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.
There’s no doubt that the last three years have put David Wright through the ringer. The Mets third baseman missed the bulk of his 2015 season with spinal stenosis and made it through a month of games in 2016 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. In 2017, a bout of shoulder impingement, rotator cuff surgery and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back kept him off the field for all 162 games.
Despite the continual setbacks, Wright told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, he doesn’t believe retirement is in the cards for him this year. “When the end comes, the end comes,” he said Friday. “Hopefully, I’ve got a little more left. But I guess that’s to be determined.”
The 35-year-old last appeared for High-A St. Lucie in 2017, powering through three games with one hit and five strikeouts in 10 plate appearances. His career has advanced in fits and starts since 2015, but you don’t have to do too much digging to find his last great performance with the Mets. Wright earned his seventh career All-Star berth in 2013, slashing .307/.390/.514 with 18 home runs and a terrific 6.0 fWAR in 492 PA. While he isn’t expected to mash at those levels in the near future, if ever again, the Mets believe the veteran third baseman might still have something left in the tank as he tries to extend a 13-year run in the majors.
Per DiComo, the only thing standing in his way is a clean bill of health — not just for the upcoming season, but for the years to come. Wright said he wouldn’t risk returning to the field if it came with long-term implications for his quality of life.
The surgeries are obviously serious stuff, but it just kind of plays with your mind mentally, where you don’t know how your body’s going to hold up,” Wright said. “You don’t know how you’re going to feel a month from now. You don’t know how you’re going to feel a couple weeks from now. You’re hoping that it continues to get better, but you just don’t know.
Given the uncertainty that surrounds his return to the game, it’s a prudent outlook to have.