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Pomeranz is the first daily recipient of a Jim Harbaugh Michigan helmet

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was in spring training with the A's and Oakland now has a Michigan helmet that will serve as a player of the game award. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was in spring training with the A’s and Oakland now has a Michigan helmet that will serve as a player of the game award. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

It merely hung from a hook in his locker by the time A’s left-hander Drew Pomeranz met with the media Friday night, but earlier Pomeranz admitted he was wearing the Michigan Wolverines helmet nestled behind him.

No, Pomeranz doesn’t have any affinity for the maize and blue. He’s an Ole Miss product. But he didn’t mind slipping it on after pitching seven inning of two-hit ball in the A’s 12-0 blasting of the Seattle Mariners.

Pomeranz said the helmet was a gift to the team from Jim Harbaugh, the former 49ers coach who is now at Michigan. You may recall that Harbaugh came to visit the A’s during spring training and served as a first base coach for them. Continue Reading

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Reddick will return this weekend; A’s sign Oakland Tech product

Josh Reddick is likely ticketed for a Sunday return to the A's lineup.

Josh Reddick is likely ticketed for a Sunday return to the A’s lineup.

Josh Reddick remains scheduled to return from the disabled list this weekend, but it might not come Saturday when he first becomes eligible.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Reddick will be back at “some point at time in this series.” Sunday seems like the liklier timeframe for Reddick’s season debut, with Melvin going as far as joking “it would be like a normal Opening Day” for Reddick.

That’s because it’ll be Felix Hernandez on the mound Sunday for the Mariners. Hernandez started against the A’s on Opening Day for four straight years from 2010-13, including Reddick’s first two seasons with the A’s.

The A’s will have to make a roster move when Reddick comes back, so delaying it a day makes all the sense in the world. Seattle is throwing left-hander J.A. Happ on Saturday, so Reddick might sit anyway. This probably gives Cody Ross a chance to get another start. Continue Reading

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Smooth debuts power A’s to 10-0 win over Rangers

OAKLAND – The A’s crushed the Rangers 10-0 on Wednesday thanks to a series of successful debuts.

Mark Canha and Tyler Ladendorf made an impact in their first major league games and Cody Ross also joined the party on his first day with the A’s before 19,479 at O.co Coliseum.

Scott Kazmir mowed the Rangers down, even after experiencing what appeared to be some discomfort in his back or oblique. He needed a mound visit from manager Bob Melvin and head trainer Nick Paparesta in the fourth inning, but delivered seven innings of one-hit, shutout ball.

Kazmir didn’t allow a hit after Leonys Martin led off the game with a bunt single. He allowed only three other baserunners before leaving the game after throwing 95 pitches.

Canha’s first impression was a big one as he came within a few feet of two home runs. Instead, he settled for a 3 for 5 day with two doubles and four RBIs. Continue Reading

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Cody Ross was “blindsided” by Diamondbacks release, but happy to join a winner in Oakland

Cody Ross will platoon against left-handed pitching for the A's. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Cody Ross will platoon against left-handed pitching for the A’s. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

New A’s outfielder Cody Ross was “blindsided” by his release from the Arizona Diamondbacks, but said he’s thrilled to come to Oakland with a chance to win.

“It caught me off guard,” Ross said of Arizona releasing him on Saturday.  “I was definitely blindsided and obviously upset and had some bitter feelings.

“You sit back and look at the way the roster’s made up and what they’re trying to do and it just wasn’t a fit. To be honest with you, I don’t want to be on a rebuilding team.  I love those guys over there. I wish them nothing but the best. But I think my aspirations are a little higher and it was sort of a blessing.”

To make room for Ross, the A’s sent outfielder Billy Burns to Triple-A Nashville and designated outfielder Alex Hassan for assignment. Continue Reading

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Melvin says Saturday’s lineup closely resembles what to expect Opening Night

Craig Gentry is leading off Saturday in a lineup that manager Bob Melvin said could closely resemble the Opening Night lineup.

Craig Gentry is leading off Saturday in a lineup that manager Bob Melvin said could closely resemble the Opening Night lineup.

A’s manager Bob Melvin planned to announce the team’s roster moves to the players following batting practice before Saturday’s exhibition finale with the Giants and make that information public after the game.

Melvin said Saturday’s lineup will closely resemble the plans for Monday’s opener against the Texas Rangers, with possibly one change.

