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Melvin gives O.co Coliseum much-needed love, pitcher injury updates, Matsui

 In for Joe Stiglich tonight …

Bob Melvin conducted his first home introductory press conference Tuesday night by promptly pouring some praise on the oft-bashed Coliseum. Obviously, owner Lew Wolff didn’t brief him on what to say.

 Melvin said he did his daily run around the ballpark and memories started flashing back, like the time he was 15 years old and took in a Day On The Green.

“The Who and The Dead,” he recalled. “The Who never encored and they encored that day — Johnny B. Goode. When they left, I them remember standing up in the right-field bleachers looking down at the crowd. That was one of the things that popped into my head today.”

Melvin said he attended many events at the Coliseum, both in the stadium and the arena, while he was growing up in Palo Alto. Most people agree it was a fine place then, but now?

“I still think it is,” he said. “The field’s terrific. I like this place. Maybe I’m biased because I grew up here, but I like older ballparks, I like ballparks with history. Got a few World Series in this ballpark as well that I’ve been to. People talk about this not being a great ballpark, but I’m biased. I kind of like it.”

And he wants his players to like it, too. He doesn’t want them thinking about an escape to a new yard.

“As far as the ballpark goes, until there’s a decision on that, I’m fine with playing here,” Melvin said. “I know there are a lot of people have different outlooks on that, but in my position, you play the cards that are dealt and that’s playing in this ballpark right now. I don’t want myself thinking, `We have to get in another ballpark.’ I want this club thinking this ballpark’s an advantage to them.”

Even Lew Wolff?

“Well, I haven’t talked to Lew,” he admitted. “I think he would understand my rhetoric, because we play here, and I want my team to feel good about playing here. If we have that conversation, I probably won’t let you know how it goes, to tell you the truth.”

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Brandon McCarthy and Tyson Ross both threw bullpen sessions Tuesday. McCarthy threw 45 pitches and said he felt great. Ross threw 30 pitches and said he’s totally pain-free from the oblique injury that landed him on the DL. And dare you get excited about Rich Harden? Melvin said Harden’s ahead of both Ross and McCarthy. He’ll pitch a simulated game Wednesday, and if he comes out of that well, will likely get a rehab assignment in Stockton or Sacramento.

“I feel the last few times I’ve been on the mound, I could have done more,” Harden said. “So I’m pretty excited.”

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Hideki Matsui said he’s working hard in the outfield and is essentially ready to go when the A’s play interleague games in NL parks. Melvin said he’s still undecided on whether he’ll make that move, but is dead set on Matsui remaining in the No. 3 hole.

 ”I was a little uncomfortable with rotating that third spot,” Melvin said. “I think it’s a significant position and it’s a psychological position. If you’re rotating guys in and out of the three-spot who aren’t playing every day, what are you saying about your lineup?”

Melvin said he’s intent on letting role players and bullpen guys what’s expected of them well ahead of a day they might be expected to play.

“I can tell from my experience as a player and a guy who didn’t play every day, it worked a lot better for me when I knew when I was going to play,” he said. “It worked a lot better for me when I knew I had something to prepare for and had a chance to go in there and be successful. It’s easy for the every-day players, they know when they’re going to play, all you have to do is tell them when they’re not going to play. It’s the role players and the bench players who need the communication the most, and to an extent, the guys in the bullpen knowing what their roles are.”

Tonight’s lineup:

A’s: CF Crisp, SS Pennington, DH Matsui, LF Willingham, RF Jackson, 3B Sizemore, C Suzuki, 1B Barton, 2B Weeks. P Cahill

KC: LF Gordon, CF Cabrera, 1B Hosmer, RF Francoeur, DH Butler, 3B Moustakas, C Treanor, 2B Getz, SS Escobar. P Duffy  

 

Carl Steward