When the schedule first came out, the A’s opening nine-game road trip loomed large as one that could be pivotal to their entire season.
Hence, having gone 5-4 on the trip against three solid clubs _ Toronto, Minnesota and Chicago _ the A’s were in a buoyant mood returning to the Coliseum Thursday night.
“It was probably the loudest flight home I can remember in years _ in a good way,” said manager Bob Geren. “Guys were genuinely happy with the trip and how it finished.”
The A’s didn’t win their fifth road game last year until May 11 and started the year 5-13 away from home en route to a 34-47 record in opposing ballparks. Geren thinks the long early trip also helped with team bonding.
“A trip like that can do nothing but help,” he said.
Coco Crisp surprised everyone when he came to the park with his hair unbraided, revealing a remarkable ’70s-style Afro former players like Oscar Gamble and Bake McBride would have been proud of.
Why the change?
“My head was itching,” Crisp said.
Crisp said he’ll keep the new hairdo look for the time being.
“Yeah, I don’t know what else to do with it … if I can get my shirt on,” he said.
Infielder Adam Rosales, on the 60-day disabled list with a right foot stress fracture, got some encouraging news after a visit to Dr. Kenneth Jung, a Los Angeles orthodepic surgeon, for a CT scan Thursday. He’s 90 percent healed, and he could be cleared to play within a month.
“The CT scan from two months ago to now, there’s definitely a huge improvement,” Rosales said. “So it gives me something to be positive about.”
Rosales is only running on a treadmill now but expects to expand his regimen in 2-3 weeks to lateral footwork and baserunning.
Closer Andrew Bailey, also on the disabled list, had a 25-pitch all-fastball bullpen session before the game, his second without incident. Bailey is not on a specific timetable for return yet, however.
“We’re just kind of going as I feel and progressing forward each and every day,” he said. “Today it was nice and easy, just getting the feel for the mound again.”
Reliever Michael Wuertz pitched a one-inning simulated and could get a rehab assignment in Sacramento sometime in the coming week.
Mark Ellis picked up a hit before the game even started. The American League office reversed a three-base error call from last Saturday’s game at Minnesota and awarded Ellis a triple. It’s his 22nd career triple, tying him with Sal Bando on the Oakland all-time list. He”s one behind three guys tied for fifth — Carney Lansford, Reggie Jackson and Billy North.