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Re: “A’s’ ‘Bullpenning’ Might Be a Bit Much

To conclude that the use of bullpen pitchers when quality starters are not available is somehow divisive to a team is a reach. First of all, if you have ever played on a baseball team at the college level or above, you know that pitchers are already a separate group from the rest of the team in many respects, much like kickers in football. Pitchers do not hit and do not play every day. They have training and game preparation routines that are very different from every day position players. As a result, they as a group, have rightfully earned a reputation for being quirky since the beginning of organized baseball. Secondly, as coach Herman Edwards says, you play to win the game. If using the bullpen instead of marginal starters wins games, most everyday players will not have a problem. Starting pitchers may take issue with that approach because it restricts their ability to generate statistics to support increased compensation at contract time. If there is a divide it is between the pitchers themselves.The approach is increasingly being used in modern baseball because the number of quality starters throughout the game is limited. Those who are dominant are compensated greatly. Those who are not, are not and should themselves consider taking a path to the bullpen.

Posted by GPatton on 09/11/2018 at 5:31 PM

Re: “Gruden’s Honeymoon Is Already Over

At the end of the day, the Khalil Mack trade was foreseeable and not surprising. Mark Davis has all of his chips on the table in Las Vegas. Everything he is doing before the big move is to throw public relations crumbs at Oakland fans to keep them from becoming hostile.The Chicago Bears gave Mack a lifetime contract that Davis could never afford. Davis is broke and looking for handouts wherever he can get them. Why else would he hire Brent Musberger to announce Raider games? It is because his aged new Vegas partners in the gaming industry can identify with that move. No other NFL owner has only football as their single revenue source. Signing Marshawn Lynch was all about public relations to get the team through 2017, overpaying for Gruden was to get the fans settled through 2018-19. Here are the brilliant management moves we have seen in the last 2 years. Not one player from the 2016 or 2017 drafts had an impact on the field last year. Since Gruden was hired, the team cut or traded arguably the best pass rusher (Mack) and punter (Marquette King) in the league. In addition, they released the most explosive offensive player on last years team (Corderelle Patterson). All reportedly gone without any direct conversation with Gruden. I have always had issues with head coaches who also control personnel decisions. Gruden appears to illustrate why. In addition to the loss of talent noted above, he has brought a number of aged veterans on board with legitimate questions about what they have left in the tank. The 2018 Raiders are the oldest team in the league. Part of that is a response to McKenzies miserable job drafting talent, but also it is because Davis has no money. Old veterans trying to hang on to careers are cheap. If you look at the Raider payroll, you will see Carr, Irvin, Osemele and Penn at the top of the list. Most of the team is not well paid and not well talented. The only organizational plan in place is to get to Las Vegas as quickly as possible. The odds of winning in Oakland with these PR moves and old cheap talent in the short term are slim. Don't forget, Gruden won a Super Bowl with Tony Dungy's defense which was anchored by Hall of Fame players like Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks and supported by all pros like John Lynch and Rhonde Barber. How many players of that caliber do you see on the Raider roster? After the Super Bowl year under Gruden, the Bucs were a less than .500 team.That is what the fans in Oakland who are paying attention, should reasonably expect, nothing more. It appears that the City and County are preparing to file a lawsuit against the Raiders. While I support going after Davis to pay off the bonds for construction of Mount Davis before he heads out of town. I don't have much hope on the anti trust angle based on his public and obvious failure to ever negotiate with Oakland in good faith. The City of Oakland and Alameda County should NOT give Davis a contract extension for the 2019 season. Davis is the arrogant long time boyfriend who is marrying another woman in 2020 (Vegas), but still wants to sleep with me (Oakland) until then. Tell him to kick rocks and get out of town as soon as possible. At the least, the politicians need to make sure that any legal wrangling concerning the Raiders does not impede the progress of the Oakland A's building a new stadium at the Coliseum site. If I had tickets to Raider games this year, I would bring my flask, you are going to need it.

Posted by GPatton on 09/05/2018 at 5:57 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Defends Record Against Five Challengers

Leadership left City Hall when Robert Bobb packed his Range Rover and drove away. Since that time we have seen a comical character Mayor (Jerry Brown) more focused on his next political opportunity than being Mayor of Oakland. As a result, he personally flat lined the new Oakland A's ball park in Uptown. Imagine what fun Town folks would be having with these new A's in that venue. Instead, the City is still struggling to resolve an issue that had an answer 10 years ago. We then hada Mayor that really did not want the job (Dellums). Despite being a great and storied civil rights icon, his heart was not in the job and more importantly, he brought in a cadre of folks inexperienced in government and only it for the short term ride. We then get Kwan and Schaaf as Mayors, who seem handicapped by how things have always been done in City Hall. Those two Mayors perpetuated the problem by accentuating their own lack of experience by hiring inexperienced high salary top managers just glad to be here. No disrespect to the candidates at the forum described in the article, but not one of them is qualified to run a City. That includes Libby Schaaf. Her lack of vision, leadership and knee jerk ineffective responses to problems are constantly evident (Ghost Ship). Measure X , the strong Mayor initiative has to be eliminated. The City Administrator is generally nowhere to be found by the public. The level of leadership she provides is slim or none. If Measure X goes away, Oakland can then attract a strong City Manager to lead the day to day operation of the City. The Mayor can then go back to being a political appointment, which it truly is. It is way too much for an every day regular citizen to be expected to lead a large complex municipal organization with little or no government experience or technical training.

