts.

Draymond fully appreciates 'witnessing greatness' of Warriors-Cavs trilogy

Draymond fully appreciates 'witnessing greatness' of Warriors-Cavs trilogy

OAKLAND -- The hoops historian Draymond Green has a message for those with short memories and cynical outlooks.

The NBA is never better than when The Finals have legendary potential, as is the case with the Warriors and Cavaliers, who next week become the first teams to meet three consecutive seasons to determine a champion.

“It’s a great thing for the league, contrary to popular belief,” Green said Friday after Warriors practice.

Warriors-Cavs Part III is, in fact, a fantastic boon for the league. Interest will peak. Ratings will soar. Storylines will cascade down every mountain, knoll and molehill.

“Right now, you’re witnessing greatness -- two great teams, great players,” Green said. “That’s what it is. It probably won’t be appreciated until it’s over. Say we meet again next year? It still won’t be appreciated -- until we don’t meet again and you realize what you had.”

What fans have is history made, with more in the making.

The Warriors enter The Finals after an unprecedented 12-0 start to the playoffs, becoming the first team to complete three four-game sweeps in a single postseason.

Another sweep, and it’s not inconceivable, would make these Warriors the first team in NBA history with a perfect postseason -- give them the distinction of having the best postseason in American sports history.

The Cavaliers enter The Finals after a 12-1 start and, moreover, with the reheated debate over whether LeBron James has a body of work that equals or surpasses that of Michael Jordan. James is one game removed from surpassing Jordan to become No. 1 on the all-time list for playoff scoring and will make his seventh consecutive appearance in The Finals, something Jordan never did.

Though a Cleveland victory would bolster any argument in James’ favor, a Cleveland loss might be enough to close the case in Jordan’s favor insofar as his Bulls reached six NBA Finals and won them all.

Warriors-Cavaliers has the potential to go beyond what most believe to be the most epic of postseason rivals, that being the Magic Johnson and the Lakers versus Larry Bird and the Celtics. They met only three times (1984, ’85 and ’87) but the NBA went a full 10 seasons with one team or the other in The Finals.

Being a student of the game, Green quite likely knows that -- as well as having a complete understanding of the possibilities ahead.

Even if he suspects others may not.

“But you usually don’t appreciate something until you don’t have it any more,” he said. “Maybe there’s just a lack of appreciation for greatness. When you look at the situation, most people have never reached greatness. So, maybe there’s just not an understanding of what you’re watching.

“I appreciate it. I’m happy we’ve been able to steam-roll people, and I love the fact that they’ve been able to steam-roll people. I just love great things. And I think right now we’ve found two great teams.”