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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Theo Epstein on trade that brought Addison Russell to the Chicago Cubs

Here’s a really interesting article about the Russell deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2015 at 09:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, athletics, billy beane, cubs, theo epstein

Reddick criticizes A’s front office over his playing time | CSN Bay Area

Maybe he should worry about doing better in the AB he does get against lefties.

“I have no idea. It doesn’t come from anywhere in this clubhouse. Everybody knows what situations our general manager puts up there. I couldn’t tell you what the difference is between me starting against one guy and not starting against another guy. … There’s probably so many numbers they could dig into their computers with and try to find one just to keep me out of the lineup.”

Reddick, who’s hitting .330 in 209 at-bats against right-handers but just .152 in 66 at-bats against left-handers [emphasis added], brought up Tuesday’s game against Colorado as an example. He told Fosse he was originally slated to start against Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa, but he received a text message from Melvin in the afternoon saying the idea had been vetoed.

“I know Bob’s in there fighting for me,” Reddick said. “The other day I was supposed to play against De La Rosa, and Bob texts me at around 1:30 and told me he had been ‘trumped,’ was the word he used. I understood right away. I know it’s not Bob. He’s fighting for me to be in there every night. It still frustrates me beyond belief when I don’t play …. I wanna be in there helping my team no matter if a guy’s throwing right-handed, left-handed or center-handed. Whatever you wanna call it, I just want to be in there, be able to compete and help my team win.”

Reddick’s career splits:

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2015 at 08:52 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, josh reddick

Ben Zobrist is the mystery hitter Mets would ‘overpay’ to get | New York Post

Ben Zobrist? Don’t get me wrong, He’s a good player. But he’s the GUY they would overpay for? He is a free agent next year.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2015 at 08:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, ben zobrist, mets, trade rumors

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Billy Beane still weighing A’s options as trade deadline nears | CSN Bay Area

It’s a long season. The Wild Card opens up many possibilities.

“It’s really depending on how you’re playing and where you’re headed,” Beane said. “Just about any deficit can be overtaken if you’re clicking as a club. Case in point, 2012.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 30, 2015 at 06:39 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane

Friday, June 12, 2015

Video: Must C: Burns’ two great grabs | MLB.com

Not a bad pick up for Jerry Blevins.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 12, 2015 at 09:27 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy burns

Monday, June 08, 2015

Red Sox stun A’s with 7-run 8th to cap sweep | redsox.com

This was a good win for the Red Sox. It’s good to see some life for the team.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 08, 2015 at 09:44 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, red sox

Friday, June 05, 2015

Switch-Pitcher Pat Venditte makes Major League debut

Lord take me now, because I will never see anything more awesome than this.

Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte made his big-league debut tonight at Fenway, and pitched a nearly perfect sixth inning—retiring Brock Holt with his left arm, seen above, and then after allowing a single inducing a Mike Napoli double play with his right (which you can watch below).

Three videos at the link, including one of the switch-hitting Blake Swihart having to run back to the dugout to grab his lefty batting helmet when Venditte decides to pitch to him right handed. Venditte went 2 IP and gave up a single while striking out one.


Switch-pitcher placed on path early by dad | MLB.com

There is a new freak in town.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 05, 2015 at 11:17 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Grant Brisbee breaks down each of Oakland’s 15 one-run losses

Getting to this a bit late, this was published on May 28th and since then the A’s have increased the number of one-run wins by 50%... to give them a 3-15 record overall.

4. Astros 7, A’s 6 - April 26

Key moments:
I’m caught between wanting to throw my hands up and say, “You get the idea” and continuing to pile on at the risk of my sanity and yours. I’ve chosen the latter strategy. May we all find peace in this world.

If only there were an image to symbolize this awful game.

OH COME ON.

That’s a fastball above Evan Gattis’s nose, which he hit for a two-run, ninth-inning double. The lead run was on base because Brett Lawrie had a brain fart and threw to second base on a fielder’s choice when the runner was already there. Again, that was a bad baseball play, but of course it happened in the ninth inning of a one-run game.

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 02, 2015 at 09:41 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, gifs, oakland a's

Monday, June 01, 2015

In flux A’s rounding into form | athletics.com

“When you step back,” said Vogt, “you realize we’re only a third of the way there. We’ve got a lot of season to play.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2015 at 06:02 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Sunday, May 31, 2015

A’s beat: Sean Doolittle returns to disabled list with strained shoulder - SFGate

This has to be frustrating.

