MLB and Players have tentative agreement; Owners need to ratify new CBA

From left to right pitcher Andrew Miller, Tony Clark executive director of the baseball players association, Bruce Meyer chief union negotiator, and New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer were the core union negotiation team as they are seen here in Jupiter FL on Tue Mar 1, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jerry Feitelberg

The Major League Players Association and Major League Baseball have come to terms and have reached an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that will run until 2027. After 99 days of a baseball lockout at 12:37 pm PST on Thu Mar 10th both sides had a handshake and got a deal done. One more step is needed and that’s 23 votes from the owners side to ratify the deal.

The new deal was passed by the union 26-12. 20 votes were the minimum to pass the agreement on the union side. MLB announced that the lockout will be lifted and spring training will commence immediately and opening day is scheduled to start on April 7th once the owners agree to the new deal.

Trades and free agencies will begin and player deals will be in the works according to MLB. Clubs can start calling players from South America, Central America, Japan, Korea and other places to come back and report to camp.

MLB teams will play a 162 game schedule. Spring Training will run from approximately next Tue Mar 15th until April 6th. The work stoppage was baseball’s first since 1994-95 when the baseball strike canceled the 1994 World Series.

The lockout began Dec 2, 2021 and there no talks by the owners and players. Things sprang into action during the last week of February and during negotiations some meetings lasted until 3:00AM it was a good three weeks of negotiations and at some points it looked as talks would stall and it looked like they would get a deal done.

Amongst some of the agreed bullet points:

#1 Collective Bargaining Tax $230 million in 2023 and runs up to $244 million in the final year of the CBA

#2 $700,000 MLB minimum salary and tops out at $780,000 in the final year of the new CBA.

#3 The pre arbitration bonus pool $50 million.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that lost games would be made up as part of a doubleheader during the regular season which was suppose to start on March 31st.

Jerry Feitelberg is an Oakland A’s beat writer and podcaster

Posey comes up in the clutch to win the game for the Giants 6-5

By Jeremy Kahn

Buster Posey is a three-time World Champion, a former Rookie of the Year and a Most Valuable Player award winner, and he can still come up with the big hit when it is needed most.

Posey hit a two-run pinch-hit double that scored Austin Slater and Kevin Pillar, as the San Francisco Giants came back to defeat the Colorado Rockies 6-5 at Coors Field.

The Posey double that could not be stopped by right fielder Charlie Blackmon, came  off of losing pitcher Carlos Estevez.

Joe Panik came off the bench to bat for Zach Green, and walked against Estevez. Following the walk to Panik, Estevez gave up a single to Slater that sent Panik to second, where Pillar was sent into run for him.

Posey came off the bench to pinch-hit for Sam Coonrod, and gave the Giants the lead, when he doubled up the alley.

After the Posey double, Brandon Belt walked and that was the end of the line for Estevez, who was replaced by Sam Howard, who promptly hit Mike Yastrzemski to load the bases with one out. Howard then regrouped to strike out Pablo Sandoval swinging, and then got out of the jam, when he got Stephen Vogt to fly out to left to end the inning.

Things got off to a fast start for the Giants, as they scored four runs in the top of the first inning off of Rockies starter Jon Gray.

Yastrzemski got the first inning rally started, as he walked against Gray and then scored on a Pablo Sandoval double.

Brandon Crawford then singled in Sandoval, and on the throw home, Crawford moved up to second. Scooter Gennett then hit his first home run as a Giant, a two-run shot that was measured at 413 feet.

Ryan McMahon got the Rockies on the board in the bottom of the second inning, as he grounded out to second base which scored Daniel Murphy from third base. Murphy led off the inning with a double that landed in between Yastrzemski and Steven Duggar.

Trevor Story got the Rockies within one run in the bottom of the third inning, as he hit a two-run home run off of Madison Bumgarner.

The Giants started another rally in the top of the fourth inning, as Bumgarner singled to left and went to third on a Belt double; however, the rally ended when Yastrzemski grounded out to end the inning.

Blackmon tied up the game, as he led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run to center field.

Three batters later, Murphy gave the Rockies the lead, as he doubled to right field and Nolan Arenado scored on a Gennett throwing error. Arenado singled to center just before the Murphy double.

Duggar then made the play of the game, as he leaped over the fence to rob Ian Desmond of a potential two-run home run.

