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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Braves’ [stuff] doesn’t work in the playoffs, either

The Athletics have been something of a punching bag over the years because executive vice president and president of baseball operations Billy Beane was famously quoted in Moneyball saying, “My [stuff] doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is […] luck.”

Since 2000, the A’s have reached the playoffs 10 times. They have advanced into the ALCS just once, in 2006, when they were swept out by the Tigers. They’re 1-6 in the Division Series and 0-3 in the AL Wild Card game, accounting for their last three playoff losses (2014, ’18-19). To call their performance in the playoffs disappointing would be an understatement.

The A’s, however, are not the only team whose [stuff] doesn’t work in the playoffs. The Twins, who were just swept out of the ALDS by the Yankees, haven’t reached the ALCS since 2002. They have failed in their last six appearances in the ALDS — mostly against the Yankees — and lost the AL Wild Card game in 2017 as well (to the Yankees).

A consideration of losing streaks in the playoffs, albeit one that has gone out of date since between when I found it and when I posted it…..

QLE Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves, nationals, playoff streak, playoffs, the agony of defeat, twins

Monday, October 07, 2019

The Las Vegas A’s? Baseball commissioner tells Oakland it could happen

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made it clear to Oakland officials that the A’s proposed waterfront ballpark and the team’s desire to develop at the Coliseum is an “all in one” proposition — and that the city needs to drop its lawsuit over the Coliseum land sale to the A’s or risk the team relocating to another city.

And apparently, everyone got the message.

“He kind of laid down the law,” said City Councilman Larry Reid, who also sits on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority. He attended separate meetings Manfred held last week with Mayor Libby Schaaf and council President Rebecca Kaplan.

“He talked about how it was five years ago that he became commissioner, how he had resisted the A’s moving to San Jose back then,” Reid said. “Then he talked about his frustration with the lawsuit and how the city needs to make it go away.”

There are things that could be said about this- I’ll leave it to all of you to have your thoughts…..

 

QLE Posted: October 07, 2019 at 12:20 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, las vegas, stadiums

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Why A’s Bob Melvin, Billy Beane believe Khris Davis will bounce back

OAKLAND—For all of the positive developments in the A’s 2019 season, there still is one giant unsolved mystery.

What in the world happened to Khris Davis?

After recording at least 40 home runs and 100 RBI in each of his first three seasons with the A’s, while incredibly batting .247 all three years, Davis plummeted back to earth this year. The 31-year-old slashed just .220/.293/.387, all career-worsts, with only 23 homers and 73 RBI.

“I know it was frustrating for Khris,” A’s executive vice president Billy Beane said. “I think he probably put a lot of pressure on himself. Khris takes a lot of pride in his role on the team and being that guy who’s the 40-homer, middle-of-the-lineup guy. I think he was trying to find the answer as much as anybody, and it certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort on his part or the coaching staff’s.

Well, it sure beats believing in the alternative…..

 

QLE Posted: October 06, 2019 at 12:47 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, khris davis

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Why A’s will be parading World Series trophy through Oakland by 2022

OAKLAND—Wait till next year.

Those four words have unfortunately become the A’s mantra over the last 30 years. But this time, it feels different.

With the talent the A’s have in place for the next handful of seasons, this is truly the best chance they’ve had to win a World Series since their last title in 1989.

Let’s begin with the starting rotation, a group once considered the weakness of the team. Now, all of a sudden, it’s shaping up to be one of the best in baseball.

The story of how the Athletics stole the Commissioner’s Trophy would make one fine heist movie- who do we hire as a screenwriter?

 

QLE Posted: October 05, 2019 at 12:46 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, world series trophy

Friday, October 04, 2019

A’s set sights on division after another wild-card loss

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Manager Bob Melvin knows the Oakland Athletics might need to find a way to win the AL West to guarantee themselves a long playoff series.

Pulling past the powerful Astros is the next aim for the A’s, daunting as it might be.

Two straight AL wild-card losses following 97-win seasons have left the A’s going into the offseason again wondering what it will take to finally get over the hump in a tough division dominated by Houston the past three years. Oakland has lost nine straight winner-take-all games since 2000 after a 5-1 defeat to the Rays on Wednesday night with Tampa Bay getting to Sean Manaea from the start.

