Tag:Lew Wolff
Posted on: February 7, 2012 5:29 pm
 

Oakland's Beane, Crowley to sign extensions

By Matt Snyder

Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane and president Michael Crowley could be running things for owner Lew Wolff for a long time. The two executives have agreed to sign contract extensions through the 2019 season, the owner said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Oakland's Busy Offseason
“I view them as partners as well as executives,” Wolff said (Bloomberg.com). “So if they are here another 30 years, that is fine with me. I may not be here to see it, but that will be fine.”

Immediately after the news broke, several Oakland area reporters noted on Twitter that this is a great sign the A's are going to get their new stadium in San Jose. Wolff himself hinted as much.

“Somebody said the reason I am doing it is I want one or the other to be able to wheel me into the new stadium,” Wolff said (Bloomberg.com).

Beane has been the GM since the end of the 1997 season while Crowley has been president since the end of the '98 campaign. Beane, 49, is famously portrayed by Brad Pitt in the movie "Moneyball," which was released last summer. Under this management tandem, the A's went to the playoffs five times in seven years (2000-03, 2006). On the flip-side, the A's haven't been above .500 since 2006 and finished 74-88 last season.

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:52 pm
 

A's owner would be fine with adding Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Last week there were reports the A's were interested in Manny Ramirez -- and it doesn't sound like Oakland owner Lew Wolff has a problem with adding the controversial slugger.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea
, Wolff said he'd be fine if general manager Billy Beane decided to add Ramirez.

"Why wouldn't we (be interested) if a guys serves his term," Wolff said, referencing Ramirez's 50-game suspension. "What's more, is he in shape? Does he want to come to us? Do we want him? I really don't see any non-baseball reason for not having him. I wouldn't want to not have a player because he made a mistake and paid the price for it, but that's really up to Billy."

Wolff said the team's payroll would be around $50 million, or one-third of the Angels' expected payroll, $80 million less than the Rangers and $30 million less than the Mariners.

According to the owner, the team made $370,000 last year after the $32 million it received in revenue sharing.

"I have to admit, without revenue sharing, we'd have a huge loss, and we don't want revenue sharing," Wolff said. "We'd like not to be a receiver if we could."

As for Ramirez with the A's, the team could certainly use his power. Ramirez, 39, has 555 career homers, while the position players on the A's 40-man roster have a combined 413 career home runs, led by Jonny Gomes' 118 and Coco Crisp's 75. He'd also be cheap, which is just what the A's are looking for in a player.

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Posted on: January 15, 2012 5:02 pm
 

Showtime series considering Marlins for season 2

Jose Reyes

By C. Trent Rosecrans


The Franchise, Showtime and MLB's answer to HBO's popular Hard Knocks, is returning for a second season and a second team. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports the Marlins are under consideration to be this year's subject, following in the footsteps of the San Francisco Giants.

The Marlins would seem to be as good of a pick as any big league team as there's a new stadium, colorful new uniforms, an even more colorful new manager and new talent in the likes of Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle. The team even has the walking soap opera that is Carlos Zambrano, as well as the spotlight-seeking Logan Morrison.

If Showtime decides to go in another direction, here are some other ideas:

• The A's: It seems Lew Wolff and Billy Beane are trying to pull a real-life version of Major League, putting together a team not to win, but in preparation for a move. Heck, they already have Brad Pitt as the general manager, so we know the camera will love them.

• The Angels: It's a time-honored television tradition, the fish-out-of-story of a family packing up its modest home and heading to California. We've had the Clampetts move out to Bev-er-ly, the Walshes to 90210 and the Fresh Prince hailing a cab for Bel-Air, so why not the Pujols family dealing with the disrespect of being offered a lowly $130 million and finding love and respect in Anaheim? Oh, and there's C.J. Wilson and his race cars and Vernon Wells cashing his paychecks.

• The Yankees and Red Sox: It'd be nice to see these teams get a little attention.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 8:54 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 10:18 pm
 

A's owner speaks out against McCourt

WolffBy Evan Brunell

The A's owner, Lew Wolff, is the first baseball owner to come out against Frank McCourt in his never-ending battle to keep control of the Dodgers.

"My hope is that the Dodgers will be sold to a party that will restart this great franchise, and that Frank and his family will benefit from a positive sale," Wolff said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "But to try and equate or compare what Bud Selig has done with the administration of the current Dodger franchise is unsupportable."

Wolff is especially displeased with McCourt's attempted smearing of Selig publicly and in court. McCourt and his lawyers challenged Selig's authority in court and made the ludicrous argument that even if McCourt took out money from the Dodgers for personal use, it was far greater than the amount Selig has taken out of MLB. The commissioner pulls in an average annual salary of $18.35 million, set by major-league owners.

"Even taking the commissioner's false claim that $100 million was taken out of the Dodgers at face value," McCourt's attorneys wrote ina  filing disputing how much money McCourt has taken out of the Los Angeles club. "It is difficult to understand how the commissioner can complain about this when he pays himself a salary of approximately $20 million a year — meaning that he has taken out between $120 million and $140 million from baseball revenues during the same period that he complains about $100 million being taken out by the owner of a team."

