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 agree to terms with Gray, Hendriks and Vogt to avoid arbitration

A’s agree to terms with Gray, Hendriks and Vogt to avoid arbitration

The Oakland A’s avoided arbitration with right-handed pitchers Sonny Gray and Liam Hendriks and catcher Stephen Vogt when they agreed to terms on one-year contracts for the 2017 season, the club announced today.

Gray went 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA in 22 starts last year in a season shortened by two stints on the disabled list.  His ERA was more than 2½ runs higher than his previous career high and his five wins follow back-to-back 14-win seasons.  Gray went 33-20 with a 2.88 ERA 76 games over his first three seasons with the A’s and now has a 3.42 ERA in his career, which ranks ninth in Oakland history.

Hendriks compiled a 3.76 ERA and .270 opponents batting average in 53 relief appearances in his first season with the A’s.  He had an 8.27 ERA and .394 opponents batting average in 11 games before going on the disabled list in early May with a strained right triceps.  Hendriks then logged a 2.23 ERA and .222 opponents batting average in 42 games following his return from the DL.

Vogt played in a career-high 137 games last year and hit .251 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI.  He also had career bests with 123 hits, 30 doubles and 46 extra base hits.  Vogt was named to his second consecutive American League All-Star team.

The only remaining arbitration eligible player on the A’s roster is Khris Davis.

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Mariners swing pair of trades, bolster rotation with addition of Smyly

Mariners swing pair of trades, bolster rotation with addition of Smyly

SEATTLE -- Jerry Dipoto's 11th trade this offseason rounded out the Seattle Mariners roster with his top target.

"I've probably spent more time through the course of our offseason trying to acquire Drew Smyly than any other thing that we've done," the general manager said Wednesday.

Seattle made pair of deals on Wednesday that ultimately landed Smyly, a pitcher Dipoto thinks will fill out the Mariners starting rotation. Seattle also landed a potential key reliever, getting right-hander Shae Simmons from the Atlanta Braves.

The Mariners acquired outfielder Mallex Smith from Atlanta, then sent him to Tampa Bay along with infielder Carlos Vargas and left-hander Ryan Yarbrough for Smyly. Smith was also an offseason target for the Mariners but when Seattle acquired Jarrod Dyson from Kansas City last week, Smith instead became the conduit in helping to obtain Smyly.

"It became apparent to us over the last two or three days that we were able to access Drew Smyly by making the deal with Atlanta that tapped into Mallex Smith," Dipoto said. "So effectively these were two deals that were interlinked."

Smyly is the centerpiece of what Seattle was trying to accomplish as the Mariners seem to have rounded out a starting rotation that appeared to be a major question at the start of the year. The acquisitions of Smyly and Yovani Gallardo from Baltimore last week appear to have filled out a rotation where Felix HernandezHisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton were the only certainties.

Smyly, 27, made 30 starts last season for Tampa Bay, throwing a career-high 175 1/3 innings and striking out 167. He was 7-12 with a 4.88 ERA, but starting pitching is one of Tampa Bay's strongest assets, and Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager Erik Neander felt comfortable making the deal because of the depth the Rays have in that area.

Smyly was 15-15 with a 3.95 ERA in 49 starts for Tampa Bay after being acquired from Detroit in the 2014 trade deadline deal that sent David Price to the Tigers. He is arbitration eligible after winning $3.75 million in an arbitration hearing last season.

"He fits our ballpark particularly well. He's a pretty extreme fly-ball pitcher with the low walks, high strikeouts, who in our ballpark, with what we think is a greatly improved outfield defense fits us like a glove really," Dipoto said. "If as we expect he shows up and does his thing it should fit very well for us in this ballpark."

What Smith may be able to add was attractive to Neander, who said the trade was made to help position the Rays to be competitive in 2017. He stopped short of saying he expects Smith to make the team coming out of spring training.

"We need to get better," Neander said. "To do that, we need more competition" for jobs.

Simmons is also a key acquisition for Seattle, providing another power arm in the bullpen. Simmons, 26, made seven appearances last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and threw just 6 2/3 big league innings. Before elbow issues, Simmons was 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 26 appearances during the 2014 season.

"He's had a strong history with striking (batters) out and (we're) really excited to plug him in," Dipoto said.

The cost for Seattle to complete to two deals meant giving up two of its top pitching prospects in Yarbrough and Luiz Gohara. Yarbrough, 25, was named the Southern League pitcher of the year after going 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA at Double-A Jackson last season. Gohara, 20, was 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 13 starts at two Class A stops.

Seattle also sent lefty Thomas Burrows to Atlanta and designated right-hander Cody Martin for assignment to make room on its 40-man roster.