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 
 

A's slammed in loss to red-hot Red Sox

A's slammed in loss to red-hot Red Sox

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Mitch Moreland hit a grand slam, Jackie Bradley Jr. added a three-run homer and the streaking Boston Red Sox won their eighth in a row, beating the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Friday night.

Boston kept up the best start in the franchise's 118-year history, improving to a major league-leading 17-2. They've won 17 of 18 since losing to Tampa Bay on opening day.

Hundreds of Boston fans decked in red showed up at the Oakland Coliseum. They saw Moreland hit the fifth grand slam by the Red Sox this season - they didn't hit any last year.

Eduardo Nunez had three hits and scored while Hanley Ramirez singled twice for the Red Sox.

Jed Lowrie matched his career high with four hits for Oakland. Lowrie, who doubled in a run in the first, leads the majors in hits (32) and RBIs (22). The A's had won four in a row.

Moreland homered on the first pitch from reliever Emilio Pagan in the sixth. Mookie BettsAndrew Benintendi and Ramirez opened the inning with three consecutive singles off starter Kendall Graveman (0-4) before Moreland's towering shot to right.

This is the first time the Red Sox have hit five slams before May 1.

Bradley homered off Graveman in the second inning, his second in four games.

The power surge came by the Red Sox was timely on a night when starter Drew Pomeranz failed to make it out of the fourth inning in his season debut. Activated off the disabled list earlier in the day after recovering from a strained forearm, the left-hander struck out seven but allowed three runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Hector Velazquez (3-0) pitched three scoreless innings for the win. Boston also got a lift from Matt Barnes, who retired four batters and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Joyce with the bases loaded to end the seventh.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: J.D. Martinez was given a planned day off. Martinez has been Boston's hottest hitter over the past two weeks while going 13 for 22 (.591) with four home runs...LHP Bobby Poyner will make at least one more rehab start before the team decides whether or not to activate him off the DL. Poyner has been out since April 12 with a strained left hamstring. . RHP Marcus Walden was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Pomeranz.

Athletics: RHPs Chris Bassitt and Josh Lucas were recalled from Triple-A Nashville. LHP Daniel Coulombe was optioned down.

UP NEXT

Boston's Chris Sale (1-0, 1.23 ERA) faces Sean Manaea (2-2, 1.63 ERA) in matchup of lefties at the Coliseum on Saturday. Sale has yielded three runs and struck out 31 over 22 innings this season. Manaea has been Oakland's most consistent pitcher, allowing two or fewer runs in each of his four starts.

Mr. Professional: A's Jed Lowrie playing best baseball of his career at 34 years old

Mr. Professional: A's Jed Lowrie playing best baseball of his career at 34 years old

Jed Lowrie has delivered some productive seasons throughout his 11-year Major League Baseball career, but nothing quite like this.

Through 19 games, the A's second baseman leads all of baseball with 28 hits and 21 runs batted in. His six home runs are tied for the American League lead, while his 49 total bases rank second and his .346 batting average is fifth.

In an extremely small sample size, the former Stanford star is on pace to hit 51 home runs and drive in 179 runs, at the age of 34. To put that in perspective, Lowrie's career highs in those categories are 16 and 75, respectively.

"It's all about the work for me, the routine," he explained. "I think the results speak for themselves. But I'm not focused on that. I'm focused on my work in the cage and what I do to prepare for the games."

"He's playing the best baseball of his entire career," A's manager Bob Melvin marveled. "He's as professional a hitter as anybody in the league. He has been absolutely terrific."

Lowrie has been on an absolute tear the last two weeks. Over his last 11 games, he is batting .367, with six home runs and 16 RBI.

"He's got a great awareness what his strengths and weaknesses are," Melvin said. "Through experience, he knows what pitchers are going to try to do to him. Throughout the course of the game, he understands the adjustments that are going to be made. He has a focus now probably better than any point in his career, and the numbers would suggest that as well."

Lowrie believes the turning point of his career came two offseasons ago, and ironically, it had nothing to do with baseball. For years, he couldn't figure out why he would wake up still feeling tired, despite sleeping more than eight hours a night.

It turned out Lowrie had a deviated septum, suffered several years earlier when he was hit in the nose by a baseball. After consulting with an ear, nose, and throat specialist, he had surgery to repair the septum.

"I think it helped a lot," Lowrie said. "I just assumed I wasn't waking up refreshed because of the season. Come to find out my airway was very restricted and my sleep quality was not very good. So while I was sleeping eight or nine hours a night, I was still waking up not feeling refreshed, like I hadn't even gone to sleep. After nine years of having a deviated septum, that's going to be something that takes time, but I can already see the results from it."

"From that point on, he seemed like a different guy,” added Melvin. “He's allowed to work a little bit harder because he's getting some rest."

Last season following the surgery, Lowrie set an Oakland A's record with 49 doubles, while leading the team with a .277 batting average. The A's picked up his $6 million option for this year, which has turned out to be quite a bargain.

If Lowrie continues at his current pace, or even anywhere near it, he'll soon be able to add another achievement to his baseball resume: MLB All-Star.