The A’s were playing at home this time, a far different scenario from the 7-2 loss at Yankee Stadium in the 2018 wild-card game.

Mind you, if this century has meant anything, winning the division may be only a minor improvement in terms of overall playoff results…..

 

QLE Posted: October 04, 2019 at 12:39 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: al west, athletics

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Rays Out-Moneyball Billy Beane and the Athletics in the AL Wild-Card Game

It’s fitting in some ways and a shame in others that the AL wild-card game was a matchup of the A’s and Rays, the baseball equivalent of the two Spider-Men pointing at each other meme. On one side: a plucky, small-market team running a low payroll, rolling out a roster of no-names, playing in a crappy stadium and stuck in a division with an insanely talented juggernaut that nonetheless perseveres to 96 wins and a playoff spot. On the other side: a plucky, small-market team running a low payroll, rolling out a roster of no-names, playing in a crappy stadium and stuck in a division with an insanely talented juggernaut that nonetheless perseveres to 97 wins and a playoff spot. And yet only one of Oakland or Tampa could survive.

That it’s the Rays moving on feels like a particular affront to the A’s, who pioneered the strategy of building a team with the pieces no one else wanted, dumpster diving to turn trash into pearls. They’re not the only ones running that particular game, but few franchises have perfected it quite like the Billy Beane Athletics, who’ve spent the last 16 years held up as the model of winning efficiently instead of extravagantly. This is their corner, and on Wednesday, they could only protest feebly as Tampa showed up and muscled them off it with little effort.

The Rays did so almost literally, given the presence of Yandy Diaz, who is built like an NFL defensive end and whose two homers—one leadoff to open the scoring, the other in the fourth to widen the gap, both opposite-field rockets—helped make this win happen. Diaz is the kind of piece they’ve unearthed seemingly annually over the last decade: another team’s trash becomes their treasure. Boasting biceps that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1980s action movie, the Cuban infielder was a Statcast darling as a member of the Indians for how routinely balls would leave his bat at the speed of sound. Yet Diaz pounded many of those missiles straight into the dirt, and his defense was a mess, and with a locked-in left side of the infield, Cleveland had no space for him.

Tampa did, because Tampa always does, because Tampa’s goal is to have a roster with six different options at every single position. Diaz came to Florida in a three-way deal (another Rays staple) in the offseason, earned a role as a regular corner infielder, and promptly whacked 14 homers in 79 games. An injury knocked him out for most of the second half, but there he was on Wednesday, hitting leadoff against southpaw Sean Manaea—the three plate appearances he’d collected since the end of July outweighed by the .976 OPS he posted this season against lefties. That proved to be the right call, because of course it was.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, what do we make of this line of analysis?

 

QLE Posted: October 03, 2019 at 12:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: al wild card, athletics, moneyball, rays

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Judge issues temporary order blocking sale of county’s share of Coliseum to Oakland A’s

A judge issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday blocking Alameda County from selling its share of the Oakland Coliseum to the A’s. The decision comes after Oakland sued the county in an attempt to block the sale and force the county to enter negotiations to sell the property to the city.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch said the county can continue to negotiate with the A’s but cannot move forward with the sale of the 155-acre site until the issue is settled.

A’s President Dave Kaval said outside the courthouse that the judge’s decision poses another “complication with moving forward” with the plans for the Coliseum project, which includes a “robust” affordable housing plan and community benefits package.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 02, 2019 at 12:15 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Postseason OMNICHATTER - 10/2/2019 - Rays vs. A’s

Technically it’s a UNICHATTER given there’s only one game. Whatever.


Oakland’s own MC Hammer to throw out first pitch at A’s wild-card game

By now, you’ve probably heard who’s starting on the mound for the A’s in Wednesday’s AL Wild Card Game as the team hosts the Tampa Bay Rays.

... and it’s MC Hammer.

The Oakland native rapper/entertainer will get ceremonial first pitch honors for the Green and Gold in front of a hopefully robust crowd of 50,000 screaming fans.

Hammer, AKA Stanley Burrell, was born in Oakland and served as the clubhouse assistant and batboy for the A’s from 1973 - ‘80, according to an A’s press release. This was around the time he earned his nickname “Little Hammer” due to his resemblance to none other than Hall of Famer Hammerin’ Hank Aaron.

