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 Ramon Laureano, Nick Hundley enjoy 'pretty crazy' catch, double play

A's Ramon Laureano, Nick Hundley enjoy 'pretty crazy' catch, double play

OAKLAND -- At this point, we really shouldn't be surprised by anything Ramón Laureano does on a baseball field. But this was stunning, even for him.

With Justin Smoak on first base and no outs in the second inning of Sunday's A's-Blue Jays game at the Coliseum, Toronto's Teoscar Hernández sent a fly ball to deep left-center field. Laureano, Oakland's center fielder, gave chase all the way to the wall, leaped and reached over to pull back a sure home run.

"It was in the air, and what I remember is that the wind helped it a little bit," Laureano said. "I saw the wall, and I just jumped."

But the play was just getting started. Laureano hurled the ball back toward first to try to double off Smoak. Not only did Laureano manage to throw it on the fly from the warning track, he overthrew A's first baseman Kendrys Morales by about 30 feet.

"I was really pumped up," Laureano said with a laugh. "I threw it without thinking. That happens sometimes."

Fortunately for the A's, catcher Nick Hundley was backing up the play. He ran down the ball and made an accurate on-the-run throw to second base, where Jurickson Profar tagged out Smoak trying to advance. That completed the most incredible double play in recent memory.

"You know [Laureano] has such a good arm that anything is possible," Hundley said. "When a guy makes such an incredible play, you can't let him take an error after that.

"I thought it was a homer. I didn't see him catch it. But once he [came up] with the ball, it's like, all right, now it's time to go."

The Coliseum crowd erupted in disbelief, and even Brett Anderson, who's normally stoic on the mound, let loose in celebration.

"I try to not show emotion, but that one kind of got the best of me," the A's left-hander said. "The robbed homer and then a tag and the whole ordeal. It was pretty crazy."

A's manager Bob Melvin marveled at the play on both ends, though he said he was more impressed by Laureano's catch than the throw.

[RELATED: A's left Anderson sprains ankle vs. Blue Jays]

"Well, the catch, because he overthrew everything," Melvin jokingly said. "He tried to throw it into the stands. Hundley did a great job backing up that play."

Unfortunately for the A's, the play came in a 5-4 defeat, sending the Blue Jays to a three-game weekend sweep. Still, the play will go on Oakland's all-time highlight reel.

A's Brett Anderson sprains left ankle vs. Blue Jays, hopes to make next start

A's Brett Anderson sprains left ankle vs. Blue Jays, hopes to make next start

OAKLAND -- A's starter Brett Anderson left Sunday's game against the Blue Jays in the top of the third inning after spraining his left ankle while trying to field a slow roller.

The good news is that the injury doesn't appear to be serious, and Anderson has a chance to make his next start.

"I just rolled my left ankle," Anderson said after the game. "I threw a couple of warm-up pitches, and it didn't really hurt per se, but I just couldn't push off and it didn't really feel stable. I got it taped up and will get some treatment, and it should be fine."

A's manager Bob Melvin also seemed optimistic that his left-hander could avoid a trip to the injured list.

"He didn't feel awful," Melvin said. "We're going to wait and see how he feels tomorrow. I think there's still maybe some hope that he makes his next start, especially with the off day we're getting."

With two outs in the top of the third inning and runners on second and third, Randal Grichuk tapped a swinging bunt between third base and the pitcher's mound. Anderson broke toward the ball but immediately fell down after rolling the ankle.

[RELATED: Watch Laureano's insane catch]

"It's just one of those things where it's day to day and annoying," Anderson said. "If it had been my landing leg, it might have been a little different, but having to push off and try to throw strikes and quality pitches, it probably wouldn't have happened."

Anderson ended up taking his first loss of the season, as the Blue Jays finished a three-game sweep, 5-4, at the Coliseum. The 31-year-old is off to a great start this season, allowing nine earned runs in 26 2/3 innings for an ERA of 3.04.