A's notes: Bring on the Giants, etc.


A's notes: Bring on the Giants, etc.


OAKLAND -- Jarrod Parker's first start against the San Francisco Giants did not go as planned. He lasted just two innings after six earned runs. So is he looking for revenge?

"Not revenge," Parker said. "But I'd like to rebound from that tough outing."

It was one of only two of Parker's 10 starts with the A's in which he allowed more than two runs. But A's manager Bob Melvin had a litany of excuses for his young right hander.

"That was a tough outing for him," Melvin said. "He was sick, he had thrown a bunch of pitches the time before, he had a little knot in the back of his shoulder where the ball wasn't coming out of his hand as well, so there were a lot of things playing against him in that game. Whereas he will be plenty rested for this one."

The Giants did the damage back on May 18 without Pablo Sandoval or Buster Posey in the lineup. Things will be different this time as the Giants are coming off a day of rest and are finding some roster consistency. They've trotted out the same lineup one-through-seven the past three games.

Whoever the Giants play, Parker isn't concerned.

"Nothing changes," he said. "We're going to stick with our gameplan and pitch to my strengths."

Matchups between the A's and Giants are major events in the Bay Area, often times more so for the fans. But Melvin admitted Wednesday he's into it.

"I really enjoyed last year," Melvin said. "The back and forth between the fans I thought was pretty cool. I almost got too caught up in watching that. My guess is it will be well attended again and a lot of A's and Giants fans here going at it, and I think that's good for baseball in the area.

"Certainly for me, I'm excited about it."

The Giants claimed the series in San Francisco two games to one. Bay Area baseball bragging rights will be once again on the line this weekend in Oakland.

Walk-off wonder:

Brandon Inge hit a walk-off grand slam for the A's on May 9. A day later he was impressed with the celebration.

"These guys can really beat you up," Inge said of his new teammates.

So when Yoenis Cespedes, who is still nursing a strained left hamstring, ended the A's three-game series against the Dodgers with a three-run blast to left field, Inge was sure to get his revenge.

Do you go easy on a guy who's injured?

"Injuries are out the window at that point," Inge said with a smile. "Be ready."

Cespedes was, sort of. He acknowledged Kendrys Morales' home plate celebration, and the broken leg that ended his 2010 season and forced him to miss all of 2011. But was he going to take it easy?

"No chance," Cespedes said in English.

When his walk-off home run trot approached home plate -- where a bevy of teammates waited to maul him -- manager Bob Melvin admitted he was nervous.

But Cespedes looked healthy in the clubhouse, and instead of complaining about being hammered at the plate, he credited his teammates for believing in him and encouraging him as he battles back from injury.

"They told me I've hit big home runs, driven in big runs, now I needed to get that walk-off," he said through a translator. "I was thinking about it."

Give me a year:

Andrew Carignan was in the A's clubhouse with a cast that went up past his right elbow after Thursday's win. He had "Tommy John" surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow on Tuesday.

In good spirits? "As good as the situation will allow," Carignan said.

He won't pitch again this season after landing on the 60-day DL.

"This is the most intrusive thing I've had done," Carignan said of the reconstructive surgery. "Had a scope a while back, but that just set me back a few weeks. I hope to be throwing in games this time next year."

More on McCarthy Friday:

The team is actively monitoring Brandon McCarthy's troubled shoulder after a highly efficient outing in a 3-0 win over the Dodgers Tuesday.

"Nothing to this point would suggest that he'll miss his start," Melvin said.

Pitchers typically throw a bullpen two days prior to their upcoming start. With McCarthy slated to pitch the finale of the Bay Bridge Series Sunday against Matt Cain, he'll test his shoulder in a bullpen Friday.

Back in the saddle:

Josh Reddick has played in 67 of the A's 70 games this year. He got a day off Thursday after failing to record a hit in his last 19 at-bats.

He is expected to be back in the lineup against the Giants.

Batting first, and playing center field...:

This season, Coco Crisp was displaced in center field by Yoenis Cespedes and dropped to two in the lineup so Jemile Weeks could lead off.

The 11-year veteran authored another productive day atop the lineup playing center field Thursday.

Crisp finished the game 1-for-3, but his most important plate appearance came led off the bottom of the ninth when he drew a walk from Dodgers reliever Josh Lindblom.

"You get a guy like Coco on," Melvin said. "A lot of the focus is on him."

Lindblom's wild pitch and defensive lapse led to Yoenis Cespedes' walk-off home run, and Crisp scored the winning run.

Crisp is 11-for-26 (.423) with five stolen bases over the last eight games, of which the A's have won seven.

