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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Athletics Designate Stephen Vogt

The Athletics have designated veteran catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment in the team’s latest future-oriented move, per a club announcement. Catcher Bruce Maxwell and first baseman/outfielder Matt Olson have been called up from Triple-A, with third baseman Matt Chapman hitting the DL.

Chapman had only just been called up himself, taking over at third base with veteran Trevor Plouffe being designated and later traded to the Rays. The A’s are now calling upon two additional youthful players while making the somewhat surprising decision to part with Vogt — one of the organization’s longest-tenured players.

Vogt earned All-Star nods in each of the past two seasons and was a fan favorite in Oakland. But the 32-year-old was struggling early in 2017. Through 174 plate appearances, he owns a marginal .217/.287/.357 batting line with four home runs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2017 at 11:48 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, stephen vogt

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A’s will let Trevor Plouffe go to make room for Matt Chapman

With top prospect Matt Chapman set to be officially called up on Thursday, the A’s are preparing to designate third baseman Trevor Plouffe for assignment, The Chronicle has learned.
Plouffe, signed to a one-year, $5.25 million deal during the offseason, is batting .214 with seven homers and 14 RBIs and six errors in 58 games and his playing time had been diminished the past two weeks. He started just one game on the team’s just-completed road trip to Tampa Bay and Miami.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 15, 2017 at 04:39 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, matt chapman, trevor plouffe

Athletics fire pitching coach Curt Young, hire Scott Emerson

The Athletics announced on Thursday afternoon that pitching coach Curt Young has been relieved of his duties and replaced by Scott Emerson.

The Athletics’ pitching has been among the worst in baseball, carrying an aggregate 4.83 ERA. The rotation ERA is 4.66 while the bullpen ERA is an unsightly 5.07. While Jesse Hahn and Sean Manaea have had decent results, Jharel Cotton has struggled mightily and Sonny Gray hasn’t quite returned to 2015 form.
.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 15, 2017 at 04:38 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, curt young

Report: A’s to promote Chapman on Thursday | Pacific Coast League News

While Chapman’s plus power is impressive, scouts rave about his defense at the hot corner, and he has a 75-grade throwing arm with a plus-plus glove. His plus range and smooth hands make him a potential Gold Glover at the position and a necessary improvement for the A’s, who rank last in the Majors with 62 errors and a .974 fielding percentage.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 15, 2017 at 08:48 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, matt chapman, prospects

Friday, June 02, 2017

Yonder Alonso finds power stroke with Oakland Athletics, hopes to land in All-Star Game

Alonso had to overhaul his swing if he wanted to stay in the game. He talked to everyone from Carlos Beltran to Rougned Odor to Pujols to Adrian Beltre to Bryce Harper to Eric Hosmer, discussing their individual hitting approach and trying to design a swing that could work for him.

He incorporated video work along with his offseason batting cage efforts, analyzing different swings frame by frame.

“I wanted him to do this for years,” Machado says. “We would argue back and forth on what to do, but he’s the one who put his mind to it and did it.”

Says Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was a Padres coach for four years when Alonso was in San Diego: “We always talked about it in San Diego, too, but I think he finally got the right information. He committed to a swing change, and it’s really paid dividends.

“I couldn’t be happier, because he’s a heck of a guy.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 11:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, yonder alonso

Khris Davis Me in Real Life | MLB.com

In his own words.

My name is Khris Davis. I’m an outfielder for the Oakland A’s, and for me, it all starts with my parents. They are my role models, and they taught me that hard work pays off. They also showed me that happiness is important and is worth pursuing.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 02, 2017 at 11:28 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, khris davis

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Raiders, just GTFO already

Meanwhile, after the Raiders’ move was announced, A’s President Dave Kaval more or less said “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” while speaking to NBC Sports California’s Joe Stiglich regarding the idea of shifting the home clubhouse into the Raiders’ locker room space.

“Well, it’s considerably bigger than our current locker room,” he said, “and so we could have a more player-friendly area, more lounge space, be more spread out. Even space for training facilities we don’t have now. And so it just provides a lot more flexibility, and a better draw for players if they want to play here in Oakland.”

