A's steal win in 9th, losing streak comes to an end

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A's steal win in 9th, losing streak comes to an end

June 10, 2011BOX SCORE A'S VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
CHICAGO (AP) One strike from their 11th consecutive loss, the Oakland Athletics showed interim manager Bob Melvin the desire to win is still there.Scott Sizemore hit a go-ahead three-run double to rally the Oakland Athletics past the Chicago White Sox 7-5 Friday night."Until you make that last out and that last strike, you're still alive," Melvin said. "During streaks like that, you go down easy at the end and tonight that just wasn't the case. That's always a sign that you're going to come out of it."The A's won their first game under Melvin. Oakland made the majors' first managerial change of 2011 by firing Bob Geren after four-plus seasons Thursday and replacing him with Melvin."Did you see everybody up on the railing?" Melvin asked. "They did that on their own. I noticed at the beginning of the inning, everybody that who was at the back of the bench came up to the top rail because everybody had a good feeling about the way we were playing tonight. I know it came down to one pitch and we were one pitch away from losing, but everybody was encouraging their teammates."Trailing 5-3 in the ninth, White Sox closer Sergio Santos (2-3) retired the first two batters and had Josh Willingham in an 0-2 count before walking him. Hideki Matsui followed with an RBI single to cut the White Sox lead to a run. Santos then walked Daric Barton and hit Kurt Suzuki with a breaking ball to load the bases. Sizemore then split the left-center gap to give the Athletics a 7-5 lead."Santos throws hard, so if you're not ready for the fastball he'll blow you away," said Sizemore, who was playing in just his third game with the A's since being acquired from Detroit on May 27."It was a great feeling to help the team get a win," Sizemore added. "Just felt really good to contribute."Santos allowed three runs in Wednesday's loss to the Mariners."This one hurt, I will be honest with you," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. "(Santos) just lost it. He tried to be too aggressive."Santos has allowed runs in just three of his 25 appearances this year, but has been tagged for three or more runs in all three instances."It's baseball, I wish I could get the job done every time but that's not possible so I have to be ready for tomorrow, whenever they call on me, whatever the situation is I will be ready to go out there and do my job," he said.Grant Balfour (4-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory and Andrew Bailey pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.Paul Konerko hit a two-run homer and A.J. Pierzynski had three hits for the White Sox, who failed to gain ground in the AL Central despite Cleveland and Detroit both losing.The A's had had 13 hits in avoiding losing 11 straight for the first time since a 12-game slide April 19-30, 1994. Oakland came into the game batting .219 (75 for 343) during the 10-game losing streak.Cliff Pennington and Sizemore led the A's with three hits.White Sox starter Edwin Jackson pitched six innings and allowed two runs on eight hits.Graham Godfrey made his major league debut with Brett Anderson sidelined by elbow soreness. Godfrey allowed five runs on nine hits over 4 1-3 innings."I thought he battled pretty well," Melvin said. "Two-out walks will kill you. You saw him get out of sorts a little bit, then bring it back."Godfrey was 7-1 with a 2.50 ERA for Sacramento. The 26-year old right-hander started one game for Double-A Midland before being promoted to Sacramento."In the middle of my outing, I was attacking hitters and getting ahead. That's what made me more successful," Godfrey said. "I definitely got a lot of positives to work off of."Trailing 1-0 in the first inning, Carlos Quentin drew a two-out walk, then Konerko followed with his 16th home run and second in as many days to put Chicago ahead. It was Konerko's ninth straight game with an extra-base hit, setting a franchise record.The White Sox left the bases loaded after Godfrey struck out Gordon Beckham.Konerko is 20-42 with six doubles, six home runs and 14 RBIs during his 11-game hitting streak, raising his average from .287 to .321. He has hit six home runs in his last nine games.Jemile Weeks led off the third with a triple. Center fielder Alex Rios had a bad read on the ball and initially turned in the wrong direction as the ball went over his head. Weeks later scored on Pennington's infield single to tie the score at two.The White Sox got the lead back for Jackson in the fifth. Alexei Ramirez led off with a double, then Quentin followed a slow bouncer to third baseman Sizemore. Sizemore made an off-balanced throw to first which got away from Barton. Ramirez ended up scoring on the throwing error.Godfrey was chased after giving up a single to Pierzynski. Quentin hustled into third on the hit to right and Pierzynski took second on the throw. Quentin ended up scoring on Rios' groundout and Adam Dunn drove in Pierzynski on a single to give the White Sox a 5-2 lead.With one out in the first, Pennington doubled down the left-field line. One out later, Pennington scored on Willingham's single.Coco Crisp scored on pinch-hitter Conor Jackson's groundout in the seventh.NOTES: Konerko previously shared the consecutive extra-base hit streak with Al Simmons, who set it in 1935. ... Rios and Dunn drove in a run in the same game this season for the third time this season. ... Quentin extended his hitting streak to 12 games. ... Pennington has four hits in eight at-bats in the No. 2 hole since Melvin moved him there from hitting ninth, a move Melvin called "an easy decision."

Kerr acknowledges marijuana use for chronic back pain, advocates for change

Kerr acknowledges marijuana use for chronic back pain, advocates for change

There were days and nights when he was in agony, when no medication – and he tried many – could stop the headaches from corroding his mere existence.