This setback involves a different muscle in Doolittle’s shoulder than his previous injury. That offered scant solace as he contemplated at least two weeks of inactivity; only then will Doolittle pick up a baseball again and start another throwing program.

“It’s really frustrating to work your ass off for four months, come all the way back, throw one inning and then I’m back on the shelf,” he said.

The A’s activated Doolittle on Tuesday, after he made four minor-league rehabilitation appearances without a problem. He pitched one scoreless inning Wednesday against Detroit, then felt some discomfort later that night.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 31, 2015 at 08:52 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sean doolittle

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Slumping Crisp to see neck specialist - San Francisco Chronicle

That’s not ideal.

Crisp said before the season that he believed the neck problem might be a lifelong issue. The fact that it cropped up again just 13 games after he returned from the disabled list makes it a major concern. Crisp changed the way he hit last season to deal with the neck problem, and hit .203 the final two months while dealing with the injury.

Since coming off the DL after arthroscopic elbow surgery, Crisp is batting .044, but has played extremely well defensively, and that’s despite being moved from center to left. That position switch was done largely to keep Crisp healthy. If he goes on the DL again, it will be his sixth trip since the start of the 2010 season.

Crisp, 35, is signed for $22 million over the next two years; he also has a $13 million option for 2017 that vests based on plate appearances and/or games played in 2015 and 2016.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 21, 2015 at 10:14 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, coco crisp

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A’s might turn to Washington to help shore up defense

Is he coming out of retirement to play shortstop?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2015 at 08:22 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, defense

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ambidextrous Nashville Sounds pitcher Pat Venditte shows rarest of skills

Sorry if this pushes my ambidextrous agenda on you guys.

Now, after serving seven years in the Yankees’ organization, the long man, the innings eater, topping out at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and with winter ball stints in places as far afield as Venezuela, an alien twice over, he’s declared himself a free agent and signed a minor league deal with the angle-shooting, value-seeking A’s.

“I just felt like they wanted me the most,” he says. After a solid first Oakland spring, he has landed with the Nashville Sounds, finally making more than the Triple-A minimum of $2,150 a month. This is the first year he can afford to have Erin join him for the season—they met in college at Creighton—and she’s left her job back in Omaha for the electrical storms of a minor league summer. They are as close to their dreams as they ever have been.

It’s still proving hard for Venditte to snap his farm-system habits, all those years spent living as though on the lam. In the apartment complex’s sunny office, the woman with the keys makes a face when he tries to pay the deposit with wadded-up cash. He confirms that they’ll be on a breakable month-to-month lease before he signs the paperwork. He uses his right hand.

When Venditte tries to write with his left hand, his signature turns into an illegible scrawl. Eating with his left hand is a good way for him to end up with a dry cleaning bill. In any universe other than baseball, he is indisputably right-handed. The golf clubs tell as much. The only thing he can do with his left hand as well as he can with his right is perhaps the hardest thing in the world: pitch. He can throw a fastball, a slider and a changeup with either arm, and there isn’t much between each version. His right-handed fastball is a little harder; his left-handed slider is a little sharper. His delivery—a deceptive, unconventional sidearm—is virtually identical from either side. More than once, Venditte has been mistaken for opposite-handed twins because he’ll warm up before games with one hand with the starting pitchers and with the other hand with the relievers. Every appearance turns into an audition for a new audience of disbelievers and gawkers who have come to see the freak of nature, the carnival geek. Even here, on the cusp of the major leagues, he still isn’t free from his lifelong burden of proof.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 14, 2015 at 05:53 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: ambidextrous, athletics, minor league, pat venditte

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Remarkably Unclutch Oakland A’s | FanGraphs Baseball

If things don’t turn around in the next month, Beane will start selling off, which will mean the talent will match the record.

No team is diverging from their BaseRuns expectations at anything near the rate that the A’s are. Instead of being 12-21, BaseRuns actually expects that the A’s would be 18-15 at this point, a .539 expected winning percentage that would have them as the 11th best team in baseball. No other team in baseball is underperforming their BaseRuns record by more than three wins, and since 2002, no team has underperformed their BaseRuns by more than 11 wins over the course of a full season. At their current pace, the A’s would win 54 fewer games than their BaseRuns total, which, you know, isn’t going to happen.

