Local business leaders want to buy A’s, keep team in Oakland

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Oakland mayor Jean Quan brought out the big guns Thursday, as local business leaders held a press conference detailing plans to buy the A’s and get a new stadium built in Oakland, CSNBayArea.com reports.

Clorox Co. CEO Don Knauss led the way, backed by a consortium including Safeway, Pandora Internet Radio, World Market, Kaiser Permanente and seven other companies.

“If the current ownership group is not committed to Oakland,” Knauss said. “We want to make clear that Oakland and the East Bay business community are ready to step up to the plate to help ensure the A’s stay home where they belong in Oakland.

“We’re confident we have identified an ownership group with the financial wherewithal to buy the team, keep them here and get a new stadium built.”

Current A’s owner Lew Wolff responded afterwards, saying the team is not for sale. Wolff, of course, has been trying for years to move the team to San Jose.

It’s not going to materialize anytime soon, but as poor of an owner as Wolff has been, a change at the helm would probably be a good thing for the A’s. They might still be run as a small-market team by the new guys, but at least the primary goal would be winning, rather than Wolff’s decade-long focus on finding a better market.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.