Posted by GPatton on 08/24/2018 at 2:04 PM

Re: “Proposal to Build a Vast BART Surveillance System to Be Decided at Suburban 'East of the Hills' Board Meeting Next Month

It is very sad that in 2018, we still have members of the BART Board of Directors who believe that somehow if you live east of the hills, meaning white and wealthier, your expectation for safety is somehow more important than people who live in urban areas. Once again, race and class rear their ugly heads. No matter where you live, you have no tolerance for criminal activity while riding BART trains. The only difference is that many in urban areas have no transportation options. They too are afraid, but may not have jobs that allow them to telecommute or work from home. In fact, many do not have cars because they can't afford them. What we need is a BART board that is more diverse in both race and age that is more reflective of the population of the whole bay area. It is way past time where only old white people make public policy decisions that we all have to live with.

Posted by GPatton on 08/10/2018 at 8:12 AM

Re: “As Mack Holds Out, Raiders Play with Fire

Once again Mark Davis has shown in the firing of Greg Papa that he is clueless. He fires Papa and hires Brent Musberger? Brent may have had his day as a broadcaster, but that day was many days in in the past. In 2018, NOBODY wants to hear old ass Brent except maybe Sheldon Adellson and the rest of Davis new gambling cronies in Las Vegas. How do you give a coach with a .500 record (Gruden) 100 million dollars and not pay one of the top defensive forces in football (Mack)? How do you release arguably the most explosive player on last years team (Patterson) and one of the leagues best punters (Marquette King) and get no compensation. The answer is clear, it is arrogance and incompetence. Davis is so far over his head, he is a mini reminder of the orange clown in the White House. They are actually two of a kind. Both are petulant, insecure, arrogant and ignorant with few if any people skills. Both will inevitably crash and burn, it is the only outcome possible. Oakland should be glad this idiot (Davis) is leaving town, it cannot happen soon enough.

Posted by GPatton on 07/27/2018 at 1:58 PM

Re: “Why Oakland Lost the Coal Lawsuit

Somehow this judge seems to not only have come to the wrong conclusion. He completely ignored the burden of proof standards of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Under CEQA , public decision makers are not required to prove that a project, based on indisputable scientific evidence, will have a significant impact. They can deny a project because a preponderance of the evidence shows that the project MAY have a significant impact. That standard should apply in this case. Not only that, at the end of the day, the burden is never on the City to prove a significant impact, it is on the applicant to generate the data that proves the impact less than significant. In this case, the public record and history of health impacts from poor air quality related Port operations are demonstrable. BAAQMD has consistently found impacts of particulate matter from idling container ships (diesel fuel) at the PORT to be significant. Adding to this cocktail with coal dust is potentially a recipe for disaster. In addition, the judge seems to have ignored the express powers given to City's to protect the public by regulating land use in their jurisdiction. No contract exempts parties from State Planning laws or the requirements of CEQA. The correct action by the court would have been to note concerns with the scientific studies and direct the City to go back and correct the public record to adequately support the decision. Approving the project was not the correct response from the court and the City will surely prevail on appeal.

Posted by GPatton on 07/25/2018 at 9:26 AM

Re: “Why Hasn’t Oakland Sued the NFL Yet?

I totally disagree with the point of this article. In fact, I applaud those politicians who are finally acting fiscally responsible by accepting reality and not rushing to file a lawsuit. How many times do they have to say it? The Raiders do not want to be in Oakland. Throwing more public money away by filing a long shot lawsuit would be irresponsible. Yes, by failing to act, the City and County could loose the remaining $100 million or so remaining on the Mt Davis construction bonds. However, the bigger issue is that turning the page on the Raiders opens up the entire site to the Oakland A's, who finally have an owner who is both saying and demonstrating that they want to be in Oakland. In addition, the A's management is finally coming to the conclusion that from a regional transportation and fiscally responsible perspective, a new park on the Coliseum site is the only solution that makes sense. To file a lawsuit in hopes of a Raider option severely retards the ability of the A's and any other potential developer to move forward. If you think that loosing $100 million is bad, losing both the Raiders and the A's is far worse. So far in 2018, it looks like the A's have finally assembled a good young team with a future. Oakland cannot afford to miss this opportunity for a new baseball stadium because they are stuck with that old flame (Raiders) who once again have shown you that she does not want you. The NFL owners are demonstrating daily by their greed and lack of connection to loyal fans and players a solid determination to kill the golden goose. Mark Davis will get what he deserves in Vegas. My prediction is that it will not be the big Silver and Black party that he thinks it will be. The economic assumptions that lay beneath his Las Vegas deal are sketchy at best. In fact, I predict that pro football will look very different in the next 10 years. My advice to you and those die hard fans who think like you is to say aloha to the Raiders and GET OVER IT! Trust me we will all be OK!

Posted by GPatton on 07/17/2018 at 2:19 PM

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