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Giambi released

The A’s cut ties with with one of their most recognizable players Friday morning, releasing 15-year veteran Jason Giambi in another move designed to give younger players a chance for more playing time in the final seven-plus weeks of the season.

Giambi was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quad on July 20 but had not played since he became eligible to return on Tuesday, even though he said he felt physically fine. The A’s already have several infielders capable of playing first base and Giambi, with a .193 batting average, was likely going to find it difficult to get playing time as the team gives other individuals such as Tommy Everidge and Daric Barton, once he returns from the DL, more opportunities to play.

Giambi, a five-time American League All-Star, signed with the A’s after the 2008 season. He played in Oakland from 1995-2001, winning the 2000 AL MVP award, before he signed with the New York Yankees. But in his second stint with the A’s Giambi could never recapture his former glory, as he had 11 home runs and 40 RBI in 83 games.

Giambi is a .282 career hitter with 407 home runs, 1,319 RBI and 1,255 walks. He hit his 400th home run on May 23, and finishes his A’s career with 198 home runs, which ranks eighth-all time on the franchise list. He is the Oakland A’s all-time leader in batting average (.300) and is second in slugging percentage and (.531) and on-base percentage (.406).

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Reineke optioned; reliever Gray recalled

Slow news morning at the Coliseum …

Chad Reineke, last night’s starting pitcher, was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, not so surprising considering that Dallas Braden should jump right back into the rotation the next time through. But I was surprised the A’s didn’t add a position player to fill Reienke’s spot. Reliever Jeff Gray was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento, bolstering the bullpen but leaving manager Bob Geren with just three position players on the bench. Are you surprised the A’s didn’t use the opportunity to activate Jason Giambi? Neither am I, judging by the way this scenario has played out so far.

Speaking of first base, Daric Barton was put through running drills to test his strained left hamstring. If all goes well, Barton could begin a rehab stint with Sacramento as soon as tomorrow. Things will get really interesting once Barton is healthy. Does he get the majority of time at first? Does Tommy Everidge keep playing? Does one get sent down to make it easier to squeeze Giambi back on the roster?

I see the A’s continuing to play the young guys. Any thoughts out there on how you’d like to see first base handled???

–One thing to watch today: Geren said Trevor Cahill’s last side session was the best he’s seen from the young right-hander in a while. We’ll see if that shows through today, as Cahill tries to bounce back after two poor outings …

today’s lineups

A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Cust RF
Nomar DH
Everidge 1B
Sweeney LF
Powell C
Ellis 2B
Pennington SS

Cahill RHP

Rangers
German 2B
Young 3B
Murphy LF
Jones DH
Hamilton RF
Byrd CF
Blalock 1B
Saltalamacchia C
Vizquel SS

Hunter RHP

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Eric Patterson optioned to make room for Reineke

Well, that extended audition Eric Patterson was supposed to get in center field is over — for now at least. Patterson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room on the A’s roster for right-hander Chad Reineke, who starts tonight against Texas.

If you’ve seen what Patterson has done at Triple-A, you’re probably frustrated that he has yet to carry that success over to the bigs. He hit just .182 (4-for-22) in 10 games since being called up July 24. I think the A’s still want to give him a longer look (Bob Geren said as much), but in the short time Patterson was here, he didn’t look comfortable at the plate or in center, to be honest.

Dallas Braden’s ankle injury is thought to be short term, and since he didn’t go on the DL, Patterson was the unlucky guy to go to make room for Reineke. And with the way Rajai Davis is playing, you know he’s going to get the majority of time in center for now, and rightly so.

Braden isn’t limping nearly as bad as yesterday, and he expects to be able to make his next scheduled start Monday in Baltimore. Tonight’s start looks like a one-time gig for Reineke, who was trying on hats and getting acclimated to the Oakland clubhouse this afternoon. The scouting report is that he’s a sinker/slider guy, and that defenders like playing behind him because he usually throws strikes.