Here’s a look at the lineup: Continue Reading

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A’s manager Bob Melvin: “Just a bad game for us overall”

Manager Bob Melvin said the A's "just played a bad game" on Friday night.

Manager Bob Melvin said the A’s played “just a bad game for us overall” on Friday night in a 4-0 loss to the Giants.

The A’s eight-game spring winning streak is over. Oh. The Horror.

Of course, nobody is going to fret about that. The A’s lost 4-0 to the Giants on Friday night in what manager Bob Melvin called, “just a bad game for us overall.”

“We’ve been swinging the bats, we’ve been playing great defense, we’ve been getting great pitching,” Melvin said. “We just didn’t play a very good game today.” Continue Reading

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Kazmir sharp in spring finale, finishes with a 1.00 ERA

Scott Kazmir finished a strong spring with six solid innings in a win against the Giants on Thursday night.

Scott Kazmir finished a strong spring with six solid innings in a win against the Giants on Thursday night.

Scott Kazmir closed out a second straight strong spring training for the A’s on Thursday night with six sharp innings in Oakland’s 8-2 win over the Giants.

He allowed four hits and one run (on an Angel Pagan solo home run) and watched his ERA raise slightly from 0.75 to 1.00. Afterwards, he said the might’ve been the best he’s ever felt coming out of spring training.

“In the past, I’ve had one or two pitches really working and other stuff I’m still working on,” Kazmir said. “This spring, I felt like out of the gates, I had a good feel for everything.” Continue Reading

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A’s: Rally Possum delivers as Norris hits walk-off single in 10th to beat Balfour, Rays

Derek Norris gets the pie and Gatorade treatment after his walk-off hit. (Staff photo/D. Ross Cameron).

Derek Norris gets the pie and Gatorade treatment after his walk-off hit. (Staff photo/D. Ross Cameron).

The A’s might have found themselves their new mascot — the Rally Possum.

Oakland ended a night of frustration with runners in scoring position when Derek Norris singled with the bases loaded in the 10th inning off former A’s closer Grant Balfour to beat the Rays 3-2.

Norris’ hit — the A’s first breakthrough of the night after stranding the bases loaded three previous times — came shortly after a possum appeared in the corner of the outfield.

Whether it remains as a good luck charm or not is to be seen, but for one night the A’s were happy to have it around. The win allowed Oakland to stay one game against of the Los Angeles Angels in first place in the American League West. Continue Reading

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A’s pregame notes: Gray wins pitcher of the month, Parker throws from 45 feet

Sonny Gray won the AL pitcher of the month award for the second time this year. (Staff photo/Dan Honda).

Sonny Gray won the AL pitcher of the month award for the second time this year. (Staff photo/Dan Honda).

A’s pitcher Sonny Gray collected his second American League pitcher of the month award Monday. He was honored after going 5-0 with a 1.03 earned run average in five July starts.

“I was excited to get it,” Gray said of the award. “But it was really nice to have a nice month, especially after struggling the month before a little bit. So it’s just really nice to get back on track.”

Gray is the first A’s pitcher since Barry Zito to win this award twice in one season. Zito was honored in August and September of 2001. No pitcher had won the award twice in an Oakland uniform at all since Mark Mulder (June 2002 and June 2004).

Gray rebounded in July after going 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA in June. That was his worst month of the season, but it’s all relative for a pitcher who is now 12-4 with a 2.59 ERA in his first full season in the big leagues. Continue Reading

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A’s, Melvin enjoy impressing big crowds, even dogs

Josh Donaldson gave A's fans (human and canine) a reason to go home happy Friday night. (Staff photo/Jose Carlos Fajardo)

Josh Donaldson gave A’s fans (human and canine) a reason to go home happy Friday night. (Staff photo/Jose Carlos Fajardo)

Not much in the way of pregame news today from A’s manager Bob Melvin. Josh Reddick, who homered for the Stockton Ports last night, will play twice more with them and they’ll discuss the next move after Sunday’s game. Coco Crisp, bothered by a neck injury, will D.H. tonight. The neck figures to bother him for a little while. There’s still no timetable for Kyle Blanks, who has been able to do some running on the field.

Melvin did speak again about how much he enjoys his team putting on a show when the A’s do have a big crowd on hand. Last night, 27,232 were in the house and were rewarded with Josh Donaldson’s walk-off home run. With it being Bark at the Park night and dogs on hand, Melvin hopes to have snagged a few future customers.

Continue Reading