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Just an update

Hey folks … just letting you know that although I’m not covering the A’s-Indians series, you can still get your A’s coverage at contracostatimes.com, insidebayarea.com and mercurynews.com.

I’ll be back at the ballpark Friday …

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A’s-Red Sox nightcap in rain delay (surprise!)

In a shocking development, another rain delay has halted play between the A’s and Red Sox. Boston leads 3-0 in the top of the fifth with no outs, Anthony Recker on first for the A’s and Jemile Weeks batting with a 2-2 count. Had Boston recorded three more outs, this game would be official and it could be declared a Red Sox victory. It really started pouring, so I don’t know that they could have continued playing. I’m still scratching my head over why the second game was started to begin with. The heavy rain has been in the forecast all day.

If this game were postponed at this point and needed to be made up to decide Boston’s postseason fate, the teams would replay the entire game. Oakland and Boston don’t share any common days off, so making this one up would be tricky.

It’s too bad for Recker, who could have his first major league hit wiped off the books.

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The madness continues at Fenway — second rain delay

The A’s and Red Sox returned to the field, played one inning and then it started pouring again. So a second rain delay just began in the eighth. This is starting to get silly. Obviously, they want to try and get this first game completed in its entirety. What’s in store for the scheduled second game is anybody’s guess. But word in the press box was that they would like to try to play it tonight. That seems like a fantasy at this point. It’s absolutely pouring now, with thunder and lightning adding to the fun. Even if it does stop, you have to wonder what condition the field will be in.

It’s the umpires’ call on whether to continue this game, and whether to play the second.

I just heard Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” playing over the PA. Are they trying to tell us something?

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A’s, Red Sox prepare to play two — the weather will have final say

Here’s the lineups for the first game of the doubleheader …

A’s — Weeks 2B, Pennington SS, Crisp CF, Willingham DH, Allen 1B, Jackson LF, Suzuki C, Sweeney RF, Sizemore 3B; Moscoso RHP.

Red Sox — Ellsbury CF, Scutaro SS, Gonzalez 1B, Pedroia 2B, Ortiz DH, Crawford LF, Reddick RF, Varitek C, Aviles 3B; Lester LHP.

–The second game, set to begin at 5 p.m. (ET), could be in jeopardy because of rain in the forecast. I’m expecting a very long day at the ballpark. If there’s any news regarding rain delays for either game, I’ll post it here …

–Hideki Matsui gets the early game off. He’s just 1 for 7 in his career against Jon Lester — pretty small sample size — but he’s 9 for 22 against Erik Bedard, who starts the second game for Boston.

–Between games, we’ll get word about who the A’s bump from the 25-man roster to make room for Graham Godfrey, who will be recalled to pitch the second game.

That’s all for now … Here’s hoping for a day of uninterrupted baseball …

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A memorable weekend awaits at Fenway

There’s always something nutty that happens when the A’s play at Fenway Park. Earlier this season, they lost to the Red Sox in 14 innings and we saw Boston’s Jonathan Papelbon and Jason Varitek get ejected within minutes of each other. Last season, Brett Anderson was lost to an elbow injury during one of his starts. This weekend, Hurricane Irene will rear its (her?) ugly head. Scheduling a doubleheader Saturday may not solve all problems. Weather.com calls for a 40-50 percent chance of rain in the early evening, and the second game is set for a 5 p.m. start. Could it be that rescheduling Sunday’s game to avoid a rainout results in a … rainout??

If one of the games gets canceled, the A’s may only be forced to make it up if it impacts the Red Sox’s postseason chances. The A’s aren’t scheduled to return to the East Coast again during the regular season. We often see teams play just 161 games for these reasons.

–Right-hander Graham Godfrey will be promoted to start Saturday’s second game (Guillermo Moscoso will throw the opener). The A’s also made two moves to fortify the bullpen, recalling lefties Josh Outman and Jerry Blevins and optioning out Jordan Norberto and Bruce Billings, who both struggled big-time Thursday. The A’s need all the fresh arms they can find over this two-day span.

Though Outman is in the bullpen now, he’d been starting for Triple-A Sacramento. I’m intrigued to see how he fares because I see this guy as a serious rotation candidate next season. A’s manager Bob Melvin said he doesn’t foresee any changes with this year’s rotation barring injuries. But looking ahead, Rich Harden will be a free agent, Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden are mending from surgery, and Tyson Ross is still a bit of an unknown quantity. Outman says his arm feels as strong now as it has all season. Hopefully we get to see him pitch in some meaningful situations.

–Today’s lineups
A’s: Weeks 2B, Crisp CF, Matsui LF, Willingham DH, Allen 1B, DeJesus RF, Suzuki C, Pennington SS, Sizemore 3B; Gonzalez LHP.

Red Sox: Ellsbury CF, Scutaro SS, Gonzalez 1B, Pedroia 2B, Ortiz DH, Lowrie 3B, Aviles LF, Saltalamacchia C, McDonald RF; Wakefield RHP.

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Possible rain delay at Yankee Stadium, and Bob Melvin’s thoughts on Mike Flanagan

The rain is coming down hard at Yankee Stadium, and we’re inside an hour until first pitch. I’d be surprised if we’re not looking at a rain delay of some sort. It could be a theme for this road trip, as heavy storms from Hurricane Irene could hit the New England area while we’re in Boston this weekend. There’s talk that a doubleheader might be scheduled for Saturday in order to avoid bad weather Sunday. But weather forecasts can change quickly. I’ll keep you posted on any delays for today’s game.

–Very sad news about the death of former Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan. A’s manager Bob Melvin, who was a catcher with Baltimore from 1989-91, was a teammate and considered Flanagan a good friend who taught him a lot about the game. They kept in touch over the years. “There’s a lot of baseball people smarting today,” Melvin said.

One of Melvin’s most cherished memories: Catching Flanagan in the final game at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium in 1991. Someone snapped a photo of the two of them walking off the field together, and Flanagan had it blown up, framed, and gave it to Melvin … Good stuff.

–A couple of headlines from New York papers, the morning after Coco Crisp’s two-homer game beat the Yankees.

New York Post: “Burnt To A Crisp”
Newsday: “Crisp Creamed”

–Today’s lineups (assuming we’ll have a game to watch)

A’s: Weeks 2B, Crisp CF, Matsui DH, Willingham LF, Allen 1B, DeJesus RF, Pennington SS, Recker C, Sizemore 3B; Harden RHP.

Yanks: Jeter DH, Granderson CF, Teixeira 1B, Rodriguez 3B, Cano 2B, Swisher RF, Martin C, Nunez SS, Gardner LF; Hughes RHP.