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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sean Doolittle’s girlfriend will buy your tickets to A’s Pride Night

As part of their special events this season, the Oakland Athletics recently introduced Pride Night. Pride Night will “celebrate the Bay Area’s LGBTQ community.” Partial proceeds from the event will benefit a non-profit charity supporting the LGBTQ media arts. After hearing about the promotion, some fans decided they did not want to attend the game, and would rather sell their tickets. Enter Eireann Dolan, girlfriend of A’s reliever Sean Doolittle. Dolan put up a post on her website, telling Athletics’ fans that she will buy their tickets if they don’t want to go to Pride Night.

A’s fans; if attending a baseball game on LGBT Pride Night makes you at all uncomfortable, it is probably a good idea to sell your tickets. And I have the perfect buyer. ME! If you’d like to sell your tickets to June 17th’s LGBT Pride Night game, I will buy them from you at face value. As many as I can. No judgments. No questions asked. From there, I will donate any tickets I purchase to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth.

Dolan writes in the post that she was raised by two moms, both of who are die-hard A’s fans, and that’s why she’s so passionate about the cause.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 31, 2015 at 03:03 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sean doolittle

Monday, March 30, 2015

Grantland (Lindbergh): 2015 AL West Preview

I enjoy these previews but it’s hard to see how every team will hit the “over” on their projections.

Chris Fluit Posted: March 30, 2015 at 04:53 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: al west, angels, astros, athletics, mariners, rangers

Monday, March 23, 2015

Nationals’ Jerry Blevins as much a renaissance man as he is a baseball player

He became an avid film watcher then, too. His mother always made time on Sundays to take him and his brother to the movies. As a minor leaguer with a lot of free time on the road, Blevins always found the local video store.

“I remember Clinton, Iowa,” said Blevins, whose favorite movie is “The Shawshank Redemption” and who loves the documentary “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.” “They had a riverboat casino and a Blockbuster down the street. You could go and get five movies for 25 bucks. I’d get the most obscure movies and watch them.”

Blevins also reads a lot, from the news to books. His favorite genre is science fiction and fantasy. He is reading Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. He goes to sleep each night reading on his Kindle.

Martin Prince: As your president, I would demand a science-fiction library, featuring an ABC of the genre. Asimov, Bester, Clarke.
Student: What about Ray Bradbury?
Martin Prince: I’m aware of his work…

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 23, 2015 at 01:35 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jerry blevins, loogys, nationals

Sunday, March 22, 2015

For A’s prospect Canha, better bat speed the key - San Francisco Chronicle

Really, who can wait on a cookie?

“They said, ‘These guys don’t make as many mistakes, so you have to go up with the mind-set, ‘I’m going to have to go outside my comfort zone. Be ready for everything, don’t wait for that cookie, because you’re hardly ever going to get those,’” Canha said. “‘Just go after those pitchers’ pitches, because otherwise you’re behind in the count — and then you’re walking back to the dugout and what you’re looking for is never going to come.’”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 22, 2015 at 07:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Neyer: I have seen Pat Venditte and He was glorious.

The bottom of the seventh inning ended, Venditte trotted in from the bullpen—his arrival trumpeted by the nine-year-old boy running loose in my row—and at 3:42 Mountain Standard Time, I finally saw Pat Venditte throw a real pitch to a real batter.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 19, 2015 at 05:14 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, pat venditte

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Geldbal? Dutch club AZ Alkmaar hires ‘Moneyball’ executive Billy Beane

We’re not selling clogs here.

Pardon us, Netherlands readers, but how do you say Moneyball in Dutch? Besides ‘Moneyball’, of course.

AZ Alkmaar has hired Oakland Athletics executive Billy Beane, one of the most celebrated advanced statistics gurus in the world and the subject of the film “Moneyball”, in an advisory capacity.

The AZ site says he’ll be helping the club in the areas of “high performance and innovation”.

The club’s general director, Robert Eenhoorn, played four years in Major League Baseball, and its director of soccer is USMNT legend Earnie Stewart.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 18, 2015 at 09:48 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, netherlands, scocer

Monday, March 16, 2015

Barry Zito – what are the odds he’ll make A’s rotation? - Oakland Athletics : The Drumbeat

Barry Zito is going back to the future.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2015 at 07:08 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, barry zito

