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Reddick, Burns survive collision in right-center

Billy Burns (left) and Josh Reddick collide in pursuit of a Melvin Upton Jr. fly ball in right-center Thursday.  Upton got a triple, and both A's outfielder remained in the game.

Billy Burns (left) and Josh Reddick collide in pursuit of a Melvin Upton Jr. fly ball in right-center Thursday. Upton got a triple, and both A’s outfielder remained in the game.

Most pictures may be worth a thousand words, but a shot of the collision of Josh Reddick and Billy Burns at the right field wall could be boiled down to just six: “Man, that has got to hurt.’’

And it did, although not nearly as much as the A’s first feared. Assistant trainer Walt Horn ran out with manager Bob Melvin to check Reddick out, but left him in once he’d shaken off the worst of it.

Reddick was hit in the head by Burns’ left elbow and in the groin by Burn’s knee. Burns said he had the wind knocked out of him after the collision, which came while both men were in pursuit of a ball hit to the wall by Melvin (formerly B.J.) Upton Jr.

“It wasn’t as bad as everybody anticipated,’’ Reddick said. “It was just a knee to the wrong section of the body. No doubt that I was going to stay in. I just needed some time.’’

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Warriors make the logistics Friday work better for us all

It would have been a crush Friday at the Coliseum and Arena if the Warriors and A's both wound up playing. Now the Warriors will have an NBA championship parade instead.

It would have been a crush Friday at the Coliseum and Arena if the Warriors and A’s both wound up playing. Now the Warriors will have an NBA championship parade instead.

As the Warriors have their championship parade Friday in Oakland, we’re left to think what might have been had not Golden State closed out their NBA title run in Cleveland Tuesday.

Game 7 would have been set for Friday at 6 p.m. in the Arena. The A’s were set for a 6:35 p.m. start across the way in the Coliseum against the Angels, and as it is the A’s second fireworks night of the season, that wasn’t going to be changed.

So the transit situation had every chance to be a logistical nightmare, particularly with national television trucks due to eat into some of the park on the south side of the Coliseum and Arena complex.

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Billy Bean, MLB Ambassador for Inclusion, praises A’s Pride Night

IMG_5578OAKLAND — Billy Bean proudly placed a rainbow colored A’s button on his jacket lapel as he stood on the dugout steps at O.co Coliseum on Wednesday.

Now Major League Baseball’s Ambassador for Inclusion, Bean is one of two players in baseball history to have come out as gay after his playing career (joining former A’s outfielder Glenn Burke) and was an invited guest for the A’s Pride Night against the San Diego Padres.

Burke’s brother, Sidney Burke, is throwing out the first pitch and transgender opera singer Breanna Sinclaire is signing the national anthem. According to Out Magazine, Sinclaire is the first transgender woman to sing the anthem at a professional sporting event.

“I’ll tell you as a player if I had seen that, I would’ve passed out,” Bean said. “Today is a perfect win for this organization and baseball.” Continue Reading

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Sogard denies his mentor his first win as an MLB manager

Eric Sogard has been on a nice run for the A's, and had the ninth-inning game-winning hit for Oakland Tuesday.

Eric Sogard has been on a nice run for the A’s, and had the ninth-inning game-winning hit for Oakland Tuesday.

There is a long, deep friendship that exists between Pat Murphy and Eric Sogard.

So Sogard getting the game-winning hit for the A’s to deny Murphy a chance for a win in his first day as the new San Diego Padres manager is just another piece of shared history. Sogard singled up the middle to score Billy Burns from second base in the ninth inning after the Padres had rallied from 5-3 down to tie the game.

Sogard, while delighted to see the Padres tab Murphy, the longtime Arizona State coach, as their new manager, wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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Scouting report on Reddick may not be quite up to date

Josh Reddick believes he might have a bit of an advantage when the A’s play National League teams, which Oakland did for the first time Monday night in San Diego.

    Reddick has made it a point to drive the ball up the middle this year. He was a dead pull hitter in 2012 when he first came to the A’s and hit 32 homers. And his natural swing is that of a pull hitter.

    So teams tend to put a pull hitter’s shift on him, including the Padres, So when he drove in the game’s first run Monday, it was a single to left fielder, catching the defense completely off guard.

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Vogt needs a day off after his night as human pinball

Stephen Vogt will get Tuesday off after getting beat up some in Monday's 9-1 win over the Padres.

Stephen Vogt will get Tuesday off after getting beat up some in Monday’s 9-1 win over the Padres.

No one knows better than Bob Melvin how important Stephen Vogt has become to the A’s this year.
So the A’s manager didn’t come lightly to the idea that Vogt will get Tuesday’s start against the Padres off. All the more so because after a terrible first two weeks of June, Vogt reemerged with a three-hit, five-RBI game in Monday’s 9-1 win over San Diego that got Vogt back in the middle of the Oakland offense.
But what’s Melvin to do with a man who’s become a virtual pinball machine? He got a foul tip off the side of his mask, his jaw and his shoulder.
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Norris doesn’t recognize too many faces on current A’s roster

Derek Norris figures his trade to San Diego has worked out well for both the A's and the Padres.