So Steve Kerr tried something once considered radical.

The Warriors coach sought relief in weed.

“I guess maybe I can even get in some trouble for this, but I’ve actually tried it twice during the last year and a half, when I’ve been going through this chronic pain that I’ve been dealing with,” Kerr said Friday on The Warriors Insider Podcast.

“(After) a lot of research, a lot of advice from people and I have no idea if maybe I would have failed a drug test. I don’t even know if I’m subject to a drug test or any laws from the NBA.”

During the summer of 2015, Kerr underwent two surgeries on his back, the latter procedure in part to alleviate the pain from the first. Still, the pain continued. He arrived at training camp to coach the defending champions and two days later realized he was not up to the grind.

Kerr, now 51, took a leave of absence that lasted nearly four months, during which time he sought comfort through various painkillers and treatments.

He returned to coaching in January 2016, but it was during his absence from the team that he reached the same conclusion as many medical professionals.

“I’m not a pot person; it doesn’t agree with me,” Kerr said. “I’ve tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you’ve got a lot of pain, I don’t think there is any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal.”

Vicodin (hydrocodone) and other pain relievers come with side effects – including nausea, vomiting, constipation and blurred vision – that can be even more damaging to the body. Moreover, painkillers invite the risk of addiction that, for some, can lead directly to death.

“I know enough, especially over the last couple years, having gone through my own bout with chronic pain, I know enough about this stuff – Vicodin is not good for you,” said Kerr, who still has experiences discomfort. “It’s way worse for you than pot, especially if you’re looking for a painkiller and you’re talking about medicinal marijuana, the different strains what they’re able to do with it as a pain reliever.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the NBA and NFL and Major League Baseball realize that.”

Marijuana has been legalized in some form by 26 states and the District of Columbia. It has been used to treat patients suffering from chronic or acute pain. Yet it remains stigmatized in certain segments of American society.

“There’s this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine, but pot is bad,” Kerr said, explaining that some folks continue to resist the notion that pot is somehow more treacherous than, say, alcohol, while others have studied the subject and become advocates.

“I would hope,” Kerr said, “especially for these NFL guys, who are basically involved in a car wreck every Sunday – and maybe four days later, the following Thursday, which is another insane thing the NFL does – I would hope that league will come to its senses and institute a different sort of program where they can help these guys get healthier rather than getting hooked on these painkillers.”

A's president: No revenue sharing puts stronger focus on new ballpark

A's president: No revenue sharing puts stronger focus on new ballpark

New A’s president Dave Kaval said Friday in a press conference that the team would do everything in its power to make up for the loss of revenue-sharing money from Major League Baseball, but he did not address how the team’s payroll would be impacted for the time being.

Baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement eliminates the hefty annual check the A’s have received from the more prosperous clubs, reportedly around $35 million last year. That money will be incrementally reduced, with the A’s receiving 25 percent less each of the next four years until it’s phased out completely.

Kaval said the loss of that money simply underscores the importance of the A’s identifying a new ballpark site in Oakland so they can build a stadium to open up new streams of cash. Kaval said he’s walked all of the sites the team is considering around the city, but he didn’t offer a timetable for when a site would be chosen or when construction might begin.

In the meantime, the A’s president stressed repeatedly in a media conference call Friday that all of the revenue the team does generate going forward will be invested back either into the on-field product or the fan experience at The Coliseum.

“I think the key thing is being smart about deploying resources,” Kaval said. “There’s no silver bullet. You have to address a variety of aspects with folks’ interaction with the club.”

He added that could include everything from broadcasting to “the hot dog you eat to players you watch.”

Until a new ballpark becomes reality, the challenge is how the A’s can generate the revenue they’re losing from MLB while still playing in the antiquated Oakland Coliseum, which hardly entices fans to come out and has become the butt of national jokes for numerous plumbing issues.

Kaval mentioned boosting ticket sales and improving sponsorship deals at The Coliseum as two potential revenue streams, though he adamantly declared the A’s won’t be raising ticket prices.

As for how payroll will be affected, if at all, Kaval only said that he’s dedicated “to providing all the tools needed for Billy Beane and David Forst and our baseball operations staff.”

Last season the A’s had an Opening Day payroll of $86.8 million, according to the Cot’s Baseball Contracts website. There’s speculation that that total will shrink due to the loss in revenue sharing.

It’s undeniable that the A’s financial future is tied to finally getting a new ballpark. They’re considering rebuilding on the current Coliseum site, which is complicated until the Raiders’ situation gets resolved, but are also considering locations at Howard Terminal and near Laney College.

Kaval, also president of the San Jose Earthquakes, was instrumental in getting a soccer stadium built for that team. Without talking specific sites, he said he’s spent lots of time driving around and walking all the locations the A’s are considering.

“It’s been exciting to visit the locations, walk them, squint and kind of envision where the stadium would be and the views. And how it could transform the different communities (around) the site.”

He maintains his belief that a “ballpark village” type environment is critical so that fans have motivation to visit the area even when games aren’t being played. Kaval has also said he thinks such a development is possible at The Coliseum.

He was asked if there was a renewed sense of urgency to the ballpark search given the elimination of revenue sharing.

“I think building a ballpark is something you do one time in your life. It’s a generational thing. I think it’s something we want to be very thoughtful about and make the right decision.”