A's notes: Melvin once caught Rivera; Crisp, Cespedes remain out

A's notes: Melvin once caught Rivera; Crisp, Cespedes remain out
June 13, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Bob Melvin caught Mariano Rivera in the Yankees' farm system in 1994, when the future Hall of Fame closer threw a four-seam fastball, not a cutter. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Center fielder Coco Crisp (right heel) and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (left hamstring) both ran light sprints on the field during team stretch Thursday morning, though neither was in the starting lineup against the New York Yankees for the second game in a row after incurring their respective injuries Tuesday.

A's manager Bob Melvin said both players remained day-to-day and that they are both "potentially" available today.

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Melvin's playing career was winding down as Mariano Rivera's was getting started. So when the two crossed paths in the Yankees' farm system at triple-A Columbus in 1994, Melvin actually caught Rivera with the Clippers, when Rivera was trying to make it as a starting pitcher.

[RELATED: Rivera's surprise delivery]

"He had a four-seam fastball, not a cutter," Melvin said. "He had great late-life on his fastball."

And no, Melvin "unfortunately" was not the one who recommended Rivera adopt a cutter, which made him, in the minds of many observers, the greatest closer in the history of the game.

With Rivera retiring at the end of the season, the A's honored him with a pregame ceremony in which the team presented him with a custom-designed Ward Coffey surfboard, an engraved magnum of cabernet sauvignon from Goth Vineyards in Napa and a donation of $10,042 to the Mariano Rivera Foundation.

And unless the A's meet the Yankees in the playoffs, it is the last time Oakland will see Rivera. Melvin is hoping the A's don't see him in the series finale…because that would mean the Yankees are beating the A's.

"He's as good a person as he is a player," Melvin said.

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Having won the first two games against the Yankees this week, the A's have now gone 7-0-2 in their last nine series…the A's 29-13 record in night games is the best in baseball, while their 11-14 mark in the day is the third-worst in the American League…Oakland is 27-8 with both Crisp and Cespedes in the lineup, but just 13-19 without the duo.