Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 2, Yankees 1


Pratt's Instant Replay: A's 2, Yankees 1


OAKLAND -- The A's are now 13-2 in July and have won the four-game series with the Yankees. Oakland is a season-best six games over .500. After getting swept here by the Bronx Bombers in May, the A's now have a chance to return the favor as they won 2-1 on Saturday night.At the PlateYoenis Cespedes is at it again. He pulled a mammoth game-tying homer into the left-field bleachers. The ball didn't merely land in the bleachers either. It crashed into the fans in the seats like a meteor. Cespedes' blast extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games.Brandon Inge displayed his power stroke as well. He blasted the go-ahead homer in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was his ninth home run and it hit the front of the bleachers over the high wall in right-center field.Derek Norris drew a walk in the sixth inning. The rookie catcher is still 0 for his last 29, but he made up for it by stealing his third base and giving the A's an opportunity with a runner in scoring position. The big man has some wheels.Starting Pitching ReportIf the A's rookie starting pitchers hadn't captured the attention of the nation yet, they certainly did after this series. Parker was the third A's rookie starting pitcher in a row to befuddle one of the best collections of hitters in the game today.Parker lasted eight innings against the vaunted Bronx Bombers lineup and got the win. He gave up just five hits and allowed one earned run. He struck out five. Like Tommy Milone last night, Parker's changeup was working well. Parker walked Curtis Granderson in the sixth inning, snapping a streak of 23 innings without a walk by a Yankee hitter in this series. What makes that start more impressive is that all three of the games in this series have been started by a rookie pitcher.Bullpen ReportWith closer Ryan Cook unavailable after pitching in three consecutive games, Sean Doolittle got to try his hand at the ninth inning. Doolittle allowed a leadoff single to Alex Rodriguez, then blew a 94-mph past Robinson Cano, snapping a 23 game hitting streak in the process. He then struck out Teixeira looking on another 94-mph fastball, and got Andruw Jones swinging on -- you guessed it -- a 94-mph fastball. He earned his first career save in style.In the FieldJemile Weeks displayed his hops robbing Rodriguez on a line drive in the first inning.Coco Crisp used his legs to snowcone catch a blooper hit by Granderson in the third inning. Crisp paused as the ball was in the air, then sprinted hard after the ball reaching down and grabbing it before it touched the ground. Somehow he managed to stay on his feet.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 28,142.Dot RaceRed wins the dot race. That's three wins in a row for Red.Up NextThe A's will send Bartolo Colon (6-8, 3.88 ERA) to the mound in the series finale. It will be his 19th start of the season and he has a 2.89 ERA over his last seven starts. Colon weighs in at 265 pounds. The man opposing him, C.C. Sabathia tips the scales at 290 pounds.Sabathia (10-3, 3.27 ERA) turned 32 on Saturday. With 186 career wins he has the most wins prior to his 32nd birthday since Catfish Hunter compiled 210 wins before turning 32 in 1978.

A's president: No revenue sharing puts stronger focus on new ballpark

A's president: No revenue sharing puts stronger focus on new ballpark

New A’s president Dave Kaval said Friday in a press conference that the team would do everything in its power to make up for the loss of revenue-sharing money from Major League Baseball, but he did not address how the team’s payroll would be impacted for the time being.

Baseball’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement eliminates the hefty annual check the A’s have received from the more prosperous clubs, reportedly around $35 million last year. That money will be incrementally reduced, with the A’s receiving 25 percent less each of the next four years until it’s phased out completely.

Kaval said the loss of that money simply underscores the importance of the A’s identifying a new ballpark site in Oakland so they can build a stadium to open up new streams of cash. Kaval said he’s walked all of the sites the team is considering around the city, but he didn’t offer a timetable for when a site would be chosen or when construction might begin.

In the meantime, the A’s president stressed repeatedly in a media conference call Friday that all of the revenue the team does generate going forward will be invested back either into the on-field product or the fan experience at The Coliseum.

“I think the key thing is being smart about deploying resources,” Kaval said. “There’s no silver bullet. You have to address a variety of aspects with folks’ interaction with the club.”

He added that could include everything from broadcasting to “the hot dog you eat to players you watch.”

Until a new ballpark becomes reality, the challenge is how the A’s can generate the revenue they’re losing from MLB while still playing in the antiquated Oakland Coliseum, which hardly entices fans to come out and has become the butt of national jokes for numerous plumbing issues.

Kaval mentioned boosting ticket sales and improving sponsorship deals at The Coliseum as two potential revenue streams, though he adamantly declared the A’s won’t be raising ticket prices.

As for how payroll will be affected, if at all, Kaval only said that he’s dedicated “to providing all the tools needed for Billy Beane and David Forst and our baseball operations staff.”

Last season the A’s had an Opening Day payroll of $86.8 million, according to the Cot’s Baseball Contracts website. There’s speculation that that total will shrink due to the loss in revenue sharing.

It’s undeniable that the A’s financial future is tied to finally getting a new ballpark. They’re considering rebuilding on the current Coliseum site, which is complicated until the Raiders’ situation gets resolved, but are also considering locations at Howard Terminal and near Laney College.

Kaval, also president of the San Jose Earthquakes, was instrumental in getting a soccer stadium built for that team. Without talking specific sites, he said he’s spent lots of time driving around and walking all the locations the A’s are considering.

“It’s been exciting to visit the locations, walk them, squint and kind of envision where the stadium would be and the views. And how it could transform the different communities (around) the site.”

He maintains his belief that a “ballpark village” type environment is critical so that fans have motivation to visit the area even when games aren’t being played. Kaval has also said he thinks such a development is possible at The Coliseum.

He was asked if there was a renewed sense of urgency to the ballpark search given the elimination of revenue sharing.

“I think building a ballpark is something you do one time in your life. It’s a generational thing. I think it’s something we want to be very thoughtful about and make the right decision.”

Padres trade former A's All-Star catcher to Nationals

Padres trade former A's All-Star catcher to Nationals

WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals have reacquired catcher Derek Norris from the San Diego Padres for minor league right-hander Pedro Avila.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo announced the trade Friday.

Norris, a 2007 first-round pick of the Nationals, hit .186 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs last season for San Diego. The 27-year-old is a career .233 hitter in five major league seasons with the Oakland Athletics and Padres.

Washington sent Norris to Oakland for left-hander Gio Gonzalez in 2011. He returns to the Nationals, who avoided arbitration with catcher Jose Lobaton on Thursday.

All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos is a free agent who will miss the start of the season after knee surgery.

Avila, 19, went 7-7 with a 3.48 ERA in 20 starts for Single-A Hagerstown last season.