Athletics

Bruce Maxwell's arrest on gun charge undercuts his social activism efforts

maxwell-mug.jpg
Scottsdale PD

Bruce Maxwell's arrest on gun charge undercuts his social activism efforts

Time will tell what the future holds for Bruce Maxwell’s baseball career after the A’s catcher was arrested Saturday night for allegedly pointing a gun at someone.

But there’s a subplot to this ugly incident: It seemingly damages Maxwell’s credibility as an activist for social justice and racial equality, which thrust him into the national spotlight in the first place.

More details are coming out about his arrest Saturday night in Scottsdale, when Maxwell was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct.

ABC15 Arizona released details from court documents of events, and they paint a troubling picture. Police say Maxwell, 26, opened the door to his home and pointed a handgun at the head of a female driver who was delivering him food. Maxwell reportedly lowered the gun as the driver gave him the food, and the driver then called the police after returning to her car.

Officers showed up to Maxwell’s residence, and, according to court documents, they detected alcohol on his breath. He allegedly began yelling, using profanity and making anti-police statements during the arrest.

According to the court documents, Maxwell admitted having a gun on him. He also admitted to un-holstering the gun but then later denied that, and he also denied ever pointing a gun at the driver. Though Maxwell told police he had canceled the food order, the restaurant from which he ordered reportedly had no record of him doing so.

Maxwell was held in custody at Maricopa County jail but released on $10,000 bail. His next court appearance is Nov. 6.

This turn of events unleashed a harsh Twitter response against Maxwell, which could have been predicted.

Maxwell took the bold step in September of becoming the first Major League player to kneel during the national anthem, joining many NFL players who have done the same thing in protest of what they view as ongoing racial inequality in the United States.

Many applauded Maxwell’s gesture on social media, but many also condemned it.

Regardless of one’s beliefs, the conviction and clarity with which Maxwell explained and defended himself was impressive. It was the rationale of someone who had put deep thought into the decision to kneel.

But when a professional athlete takes such a highly visible (and polarizing) stance, in the court of public opinion, it leaves them little margin for error regarding their own missteps. And Maxwell’s misstep Saturday was a doozy. It threatens to undo so much of the good he’s sought to accomplish on various fronts.

To many, it won’t matter that he spends much of his free time during spring training working as a volunteer coach with Mountain Pointe High School’s baseball program in Phoenix. It won’t matter that he spent time in Santa Rosa earlier this month visiting people affected by the devastating North Bay fires.

He now faces felony criminal charges should his case move forward, and there’s no sugarcoating that. It also doesn’t help that Maxwell recently was involved in a bizarre story coming out of Alabama.

He told TMZ Sports that he and two friends, one of them a local councilman, were denied service at a Huntsville restaurant by a server who was pro-Trump and disapproved of Maxwell’s decision to kneel. The restaurant manager and the server later issued strong denials and a different version of how events played out.

Who knows which side is telling the truth from that episode? But that’s exactly the point. It has to be tough, even for Maxwell’s supporters, to decide what to believe regarding his situation right now. And that deals quite a blow to Maxwell’s earnest efforts to make a difference in the political and social climate of our country.

Khris Davis homer hands A's series win against best team in baseball

Khris Davis homer hands A's series win against best team in baseball

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Khris Davis hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer off David Price with two outs in the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 on Sunday.

A day after getting no-hit by Sean Manaea, Boston lost back-to-back games for the first time under new manager Alex Cora.

The Red Sox had won their first six series this season before dropping two of three at the Coliseum. They still have the best record in the majors at 17-4.

Davis had two hits and drove in all four runs for the A's. Marcus Semien and Stephen Piscotty added two hits apiece as Oakland won for the sixth time in seven games.

Semien and Piscotty hit back-to-back singles off Price (2-2) with one out in the eighth. After Jed Lowrie struck out for the third time, Davis lined the first pitch into the seats in left field for his sixth home run.

Davis also had an RBI single off Price in the first.

Price allowed nine hits and four runs over 7 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one.

