Athletics

Crisp improving, resumes baseball activities

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Crisp improving, resumes baseball activities

ARLINGTON -- Coco Crisp took the field on Tuesday and hit in the cage, a positive development for the A's leadoff hitter and center fielder who has missed seven games with allergic conjunctivitis in his eyes. "He's better today," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He sees out of his left eye pretty well. Right eye is the bigger issue right now. He took some swings in the cage today."Crisp looked better in the clubhouse. His eyes are less puffy. He took to the field on Tuesday and ran around a bit during batting practice. When a ball was hit near him he reacted and tracked the trajectory in flight. He didn't have a glove on at the time but it was clear he could see the baseballs being hit in his direction. "This is kind of the day we were targeting to get him some baseball activity," Melvin said. "Where it goes from here we're not sure yet. It's certainly more encouraging than we were potentially thinking yesterday."The A's are 62-43 with Crisp in the lineup and 24-25 when he doesn't play. With nine games left in the season the A's will have to hope he can return soon. There still has to be some concern that he will struggle with timing at the plate with this many games off. Crisp is hitting .251 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI this season. He leads the team with 35 stolen bases and is tied for fifth in the American League with seven triples. His speed is very important to the A's. In his three years with Oakland he has been successful in 89.7 percent (116 for 132) of his stolen base attempts, which is the best mark in franchise history.

Young A’s fan writes letter to team after fires take home, beloved memorabilia

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Twitter @KatieUtehs

Young A’s fan writes letter to team after fires take home, beloved memorabilia

Young Athletics fan Loren Jade Smith is among the thousands of people affected by the Northern California wildfires. Along with his family's home, the fire storm took his most valued possession -- his A's memorabilia collection. 

In his disappointment, Smith wrote a letter to the A's that has since gone viral. 

After the letter was shared throughout the Twitterverse, A's President Dave Kaval said the team would reach out to Jade and his family to replace his memorabilia. 

And since Kaval's announcement, the A's community of fans has responded with offers to send the young fan some memorabilia. The A's have even set up an address where fans can send Smith their gifts. 

Who can we blame for epidemic of teams losing three straight elimination games?

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AP

Who can we blame for epidemic of teams losing three straight elimination games?

Fox’ Matt Vasgersian, who does his job well,  declared the New York Yankees’ American League Division Series win over Cleveland to be amazing.

It is not. Not any more.

In fact, the Yankees winning three elimination games in succession is a feat that has happened seven times in the past three years. And we can only conclude from that that they’re not making teams that can avoid the bad beat the way they used to.

The 2017 Indians joined the 2016 Indians, Warriors and Thunder, the 2015 Clippers, Capitals and Texas Rangers, the 2014 Penguins and Sharks, the 2013 Red Wings, the 2012 Reds and Cardinals, the 2011 Penguins, the 2010 Bruins and Capitals as proud laryngectomy victims – teams that needed to win only one of three (or in the Sharks’ case, four) games to advance in the playoffs (or in the Warriors’ case, win).

That’s 15 times this “amazing” thing has happened, which means that by any estimate, teams that needed to win three consecutive games to escape the icy hand of Uncle Death are now pretty much the norm in this decade.

And why, you ask? I blame Twitter. I blame global warming. I blame video games. I blame smartphones. I blame phones. I blame the new president. I blame the old president. I blame Satan. I blame participation trophies and orange slices and juice boxes. I blame the players and I blame the owners and I blame the fans and definitely those smarmy bastards in the media. They’re the worst.

I blame you. Hell, I think I blame Matt Vasgersian.

But whomever is at fault, we have here an epidemic of feet strangling their owners when everything seems their cheeriest. And unless we live in such misery-enriched times that good times are only precursors to far worse ones, there is no sensible explanation. Players’ windpipes are no smaller than they were a decade ago. The Internet is older than seven years. Close-out games are not materially more difficult than they were before 2010.

And yet winning that one extra game is suddenly like finding out your SAT test has been written totally in anagrams. In other words, when things look brightest, that’s when you know you’re totally screwed.

And if you don’t believe me, ask Terry Francona. In a few weeks maybe. Not right away. Not unless you’re keen to see how it feels to have your neck used as a bathmat.