Athletics

Re-examining Howard Terminal, Coliseum as potential A's ballpark sites

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AP

Re-examining Howard Terminal, Coliseum as potential A's ballpark sites

Just when the A’s finally seemed to have a direction mapped out for a new ballpark, they find themselves right back at the drawing board.

With the Peralta Community College District board halting negotiations for the A’s to build near Laney College, it figures to bring other previously considered locations around Oakland back into play. Specifically, the A’s were interested in Howard Terminal and the Coliseum site itself as potential spots to build a ballpark before settling on Peralta.

For those who need a refresher on the pros and cons of those two sites, here’s a recap:

Howard Terminal:
This site has been knocked around as a possibility for many years and always created the most buzz of any spot in Oakland. It’s located right on the waterfront at the Port of Oakland, and many see it having similar potential to what the Giants have with AT&T Park. It’s the preferred site of Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf and it’s very close to the attractions of Jack London Square. Former A’s managing partner Lew Wolff flat-out discarded Howard Terminal as a consideration, citing the extensive environmental cleanup efforts and infrastructure improvements needed. But Wolff is out of the picture now, and A’s majority owner John Fisher was known to be much more keen on the site.

The drawbacks? There are plenty. The nearest BART station is a full mile away, requiring a 20-25 minute walk to where a ballpark would be. There’s thought that a new BART station would need to be built for that reason. Pedestrian bridges would likely need to be built to get fans across railroad tracks. The environmental issue is a major one. And that area along the water is protected by California tidelands trust regulations, meaning the A’s would need to seek state approval to build at Howard Terminal.

“You have to weigh, is it worth the time, effort, political opposition that might come up to pursue that type of effort?” A’s president Dave Kaval said on the A’s Insider Podcast in February. “The site is so iconic that we’ve been keeping it in the mix because, wow, it could just be something that is a game changer.”

Oakland Coliseum:
It’s the most convenient site on which to build, it would take the shortest amount of time and there is much less red tape to clear away before putting a shovel in the ground. But the Coliseum site also is the one that A’s officials seem least fired up about. It’s far away from downtown, meaning the “ballpark village” and urban vibrancy that Kaval talks about would have to be built up from scratch. But the Warriors are moving to San Francisco and the Raiders plan to bolt for Las Vegas, so in a few years the A’s could have the Coliseum complex to themselves.

One of the site’s best drawing cards is its accessibility. There’s a BART station right there, the freeway is right there and there’s tons of parking space for the tailgating that so many fans hold sacred. However, the Raiders are sticking around for at least two more football seasons, possibly three if their Las Vegas stadium isn’t ready for 2020. That makes things a bit complicated, but a likely plan would have the A’s building a new ballpark next door while both teams could continue playing in the old venue.

“I think the Coliseum is probably the hardest (location) to create kind of an urban village,” Kaval said in February. “But I think it’s possible.”

A's get taste of playoff baseball with four-game fight with Twins

A's get taste of playoff baseball with four-game fight with Twins

As the calendar speeds toward August, the A's have their eyes set on playing more than one October baseball game this year.

With a roster that has minimal postseason baseball experience, any taste of playoff intensity can be beneficial for Bob Melvin's club, and Oakland got a little dose of it over the weekend in Minnesota.

The AL Central-leading Twins and A's dueled it out in a four-game slobber-knocker that concluded with Max Kepler's walk-off single Sunday afternoon, giving the Twins a 7-6 win and series split against the A's.

It was a series that had a serious playoff feel to it, with neither team refusing to give in.

On Saturday, the A's stunned the Twins on Khris Davis' two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth, giving the A's a 5-4 win. The Twins returned the favor Sunday when Luis Arraez singled off All-Star closer Liam Hendriks and scored on a triple by Ehire Adrianza to tie the game at six. After Hendriks struck out Jason Castro for the second out, Kepler roped a single into left-center field and the party was on at Target Field.

The A's leave Minnesota at 57-43, one game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for the second AL wild-card spot. The Twins currently lead the Cleveland Indians by three games in the AL Central and appear primed to make a return to October baseball.

An October return to Target Field certainly isn't out of the question for the A's, and this series helped give the A's another sense of what awaits them in the playoffs should they continue on their current trajectory. 

[RELATED: Optimistic Beane hopes A's are active at trade deadline]

Last season, the A's walked into the AL Wild Card Game against the New York Yankees and looked overwhelmed by the stage en route a season-ending 7-2 loss at Yankee Stadium. After getting a taste of playoff baseball last year, the A's are hoping to make a deeper October run this season. 

They got another taste of playoff-like intensity over the weekend against a team they could see in October, and it can only benefit them as the dog days of summer turn into tense fall nights.

A's vs. Twins lineups: Daniel Mengden gets ball in series finale

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USATSI

A's vs. Twins lineups: Daniel Mengden gets ball in series finale

The A's just keep on winning.

After dropping the series opener to the Twins on Thursday, the A's have responded with two straight wins in Minnesota, including a 5-4 win Saturday that was highlighted by a two-out, two-run single by Khris Davis in the ninth inning.

The A's now have won eight of their last nine games and will send right-hander Daniel Mengden to the mound for the series finale against the Twins on Sunday.  The Twins will counter with right-hander Michael Pineda.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Twins game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. PT, with first pitch at 11:10.

Oakland Athletics (57-42)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Mark Canha, RF
Ramon Laureano, CF
Khris Davis, DH
Robbie Grossman, LF
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Josh Phegley, C

Daniel Mengden, RHP (5-1, 4.21 ERA)

Minnesota Twins (59-38)
Max Kepler, CF
Jorge Polanco, SS
Nelson Cruz, DH
Eddie Rosario, LF
Miguel Sano, 3B
Marwin Gonzalez, RF
Luis Arraez, 2B
Ehire Adrianza, 1B
Jason Castro, CF

Michael Pineda, RHP (6-5, 4.38 ERA)