Friday, May 30, 2008

Slap Hitter: Blogger gets the call to join the A's (not us)

Fri, May 30, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Blogger Brad Ziegler may be called up to the big club this weekend according to the folk at athleticsnation. Slap Hitter's cool with being passed up, knowing that long relief isn't really our thing. We'll let Ziegler blaze the trail of Throws Right/Blogs Both before getting ready to report for duty ourselves. Of course we didn't have to toil with the Batavia Muckdogs in the New York Penn League to get to Oakland either.

The Ziegler story's a good one. The only fly ball in the ointment is the fact that as big Z is being called up, half the rest of the team limped out of yesterday's 12-0 blitz en route to the disabled list. One of the walking wounded was not starter Dana Eveland who could have hurt his neck twisting around to see all the line drives belted by the Blue Jays in the homestand finale. Perhaps the call-up is in anticipation of the grueling Texas trip ahead, one where the Athletics often need the full bullpen to keep the score under two digits, like yesterday. Um, bad example.

Instead for fans who say they can't tell the two Sweeney's apart, no problem. Neither is going to suit up for a week, nor is A's regular DH Frank Thomas who celebrated his 40th birthday by pulling up lame. The second shift is highlighted by the call up of Carlos Gonzalez, one of the sackfull of prospects hauled in this winter. Bobblehead Travis Buck returns as does Kiko Calero who I sort of forgot was even on the roster. Maybe the A's have time to play some ice-breakers on the plane to Texas, so that they can recognize who to throw the ball to as it rattles around the outfield fences.

Among the excitement of a brand new roster halfway through the spring quarter, let's not forget the day began with the first time promotion of Ziegler, who has gotten a lot of love for being a blogger-starter who converted into a blogger-submariner and now has a role as a blogger-closer. His Gettin' Ziggy With It columns have endeared him to the fan that buys a game program for the articles. Mostly set up in a Q and A format, Ziegler shares what life is like in Midland, Texas and also from places where they have internet access. No real deep revelations or turns of phrase, but the postings have endeared him to a fan base that is thrilled that one of their own is going to the Show.

The author is likely to draw the get-the-righty-to-hit-into-a-double-play-type-work to begin his big league career and if that was good enough for Jeff Tam, it should be good enough for Chad Bradford, I mean Brad Ziegler. Here's hoping the A's keep it close enough to need that sort of specialized help this weekend. And with the Sacramento to Oakland minor league shuttle system beginning its daily summer run, here's rooting for Ziegler to do something worth writing home about.— Kibby Kleiman

The East Bay Today: May 30, 2008

Fri, May 30, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Today's Top Event: Protest in Paris 1968: Photographs by Serge Hambourg at the Berkeley Art Museum.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's class: Bead Night at Bead Inspirations in Alameda.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critics recommend: Blackberry Bistro in Oakland.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Head over to Sweet Fingers Jamaican restaurant in San Leandro for a Friday Night Dance featuring Mama Africa Sound and DJ Kangol spinning reggae.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out magic man GOB.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

Chevron Foe Keep Giving Company Headaches

by Chris Thompson
Fri, May 30, 2008 at 8:36 AM

Faithful readers may recall that on Wednesday, a horde of human rights activists took turns berating Chevron execs at the company's annual shareholder meeting. Ecuador, Burma, take your pick. The one man who really got to CEO David O'Reilly was Larry Bowoto, a Nigerian man who was shot by police during a protest on a Chevron platform just off the coast of Nigeria. When Bowoto accused Chevron of hiring the cops who shot him, O'Reilly flipped out and called it an outrageous slur. Well, now Bowoto's hit back again courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, which gave him a slot on its op-ed pages to tell his story. Bowoto, who has sued Chevron in federal court, wrote, "Rather than take any responsibility for the May 28, 1998, attack, Chevron has engaged in a decade-long campaign against our lawsuit. I believe the evidence will show that Chevron has attempted to hide behind its byzantine structure of interlocking corporations to avoid legal liability."

