San Jose's redevelopment agency is in such rough financial shape that its leaders now say they may not be able to buy the last parcels for a downtown baseball stadium for the Oakland A's.
But team owner Lew Wolff may be stepping up to the plate to help by buying some or all of the land.
"There isn't a redevelopment agency or city or federal or state government that isn't in some form of disarray at this point,'' Wolff said Thursday of the agency's struggles.
While he and agency officials both said no details of a possible land purchase by Wolff had been discussed, the team owner pledged: "Whatever issues we run into, we will figure out how to get them done. We will not let anything stand in the way of getting the ballpark done.''
Hermida, signed to a minor-league deal in September, recognized that the team has a crowded outfield and said he appreciated the fact that the A's let him go now rather than waiting a month or more to nontender him.
"You never know what might happen," said Hermida, a former first-round pick of the Marlins. "I'll see what's out there, and I'm going to choose the situation I think is best for me, but I'm not ruling out Oakland at all, and they told me the same thing."
Sports became his passion. He went to Oakland A's and Raiders games with Corky. He always was bigger than the other kids. Margie had to bring his birth certificate to his games — football, basketball and baseball, but baseball was his first love. Margie, who put on the gear to catch him in the backyard, says she taught him toughness.
When Sabathia cried during games, upset when things didn't go his way, Margie lit into him. Now, she watches Sabathia mentor his son. When Little C cried when a player stepped in front of him and intercepted a pass, Sabathia quietly went to the sideline, told him it wasn't his fault and that he didn't want to see any more tears. Little C didn't cry again but showed his frustration when the opposition scored, kicking the field.
"He reminds me of CC at that age," says Margie. "CC just hated to lose."
Sabathia has Little C playing everything he did, never missing a game when he's not pitching. It's important he's around, he says, remembering the days Mom was in the stands, cheering, with her right leg trembling. It's the same nervous habit Sabathia has now.
Dad used to come to the games, too, but abruptly stopped. He stopped coming around the house. Sabathia was 13.
"CC never asked what happened, or where he was," Margie says. "But he would always look in the stands for his dad. I was looking for him too."
It's a Tuesday in August, another mostly meaningless day in another mostly forgettable season, and the reporters are asking their exhausted questions, and maybe 10,000 or 12,000 fans are still coming to the ballpark, and the ballplayers are pretending that it is still fun ...
And all of a sudden Raul hears singing. Happy singing ... "isn't life wonderful?" singing ... "aren't we the luckiest people on planet earth?" singing ... Raul Ibanez looks up and stares in crazy disbelief.
It's a beautiful morning!
Ahhhh, I think I'll go outside a while!
And just smile!
That ... is Mike Sweeney.