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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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HBP explosion has mostly to do with Rangers crowding plate

Catcher Stephen Vogt says Rangers lefties were crowding the plate, that some of six HBPs were "borderline strikes."

Catcher Stephen Vogt says Rangers lefties were crowding the plate, that some of six HBPs were “borderline strikes.”

For the second time in three days, A’s catcher Stephen Vogt said the Rangers batters, particularly the left-handers, are crowding the plate.

A’s pitchers hit six Rangers batters, all lefties, in the just-completed four-game series. Oakland pitchers don’t generally have those kinds of issues.“They are on top of the plate, and there is no rule that says they have to move,’’ Vogt said. “There were a couple of pitches I thought were borderline strikes that hit them, but that’s part of the game.’’

In Tuesday’s game, Vogt and manager Bob Melvin took exception to catcher Carlos Corporan getting hit by a pitch, the A’s contending that Corporan all be leaned into the pitch.

Corporan was hit by a pitch again Thursday, but it was a relatively insignificant part of a 10-1 loss, and the A’s didn’t say if Corporan was moving in on the pitch this time.

“They have guys are willing to crowd the plate and not move,’’ Vogt said. “That’s worth a couple of hit by pitches.’’

Oakland pitching had one stretch where the A’s didn’t hit anyone over the course of 19 games last season. And the A’s didn’t hit six batters in any four-game stretch a year ago, although they did hit five in four games once, in two road games each against the Mets and Marlins July 24-28.

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Clippard feels part of the team after finally getting in a game

Tyler Clippard finally got a chance to throw for A's Thursday and now "feels like part of the team."

Tyler Clippard finally got a chance to throw for A’s Thursday and now “feels like part of the team.”

Tyler Clippard said of his one inning of shutout relief Thursday, “it felt like I hadn’t been out there in a week.’’

There was a reason for that. His sense of time wasn’t lying. He’d had five days off before he threw the ninth inning, giving up a two-out double and a subsequent walk before working out of trouble in the A’s 10-1 loss to the Rangers.

“It was important just to get a game in, even if it wasn’t the game we wanted,’’ Clippard said. “I needed some work. It felt good, even if it was such a tough game for us.’’

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Ladendorf shares his MLB debut with two special people

Tyler Ladendorf looks to umpire Jim Wolf after sliding by Rangers Robinson Chirinos Wednesday.

Tyler Ladendorf looks to umpire Jim Wolf after sliding by Rangers Robinson Chirinos Wednesday.

Tyler Ladendorf got his first big league start Wednesday.

It came just in time for his two biggest fans. Ladendorf’s mother, Linda, and his grandmother, Judy, were both in the stands but were heading back to their Chicago-area home Thursday.

Before they left, they saw him triple home a run in his first at-bat. Before his Wednesday was done, he’d scored two runs, driven in two and drawn a walk.

And the ball with which he delivered his first hit was a gift to his mother.

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A’s lose OF Alex Hassan to Rangers on waiver claim

The A’s lost outfielder Alex Hassan to the Rangers Thursday when Texas claimed Hassan less than 24 hours after the A’s had requested waivers.

The A’s waived Hassan in order to make room on the 40-man roster for veteran outfielder Cody Ross, signed after he’d been released by Arizona. Ross started Wednesday and singled home two runs in five at-bats.

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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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Ranger hitters may be leaning over plate in try to force HBPs

Catcher Stephen Vogt says that four HBPs in season's first two games might not be an accident.

Catcher Stephen Vogt says that four HBPs in season’s first two games might not be an accident.

A’s pitchers have hit four Texas batters in the first two games of the season.

It’s not an encouraging trend, because beyond that the Oakland pitching has had good control – one walk in 17 innings.

Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt was put off enough by the hit batters that he protested after the last one Tuesday, catcher Carlos Corporan hit by a Jesse Chavez cutter.

Vogt’s contention is that the Rangers should at least make some vague attempt at getting out of the way of pitches. And in Corporan’s case, the catcher shouldn’t be allowed to help things along.

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Reddick ready for a road trip; still a long road for Parker

Josh Reddick is on track to be back in the A's lineup in right field come Saturday.

Josh Reddick is on track to be back in the A’s lineup in right field come Saturday.

One of the perks of being a major League player is the first-class travel that comes with it.

The clubs fly roomy charter planes, and when players travel alone, they get booked into first class.

So what’s with Josh Reddick? He’s going to play one game for Class-A Stockton Thursday as the season opens in San Bernardino. He’s going to drive down Wednesday, drive back Friday and be in Oakland, and presumably in the lineup Saturday.

“I’ve got a real comfortable ride,’’ Reddick said of his truck, which he said he had custom built. “I wouldn’t want to be down in San Bernardino without a car, and I don’t much like rental cars.’’

He doesn’t much like being on the disabled list either, but Reddick likes the way his body is responding after he suffered a right oblique strain five weeks ago.

“I feel great; I don’t feel it pinch,’’ Reddick said after taking some swings against another man on the disabled list, Jarrod Parker. “I said when I was first injured that it wasn’t as bad as the last time I hurt my oblique, and it’s nice to know I was right.’’

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