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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Articles tagged: Oakland A’s

A’s filed complaint with MLB over Astros’ sign-stealing before public allegations

Mike Fiers beard

Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers received criticism in some circles for going public as the whistleblower in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, but it sure looks like there was an attempt to handle things quietly behind the scenes first.

A’s manager Bob Melvin and general manager David Forst confirmed Wednesday that the organization filed a complaint with Major League Baseball about the sign stealing allegations before Fiers went public, but it did not appear anything came of it.

“MLB does a great job of monitoring these things, but it’s very difficult if a team calls in and complains about something, they can only do so much,” Melvin said, via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. “It took a player and a player who was on that team to put it over the top. And I think MLB is handling it very well right now.”

Forst added that the front office handled the complaint.

Despite Melvin’s defense of the league, this is a bad look for MLB and raises further questions about their investigation. We already know that commissioner Rob Manfred’s final report omitted some rather important details about what the Astros were up to, and there was a sense among some that they went too light on the organization and scapegoated ex-manager A.J. Hinch and former GM Jeff Luhnow while the players who drove the scheme got away with it. Now this makes it sound like MLB did not take the allegations seriously until Fiers went public with them, which sparked a firestorm and forced MLB to investigate. Perhaps those who were critical of Fiers will think twice upon learning that he and his organization tried to go through the proper channels to get this scandal dealt with.

The Houston Astros are confirmed cheaters and deserve an asterisk. Send that message by wearing our Houston Asterisks T-shirt! You can buy it here:

Jurickson Profar traded to Padres from Athletics

Jurickson Profar

For the second time in less than a year, infielder Jurickson Profar has been traded.

The Oakland A’s have agreed to trade Profar to the San Diego Padres, according to multiple reports. ESPN’s Jeff Passan says the A’s will be getting catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named later in return.

Profar, who was once one of the top prospects in baseball, was traded to the A’s from the Texas Rangers in a three-team deal last winter. His struggles at the plate continued, as the career .234 hitter batted just .218 with a .301 on-base percentage. He did, however, show some pop with 20 home runs.

In addition to struggling at the plate last year, Profar had some issues in the field. The A’s believed he was dealing with a case of the yips after he mishandled several routine plays.

As of now, Profar is expected to start at second base for the Padres in an infield that features Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Eric Hosmer.

A’s continue ugly streak in postseason elimination games

The Oakland Athletics’ loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday was the latest in a string of disappointing performances in playoff elimination games by the club.

The A’s entered this year’s American League Wild Card Game with the home field advantage. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Rays came away with a 5-1 victory and a date with the Houston Astros in the ALDS.

For Oakland, it was their ninth consecutive loss in postseason winner-take-all games — a streak that goes back to 2000. The A’s have also loss 15 of their past 16 potential clinching games.

Oakland won 97 games for the second consecutive season this year, which is their highest total since winning 103 in 2002. However, the sour taste of extending an unfortunate streak will be cause for questions that need answering during the offseason.

Team executive Billy Beane has long described the playoffs as a craps shoot because they are prone to small sample size results and flukes. But after losing nine straight elimination games, Beane might have to wonder whether his team has just been unlucky, or whether something more is going on.

Homer Bailey traded from Royals to A’s

The Oakland A’s are squarely in the playoff hunt after quietly putting together an impressive first half of the season, and they added a nice value piece to their starting rotation on Sunday.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the A’s have acquired starting pitcher Homer Bailey in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bailey is 7-6 with a 4.80 ERA on the season, but the 33-year-old has a 3.49 ERA in his last seven starts. The A’s are six games back of the Houston Astros in the AL West and currently hold the second wild card spot, so they’re hoping Bailey will help solidify the back of their rotation down the stretch.

8 MLB teams potentially poised to break out in the second half

Kris Bryant

The All-Star break is a good time to step back and assess where the 30 teams across Major League Baseball stand. Some teams comfortably occupy first place, some are facing a second half of playing out a string of meaningless games, and then there is the group caught in the middle.

In the past, second half runs have been a big part of baseball. Teams that hadn’t really made an impression by mid-July can catch fire and change the scope of the division and playoff picture in a hurry in the second half. After all, there’s a long way to go, and there’s no guarantee that the first place teams now will win the division.

Here are eight teams that had decent first halves, but have the capability to make some real noise in the second half of the MLB season.

8. Arizona Diamondbacks

There’s a lot to like about the Diamondbacks, which rank in the top six in the NL in both OPS and ERA. In other words, they’re a well-balanced team that can both hit and pitch rather effectively. Despite their 46-45 record, they’ve scored 64 more runs than they’ve allowed, indicating a team that should be performing significantly better. They have two good power hitters in Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar, an ace in Zack Grienke, and solid pieces in the bullpen. Don’t be surprised to see them play to a higher level after the All-Star break.


Oakland A’s reportedly run into travel complications with team plane

The Oakland A’s dealt with some complications relating to their team plane after Sunday’s win over the Texas Rangers, according to a report.

The SF Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported Sunday evening that the Athletics’ team plane was damaged after the mobile stairs were blown into the wing during a thunderstorm.

As a result, the A’s had to stick around at Globe Life Park in Arlington for several hours until a backup plane arrived to take them to their next road stop, which was Tampa for a series with the Rays.

Oakland beat Texas 9-8 on Sunday to split the four-game series. They begin a 3-game series with the Rays on Monday.

Athletics’ batting practice was cancelled because of bees

Now we know why the Oakland Athletics are known as the A’s for short and not the B’s.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the A’s scheduled batting practice before Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels was cancelled due to a swarm of bees at Angel Stadium. Oakland manager Bob Melvin noted that he’d never had a batting practice scrapped by bees before.

The A’s did not appear to be affected by the cancelled BP. They plated six runs in the early going of Thursday’s contest and chased Angels starter Tyler Skaggs from the game by the fifth inning.

Interestingly enough though, Oakland is not the only MLB team that has been affected by an unwelcome swarm of bees in the last month.