Marcus Semien’s ever-improving defense is a bright spot for the A’s in the second half of 2015.
For the night, it wound up not meaning much.
But Marcus Semien’s ability to start a double play in the fourth inning suggested that whatever else is happening with the A’s, he is continuing to make progress on his defense.
The Angels had a 4-1 lead with no one out in the fourth and runners at the corner. Reliever Arnold Leon, just up from Triple-A Nashville, had just entered the game. He immediately induced a grounder up the middle from second baseman Taylor Featherston.
The grounder could have been an RBI single. Instead, Semien did an all-out dive to his left, snaring the ball. There was no time to get the ball into his throwing hand, so he flipped his left wrist up, opened his glove and floated the ball to Eric Sogard.
They are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the A’s 1974 World Series championship team this weekend, and there is one exceptionally strong link between that team and the current one.
Sal Bando, the third baseman in Oakland when the A’s won three consecutive World Series title, was the general manager in Milwaukee when he hired a young catcher whose career as a player was over to scout.
The scout’s name was Bob Melvin, the man at the helm of the A’s now.
“As a general manager you are always looking for quality baseball people,’’ Bando said in looking back to that 1996 hiring. “He was definitely that. It was to our advantage to bring someone like that aboard.
Coco Crisp is now the fifth most successful thief in A’s history
Coco Crisp has been around long enough to be hanging with some exalted company.
Just take his 11th inning stolen base Wednesday. It was the 145th of his Oakland career. That moves him past Reggie Jackson and into fifth place in the A’s all-time stolen base rankings.
Is that a big deal?
“No, not for me,’’ Crisp said after the A’s 12-inning, 5-4 loss to the Angels. “Not because it’s Reggie, but I’m just not into (numbers) that much.’’