Bailey could rejoin A's after Triple-A outing

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Bailey could rejoin A's after Triple-A outing

May 26, 2011A'S NEWS A'S VIDEOPaul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.com

ANAHEIM -- Two-time all-star closer Andrew Bailey will pitch again Friday for Triple-A Sacramento -- it will be his fourth appearance for the River Cats -- and could re-join the A's soon. Very soon.

"Everybody felt he needed another outing but the good news was he felt good," A's manager Bob Geren said of Bailey, who suffered a strained right forearm strain in spring training. "Just want to get his performance to where it needs to be -- command."

Bailey has allowed one hit and hit two batters wile walking one and striking out two in facing 13 hitters in three innings of rehab work.

Geren said Bailey, though, would not re-assume his closer's role immediately.

"More than likely, some low-leverage innings," Geren said. "But you never know. Ideal situation, he'd get an inning or two first. That would be the plan.

Ward's sacrifice keys 'bounce-back' game for Sharks

Ward's sacrifice keys 'bounce-back' game for Sharks

SAN JOSE – Joel Ward has been in the league long enough to know that the Sharks got outworked and outhustled in their decisive loss to the Blues on Saturday.

That could be why he put his body on the line in the second period against the Jets on Monday afternoon at SAP Center. Ward hustled to a loose puck along the wall with the Sharks holding a slim 1-0 lead and slipped it ahead to Chris Tierney, before getting absolutely plastered by Mark Stuart on a hit as big as you’ll see in today’s NHL.

While Ward was sluggish to get up as a result of his head bouncing off the ice surface, Tierney gave it to Timo Meier, who finished off a breakaway goal early in the second period.

While he was seeing stars from what he called a “clean hit,” Ward also heard the goal horn.

“I tried to get the puck out, obviously, and next thing I knew I was on my back and heard the horn go off,” he said. “I wasn’t too sure what happened after that.”

What happened was a 5-2 Sharks win, two days after one of their worst performances of the season, a 4-0 home defeat to St. Louis. San Jose withstood an early push by the visiting Jets but took over the game in the second period, particularly after Ward’s sacrifice.

"That's the commitment we talk about,” Pete DeBoer said. “Taking that hit, making that play, [Meier] scores the goal. We need that. Joel's a guy that brings that to the rink almost every night. That's what it's going to take at this time of year in order to have success."

In a rare afternoon start, the Sharks looked sleepy in the beginning. The Jets were the better team for the first few minutes, but Martin Jones made sure they didn’t get on the board. He made a key stop on a Shawn Matthias one-timer just 1:29 into the first period, and then bailed out David Schlemko on a defensive zone turnover a few minutes later, again denying Matthias.

The Sharks went to the penalty kill after Schlemko’s cross-checking minor at 11:39, but Ward scored 15 seconds after that, picking the corner over Michael Hutchinson for a pretty shorthanded marker. He correctly read a Justin Braun clearing attempt, when Braun rimmed it past Dustin Byfuglien, who couldn’t keep it in at the blue line. 

After that, “just kind of saw glove side and fired it there as quick as I could,” Ward said.

That led to a dominant second period for San Jose. Along with Meier’s goal, Brent Burns scored on a power play and the slumping Jets were noticeably deflated from there.

Jones said the Jets “came out real hard,” but, “that’s pretty much all [my teammates] needed from me today. You can’t really ask for much more than that from the guys. They put up five, and slowed down a pretty fast team.”

Tierney said: “Joner did a great job of keeping us in it and not giving up a goal there and putting us behind. After that, we kind of got it going a bit and started playing our game.”

There was even some late comedy. Trailing 4-1 at the time, Jets coach Paul Maurice decided to take Hutchinson out for an extra attacker. Jones noticed the empty net and was lining up a shot after he retrieved a dump-in. It didn’t go more than a foot in front of him, though, as Mark Scheifele blocked it and slipped it into an empty net.

Jones could be seen grinning through his mask, while Tierney said he was “laughing on the bench.”

“That’s the first time I’ve tried [shooting at an empty net], and probably the last, too,” Jones said.

In total, Monday's result offered quite the change in mood from Saturday’s whipping.

DeBoer said: “I don't think anyone in our room was happy with how last game went. It was a good bounce-back game."

“It was definitely good today to rebound, and get back to winning,” Ward said.

In divided days, Steve Kerr turns to the words of Martin Luther King Jr

In divided days, Steve Kerr turns to the words of Martin Luther King Jr

OAKLAND -- Two hours before tipoff of the most anticipated game of the season, Warriors coach Steve Kerr entered the room for his pregame news conference, seated himself and immediately began a monologue unrelated to basketball.

Kerr took a couple minutes Monday afternoon, prior to Cavaliers vs. Warriors at Oracle Arena, not only to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but also to share a story that provided a glimpse into his family.

“First, I want to wish everybody a happy MLK Day,” Kerr began. “I think about this story every year. My son was five years old. He was in kindergarten and he came home from school a couple days before MLK Day and he had this really sad look on his face. And I said, ‘What’s the matter, buddy?’ He said, 'Well, Monday is Martin Luther King’s birthday, and I didn’t get an invitation.'

“So I hope if there was a party today for any of you, you did get invited.

Warriors-Cavs, featuring the teams that met in each of the past two NBA Finals, is one of nine NBA games -- five of which are nationally televised -- scheduled on MLK Day. The NBA makes a concerted effort to use the national holiday as an opportunity to educate while also entertaining.

“We celebrate the game, we celebrate Dr. King’s legacy and his impact and, I have to say, I’m really, really proud to be part of the NBA and proud of (commissioner) Adam Silver’s leadership,” Kerr said. “I’m proud that the league is so progressive in terms of really promoting tolerance and equality -- and they back it up. It is truly from the heart.

“I’m proud of our players for the work they do. And I just want to say thank you for all the people out there who are working toward all those ideals, not only in the league but everywhere -- teachers, mentors, philanthropists, a lot of people out there doing wonderful stuff.”

Asked about significance of MLK Day, as it relates to the America’s contentious political landscape four days before Donald Trump, the most bombastic president-elect in modern times, is inaugurated, Kerr didn’t flinch.

“There’s definitely a divide right now,” he said. “Today is full of significance in terms of reminding everybody to be compassionate, to be empathetic. I was looking at some of Martin Luther King’s quotes this morning. And one of them that I hadn’t seen before that was really simple and to the point was: ‘We may have all come over here on different ships, but we’re now in the same boat.’

“I thought that was really well said. It’s a reminder that we are all products of our environment. Some of us are much more fortunate than others. I know from my own life that there’s no way I’d be sitting here without the family support that I had, the upbringing that I had. There are so many people are left behind.

“And so it’s critical for people to have compassion and have empathy. And I would hope in these times, with so much anger and divide, that we’ll be reminded of that today.”