Coming off Manaea's gem, the A's got another strong pitching performance against the hard-hitting Red Sox. Daniel Mengden gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings and Blake Treinen (1-1), Oakland's third reliever, retired five batters to win.

Treinen appeared to injure his left ankle while fielding Blake Swinhart's comebacker but remained in the game and got Christian Vazquez to fly out to end it.

Mitch Moreland had two hits and Brock Holt drove in Boston's lone run.

Mengden allowed a pair of first-inning singles, then retired 16 of 17 before yielding back-to-back hits in the seventh. He left after giving up Holt's tying RBI double in the seventh.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP Bobby Poyner was activated off the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. He had been out with a left hamstring strain.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (4-0, 1.40) pitches the opener of a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday. He has thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings over his previous two starts.

Athletics: RHP Trevor Cahill (1-0, 0.00) makes his second start of the season Monday at Texas. It's the first time this season that the A's will leave the West Coast.

Sean Manaea thought historic night 'was just a one-hitter'

Sean Manaea thought historic night 'was just a one-hitter'

OAKLAND -- Everyone at the Coliseum Saturday night knew they were witnessing something special.

Everyone except Sean Manaea, that is.

The A's 26-year-old left-hander didn't even realize he was throwing a no-hitter until the eighth inning.

“When Marcus (Semien) dropped that ball in the fifth inning, I just thought it was a hit,” Manaea laughed. “So from then until the eighth or ninth, I thought it was just a one-hitter. I didn't think it was a no-hitter. And then I looked up in the eighth and ninth, and I saw that there were still zeros. I was like, 'Whoa, that's weird.'”

In fact, Sandy Leon's pop up to shallow left field was ruled an error on Semien, and Manaea went on to throw his first career no-hitter, and the first in Major League Baseball this season, as the A's blanked the Red Sox, 3-0.

“Coming out for the ninth, my heart was beating out of my chest,” Manaea admitted. “I had to do everything I could to stay calm and not overdo things.”

Added A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy: “I've caught a lot of great pitchers in this game. I have eight years in the league now. And that was the most well-pitched, well-executed game I've ever had behind the plate.”

Simply put, Manaea was brilliant, from start to finish. He made the league's highest-scoring offense look foolish, recording 10 strikeouts and only allowing two walks.

“Honestly, it still doesn't feel real, even after the last out,” Manaea said. “I couldn't even imagine throwing a no-hitter in the big leagues, especially against a team like the Red Sox. It's an incredible feeling.”

“That's one of the best lineups in the league over there,” said Lucroy. “He just no-hit them. Being behind the plate for that, being able to watch it, being able to see what the ball was doing, watching the swings they were taking, they weren't very comfortable. As a catcher, that's really all you can ask for. It was a lot of fun.”

Manaea may not have known he was throwing a no-hitter, but his manager sure did. Not only did Bob Melvin not talk to Manaea, he refused to even look at him.

“I did not make eye contact with him after about the sixth inning,” Melvin joked. “He showed some emotion coming off the field after the eighth, which kind of surprised me a little bit. He normally doesn't show much emotion in what he does. When he got the last out of the eighth, it was almost like he could smell it.”

The biggest play of the game, aside from the final out, came in the sixth inning, when Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi nubbed one up along the first base line. A's first baseman Matt Olson fielded the ball and dove at Benintendi, who lunged to the side to avoid the tag.

Benintendi was initially ruled safe, but the umpires came together to discuss the play and determined he had run outside the basepath, calling him out.

“He started out on the grass and ended up on the grass on the other side,” Melvin said. “We have a 6'6'' first baseman who was fully (outstretched). So for me, three feet is kind of what they're talking about. And once you get out of the dirt area and onto the grass over there, it was out of the baseline.”

Manaea's no-hitter was the seventh in Oakland A's history and the first since Dallas Braden tossed a perfect game in 2010. It marked the first time Boston had been no-hit since 1993, snapping a streak of 3,987 games.

What a night it was at the Coliseum.