News for 9/26/11

Haven’t done one of these for a while. Good links in here.

  • Governor Jerry Brown will, in fact, sign that LA football stadium bill. Guess he’s not such a sports hater after all. /s
  • The Merc’s Mike Rosenberg profiles Jack Hill, the Texas guy who gets things built. What things? Cowboys Stadium and American Airlines Center to name two.
  • At Grantland, Malcolm Gladwell juxtaposes the NBA’s talk of financial ruin with the Nets/Atlantic Yards deal.
  • According to Biz of Baseball’s Rob Smith, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg needs a stalking horse to get the ball rolling on a new ballpark in Tampa-St. Pete.
  • Bleacher Report’s Brandon McClintock has his own debate about what the Willingham situation means for the A’s.
  • The NY Times reports that there are red flags over Cal’s ability to pay for the Memorial Stadium makeover.
  • As the season ends, Bryan Stow is getting better.
  • Oakland Unified School District plans to close as many as 13 schools by the end of the school year, and up to 30 more over the next two years.
  • Yesterday’s sellout crowd of 61,546 at the Coliseum was the largest for a Raiders home game in two years (via CSN’s Paul Gutierrez).
  • Also in the NY Times is an article that asks if we are in a new dead ball era.
  • Rangers Ballpark finished the season with 228 home runs hit there, leading baseball. The Coliseum had 109.
  • San Rafael approved a deal to bring a North American League club to the city’s Albert Park.
  • It’s worth checking out Merc writer Dan Brown’s chat segment about Moneyball.
  • There is expected to be a press conference today in Seattle to announce the 2012 opening series between the A’s and M’s in Japan.
  • Added 6:22 PM – The NY Mets know how to play the T-rights game too, having denied the Yankees’ request to temporarily host their AAA affiliate in Newark, NJ for a year while their permanent home in Scranton-Wilkes Barre is renovated.

I’ll add more if I see anything else worth mentioning.

34 thoughts on “News for 9/26/11

  1. I was at the Raiders game yesterday and it was electric! Awesome to see.

  2. from Bleacher Report:
    You see, for as much as A’s fans love to hate the Lew Wolff-John Fisher ownership, they are committed to keeping the A’s in the Bay Area. Granted, San Jose, but still the Bay Area. Not Texas. Not Las Vegas. Not Oregon. There is just no way of knowing for sure where new owners may have their eye on getting a new stadium built.

    …amen.

  3. Correction to the Bleacher Report: SOME A’s fans, not all (the beloved Navigator syndrome that equates some to all).

  4. I hate watching games in Arlington. I remember Bill King used to skip that series on occasion towards the end of his run. The ball flies way too much and they play the Natural soundtrack after every pop fly home run.

  5. Okay, so now what’s Bud going to do to pump up the offense?
    Built all new bandboxes the last 15 years: check. (Cisco, if god forbid, will be one for sure. Argh!!).
    Took a blind eye to steroids: check; now uncheck.
    Should Bud move the fences in?
    Lower the mound?
    Get a mad scientist to create a totally undetectable roid?
    Or how about this A’s fans: get rid of at least 4 teams; no, how about 6? Two 12 team leagues again, to balance out a thinning talent pool of hitters. Gone would be the A’s and Rays for sure, KC, Cleveland, Pitt and sadly MIA (the new ballpark will be a failure after the first homestand next year). All outta here, you’re all a big drain on Bud’s Empire!!!

  6. I think you mean the chat between Dan Brown and Marine Layer :)

  7. Dude, that “ballpark” is a joke. The ended up only approving a 100 seat increase over what was already there bringing the grand total to 800 seats which is far less than was requested. No other upgrades beyond an improved backstop are being allowed. Concessions will be from temp stands and parking will be free. There’s no way the owners of the nascent NAL team are going to break even on this situation to say nothing of actually making any money. And this of course all assumes the NAL lives to play next year which seems in doubt having lost 2 teams already before this season even concluded and the Texas teams already talking about leaving.