Monday, March 09, 2015

A’s facing a major power outage in 2015 - Spring Training Blog - ESPN

The A’s certainly won’t be a powerhouse on the position player side. If you look at BB-Ref’s Positional Comparisons it looks like the rebuilt A’s have the potential to put at least similar WAA on the position player side as they did last year. Ben Zobrist (5.0 bWAR) is a big upgrade at 2B (Oakland -1.4 bWAR last year). This one pick-up can have a big impact. The keys, however, are Marcus Semien and Brett Lawrie. If Semien can provide slightly above average play at SS and Lawrie can stay on the field (1.7 WAR in 70 games in 2014) the sky won’t fall in Oakland.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Oakland Athletics Top 20 Prospects for 2015 - Minor League Ball

John Sickels’ Top 20.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 08, 2015 at 10:12 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, prospects

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Jim Harbaugh Suits Up For Oakland A’s

The man who brought the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII and fled to Michigan after last season amid a falling out with his bosses is in camp with the Oakland A’s today.

In a green and gold uniform. Wearing stirrups – “That’s old school,” he said. With a No. 4 jersey. And planning to coach first base for a couple of innings when the A’s host the Angels at Hohokam Stadium.

#6bid rescued Ichiro the carpenter! Posted: March 07, 2015 at 03:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jim harbaugh

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Joe Posnanski’s Top 100 Players: No. 40: Eddie Collins

Annnd, we’re back!

There is no satisfying way to compare ancient players from Deadball to the players today. For instance: There is an argument to be made, a strong one, that Eddie Collins was one of the ten best player in baseball history. If you treat the baseball of his time as equal to all other times, you almost have to rank him in that stratosphere. He ranks tenth In wins Above Replacement. He hit .333 with more than 3,000 hits, more than 700 stolen bases, more than 1,800 runs scored — only Ty Cobb has that combination…

How can you guess what Eddie Collins would be in 2015? He was a 5-foot-9, 175-pound competitor, a peerless bunter, a breathtaking base runner, a player with a brilliant baseball mind. Would that game play in 2015? Collins averaged — AVERAGED — more than 20 sacrifice hits per season over his 25-year career. Last year, no player had more than 13 sacrifice bunts. We don’t have complete information, but based on what we do know it seems Collins routinely would get thrown out 30 times a season attempting to steal. That obviously wouldn’t play these days. Collins seemed to get on base a lot with bunts … but even his admirers would say that he wasn’t breathtaking fast, he was just a great bunter. Would that work in 2015 against specialized defenses?

Then again he was just such a smart player — you have to believe he would adjust to modern times. Would have become a faster Dustin Pedroia? A Joe Morgan type? Your guess is probably as irrelevant as mine.

The District Attorney Posted: March 05, 2015 at 02:12 PM | 146 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, eddie collins, history, joe posnanski, white sox

Mike Norris and the Moral Winter – The Hardball Times

Here’s a nice article about Mike Norris.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mike norris

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Deep dive from Ike Davis on Mets’ downfall, hope for future - NY Daily News

I still kinda like Ike.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ike davis, mets

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Donaldson already proving great fit with Blue Jays | MLB.com

“I have a pretty good relationship with [A’s GM] Billy Beane,” Anthopoulos said. “We’ve done a bunch of small deals. The one thing about Billy, he’s always open-minded and you can never offend him; you can ask about anybody at any time to make a deal.

“[Donaldson] is somebody we asked about right at the end of the season. We were adamantly told, ‘He’s not going to be moved.’ Then we asked about him a little later. [Beane] was still adamant that [Donaldson] was not going to be moved. Then I guess, about a week before we did the deal, we asked about him again in a conversation, he again said he wouldn’t move him, but it seemed in passing that one of the issues was they wanted to win this year. They might retool, but they weren’t going to tear it down.

“[Beane] wasn’t going to leave a hole at third base. I’m the one who introduced Lawrie at that point. We weren’t going to trade Lawrie, but I wasn’t getting anywhere with trying to get Donaldson. Once I introduced Lawrie to fill that hole for him, he seemed a little bit more open-minded and we took it from there. That was the only way I think things could get off the ground, because [Beane] still had every intention to win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 05:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays

Friday, February 20, 2015

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-20-2015

Pittsburgh Press, February 20, 1915:

One writer suggests that the Cleveland Americans be called the Submarines, because they are always on the bottom. The only objection is that the Cincinnati Reds might dispute this title.

...and elsewhere on the same page:

After being with a second-division team for several years Lajoie has got renewed ambition. He has got something worth while to work for in 1915.
...
“I can hardly wait for the time to go south,” said Lajoie. “It has been several years since I was so eager to get into a baseball uniform as I am now. I want to show that I’ve got a lot of good ball playing yet left in me, and I think the ‘old boy’ will be back there in the .300 class next season.”