“Pretty incredible that he got up there,” said Bumgarner.

The fifth inning was it for Bumgarner, who threw 91 pitches in those five innings. Bumgarner gave up five runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out two.

After Bumgarner left the game, the new Giants bullpen bounced back from a rough outing on Friday night to get the Giants the victory.

The quartet of Trevor Gott, Sam Coonrod, Tony Watson and Will Smith pitched the final four innings, allowing four hits, walking just one and striking out six.

Coonrod threw a perfect seventh inning, as he picked up his second win of the season.

Despite giving up two hits in the bottom of the ninth inning, Smith picked up his 27th save of the season, as he struck out the side to end the game.

NOTES: Ty Blach, who was designated for assignment earlier this week, was claimed off of waivers by the Baltimore Orioles.

Dan Winkler, who was acquired in the Mark Melancon from the Atlanta Braves and was immediately designated for assignment, cleared waivers and was outrighted to triple-A Sacramento.

UP NEXT: Tyler Beede will close out the series and the road trip, as he looks for his fourth win of the season, while the Rockies will send Kyle Freeland to the hill.

Bumgarner leaves after getting hit on elbow in Giants’ win

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — Madison Bumgarner was not around when Austin Slater gave the San Francisco Giants the lead for good.

Bumgarner was forced to leave the game after the bottom of the second inning, as he was drilled on the left forearm by a Jose Martinez line drive that went for an infield single.

X-Rays came back negative, and Bumgarner ended up with a left elbow contusion.

Slater gave the Giants the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, as he hit an opposite field grand slam and the Giants defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 8-4 before a crowd of 32,487 at Oracle Park.

Pablo Sandoval led off the inning with a single, then after a Brandon Crawford strikeout, Kevin Pillar came up with his second hit of the night. Joe Panik then reached on an error when Tyler ONeill lost the ball in the lights, and finally, Slater gave the Giants the lead on his first career grand slam.

Bumgarner went just two innings, allowing one run, scattering four hits and striking out two, as he did not fare in the decision.

Miles Mikolas lasted just four innings for the Cardinals, as he allowed five runs (four earned), six hits and struck out 6; however, he lost for the ninth time this season.

The Cardinals took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as Tommy Edman led off the game with a single, and then Martinez lined the ball off of Bumgarner’s left forearm for an infield single.

Paul Goldschmidt gave the Cardinals the lead, as he singled to score Edman from second base.

Like the opener, the Giants got on the board in the bottom of the first inning, as Brandon Belt singled to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a Sandoval sacrifice fly.

The bullpen was solid for the Giants, as Sam Dyson, Reyes Moronta, Mark Melancon, and Will Smith went the final seven innings to secure the victory for the Giants.

Dyson went two innings, allowing just one hit and raised his record to 3-0 on the season.

Home plate umpire Mike Everitt, like Bumgarner, was forced to leave the game in the sixth inning, as he took a foul ball off the mask on a line drive hit by O’Neill. Three umpires finished the game.

Mike Yastrzemski got in on the hit parade in the bottom of the seventh inning, as he singled, then stole his first major league base and then scored on an Alex Dickerson triple to right-center field. Sandoval then picked up his second hit of the night, as he smashed a two-run home run off of Tyler Webb.

It was the 11th home run of the season by Sandoval, and his first as a right-handed batter since hitting one off of Caleb Smith of the Miami Marlins on June 11, 2018, at Marlins Park.

Things got interesting in the top of the eighth inning, as the Cardinals scored three runs off a Goldschmidt three-run home run off the Arcade Garage in right field to get the Cardinals within four runs. Tony Watson, who gave up the three-run home run to Goldschmidt was able to get out of the inning without allowing any more damage.

That was the 13th career home run for Goldschmidt at Oracle Park, the most by any active opposing player in the major leagues

Closer Will Smith was summoned in the top of the ninth inning and gave up a pinch-hit single to Yadier Molina, however, he then got Edman to ground into a force play and then Martinez grounded into a double play to end the small rally and the game.

NOTES: Slater is the 22nd Giants player to hit a pinch-hit grand slam since the team moved to San Francisco in 1958.

Rich Aurilia was the last Giants player to hit a pinch-hit grand slam which came on June 12, 2003, against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park.

