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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

A’s brass addresses offseason concerns, will continue to focus on youth - San Francisco Chronicle

The one regular in the A’s lineup, then, who might be dangled for bullpen help is corner infielder-designated hitter Ryon Healy, should the front office want to risk breaking up the tight-knit core of youngsters who have come up through the organization together.

Healy is 25 and he blasted 25 homers in his first full big-league season, but he isn’t an accomplished fielder and moving him would free up the DH spot for Davis and give Oakland more options in the outfield.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 04, 2017 at 06:00 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A’s Bruce Maxwell kneels for anthem | MLB.com

Baseball players join the movement.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 24, 2017 at 11:02 AM | 94 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, bruce maxwell

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Must C: Five straight for Olson | MLB.com (video)

A rookie prospect comes up blasting homers by the bushel just about every day now.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2017 at 10:52 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, matt olson

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A’s preferred stadium site criticized for causing gentrification, killing waterfowl | Field of Schemes

Won’t somebody think about the ducks?????

The [Golden Gate Audubon Society], which has more than 7,000 members in Oakland and nearby cities, said the proposed ballpark in the Eastlake neighborhood would be disastrous for nearly 200 species of ducks, herons, songbirds, nesting cormorants and fish that make their homes in Lake Merritt, the nation’s oldest wildlife refuge.

“We’re not antibaseball. We love the A’s, but we want them to stay where they are,” said Cindy Margulis, the executive director of Golden Gate Audubon. “When you put in a stadium and have all the additional cars and traffic, there will be additional contaminants coming into the lake. Oakland is a creative, imaginative city, and I think they can do better.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 19, 2017 at 09:28 AM | 79 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, stadium deals

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Moneyball at 20: Inside Billy Beane’s legacy after 2 decades running the A’s - San Francisco Chronicle

Must read. Some really good insights into Billy Beane.

Top on the list: trading third baseman Josh Donaldson, who went on to be the MVP after going to Toronto, in exchange for four players who have not nearly approached that kind of star power.

“In hindsight, that was certainly questionable — and I’m being kind to myself,” Beane said recently in his first public comments reproaching himself for the deal. “There were a number of reasons why, and Josh was a good player who became a great player — but when you make as many transactions as we do, some are going to be good and some are not going to be good.
“It’s with some mea culpa that that one can be judged. Fair enough.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 27, 2017 at 08:50 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane, moneyball

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dodgers trade Chris Hatcher to A’s

Addition by subtraction. Maybe Beane saw something in Hatcher he thinks his coaching staff can fix.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 16, 2017 at 03:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, dodgers

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Mariners acquire first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Oakland A’s

The Mariners acquired the veteran left-handed hitting first baseman from the A’s on Sunday morning in waivers trade, sending outfielder Boog Powell back to Oakland in return. A 25-man roster move will have to be made to add Alonso on Tuesday. It’s likely the Mariners’ extra reliever they are carrying — Casey Lawrence — will be sent out.


The 30-year-old Alonso is a rental bat for the final two months since he will be a free agent after the season. He made his first All-Star game this season and was hitting .266 with an .896 on-base plus slugging percentage, 17 doubles, 22 homers and 49 RBI in 100 games with the A’s.

Alonso is likely to platoon with his former teammate Danny Valencia at first base, and get the starts against right-handed pitchers. This season, he’s hitting .286 with a .948 OPS, 15 doubles, 18 homers and 40 RBI vs. righties.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2017 at 01:31 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mariners, yonder alonso

Saturday, August 05, 2017

A’s outfielder Matt Joyce apologizes, is under MLB investigation after shouting gay slur

After a heated eighth-inning exchange with a fan in Friday night’s game that prompted Oakland A’s outfielder Matt Joyce to yell a gay slur, the team says the commissioner’s office has opened an investigation on the incident.

Joyce also took to Twitter Saturday to apologize.

“In regard to last night’s incident, I first and foremost want to sincerely apologize to the fans, the Oakland A’s, MLB and the most importantly the LGBTQ community for my comments and actions,” he said in a string of tweets. “I am beyond sorry for the inappropriate language that I used and understand and agree that those words should NEVER come out of someone’s mouth no matter the situation.”

His regretful tweets came not long after a report from the Associated Press about the league’s investigation of the incident.

“We have been in contact with the commissioner’s office, as this is a workplace code of conduct issue,” A’s spokeswoman Catherine Aker said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2017 at 04:35 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, gay slur, homophobia, matt joyce

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Sonny Gray and the Collective Bargaining Agreement

tl;dr Changes in rules force changes in behavior of the bottom-dwelling Oakland Athletics.

Here’s why: in previous CBAs, teams shared 20-34% of local revenues with each other equally. In the 2011, CBA, they decided to only distribute revenue sharing to the smallest 15 markets. But an exception was made for the A’s, because Oakland is actually one of the 15 largest markets. The 2011 CBA lets the A’s to collect revenue sharing as long as they were still in the Coliseum. In the latest CBA in 2016, they decided to phase this out for the A’s over four years.

