1973 A’s knew something about struggling in April

Ken Holtzman, Rollie Fingers and Sal Bando were among the attendees at the 1973 World Series champion A's reunion Friday

You know who knows something about April struggles?

Besides the current crop of A’s, of course.

Well, members of the 1973 World Series championship A’s team are here this weekend, and they lived it.

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PREGAME NOTES: Rosales reinstated from D.L., Cespedes expected to be back Sunday, Reggie headlines ’73 anniversary

Hey, everyone, it’s Dan Brown filling in for John Hickey (@mercbrownie or dbrown@mercurynews.com)

Here are a few more pregame notes for A’s vs. Orioles at 7:05 p.m. tonight from the Coliseum:

Yoenis Cespedes is on the clock …

With infielder Adam Rosales (strained left intercostal) activated today, the countdown begins for the next guy off the disabled list. Manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes would return Sunday, assuming the outfielder’s rehab games in Sacramento go smoothly starting tonight.

Cespedes (muscle strain in left hand) went on the D.L. on April 13 – a development that hurt in more ways than one. The A’s are 8-2 with him in the lineup and 5-7 when he doesn’t start. It was much the same last year, when Oakland was 82-46 when Cespedes started and 12-22 when he didn’t.

“He’s a force in our lineup,’’ Melvin said. “Even when he’s not swinging the bat well, he’s a presence and the other guys don’t feel like they have to be ‘The Guy.’’’

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Melvin indicated that Rosales would at second base Friday against left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. Rosales, who started the year on the D.L., said he feels 100 percent again. The last hurdle for him was being able to pivot and make a strong throw and he now says he’s able to make that “explosive” movement without discomfort.

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The 1973 World Champions are Swingin’ back into the Coliseum this weekend. The two-day celebration (Friday and Saturday) will feature appearances by some of the colorful characters who captured the second of the A’s three straight championships.

Here’s an itinerary provided by the A’s:

Friday: There will be special ’73 autograph sessions in the Bar & Grille (formerly called the Westside Club) with various members of the team, with proceeds benefitting the Jim “Catfish” Hunter ALS Foundation. A limited number of tickets priced at $20 will go on sale at 5:35 p.m.outside the Bar & Grille doors, near Section 217, with the autograph session beginning at6:15 p.m.

Saturday: A pre-game on-field reunion begins at 12:30 p.m. Ten thousand fans in attendance will receive a Reggie Jackson bobblehead and Jackson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game.

The players expected to be on hand –

Reggie Jackson

Rollie Fingers

Vida Blue

Sal Bando

Bert Campaneris

Ray Fosse

Ken Holtzman

Darold Knowles

John “Blue Moon” Odom

Joe Rudi

Gene Tenace

Pat Bourque

Billy Conigliaro

Dick Green

Ted Kubiak

Billy North

Irv Noren (coach)

Wes Stock (coach)

Monte Moore (broadcaster)

More information about the 1973 World Series Reunion can be found online a www.oaklandathletics.com/1973.



Thursday’s A’s lineup vs. Baltimore

Hey, everyone. It’s Dan Brown (@mercbrownie) pinch-hitting for John Hickey. You can reach me directly at dbrown@mercurynews.com

Here are tonight’s lineups as well as a few early notes — and your trivia question o’ the day.

Trivia question: Shortstop Jed Lowrie has 30 hits this month, leaving him three short of the A’s record for most hits in April. Which two players hold the current mark?(Hint: One player did it in 1994 and the other in ’98) Answer below.

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Game 22 wrapup: Lack of replay frustrates Lowrie; Young won’t panic with slow start

Jed Lowrie says he’s long been a proponent of expanded use of replay in baseball games.

Some replay Wednesday might have turned the tide for the A’s shortstop and his team, but it was not to be.

Batting with two out in the ninth with Oakland down 6-5 to the Red Sox in Fenway Park, Lowrie thought he’d hit a double down the right field line. The ball hit the chalk, which is by definition in fair territory.

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Smith homer in wind and rain of Fenway Park leaves the A’s suitably impressed

It won’t be the most clutch home run Seth Smith has ever produced or even the longest he’ll ever hit.

But Tuesday’s homer in the fourth inning of Boston’s Alfredo Aceves is likely to go down as the hardest Smith has ever hit, even if Smith himself doesn’t think that’s necessarily so.

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Game 21 wrapup: A’s hitters respond well to rain, but long for sun; Umpires handled rainout well

The A’s had scored just 15 runs in four games, all losses, coming into Tuesday.

They scored six times in the third inning and 13 times in the game in bringing the losing streak to an end.

Does that mean they want to go out and take all their at-bats in the rain and cold? No. but it does mean they enter Wednesday’s series finale against Boston lefty Jon Lester feeling much better about things.

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It’ll be a rusty Casper Wells playing for the A’s

Casper Wells, the latest addition to the Oakland roster, is just the latest to learn that baseball isn’t fair – not even close.

The outfielder began the season with the A’s, but the ascension of veteran local product Jason Bay squeezed him out of a job. Wells was designated for assignment, that uniquely baseball move in which a team has 10 days to trade a player, release him or re-sign him to a minor league contract if he clears waivers.

During the 10 days, Wells couldn’t work out with the A’s or anyone, so he didn’t face live pitching. The Toronto Blue Jays claimed him, and so he went to work for Toronto. But he didn’t get into a game, and five days after the Jays claimed him, they, too, used the DFA move to get their roster in balance.

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A’s, Red Sox expecting to play despite the rain


A's Yoenis Cespedes runs under stands at Fenway to get loose while avoiding rain Tuesday.

Just looking at Boston and Fenway Park late in the afternoon, it’s hard to see baseball being played here this evening.

But the A’s and the Red Sox are getting ready to do just that. They’ve been told that, at least for the moment, to prepare for a 6:35 start (3:35 PDT) in what is being forecast to be a light rain.

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Game 20 wrapup: Griffin points no fingers, but A’s defense did him no favors

Nothing seems to bother A’s starter A.J. Griffin when he’s on the mound, which makes him just the sort you’d like to have going for you in an emotional game.

And there was more emotion Monday than you would have in your standard April 22 game, given that it was in Fenway Park just a week after the bombings at the Boston Marathon that bruised a nation’s sense of itself.

“You just go out and pitch, do the same things you always do,’’ was the way Griffin put it going into the game.

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