Slater is only the second Giants player to hit a pinch-hit grand slam at Oracle Park since it opened in 2000, and Russ Davis hit it on August 21, 2000, against the Florida Marlins

Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos will represent the Giants at the Sirius/XM Futures Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. Bart is hitting .242 with six home runs and 21 RBI on the season in just 33 games for the San Jose Giants, while Ramos, who is also playing for San Jose, is hitting .298 with nine home runs and 29 RBI on the season in 52 games.

Bart missed a considerable amount of time with a broken left arm that was suffered on April 16, when he was hit by a pitch against the Stockton Ports at Municipal Stadium.

UP NEXT: Jeff Samardzija closes out the first half on Sunday afternoon, as he takes the Oracle Park mound and will face Jack Flaherty, who will take the ball for the Cardinals in their final game before the All-Star break.

“Lets go live”: MLB Network live cut-ins breathe life into the grand old game

By Morris Phillips

MINNEAPOLIS — A three-minute drama in two parts–there for all who squared up with their local cable outfit to see–played out Thursday night starring Tampa Bay’s Jake Bauers and Minnesota’s Brian Dozier.

With a very opinionated, supporting role played by MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds.

Bauers, a rookie just six weeks into his big league career, doubled leading off the fourth inning. Pitcher Kyle Gibson, a big guy of whom more has always been expected, and in the midst of his most impressive start of 2018, wasn’t in the mood to concede anything. So after his change of pace, first pitch offering to cleanup hitter Wilson Ramos landed in the dirt, Gibson set his sights on garnering the 13th successful pickoff of his big league career.

With Bauers off to an aggressive lead, and his eyes focused on Gibson, the baserunner had a lapse, looking toward home plate. At that exact moment, Gibson spun and threw to second baseman Dozier, deftly sneaking in for the catch and tag. The bang bang play, according to second base umpire James Hoye, saw Bauers get his hand on the bag a fraction of a second ahead of Dozier’s tag.

The Twins and Dozier felt differently, and they took their alloted time to consider issuing a challenge.

Back at the MLB Network studios in Seacaucus, New Jersey it was a good time for a live cut-in on the Rays and Twins, two AL squads with almost no significant relationship to the 2018 postseason. While the Rays have surged of late to become just the seventh American League team currently with a winning record, the Twins have lived below .500 in the AL Central, a division that already seems ceded to the first-place Indians.

But on Thursdays, with a limited schedule and games spread across day and night time frames, the Rays and Twins garnered some attention, and the pickoff drama played out live on the MLB Network.

“You cannot do that!” Reynolds said repeatedly, as he instructed his production crew to freeze the replay at the point Bauers’ attention lapsed. Reynolds didn’t ease up on the rookie regarding the call to the point it felt like the retired second baseman was lobbying for Bauers to be out just based on his attention lapse, regardless of what went down with the tag.

Of course, Reynolds is in the studio, and talking, when it may have been more beneficial at that moment to listen to Rays announcers Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson. But that’s live television, full of bluster and entertainment, but maybe a little short on accuracy. Need more concise info? In this case, Bauers, speaking 48 hours later, provided just that.

“When I get my lead off second, I like to look at whoever is holding me on,” Bauers recounted. “In this case, it was Dozier, the second baseman. I was looking at him, seeing how far I could get off. Right when I panned from him to go back to Gibson, he broke in and picked off on me. I thought I was dead to rights out there. But I think I was so late getting back, that he kind of tagged early, and I snuck my hand in.”

Regardless of the truth, it looked bad for Bauers. He knew it, and so did Dozier. But ultimately, no challenge was issued.

“It was a bad feed, as far as blurriness,” Dozier admitted. “That’s why we didn’t challenge it. On one of the angles you can see he was probably out, but not enough to overturn it. When I tagged him, he was still about a foot away from the bag.”

As Reynolds continued to scold the rookie, the live shot showed Bauers smiling at Dozier. Reynolds quickly assumed Bauers’ smile to be an admission of guilt. Well, Reynolds got that right.

“I was smiling because I knew I was caught,” Bauers said. “I knew it was a good pick play. Obviously, I’m not used to being held that close at second. I don’t know if that’s just something that he does because he likes to do it, or that they’re having him do it.”

