Athletics

Tigers outplayed in one-sided World Series

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Tigers outplayed in one-sided World Series

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DETROIT -- Inside the Tigers' clubhouse reality set in. Some players sat in their chairs with their heads down. Some looked like they were simply shocked it was already over. While they dealt with the gravity of what happened, the Giants engaged in a wild champagne celebration in the visiting clubhouse and on the field at Comerica Park.

Baggs Instant Replay: Giants are World Series Champions

"They're the World Series Champs." Prince Fielder said. "I don't care what field they are on. When you lose you lose." A team backed into a corner can be a very dangerous adversary. Just ask the Giants, who found a way to stave off elimination six times in this postseason. Maybe that experience made the difference in the end as they swept their way past the Detroit Tigers to win the 108th World Series, and their second in the last three years."Congratulations to Bruce Bochy and the San Francisco Giants," Tigers' manager Jim Leyland said. "Obviously there was no doubt about it, they swept us." On this night the Tigers became the third team in baseball history to sweep their opposition in the League Championship Series and in turn get swept in the World Series. Entering the Fall Classic they were considered a heavy favorite. In the end, they were outplayed in every facet of the game by the Giants.RATTO: Giants are the new platinum standard of modern baseball
"They played doggone flawless baseball," Tigers' ace Justin Verlander said. "They pitched well, they hit in clutch situations, they had things go their way. That's not to take anything away from them, that's just the facts and that's the way baseball goes."It was the 21st sweep in World Series history, and it was a one-sided affair. The Giants didn't trail the Tigers until the 30th inning of the series. When they finally did cough up a lead on a two-run homer by Triple Crown-winner Miguel Cabrera, they took it right back two innings later with a two-run homer by Buster Posey. The Giants looked dead into the eye of the tiger and said, "Anything you can do I can do better." "They did everything to win this series," Cabrera said. "I give credit because they played great baseball. They played great defense, they got hits when they needed them, they pitched great." The Tigers fans packed the house and tried to will their team to victory. They came up just short in Game Four. Down one run with two outs in the ninth inning, Cabrera stepped to the plate with a chance to tie the game against Giants' pitcher Sergio Romo . The entire crowd stood up, chanted MVP, and even waived their rally towels. Un-phased, Romo struck out Cabrera looking to end the game. After the game-ending strikeout, the Venezuelan slugger said his .330 average, 44 homers, and 139 RBI en route to baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967 meant nothing. "You don't want to feel this," Cabrera said. "You feel like everything you did in the season, in four games it goes down like you didn't do anything." After much hype, Cabrera and Fielder finished the World Series a combined 4 for 27 with three RBI. The Tigers only scored six runs in the entire series. "They didn't throw too many mistakes," Fielder said. "They're just a great team. They played great defense."Cabrera will probably end up taking home a trophy, just not the one he wants -- the American League MVP award. Posey will probably end up the National League's MVP. If that's the case it will be the first World Series match up of two MVPs since Jose Canseco's Oakland Athletics faced Kirk Gibson's Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988. The World Series MVP honors went to Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval alone out played Cabrera and Fielder combined. He batted .500 with (8 for 16) with a double, three homers, and four RBI in the Fall Classic. Two of his homers were off Verlander in Game One. His three homer day set the tone for the series. Verlander, who was scheduled to pitch in Game Five, won't get a crack at revenge. "I wanted to face him again," Verlander said. "Really badly." The Tigers are left tipping their caps to the new World Series Champions. That's all they can do at this point. The Giants have earned the respect of Detroit's clubhouse and the baseball world. "Guys were up there trying their hearts out and it just wasn't going their way," catcher Gerald Laird said. "Nothing against them, they had a good team and they were playing good baseball." "They played excellent," Fielder said. "We played solid baseball, they just played better." It's clearly the consensus that the Giants played better. But even after the sweep it wasn't unanimous that San Francisco had the better roster. "No, I don't think they had a better team per say." Verlander said. "They played better baseball when it counted."

After country music detour, Giles instrumental in A's ballpark quest

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After country music detour, Giles instrumental in A's ballpark quest

As the A’s Chief Operating Officer, Chris Giles’ thoughts and energies are wired into the business world, helping the team plan for a new ballpark and brainstorming all ways possible to bring in more revenue.

From talking to him, you wouldn’t guess that Giles once walked away from the white-collar sports management world to pursue a country music career.

Giles left a vice president position with the 49ers in November 2015, picking up an acoustic guitar, writing and recording a three-song EP, “Party Me”, that he performed at club shows all around Northern California.

He still performs once or twice a month on the weekend. It’s quite a contrast from his Monday-thru-Friday gig, but that’s exactly the point. In the lyrics to the song “Party Me”, Giles addresses the ambition and drive required in the 9-to-5 world and the reward of blowing off steam with buddies afterward.

“It’s a hobby, I’ll always do it,” Giles shares in the latest edition of The A’s Insider Podcast. “I still play once or twice a month locally, small acoustic stuff.”

Giles grew up in Clovis and sang in talent shows as a kid before becoming a high school wrestler.

“Randy Travis was my favorite as a kid,” he said. “I can remember writing his lyrics on construction paper and giving it to girls on the playground.”

Giles’ career in sales and marketing eventually led him to the 49ers, where he became VP of sales and strategy and played an instrumental role in the opening of Levi’s Stadium. He oversaw premium sales, seat license sales, concessions and retail among other responsibilities.

But he never lost his desire to pursue a music career.

“It was one of those things where I felt like if I didn’t give it a try, then I would always just regret it,” said Giles, who is married with three kids. “I enjoy writing songs, I love playing live. I was running around with a couple other artists, we were collaborating on a couple things. It just seemed like a logical point to give it a go.”

He eventually returned to the sports world with the NFL, running sales and marketing efforts for Super Bowl LI. But it’s his experience with the launch of Levi’s Stadium that appears to make him an especially good fit with the A’s, who plan to announce by the end of the calendar year a location in Oakland to build a new ballpark.

Opening a new stadium is one thing. Finding ways to maximize revenue from that venue is another, and that’s where Giles’ expertise factors in. He’s got an instrumental voice in how the ballpark will be designed and what features it will include.

He came aboard in an advisory role for A’s president Dave Kaval in March and was named the team’s COO in early July. Joining the franchise at this point, with so many ambitious plans for the future, is energizing to him.

“I think we’re approaching a rocket ship that’s sitting on the ground,” Giles said. “We’re not quite sure which rocket boosters work, but we know we’ve got a rocket ship. Our job is to make sure we tune that thing up and get it ready to go.”

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

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

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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.