The joke was on Nap. The 1915 Athletics lost 109 games, which was the third-worst record in MLB from 1900-1915. The 1916 Athletics were the worst team of baseball’s modern area. They went 36-117 (.235) and finished 54.5 games out of first place. 41-year-old Nap hit .246 with no OBP or SLG to speak of, then retired.

And the Cleveland Submarines? They won a World Series before the Athletics finished above last place.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Zito back with A’s part of Beane’s next movie plot | CSN Bay Area

Here’s your feel good story of the spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 17, 2015 at 08:34 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, barry zito

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Schoenfield: Ranking the teams: 18 through 13

I’m just the messenger: Just pointing out that Lester had a 4.82 ERA in 2012 and 3.75 in 2013. Yes, big 2014, new league, no DH and more cutters instead of four-seamers and he could be even better. But you never know. He may not be as good as he was last year. And then there’s Jake Arrieta, former faded prospect turned rotation anchor. He looks like the real deal but ... again ... you never know. Hey, I’m trying. I like the Cubs! I have them ranked 13th!

The final word: If I had more guts I’d predict them to win the division, but they have two strong clubs ahead of them and even the Brewers or Reds are capable of 90 wins. The Cubs are still sorting a few things out and waiting for some of the young guys to mature. Sometimes, teams do break through right away; if Bryant and Jorge Soler are 3-4 win players as rookies and Lester and Arrieta throw 400-plus innings of great baseball, the Cubs could be the big surprise of 2015.

Prediction: 84-78

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 12, 2015 at 10:21 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, cubs, david schoenfield, padres, royals, tigers

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Many new faces but same high expectations at A’s FanFest - San Francisco Chronicle

“I’d like Billy Beane to be able to tell America, ‘Take that!’ when this is all over,” new bench coach Mike Aldrete said during the Q-and-A.

“One thing I’ve always heard around the league is, ‘Billy knows what he’s doing,’” new first baseman Ike Davis said. “I figured he had a plan, just be patient, and now that you look at it, it’s a pretty exciting team.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2015 at 10:35 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Billy Beane has re-made the A’s again. Will it work? - MLB - SI.com

Jay Jaffe’s A’s Winter Report Card.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 05, 2015 at 09:01 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Monday, January 19, 2015

Madden: Beane’s A’s good to go, Hart’s Braves gone for year - NY Daily News

Comparing and contrasting John Hart’s and Billy Beane’s off-seasons.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2015 at 05:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Zobrist in Oakland | Articles | Bill James Online

Dave Fleming looks at the A’s and Ben Zobrist.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 15, 2015 at 02:40 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ben zobrist, sabermetrics

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Nationals To Acquire Yunel Escobar

Not a Bay Area guy, I guess…

The Nationals have reached an agreement to acquire shortstop Yunel Escobar from the A’s, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link). He speculates that a swap of Escobar and Tyler Clippard was a possibility.

Escobar, of course, had only just been acquired by the Athletics this past weekend…

As for the Nationals, the acquisition opens a number of avenues. First and foremost is that Escobar simply supplants Danny Espinosa as the team’s second baseman… However, the possibility of an eventual Desmond trade cannot be outright ignored…

The 32-year-old Escobar, typically a sound defender, had somewhat of a down season on both sides of the ball in 2014. Though he picked things up with the bat late in the season to salvage a .258/.324/.340 batting line (92 OPS+, 95 wRC+), he posted a UZR/150 of -26, and Defensive Runs Saved dinged him equally, rating him at -24 runs. However, Escobar also battled shoulder and knee problems last season and has otherwise always been regarded as an excellent defender, so while some will assume this to be age-related decline, there’s reason to believe that he could rebound in 2015.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Oakland’s Ben Zobrist Deal Erases Any Doubt About Billy Beane’s Strategy «

Ben Lindbergh takes a look at the A’s moves.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2015 at 04:09 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A look at the A’s deal for Ben Zobrist, Yunel Escobar

Another slow news day and BOOM!

With the additions of Ben Zobrist, who will become Oakland’s primary second baseman, and shortstop Yunel Escobar, the A’s are likely done assembling their 2015 team – and there is little doubt they plan to contend.

Zobrist was hotly pursued by numerous teams this winter, including the Giants, but the fact that Oakland could also find a spot for Escobar probably helped the A’s complete the deal.  The A’s will send catcher John Jaso to the Rays along with two minor-leaguers, top shortstop prospect Daniel Robertson and outfielder Boog Powell.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2015 at 01:35 PM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ben zobrist, boog powell, daniel robertson, john jaso, rays, yunel escobar

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