[Insert your own punchline here]

 

QLE Posted: October 02, 2019 at 01:09 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: al wild card, athletics, first pitch, mc hammer

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A’s, Rays clinch playoff berths, will meet in AL Wild Card Game

On Friday night, the Indians fell to the Nationals (WAS 8, CLE 2), and around the same time the Rays topped the Blue Jays (TB 6, TOR 2). The Cleveland loss punched the Athletics’ ticket to the postseason, and the Rays’ win means they’ll play Oakland in the AL Wild Card Game.

That AL Wild Card Game will be played on Wednesday, Oct. 2, with the winner advancing to the ALDS, likely to oppose the Astros. Where that Wild Card Game will be played is still uncertain. At this writing, the Rays trail the A’s by just a half-game in the race to determine home-field advantage for that one-and-done affair. If both teams finish with the same record, then Oakland would host by virtue of their winning the season series over the Rays.

For the A’s, it’s their second straight trip to the Wild Card Game. They fell to the Yankees last season. The A’s also played in the Wild Card Game in 2014, when they lost to the Royals. Oakland hasn’t advanced beyond the LDS round in the postseason since 2006. Manager Bob Melvin has now led the A’s to the playoffs five times.

And, with that, the playoff hunt is over, and all spots to claim have been claimed.

 

QLE Posted: September 28, 2019 at 12:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: al wild card, athletics, rays

Friday, September 20, 2019

A’s Jesús Luzardo forced to adapt as a kid. Now his stuff is ‘almost unfair’ - SFChronicle.com

The next, next big thing.

“Growing up, Jesús wasn’t the biggest kid on the team, he was one of the shorter kids, so he had to develop command and feel for the offspeed,” said Luzardo’s father, who also is named Jesús. “I think that was an advantage for him: He learned to pitch without the advantage of the fastball. And then he got the velocity when he grew. He needed a different approach — a lot of the big kids depended on the fastball and he didn’t have that luxury.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 06:13 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jesus luzardo

Liam Hendriks’ shift in energy big factor in surging success with A’s | NBCS Bay Area

“For me, it’s just convincing myself that no matter what, I’m better than you,” Hendriks told NBC Sports California. “So it’s not necessarily arrogance, it’s just extreme confidence. But for me, if I have to think ‘Oh I can’t throw it here, because that’s where they’re good,’ that’s where I get in trouble. So for me, it’s just convincing myself that I’m better than whoever is at the plate.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 01:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, liam hendriks

Monday, September 16, 2019

LEADING OFF: Cubs’ Rizzo to get MRI, Suárez slugs away

BIG TEST

The Cubs are sending star slugger Anthony Rizzo for an MRI after he sprained his right ankle Sunday, hoping the first baseman can still help with their postseason push. Rizzo was injured fielding a bunt at first base in the third inning during a 16-6 win over Pittsburgh. He had to be helped off the field and could not put pressure on the leg. X-rays taken at Wrigley Field showed no fractures, but Chicago will get a clearer prognosis from the MRI. Chicago’s postseason pursuit has already been hindered by an injury to shortstop Javier Báez, who is out for the rest of the regular season with a hairline fracture of his left thumb.

SEEING RED

Eugenio Suárez takes aim at the major league home run lead as the Reds open a series at Wrigley Field. Suárez connected twice Sunday and has 47 for the season, tying him with Mets slugger Pete Alonso for best in the majors. The 28-year-old Suárez has eight homers this month. The last Cincinnati hitter to lead the majors in home runs was George Foster, who hit 52 in 1977.

Would it aid Suarez’s efforts to take the home run lead if he were Simply Red, rather than Seeing Red?

 

QLE Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:25 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony rizzo, athletics, eugenio suarez, ryan braun

Sunday, September 15, 2019


Why the waterfront site is ideal for new Oakland A’s ballpark - SFChronicle.com

What does this leave out?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 15, 2019 at 05:31 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, stadium deals

Athletics’ Mike Fiers, now clean shaven, reveals story behind bizarre beard | Sporting News

Fiers said the creation of the beard was something fun that he and his teammates came up with and it was mainly sported to create fun morale in the clubhouse.