That didn't sit too well with Wolff.

"For anyone to seek to diminish Bud's accomplishments in order to rationalize their own actions is, in my opinion, ludicrous and hugely disingenuous," the A's owner said. Wolff has been a part of the A's since 2005 and is trying to get Oakland a new ballpark but has met resistance and has been waiting over two years for Selig to issue a ruling on the decision. If anyone might have cause to be frustrated with Selig and perhaps side with McCourt, it would be Wolff. But:

"I can't think of one owner that is not supportive of the actions taken by MLB," Wolff said.

He added that he is not speaking out in an attempt to get on Selig's good side for the ballpark ruling and proposed move to San Jose. While it's unsurprising to know that all the other owners are arrayed against McCourt, it's surprising to see Wolff speak out, as Selig is attempting to keep the distraction McCourt has wrought to a minimum.

Currently, McCourt is attempting to keep the Dodgers despite no available funds after he and his ex-wife used the Dodgers as a personal piggy bank. After an embarrassing and expensive divorce, McCourt has been limping along until he was forced to file for bankruptcy in order to hang onto the Dodgers.

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Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 2:55 pm
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Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:27 pm
 

Wolff believes Geren is 'terrific' manager

Wolff, Geren

By Evan Brunell

Oakland owner Lew Wolff weighed in on the Bob Geren fiasco to MLB.com in favor of Geren, as the manager comes under fire for poor communication skills.

Bob Geren controversy

Wolff said that Geren has been "fantastic" and likes "the way he deals with everyone."

All due respect to Wolff, what exactly is he supposed to say? An owner should always back up his manager publicly, even if there are issues internally. It's why a vote of confidence tends to spell doom.

"I think Bob's fine, terrific," Wolff said of Geren as a manager. "It's a tough job."

One issue that has cropped up is that Geren is a close friend of GM Billy Beane, serving as best man for Beane's wedding. However, Wolff doesn't feel as if Geren's received any more of a leash thanks to his friendship, suggesting the opposite.

"Billy delayed Bob's career for reasons like that, which I thought was silly," Wolff said. "Billy's goal is to win ballgames, and he evaluates everything."

Prior to Wednesday's game, Geren called a private team meeting and refused to speak about what was discussed.

"Just a meeting to talk about the team, and that's it," Geren said. It's easy to figure out that the purpose of the meeting was to try to get everyone on the same page, clear the air with regard to communication issues and get the club focused on winning games. Whether that can be done with Geren or not remains to be seen.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: April 21, 2011 11:47 pm
 

Werner, Attanasio, Wolff deny interest in Dodgers

By Evan Brunell

AttanasioEver since Bud Selig announced a hostile takeover of the Dodgers, speculation has run rampant on who the next owner of the Dodgers would be if Selig is successful at pushing Frank McCourt out.

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner already flatly denied rumors and two other current owners have joined him.

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, who is from Los Angeles, said he has no interest in taking the Dodgers over.  "It's great to be here. My wife and my family just moved into a new place in downtown Milwaukee, and we're excited to be part of the city and building what we hope is a championship team here," he told MLB.com.

Attanasio was available to reporters Wednesday as news broke that the club signed Ryan Braun to a five-year extension covering the years 2016-2020, which Attanasio also pointed out should be proof positive of his commitment to Milwaukee.

Oakland owner Lew Wolff joined Attanasio in giving a flat no when asked if he would take on the Dodgers. Wolff has been battling for over two years to move to San Jose, with the Giants resisting as is their right given S.F. holds territorial rights to San Jose. Although the deal is expected to eventually be pushed through by Selig, Wolff has grown frustrated by the endeavor.

That doesn't mean he plans to abandon the A's, though, as the Los Angeles Times reports.

"My focus is deep into getting us a new venue for the A's," Wolff said. "That's where my long term is."

There is one other name inside baseball that could end up with the Dodgers -- White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert tried and failed to get the Rangers last year and could cast his aspirations on the Dodgers. Given his stature in the game, Gilbert would likely find an easy road toward taking over L.A. and may have an investment group lined up, ready to go.

He'll have some competition as former All-Star Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey is throught to be trying to assemble a group. And of course, whenever there's a baseball team available for sale, one must bring up basketball owner Mark Cuban. Cuban didn't respond to an e-mail from the Times for a statement, but has expressed interest in the Dodgers previously. However, after losing out on the Rangers, Cuban said he would no longer participate as the active owner for purchasing a club; rather, he would have to be approached. It appears Cuban is growing frustrated with MLB's gambit to keep him out of the league after also falling short for the Cubs.

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Posted on: January 12, 2011 12:11 pm
 

A's owner denies interest in Dodgers

With the fun that is the McCourt divorce, there have recently been reports that A's owner Lew Wolff would be interested in purchasing the Dodgers.

On Wednesday, the A's released a statement denying the rumor:
“There is no truth to this report.  Mr. Wolff has no interest whatsoever in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise.  Furthermore, he has no knowledge of the source of any such rumor, and he has informed Major League Baseball and Dodgers ownership of his position.”

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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