Red Sox legend Jim Rice popped into the A’s clubhouse and was chatting w/Nomar Garciaparra earlier this afternoon. You never know who you’re going to see from day to day, especially when the A’s visit a team with such a rich history as Boston … We’ve got some dark clouds hovering over Fenway at the moment. Batting practice was canceled for both teams as a steady rain fell earlier. But the tarp is off the infield right now. Weather.com says there’s anywhere from a 35-45 percent chance of showers around first pitch, and for the next couple hours after that.
On to the news: Reliever Jeff Gray, who knows the route between Oakland and Triple-A Sacramento quite well, was recalled to take the 25-man roster spot of Dana Eveland. The right-hander has some nasty stuff, but he hasn’t gotten much of a chance to show it in two brief stints with Oakland this season. He was called up twice in May and retired the only batter he faced each time. Gray, 27, was 2-2 with a 1.99 ERA with Sacramento and was 11-for-11 in save opportunities.
Bob Geren’s phone buzzed w/a call from Dallas Braden while he was meeting w/reporters, but there’s still no word on whether the lefty will return to start one of the games this weekend in Tampa Bay … Brett Anderson will throw either Saturday or Sunday, w/Gio Gonzalez pitching the other day if Braden doesn’t go …
Jason Giambi gets his second day off in four games, with Bobby Crosby playing first and Jack Cust serving as DH. Giambi and Geren both said his body was in need of some overall rest, and he’ll get two days off with no game scheduled tomorrow. There might be a few guys who wouldn’t have minded taking tonight off with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield going for Boston. It can’t be too much fun gearing up for the heat that Josh Beckett brings, and then adjusting to Wakefield’s floating stuff 24 hours later. Now that I’ve written that, of course, the A’s will put a 10-spot on the scoreboard tonight …
The lineups, w/Trevor Cahill trying to snap out of a two-start slump for Oakland …