The Houston Astros’ hunt for rotation help may lead them to the doorstep of a division rival.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Astros and Oakland Athletics have mutual interest in a deal centering around Oakland’s Sonny Gray. The 27-year-old right-hander has long been a target for the Astros, and the Athletics have spent time recently scouting Houston’s minor league system.
Gray’s ERA is an underwhelming 4.44, but his underlying numbers are superior and he is under team control through 2019, meaning he would not come cheap in any deal.
Gray was a reported target for the Astros during the offseason, but nothing ever came of it during the winter. With Houston looking like a World Series favorite, there may be more urgency and willingness to pull off a deal before the July 31 trade deadline on their part.
H/T MLB Trade Rumors
Having a throwback day of sorts isn’t exactly a new concept for Major League Baseball teams. Few, however, go all out quite like the Oakland Athletics did on Saturday.
The A’s held Retro Billy Ball Day when they hosted the Cubs, a tribute to Billy Martin’s 1981 Athletics. As usual, both teams wore era-appropriate uniforms for the contest.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 6, 2016
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) August 6, 2016
The A’s TV affiliate, CSN California, even got in on the act with retro graphics.
The Cubs and A's are playing today's game with throwback uniforms and old school TV graphics. pic.twitter.com/HEdUUtNopi
— SportsBlogNewYork (@SportBlogNYC) August 6, 2016
Love the graphics on the A's broadcast. At least we can win at throwbacks. pic.twitter.com/Kh9XNYHWVl
— Clarissa Young (@clarissa_y) August 6, 2016
This is awesome, and they deserve a ton of credit for going so far with it. The players also deserve credit for not taking a knife to the uniforms, which is surprisingly difficult for certain people.
Oakland A’s strength and conditioning coach Michael Henriques was suspended and is under investigation for planting a hidden camera in the team’s weight room last month, according to a report.
Yahoo’s Tim Brown reports the story and says Henriques set up the camera on July 24 so he could follow the team’s players while the A’s were on the road. Henriques wanted to make sure players were working out and rehabbing properly while the team was out of town.
Though Henriques’ intentions were good, team executive Billy Beane was furious with the coach’s actions.
“This was the misguided action of one employee,” said Billy Beane, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “We hired an independent investigator. While the employee’s intentions were good his judgment was very poor.”
A player discovered the planted camera and informed the team’s players union rep, Sean Doolittle, who contacted the union about the matter. Cameras are not allowed to be planted like this because it is considered a violation of privacy.
Things got awkward for the Oakland Athletics on Sunday when they had to take a plane adorned with the logo and colors of their Bay Area rivals.
The A’s, of course, have a Bay Area rivalry with the San Francisco Giants, who have had considerably more recent success. Most people would argue that they have a better team and a better stadium, and for reasons unclear, they had to take a Giants plane back to Oakland after their series in Seattle.
— Josh Reddick (@RealJoshReddick) April 11, 2016
The rivalry is real. Hard to blame them for not being a fan of the travel arrangement.
Hey, at least they get to go home to a nice park… or not. Sorry, Oakland. Better luck with the plane situation next time.
Just how janky and low-budge can you get? For the Oakland Coliseum, it seems like there is no floor.
Kansas City Chiefs fans and media in attendance for Sunday’s Week 13 clash with the Raiders in Oakland last weekend shared some photos on Twitter showing the high-tech way the stadium has dealt with some leaks.
— Kendall Gammon (@KendallGammon) December 6, 2015
Can't imagine why the Raiders want to go to LA. pic.twitter.com/H9iHP0SOZn
— Nate Wetmore (@n8more) December 6, 2015
That is some seriously complex engineering.
Between this and some of the disgusting sewage leaks they’ve had at the stadium, it’s understandable why the Raiders have been lobbying for a move to Los Angeles. Some of the conditions at the Oakland Coliseum are just embarrassing.
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Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane took the concept of “Moneyball” to the next level on Tuesday. You know how a parent sometimes signs over a car to their kid for $1 just so the kid can legally put the title in his or her name? The A’s have done that with former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Brad Mills.
Mills, who has compiled a 4-2 record and 1.56 ERA in 14 Triple-A games this season, had a clause in his contract that allowed him to opt out if another team wanted to put him on its active MLB roster after June 15. According to Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel, the A’s plan to insert the 29-year old right into their starting rotation.
Rosiak also noted that Mills’ contract with the Brewers called for the team to receive zero compensation if he ended up being assigned to another team’s 25-man roster, so it’s strange that the A’s even parted with $1.
As anyone who has seen the movie “Moneyball” or is familiar with Beane’s story can tell you, this is the exact type of low-risk, high-reward situation he loves to be a part of. Mills is 3-3 with a 7.76 ERA in 15 career MLB games. The A’s are hoping they get the Mills that lit up Triple-A rather than the one who has struggled in the majors.
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.