A's do the 'Bernie Lean' in music video shoot

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A's do the 'Bernie Lean' in music video shoot

OAKLAND -- "Can you Bernie Lean? Can you, can you Bernie Lean? I can Bernie Lean, I can, I can Bernie Lean."

As the lyrics to ATM & IMD's Bernie Lean song reverberated through the empty Oakland Coliseum, a group of eight A's players tilted back and wiggled to the beat (or in some cases off beat) with the young Los Angeles-based rappers and their camera man. A's manager Bob Melvin looked on -- likely in horror. They were doing the Bernie, the cult dance craze loosely based on "Weekend At Bernie's II" that has spread through the A's clubhouse and into the stands.

As part of "Bernie Weekend" at the Coliseum, Coco Crisp and the A's invited the Bernie Lean musicians out to shoot a music video on Friday and Saturday.

The players rallied around the opportunity.

"It's very cool," Jerry Blevins said. "It's one of those things where as a baseball player you are presented with random opportunities to do cool stuff, and that was definitely one of them."

The craze all started when Blevins discovered ISA's song "Moving Like Bernie" and played it for Crisp, who then played it in the clubhouse for the team. Brandon Inge then made it his walk up song. Once it was introduced to the masses, it exploded. That's a different song altogether though. (Yes there's actually more than one Bernie song.) The song they were shooting the video for is called "Bernie Lean." A different spin on the Bernie that Crisp discovered when rapper ATM sent him the link on Twitter.

"I was checking it out and I was like, 'Man this dude is hilarious,'" Crisp said. "The song is awesome. The production, the beat is amazing."

When Inge went on the DL, Crisp decided someone had to come out to a Bernie song. He took the torch and ran with it.

"I didn't necessarily want to because I was hitting well with that other song I had," Crisp said. "But I did it, I kept hitting which is always a bonus, and then everybody liked the song, and everybody was tweeting about it."

The rest, as they say, is history.

Next thing you know Terry Kiser, who played Bernie Lomax in the Weekend at Bernie's movies, is at an A's game throwing out the first pitch, there is a music video being shot at the Coliseum and the A's are putting up 20 runs on the scoreboard against the Red Sox.

"That's the key to our whole success," Blevins said. "On top of having talent and great leadership, we have a relaxed atmosphere and we expect to win and play to win."

The loose atmosphere in the A's clubhouse is an integral part of their success on the field. It translates into wins. The A's are a season-high 17 games over .500. As the players did their best Bernie dances, you could see the smiles on their faces and hear the laughs. They even tried to get their manager in on the act.

"You're not going to see me in any videos like that," Melvin said. "I would have to be promised something pretty exotic to get me in a video like that."

The skipper did eventually name his price: 20 wins in a row -- and it would have to be guaranteed.

"I do enjoy that whole Bernie dynamic thing," he said. "It seems the fans have a good time with it."

Crisp, Blevins, Cook, Evan Scribner, Sean Doolittle, Jordan Norberto, George Kottaras, and Josh Reddick were involved in the music video shoot, providing an eclectic collection of dance performances.

"It was hilarious seeing the different Bernies," Crisp said. "The different rhythm people had with the song being played."

When asked to critique each other's dance moves, the A's players came to a quick conclusion as to who the Bernie master was.

"I've got to give it to Coco; he's got the rhythm," Blevins said. "He can dance with anything, so he makes any type of dance look good."

"I think Coco has the best different variations of the Bernie," Cook said. "Blevins is giving him a run for his money."

As the expert, Crisp gave a detailed breakdown of his teammates. Crisp described Scribner's Bernie as a stiffer version, said Blevins had a real loose lanky Bernie and added that Norberto's accessories made his dance stand out.

"He had the funky glasses and the beard," Crisp said. "He had the arms moving kind of like they do in right field with Grant Balfour's rage, but it was in a Bernie downward motion."

While the video gets ingested and edited, the A's will have to go back to work and do what they do best -- play ball.

"We know our main focus isn't doing things like that," Crisp said. "Our main focus is to come here and play the game, but to be able to enjoy yourself at the ballpark with your teammates is like a clubhouse thing, a chemistry thing."

Don't think for a second the A's players believe they would be able to film dance videos at the Coliseum if they weren't currently one of the best teams in baseball. Even when dancing like stiffs, they have pretty good, although wobbly, heads on their shoulders.

"I feel like some of this stuff wouldn't fly if we weren't winning," Cook said. "With that said, that's part of the fun and part of winning."

A's spring training update Day 6: Davis savors winter in Oakland

A's spring training update Day 6: Davis savors winter in Oakland

MESA, Ariz. — Khris Davis enjoyed quite an offseason travel itinerary, checking out Toronto, taking in the beaches of Hawaii and dining on lobster in Belize.

However, it was the time spent in his adopted hometown of Oakland that most struck a chord with the A’s left fielder. After finishing his first season with the A’s, Davis followed through on his plan to make his offseason home in Oakland, and he was glad he did.

“I got to just feel the heart of the city,” he said upon arriving at camp Sunday. “That was basically the purpose of why I was there. … I wanted to feel Oakland. I love it, honestly. I love the city.”

He trained at Dogtown Athletic, a gym in West Oakland. He took part in the A’s holiday party for kids at the Oakland Zoo, joined by A’s Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, who grew up in the city.

“Just to feel these kids’ happiness,” Davis said. “They didn’t look at me as a baseball player. They just looked at me as a role model kind of.”

