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A appreciation of Pat Neshek’s torturous journey

One of the things about a job like mine is there are questions you hate to ask, only because were the roles reversed, you’d hate to have them asked of you.

I say this today because I spent 30 minutes or so talking with Pat Neshek of the A’s this morning, Neshek and his wife, Stephanee, lost their son, Gehrig John, just 23 hours after he was born last Oct. 2.

He just stopped breathing.

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Evidence shows Nakajima having trouble adjusting

One thing this spring has already proven is that it’s not going to be easy for Hiroyuki Nakajima.

He’s in his first year in the U.S. from Japan, and he just doesn’t look comfortable eiher at shortstop or at the plate. How soon he does will determine when, or even if, he claims the starting shortstop job for which the A’s signed him.

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Tarantula wrangler Gallego highlights newest group of A’s television commercials

The A’s introduced their new line of television commercials to the media Saturday morning, and the early Star Power award goes to third base coach Mike Gallego.

Without giving too much away, Gallego was asked to handle a tarantula and a possum for the sports, and he did so without yelping, which I’m reasonably certain I would have done.

Sad to say, the tarantula didn’t make it into the final cuts, although the blooper reel shows a rather formidable arachnid making his presence felt.

The possum isn’t an animal I’d particularly want to pick up, although Gallego makes it work.

The first of the commercials, Pie Alternatives, is already online at www.oakland.athletics.mlb.com and debuts today in the Bay Area. This first commercial geatures Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick. It is a play on the frequent post-game pie celebrations that marked the A’s American League West title season of 2012 as the A’s try to go beyond simple pies to the face.

Others featured in the commercials are pitcher Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, Jarrod Parker, outfielder Chris Young, coach Chip Hale, manager Bob Melvin and an actor playing a guru who gets off the best line of anyone at Crisp’s expense.

 

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Stew and Rickey spice up Friday with the A’s

Chili Davis, Rickey Henderson (both crouching in front) and Dave Stewart (far right, standing) gather Friday morning with members of the youth baseball team Stewart coaches.

PHOENIX – There’s nothing quite like seeing a few of the old-timers around, especially as one creeps towards old-time status oneself.

So it was nice to run across Rickey Henderson and Dave Stewart today with the A’s. I covered them when they were crucial parts of the A’s championship run 1988-1990 (Rickey didn’t land back in Oakland until 1989, but you get the point).

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Rodriguez gets second opinion on torn UCL, but elsewhere A’s injury issues looking up

With the notable exception of reliever Fernando Rodriguez, things are looking up for the A’s on the injury front.

Rodriguez has been diagnosed as having torn his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. And while he is looking at having a second opinion, the remedy is for him to have Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery that will force him to miss the entire season.

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A’s lose RHP Rodriguez to Tommy John surgery

By John Hickey

 

PHOENIX – Right-handed reliever Fernando Rodriguez, who came out of his last spring training relief appearance after one pitch, will need Tommy John-style ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow and will miss the 2013 season, the Bay Area News Group has learned.

A’s sources would not confirm the injury, but Oakland is likely to announce the need for surgery Thursday morning.

Rodriguez, who came to the A’s in the trade of first baseman Chris Carter that also netted Oakland shortstop/second baseman Jed Lowrie, is a 28-year-old with a 95-mph fastball.

Rodriguez was pitching in relief Monday against the San Diego Padres in Peoria, but came off the mound after one pitch. He was competing for a job at the end of the A’s bullpen.

He is 4-13 with a 4.89 career ERA and was 2-10 with a 5.37 ERA with the Astros last year.

 

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Weeks getting closer to return to lineup while Sizemore is back in there against Mariners

PHOENIX – A’s second baseman Jemile Weeks hasn’t played since landing badly on his shoulder in a collision at second base last Friday, but he hopes to be playing by the end of this weekend.

Scott Sizemore, another combatant for the second base job that belonged to Weeks at this time a year ago, reported to Oakland’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium facility Thursday without a bandage on his left hand, indicating that he’s ready to play for the first time since Sunday.

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A’s Reddick puts his beard up to a challenge from WWE’s Bryan

He’s calling it a “BeardOff,’’ but even A’s right fielder Josh Reddick admits it’s a beard-on.

Reddick, a huge fan of WWE wrestling has taken the challenge of the WWE’s Daniel Bryan to spend the rest of this year growing the fullest and most luxuriant beard possible.

The winner will be voted by fans online and “the loser has to shave it all off,’’ Reddick said Tuesday morning.

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