Let me get this straight. The Raiders are leaving Oakland, the city whose taxpayers funded their return (and are still paying for!) yet they want Oakland to welcome them with open arms for two seasons in the building that they trashed, and oh yeah, do so to the detriment of the current tenants, who by the way, actually want to stay here? Which current tentants are working hard to IMPROVE the building that the Raiders trash every fall? Why should we A’s fans or anyone in Oakland put up with this? Why should the Raiders’ paltry eight home games continue to ruin RICKEY HENDERSON FIELD and, even worse, cost the A’s a chance at landing and retaining talent?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 09, 2017 at 11:42 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, football

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

A’s prospect Casey Thomas dies unexpectedly at age 24

Athletics minor leaguer Casey Thomas has died suddenly, the team announced Tuesday. He was 24.

Thomas was the son of A’s pro scout Tom Thomas.

“We were devastated to hear of this tragedy within the A’s family,” A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to Tom and his family on their loss; Casey was a wonderful young man and teammate, and will be missed by all in the A’s organization.”

Thomas, who was with the team in extended spring training, was in Phoenix when he died.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 05:00 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, obituaries

Friday, April 28, 2017

Must C: Graveman tags out two | MLB.com

Wow!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2017 at 09:00 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, kendall graveman

Friday, April 21, 2017

Major League Baseball in Las Vegas? Commissioner says it’s an option

Major League Baseball would be open to having a team in Las Vegas, Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday.

With two existing franchises — the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays — struggling to secure financing for new stadiums, the option of relocating a team to Las Vegas is very much on the table.

“If we were looking at relocation,” Manfred said, “Las Vegas would be on the list.”...

Manfred didn’t rule out the possibility of an expansion franchise in Las Vegas, but added that “until the Tampa Bay and Oakland situations are settled, I can’t see talking about expansion.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:19 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, expansion, las vegas, rays, relocation

A’s president Dave Kaval zeroed in on four sites for Oakland ballpark

“We’re down to three to four sites. They’re all in Oakland, but they are in different locations,” Kaval said. “I think baseball needs some new energy, and I think Oakland can be kind of the shining star for that new model.”
No word on whether one of those sites is on the water, an idea a fan floated last month.

A major announcement on the stadium can be expected this calendar year, Kaval said.

“We’re spending a lot of time on the transit and traffic plans, making sure any site that we pick, people can get to easily whether it’s public transportation, driving, parking, that kind of stuff,” Kaval said. “Especially in the Bay Area, there’s so much traffic for the fans. You’ve got to have an easy in-and-out, because if you don’t, people won’t come 81 times. That’s a critical part of the process.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 21, 2017 at 04:18 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

In His 50th Year with the A’s, Steve Vucinish has a lifetime of tales

“Player requests — or, in some cases, demands — are the bane of any clubhouse manager’s existence. Most are accommodated, including the time Red Sox star Clemens asked for a birthday cake for his wife “in the fifth inning!” Vucinich said. When Carl Yastrzemski and Dwight “Dewey” Evans were with Boston, Coors was unavailable east of the Rockies, so they’d have Vucinich pack the luggage truck full of cases.

“One time a couple of equipment guys in Boston drank half of it when they were unloading it; Yaz and Dewey were so mad,” Vucinich said.

Last year, an A’s player asked Vucinich to send some clubhouse workers to a restaurant in San Francisco to pick up dinner for the player and bring it to the team’s plane when it landed in Oakland. He said a firm no to that one.

Vucinich never minded answering the phone for former A’s All-Star Jose Canseco, though, especially when Canseco was dating pop star Madonna.

“Madonna used to call in to get ahold of me and her code name was Melissa,” Canseco said. “Vuc would have to come tell me, ‘Hey, Jose, you’ve got a phone call from Melissa,’ and we’d all laugh because we knew it was Madonna. He’s probably the greatest clubhouse guy ever.”


Saturday, April 01, 2017

Q&A: Forst talks formula for success for A’s

MLB.com: Jed Hoyer talked about trading Corey Kluber to Cleveland when he was in San Diego and how that almost came back to bite him years later in the World Series. Is it tough to see a guy like Josh Donaldson thrive in Toronto the way he has after trading him?