–Status quo on the Jason Giambi front, meaning no indication when (or if) the A’s will activate him. Geren was asked if we could expect to see Giambi activated at all the rest of the season. “We have a lot of different roster moves and decisions to make in a short time,” Geren said. “Promising anything in this game is very difficult to do. I don’t make blanket statements about anybody.” Those decisions he mentioned surely revolve around Daric Barton — and when he might be healthy enough to return from the DL — and fellow first baseman Tommy Everidge, who has looked good at the plate since getting called up last week.

–You might have seen the story on our Web site that the A’s signed right-hander Brett Tomko to a minor league deal and assigned him to Sacramento. Once upon a time he was a key member of the Giants’ rotation …

Tonight’s lineups
A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Hairston LF
Cust DH
Suzuki C
Everidge 1B
Sweeney RF
Ellis 2B
Pennington SS

Reineke RHP

Rangers
Vizquel 2B
Young 3B
Murphy LF
Byrd CF
Blalock 1B
Jones DH
Hamilton RF
Teagarden C
Andrus SS

Padilla RHP

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Braden questionable for tomorrow, Giambi not activated

Your pregame update from the Coliseum, where we have pretty ideal weather for a ballgame right now. We’ll see if that’s still the case at first pitch …

Dallas Braden was limping around the clubhouse pretty good today, the result of a rash on his left ankle that’s become inflamed. According to Bob Geren, Braden has been wearing a neoprene toe guard while pitching because he’s been dragging his left foot. The rash stemmed from him wearing that.

At any rate, Braden is questionable for his start tomorrow, so the A’s will have a Plan B ready. Geren said Edgar Gonzalez is one possibility, or they could pull somebody up from Triple-A Sacramento. Jerome Williams would be on turn to pitch for the River Cats, and the A’s have room on the 40-man roster for him. But Williams is just 1-4 with a 6.60 ERA in 20 appearances (9 starts). Dana Eveland is an option, but he’d have to go on three days’ rest and he threw 101 pitches on Saturday. Shawn Chacon is out — he started today.

If Gonzalez isn’t needed in relief tonight, my money’s on him.

–Can’t say I was surprised that Jason Giambi wasn’t activated from the DL today. He wasn’t around the clubhouse before batting practice to offer his take on things, and Geren was tight-lipped as ever regarding Giambi’s situation. Geren flat-out avoids addressing Giambi’s physical condition. “There’s no change in his status. It’s the same as yesterday. We’ll go day-to-day with it,” Geren said.

What is it that’s holding Giambi back? “We’re just not ready to activate him,” Geren said. Remember, Giambi has been saying the past few days that his right quad feels OK.

It seems pretty obvious to me that the A’s want to go with Tommy Everidge and (when he’s healthy) Daric Barton at first base. But who knows? Maybe they truly aren’t convinced that Giambi is ready to go.

Anyway, here’s tonight’s lineups, featuring Rajai Davis in the leadoff spot w/Adam Kennedy getting a day off. I know some of you out there have wondered about plugging Davis into the top spot regularly. Enjoy!! At least for one day … Geren said he still likes Kennedy leading off …

A’s
Davis CF
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Garciaparra DH
Cust RF
Everidge 1B
Crosby 3B
Ellis 2B
Pennington SS

Gonzalez LHP

Rangers
Arias 2B
Young 3B
Byrd CF
Jones DH
Blalock 1B
Hamilton RF
Murphy LF
Saltalamacchia C
Andrus SS

Holland LHP

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A’s-Rangers pregame update — Monday

There was a bigger audience than normal for batting practice tonight at the Coliseum, as the A’s high Single-A squad, the Stockton Ports, are on hand to watch tonight’s game. I was looking at these guys and wondering how soon some of them might be wearing green and gold. The next year or two? It’s realistic considering how quickly the A’s promote some of their guys through the system, wouldn’t you say?

