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A’s minor league recap: Mazzaro shines in Sacramento

Here’s a brief look at what happened down on the farm for the A’s affiliates the last couple of days:

SACRAMENTO (Triple-A)

Here’s the recap from Monday’s game, when Jack Hannahan and Chris Denorfia homered in the ‘Cats win. Daric Barton, hitting .158 in 12 games, left in the second inning after getting hit by a pitch.
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Garciaparra also set to join A’s

Is there a team in baseball making more news than the A’s right now? Their infield is about to get a little more crowded, as a source confirmed for me that a one-year deal with Nomar Garciaparra is going to happen. Nothing’s official yet … Garciaparra was contemplating retirement but has opted to join the A’s. He’s being viewed as a backup corner infielder and occasional DH. So it’s shaping up to be quite a crowded infield right now. Assuming everyone’s healthy on Opening Day, I see Eric Chavez at third, Orlando Cabrera at shortstop, Mark Ellis at second, Jason Giambi at first, and Bobby Crosby and Garciaparra as backup infielders. Assuming the A’s keep 12 pitchers, five outfielders and two catchers, that would point to Daric Barton and Jack Hannahan starting the season in the minors.

But the A’s have lots of time to contemplate those roster decisions. …

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Random thoughts

Saw the the E! network was broadcasting Saturday Night Live’s Top 101 moments of all time, so I was inspired to used the “Random Thoughts,” that were so hysterical. Those of you from the Internet age are probably too young to remember.

Anyway, here are a couple of A’s-related things as they prepare to get swept here in Anaheim.

— I was surprised that my game story revolving around Jack Hannahan generated more than a couple of e-mails. I’m wondering if he’s become a bit of a fan favorite. Dude is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and he’s overcome some pretty big demons, so it’s hard not to root for him. I wrote in an earlier post that he “stinks” and maybe that was harsh. I’m pretty skeptical when it comes to A’s third baseman, because they’ve had so many good ones. Hannahan reminds me a bit of Wayne Gross, who perhaps didn’t stink, but did when you compare him with Sal Bando, Carney Lansford and Eric Chavez. Same goes for Hannahan, although so many people are still high on him in the organization that perhaps it’s premature to right him off.

— A small thing, but Daric Barton had five hits over the final three games in Seattle. That was the first time he had five hits in a three-game span since June. Now, this is a guy who has hit at every level he’s everĀ been, so I definitely think it’s far too early to write him off. He’ll be an interesting guy to watch over the final five weeks.

— Hearing from a couple of insiders that managing partner Lewis Wolff is starting to work his connection with Bud Selig in an effort to gain access to the “territorial rights” the Giants own in Santa Clara. Stay tuned on that one.

— Also, the A’s want out of their Comcast Sports Net affiliation. What do you make of that?

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Eric who?

Jack Hannahan is the first guy since 1998 not named Eric Chavez to start at the hot corner for the A’s on Opening Day (it was Dave Magadan that year, which should give you an idea of how bad that club was). Already he made a nice catch near the railing on the third-base line to briefly put off a Red Sox rally. Now, he’s crushed one into the seats in right with no outs in the sixth to put the A’s ahead 4-3.

Hannahan is a great story. A former alcoholic who nearly drank away some remarkable athletic ability earlier in his life. Straightened up, spiritual and reaping the benefits now.

Nice story, now matter how this game winds up.