It should be music to the ears of A’s fans that the team’s most dangerous hitter has a love affair with the city he plays in. If the A’s ever entertained the idea of trying to sign Davis to a multi-year extension, and that’s purely hypothetical here, it would help that Davis feels comfortable in his surroundings.

Even when he described Oakland in edgy terms, such as when he said it “has its dark side,” he seemed to find it endearing.

In return, Davis felt the love from the fan base in 2016, hitting a career-high 42 homers with a team-best 102 RBI. That was despite the awful start he got off to, hitting .143 and mustering just one RBI over his first 12 games.

Obviously, any chances the A’s have of improving last year’s American League-worst offense rely on the 29-year-old Davis having another big year. But over-analysis is one thing he tries to avoid.

“I don’t want to get caught up in last year — the slow start and the strong finish, whatever,” he said. “However it was, I’m just ready to do this year.”

Davis decided to back out of his plan to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, saying his main priority was preparing for his A’s season.

“My main focus is to perform for the organization,” he said. “I feel like I want to get off on the right foot this year.”

NOTEWORTHY: Heavy showers continued to pelt Mesa on Sunday, spoiling the A’s first full-squad workout. The hitters were relegated to swinging in the cages and playing catch, while pitchers were scheduled for a day off from throwing on the mound anyway.

“If ever there was a day, at least for the pitchers, that you don’t need to (work out), it’s today,” manager Bob Melvin said. “But when you have everybody there on the first day, you wanna get out on the field and do everything. Hopefully we can incorporate everything tomorrow.”

The A’s have a whopping 70 players in camp, more than in any other spring Melvin can remember as a big league manager. He addressed the full team in a meeting Sunday morning.

His message?

“We’re gonna have to outwork, out-hustle everybody like we have in the past,” he said, “and get back to playing the game with the same tenacity that we did a couple years ago.”

FAMILIAR FACE: Longtime A’s second baseman Mark Ellis is back for the second year in a row as a spring infield instructor. The plan is for Ellis to spend a week with the team now, then another week later in camp.

“I’ll take Mark Ellis as many days as I can have him,” Melvin said.

LIGHTER SIDE: Nursing his broken right foot, starting pitcher Daniel Mengden has been making his way through the clubhouse on a knee scooter in order to keep pressure off his foot.

Apparently, it looks more fun than it really is.

“I contribute to society Friday, when I can start walking again,” Mengden quipped.

BART, transportation among issues A's tackling in ballpark search

BART, transportation among issues A's tackling in ballpark search

MESA, Ariz. — The research and fact-finding continues for the A’s as they work toward deciding where to build their new ballpark in Oakland.

Team president Dave Kaval, in Arizona to briefly soak up the spring training vibe, says the team is still gathering all the information it can on the four locations being considered — the current Coliseum site, Howard Terminal, Laney College and Brooklyn Basin, which like Howard Terminal is a waterfront site.

Place an asterisk next to “four,” because as Kaval explains, there’s multiple spots a ballpark could be built at some of the locations.

For example, “there’s a couple different ways in the Lake Merritt area to orient a ballpark,” he said Sunday. “Each one has to be studied individually, because there’s traffic and parking issues that change depending on where you put it. There’s a couple ways it can work in and around Lake Merritt. So we kind of are looking at it as two different options.”

The research will continue for the “next couple of months,” according to Kaval, meaning it doesn’t seem any decision is forthcoming soon. But he reiterated that an announcement will come during 2017.

Kaval was asked how important it was for a ballpark to be near a BART station.

“I think if you’re in a certain range of a BART station, it doesn’t matter if it’s one block or two blocks,” he said. “But if you start getting a little farther, it does change people’s willingness to actually take that public transportation to the venue.”

Howard Terminal, located just north of Jack London Square, is a 20-25 minute walk to the nearest current BART station (12th Street). There’s been speculation that a new station could be built closer to Howard Terminal if a stadium went up. Kaval also said the A’s would consider some sort of shuttle service were they to build at Howard Terminal, and they’re researching the ferry options for such a location.

Long story short, there’s still plenty of transportation and environmental issues to sort out before the A’s settle on a site to build. In the meantime, fans will be in for a treat in the upcoming season when they arrive at the Coliseum.

The A’s gutted the West Side Club and are rebuilding it as Shibe Park Tavern, named after the franchise’s former home in Philadelphia. It will include bricks and other materials from the old ballpark, obtained from the Philadelphia Historical Society.

The A’s will also launch “Champions Pavilion”, which will include anywhere from eight to 16 local food trucks that will be stationed between the Coliseum and Oracle Arena during most home games. Ticket holders will have in/out privileges, with video monitors outside showing the game.

Nights when there’s a Warriors home game could make it tougher to pull off the full operation — Warriors playoff games will be a particular challenge, Kaval said — but the A’s will work with the Coliseum’s Joint Powers Authority to smooth things out as much as possible.

According to Kaval, the A’s are spending between $600,000-$700,000 to improve the current in-house concession stands, making it possible to cook inside the stands themselves as opposed to transporting food from the kitchen.

The efforts received a thumbs-up from A’s manager Bob Melvin.

“We’re there until we’re not,” Melvin said of the Coliseum. “We’re gonna be there for a period of time, so I appreciate the fact that he’s trying to spruce it up a little bit for our fans, give them more options for food and just create a better atmosphere in our ballpark.”