The team isn’t tipping its hand on whether Jason Giambi will be activated from the DL tomorrow, and how much playing time he’ll get if/when he does return. But, when asked about Tommy Everidge, manager Bob Geren responded, “I’m going to give him a chance to play.” That might tell us a lot. Everidge obviously won’t be heading back to the minors regardless of whether Giambi gets activated. Everidge is at first base tonight, w/Jack Cust at DH.

The starting outfield tonight — left to right — goes Scott Hairston, Eric Patterson, Ryan Sweeney. Not a surprise that Geren has two left-handed bats in there (Patterson, Sweeney) against Texas right-hander Dustin Nippert. Look for Rajai Davis to get back in there tomorrow against lefty Derek Holland.

The lineups
A’s
Kennedy 3B
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Cust DH
Sweeney RF
Everidge 1B
Ellis 2B
Patterson CF
Pennington SS

Anderson LHP

Rangers
Arias 2B
Young 3B
Byrd LF
Cruz RF
Blalock 1B
Jones DH
Hamilton CF
Saltalamacchia C
Andrus SS

Nippert RHP

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Sunday update: A’s-Jays

Not much news coming out of A’s headquarters leading up to this afternoon’s game. Same lineup as last night’s, with another lefty, Ricky Romero, on the hill for Toronto.

–Check out this item from espn.com’s Keith Law, who says A’s minor league third baseman Brett Wallace was the best prospect dealt at the trade deadline. Reading it should make you feel better as you watch highlights of Matt Holliday bashing the ball for the Cardinals.

–There’s still no information being offered on Justin Duchscherer after he was scratched from Friday’s start for Triple-A Sacramento.

–It’s going to be interesting to see what the A’s do Tuesday when Jason Giambi is eligible to come off the DL. Manager Bob Geren said this morning that it wasn’t a done deal Giambi would be activated Tuesday, nor was he sure if Giambi (strained right quad) would be physically ready to play. Ask Giambi, however, and he definitely thinks he’ll be ready to roll by Tuesday. The A’s current M.O. is to play their young guys and get a good evaluation of them against major league competition. Will they send Tommy Everidge back to Sacramento to make room for Giambi? Does Daric Barton (strained left hamstring) continue getting regular time when he comes off the DL?

I just don’t see Giambi playing much the rest of the season, given what the A’s are trying to accomplish. …

Today’s lineups:
A’s
Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Cust RF
Everidge DH
Crosby 1B
Ellis 2B
Pennington SS

Mazzaro RHP

Jays
Bautista LF
Hill 2B
Lind DH
Overbay 1B
Wells CF
Rios RF
Encarnacion 3B
Barajas C
McDonald SS

Romero LHP

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Rickey Henderson day

A special night here at the Coliseum as the A’s get ready to honor Rickey Henderson, whom GM Billy Beane called the greatest player in Oakland franchise history. A near-sellout crowd has gathered to pay tribute to the recent Hall of Fame inductee.

Henderson’s No. 24 will be retired and the plan is to eventually have his name and number on the top level of the outfield bleachers, commonly known as “Mt. Davis” alongside Reggie Jackson, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers and Catfish Hunter. Several former A’s greats are here, including Dave Stewart, Bob Welch and Tony Phillips.

Henderson walked from center field to second base, where he grabbed the bag and lifted it high above his head to a huge round of applause. Our own Dave Newhouse is giving a speech on the field right now, honoring the hometown hero.

Not a ton of news about the team today. Scott Hairston is back in the lineup tonight, hitting fourth, after missing the last four games with tightness in his left quad. Bobby Crosby is playing first and hitting seventh and Tommy Everidge is the DH and batting sixth. 

The lineups:

A’s — Kennedy 3B, Davis CF, Suzuki C, Hairston LF, Cust RF, Everidge DH, Crosby 1B, Ellis 2B, Pennington SS, Cahill P 

Jays — Scutaro SS, Hill 2B, Lind DH, Overbay 1B, Wells CF, Rios RF, Encarnacion 3B, Chavez C, Inglett LF, Cecil P.