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10:34PM

Los Angeles Times: Phil Mickelson is the center of attention at the Ryder Cup

By Art Spander
Los Angeles Times

CHASKA, MINN. — He’s one of 12, a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team. In truth he’s one and only, a chance-taker, a champion, a right-hander who plays left-handed.

Phil Mickelson will take a swing at anything, literally with a club — it’s only 230 yards across the water — or figuratively with his suggestions.

Read the full story here.

Copyright 2016, Los Angeles Times

9:16AM

Los Angeles Times: Oh, brother: The trash-writing starts early at the Ryder Cup

By Art Spander
Los Angeles Times

CHASKA, MINN. — A school teacher in England, Peter Willett, or P.J. Willett in his Twitter feed, is known both as the brother of Masters champion Danny Willett and a bit of satirist.

Also an antagonist, depending on one’s sense of humor.

Read the full story here.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

9:47AM

S.F. Examiner: Golf world loses Arnold Palmer, ‘The King’

By Art Spander
San Francisco Examiner

His triumphs, the four Masters, the British Opens, and his sporting tragedies, like blowing a seven-shot lead in the 1966 U.S. Open at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, are the stuff of legend and history.

Yet the most telling statement about the great Arnold Palmer, who died Sunday at 87, was made by one of his fellow golf champions, Curtis Strange.

Read the full story here.

©2016 The San Francisco Examiner

10:11PM

One stadium, two problems for A’s, Raiders

By Art Spander

OAKLAND — On Wednesday they were holding a baseball game in a football stadium, the yard lines still chalked on the grass.  

On Sunday they were holding a football game in a ballpark. What else should you call a place with a dirt infield neatly, and nearly, filling the area that spreads out from home plate?

The MLB-NFL Oakland Coliseum is the last of its breed, a multipurpose facility where the Athletics have to chase fly balls across an outfield chunked up by the cleats of 300-pound linemen and the Raiders must survive being tackled on a packed dirt surface that extends from one 20-yard line to the other.

The A’s are almost done for the 2016 season. From the attendance Wednesday, apparently most individuals thought it ended a few months ago.

Only 11,197 were in the place for a game, which admittedly meant little and ended in a somewhat bizarre manner, Oakland pinch runner Arismendy Alcantara caught trying to steal with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Houston won, 6-5.

Yes, Babe Ruth made the final out the same way in the 1926 World Series, the Cardinals beating the Yankees, but Alcantara isn’t exactly the Sultan of Swat. His attempt — A’s manager Bob Melvin thought Alcantara “didn’t get the best jump” — of course has nothing to do with the facilities in Oakland, or lack of same.

You know the narrative. Both the A’s and Raiders are in need and deserving of new stadiums. One team, the A’s, seemingly was headed to San Jose before that plan fell through. The other team, the Raiders, has been guaranteed a $2 billion stadium in Las Vegas.

Apropos of nothing but possibly pertinent to everything, the one East Bay team that doesn’t really need a new arena, the Warriors, is prepared to build one in San Francisco. Money, ask for it by name.

An investment group, which claims it has money, instead has asked to purchase the land where the Coliseum stands along the Nimitz Freeway in Oakland with the intent of keeping the Raiders there and out of the clutches of the casino types.

That the group has ties with Ronnie Lott, the Hall of Fame defensive back who played for the 49ers and the Raiders, may be pertinent. Or it may not.

A month ago, the big cash guy behind the A’s, John Fisher, who with Lew Wolff is listed as co-owner, took an exploratory visit of the Howard Terminal, in the Oakland docks, which would be an absolutely perfect place for an A’s ballpark — something to rival AT&T Park across the Bay.

Just kicking the tires, so to speak. Still, a visible search for a ballpark site, on the water no less — the same as the other MLB team in Northern Calfornia (hint: it is in the midst of a late-season collapse) — and a new move to keep the Raiders from moving are more than acceptable.

You have to start someplace.

It’s an open secret that the NFL commish, Roger Goodell, does not want a team in Las Vegas for various reasons, mostly the perception of a sport that is as popular for action at the sports books as it is on the gridiron might be seen in a different light when one of the franchises is based in Sin City.

Also, bless his heart, Goodell has a special feeling about the Raiders, as much for the venom with which longtime owner Al Davis battled the league as for the historical lunacy and success over the seasons of the team and its fans. Any team that had John Madden and Ken Stabler, made a roundtrip to L.A. and back, and was the first to have a “nation” needs to stay where it is.

Goodell may be a pariah in Foxboro but, in concert with others, saving the Raiders for Oakland would make him beloved at Jack London Square. Crab cioppino, Roger?

But let us not be too optimistic. It takes time, money and intelligence to transform these hopes from fantasy to reality. A new Raiders stadium? A new A’s ballpark?

A skeptic would say they have as much chance as Arismendy Alcantara stealing second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday.

9:12AM

S.F. Examiner: Defenseless Raiders prove change comes slowly

By Art Spander
San Francisco Examiner

This is a warning to the Raiders. If you want to draw fans to that $2 billion stadium out on The Strip where Sinatra and the Rat Pack used to hang out, you’d better get your act together. Las Vegas isn’t Oakland.

They want winners there.

Read the full story here.

©2016 The San Francisco Examiner