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Baby drinks a beer during Oakland A’s playoff celebration

A's-baby-drinks-beer

The Oakland A’s clinched the AL West division title on Sunday with a win over the Minnesota Twins and a Texas Rangers loss to the Kansas City Royals. After the game, the players, coaches, team executives and their families took a beer and champagne shower like every other team who wins a pennant. But was there underage drinking involved?

If you look closely at the screenshot above that Deadspin passed along, you’ll see a young man in the background sipping a Bud Light. I’m not a very good judge of age just by looking at a person, but that dude can’t be 21. Could he? Whatever, let the man enjoy his beer. Everybody was doing it.

Oakland A’s to give away Coco Crisp ‘Bernie Lean’ bobblehead dolls (Picture)

Coco-Crisp-AsLast season, the Okland A’s rode their laid-back style all the way to an AL West division title and their first playoff appearance since 2006. No team in the league appeared to have more fun down the stretch than the A’s, and it’s one of the main reasons their young roster was able to find so much success.

During their improbable run, Coco Crisp introduced the “Bernie Lean” to his A’s teammates. As you likely know, the “Bernie Lean” is a dance that started from the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s.” There have been several YouTube videos featuring people doing the bizarre dance and the A’s even made their own video with it. Now, there is a bobblehead version of the dance. The A’s plan to give these bad boys away to their first 10,000 fans before their game on June 29.

I guess that’s more of a bobblebody than a bobblehead, but either way I’m a fan. In an era where teams give away bobbleheads of players that aren’t on their team anymore and can’t even manage to accurately depict their own pitchers, it’s refreshing to see a new idea. I give the A’s an A (see what I did there?) for creativity.

H/T Deadspin

Hiroyuki Nakajima signed with A’s because Billy Beane is ‘sexy and cool’

Hiroyuki-Nakajima-oaklandThe Oakland A’s didn’t just get a shortstop when they signed Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima, they also got a comedian.

Nakajima was introduced by the A’s on Tuesday, and the shortstop was full of jokes (either that or he has one clever interpreter). Nakajima busted up the room when he was asked why he signed with the A’s and said, “Billy Beane is extremely sexy and cool.”

Sounds like somebody saw “Moneyball” where Beane was played by actor Brad Pitt.

Nakajima had another funny line when asked about the adjustment he would have to make coming from Japan to the US:

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Jonah Hill wants championship rings for him and Brad Pitt if A’s win it all

Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt were the stars of the motion picture “Moneyball,” which was nominated for Best Picture and I happened to thoroughly enjoy. As most of you know, the movie is based on the 2002 Oakland A’s and their improbable success. One of the reasons the movie was so enjoyable was the fantastic acting of Hill, who stepped outside of his usual funny guy antics and did a great job of tackling a serious role.

The A’s clinched a postseason berth this week — 10 years after the film was set. Hill believes he and his costar are entitled to a piece of hardware if Oakland goes on to win the World Series.

I’m on board. People are heavily influenced by movies, so I’m sure “Moneyball” turned at least a few folks into A’s fans, even if it angered the Nationals GM. If the locker room towel guy gets a ring, why shouldn’t they?

H/T Hardball Talk

Eric Chavez rips A’s for celebrating extra-inning home runs against Yankees

Despite having a roster that is loaded with inexperienced players who are in their mid-20s, the A’s are wrapped up in a playoff race in the American League. With only 10 games remaining in the regular season, Oakland has a 2.5-game lead over the Angels for the second AL wild card spot. One of the ways a young team maintains success is by keeping a loose environment, and that’s something the A’s have done all season. Eric Chavez thought they did too much of it on Saturday.

The A’s hit three home runs during the 13th inning of their 10-9 loss to the Yankees on Saturday. Following each homer, their bench performed what Chavez described as “an orchestrated clapping, chanting celebration,” according to the NY Post. Chavez said the behavior was “high school-ish” and “pretty unprofessional” before adding that the A’s players crossed the line. Naturally, the A’s disagreed.

“We’ve got 17 rookies who are here,” A’s outfielder Jonny Gomes said on Sunday. “These guys are playing the game to have fun. When you take fun out of the game, you’re going to have 17 rookies crumble.”

Oakland manager Bob Melvin had no problem with the way his team acted either.

“We play the game hard and we respect it out on the field,” he said. “We play the game right on the field definitely, and if you keep things loose in your dugout, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

As for the ritual itself, the A’s say it was a spin-off of a song Gomes played daily during spring training. Moments like that can create chemistry among a team, which can help down the stretch when the pressure is on. The A’s don’t seem to care that Chavez didn’t like it, and I can’t say I blame them.

Fist pound to Hardball Talk

Oakland A’s went a little overboard dousing Coco Crisp in celebration (Video)

The A’s swept the Yankees in a four-game series, so it’s understandable why they were pretty stoked after winning in 12 innings on Sunday 5-4. Coco Crisp smacked a walk-off single to give Oakland the victory and then was pelted multiple times during the postgame celebration. His teammates got him with a freezing cold bucket of water — which he was expecting — and then two shaving cream pies and a bucket of gum and sunflower seeds — which he wasn’t expecting, leaving him dripping with frost and other assortments.

The A’s lead the league in walk-off wins with 11 this season so they’re used to the shaving cream pie celebrations, but they went a wee bit overboard on this one. They’re also 14-2 in July and now only .5 games behind the Angels for second in the AL West and wild card. As they said in “Moneyball,” “What is happening in Oakland?!?!”

H/T Hot Clicks

A’s minor league coach banned one year for ordering intentional balks

Believe it or not, the headline you just read does not include any type-o’s. We have all heard of intentional walks and we see them numerous times on a daily basis. But intentional balks? Those are far less common. Not only do they exist, but their use recently earned an A’s minor league coach a year ban from the California League.

According to Brian VanderBeek of the Modesto Bee, Class A California coach Todd Steverson — who was the acting manager of the Stockton Ports on June 23 — has been fined and suspended for an entire year after he ordered his players intentionally balk in the 17th and 18th innings of an extremely long game against the Modesto Nuts. Having already been forced to use position players as pitchers, Steverson said he was trying to avoid uneccesary injuries.

“We had a position player out there and I didn’t want to put another position player on the mound and get him hurt,” he explined. “I didn’t get any of my pitchers hurt and I didn’t get any position players hurt. So a game on June 23, 2012, well, these guys will be playing many more games more important than that.”

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