“We were just looking up fun things to do because I was thinking about shaving my beard and starting fresh,” Fiers said. “But we were thinking about something funny to do and we were searching on Google for funny beards and that was one of them that came up.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 15, 2019 at 01:30 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mike fiers

Monday, September 09, 2019

Source: A’s to call up No.1 prospect Jesus Luzardo for stretch run

Jesús Luzardo’s highly-anticipated major league debut appears to be on the horizon.

The A’s will call up their top prospect from Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday. MLB.com’s Martin Gallegos was the first to report the move.

Luzardo, 21, is ranked as the No. 3 left-handed pitching prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline and the No. 18 overall prospect. He has put together back-to-back excellent starts for Las Vegas, combining to allow just two runs in 11 2/3 innings with 17 strikeouts and two walks. In seven total starts for Las Vegas this year, he went 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA.

As a side-note, the Las Vegas team was just eliminated from the Pacific Coast League playoffs- I have no idea if it did (or should) have influence on the A’s decision, but the timing makes it seem like it wasn’t a coincidence.

 

QLE Posted: September 09, 2019 at 05:14 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jesus luzardo, prospects

Friday, September 06, 2019

LEADING OFF: A’s winning streak on line in suspended game

SO, WHERE WERE WE?

Before their regularly scheduled matchup in Oakland, the Tigers and Athletics will resume a game that was suspended May 19 at Detroit with the A’s leading 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Back then, the A’s were in the middle of putting together their first 10-game winning streak since 2006. But that could get wiped away if Oakland can’t close out the May 19 game against Detroit. If the A’s hang on, the winning streak will go to 11 games. If the Tigers rally to win, Oakland’s streak from that stretch will only be considered a seven-gamer. Center fielder Ramon Laureano is expected to come off the injured list for the A’s and play in the second game.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

Minnesota has a chance to widen its 6½-game lead in the AL Central over Cleveland and perhaps all but salt away the division title when the Indians come to town for a three-game series. Michael Pineda (11-5, 4.11 ERA) pitches the opener for the Twins, back home from an 8-2 road trip. Adam Plutko (6-4, 4.53) goes for Cleveland.

Presumably, this suspended game won’t be over in a few minutes, unlike the last one.


Friday, August 30, 2019

LEADING OFF: Wild-card hopefuls set for key weekend series

STILL FIGHTING

The Rays got themselves off the ropes by rallying late to beat Houston on Thursday night, ending a four-game skid. Now the AL wild-card hopefuls open a pivotal three-game home series against Cleveland. The Indians are 2 1/2 games ahead of Tampa Bay for the top wild-card spot, with Oakland one game ahead for the Rays for the second. All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber (12-6, 3.23) is set to pitch or Cleveland against RHP Austin Pruitt (2-0, 5.57).

PULLING AWAY?

The Cubs host the Brewers hoping to bury another NL wild-card competitor after sweeping the Mets over three games this week. Chicago pulled five games ahead of New York for the second wild card and is four games ahead of Milwaukee. LHP Jose Quintana (11-8, 4.05) will start for the Cubs in the matinee against RHP Chase Anderson (6-3, 4.34).

This competition is not just in the majors- in Triple-A baseball, many playoff spots are still in contention with only a few games left in the season.

QLE Posted: August 30, 2019 at 05:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aristides aquino, athletics, brewers, cubs, indians, rays, yankees

LEADING OFF: Wild-card hopefuls set for key weekend series

STILL FIGHTING

The Rays got themselves off the ropes by rallying late to beat Houston on Thursday night, ending a four-game skid. Now the AL wild-card hopefuls open a pivotal three-game home series against Cleveland. The Indians are 2 1/2 games ahead of Tampa Bay for the top wild-card spot, with Oakland one game ahead for the Rays for the second. All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber (12-6, 3.23) is set to pitch or Cleveland against RHP Austin Pruitt (2-0, 5.57).

PULLING AWAY?

The Cubs host the Brewers hoping to bury another NL wild-card competitor after sweeping the Mets over three games this week. Chicago pulled five games ahead of New York for the second wild card and is four games ahead of Milwaukee. LHP Jose Quintana (11-8, 4.05) will start for the Cubs in the matinee against RHP Chase Anderson (6-3, 4.34).