  8. Some of the neighbors are classic NIMBYs. They don’t even try to hide it. Uh, you live downtown, dummies, events that draw people there are a given. I hope they can make it work — they mentioned higher ticket prices to make up for parking and other lost revenue. I plan to take my kids as often as possible if it ever comes to fruition.

  9. Dude I hope you get the chance, because if you do it means I can finally make a trip out to Yuma to see the Scorpions play under the guiding light of manager Jose Canseco.

  10. personally i hope cisco park is more offensive friendly. for years i wanted it possibly to be pitcher friend and if it’ too pitcher friendly you could always move the fences in as the nym will do this offseason when they move the rf seats in and shorten the wall to lf and i wouldn’t mind that either but that’ll cost money to make these kind of moves and i doubt after paying out of their own pockets 400-500 million that wolff would want to change the park’s dimensions after a few seasons like the nym are gonna do. det and the chisox also made changes to their parks over the past half dozen years making their parks from pitcher to hitter friendly.

    not like you can’t win in these small or offensive friendly parks either. nyy, chisox, hou, arz, phi for example have all made it to the world series despite playing in some of the most hitter friendly parks in all of mlb. and for the most part these teams have had great pitching staffs too that could pitch well in these offensive parks. cc/pettitte/burnett for the nyy, that great starting staff the chisox have in 05, clemens/pettitte/oswalt in hou, johnson/schilling in arz along with webb/haren a few years ago and even now with kennedy/hudson/saunders, and we all know the phi pitching staff. can the a’s pitching staff down the road of gio/cahill/anderson/gray and others be as good even in a pitcher friendly park i think they can.
    ….
    other than sf the teams that play these huge expansive pitcher friendly parks are having a hard time on the field since moving into thier new new especially finding any kind of offense. sea and sd most notably. even det when they moved their fences in started to get better and hitters would actually want to sign there. don’t think that’s the case with the three teams i mentioned above.

  11. ML, did you attend the public comment hearing for the Earthquakes stadium? Someone on AN said that they’ve given up hosting concerts as a way to appease noise concerns. Does that significantly stall the stadium construction since your interview with Wolff mentioned needing to find enough extra-event revenue.

    • @all – I’ll be at the BBSJ showing on Wednesday. I’ll get there early so if anyone wants to join me for a chat and a cup of coffee, I’m game.

      @Genaro – I got the sense from Lew that they gave up on that a while ago. Since the Sharks will be involved, they probably didn’t want any direct competition.

  12. @ML – I might go with my daughter who’s been wanting to see it. Hope to see you there. Also, its too bad i missed the moneyball chat with DB (looks like you had gone “alone” time with him though! ;) . I sent him an email afterwards and he responded in kind (which is more than I can say out of the Oakland government):

    ________________

    Brown, Dan to me

    Hey, ,

    Sluss liked it — more than she expected, I’d say. The big thing was that Pitt captured the Billy that she knows, right down to the mannerisms. She also thought that they got a decent movie out of a book that looked hard to make a movie out of. So bonus points for difficulty.

    I hadn’t heard the idea that they should have taken it to 2006 — not a bad idea, actually. I didn’t love the ending, but I didn’t hate it either. Without a World Series, you’re due for a letdown, even in the ALCS.

    Thanks for the note. Enjoy these next few days .

    – Dan

    _________________________________________________________

    From: ****
    Sent: Mon 9/26/2011 8:59 PM
    To: Brown, Dan
    Subject: Moneyball

    Hi Dan – I have a more personal question about Moneyball: what does SuSlu, your wufe, think of ut since she has been following the A’s for a while? I was a little dissapointed in it myself because the true message didnt really come across in my opinion. I think they should of shown the 2006 a’s going to the ALCS, which was an extension of tge Moneyball philosophy going after undervalued aging free agents like Frank Thomas. That would show how it has evolved overtime from simply walks to now defense and speed.

  13. Ah ok, thanks for the reply ML; yeah, looking back at it he does intimate that point.

  14. @ Dude and Dan, I played on that field this year. It’s pretty sad. I would hope the improvements they talk about would actually include making that field playable for a professional team.