Dozier, given the same 48 hours as Bauers to reflect, explained that Bauers’ aggressive lead was immediately noticeable. Seeing that, Dozier signaled to Gibson that it was time for the pitcher to display his acumen for picking off runners.

And how did Dozier interpret Bauers’ smile and small talk?

“I think he knew he was out. That’s probably the ‘I know I’m out’ feeling,’ but let’s just hope they don’t have enough evidence to overturn it,” Dozier said.

Meanwhile, Reynolds remained out of the information loop.

“He’s still standing at second base!” Reynolds said incredulously as play continued without Bauers being penalized, or Reynolds knowing that no formal challenge was issued.

Oh, the powerlessness of live television.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Trailing Behind Other Sports, Baseball Announces Pace of Play Changes for 2018

Photo credit: @DEADLINE

By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

Many years ago on a family vacation to Yellowstone, we rented a cabin at that famous National Park. One day, we walked out of that cabin with our two teenage boys and saw a buffalo next to the wall of the cabin that was not moving. We called a park ranger, who told us: “Leave him alone he is dying, and he just cannot keep up with the herd.” Baseball is that buffalo today and that is my best analogy.

The current times have caught up with the game of baseball. Today’s demographics show that baseball is mainly followed by people over 50 years of age, therefore baseball is missing generations of fans. Our culture, social media, and other factors are responsible for this, as baseball seems to be “too slow” for most Americans. Although in my opinion, baseball is not like football or basketball, and the closer it gets to be like those sports, the least it will resemble baseball, the way is was invented and meant to be played. Specifically, marketing and television with definite economical interests are overall a big part in these changes.

Analytics-data mining, is the new “logic” for these changes, as much of the human element in the game of baseball has now been taken out of the equation. As I have written before, we are very close to robots taking over the job of umpires and others, as it will become much more time-constricted and less leisure-like. as originally created.

These are the new pace of play rules for this season. It was announced today by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. However, there will be no pitch clock this season. After all, 30 MLB clubs consulted with the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) and it was announced officially on Monday, February 19, 2018.

Here is a quick pitch!
Mound visits: Mound visits will be limited to six per team per nine innings. Teams will receive an additional visit for every extra inning played. Any manager, coach or player visit to the mound will count as a mound visit. Visits to the mound to clean cleats in rainy weather, to check on an injury or potential injury or after the announcement of an offensive substitution are excepted. Also, normal communication between player and pitcher that do not require either to vacate their position on the field do not count as a visit. If a team is out of visits, the umpire will have discretion to grant a visit at the catcher’s request if he believes there has been a cross-up between the pitcher and catcher.

Between-inning breaks: As has been the case since the start of the 2016 season, a timer will count down between innings from 2:05 for breaks in locally televised games, from 2:25 in nationally televised games and from 2:55 for tiebreaker and postseason games. The difference now is that at the 25-second mark, the umpire will signal for the final warmup pitch and the pitcher must throw it before the clock hits 20. The batter will be announced at the 20-second mark and the pitcher must begin his windup to throw the first pitch of the inning as the clock hits zero. Another important change is that a pitcher is no longer guaranteed eight warmup pitches between innings. However, he can take as many as he wants within the countdown parameters noted above. The timer will start on the last out of the inning, unless the pitcher is on base, on deck or at bat, in which case the timer shall begin when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. If the final out of the inning is subject to replay, the timer begins when the umpire signals the out.

Timing of pitcher changes: The timing clock — as listed above — also applies to pitching changes, and it will begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track.

Between-inning breaks: As has been the case since the start of the 2016 season, a timer will count down between innings from 2:05 for breaks in locally televised games, from 2:25 in nationally televised games and from 2:55 for tiebreaker and postseason games. The difference now is that at the 25-second mark, the umpire will signal for the final warmup pitch and the pitcher must throw it before the clock hits 20. The batter will be announced at the 20-second mark and the pitcher must begin his windup to throw the first pitch of the inning as the clock hits zero. Another important change is that a pitcher is no longer guaranteed eight warmup pitches between innings. However, he can take as many as he wants within the countdown parameters noted above. The timer will start on the last out of the inning, unless the pitcher is on base, on deck or at bat, in which case the timer shall begin when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. If the final out of the inning is subject to replay, the timer begins when the umpire signals the out.

