Geren thrilled with Athletics' injury-free spring

Geren thrilled with Athletics' injury-free spring

March 13, 2011

PHOENIX -- Much of Bob Geren's time with the media since taking over as manager of the A's in 2007 has been spent discussing the various and myriad injuries that have decimated his club year after year. Big injuries. Big names. Big trouble. By that measure, this spring has been a treat for Geren. The primary topic of conversation for him Sunday, for instance, was being able to put all of his projected regulars on the field for an eventual 9-4 win over the visiting Rockies at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. "It's nice," he said of his team's relatively healthy camp. "Nobody wants to talk -- or hear about -- guys rehabbing or getting surgery all the time. So far we've had a nice, quiet spring as far as injuries are concerned. You're always going to have a few guys dinged up here and there, but nothing major's happened, and the guys who we knew needed to work their way back from something while we're here have made really nice progress." Shortstop Cliff Pennington (shoulder) and Andrew Bailey (elbow), for example, are rounding into form nicely after offseason surgeries; Pennington, a switch hitter, might bat from the right side for the first time in Cactus League action the next time the A's face a lefty starter, and Bailey is scheduled to make his second appearance of the spring Monday. Among the handful of players dinged up at the moment are reliever Michael Wuertz (shoulder tendinitis), who will make his spring debut Tuesday; backup infield candidate Eric Sogard (thumb), who is close to resuming full activity; reliever Joey Devine (dead arm), who is pitching in games for the first time in two years since his Tommy John (elbow) surgery; reliever Craig Breslow (hamstring), who is day-to-day; and infield hopefuls Steve Tolleson and Andy LaRoche, who were held out Sunday with a touch of the flu. The most significant setback of the spring, in terms of star power, has been the lat-muscle tightness that's kept Rich Harden off the mound since the first days of camp. Officially out of the running for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, Harden has been playing catch and is tentatively slated for a brief bullpen session Tuesday.

REPORT: Kings trade Cousins to New Orleans Pelicans

REPORT: Kings trade Cousins to New Orleans Pelicans

In a shocking move, the Kings have traded three-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, according to multiple reports.

Cousins is having his best season in Sacramento, averaging 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists under Dave Joerger.

The Kings went to great lengths a few weeks back to insure Cousins that rumors of a potential trade were false, even meeting with the 26-year-old big and his agents in Sacramento to crush published reports.

Vlade Divac even went as far as to tell ESPN’s Marc Stein, “We’re not trading DeMarcus.”

Cousins spoke glowingly of Sacramento in his media sessions at All-Star weekend in New Orleans, reiterating to reporters that he would love to finish his career in a Kings uniform.

More to come...

James Ham contributed to this report. 

Instant Replay: Bruins score in overtime, send Sharks to the break with a loss


Instant Replay: Bruins score in overtime, send Sharks to the break with a loss


SAN JOSE – The Boston Bruins skated past the San Jose Sharks on Sunday at SAP Center, 2-1 in overtime.

Brad Marchand’s breakaway goal after the Bruins won a defensive zone faceoff gave Boston the win, as Torey Krug found the forward charging towards the San Jose net. Marchand slipped the puck through Martin Jones’ five hole at 2:36.

San Jose has dropped its last four games decided in the three-on-three.

The Sharks lost for the sixth time in their last eight games (2-1-5), headed into the bye week. They will not play or practice from Monday through Friday, and resume their season on Saturday in Vancouver.

Boston extended its winning streak to four games since firing Claude Julien and naming Bruce Cassidy the interim head coach. The streak began with a 6-3 win over the Sharks at TD Garden on Feb. 9.

The Bruins were just the fourth team of 20 to win the first game after their bye week (4-12-4).

Boston scored the only goal in the first period, while the Sharks answered with a second period tally.

Ryan Spooner’s marker at 11:05 of the opening frame put Boston ahead. An Adam McQuaid point shot found Jimmy Hayes in the slot, and after Hayes fired wide of the net, Spooner tucked in the loose puck.

San Jose turned up the pressure late in the second, finally resulting in a goal by Patrick Marleau. During a four-on-four situation, Brent Burns’ wrist shot deflected right to Marleau’s tape, and he easily flipped in his 502nd career goal at 17:37.

Sharks coach Pete DeBoer shortened his bench for the third period, leaving Mikkel Boedker and Nikolay Goldobin planted on the pine. Melker Karlsson took Boedker’s place on the second line, while Chris Tierney skated on the third line with Tomas Hertl and Joel Ward.

The Sharks are 6-3-1 in the second half of back-to-backs.

Special teams

Each team had just one power play in the game, failing to convert.

The Sharks are 3-for-24 on the power play over their last eight games (12.5 percent), but a perfect 8-for-8 on the PK in their last five.

In goal

Jones was facing the Bruins just 10 days after he was pulled to start the second period in Boston when he allowed three goals on 12 shots. He allowed two goals on 27 shots.

Tuukka Rask made 29 saves for the win.


The Sharks’ lineup was unchanged from Saturday’s win in Arizona, other than the goaltender. Goldobin played in his second game of the season.

Joe Thornton remains two assists away from 1000 in his career. His five-game point streak came to an end.

Burns had 20 shot attempts, including seven on net.

Up next

Saturday’s game in Vancouver begins a stretch where the Sharks will play their final 22 games over a 43-day span. On Feb. 2, they won the first of five meetings with the Canucks, 4-1 at Rogers Arena.

Vancouver, which hosted Philadelphia on Sunday, also has its bye week from Feb. 20-24.