"Ten years of misleading Americans about its record in Nigeria is too long," Bowoto added. "It's time for Chevron to come clean with the public about its operations in Nigeria and to take responsibility for violence done in its name." Jeez, this guy just won't go away!

Ross Stores Founder Passes On

by Chris Thompson
Fri, May 30, 2008 at 8:16 AM

One of the East Bay's retail giants, and the man who put cheap clothes on the backs of working-class families around the country, has died. Stuart Moldow, the founder of Ross Stores, died May 24, at the age of 81. According to the East Bay Business Times, Moldow started Ross Stores in 1982 and built it into a nationwide chain, with 838 Ross Dress For Less stores around the country. The company, which is based in Pleasanton, clocked in $6 billion worth of sales last year. All those who still remember the time they scored that pair of plaid polyester golf pants for four bucks will surely mourn his passing.

Yusuf Bey IV Resumes; Bey Taped Plotting A Murder?

by Chris Thompson
Fri, May 30, 2008 at 8:09 AM

As the pre-trial of Yusuf Bey IV resumed, Oakland cop Jesse Grant testified that Bey told two of his followers that they may have to "sacrifice another good soldier" in order to either kill or intimidate an Oakland police officer into not testifying against them. When Bey and his associates were arrested late last summer, following the killing of Chauncey Bailey, police left them in an interview room, where they discussed bringing out some "heavy hitters" to do the job. According to the Oakland Tribune, Police officers had secretly bugged the room, and the tape may well find its way into the trial. On cross-examination, Bey's attorney suggested that Bey and his pals knew the room was bugged and were just playing a game to screw with the cops' heads.

UC Strike Averted for Now

by Chris Thompson
Fri, May 30, 2008 at 7:50 AM

After threatening to walk off the job next week, and getting word that neither Bill Clinton nor Fabian Nunez would cross a picket line to give scheduled commencement addresses, the union that represents the University of California's medical workers agreed to postpone the strike and resume bargaining talks. According to the Associated Press, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees represents 20,000 UC medical workers across the state. Leaders claim their workers earn about 25 percent less than their counterparts at other hospitals.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Yorker Tackles the Tree-Sit

by Chris Thompson
Thu, May 29, 2008 at 3:05 PM

The new issue of the New Yorker is out, and while you can't yet read all the Talk of the Towns online, the print edition regales readers with a small piece about Calum Wright, a UC Berkeley student who organized a counter-protest against one Michael "Fresh" Schuck, who spent seventeen days in a tree. Said tree-sitter planted his buttocks atop some campus branches in solidarity with the tree-sitters who are still trying to stop the demolition of an oak grove near Memorial Stadium, but also to protest the BP deal, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, yadda yadda yadda. Said counter-protester rallied his friends to protest Schuck for being a dirty hippie. The item has its quotient of Berkeley cliches, but every story geared toward a national audience has to have a few, and the piece hews to the New Yorker's tradition of letting the characters display their absurdity and humanity without the writer's interference. As the item's coda says, Go Bears.

The East Bay Today: May 29, 2008

Thu, May 29, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Today's Top Event: Reading History at Mercury 20 Gallery.

Brainiac: Learn something new every day. Today's event: Peter Y. Sussman discusses his latest book, Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford, at the Oakland Public Library Rockridge Branch.

Is It Lunch Yet? Express food critics recommend: Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe in Berkeley.

On the Town: Going out tonight? Rock/pop cover band Par Fore plays a free show at the Roundup Saloon in Lafayette.

Hardly Working: You've got time. We know how to waste it. Check out sleight of hand, explained.

Feed Us: Got an East Bay news tip, photo, video, or link we need to know about? E-mail us.

UTStarcom Execs Fined for Fake Financials

by Chris Thompson
Thu, May 29, 2008 at 7:45 AM

Two leaders of the Alameda-based telecommunications firm UTStarcom have agreed to pay $175,000 to settle federal charges that they filed false earnings reports, which may have boosted the stock price and defrauded investors. The company has been under investigation for more than a year, and NASDAQ struck UTStarcom from its roster in 2006, for failing to file earnings statements. The company is among the largest publicly-traded firms in the East Bay.

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