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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Baseball making big shift in defensive strategy | The Sacramento Bee

Meulens is blunt about his feelings on the shift.

“It should be illegal, really,” he said. “Why should there be a guy standing in (shallow) right field?”

Well, for a defense, because it works. Baseball Info Solutions calculates shifts saved 267 runs last season and already have saved 194 this year. But while it’s easy for defenses to reposition an infielder or two, Meulens argues, it’s not so easy for hitters to adjust.

“It’s hard for guys to change their swings on 90-plus-mph fastballs, or on cutters inside,” Meulens said. “How are you going to hit that the other way? You’re going to pull it as a left-hander.”

Somewhat resignedly, Meulens said, that’s how the game has changed. Hitters may try to beat the shift with the occasional bunt, but many don’t feel comfortable doing so. Mostly, Meulens said, changing your approach against the shift is “the last thing you want to do.”

His advice to those hitters, then?

“Just hit the ball as hard as you can.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2016 at 10:09 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, strategy

Friday, June 24, 2016

Semien, Davis lead A’s to 5-4 win over Angels - Yahoo Sports

Not a good second start for the Freak.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 24, 2016 at 06:44 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, athletics, tim lincecum

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Andrew Lambo has surgery for testicular cancer

#### cancer.

Outfielder Andrew Lambo, who was on the Oakland Athletics’ Opening Day roster and played in one game after being claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, is recovering after undergoing surgery last week for testicular cancer.

Lambo, 27, was experiencing discomfort while playing for Triple-A Nashville, was diagnosed and had the procedure at the Vanderbilt University Urology Clinic, the team said Tuesday.

Lambo, who has been placed on the seven-day disabled list, tweeted Tuesday night to thank fans for their support.


“I let Andrew know that his health is of the utmost importance to us and that the A’s will assist him in any way possible through his treatment and recovery process,” A’s general manager David Forst said in a statement.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2016 at 12:49 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew lambo, athletics, cancer

Friday, June 10, 2016

Beyond the Boxscore: The AL West doesn’t look like we thought it would.

With the AL West comes the payoff for this whole exercise, and, in a broader sense, this whole baseball thing: a division in chaos, and unlike the other divisions in chaos, chaos that looks nothing like we expected it to. On Opening Day, the Rangers and A’s had nearly identical playoff odds of about 19 percent; today, the Rangers are sitting atop the division, just over 60 percent, while the A’s sit at a measly five percent. The only team below Oakland is the team that began the season just above them, the Angels, but the loss of Garrett Richards and Andrelton Simmons have sent their playoff odds tumbling from 26 percent to three percent.

So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Infinite Yost (((Voxter))) Posted: June 10, 2016 at 02:04 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, athletics, mariners, rangers

Sunday, May 22, 2016

A’s place Sonny Gray on DL

Sonny Gray’s disappointing season has taken another turn for the worse, as the A’s placed the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with a strained right trapezius.

Left-hander Daniel Coulombe was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to replace Gray on the 25-man roster.
This is the first career DL stint for Gray, who is 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA in nine starts.

The A’s make another move on the Angels for “worst luck in the West”.

Infinite Yost (((Voxter))) Posted: May 22, 2016 at 03:23 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, injuries

WSJ: Coco Crisp’s Rancho Mirage Estate Seeks $9.995 Million

Maybe *this* is where Primates should gather for softball next year?

Located outside Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley, the roughly 17,900-square-foot, five-bedroom house has an elevator, a game room, a home theater with a popcorn machine, a built-in saltwater fish tank and a gym. The master bathroom has an indoor hot tub and sauna.

Outside, the baseball diamond is scaled-down to make it the right size for Wiffle ball, Ms. Jones said. The 4.8-acre gated property also includes a two-bedroom guesthouse, a swimming pool with a built-in dining table, several water features including a man-made lake with canoes, a tennis court and a seven-car garage.

The listing comes three years after Mr. Crisp and his wife Maria purchased the property for $7 million, according to public documents. The estate serves as the family’s primary home; Mr. Crisp also has a home in the Bay Area for use during the season, Ms. Rosten said. The Crisps are selling because “they’re used to moving every few years,” and view it as “a new adventure,” she said. The family is looking for a new home in the Rancho Mirage area.

Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: May 22, 2016 at 09:51 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, coco crisp, real estate

AP: Plumbing issues in Yankees’ dugout at Oakland Coliseum

And Shooty forgot to bring his plunger.

There were plumbing issues in the visitor’s dugout at the Oakland Coliseum before the start of Saturday’s game against the New York Yankees.

Several maintenance workers spent nearly an hour trying to fix a backed up toilet while a member of the Coliseum staff mopped up the standing water seeping into the dugout. Yankees manager Joe Girardi and some New York players sidestepped the mess as they made their way to the field for pre-game workouts.

Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: May 22, 2016 at 09:46 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, dugout, oakland coliseum, yankees

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Butler befuddled with lack of playing time

Butler, one month into the second year of his three-year contract with Oakland, was on the bench again in Tuesday’s 8-2 loss against right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. He hasn’t started since Wednesday—a stretch of six straight games—and he’s appeared in the starting lineup only eight times in the team’s first 28 games.

“From my end,” Butler said Tuesday, “there’s no answers as to what’s going on. I’m just not playing.

“I’ve never been in this position before. I’ve played every day of my life from when I was 7 years old, so this is something new. I don’t even know how to exactly prepare for what I’m supposed to do because I’ve never had to do it, so I just try to treat it like I’ve treated everything else, like I’m a starter. I know I can do it in this game. There’s not a lack of confidence in my abilities.”

The A’s have avoided categorizing Butler as a strict platoon player, in part, he thinks, because “it’s hard for them to justify saying that because of my career splits.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2016 at 11:25 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler

Saturday, April 30, 2016

An oral history of Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run

La Russa:

“So here’s what I thought. I thought, Gibby, he’s hittin’ on one leg. … My thought was, lookit, he’s hurting, I wanted to bring the outfield in because I didn’t think he could hit the ball out of the infield. So I was just trying to protect [against] the bloop. … So I was worried he was going to hit a ground ball through a hole or hit a blooper. So [pitching coach Dave] Duncan says, ‘You know, Steve Sax is on deck. And Eck’ll walk through him like he’s water.’ I said, ‘Hey, who’s the manager? We’re gonna pitch to him.’ ”

Crystal:

“So Duncan asked the same question I did.”

La Russa:

“Dunc didn’t ask it. He said, ‘Walk Gibson.’ I said, ‘I’m making the decisions here.’ And as we walked off the field, he says, ‘Dumb ass.’ “


Thursday, April 07, 2016

Is A’s reliever Sean Doolittle the most interesting man in baseball?

He is an enormous Star Wars fan who wore a Chewbacca costume to the opening of “The Force Awakens.’’ (He also bought Dolan a Darth Vader costume to wear. She was less than thrilled.) “I don’t know if those are costumes,’’ Doolittle says. “I think they’re technically pajamas.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: April 07, 2016 at 08:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sean doolittle

Monday, April 04, 2016

A’s hopes and confidence high, despite predictions - San Francisco Chronicle

(Second) Opening Day, where everybody starts off 0-0 and the pundits don’t matter.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 04, 2016 at 07:09 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Graveman focused on using changeup more | MLB.com

“I think it’s come a long way,” Graveman said. “[Catcher Stephen] Vogt really emphasized that today, and I think we did what we wanted to do and got some weak contact, especially early.

“It’s one of those things, you just use it now to get more comfortable with it, and I think today helped with that mentality of, ‘Hey, you can throw it and you can be successful with it.’”

“The changeup to righties is a huge weapon for him,” Vogt said. “I’m glad to see him use it and use it effectively.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 24, 2016 at 02:40 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, kendall graveman

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New A’s outfielder Khris Davis has power, personality - San Francisco Chronicle

Rodney Davis, like his son, is all on board with the move to the A’s. The Brewers are rebuilding, and though he is now working as the senior adviser of MLB’s Urban Youth Academy in Compton (Los Angeles County), with his scout’s hat on, Rodney Davis believes that Oakland will be a better team than many people expect.

“It was fortuitous he went to Milwaukee, and it’s great he got to get his start in the major leagues there. But Oakland is a great city for him to grow as a player,” Rodney Davis said. “We have friends and family there in the Bay Area, and with the organization. Man, if I could choose a place for my son to play, it would be Oakland and I think he can help Oakland win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2016 at 03:25 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, khris davis

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A’s Hill searching for answers after another rough start | CSN Bay Area

Maybe the guy who has been mediocre most of his career really is mediocre.

