By now you’ve probably heard that former A’s skipper Ken Macha was hired to be the new Milwaukee Brewers manager. Macha had been itching to return to the dugout. That’s why he dropped by unexpectedly at A’s camp last spring to visit some of his former players. He said he wanted to get his face out there and let it be known he was serious about managing again. That made for one of the odder days of spring training ’08: Seeing Macha, unceremoniously shown the door by the A’s after the ’06 season, wandering through the clubhouse shaking hands and mingling.
At any rate, fans can get an early look at Macha in his new uniform. The A’s 2009 spring training schedule is out, and their Cactus League opener comes Feb. 25 against the Brewers in Maryvale, Ariz.
Other tidbits about A’s spring camp:
*Single-game tix for spring training home games go on sale Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. at oaklandathletics.com.
*Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14 and hold their first workout that day. Position players arrive Feb. 18 with the first full-squad workout the following day.
*Spring training is extra-long this year to accomodate the World Baseball Classic, to be staged throughout March. On March 5, the A’s will host a game against a yet-to-be-determined WBC opponent in Phoenix. The Bay Bridge Series with the Giants won’t be played until April 2-4, with the A’s opening the regular season against the Angels in Anaheim on April 6. In all, they will play 37 preseason games, a franchise record.
*The Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers join the Cactus League party this spring, shifting headquarters from Florida. The A’ s and Dodgers meet March 16 in Phoenix and March 30 in Glendale, the Dodgers’ new spring home. The A’s host Cleveland Feb. 28 and March 8 and play the Tribe on their home field in Goodyear, Ariz., March 13 and 20.