Timing of pitcher changes: The timing clock — as listed above — also applies to pitching changes, and it will begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track.

Summary of 2018 Rule Changes:
I. Mound Visits
1. Number
A. 2018 Championship Season. Mound visits without a pitching change shall be limited to six per team, per nine innings. For any extra-innings played, each Club shall be entitled to one additional non-pitching change mound visit per inning.
B. OBR 5.10(l), Official Baseball Rule 5.10(l), which governs mound visits by a manager or coach, remains in effect (i.e., a pitcher must be removed on the second visit by a manager/coach in an inning).

2. Definition of mound visit. A manager or coach trip to the mound to meet with the pitcher shall constitute a visit. A player leaving his position to confer with the pitcher, including a pitcher leaving the mound to confer with another player, shall also constitute a mound visit, regardless of where the visit occurs or the length of the visit, except that the following shall not constitute mound visits:

A. Discussions between pitchers and position player(s) that (i) occur between batters in the normal course of play and do not require either the position player(s) or the pitcher to relocate;
B. Visits by position players to the mound to clean spikes in rainy conditions;C. Visits to the mound due to an injury or potential injury of the pitcher; and
D. Visits to the mound after the announcement of an offensive substitution.

3. Cross-up in signs: In the event a team has exhausted its allotment of mound visits in a game (or an extra inning) and the home plate umpire determines that the catcher and pitcher did not have a shared understanding of the location or type of pitch that had been signaled by the catcher (otherwise referred to as a “cross-up”), the home plate umpire may, upon request of the catcher, allow the catcher to make a brief mound visit. Any mound visit resulting from a cross-up prior to a team exhausting its allotted number of visits shall count against a team’s total number of allotted mound visits.

II. Inning Breaks and Pitching Changes
1. Time of Break. The timer will count down from 2:05 for breaks in locally televised championship season games, from 2:25 for breaks in nationally televised championship season games, and from 2:55 for tie-breaker and postseason games as follows: Time Remaining | Required Action

25 seconds: Umpire signals pitcher to complete last warmup pitch.

20 seconds: Batter’s announced and must leave on-deck circle, batter walk-up music shall begin, and pitcher shall complete last warmup pitch.

0 seconds: Pitcher must begin motion to deliver first pitch.

A. The pitcher may take as many warm-up pitches as he desires, but regardless of how many warm-up pitches he has thrown, he must deliver his final warm-up pitch at least 20 seconds prior to the end of an inning break or pitching change. OBR 5:07 will be revised to reflect that pitcher is not guaranteed eight warm-up pitches.

B. The umpire shall signal for the last warm-up pitch at 25 seconds, unless a special circumstance (as described below) applies.

C. The batter must leave the on-deck circle and proceed directly to the batter’s box when the pitcher throws his final warm-up pitch.

D. The pitcher must begin his motion for the first pitch as soon as the batter steps into the box and is alert to the pitcher; provided, however, the pitcher cannot begin his motion for the first pitch more than five seconds prior to the end of an inning break or pitching change so that television is ensured to be back from commercial break.

2. Special Circumstances. A Player will be excused from following the time limits set forth above if the umpire determines that any of the following special circumstances are present:

A. There is a delay in normal warm-up activities during the inning break due to no fault of the Players (e.g., injury or other medical emergency, equipment issues, playing field or grounds crew issues); B. The umpire believes the pitcher is at a legitimate risk of injury if he does not receive additional time to throw warm-up pitches;

C. The umpire believes the batter is at a legitimate risk of injury if he does not receive additional time to enter the batter’s box;

D. Any other special circumstances which, in the umpire’s judgment, warrant allowing the pitcher to throw after the deadline.

3. Start of Timer for Inning Breaks
A. Last Out of Inning. The timer shall start on the last out of an inning for an inning break.

B. Close Plays/Replay Review. The Field Timing Coordinator shall delay the start of the timer if the final out of the inning is a close play that may be reviewed by instant replay. If the final out of the inning is determined in instant replay, the timer shall start as soon as the out is signaled by the umpire.

C. Pitcher or Catcher On Base/On Deck. If a pitcher ends an inning on base, on deck, or at bat, the timer shall reset when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound. If a catcher ends the inning on base, on deck, or at bat, the timer will reset when the catcher enters the dugout (and another catcher must begin warming up the pitcher).

