The East Bay Express is reporting that Joe Lacob, one of two owners of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors along with Peter Guber, is one among at least three potential investment groups interested in purchasing the Athletics and building a new stadium on the waterfront in Oakland. The authors, Steven Tavares and Robert Gammon, add that Guber had tried to purchase the A’s back in 2002 and Lacob had expressed interest around the same time as well.
Guber contacted the L.A. Times to clarify the East Bay Express report, which had initially included him along with co-owner Lacob. Via Bill Shaikin:
Guber declined comment about whether Lacob might be interested but called it “categorically incorrect” to say he might be.
“I have not had any conversations with the league or any of the owners about buying the team,” Guber said. “I love the Dodgers. I love the Warriors.”
Guber, a veteran Hollywood executive whose Mandalay Entertainment Group has branched into sports, invested $25 million into Guggenheim Baseball Management’s $2-billion purchase of the Dodgers last year.
The Athletics have been in the news for this reason for quite some time, particularly when the O.co Coliseum experienced some unfortunate sewage problems in June and September. The Coliseum, which has been renamed several times, opened in 1966 and was renovated in 1995-96. It is the fifth-oldest ballpark still in use, behind Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, and Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.