Athletics

Nashville? Portland? A's relocation an option after Peralta site pulled

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USATSI

Nashville? Portland? A's relocation an option after Peralta site pulled

And suddenly, the formerly Oakland Athletics are in play as a concept again.

The A’s, whose covetous eyes had turned to Laney College as their preferred site for a new ballpark, were rebuffed by the Peralta college board officials, who don’t even want to discuss the matter. The A’s put out a statement expressing shock (as in “We are shocked”), and here we go again.

The team has expressed a disinterest in continuing at the Coliseum site and go room temperature-cold at any mention of Howard Terminal, so to be told to pound salt by the people who control their preferred site brings to mind some quiet whispers from a month ago that went nowhere at the time.

Namely, that principal owner John Fisher might offer the team up for sale, with relocation an option.

As in, “Yes, the A’s might still move.”

This is still at the specu-guessing stage, but the team went whole-hog on the Peralta site because it offered the most opportunities for off-site earnings, and to be told that they are no longer wanted reminds us of how the Warriors tried to bully their way onto the Pier 30-32 site five years ago. Their failure there led them to a parcel south of the original site that seems to please them just as much, since they are building their arena there.

But if the Fisher A’s remain adamant about not going to Howard Terminal, not staying at 66th and 880, and can’t see another site that will accommodate their needs and those of the neighborhood involved – well, that leaves the dreaded Elsewhere.

And Elsewhere probably is code for “anyplace where someone will give Fisher a billion dollars.” There are several notions afloat, including the traditionals (Montreal, Mexico City, Charlotte and Portland) and even some pointed whispers in darkened rooms about Nashville, an otherwise small market which hosts the A’s Triple-A farm team and just built a new ballpark in addition to the NFL Titans and NHL Predators and is building a soccer-only stadium in anticipation of an MLS team.

But this is more than anyone wants to eat right now. For the moment, the A’s are back to their usual position – Square One, with no idea where Square Two is supposed to be.

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