Bote Man Posted: August 03, 2017 at 10:36 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, cba, finances, sonny gray, stadium issues

Monday, July 31, 2017

Jack Curry on Twitter: “Source: Sonny Gray will be traded to the Yankees.”

Will update soon. Joel Sherman on MLB Network says Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler, and James Kaprielian to Athletics.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2017 at 03:01 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sonny gray, trades, yankees

Diamondbacks acquire Adam Rosales in trade with Athletics; bolster infield depth

The Diamondbacks added some suddenly much-needed infield depth to their roster on Monday by acquiring infielder Adam Rosales from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a low-level pitching prospect.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2017 at 02:18 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, diamondbacks, trades

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ken Rosenthal - On Sonny Gray

Need?

The Yankees view Gray as a No. 3 starter, maybe a No. 2 on certain days, but not a No. 1. Fair enough — Darvish probably is the guy you’d pick if you had one game to win. But again, the contractual situations are entirely different. Darvish is a rental. Gray, Severino, Montgomery and Tanaka (if he stays) could form the nucleus of the Yankees’ rotation through at least 2019.

The staredown continues, but perhaps not for much longer. The Yankees need Sonny Gray. The Athletics need to trade him.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2017 at 09:35 AM | 57 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, trade rumors, yankees

Friday, July 28, 2017

Athletics Stuck On Frazier Or Torres From The Yankees For Gray

Heyman reports.

The Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees aren’t believed close to any deal yet in talks about Sonny Gray, as Oakland is said to have asked for packages that include either outfielder Clint Frazier or shortstop Gleyber Torres, two young players the Yankees have suggested are off-limits.

The A’s, in a deep sellers’ market, have named the very top prospects in talks to this point. From the Brewers, they are believed to like outfielder Lewis Brinson, and from the Braves outfield Ronald Acuna. The Brewers are said to have “backed off” in recent days, while the Braves are thought to be behind in the running.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 28, 2017 at 08:17 AM | 168 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sonny gray, trade rumors, yankees

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Olney: Trade Sonny Gray to Yankees, as time is right for big markets to get their ace

When the Yankees made their big trade last week for Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson and Todd Frazier, the rationale was to acquire pitchers who can help them beyond 2017. This is true for Gray, as well. He would help their chances of making the playoffs this year and of winning in the postseason, as Gray is known as a big-stage performer after his strong October showing against the Tigers as a rookie. And he would also help the Yankees’ chances in 2018 and 2019, before he finally reaches free agency.

And there’s no doubt about this: The Yankees need starting pitchers for 2018. Luis Severino will be back, but Michael Pineda was lost to an elbow injury (and would’ve been gone as a free agent, anyway). CC Sabathia’s contract is about to expire, and Masahiro Tanaka could opt out of his deal (and is a major health risk if he stays). Gray would slot in next year and the year after that as the No. 2 or No. 3.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Yoenis Cespedes wants to finish career in Oakland - San Francisco Chronicle

“I wish that happens,” Céspedes said, adding “I told (former A’s and current Mets teammate Jerry) Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.”

A series against the A’s means more to the outfielder than most because of his fond feeling for the team and for the fans, he said.

“I still love the A’s. They were the first team to give me an opportunity to play in the big leagues,” Céspedes said. “I love Oakland all the time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mets, yoenis cespedes

Friday, July 21, 2017

NYP: Yoenis Cespedes: I want to finish my career with A’s

Melvin to Cespedes: “Damn baby! What did you do to your hair?”

Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t finished the first season of his four-year, $110 million contact with the Mets, and the star outfielder already is thinking about joining another team.

Before Friday’s game against the A’s at Citi Field, Cespedes told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would like to end his career in Oakland, where he debuted in 2012, and remained until being traded to the Red Sox in July 2014.

“I wish that happens,” Cespedes said in a rare, English-speaking interview. “I told [former A’s and current Mets teammate Jerry] Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.

“I still love the A’s. They were the first team to give me an opportunity to play in the big leagues. I love Oakland all the time.”

Cespedes’ affection extends to Oakland’s bench, where the slugger said he believes A’s manager Bob Melvin has done a better job than every manager he’s ever had, including the Mets’ Terry Collins.

“I tell my guys here all the time that he’s the best manager for me so far,” Cespedes said. “I don’t think there’s a better manager than Melvin.”

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: July 21, 2017 at 11:05 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mets, retirement, yoenis cespedes

Steven Souza Jr. blames state of Athletics’ field for hip injury

Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. is blaming the field conditions at the Oakland Athletics’ O.co Coliseum for a left hip injury that knocked him out of Wednesday’s game.

“I went to slide, and it was extremely muddy around second base,” Souza said after the Rays’ 7-2 loss. “My leg got stuck in the ground, and I just kind of felt a jump in my hip. That didn’t feel very great.”...

“I don’t know how it got real muddy out there, but it was not OK,” Souza told reporters. “I’ve never actually slid into a major league base like that and stuck and felt like I was going deeper in the ground.”

