PROGRAMMING NOTE: Kate Longworth is on the ground in Arizona providing complete coverage of the A's spring training. Don't miss her reports on SportsNet Central at 6 and 10:30 p.m. nightly on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
Manny Ramirez was introduced Friday, but Saturday was just another day of spring training baseball for the A's
Scene Setter: A crowd of fans lined up early this morning in front of the gates at Papago. I know they were a crop of new autograph seekers because those who have been here since Day 1 head straight to the fields, knowing that this year, the A's are carpooling to the facility in shuttle vans, so there's no stopping to sign.
As the long white shuttle vans filed in, the crowd quickly flocked to the fields to get the first glimpse of Manny Ramirez in the Green and Gold. Ramirez was accompanied by the entire Athletics roster and non-roster invitees as the A's took the field as a full squad for the very first time in the 2012 season.
Early Injury: Scott Sizemore appeared to hurt his left knee in drills this morning. Josh Donaldson took off his catcher's gear and stepped in. Interestingly enough, I spotted Donaldson fielding grounders at third base earlier this week and spoke with Melvin about him. He said the more he sees a guy can do, the better chance he has of making the team.
Who Was Here: While fans were dialed in on the MANia, the players might have been impressed to know how much the owner of their team is invested in them. Lew Wolff joined the A's this morning at Phoenix Munipal and in the midst of Bob Melvin's introduction of his new staff and the new players, Wolff addressed the team. Melvin declined comment on the specifics of Wolff's speech. Melvin did say owners of other clubs he's been with have addressed the team at Spring Training before, but nevertheless an interesting gesture by Wolff to be with the A's this morning in Arizona.
What Was Said: Bob Melvin shared with the team his philosophies, something us members of the media have been hearing all week. Punctuality is big for the Skip; he has his team arriving together in vans this year so that no one can pull up late in their own ride and delay the start of a drill. Certainly accountability and team unity are stressed through this practice as well.
And Melvin is definitely a believer in the saying, "The early bird catches the worm." Melvin gets to the facility every morning at 5:30 a.m., and is blown away that his assistant coach Chip Hale is already there. In mentioning characteristics he likes in his players, he's already pointed out several times how early Kurt Suzuki arrives, how late Manny Ramirez stays in the cages and how fast Coco Crisp runs in every drill.
That latter one also an important message Melvin has sent to his team, saying his players will "bust it down the line after every ball." And for the naysayers at home, he did have a talk with Manny about it and the veteran slugger said the Skip won't have to worry about that with him.
And the Oscar Goes To: Bob Melvin hopes it's MoneyBall that will be a winner at Sunday's Academy Awards. After attending the premiere, and mingling a bit with the Hollywood cast, Mevlin says this team certainly has an invested interest in the awards ceremony and that everyone here will be rooting on MoneyBall and Brad Pitt's portrayal of their faithful leader Billy Beane. Melvin said he thinks the movie has some life lessons about being the underdog and thought it scored big with all audiences, not just baseball fans.