4. Start of Timer for Pitching Changes
A. Pitcher Crosses Warning Track. The pitching change timer shall begin as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens) to enter the game. In the case of a pitching change that occurs during an inning break, the timer shall reset if previously started as soon as the relief pitcher crosses the warning track (or foul line for on-field bullpens).

B. Relief Pitchers Must Promptly Leave Bullpen. Relief pitchers shall leave the bullpen promptly following an appropriate signal by their manager or coach. During the playing of God Bless America, or any other extended inning event previously approved by the Office of the Commissioner, the timer will begin at the conclusion of the song or event.

5. Enforcement. Umpires shall direct players and enforce the inning break and pitching change time limits on the field. Players who consistently or flagrantly violate the time limits will be subject to progressive discipline for just cause by the Office of the Commissioner pursuant to Article XI(C) of the Basic Agreement.

III. Batter’s Box Rule
The batter’s box rule that was in effect during the 2017 season will remain in effect during the 2018 season.

IV. Video Replay Review
The following adjustments will be made to the video replay technology:

A. Install capability for all Club video review rooms to receive direct slow motion camera angles for the 2018 championship season;

B. Install new phone lines connecting the video review rooms and the dugout, and monitor the communications over those lines to prevent their use for sign-stealing.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Baseball–Owners Getting Smarter on Long Contracts

Photo credit: @Jared_Carrabis

By: Amaury Pi Gonzalez

The Boston Red Sox are offering J.D. Martinez a $150 million five-year contract, but the 30-year-old baseball leader with a .690 slugging percentage is seeking a $200 million deal.

There lies the problem, and Martinez could be without a job during Spring Training. Nobody can use Martinez more than Boston, who saw their main rival–the New York Yankees–sign Giancarlo Stanton, this winter, which gave the Yankees a potentially historic home run duo with the young and equally powerful Aaron Judge.

There is a good chance that Boston will sign Martinez, but it might not be the $200 million deal that his agent Scott Boras is asking for.

It seems today that owners are not inclined to give these long five, six and seven year contracts anymore. Why can’t the players just realize they can get great money, but shorter length of contracts? The days of the 10-year, $200 to $300 million contract seem to be nothing but a thing of the past.

At the conclusion of the 2018 season, guys like Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw will also become free agents. Not far behind is the best player in the game, Mike Trout, who will be testing the free market.

So, fasten your seat belt, Louie, this could be the beginning of a different “friendship” between the league’s owners and players.

This is the place the Athletics have chosen for their new $500-mil ballpark

A mock-up of what a new Athletics ballpark could look like on the proposed site from

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The day that all Oakland Athletics fans have been waiting for has finally come. On Wednesday, the Athletics announced that they have selected a site for their new $500-million privately financed baseball only ballpark. That site will be will be known as the Peralta Ballpark Plan.

The location is between Lake Merritt and I-880 and is currently occupied by commercial warehouses, parking lots and the administrative offices for the Peralta Community College District.

Plans call for more than a ballpark on the site

This plan calls for a complete makeover of the area that will include more than the Athletics new facility. It will include:

  • New housing
  • There will be emphasis on affordable housing
  • Small business space will be available
  • Restaurant and retail space that will serve the locals and fans
  • Parks will be a part of the overall development
  • Commercial real estate will also have a place in the plan
  • If this sounds a lot like what happened in China Basin when AT&T Park was built, that is exactly the hopes and plans for this development.

What is the proposed schedule for the project?

An aerial shot of the proposal ballpark site

  • Year one: Community Process – the residents, businesses and city government of Oakland have buy into the project in order to make it work.
  • Year two: Permitting (this is California), environmental approval and final ballpark design
  • 2021: Groundbreaking ceremony
  • 2023: Play ball!

What about financing?

  • The ballpark will be privately financed by the Oakland Athletics similar to how the Giants and the Warriors have built or are building their own facilities. Details to follow.
  • What about financing for the remainder of the project? Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has made his fortune in commercial real estate. He is exactly the type of person who can pull together developers who will want to invest in this type of project, and because Oakland has been an economically challenged city, they are positioned nicely to receive federal and state money to help make a project like this successful.
  • The other factor this project has going for it is the overcrowding in the Bay Area. Oakland is really the last place where commercial office and work space can be developed. It may be last place in the Bay Area where “Transit Oriented Development” that includes work space, affordable housing, shopping and entertainment without needing a car can be made a reality. Would tech companies rather have employees and offices in Iowa or Oakland? It is an easy choice.