As is usually the case when teams have massive divergences like this, the first place to look is the bullpen, and the A’s bullpen has been a disaster. Their bullpen’s 5.16 ERA is 28th in MLB, as is their 4.44 FIP; their 4.50 xFIP ranks 30th. But again, those are context-neutral numbers, and BaseRuns is including those struggles in the calculations. But it’s context-specific performances where the A’s pitching staff has really let them down, and this is how you play pretty well overall but still lose 21 of 33 games.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 12, 2015 at 06:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sabermetrics

Monday, May 11, 2015

Olney: Laying out each team’s Mount Rushmore and ranking the quartets

The Mount Rushmore for BTF: Chris Truby, Mike Piazza, Madeline Albright, and Frank Tanana.

And Mike Crudale.

So I picked my own four for each club, and then ranked the 30 sets of four. Here they are, from the best to the fourth-best (in my opinion) for each franchise:

1. Giants: Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Christy Mathewson, Willie McCovey

2. Yankees: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mariano Rivera (see below)

3. Cardinals: Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Albert Pujols, Bob Gibson

4. Red Sox: Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Cy Young, Pedro Martinez

5. Tigers: Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Miguel Cabrera, Al Kaline

6. Reds: Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Frank Robinson

7. Twins: Walter Johnson, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett

8. Athletics: Rickey Henderson, Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Reggie Jackson

9. Braves: Hank Aaron, Greg Maddux, Warren Spahn, Chipper Jones

10. Dodgers: Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Clayton Kershaw


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dreadful defense does Oakland A’s in at Seattle - Oakland Athletics : The Drumbeat

Semien really needs to improve his concentration. He flubs too many routine plays.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 10, 2015 at 08:27 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, marcus semien

A’s Jarrod Parker has broken bone in elbow - SFGate

— Jarrod Parker’s hideous injury Friday night was diagnosed Saturday as a fractured bone in his right elbow, right where the graft for his surgically reconstructed ligament is anchored.

Parker will require surgery of some sort, but trainer Nick Paparesta said it is unclear whether Parker will require what would be his third Tommy John surgery. Paparesta said, “As of right now, everything in that regard looks promising, but they really won’t know until they get in to fix the fracture.”

The fracture is to the medial epicondyle area of the humerus bone; in Tommy John surgery, holes are drilled there to hold the ligament replacement, and repeat surgeries can weaken the bone, according to medical experts. Parker had his second Tommy John surgery March 24, 2014.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 10, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, jarrod parker

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Battering the Batter

MLB can also look at the National Hockey League, which has a rule that’s always enforced regardless of intent. The NHL gives a player a two-minute delay of game penalty if he shoots the puck over the glass out of his own end. It’s irrelevant if the delay of game occurred because the player was trying to stave off an offensive rush, or if he just ran into some bad luck.

MLB can follow the same process, though it would be far more controversial: automatic ejections of any pitcher who hits a batter above the waist. Doing so removes umpires’ inability to measure intent from the equation. Hit a batter above the waist, hit the showers early, no exceptions. Ask Giancarlo Stanton’s jaw if it mattered that Mike Fiers wasn’t aiming at his head—the injury is the same. An ejection isn’t the same as a suspension—the team would only be without its pitcher for the duration of the game in which the hit-by-pitch occurred. A subsequent suspension would still be under the purview of the league office; it would still determine intent when assessing whether a longer punishment was necessary.

To be sure, this would have a profound impact on the game. Many pitchers rely on pitching inside—sometimes high and inside—to remain effective. Were automatic ejections the rule, offense would increase, as batters would no longer need to fear the inside pitch. Yet that might prove a blessing in disguise, as the new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has stated that he’s looking for ways to increase offense in the sport. Severely penalizing dangerous pitching will improve offense while at the same time mitigating the risk of a gruesome or fatal injury. The sport has survived profound changes to offense over the last two decades; a player’s career may not survive a fastball profoundly changing the structure of his skull.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

With suspensions looming, Royals hope to move on from ‘emotional’ series with Oakland | The KC Star

Sure.

The gesture was broadcast on the television screen inside Ned Yost’s office. Ejected from Sunday’s game, Yost witnessed Kelvin Herrera point to his head after throwing a pitch behind the back of Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie. As a spectator, Yost experienced a reaction common to viewers across the country.

“You look at it, and you’re like ‘God, what’s he doing that for?’” Yost said.