At the heart of the issue, Hill is having trouble finding the right release point in his delivery. That’s causing his bread-and-butter curve ball to betray him at times. Hill’s defense bailed him out in a couple of innings, preventing even more potential scoreboard damage. But the bottom of the third epitomized his frustrations.

After issuing back-to-back walks on eight pitches to start the inning, Hill struck out No. 3 hitter Carlos Gonzalez and got Nolan Arenado to pop up. But when he tried to go away with a first-pitch fastball to Mark Reynolds, the pitch instead leaked over the plate, and Reynolds mashed a three-run homer to put the A’s in a 5-0 hole.

“He’s just out of rhythm,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It looks like he’s out ahead of his arm a little bit on his breaking ball. That’s why they’re staying up. He’s just searching for the right arm slot. At times he has it, he’s just not consistent with it right now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:29 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rich hill

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Rich Hill is this year’s surprise starting pitcher for A’s - SFGate

How many starts will he be able to make this season?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2016 at 06:31 AM | 55 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rich hill

Thursday, March 03, 2016

A’s stick with Marcus Semien at shortstop - SFGate

“There isn’t a guy I’ve been around in all my years not only who works as hard as he does but is accountable, doesn’t complain,” manager Bob Melvin said. “I don’t remember seeing anyone at the big-league level having to go through what he did last year.

“There is a reason you stick with guys. And it’s easier to stick with guys like him that work hard and don’t complain about things and don’t make excuses. On top of that, there’s quite a lot of talent there.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 03, 2016 at 08:42 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, marcus semien

Wednesday, March 02, 2016


Friday, February 19, 2016

Tony Phillips, former major leaguer, has died at the age of 56

Tony Phillips, the former Oakland A and Detroit Tiger, has died, according to Arizona g.m. Dave Stewart, who has passed along the very sad news.  Phillips was 56.

Phillips was an 18 year major leaguer who started his career with the Oakland A’s in the 1980s, before joining the Detroit Tigers as a free agent prior to the 1990 season.  Phillips also spent time with the Angels, the ChiSox, the Blue Jays and the Mets, before finishing out his career with the A’s in 1999, at the age of 40.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 19, 2016 at 01:08 PM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, athletics, obituaries, tigers, tony phillips

Friday, February 12, 2016

Athletics acquire Khris Davis from Brewers | MLB.com

The A’s have acquired outfielder Khris Davis from the Brewers in exchange for Minor League right-hander Bubba Derby and Minor League catcher Jacob Nottingham, the team announced Friday.

To clear a spot for Davis on the 40-man roster, left-hander Sean Nolin was designated for assignment.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2016 at 08:18 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, brewers, khris davis, trades

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A’s GM David Forst Talks about the A’s Starting Rotation, Clubhouse Chemistry, an Extension for Redd

In what’s become his annual winter interview with bloggers, A’s general manager David Forst addressed a wide range of topics covering both the major league squad as well as some of the system’s top prospects at A’s FanFest on Sunday.

In his session, Forst discussed how he sees the team’s starting rotation shaping up, whether or not the A’s may still be able to make some additions to the roster, the likelihood of signing outfielder Josh Reddick long-term, last year’s lack of clubhouse chemistry, the future of top prospects Sean Manaea, Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz, and much more.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2016 at 10:44 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, david forst

Monday, January 25, 2016

A’s Billy Butler: ‘I’ve got a lot left in the tank’


Butler spent 11 seasons in Kansas City organization before signing with the A’s early last winter. He said it was a “culture shock. KC and the Bay Area are opposites.” He added, “I know what to expect now. Nothing’s out of the ordinary. I’m completely prepared for everything that’s ahead.”

Beyond all the losing, the A’s had a clubhouse-chemistry problem, and Butler acknowledged it Sunday, saying, “To say we had a bad clubhouse was accurate.

“You see there’s definitely people who are not here anymore that were part of the issue. I think whenever you have a season you lose as many games as we did, that’s always going to be a question. I don’t think anybody’s going to get along (in a losing environment). Nobody wants to lose that much.”