What about access to the ballpark?

The Coliseum offers some of the easiest in and out access of any sports complex in America. The new site would offer:

  • BART
  • Access to several freeways
  • The ability to walk and bike from downtown Oakland and surrounding communities
  • AT&T proved you do not have to have a 25,000 car parking lot to make a stadium work in California

Coliseum before Mt. Davis
The Coliseum with its beautiful views before the blight of Mt. Davis

What about the view?

How about a view of Lake Merritt, the Oakland skyline and the Oakland Hills? It might remind you of the great views from the Coliseum before “Mt. Davis” was built.

What would happen to the Coliseum site?

  • The A’s would work with the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda on a plan to develop what is undoubtedly a very valuable piece of land. Remember John Fisher is a major developer of real estate and knows how to bring people together for big projects.
  • The site is ideal for housing, hotel, retail and office development. Remember “Transit Oriented Development”? BART and Air BART are already at that location. That airport is one mile away. The land sits on I-880. It is prime real estate in an area that is running out of room.
  • The other part of the plan for that site is really exciting. The Athletics plan to build a multi-use sports complex and an Urban Youth Academy for baseball and soccer (remember John Fisher also owns the San Jose Earthquakes). This where Major League Baseball can really get involved as part of their initiative to reach out to urban youth.

Oakland Athletics President David Kaval said on Twitter, “A great day for Oakland and the #rootedinoakland”.

This is a day many thought would never come, but it is just the beginning. There is a great deal of hard work to do between now and April 2023.

The A’s Start the Road Trip with a Win

by Jerry Feitelberg

The Oakland A’s had their hitting shoes on Monday night to start the road show with a win bu beating the young and improved Houston Astros 8-1. The A’s evened their record tp 4-4 for 2015 and were coming off two hard to take extra innings losses to the Seattle Mariners on Saturday and Sunday. The A’s starter, Scott Kazmir, pitched six strong innings allowing just three hits and one run as his record went to 2-0. The Astro’s pitcher, Scott Feldman went five innings giving up 8 hits and seven runs. Feldman is 0-2 to start the year.

The A’s got going right off the bat. Sam Fuld reached on an error leading off the game. Fuld scored on a double off the bat of big Mark Canha. Canha has hit safely in all six games he has started for the A’s. Canha made it to third on an error and scored on a Ben Zobrist double. Ike Davis singled to put the A’s up 3-0
in the top of the first.

The A’s made it 4-0 in the second. Brett Lawrie hit his first home run as an Athletic leading off. Houston made it a 4-1 game when their All-World second baseman, Jose Altuve, put one in the seats to cut the lead to three.

The A’s put the game out of reach in the fifth when they scored four times to make it 8-1. Marcus Semien hits his first home run of the year and Designated hitter Billy Butler hit a three-run dinger to extend the lead. It was Butler’s first as an A and Butler has an eight-game hitting streak to start the year.

There was no more scoring and the A’s win 8-1.

Game notes- Ben Zobrist was 3 for 5 while Mark Canha went 2 for 5, Lawrie, Semien and Butler all hit their first home run as a member of the A’s.
The Line score for Oakland 8 runs, 12 hits and no errors. Houston’s line was 1 run on 5 hits and they committed 2 errors.

Game two of the three-game series continues Tuesday night in Houston at 5:10pm

Kendall Graveman will make his second start for Oakland and he will be opposed by Houston’s Brad Peacock.

Major League Baseball: 2013 was a very good year

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

OAKLAND–You will not see any baseball owners this Christmas,going through the garbage bins behind your local Safeway searching for food.

According to Forbes Magazine(the authority in financial matters), Major League Baseball established a record of over $8 billion in revenues this 2013 season.. According to this report, Major League Baseball will see revenue double for new broadcasts deals with national network partners; FOX, ESPN and TBS, that will add an additional $788.3 million a year to the league’s coffers.

Leading the way are the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the communications giant Time-Warner, with a broadcast rights deal of over 20 years between $7 to $8 billion, to be approved soon by Major League Baseball.

