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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Oakland A’s trade Marc Rzepczynski to Washington Nationals

The A’s announced this morning that LHP Marc Rzepczynski (1-0, 3.00) was traded to the Nationals, along with cash, for minor league 2B Max Schrock. Max Schrock, age 21 and taken out of South Carolina in the 13th round last year, seems like a weirdly excellent pickup. He’s the Nationals’ #17 prospect according to MLB.com, which sounds about right for a reliever trade in late August, but he’s having an incredible debut season.

Across A and High-A this year, he’s hit a combined .333/.378/.456 with 9 homers and 22 stolen bases over 543 PAs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 25, 2016 at 12:28 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, marc rzepcyznski, nationals, trade

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Report: A’s owner to tour waterfront site for new ballpark

Momentum may be building for an A’s stadium at the Howard Terminal site near Jack London Square.

A’s co-owner John Fisher will take what the San Francisco Chronicle called “a hush-hush tour” of that site at Port of Oakland, which mayor Libby Schaaf has long promoted as a landing spot for the team.

Fisher, who is usually quiet publicly but holds a majority stake in the A’s, will reportedly be joined on the Thursday visit by port officials familiar with real estate, environmental aspects and technical issues.

“It’s no secret I think this would be a great place for (the A’s) to move, and it gives us more options as we continue to talk to the Raiders about the Coliseum site,” Schaaf told the Chronicle. Both the Raiders and the A’s would like their own facilities, rather than the shared stadium they now have, and the Coliseum site is considered not large enough for both.”‹

The waterfront site has previously been amo

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2016 at 07:59 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, new ballpark

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A’s Billy Butler hurt by Danny Valencia in altercation, sources say

Despite facing left-handed starters Saturday and Sunday, designated hitter Billy Butler was not in the lineup for the Athletics. Manager Bob Melvin said Butler was out sick due to nausea and vomiting, though he ruled out the flu.

There seems to be more to this story than a simple illness, however. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Butler was injured in an altercation with teammate Danny Valencia on Friday. No one with the A’s has commented on the incident. From Slusser:

“No comment,” Valencia said after the team’s 4-2 loss to the White Sox. “What happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.”

Fair or not, Valencia has a reputation for being a clubhouse liability because he’s changed teams so often in his career.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 21, 2016 at 09:19 PM | 67 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy butler, clubhouse chemistry, danny valencia

Monday, August 15, 2016

Coco Crisp ‘hurt,’ believes A’s trying to prevent option

But now the A’s longest tenured player is upset and told The Chronicle he is convinced that the team is deliberately not using him in order to avoid having his $13 million vesting option for 2017 kick in.

“I’m extremely hurt, the way things are being handled,” said Crisp, who did not play in Monday’s 5-2 loss at Texas. “I’m not calling anyone names, but this is really frustrating and disappointing. This has been my favorite organization going back to when I was a kid, because of Rickey Henderson, and I’ve enjoyed playing here so much, and I’ve put it all out there. … Up until recently, it’s been tremendously enjoyable.”

Crisp, 36, needs to play in 130 games for his option to vest. He has played in 93 of Oakland’s 119 games, but is not starting against left-handed pitchers and manager Bob Melvin, who uses his bench liberally, has not been using Crisp to pinch hit. That has heightened suspicions that Crisp is being held out for contract reasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2016 at 11:22 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, coco crisp, vesting options

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rewind: Home is where the power is for Khris Davis | CSN Bay Area

“He’s got the most power to right field that I’ve seen,” A’s shortstop Marcus Semien said. “Wherever the pitch is, he’s trying to hit it there. He knows he can hit it out of the park anywhere, so that’s a special gift to have.” Davis, 28, came over in a February trade from Milwaukee, and while he was floundering through a rough April during his first month with his new club, hitting coach Darren Bush still credited the work ethic he was showing in the batting cage. Now that Davis has busted out, tying for fifth in the American League in homers and leading the A’s with 72 RBI, Bush says he’s happy that all the work is paying off. But he also doesn’t deny Davis’ natural tools.

“It’s strength, but it’s hand strength,” Bush said. “He’s got really good bat speed, he has bat speed from the beginning to the end. He keeps his bat in the zone a long time. You see guys like the other Chris Davis, you see guys like Miguel Cabrera. Those guys have that kind of strength. He’s the same way, a ton of strength in his hands.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2016 at 08:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, khris davis

First step for Sonny Gray begins with strengthening exercises

That’s not a good record.

“We don’t want to see that again,” Melvin said of the A’s setting an Oakland record by having used different starters in eight straight games. “We’re probably status quo with the rotation the next time around. Then we’ll see when Jesse comes back. We still have Mengden, Cotton, Alcantara; they may be a little big later in coming.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2016 at 07:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, injuries, sonny gray

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Sonny Gray leaves with injury, A’s lose to Cubs - San Francisco Chronicle

The team announced that Gray has right extensor muscle soreness, which could refer to one of several arm muscles. Gray said the discomfort is at the top of his forearm. “Hopefully it will feel OK the rest of today and coming in tomorrow,” he said. “That will be the big test.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 07, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, injuries, sonny gray

Monday, August 01, 2016

Oakland Athletics send OF Josh Reddick, LHP Rich Hill to Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects

The A’s sent outfielder Josh Reddick and left-handed pitcher Rich Hill to the Dodgers in a deal first reported by Fox Sports

Multiple reports have the A’s getting pitching prospects Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton in return.


Monday, July 18, 2016

A’s Rich Hill exits after five pitches, Sean Manaea forced into action - San Francisco Chronicle

He has to pitch to have value.

Rich Hill, one of the top trade chips on the mid-summer market, left Sunday’s start five pitches in after a blister on his left hand appeared to pop.

Hill had been scratched from Friday’s start because of the blister but reported that his side session that day went well and he was fine.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 18, 2016 at 08:57 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rich hill, trade rumors

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mengden finally gets run support in A’s victory - San Jose Mercury News

It’s the power of the stache.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 28, 2016 at 08:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, daniel mengden

Monday, June 27, 2016

Notes: Oakland needs to refrain from breaking up the band

We’re not selling band t-shirts here.

Oh, Billy Beane could still have his usual deadline fun, moving left-hander Rich Hill (if healthy), third baseman Danny Valencia and reliever John Axford, perhaps even closer Ryan Madson if some team will overpay, maybe a few others.

But it’s time for the Athletics to commit to a direction, going all-in with their veterans who matter most, and allowing that group to serve as a foundation while the team’s next wave of prospects emerges.

The A’s live in no-man’s land. They have no idea if and when they are getting a new ballpark. And while Beane, to his credit, is too competitive to tear down his roster, he’s spinning his wheels with veterans such as Billy Butler and Jed Lowrie.

Beane’s first step should be to extend Reddick, a potential free agent who actually is open to staying in Oakland, given his status as the team’s biggest offensive star.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2016 at 04:53 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, josh reddick

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

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