Urban: Uncomfortable Parting for Chavez, As


Urban: Uncomfortable Parting for Chavez, As

Nov. 5, 2010


Mychael Urban

That the As picked up their 2011club options on second baseman Mark Ellis (6 million) and center fielder CocoCrisp (5.75 mil) this week was not a surprise in the slightest.Nor was the teams decision to passon the 12.5 million option of third baseman Eric Chavez, who got a 3 millionbuyout instead.The fallout from the Chavez decision,though, threatens to taint the legacy of one of the franchises most popularplayers.By far the most honest player Iveever met, Chavez this week said he might try to play again next season -- butnot with the As. He wants a change of scenery after four years ofnon-stop pain and rehab. Nothing personal against the As,he insisted, and given his inability to speak anything but the truth, you haveto believe him. Unfortunately, his publicly stated desirefor a fresh start somewhere else -- if his perpetually broken body allows it --could be seen as a lack of loyalty to a team thats shown him plenty. The As made the biggestcontractual commitment in club history to Chavez during spring training in2004, giving him a six-year, 66 million extension. Over the following threeseasons, Chavez hit 78 homers with 250 RBIs and grew to six the number of GoldGloves he owns. Over the next four seasons, though,Chavez was on the disabled list far more often than not, pulling in roughly 43million while playing in an average of 38.5 games a year. So of course the As didntpick up that option. They know as much as anyone that Chavezs body isshot. Neck, back, right shoulder, left.But they still had to give him another 3million to get out of what ended up being an albatross of a deal, and whilethey said all the right things about Chavez, a class act with a welderswork ethic, writing that last check has to sting.That sting will feel like a mere pinprick compared to the anvil-on-head drop that would be Chavez getting healthyover the winter, signing with an American League rival such as the Angels, anddoing regular damage to the As in 2011.There are few players in the game Irespect more than Eric Chavez, in part because of the way hes alwaysembraced the First Amendment. I just wish hed have taken theFifth on this one.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs


Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”