Issue: Closing time
Analysis: With All-Star closer Andrew Bailey gone, the most compelling competition at camp — and, with apologies to both infield corners, most likely Oakland’s most difficult decision — revolves around the ninth inning.
Granted, there might not be all that many ninth innings of great consequence for the A’s if a few worst-case scenarios come to fruition. For instance, if the unproven starting pitchers, Yoenis Cespedes and Manny Ramirez don’t come up big, ninth-inning leads could be very few and far between. Read More
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — In baseball, it’s great to be known as a terrific defensive outfielder.
It’s not so great, though, to be known as a fourth outfielder.
So this is the year for Nate Schierholtz to break through.
Schierholtz, after years of serving as a reserve — he was a key defensive backup in the drive to the World Series in 2010 — is set to start in right field.
“It’s more than exciting for me,” said Schierholtz, who played his high school ball in Danville. Read More
PHOENIX -- The dynasty started 40 years ago in 1972. The A’s won a World Series. Then another. Then another, an achievement since unmatched.
This is going to be a season of celebration, of memories, and two of the greats from the era, Rollie Fingers and Bert Campaneris, stopped by spring training before a recent exhibition game, living reminders of the way it was.Such a glorious past for the A’s. Such a problematical future.
Spring is supposed to be a time of rebirth, the time in baseball when there is only optimism. Read More
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.-- Angel Pagan had another hit Sunday. Melky Cabrera had two more. They got things started, and seemingly everybody else, Pablo Sandoval, Aubrey Huff, Brett Pill, wouldn’t let it stop. Only an exhibition game, but for the Giants, a telling one.And because of the attack of the killer bees — not Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, but genuine bees who make honey — a game which threatened to last until sundown, but in fact took a mere 2 hours, 53 minutes (plus 41-minute bee delay), was a weird one. Read More
Brandon Allen certainly sent a message that he’s up for the challenge of competing for the A’s first baseman job this spring by belting a grand slam and driving in seven runs in a 12-10 victory against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
Allen went deep in the fourth, added a two-run double in the fifth and drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth with a groundout. In 41 games with the A’s last year, Allen hit .205 with three home runs and 11 RBIs.
Eric Sogard also went deep for the A’s, his second of the spring. Read More
Seven Giants players recorded multiple hits in an 11-1 split-squad rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.First baseman Brett Pill collected three hits, including a triple, scored a pair of runs and also knocked in two.
New additions Melky Cabrera, Angel Pagan and Ryan Theriot all added two hits apiece in the 21-hit outburst.
Six Giants pitchers combined to limit the Diamondbacks to seven hits. Brian Burress picked up the victory by tossing two scoreless innings. Read More
SCOTTSDALE, AZ. — The Giants will play several regulars, including their expected starting outfield, but will sit out catcher Buster Posey when they open their Cactus League schedule on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Posey, though he’s “real close” to returning after his season-ending ankle injury in May, probably is a few days away, manager Bruce Bochy indicated Thursday.
“We have to check off all the boxes: running the bases, sliding, those things,” Bochy said. “We just want to make 100 percent sure it’s time to put him back there. Read More
Issue: Running wild?
Analysis: The Giants, buoyed by the arrival of outfielders Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera, are placing an emphasis on aggressive baserunning this spring.
The thinking apparently goes like this: Pagan and Cabrera, along with the relative youth and speed of projected starting shortstop Brandon Crawford, third baseman Pablo Sandoval, right fielder Nate Schierholtz, first base candidate Brandon Belt, catcher Buster Posey and second baseman Freddy Sanchez, will at the very least allow the Giants to put more pressure on opposing defenses. Read More
They’re just a baseball team this year, the Giants, not the champions, not the club with the attention, baggage and impossibility of doing what nobody had done for more than a decade — repeat.
“I don’t think any of us knew what was coming,” Tim Lincecum said. He meant about the season of 2011, disappointing mainly because understandably it couldn’t match the season of 2010, the championship season.
Media requests and TV replays of that fateful collision at home plate on an evening in May at AT&T Park combined to steal the magic, if not the memories. Read More
PHOENIX-- Green-collar baseball? When Manny Ramirez is in camp for the A’s, it’s green do-rag baseball. It’s “Guess who’s in the cage?” baseball. It’s “Can he still do it?” baseball.
It hasn’t been like this for a while at Papago Park, the A’s training complex, a ball player who has to be watched, if even to find out whether he still deserves to be watched.
He won’t be eligible to play until May 30, the day on which Manuel Aristides Ramirez turns 40. Read More