The Oakland A's turn 40 in 2008, so perhaps it is no surprise that the team is itching to move to the suburbs. Like so many middle-aged couples, the A's are abandoning the city life for suburban sprawl.
In a much anticipated move, the A's are expected to announce next Tuesday that they are moving forward with their plan to build a privately-funded stadium in the San Francisco suburb of Fremont. Fremont, which is located near the southern border of Alameda County, sits between Oakland and San Jose and is about 20 miles from the A's current home at the Oakland Coliseum.
The area where the A's are expected to build is near the Automall Parkway section of Interstate 880 in Fremont. The land is currently leased to Cisco Systems. Cisco is expected to cede their interests in the land to the A's ownership group. The ownership group has been buying up land around that area for some time.
The A's are expected to build a 36,000 seat stadium with condos and other development surrounding the park. According to Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle, Cisco could be a major sponsor at the park.
The A's have been at the Coliseum since they arrived in Oakland from Kansas City in 1968. They have won four World Series titles, six American League Championships and have made 15 playoff appearances since arriving in Oakland.
Commissioner Bud Selig is expected to join the A's front office in making their official announcement next Tuesday, November 14. It is unclear what the team will be called if it moves to Fremont. The A's currently have a lease with the Coliseum through 2010, although it can be broken with no penalty at any time.
Managerial Search Continues Without Washington
The A's lost one candidate to take over for deposed manager Ken Macha on Monday when third base coach Ron Washington was named the new manager of the rival Texas Rangers. Washington had been a fan and player favorite for the position.
Oakland has conducted four interviews through November 6 (Bob Geren, Ron Washington and Trey Hillman and Bud Black). They have three more scheduled (Jamie Quirk, Orel Hershiser and Manny Acta). They could still add another (Don Wakamatsu, who was passed over for the Texas job and could be replaced as the Rangers' bench coach by former A's manager Art Howe).
The A's list of remaining and potential candidates is fairly diverse. There are two former pitchers (Black and Hershiser), three former catchers (Geren, Quirk and Wakamatsu), and two former infielders (Hillman and Acta).
There's somebody who managed the last four years in Japan (Hillman), and another who managed the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic (Acta).
There are two guys who grew up in San Diego around the same time as A's general manager Billy Beane (Geren and Black). There is one guy who sat on the bench in the majors with Beane (Quirk in Oakland).
There are two former special assistants to the GM (Hershiser in Texas and Black in Cleveland), and Hershiser is now a baseball analyst for ESPN. There are two guys from AL West division rivals (Black and Wakamatsu), and two more who used to work for Texas (Hillman and Hershiser).
The A's won't comment on the candidates until after they're done interviewing all of them. Based on their timetable, the hire might not take place until the week of Thanksgiving.
--DH Frank Thomas filed for free agency and will be able to negotiate with the other 29 teams starting Nov. 12. The A's continue to talk with Thomas about a two-year contract and are optimistic Thomas will return to Oakland.
--OF Jay Payton, a free agent, has received interest from Colorado. Payton played for the Rockies from 2002-03, and he hit a career-high 28 home runs in 2003.
--3B Eric Chavez won his sixth consecutive Gold Glove, which he considered extra satisfying because of three injuries that led to a year that he admitted was terrible offensively. Chavez said he has "no chance" at catching Brooks Robinson's record 16 in a row.
--2B Mark Ellis was denied a Gold Glove, despite setting the all-time fielding percentage record at second base. Kansas City's Mark Grudzielanek won instead. Ellis had a great shot because he played so well, committing just two errors, and last year's winner, Orlando Hudson, switched leagues.
--OF Travis Buck, one of the A's top outfield prospects, was pulled from Arizona Fall League action. He had surgery on November 3 to re-attach an abdominal muscle that was partially torn away from the pelvis. Buck originally suffered the injury in July while he was with the Midland Rockhounds and he missed the last five weeks of the season. The surgery lasted 90 minutes and the rehab timetable is six weeks, which should make Buck ready for spring training.
BY THE NUMBERS: 0 -- Number of managers in Oakland history who were pitchers in their playing career.
Parts of this report were authored by TheSportsXChange