  15. ML, did you see the renderings of the new Quakes stadium though that they released last night. Apparently in their quest to get it built now (apparently absent sponsor funding), they’re further cheapening it by making the roof a simple pillar supported design now rather than the classy cantilevered one they originally envisioned.

  16. @Dan–cheapening it even further doesn’t surprise me at all with LW/JF. Looks like this soccer league, with relatively low salaries and with new venues/sponsors, is doing surprisingly well and may be around for awhile. That’s good, if you’re into soccer.

  17. that photo of the Earthquakes stadium makes it look like San Jose just got hit with about 8 inches of snow.

  18. Wow, I can’t believe they are screwing up the Earthquakes deal as well. Why on Earth would you undersell your initial plan? Really, you’d think these guys were more deft in handling big projects but they have been mediocre at best.

    • @Genaro – You keep battering ownership and SJ for missteps. One key example you cite is SJ’s inability to get a commitment from AT&T for the quid pro quo deal. Do you realize that such a move would be illegal? Development is lot more delicate and complicated than the obvious, direct move. Everything is a negotiation.

  19. If it’s illegal, then don’t re-zone the parcel until the A’s are in position to move to San Jose. Of course, why would the councilman openly discuss the fact that ATT would consider selling if they got the property re-zoned if it’s an illegal act?
    And would you care to explain how the new renderings do not undersell?

    • @Genaro – Because there’s a difference between “consider selling” and “selling”. AT&T has all parties by the balls until MLB makes a decision. They’re doing what they usually do.

  20. I understand that but why would they transfer the property until they knew ATT could not continue to hold that other parcel for ransom? ATT had been asking for at least two years before they re-zoned it, was another year really out of the question?
    Even you thought at the time the rezoning meant it was a done deal so you have to admit that it would have been a better tact to wait until the A’s got the approval to move.

  21. fyi – Niners selling suites: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_18989461

    So far, some $173 million worth of suites has been sold since the model opened nearly a year ago, including $40 million worth in the past two months alone. Officials refuse to reveal a price tag on any suite or even hint at a range, but reports are swirling that they run from $160,000 per season to $500,000 per season with long-term leases. The nearly 500 square-foot suites do come with 16 seats, however.

    WOW!!!

  22. if the niners/raiders have a joint deal with the stadium in santa clara, will the ticket/luxary boxes cost the same or will the niner be a bit more expensive?

  23. http://blog.sfgate.com/49ers/2011/09/27/preview-the-new-49er-stadium/#1187-10

    ^new pics of the santa clara stadium. guessing if the niners and raiders share the park that the seats will turn from red and gold to maybe a neutral green color. as would the field possibly moved from natural grass to field turf as the other two team stadium metlife also has field turf. would make the transition to move from niner to raider games more easier.

  24. ^We’d also probably get the generic NFL logo at midfield, like they use in NY. These are all excellent reasons to hope the Raiders don’t share the stadium. Financially it’s a no brainer to share, but I’d much prefer grass and the red seats. Bringing in the Raiders will mean watering down some of the home field treatments, which is a shame.

  25. Frankly I’m of the opposite mind. Keep the stadium more generic in the long term will be better for all the other parties they’ll undoubtedly bring in like the Earthquakes (big games), major soccer events, Bowl Games, etc… Just don’t build it completely soulless like the new Meadowlands stadium.

  26. Well, there you go. I don’t care about the Earthquakes or any other parties that might use the stadium some day. I care about the Niners and the experience at their games. It’s not being built for soccer, so their needs are way down the list anyway.

  27. Actually it is being built for soccer, concerts, “Jesus event”, monster trucks, etc… The Niners and the city have stated as much. It’s part of how they sold it to the public.

  28. That’s all add-on stuff to make it work financially (or make it sound like it works financially). WIthout the Niners, there is no discussion of a stadium or any of those secondary events. Without those, we’re still talking about the Niners’ stadium. They are nowhere near equally as important.

  29. I agree. But if bringing in the Raiders neutralizes the stadium a bit it won’t be a bad thing for the Raiders or all those other events. Sure it’ll be less appealing for the Niners, but still far more appealing than the deathtrap they play in now.

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