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Oakland A's Newsbeat

Sunday, March 01, 2015

ESPN: Switch-Pitcher Venditte The Talk Of A’s Camp

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.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Washington Post: Appeal To Reverse Antitrust Rule Is A Desperate Swing For The Fences

A look at San Jose’s appeal to the Supreme Court, touching on the history of MLB’s anti-trust exemption, as well as the baseball background of some of the current Justices:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor is famously a Yankees fan — “You can’t grow up in the South Bronx without knowing about baseball,” she once said — who has thrown out the first pitch at a game and had the team bring the World Series trophy to her Supreme Court chambers. For her Christmas present this past year, Sotomayor’s younger brother Juan commissioned a painting of three Latino former Yankees — Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.

But the other justices may be pikers compared with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., a diehard devotee of the Philadelphia Phillies. In a two-part (!) interview with a Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter in 2010, Alito displayed an encyclopedic knowledge of his team and remembered how Breyer had arranged for the team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, to show up for Alito’s welcome dinner to the Supreme Court.

When Alito was 44, his wife sent him to Phillies Dream Week, the training camp for aging fans, where he turned a double-play and received the award as best fielder. “By the end of the week every single person there, I think without exception, had pulled his hamstring,” Alito said.

Justices posting at BBTF? Probably none.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Appeals Court Rejects San Jose’s Anti-Trust Suit Against MLB

In a unanimous ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected San Jose’s claims that baseball’s refusal to allow the A’s to move to a downtown ballpark violates federal antitrust laws. The appeals court concluded that baseball’s nearly century-old exemption from antitrust laws forecloses San Jose’s legal case.

“Like Casey,” 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski wrote, “San Jose has struck out here.”

San Jose says it will appeal to the Supreme Court.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Brett Lawrie Surprises Little Girl Who Cried Over His Trade From The Blue Jays

Brett Lawrie = good dude

The Toronto Blue Jays recently acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for infielder Brett Lawrie and a few other players. While many Blue Jays fans would agree that the trade helped the team, one six-year-old fan was heartbroken over losing her precious Lawrie.

Lawrie deserves the good guy award. He tracked down his heartbroken fan named Ameilia and spent some time with her, hanging out and grabbing some pizza.

eddieot Posted: December 14, 2014 at 09:13 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, brett lawrie, oakland a's

Friday, December 05, 2014

NY Post: Is Jeter Gearing Up To Buy The Marlins?

Jeter has declared repeatedly for quite a while now he intends to own a baseball team someday .  .  . He even told reporters in June he intended to reach out to team owners upon the season’s (and his playing career’s) conclusion. And if you want to bet which team he’ll eventually own? You won’t find a safer wager than the Marlins.

The Marlins said Jeter simply stopped by because he happened to be in town, and maybe that’s all it was — for now. Jeter figures to approach his goal smoothly and deliberately, and there’s only upside by spending some time with Marlins owner (and huge Yankees fan and George Steinbrenner admirer) Jeffrey Loria.

The 74-year-old Loria made the industry’s biggest splash of this offseason when he committed $325 million over 13 years to his stud outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. .  .  . Yet the Stanton contract’s dramatically backloaded structure, with modest payments of $6.5 million, $9 million and $14.5 million coming from 2015 through 2017, just raises more questions about the franchise’s future. Will Loria try to cash out now that he has stabilized the situation in the wake of the 2012 trades of Mark Buehrle, Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes? The Manhattan resident has long denied the notion he’ll be selling anytime soon. Yet industry speculation persists because the multiple times Loria has shot himself in the foot with rebuilds, manager changes and strikingly low payrolls — and most of all the public funding he secured for his new ballpark.
.  .  .
Enter Jeter, whose representative Casey Close didn’t respond to a request for comment. He lives in Tampa, a short flight (or approximately four-hour drive) away, and he sure seems to enjoy Miami, based on repeated Page Six sightings there. Purchasing the Marlins, unlike the Rays right in his backyard, would keep him out of direct competition with the Yankees.
.  .  .
He needs to put together a consortium that would in turn appoint him as the control person. He surely knows this already, and it isn’t outrageous to think that Jeter, based on his income not only from the Yankees but also from his endorsement deals, could chip in a sizeable portion himself. Maybe $100 million?

Major League Baseball folks naturally would be thrilled to welcome Jeter into the ownership fold, and all the more so into a sad-sack market like Miami.
Now, the simplest solution doesn’t always become reality. Maybe Loria and his controversial team president David Samson will hang on for the long haul. Maybe Jeter will be wooed by another ownership shift. How about he takes over the A’s and finally moves them out of the O.co Coliseum, even though that’s where he made his Flip Play?

Probably better than putting your money into video games.


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

A’s wild swing of a season ends in wild-card loss to Royals

Dunn, playing for a postseason team for the first time in his 14-year career, did not come to the plate. He was still fully dressed at 1 a.m. Central time as the A’s clubhouse had all but emptied out.

At the age of 34 and with 462 career homers, Dunn said he still plans to retire.

“This is probably it,” he said.

Dunn waited 14 years and 2,001 career games to get to the playoffs, longer than any other active players, and then he did not make it into the game.

“It’s not disappointing at all,” he said. “We had our chances to win and we didn’t.”

 


Adam Dunn, 34, calls it a career

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Adam Dunn trekked 14 seasons and 2,001 games just to get to the postseason. But when his one and only playoff chance arrived Tuesday, he never got off the bench, and afterward he said he will retire.

The Oakland Athletics designated hitter, 34, told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez that he has played his final game.

“I guess the computer got me,” Dunn said, referring to the A’s “Moneyball” tactics.


 

 

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