Random notes and thoughts as A’s try to avoid a sweep

Last game of the series here at Target Field, and the stadium generally has gotten a thumbs-up from everyone in the A’s traveling party. One of the nice touches I haven’t mentioned yet: Behind the center field fence, there’s a huge Twins logo on display. This is the classic logo from the Twins’ early days and it’s recently been resurrected. It features two ballplayers shaking hands — one wearing a Minnesota patch and the other wearing a St. Paul patch. The Twin Cities co-exisiting in harmony … get it???

–There’s no big shakeup with today’s A’s lineup. Perhaps Bob Geren is playing the percentages. The A’s are 28-11 in day games this year, best mark in the majors. They’re also 23-11 in the final game of a series, which makes sense in that many series finales are played during the day.

The lineups:

A’s — Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Kouzmanoff 3B, Ellis 2B, Davis RF, Carter LF, Pennington SS; Mazzaro RHP.

Twins — Span CF, Hudson 2B, Mauer C, Kubel RF, Cuddyer 1B, Thome DH, Valencia 3B, Repko LF, Casilla SS; Slowey RHP.

Among the topics Geren covered in his morning media chat:

–He said Rajai Davis definitely should not have gotten picked off second base last night. “He wasn’t going anywhere. If you’re not stealing on that particular pitch, you don’t want to get picked off.” But Geren also is aware that a player with a base stealer’s mentality is going to be more aggressive and take more chances, so he wasn’t too ticked at Davis. “If you have the ability to steal 100 bases, you’re going to get picked off every now and then.”

–Conor Jackson could be activated from the disabled list during the upcoming homestand, but Geren didn’t get more specific on a timetable. He did not come out and say that Jackson will be the full-time left fielder. “He’ll play a lot, whether it’s every day or not is hard to say. (Much will depend) on how he feels. He’s been off for a while and we want to make sure he’s healthy day to day.”

Does that mean Chris Carter stays with the big league club and continues getting time in left field when Jackson returns? “When Conor comes back, we’ll talk about the rest of the guys,” Geren said. … He also said he saw Carter in the video room this morning and chatted with him for a few minutes. “He just hasn’t gotten a lot to hit yet,” Geren said. “They’ve made some good pitches on him. His confidence is not shaken.”

–Andrew Bailey threw 20 pitches off the mound — mixing in his fastball, curve and cutter — and by all accounts it was a positive step in the closer’s rehab from a rib cage injury. Geren said it’s still being decided what Bailey’s next step will be. “He probably needs a couple more times off the mound, whether (in a) simulated (game) or rehab (game). Obviously it was a big step throwing at that effort level and throwing all of his pitches. It was a positive thing.”

–This morning in the clubhouse, I heard Gabe Gross singing the chorus to “When I See You Smile” by Bad English. It’s not my favorite ’80s power ballad, but you’ve gotta respect a man’s right to belt it out … Check out the video if you want to see some sweet hair …

Joe Stiglich

  • David McMahon

    Ummm Joe, the “M” is for Minneapolis, as in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Twin Cities. Get it?

  • Johnny Rock

    Hey Joe, just to clarify, the two ballplayers shaking hands above Target Field are Minny (for Minneapolis, not “Minnesota”) and Paul (obviously for St. Paul). The sign is supposed to show them shaking hands across the Mississippi River, which divides the Twin Cities in many, but not all, places.

  • Joe Stiglich

    Thanks for setting me straight, guys … Writing “Minnesota” was an honest mistake. I was thinking “Minneapolis,” and obviously my brain didn’t get that message to my fingers as I was typing 🙂 …