Athletics

'Legends: Oakland A's Dynasty' debuts Friday

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'Legends: Oakland A's Dynasty' debuts Friday

OAKLAND -- They were known as the "Swingin' A's," yet they often took swings at each other. They were rebellious, at times crazy, dangerous in the clubhouse and on the field. Yet, there are many misconceptions about the A's of the 1970s and on Friday at 8 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California you will get to learn the truth about one of the best baseball teams ever assembled, the 1971-1975 Oakland A's, in 'Legends: Oakland A's, The Forgotten Dynasty.'
Some may question the title of this documentary. "Forgotten Dynasty?" Well, many of the A's players involved in making the show certainly didn't. They feel they never got the respect they deserved. Only one other franchise in the history of Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees, have won three World Series trophies in a row. Yet, you rarely hear the A's mentioned amongst the best teams ever. Maybe not enough people actually witnessed what they did. Only twice in that era (1973, 1975) did the A's draw more than one million fans. Only 921,323 people came to see the A's of 1972 play. The combined attendance from 1972-74 didn't even equal the 2.9 million that came to see the A's of 1990. The A's of the 70s didn't hate each other. They may have thrown fists a lot, but they actually did it out of love. The key members of the A's dynasty played in an era that pre-dated salary arbitration and free agency. The core of the team came up together from the minor leagues. They were so close that they more closely resembled a family. And brothers will bicker. As a result they knew how to push each others buttons, and they knew that if they fought one another, that they'd fight their opponents twice as hard. In this documentary you'll get to hear why Gene Tenace says he would show up early every day just to get a front seat to whatever madness was going to go down in the clubhouse and John "Blue Moon" Odom explain why he was the primary instigator on the team. You'll also find out what led to Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers and lefty starter Ken Holtzman throwing baseballs at the A's eclectic owner Charlie O. Finley. This show is packed with never before seen or heard interviews from all the major players on and around the A's. When the concept of this show came together, I jumped at the chance to be a part of helping Emmy award-winning producer Sean Maddison put together the documentary. As an East Bay native born in the early 80s, I had always heard about the A's championship years of the 70s, but never got to experience them. As we dug into the history of the team we learned that beneath the tough exterior was a fundamentally sound baseball team led by Dick Williams. You hear a lot about Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Joe Rudi -- all of whom you will hear from in the show -- but this team really should be remembered for the pitching and defense.As I began my research process, and talked to the guys on the team, I was granted the special and unique experience of following the stories of one of the greatest teams ever to take a field with unprecedented access. What I was able to learn and discover was extremely rewarding. Whether you are a youngster like myself, or a person lucky enough to have watched this colorful and offbeat team, our goal was to deliver the A's dynasty as never seen before. It was an honor to work with producer Sean Maddison and the crew on this show. What he is about to deliver on the TV screen is a richly rewarding experience for any A's fan. The Oakland Athletics didn't pull any punches on the field, and they certainly didn't in this documentary. It's amazing the things that guys are willing to talk about 40 years after the fact. It's safe to say many of the behind the scenes stories you will hear were kept secret up until now.

A's blow back-and-forth battle with the Royals, drop series

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USATSI

A's blow back-and-forth battle with the Royals, drop series

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Alex Gordon hit a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth after Oakland tied it in the bottom of the eighth, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Athletics 7-6 on Wednesday.

Alcides Escobar doubled to start the ninth against Blake Treinen (1-1), matching his season high with three hits. Then Gordon delivered his second run-scoring single of the series finale.

Oakland's Matt Chapman hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth against Brandon Maurer (1-1), who wound up the winner.

Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Danny Duffy struck out eight over five innings but the Royals couldn't hold a late lead again before holding on - a day after squandering a four-run advantage in a 10-8 defeat.

Cain added a key RBI single in the eighth for the Royals, who began the day tied with Minnesota six games behind AL Central-leading Cleveland.

Kelvin Herrera finished for his 26th save in 29 chances after allowing Ryon Healy's two-out infield single.

Duffy's winless stretch reached four outings since a victory at Detroit on July 25. The left-hander earned his first major league win at Oakland on June 14, 2011, and has never lost to the A's - 3-0 in seven career appearances and six starts - but hasn't beaten them since April 10, 2012.

Marcus Semien hit a two-run homer in the third and Oakland got back in it on Jed Lowrie's two-run single in the fifth.

Kansas City's Melky Cabrera fouled a ball off his leg in the third and went down writhing in pain before recovering to hit a single on the very next pitch to load the bases with no outs. But Blackburn struck out Mike Moustakas and induced an inning-ending double play from Brandon Moss to escape unscathed.

A's starter Paul Blackburn was tagged for eight hits and four runs in four innings of his first career start against Kansas City, striking out two and walking three.

MINOR LEAGUE TRADE

The A's acquired lefty Sam Moll from Colorado for a player to be named later or cash then optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. Oakland added right-hander Chris Hatcher to the 25-man roster and he made his A's debut in the sixth inning, a day after coming to Oakland in a trade from the Dodgers. The A's optioned righty Josh Smith to Nashville and designated righty Zach Neal for assignment to clear 40-man roster space to add Moll.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: RHP Joakim Soria - who allowed four straight hits in the eighth inning Tuesday night - is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday after stiffness in his lat and ribcage area to determine when he can pitch again. The reliever showed up to the Coliseum with discomfort. "He's been battling with it for two weeks, he's been pitching through it, he's been pitching very effectively through it," manager Ned Yost said. "But after last night he showed up more so than usual."

Athletics: Josh Phegley (strained left oblique) was slated to catch five or six innings in a rehab game for Triple-A Nashville at Tacoma. ... OF Jake Smolinski, on the disabled list since March 30 recovering from right shoulder surgery, isn't expected to be able to play in the outfield until "well into September," manager Bob Melvin said.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.80 ERA) starts Friday at home against the first-place Indians trying to snap a 14-start winless stretch at Kaufmann Stadium since a victory vs. Minnesota on Aug. 20 last year.

Athletics: Following Thursday's day off, LHP Sean Manaea (8-7, 4.59) starts at Houston on Friday looking to end a five-start winless stretch in which he's 0-2 since beating Cleveland on July 16.

A's balldude leaves Royals reliever completely hanging after catch

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MLB Network

A's balldude leaves Royals reliever completely hanging after catch

All the Royals' reliever wanted to do was congratulate the A's balldude for making a nice play.

Instead, he got nothing but air.

In the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday, A's outfielder Chad Pinder fouled a ball down the right field line. The young man in charge of protecting the opposing bullpen from foul balls made the catch just a few feet in front of the seated Royals relievers.

His first move was to go give the ball to a young fan. But he failed to notice one of the Royals relievers trying to give him some dap.

Here's the awkward sequence: