MINNEAPOLIS — A’s owner Lew Wolff is willing to re-examine whether it would make sense to build a new ballpark at the site of O.co Coliseum.
Wolff has hoped for a new stadium in San Jose, but that is in the territory of the Giants, who have blocked the A’s from building there. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a committee in March 2009 to examine the issue, but the committee has not made any public report.
Speaking Tuesday before the All-Star Game, Wolff said a new ballpark on the Coliseum site was “an option to look at.”
“We don’t have much of an option right now anywhere except there,” he said. “We’re going to revisit that.”
Wolff expects the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority to vote today on a 10-year lease for the team at the Coliseum. “If it isn’t, it’s my last time,” he said.
The Coliseum has hosted the A’s since 1968 but has had sewage and lighting problems. A lease vote was planned on June 27 but was postponed after representatives from the City of Oakland did not show up for the meeting.
The NFL’s Raiders are in the final year of their lease at the Coliseum and are interested in building a new stadium at the site.
“We’ve provided for the Raiders. I don’t think the Raiders are really behind any of this,” Wolff said. “Their owner is a nice guy and I think he’s just trying to do what we’re trying to do, make sure that the other guy doesn’t cause the other guy any problems.”
Reprieve for Rose? Pete Rose may have a role to play in next year’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati despite his lifetime ban from baseball.
The career hits leader generally is not allowed in any areas of major-league ballparks not open to fans. But the former Reds star was allowed to participate in baseball’s All-Century team ceremony at Atlanta’s Turner Field during the 1999 World Series and was permitted to be on the field at Great American Ball Park in 2010 for a ceremony commemorating the 25th anniversary of his record-setting 4,192nd hit.
He also was on the field in Cincinnati in September for the unveiling of a bronze sculpture honoring Hall of Fame teammate Joe Morgan.
Gay ambassador: Major League Baseball has appointed former outfielder Billy Bean, who came out as gay after his playing career, to serve as a consultant in guiding the sport toward greater inclusion and equality.
Joining Bean and Selig at a news conference was Lutha Burke, the sister of former A’s player Glenn Burke, an East Bay native who was the first MLB player to come out as gay after retiring. Burke died in 1995.
Tobacco ban pondered: Players say they may consider whether to discuss a possible ban on chewing tobacco when they negotiate their next labor contract in two years. For now, they hope individuals decide on their own to stop dipping.
Players union head Tony Clark said that several of his members have quit cold turkey following the death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn on June 16 from oral cancer.
Etc.: Selig can envision Montreal making a bid to return to the major leagues. The Expos joined the National League for the 1969 season and remained in the big leagues through 2004 before moving to Washington and becoming the Nationals. … Selig maintains Major League Baseball had no idea that suspended New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez received a medical exemption from the sport’s drug administrator to use a testosterone-boosting substance in 2007. … MLB and the Minnesota Twins are apologizing for post-midnight fireworks shot off after the All-Star Gala on Monday in downtown Minneapolis.