I know many have written the epitaph of Major League Baseball, specially since the National Football League has become the dominant league in America, but meanwhile, baseball has been prospering like never before. As a matter of fact, during the last 18 years, Major League Baseball have seen revenues grown by an incredible 264 percent.

Many fans that follow baseball have been amazed at the signings is this, off-season, beginning with the $240 million contract for 10 years the Seattle Mariners gave ex-Yankee second baseman Robinson Canó, if you are not a Red Sox fan, Canó is the best second baseman in baseball, if you are a Red Sox fan you will say Dustin Pedroia. But, joking aside, Robinson Canó is not only the best second baseman in baseball, but one of the very best players in the game today.

And there could be soon another big deal if Masahiro Tanaka is available to sign with a major league club. The pitcher was 24-0 with a 1.27 earned run average starting in 27 games for the Rakuten Eagles. The amazement comes not for guys like Canó, (although I believe to give a 31 year old player a 10-year deal for that money is crazy), but for the mediocre players that have been signings very lucrative contracts.

Granted, it has become such a large business, that teams sometimes keep players whose numbers have been dwindling, just because they are drawing cards to their parks. Best example, the $35 million contract for 2 years the San Francisco Giants gave pitcher Tim Lincecum.

The popularity of Major League Baseball was also helped by the MLB Network, a 24X7 only baseball channel, that covers the game as good as anybody, during the past decade they have provided great coverage, including during the off season, but especially during the regular season, when they cut to the live broadcast from game to game around both leagues. Giving you(the fan)a live and instant look at different games, key moments on those games, and history records, as they happen.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president for the Major League Baseball Hispanic Museum and does News and Commentary each week for Sportstalk Radio

A’s proposed move to San Jose

That’s Amaury News and Commentary


OAKLAND–Commissioner Bud Selig’s letter denies the A’s move from Oakland to San José, but…But Selig’s June 17 letter addressed only the details of the stadium relocation proposal – not the principle of relocation, the sources say. MLB questioned the feasibility of that project and felt that insufficient financial information and attendance projections had been provided about a downtown San Jose site. Again: “not the principle of relocation”.


To question San Jose’s financial and attendance projections is interesting, because at least on the financial side of the equation the South Bay city is listed as the wealthiest metro area in the United States of America in recent surveys. As far as the attendance is concerned? I do not buy it. San José’s weather is much baseball-like (warmer) than most other Bay Area cities; located inland, not close to the ocean or very close to the bay, it provides perfect baseball weather from April to October. During these days of a very bad economy, there is one industry thriving; the high technology industry, Silicon Valley. Are the Giants afraid of Silicon Valley?


Income for most of the 366 metropolitan areas measured by the U.S. Census Bureau are flat in the last year, and many are still down significantly compared to 2008. According to the Census Bureau, Brownsville, Texas replaced McAllen, Texas as the country’s poorest metro area. San Jose, Calif. took the top spot as the wealthiest metro area, replacing Washington, D.C. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the metropolitan areas with the highest and lowest median incomes in the U.S.

Again: “San José, California, took the top spot as the wealthiest metro area, replacing Washington, D.C”.


Obviously (and I have said this for years now) the San Francisco Giants opposition is the biggest hurdle. I do not believe that most Major League teams owners would oppose the move of the Athletics from Oakland to San José. Oakland doesn’t have the resources while San José has an abundance of resources. The Athletics need three-quarters approval of the owners for the proposed move to the south bay.


Although they do not say it publicly, what counts are actions not words, and the Giants ownership like to see themselves as “The Bay Area’s Baseball Team”. They have not won the big trophy until 2010, when they won the World Series for the first time in San Francisco in 52 years.


Are the Giants afraid that the Athletics with a new park in San José would lose at the gate? Are the Giants afraid that some of their great fans in the south bay, just might not travel to San Francisco to see the Giants, if the A’s have a beautiful brand new facility in San José? Are the Giants living these days with that much insecurity?


We are within days of 2014. This is not the Bay Area of 1969, this is a completely different Bay Area, in population, demographics and lifestyle. In 1969 San José was a huge tomato field and a truck stop with a sign:  340 miles to Los Angeles. The only thing that remain from those years is the sign.


Maybe the Giants are right to worry…


Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for the Oakland A’s and does News and Commentary each week for Sports talk radio