Athletics

A's announce significant front office changes

A's announce significant front office changes

A's Managing Partner Lew Wolff will transition to Chairman Emeritus and John Fisher will replace him as Managing Partner, the A's announced on Thursday.

MLB owners approved the leadership transition during today’s meeting in Chicago. Additionally, Wolff and Fisher have agreed in principal to Wolff selling his interest in the team to the remaining owners of the A’s and will retain a small stake in the club moving forward.

“It has been an honor serving as Managing Partner and I thank our fans, staff, and players for the opportunity I’ve had to lead this great organization,” said Wolff. “John and I have talked in great length about the future of this club and I am ready to pass the reins to him.”

“I want to thank Lew for his leadership over the last 11 years,” said Fisher. “His initiative and love of the game of baseball brought my family to the A’s, and we would not be involved without him. Lew has given the organization all of his energy and experience for the last 11 years and I look forward to a new chapter in our working relationship and friendship. It is a privilege for me to steward the A’s at this important moment for the franchise.”                                                     

Additionally, after almost 20 years as President of the A’s, Michael Crowley has decided to transition from day-to-day operations. Crowley will continue to serve as a senior advisor to the A’s ownership group. He will use his decades of experience to provide strategic guidance on a wide range of issues. Dave Kaval will assume the role as A’s President. He also serves as President of the San Jose Earthquakes.

“I am eternally grateful to our wonderful fans, the team, staff, and the A’s ownership for what we have been able to accomplish together,” said Crowley. “I’m at the point in my career where I am ready to take on new professional challenges while continuing to support the organization I love.” Crowley attended the MLB owners meeting in Chicago today with Fisher, as part of the transition process.

“We have a deep appreciation for Mike’s service and leadership and we are pleased that he will continue to play a role in the future of the A’s,” said Wolff and Fisher. Under Crowley and Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Billy Beane, the A’s made the playoffs eight times, including setting a Major League record by winning 20 games in a row in 2002. In addition to his leadership of the Club, Crowley was instrumental in relaunching the San Jose Earthquakes in 2008 and the hiring of Kaval as President. Crowley will continue to serve on the Board of Directors of the Quakes and advise the Quakes on a range of issues.

Dave Kaval has served as the President of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer for six years. He oversees the business of the Quakes and represents the club on the Major League Soccer Board of Governors. In his time with the Quakes, Kaval has led a transformation of the organization elevating the stature and awareness of the club, culminating in opening the Quakes new $100M privately financed soccer stadium – Avaya Stadium – in March 2015. Prior to joining the Quakes, he founded the independent Golden Baseball League (GBL) in 2003. In 2000, Kaval co-authored a book, “The Summer that Saved Baseball,” which highlighted a tour of all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in the summer of 1998.

“I’ve worked closely with Dave at the Quakes and I know he’ll bring tremendous energy to the organization as the team continues to pursue a new venue,” said Crowley. “He has an undeniable passion to carry on our goals of fielding a competitive team and engaging our community through the game of baseball.”

“I am excited to take on the role of President of the Oakland Athletics. I want to thank Lew Wolff and Mike Crowley for their confidence in me and support,” said Kaval. “Given my longstanding love of baseball and my experience building Avaya Stadium, I am enthusiastic to join the Athletics as the Club pursues a world-class ballpark in Oakland for the best fans in baseball.”

Wolff and Fisher, along with a limited partnership group, purchased the A’s on April 1, 2005, and have been partners in various activities and companies since 1994.

Oakland A's media services 
 

Maxwell speaks about anthem protest, but stays mum on legal issues

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Maxwell speaks about anthem protest, but stays mum on legal issues

When A's catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt during the anthem last season, he was the first MLB player to do so. He knelt before each of each of Oakland's final nine games, in order to protest racial inequality and in response to President Trump's incendiary comments about NFL players kneeling, but ended the season as the only MLB player to kneel during the anthem. 

This season, he won't kneel at all, he told reporters in a statement on the first day of spring training. 

“Obviously, I didn’t take that lightly,” Maxwell told the San Francisco Chronicle prior to the release of his statement.  “That was to bring awareness to a problem and the face we do see it, we do experience and we have empathy for what’s going on. This year I don’t plan on kneeling. … And we’ll move on forward.”

While Maxwell did address his protest during the anthem, he largely did not address his offseason legal issues.

“It’s ongoing, I can’t really discuss details,” he said. “It’s something me and my lawyers are handling.”

On Oct. 28, Maxwell was arrested in Scottsdale after allegedly pointing a gun at a food-delivery person. He pleaded not guilty to felony charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct in November, and is set for a settlement conference on April 13 after failing to reach a plea agreement on Monday, according to the Chronicle. 

If an agreement cannot be reached, Maxwell's trial is set to begin on Aug. 9. 

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson traded to... the Yankees

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Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson traded to... the Yankees

The New York Yankees Wednesday announced that they have acquired infielder Russell Wilson from the Texas Rangers in exchange for future considerations.

Wilson, 29, led the Seattle Seahawks to the 2014 Super Bowl championship, defeating the Denver Broncos, 43-8. At age 25, Wilson became the third-youngest quarterback to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory.

He has played the past six seasons (2012-17) with Seattle. A four-time Pro-Bowler, Wilson has completed 1,815-of-2,834 pass attempts (64.0 percent) for 22,176 yards and 161 touchdowns. He has compiled a career starting record of 65-30-1. In 2017, Wilson led the NFL with 34 touchdown passes.

"We've admired Russell's career from afar for quite some time," Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said. "This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete who has reached the pinnacle of his profession. 

"After talking to a number of our players, there is a genuine excitement in having Russell join us for a short time in camp. We are all looking forward to gaining insight into how he leads teammates toward a common goal, prepares on a daily basis for the rigors of his sport, and navigates the successes and failures of a season."

The Richmond, Va., native was originally selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, and was acquired by Texas in the minor league phase of the 2013 Rule 5 Draft. In 2014 and '15, Wilson participated in team workouts at Rangers spring training camp.

In 93 career minor league games between Rookie-level Tri-City (2010) and Single-A Asheville (2011) in Colorado's system, Wilson hit .229/.354/.356 (72-for-315) with 58R, 9 doubles, 8 triples, 5HR, 26RBI and 19SB. In his last 15 games with Asheville in 2011, Wilson hit .302 (16-for-53) with 13R, 5 extra-base hits, 9RBI and 5SB.

A two-sport athlete in college, Wilson graduated from North Carolina State University in 2010. Using his last year of amateur eligibility, Wilson enrolled at the University of Wisconsin and quarterbacked the Badgers to a co-Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl appearance following the 2011 season. 

Wilson is expected to be in Major League camp in March. While he is in Tampa, Wilson will participate in pregame workouts with the club and watch games from the Yankees' dugout.

He will be assigned to the Double-A Trenton roster.

Yankees media services