A's statement on Raiders: 'We would be sorry to see them leave'


A's statement on Raiders: 'We would be sorry to see them leave'

MESA, Ariz. — The Raiders’ approval to leave Oakland and relocate to Las Vegas comes as the A’s are contemplating where to build their own ballpark in Oakland, with the Coliseum site one of the options.

The A’s issued this statement Monday after the Raiders got the green light from NFL owners to bolt for Vegas:

“We understand the Raiders’ need for a new stadium. Oakland is an incredible sports town and we would be sorry to see them leave. We commend the city’s and county’s efforts to keep the Raiders in Oakland. The Mayor and her team have worked incredibly hard to save the franchise. We are focused on, and excited about, our efforts to build a new ballpark in Oakland and look forward to announcing a location this year.”

The Raiders have one-year options to continue playing at the Coliseum for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and they plan to do so.

The A’s, meanwhile, are choosing between four different locations in Oakland to build a new venue — the Coliseum, Howard Terminal, a site near Laney College and one near Brooklyn Basin.

The Raiders’ decision to leave doesn’t necessarily mean the Coliseum moves into the lead for possible options for the A’s to build. The site is viable, and there’s great BART and freeway access. The Coliseum could be considered the safest option, perhaps, because it’s a tried-and-true site that has hosted three professional sports teams for decades. The A’s know what they’re dealing with there.

But the A’s also want a thriving entertainment area around their new ballpark, wherever that might be. That sort of “neighborhood” would have to be built from scratch at the current Coliseum site, which is isolated from the multitude of restaurants and bars that exist around AT&T Park, for example.

Dallas Braden joins NBC Sports California's A's TV coverage


Dallas Braden joins NBC Sports California's A's TV coverage

MESA, Ariz. — Watching A’s games on television was part of Dallas Braden’s earliest introduction to baseball.

Years later, he would get drafted by Oakland and pitch one of the greatest games in franchise history. It seemed inevitable he would eventually find his way back to the only major league franchise he ever played for.

Braden will join Jose Canseco and Dave Stewart as newcomers to NBC Sports California’s lineup of studio analysts for A’s Pregame and Postgame Live. Bip Roberts and Shooty Babitt also will return as part of the rotation to join host Brodie Brazil.

[RELATED: Jose Canseco joins NBC Sports California's A's TV coverage]

Braden will continue in his role as a national analyst for ESPN. But the opportunity to return to the Bay Area and share his thoughts on all things green and gold is special to him.

“It might sound kind of cheesy, but it was a little emotional,” Braden said. “How I’m looking at it, it’s the first steps of getting back to being a part of the organization on more than just a surface level as a national guy. Now I’ll have the opportunity to dive in. It means a lot to me because I really do feel connected to the fan base as well. And I think it’s clear the organization has started a phase of transition. They have some new energy and new ideas from what I understand.”

Braden’s career stats — a 26-36 record and 4.16 ERA over five seasons — don’t tell his whole story. The left-hander was one of the A’s most unique and colorful personalities of the past decade.

Fans will remember him yelling at the baseball as he walked back to the mound after a pitch that missed the strike zone. He gushed with pride over his hometown of Stockton, to the point of getting “209” tattooed across his midsection.

But the afternoon that defined his career — and etched his name in A’s history — came on Mother’s Day, 2010, when Braden threw the 19th perfect game in major league history. Who could forget the snapshots of Braden embracing his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey? Or Lindsey’s memorable quote — “Stick It A-Rod!” — in reference to the run-in between Braden and Alex Rodriguez that took place weeks before when Rodriguez trotted over the mound while Braden was pitching?

The perfecto thrust Braden into the national spotlight. But aside from that magical day in front of the Coliseum crowd, his pitching career played out in unspectacular fashion. From that standpoint, it’s no surprise to hear Braden explain the lens through which he sees the game as a broadcaster.

[RELATED: Dave Stewart joins NBC Sports California's A's TV coverage]

“(Superstars) drive the industry,” Braden said. “But I think the personal challenge I’ve taken on myself is to try and get folks to appreciate some of the things that superstars don’t do. Some of the things that the Adam Rosales’s of the game do, and why it’s important to do those things.

“Running out a grounder … there are still some guys that don’t (crave) the spotlight but get the dirt underneath their fingernails, and I appreciate that. I want (fans) to appreciate a guy that goes first to third on a single. That is my challenge.”

Braden pitched his final game for the A’s in 2011. He tried to make his way back until shoulder injuries finally forced him to retire in 2014. He got into broadcasting shortly after, and his outgoing personality and sense of humor are a natural fit for the camera.

“It’s really come full circle,” he said of being an A’s analyst. “I grew up watching the broadcasts, watching the games. I got to play in those games. And now here on the back end I’m getting to call those games.”