Oakland A's Newsbeat
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Great feature on the Oakland Athletics’ biggest fan favorite in recent years.
“[Eric] Byrnes was more of an athletic, running-down-the-line-hard, playing-with-his-hair-on-fire type of guy,” said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. “Stephen probably doesn’t have the pace to play with his hair on fire, but he’s a ditch digger. He doesn’t use batting gloves. He has pine tar all over him and he’s dirty from the time he goes out there. His teammates feed off how hard he plays and how hard he works—and how hard he’s had to work to put himself in this position.
“I know there’s some time to go. But if you look at the catching position, I don’t know how he isn’t an All-Star.”
Monday, June 08, 2015
One if [he pitches] by land, two if by sea…
Look, everyone is excited about Pat Venditte. But we can’t be too busy to fact-check things like “the word for someone who can use both hands equally well.”
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
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
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.
Saturday, May 09, 2015
A wretched start to the season keeps getting worse for the A’s. In a matchup for last place in the division with the Mariners, Oakland succumbed 4-3 in 11 innings on Friday when Logan Morrison hit the first pitch of the inning from Dan Otero out to center. It was yet another one-run loss — the A’s major-league-leading ninth — and the ninth loss charged to the bullpen, which also wasted the lead in the seventh.
Sunday, March 01, 2015
But in the early stages of camp, no Oakland pitcher has elicited more chatter than a 29-year-old career minor leaguer with a novel gift. Pat Venditte, who signed with the New York Yankees as a 20th-round draft pick out of Creighton in 2008, has a 2.46 ERA and 431 strikeouts in 384 2/3 innings over seven minor league seasons. But his new teammates are far more impressed with his ability to pitch with both hands.
“For the first few days, he was the talk of camp,’’ Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “Guys would stick around and take notice and watch him throw in the pen to see if we’re just talking about a gimmick here or somebody that can really pull it off. They walk away just shaking their heads. It’s tough enough to do it from one side—especially at this level.’’
. . .
Venditte throws a fastball, slider and changeup from both sides and uses an ambidextrous glove with two thumb holes. As his fellow A’s get to know him, it’s only natural that they flash back through their professional careers and think of other ambidextrous teammates they’ve encountered.
Melvin recalls how Ariel Prieto, a former Oakland pitcher and coach, threw batting practice with both hands. When A’s pitcher Scott Kazmir was in Cleveland, teammate Carlos Carrasco threw his fastball in the mid-90s from the right side and reached the mid-80s just goofing around from the left. And reliever Tyler Clippard, who came to Oakland by trade from Washington in January, recalls how former Nationals bullpen-mate Sean Burnett would heave balls back to the infield right-handed during shagging to save his left arm for the games.
. . .
When Venditte was looking at potential landing spots as a minor league free agent over the winter, Oakland ranked high on the list because the A’s are a creative, free-thinking organization that might give him a legitimate shot rather than view him as a novelty act. It appears he’s come to the right place.
Give the [no longer a] kid a chance.
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