Forst: We knew Josh was a good player when we traded him. We didn’t have any illusions that he was going to go out and put up a clunker of a year after that; I didn’t know he was going to win the MVP. That’s part of our situation here. We knew that we were not far away from him taking up a big chunk of our payroll, and it wasn’t sustainable. After that first year, he was going to start making $11 million, $12 million, up to $17 million, which I think he’s making next year. We knew we were going to have to do something too soon rather than too late with Josh.
We can look on the field right now; Kendall Graveman, who is likely our Opening Day starter, and Franklin Barreto, who is our No. 1 prospect, both came from that trade. History is still waiting to be written on the results of that deal, but that’s just sort of life in Oakland. You have to make those decisions on the Josh Donaldsons of the world.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 01, 2017 at 09:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, david forst, general managers

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Posnanski: Soren journeys from MTV to ‘Moneyball’ art

Billy Beane shouldn’t have taken those photos.

“Fantasy Life” is subtitled “Baseball and the American Dream,” and the idea behind it is striking ... and ambitious. In 2002, the A’s used a counterintuitive strategy, the now-famous Moneyball philosophy, to draft players. They didn’t concern themselves much with all those subjective things that had motivated scouts through the years—tools, body type, potential, etc.—and instead focused more on production and statistical analysis. Their most famous pick was Jeremy Brown, an All-America catcher at Alabama, who many scouts thought was too fat to play in the Major Leagues.
“We’re not selling jeans here,” A’s general manager Billy Beane famously said about Brown’s rather unathletic body.
“That’s good,” one scout replied. “Because if you put him in corduroys, he’d start a fire.”

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: March 29, 2017 at 01:04 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, moneyball

Monday, March 27, 2017

Oakland A’s ‘understand’ Raiders need to move, remind us they need a new stadium

Monday afternoon the NFL announced their owners have approved relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. The move is at least two years away, but it has been agreed to.  Owners voted 31-1 in favor of the move . 

The Raiders and Athletics have shared the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum since 1995, thought it’s no secret the A’s have been looking for a new ballpark. A few hours after the Raiders move was announced, the A’s released a statement saying they are “focused” and “excited” about staying in Oakland, as long as they get a new stadium.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2017 at 05:04 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Jose Canseco is getting back in baseball as a television analyst covering the A’s

According to Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area, Canseco is joining NBC Sports California as an on-air analyst for their pre- and postgame coverage of the Oakland Athletics, one of his former teams. From Stiglich:

“I’ve got quite a bit of experience. I’ve pretty much been there, done all of that whether it’s on or off the field,” Canseco said. “I think the fans can expect the truth — an honest opinion, honest analysis — and hopefully in some shape or form we expand the fan base.” 

He’s enthused about taking on his first role as an analyst, and he joins NBC Sports California at a time of budding excitement surrounding the A’s and the expectation of them building a new ballpark in Oakland. Canseco, the 1986 AL Rookie of the Year, played for the A’s when they were one of the Bay Area’s hottest sports stories.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2017 at 04:42 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jose canseco

Friday, March 17, 2017

Why do the A’s wear green? You can thank Charlie Finley | MLB.com

Though many of Finley’s ideas have now faded away into the annals of baseball history—there are no more hot pants days, mules named “Charlie O” or orange baseballs filling your broadcast—the Athletics are synonymous with the green and gold.

When you watch all the green on the field for St. Patricks Day, don’t just thank the 1978 Reds for being the first to start the tradition. Thank Charlie Finley for proving, long before the days of alternate jerseys, that fans do want colorful unis.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2017 at 05:47 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, charlie finley, uniforms

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Oakland A’s to lower stadium beer prices

We can’t afford Josh Donaldson, but we can afford cheap beer!

In a video posted to the A’s Facebook page, Kaval revealed that a 20-ounce serving of one of the 77 beers on tap will cost $10 for premium selections and $8 for domestic during the 2017 season. Comparatively, a 12-ounce beer at the Coliseum cost $5 in 2016, or about $.43 an ounce, according to Team Marketing Report. The discounted domestic beer will cost three cents less per ounce.  According to Kaval, the Coliseum now offers the cheapest beer of any Bay Area stadium.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 15, 2017 at 03:07 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, beer

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Tinkering with split-finger gave A’s Madson a sore arm - SFGate

“I was working on a new pitch, a split-finger fastball,” Madson revealed after his Cactus League debut Tuesday. “Either I overdid it, threw too many, or it’s just a nasty pitch on my elbow.”