Derek Norris figures his trade to San Diego has worked out well for both the A’s and the Padres.

The last time the A’s saw Derek Norris, he was putting his beaten up body behind the plate after Geovany Soto was injured in the American League Wild Card game against Kansas City last Sept. 30.

Norris had no real business being behind the plate, but John Jaso was on the disabled list, Stephen Vogt was playing on one foot and Soto, the man being used as a bridge to get the A’s through to the AL playoffs proper, injured his thumb in the third inning.

He was the last strong-armed catcher the A’s had left and Norris, plagued by back spasms and shoulder issue saw the Royals run on him, taking advantage of his infirmity.

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A bit of a crazy day for Sogard on his return to A’s lineup

Eric Sogard had a big return to the A's lineup with two hits, 3 RBI and an odd bunt.

Eric Sogard had a big return to the A’s lineup with two hits, 3 RBI and an odd bunt.

Eric Sogard’s return to the lineup Sunday was not without its abnormal moments.

The A’s second baseman, one of the best bunters on the team, dropped down a bad bunt in the second inning, but some shoddy defensive work produced a run after Ben Zobrist, who started the play at second base, hurdled the prone catcher Chris Iannetta to make it to the plate.

Sogard would later become integral in adding to the A’s lead in what would be an 8-1 win over the Angels. He singled home a run in the three-run sixth, then doubled home two runs in the seventh.

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Hahn going back to roots in San Diego, complete with his bat

Jesse Hahn faces the Padres Monday, the team that traded him to the A's this off-season.

Jesse Hahn faces the Padres Monday, the team that traded him to the A’s this off-season.

Jesse Hahn will tell you off the top he’s not the world’s greatest hitter.

The statistics would tend to support the A’s right-handers assertion. He’s come to the plate 24 times in the big leagues, and half the time he’s struck out. His batting average? Just .091.

For a couple of weeks now he’s been carrying around a bat, off-and-on, trying to hone his skills. When he starts Monday against the San Diego Padres in Petco Park, he’ll be the first A’s pitcher to swing a bat this season at the start of Oakland’s first interleague road series of the season.

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Lack of clutch performances suggest change is in the wind

A's GM Billy Beane has made to moves to tear up the roster, but it was at about this time in 2012 he did so, with great success.

A’s GM Billy Beane has made to moves to tear up the roster, but it was at about this time in 2012 he did so, with great success.

The A’s have built their entire season on statistical oddities, but none is quite as off the wall as having the worst record in the American League – 25-39 after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Angels – while having outscored their opponents.

Albert Pujols homered in the first inning off A’s starter Kendall Graveman, and that was it for this one, Oakland’s 18th loss in 22 one-run games.

When the A’s win, they often win big, as they did Thursday in a 7-0 win over the Rangers. When it comes to close games, however, the A’s have minimal success despite having outscored opponents 265-257.

Oakland has been shut out six times while A’s pitchers have thrown nine shutouts. In the losses, the A’s were one swing away from at least tying the game in five of them, the exception being a 13-0 loss to the Twins on May 6.

It’s a much different story when you look at the shutouts the A’s have thrown. Final scores in the shutouts the A’s have won have included 12-0, 10-0, 8-0, 7-0, 5-0 (twice), 4-0 (twice) and 3-0.

Scores like that are the reason the A’s have more runs scored than allowed. But a 12-0 or 10-0 victory only counts for one victory. When it’s crunch time, this team hasn’t gotten it done.

You can see that in the A’s record in one-run games, now 4-18. The last three losses have all been by one run.

Those numbers are not all about the offense, although the hitters have bogged down plenty with the game one the line. The bullpen with its 5-15 record, has contributed mightily to the one-run loss stat, as has the American League’s worst defense.

It’s just these kinds of chaotic performances that will induce a general manager to start cleaning house, although A’s GM Billy Beane has made no moves in that direction yet.

But it’s worth noting that three years and a week ago, Beane began scuttling what the A’s had in what was a disappointing season – eight games under .500 and nine games out of first place in the American League West. He did it by bringing up reliever Sean Doolittle, then outfielder-turned-first baseman Brandon Moss from Triple-A in the space of three days. Later that June they added catcher Derek Norris to the mix, called up starter A.J. Griffin for the first time and brought in first baseman Chris Carter.

As the summer wore on, catcher-turned-third baseman Josh Donaldson, pitcher Dan Straily and shortstop Stephen Drew were brought in.

The team that was at one point 13 games out of first place, turned around, kicked into gear and won the American League West.

It’s hard to see that happening this year – the winning the division part, that is. The freefall collecting of new faces, that’s easy to see.