A's Insider notes: Anderson breaks through


A's Insider notes: Anderson breaks through

May 26, 2011

Paul Gutierrez

Anderson breaks through - That's how you get off the schneid. Brett Anderson, winless in five career starts against the Los Angeles Angels in going 0-2 with a 4.55 ERA, kept Halos hitters off balance all day and kept runners from crossing home plate in his eight innings of work. Anderson, whose numbers in Anaheim were even worse (5.84 ERA), threw eight innings of shutout ball while allowing just three hits. The left-hander also struck out four and walked three in his 105 pitches, 72 strikes. He retired the first 10 batters he faced. Most impressive - the way Anderson got out of jams in the sixth - runners at second and third with one out - and seventh - runners at first and second, none out - unscathed.

RECAP: Anderson brilliant, A's gain split with Angels
Balfour, it's Australian for A's new closer, mate - OK, so, technically, it was not a save situation when Grant Balfour entered in the ninth with a four-run lead. But he walked the tight-rope like one in taking the role vacated by Brian Fuentes and before Andrew Bailey returns. Balfour gave up a two-out, three-run home run to Mark Trumbo. Balfour kicked the mound in frustration. One pitch later, new Angel Russell Branyan took Balfour to the warning track in dead center, where Coco Crisp caught the ball to end the game, and Balfour's adventure.Gerenball equals Moneyball? - Geren and the A's are roundly and routinely criticized for not bunting enough. Not taking enough chances. Well, Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington dropped a couple of beauties down the third-base line that hugged the chalk and stayed in play for singles that looked like line drives in the scorebook.Geren, the comic - In his pregame meeting with the media, Geren was asked if he saw highlights of Wednesday night's 19-inning marathon between Philadelphia and Cincinnati, when Phillies second baseman position Wilson Valdez became the first position payer since 2000 to pitch and get the victory. Geren was also asked ho he thought could do it for the A's. He said he thought outfielder Ryan Sweeney had the arm for it. When jokingly asked if Hideki Matsui could do it, another reporter asked if Geren had, ahem, communicated such plans. "Have I talked with him?" Geren mused, with a huge grin on his face. "That's awesome."Of catchers and collisions - News of Giants catcher Buster Posey's potential season-ending injuries were also a pregame topic of discussion in both managers meetings, with with both Geren and Angels skipper Mike Scioscia former big league backstops. "It's very unfortunate. hate to see anybody on any team get injured like that," Geren said. "He's a special playerI don't know the kid, never met himbut I wish him the best." I asked Geren if it hit closer to home for him because it was his position. "Yeah, and I have a young catcher myself (in Kurt Suzuki). My two kids catch. I know its a dangerous position. It's part of the job. It's a tough position." Geren also talked about his most violent collision as a player, with Ken Caminiti. "That was a bad one," he said. "Had a bad neck for a while, whiplash. Tried to play through it. I dropped a nice 0-fer after that. Then again, I could have done that with a good neck." Ba-dum-dum. After mentioning another bad dust-up with Rob Deer, green pointed to the Angels dugout and Scioscia. "He was the most amazing plate-blocking, collision-taking catcher of all time, in my mind," Geren said. "A very tough guy back there." Scioiscia, meanwhile, told reporters that such collisions are "99 percent of the time" the result of adrenaline. He was also not sure about calls from the Bay Area to look into changing rules. "When something like this happens, it's unfortunate," Scioscia said. "But I don't know if there's enough there to re-write the rulebook."

Day after retiring, Anquan Boldin challenges owners, execs to help protesting players


Day after retiring, Anquan Boldin challenges owners, execs to help protesting players

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Anquan Boldin didn't decide overnight he was going to quit football in order to speak out against longstanding concerns over inequality in America.

The recent deadly and racially charged conflict in Charlottesville, Virginia, did, however, become the tipping point that caused Boldin to reassess his priorities and led to the Buffalo Bills receiver's decision to retire after 14 NFL seasons.

"I think anybody with any sense can see how divided we are as a country, and Charlottesville only magnified what we were already seeing," Boldin told The Associated Press by phone Monday.

He was disturbed by the hateful messages directed at African-Americans, Jewish people and the LGBT community during a rally involving neo-Nazis and other right-wing groups in which a counter-protester was killed and two Virginia state police officers died on Aug. 13.

"That's not the America that I want to live in," he said. "And I think the only way that this America changes is that we as a people stand up and change it."