Madson, 36, is a key part of the A’s bullpen plans. He saved a team-high 30 games last season — albeit with seven blown saves — and is in the late-game mix this season, though manager Bob Melvin hasn’t announced a closer.

Why try to add a split-finger fastball?

“I’m always trying to come up with something new to get the hitters seeing something new,” Madson said. “I was feeling strong, so I thought I’d just try it out. That’s it. Just curiosity. I had time to work on it.”

The right-hander worked the fourth inning of Tuesday’s wild 21-13 win over the Diamondbacks and surrendered two runs on three hits, including two doubles. He threw a fastball, curve, changeup and “a cutter that didn’t cut.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2017 at 08:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ryan madson

Monday, February 27, 2017

A’s Sonny Gray: WBC insurance denial ‘an unfortunate thing’ - SFGate

I’m not sure exactly what this means about their health.

The A’s right-hander wanted to pitch in the second round of the WBC next month, but the insurance carrier for the event pulled the plug because Gray didn’t meet some requirements after twice missing time with injuries last year. Gray spent more than 60 days on the disabled list, he was on the DL in late August, and when he returned, he didn’t pitch more than 10 innings.
“It’s not up to us or MLB, it’s up to the insurance company,” A’s general manager David Forst said. “MLB pushed the issue and asked the insurance carrier to let him pitch, and they didn’t do it. ... He feels great. He’s throwing.”

Canada’s Russell Martin also was denied insurance coverage for this WBC because of a previous knee injury.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 27, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sonny gray, wbc

Friday, February 24, 2017

MLB views Las Vegas as ‘viable market,’ Rob Manfred says

So build that stadium, Oakland and St. Pete!

Major League Baseball’s softening stance on sports gambling may one day open the door to an untapped market long considered taboo: Las Vegas.

It’s all the rage lately, with the NHL’s 31st franchise set for a Sin City debut next season and the NFL on the brink of following suit. Might MLB join them? Commissioner Rob Manfred is at least open to the idea, a departure from baseball’s longstanding efforts to distance itself from the betting world.


“Las Vegas could be a viable market for us,” Manfred said during his Cactus League news conference Tuesday in Phoenix, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I don’t think that the presence of legalized gambling in Las Vegas should necessarily disqualify that market as a potential major league city.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2017 at 11:51 AM | 89 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, expansion, las vegas, rays

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A’s Khris Davis won’t play in WBC, discusses love for Oakland - San Francisco Chronicle

I get why MLB wants the WBC. I can also get why players, especially pitchers, wouldn’t want to be part of it.

Davis said he doesn’t believe the WBC would be a distraction but added, “I think this would complicate things a little. … It’s more of a timing issue. I need to be here in Arizona during these dates.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2017 at 02:07 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, khris davis, wbc

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How the A’s Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Oakland - WSJ

Though the city doesn’t intend to allocate public money for stadium construction, Schaaf said it will offer development entitlements, such as helping to secure publicly owned land, environmental clearance and infrastructure for transit.

“I’ve been very clear about what I believe is an appropriate and responsible role for the public dollar, and that is really only looking at new revenues that are generated by the project itself and dedicating those revenues to public infrastructure improvements,” Schaaf said.

Fans in Oakland have heard rhetoric about the A’s finding a way to stay before.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 12:49 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, stadium financing

Monday, February 06, 2017

A’S NAME OAKLAND COLISEUM PLAYING SURFACE ‘RICKEY HENDERSON FIELD’

Rickey Henderson says this is a great tribute to Rickey!

As a tribute to former Athletic and MLB Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, the Oakland A’s will name the field at the Oakland Coliseum “Rickey Henderson Field.” The team will dedicate Rickey Henderson Field during a special pregame ceremony on Opening Night, April 3, before the A’s play host to the Los Angeles Angels. Henderson will also serve as a Special Assistant to the President.

“Rickey Henderson is the greatest Athletic of all time. It is fitting we honor and recognize his impact on our franchise by naming our playing field after him,” said Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2017 at 05:15 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rickey henderson

Thursday, February 02, 2017


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