Herrera received an ejection of his own, as one of five Royals tossed from Sunday’s fracas. After the game, he insisted he lost his grip on the baseball, even if it was the second pitch he threw inside to Lawrie, the antagonist for Kansas City all weekend. When asked the meaning of his gesture, Herrera said he was saying to Lawrie, “Think about it.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/mlb/kansas-city-royals/article19097880.html#storylink=cpy

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2015 at 06:44 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, royals

Sunday, April 19, 2015

More from Oakland A’s Brett Lawrie, Josh Reddick - Oakland Athletics : The Drumbeat

Brett Lawrie, the voice of reason?

Lawrie said first-base umpire Greg Gibson commended him on how he handled himself, and Lawrie said, with a little grin, “He hits you with one, and there’s two things I can do. I can blow up right here, or I can just take it and walk to first base and let him get in trouble and let it get the better of him.

“What’s the crowd want me to do right there? They want me to blow up and create a huge scene, but why fuel the fire? Why dump another thing of gasoline on it when I can just put a smile on. I was on first base, got to be on first base, and we won the game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 19, 2015 at 08:21 AM | 142 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, josh reddick, royals, yordano ventura

Friday, April 17, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court asked to overturn baseball’s anti-trust exemption

Leading off…..Roberts…..John Roberts….

For the first time in four decades, the U.S. Supreme Court will have an opportunity to reconsider baseball’s notorious exemption from antitrust law. On Wednesday, the city of San Jose, California filed an appeal with the nation’s highest court, asking it to overturn professional baseball’s nearly century-old immunity from the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The appeal is the latest step in the litigation surrounding the Oakland A’s proposed move to San Jose. Back in 2013, the city sued Major League Baseball claiming that the league’s failure to approve the A’s relocation violated federal antitrust law. The district court dismissed the lawsuit later that same year, concluding that baseball’s exemption shielded MLB’s relocation decisions from antitrust scrutiny. That decision was upheld earlier this year by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

While these lower courts were constrained by a series of Supreme Court precedents exempting baseball from the Sherman Act, the Supreme Court itself is not bound to follow the prior rulings. So San Jose is asking the Court to seize this opportunity to overturn baseball’s highly controversial antitrust immunity. Like any appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, the odds that the Court will agree to take San Jose’s appeal are rather slim.


San Jose is hoping to convince the Supreme Court to take the case by arguing that baseball’s antitrust exemption is an outdated doctrine that is harming the public interest in a variety of ways. In its Petition for A Writ of Certiorari – the formal name of an appeal to the Supreme Court – the city argues that none of the original legal justifications for the exemption remain.

 


Thursday, April 16, 2015

REMEMBERING THE WORST ATTENDED MLB GAME OF ALL-TIME

Someone ought to move that team to San Jose!

April 17, 1979, was not exactly the night they hit rock bottom: the A’s would lose 99 more games that year on their way to a 54–108 record, to date the most losses in the franchise’s 114-year history. They would finish with the second-worst record (a game above the 109-loss Blue Jays), lowest whole-season attendance (306,763), most errors, and the lowest batting average in the AL.

But the scene that empty April night drew coverage around the country. 653 tickets sold, but scarcely 250 people walked into the stadium who were not paid to do so; the San Francisco Chronicle’s Herb Caen asked later, “Can you name them?” The 1979 Oakland A’s were a team forsaken by their owner in a city on the verge, it seemed, of being forsaken by its team: these were the Athletics on the brink.

The game was one of the very first regular season games to air on television in Oakland. As the people of Oakland got home from work that day and hung up their coats, they looked out their windows, and checked the sports listings. Better to stay warm at home and see what your ballpark looked like on TV….

The A’s pugilistic owner, Charles O. Finley, once a passionate advocate, now made little effort to disguise his waning interest in Oakland baseball. The advent of free agency in 1976 had players suddenly demanding hefty salaries. The notoriously cheap Finley would have none of it. He slashed his payroll, so that by 1978 the A’s salaries were less than half the league average. He fired most of his staff, at one point maintaining a front office of just six employees, including a frenetic 17-year-old named Stanley Burrell whom Finley had jokingly appointed vice president. (Burrell would release his first album as MC Hammer—a nickname awarded to him by Charlie Finley, who thought he looked like Hank Aaron—several years later.) Finley made noisy overtures to other cities—scheming at one point to replace the White Sox in Chicago, where his insurance business was based, by first having the White Sox move to Seattle—and publicly attempted to finagle his way out of a 20-year Oakland lease.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 16, 2015 at 05:03 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, charlie finley

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