Hmmm, who is not there anymore?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2016 at 07:08 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kahrl: Why moving the A’s and Rays would be good for baseball

Move them to LA to share a stadium with the Rams and Chargers!

A better venue in the East Bay, ideally closer to a rich seam of corporate clients, would provide major money over what the A’s are generating now. If that’s best done in San Jose, it’s on Manfred to make that happen, and for baseball to afford the expense of paying back the Giants for their unused territorial rights. In Montreal, the track record for attendance, even without a great downtown venue and before the industry ran the Expos into the ground to aid carpetbagger Jeffrey Loria’s franchise takeover, suggests there’s major money to be made.

In both cases, you can argue that baseball will need to get serious about putting some skin in the game; the public financing landscape has changed, perhaps best reflected in the NFL’s recent willingness to help finance the Rams’ return to L.A. As new-stadium watchers for both the Rays and the Athletics have noted, there’s reason to believe that MLB and the teams themselves should invest in what comes next in Tampa/St. Pete and California’s East Bay. But if MLB’s paying the bills, it should collectively buy into the opportunity to reap the richest rewards. Investing in an arguably already saturated Tampa/St. Pete market with an already poor track record for support doesn’t sound nearly as lucrative.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2016 at 09:26 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, montreal, rays, relocation, san jose

Monday, January 18, 2016

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-18-2016

Washington Herald, January 18, 1916:

AMERICAN LEAGUE MANAGERS LAUGH AT MACK’S THREAT TO REPEAT THIS SEASON

Mack’s Pennant Talk Considered Big Joke

Connie Mack’s threat that he will give Philadelphia a winning ball club in 1917, and will start ripping things up during the middle of the coming season, is taken with a grain of salt and a large series of snorts by almost every manager in the American League.
...
The dope about the Athletics from those who are on the inside is to the effect that with McInnis and Strunk and Schang as a nucleus, Connie cannot produce enough strength to make the Athletics a first-division contender for five years or more.

Tell us how you really feel, American League managers. Don’t hold back.

They were right, of course. The 1916 Athletics were the worst team in modern baseball history. They finished the season 36-117, a .235 winning percentage. As for ripping things up during the middle of the season, well…between June 2 and August 8, the Athletics went 4-56.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2016 at 08:19 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, connie mack, dugout, history

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Koo: Raiders will remain at Oakland Coliseum in 2016, get additional NFL loan money for new stadium

So A’s fans will have to put up with the Silver and Blah for a little while longer…

The Oakland Raiders have lost their bid to move to Los Angeles and will remain at the Oakland Coliseum for the 2016-17 NFL season, according to multiple reports from the NFL owners’ meetings in Houston.

National Football League owners will soon vote to approve a proposal that the St. Louis Rams will be permitted to move immediately to Los Angeles, taking up temporary residence at the Los Angeles Coliseum pending the completion of an Inglewood stadium. The San Diego Chargers will have the first right to join the Rams in Los Angeles, though this new deal allows them to continue to try to work out a stadium deal in San Diego and not move right away.

Under the terms of the Oakland Athletics’ 10-year lease at the Oakland Coliseum that runs through 2024, the Joint Powers Authority must provide the A’s two years notice to vacate if they approve an Oakland Raiders stadium plan that results in the demolition of the Coliseum. While at present the Raiders do not have a viable stadium plan at the Coliseum, the additional loan possibilities from the NFL to build could put the Raiders closer to one, at least.

Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: January 12, 2016 at 08:50 PM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, football, nfl, oakland coliseum

Sunday, December 27, 2015

NESN: Dave Henderson, Who Hit Memorable Home Run For Red Sox, Dies At Age 57

RIP. Thank heavens he’ll be remembered for the home run in the Championship Series and not the one he hit in the World Series.

Henderson spent 14 seasons split between five organizations (Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants). He slugged 197 home runs in 1,538 career regular-season games and earned an All-Star selection with the A’s in 1991.

The man known as “Hendu” will be remembered as much for his infectious personality as his on-field accomplishments. Red Sox fans certainly won’t forget Henderson’s two-out, two-strike, two-run homer in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS. It kept Boston’s season alive and opened the door for the Red Sox to defeat the California Angels in seven games to advance to the World Series.

Renegade JE (((Jason))) Posted: December 27, 2015 at 01:18 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: 1986, alcs, athletics, obituary, red sox

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