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.

Chad Pinder showing value to A's with his versatility

Chad Pinder showing value to A's with his versatility

You never know where you might find Chad Pinder in the field.

The 26-year-old has started games at second base, third base, shortstop, left field, center field, and right field this season.

“I like it,” Pinder said. “It's fun. You just do the work. You go out and take ground balls if you're playing second, take balls in the outfield if you're playing the outfield. I enjoy it.”

Pinder takes pride not only in playing multiple positions, but playing them all well. He has committed just four errors in 47 games this season, while leading the A's with three outfield assists.

“There are certain things we can do because I can play multiple positions,” Pinder said. “I like being able to help the team that way.”

“He's been extremely versatile for us,” added A's manager Bob Melvin. “I don't think I'd put him on the mound, but everything else is open for him.”

For what it's worth, Pinder says there is no position he can't play, including catcher.

“I love catching,” he smiled. “That was one of my main positions growing up.”

Pinder estimates he last played catcher in eighth or ninth grade, but believes he could serve as an emergency catcher for the A's.

“I'd like to think that I am. We'll see if that ever pops up,” Pinder said.

With all the injuries the A's have suffered this season, Pinder's versatility has been extremely valuable. He has contributed with the bat as well, slashing .246/.325/.442 with six home runs and 14 RBI. In Saturday's win against the Angels, Pinder nearly hit for the cycle, going 3-for-3 with a home run, triple, and single.

“When he gets on a roll, he's as productive as anybody we have,” Melvin said. “You look at exit velocities and so forth, when he squares one up, it's as good as anybody on our team.”

A's walk off Angels, win first series vs AL West since April

A's walk off Angels, win first series vs AL West since April

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Jonathan Lucroy hit an RBI single off the center-field wall in the 11th inning and the Oakland Athletics capped their comeback Sunday with a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The A's rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie it at 5, then took advantage of control problems by a pair of Angels relievers to win.

Jed Lowrie led off the 11th with a single and Jake Jewell (0-1) hit Khris Davis with a pitch. After Matt Olson flied, Eduardo Paredes replaced Jewell and walked Mark Canha to load the bases.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia brought left fielder Justin Upton in for a five-man infield but it didn't matter. Lucroy hit a deep drive to win it.

Canha hit an early two-run homer, and added a tying single with two outs in the ninth. Marcus Semien homered to begin the Oakland ninth.

Albert Pujols hit his 625th career home run, Chris Young also went deep and Mike Trout reached base five times for the Angels.

It was another blown save for Scioscia's bullpen, the 15th by the Angels this season.

Blake Parker gave up two runs in the ninth. He also had a blown save Wednesday in Seattle. Canha's tying single came off Cam Bedrosian.

Pujols' drive off Daniel Mengden was his fourth this month and 11th overall this season. It also moved the Angels' 38-year-old slugger within five home runs of tying Ken Griffey Jr. for sixth place all time.

Pujols also had an RBI single in the third.

Trout had homered in four of his previous six games. He had singles in the fifth and ninth, walked twice and was hit by a pitch.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: 3B Matt Chapman (right thumb contusion) added throwing to his regimen, one day before his scheduled visit with a hand specialist in Los Angeles. Chapman's biggest hurdle remains swinging a bat. . LHP Brett Anderson (strained left shoulder) is headed for Arizona to pitch in extended spring training.

UP NEXT

Angels: RHP Jaime Barria (5-2, 2.61 ERA) faces the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a two-game series Monday in Anaheim. Barria's ERA is the lowest among all rookies with at least 40 innings pitched this season.

Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (1-1, 11.05 ERA) starts against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday to begin Oakland's 10-game road trip.