The A’s have played at the Coliseum since 1968. The stadium has had other notable issues in recent years, most memorably when sewage backed up into the home and visiting clubhouses.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2017 at 04:51 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, rays, stephen souza

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Likely destinations for all the top stars on the block

The Brewers may be the most aggressive team pursuing Gray, who pitched three years for Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson at Vanderbilt. The Brewers, whose rebuild has suddenly been accelerated by their first-place status in the NL Central, not only have the prospects, but also a fiery owner wanting to land him….

The Astros, 62-30, actually may be the team that most needs Gray. Sure, they’ll cruise to the AL West title with or without him, but with the way the Astros have dominated this year, anything short of a World Series berth will be a disappointment.

The Astros would prefer to land Detroit Tigers All-Star Michael Fulmer, and likely would include No. 1 prospect Francis Martes for him, but they inquired, just like the Cubs, and came up empty. If Fulmer is traded, the Tigers say, it won’t be until this winter when everyone can make a bid.

The Astros realize that Gray is the ideal front-line starter in this market to make a run for their first World Series title in franchise history, giving them a dynamic rotation with All-Stars Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr.

Prediction: Gray goes to the Astros for starter Joe Musgrove, prized pitching prospect Forrest Whitley and outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Billy Beane insists A’s committed to major rebuild

“Really, what’s been missing the last 20 years is keeping these players,” Beane said. “The frustration isn’t that we’ve had success, the frustration is that after success, we haven’t kept them, and we need to change that narrative by creating a good team and ultimately committing to keeping them around, so that when people buy a ticket, they’ll know that the team is going to be there for a few years.”....

“First of all, we have to take a look at where we are - we’re in last place. And the direction we’re heading is we’re going younger. We need to be disciplined with it, particularly with what we’re trying to do in the community as far as a stadium. There’s only one way to open a stadium successfully, and that’s with a good, young team.

“We’ve never really committed to a full rebuild. ... I will say this, and I’ve had a lot of conversations with ownership: there is a real commitment to finding a stadium. That’s not just lip service at this point, you’ve seen it.”

Asked again about his commitment to a rebuild, Beane said, “Absolutely, no doubt about it. The important end of the sentence is rebuilding and keeping them. This is my 20th year on the job. There are only so many cycles that I can go through before I get as exasperated as everybody else. Finding players has never been an issue for us. Keeping them and ultimately keeping the faith and commitment from people who follow the team, that’s got to be done by keeping them around. Again, I’ve been assured by ownership that that’s what we’re going to do as it parallels with the stadium.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2017 at 10:19 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, billy beane

Nationals acquire Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle from A’s to bolster bullpen

The Washington Nationals moved aggressively Sunday to patch the glaring hole in their otherwise dominant ball club, acquiring relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the Oakland Athletics for their opening-day closer, Blake Treinen, and two high selections from their 2016 draft class.

It’s a significant jolt for the beleaguered Nationals bullpen and it comes a full two weeks before baseball’s non-waivers July 31 trade deadline. It certainly came plenty late for both Nationals manager Dusty Baker and fans who grew accustomed to late-inning pratfalls from their relief crew….

Oakland also receives a pair of prospects, most notably pitcher Jesus Luzardo, the Nationals’ third-round pick in the 2016 draft. Luzardo, who has a chance to become the major league’s first Peruvian native, was a projected first-round pick who underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2016. He’s made three starts this season for the Nationals’ Gulf Coast League rookie team.

Sheldon Neuse, 22, was Washington’s second-round pick - 58th overall - in 2016 out of the University of Oklahoma. He’s having a strong first full season at low Class A Hagerstown (Md.), with nine homers, 51 RBI and an .818 OPS.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2017 at 01:55 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, nationals, ryan madson, sean doolittle

Wednesday, July 05, 2017


Monday, July 03, 2017

A’s want longer look at Blackburn, demote Hahn - San Francisco Chronicle

Hahn admitted to having “that dead arm feeling” and being a bit tired, which might have been a reason for his velocity dip. He didn’t rule out resting for seven or eight days and knows he has things to address at Nashville.

“Taking a step back and getting my body right again and making sure I’m 100 percent healthy,” said Hahn, who spent time on the disabled list in late May and early June with a triceps strain. “I think maybe these last couple of starts, my stuff hasn’t been as good. The ball’s been up in the zone a little bit, and I think I’ve been behind in the count a little bit.

“So I have to do a better job managing the damage when I don’t feel good in terms of throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters, putting guys away when I have two strikes on them. Those are kinds of things to go down and look at and try to fix or try to work on.”

One is succeeding on days in which his best stuff isn’t prevalent.

“You go through the course of the season where you’re not going to feel as good as you do on your best days,” Melvin said. “It’s finding the adjustments to make when you’re not feeling great to having some success. No doubt in my mind he’ll be back at some point in time. We’ve seen him go up and down, it’s just kind of finding the consistency and getting on a roll.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 03, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics

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

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