Boldin spoke a day after abruptly informing the Bills he was retiring some two weeks after signing a one-year contract with a base salary of $1.75 million.

The NFL's 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year, Boldin is no stranger to activism and humanitarian causes. He oversees the South Florida-based Q81 Foundation, which offers educational support for underprivileged children.

He has lobbied for criminal justice reform at the state and federal levels since his cousin was killed by a plain-clothes police officer along the side of a Florida highway in October 2015.

Difficult as it was to walk away from football, Boldin felt he could no longer stand silent on the sideline.

"There's not enough money in this world for me to continue to allow the things that are going on to continue to spread," the 36-year-old father of two boys said.

"I will not feel safe leaving this earth and having my kids have to live in the America that we have today."

Boldin then challenged NFL owners and executives to use their clout to demand change and back many of their players who are already doing so by protesting during the anthem.

"You have your players crying out for help. That's the reason why guys are taking knees during the anthem," he said.

"Just because we're professional athletes doesn't mean we're exempt from the things that go on in society," Boldin said, noting his position as an athlete couldn't save his cousin from being shot.

"If I'm an owner and I see one of my family members - players - hurting, I'd do whatever I can to make sure that my family is OK."

Boldin's decision to retire coincides with what he witnessed during the anthem before Buffalo's preseason game at Philadelphia on Thursday. Eagles defensive end Chris Long showed his support by putting his arm around cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, who stood in silent protest with a raised fist. Bills backup lineman Cameron Jefferson was so inspired by what he saw that he also raised his fist on Buffalo's sideline.

Boldin ranks in the top four among active receivers with 1,076 catches, 13,779 yards receiving and 82 touchdowns receiving.

He spent last season with Detroit, where he had 67 catches for 584 yards and eight touchdowns in 16 games.

The former Florida State star spent his first seven NFL seasons with Arizona, then played three years with Baltimore and three with San Francisco. He helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl in February 2013.

Lions safety Glover Quin credited his former teammate for having the courage for ending his career while knowing he can "have a bigger impact to do something else."

"I tip my hat to him," said Quin, one of several NFL players who joined Boldin in addressing Congress last year. "One day, we'll be able to look back on it and say, `That was the start of something great.'"

A day later, Boldin feels he made the right choice and pays no mind to those who suggest he simply stick to sports.

"I think it's absurd to tell a person to stick to playing football when the issues that he's talking about are affecting him," he said.

Earlier in the day in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Boldin said his decision to retire had nothing to do with the Bills trading their top receiving threat, Sammy Watkins, in a pair of blockbuster deals on Aug. 11 , or how the team's offense struggled in a 20-16 preseason loss at Philadelphia.

He also discounted the notion he might reconsider retirement and choose to play for a contender later this season.

"Do I feel like I can still play? Of course," Boldin said. "My passion for the advocacy work that I do outweighs football at this point, so I'm not coming back to play for a contender or to do anything else. I'm done with the game of football."

Bochy breaks from norm on Phillies pitcher who hit Posey: 'He's an idiot'

Bochy breaks from norm on Phillies pitcher who hit Posey: 'He's an idiot'

SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey never says anything controversial after games. Bruce Bochy tries to never say anything bad about opposing players. 

Hector Neris, however, has gotten under some skin. 

A day after the Phillies reliever drilled Posey in the back, Bochy said he was not surprised that Posey publicly stated that he felt the pitch was intentional. 

“It wasn’t just a little inside. The same guy — I’ll say it, he’s an idiot,” Bochy said. “He showed it in Philadelphia when he was having words with (Eduardo) Nuñez, so I think that caused the radar to be up a little bit on what happened there. It wasn’t a glancing blow. It was at his ribs and on the backside of his ribs. I’m not surprised. I would have been upset, too.

“You never know for sure, but it certainly didn’t look good. Anyway, that’s behind us.”

Neris got on the Giants’ radar earlier this season when he walked off the mound and followed Nuñez back to the dugout after a ninth-inning strikeout. During that incident, he appeared to blow a kiss at Nuñez, who turned back toward the mound with a confused look on the face. The two knew each other before the incident. 

Bochy said he does not want to make a big deal out of this, and he said repeatedly that Sunday’s frustration is behind the Giants. He clarified later in his pre-game interview that Neris “acted like an idiot” during his incident with Nuñez. 

The two teams do not play again this season.