Similarly, Triple-A is starting its last homestands of the season, and there’s still competition in both the PCL and the International League to enter their playoffs.

QLE Posted: August 30, 2019 at 05:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: aristides aquino, athletics, brewers, cubs, indians, rays, yankees

Athletics handed winning run because a fielder accidentally jumped into their dugout

In the ninth inning of a game with significant wild card race implications, it was a pop-out on a foul ball that handed the Oakland Athletics the winning run on Thursday.

Facing the Kansas City Royals with runners on second and third with one out, A’s second baseman Corban Joseph hit a foul pop-up that drifted toward his own dugout on the third base line. Royals third-baseman Cheslor Cuthbert easily reached the ball’s landing spot, then extended out and caught the ball for an out.

However, Cuthbert wasn’t able to stop his momentum and had to jump into the A’s dugout. That would prove to be costly.

The umpire immediately called Joseph out, then signaled that play was dead and for both baserunners to advance. The Athletics went up 9-7, then held on in the bottom of the ninth to win 9-8.

So, any thoughts on the merits of this rule?

 

QLE Posted: August 30, 2019 at 04:47 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, dugout, rules of the game

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A’s closer said Golden State Warriors ‘treated us like s–’

Oakland A’s closer Liam Hendriks says he doesn’t follow the Golden State Warriors, who were the A’s neighbors before their move to the Chase Center in San Francisco for the upcoming 2019-20 season.

“They treated us like s— over here so we don’t care for them much,” Hendriks said to The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss on Tuesday morning.

Hendriks has played for the A’s since 2016, the year after the Warriors won the first of their three most recent NBA titles. He spoke about the difference between how the Warriors were treated by the A’s when they “sucked” and how the Warriors treated the A’s as they ascended to dynasty status.

Mind you, hasn’t this been the Athletics story since it went from being owned by people who wanted a strong team to people who wanted to shake down someone in the East Bay for a new stadium?

QLE Posted: August 28, 2019 at 04:03 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, basketball, liam hendriks

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Report: Athletics calling up A.J. Puk

MLB.com’s Martín Gallegos reports that the Athletics will call up pitching prospect A.J. Puk from Triple-A Las Vegas ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Yankees.

Puk, 24, was selected by the A’s in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2016 draft. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the organization’s No. 2 prospect behind Jesús Luzardo, and No. 43 across the league.

Something for those of us collecting great names.

 

QLE Posted: August 20, 2019 at 04:24 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. puk, athletics, great name

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Source: A’s sign former All-Star Matt Harvey minor league contract

The A’s are taking a chance on Matt Harvey.

A source confirmed to NBC Sports California’s Ben Ross that the A’s signed Harvey to a minor league contract. Roster Resource first reported the sides were nearing an agreement, and Jon Heyman first reported the deal.

Harvey was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball during the first three seasons of his career, making the All-Star Game and finishing fourth in NL Cy Young voting in 2013. He partially tore his UCL that season and missed all of 2014 after underoing Tommy John surgery, but Harvey returned to form in 2015 and helped lead the Mets to the NL pennant.

And with the minor league season over in a little over three weeks too….

 

QLE Posted: August 15, 2019 at 04:32 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, matt harvey

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Oakland Raiders owner rips Athletics over their stadium situation

In an interview with The Athletic’s Vincent Bonsignore, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis ripped the Oakland Athletics, calling them “pricks” and “f***ing dysfunctional” with respect to their stadium situation and how he believes they’ve treated the Raiders since the football team broke its lease and made plans to move to Las Vegas.

“Unfortunately, there’s a problem there. As far as the players and everybody, we love the A’s. We seriously do. But the front office has been real pricks. They’ve been really f****** around with us up there, taking advantage of the situation. Which, it is their right to do it, but it makes it hard. Again though, we love the players, we love the A’s.”

His beef is primarily about how the A’s, who now have greater control over the Coliseum than the Raiders do, have reduced the number of seats for football by adding theater boxes, lounge seats, and terrace tables, among other things.

Awfully rich, coming from the son of the guy who ruined the stadium in the first place…..

 

QLE Posted: August 10, 2019 at 08:18 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, oakland coliseum

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