A's didn't feel pressured to make deadline deal


A's didn't feel pressured to make deadline deal

The perception is that you must make a trade on July 31. The public sentiment is that a move to add a player or two -- or in some cases three -- creates a distinction that separates a team from contender to pretender. With all the hype, frenzy, unbelievable rumors, and in some cases feverish refreshing on twitter, it is understandable that some fans of the Oakland A's felt slighted when the team didn't make a move. Then there is how the team feels about it. The A's are 34-16 since June 2 -- the best record in baseball over that span. So far they have succeeded beyond even the wildest expectations of the fans and predictions of anyone in the media. That might explain why they weren't compelled to act. "We said all along that we had to be respectful of the group that's here and how well they've played," A's assistant general manager David Forst said. "A lot of our success has come because of the young players and we were going to be protective of those guys."PRATT: No move could be a good move for A's
The A's have had a lot of success indeed. They are currently 10 games over .500 and occupy the first Wild Card spot in the American League. Just because they didn't make a trade at one o'clock on July 31, it doesn't mean they aren't going for it."The goal is to play in the postseason," Forst said. "We are shooting for the division. I know if you ask Bob Melvin he'll tell you that his sights are set on Anaheim and Texas. You have to get into the postseason any way you can."Not making a move wasn't for lack of effort. They team was actively placing and fielding calls. Naturally, none of the juicy details of any of the conversations with other teams were shared. So are the A's equipped to make a postseason run after not adding any help at the deadline? The players certainly think so. "I can't imagine anyone in here would be disappointed," Brandon Inge said. "What more could we have done? Since we've had this core group, what more can we do? The A's are clicking on all cylinders. They've already clinched a franchise best July record, going 19-4 this month with one game to play. They weren't exactly desperate to make a trade.
"We just didn't feel like with what was out there and what we would have to look to give up, that it was worth making a move right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I think the chemistry and everything else that's going on right now came into play with that decision as well."Just because the non-waiver trade deadline has passed doesn't mean the team won't make a move. In fact, they said they are going to be actively pursuing ways to make the team better yet. "Starting tomorrow we'll monitor that market and see what the options are going forward," Forst said. "Just because we are past this deadline doesn't mean something can't happen down the road if we feel like there is a deficiency or something we need to address," Melvin said. The A's chief competition -- the Rangers and Angels -- made some moves at the deadline. Texas added Ryan Dempster to the starting rotation, the Angels added Zack Greinke. The moves don't have the A's shaking in their white cleats. "If you want to compare pitching, I'll take what we have," Melvin said. With a 3.44 ERA the A's already have the best pitching in the American League. Plus, Oakland will be countering the pitching of their division rivals by adding two quality pitchers of their own. They don't have to trade for them, they just have to reinstate them from the disabled list. Brett Anderson threw 73 pitches in a rehab start on Tuesday, and Brandon McCarthy tossed 66 pitches on Monday night. McCarthy may make one more rehab start before being activated. Anderson is right around the corner.They may not have been buyers, but at least they weren't sellers.

Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'


Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'

C.C. Sabathia couldn't save the Yankees' 2017 season. And now he has a decision to make.

After nine seasons in New York, the 37-year-old hits the free agent market this winter.

With career earnings nearing $250 million and a 2009 World Series ring already on his resume, would the Vallejo-native consider coming home to play for the A's? That's a question that was posed to Insider Joe Stiglich last week.

While it's a possibility, based on comments after Saturday's ALCS Game 7 loss to the Astros, it sounds like Sabathia doesn't want to leave The Bronx.

“I feel like this is a young team, and we will turn this into something great. This is my home, and I want to see this thing through," Sabathia told reporters, according to The Associated Press.

Astros win two straight vs Yankees, advance to take on Dodgers in World Series


Astros win two straight vs Yankees, advance to take on Dodgers in World Series


HOUSTON -- Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles opened as a narrow favorite, but Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.

Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.

Combined, they throttled the wild-card Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.

After going 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings, the Astros got on the board with no outs in the fourth with the 405-foot shot by Gattis off Sabathia which made it 1-0.

Altuve launched a ball off Tommy Kahnle into the seats in right field with one out in the fifth for his fifth homer this postseason. It took a while for him to see that it was going to get out, and held onto his bat until he was halfway to first base before flipping it and trotting around the bases as chants of "MVP" rained down on him.

Altuve finished 8 for 25 with two homers and four RBIs in the ALCS after hitting .533 with three homers and four RBIs in the ALDS against Boston.

Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles after that before Kahnle struck out Gattis. McCann's two-strike double, which rolled into the corner of right field, cleared the bases to push the lead to 4-0. Gurriel slid to avoid the tag and remained on his belly in a swimming pose at the plate for a few seconds after he was called safe.

It was just the second Game 7 in franchise history for the Astros, who dropped Game 7 to the Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS 13 years ago today.

Sabathia allowed five hits and one run while walking three in 3 1/3 innings. He wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in a Game 3 win and just 36 of the 65 pitches he threw were strikes.

Morton got into trouble in the fifth, and the Yankees had runners at the corners with one out. Bregman fielded a grounder hit by Todd Frazier and made a perfect throw home to allow McCann to tag Greg Bird and preserve Houston's lead. McCann held onto the ball despite Bird's cleat banging into his forearm. Chase Headley grounded out after that to end the inning.

A night after Springer kept Frazier from extra-bases with a leaping catch, Judge returned the favor on a ball hit by Yuli Gurriel. Judge sprinted, jumped and reached into the stands to grab his long fly ball before crashing into the wall and falling to the ground for the first out of the second inning.

Springer had another nifty catch in this one, jumping in front of Marwin Gonzalez at the wall in left-center to grab a ball hit by Bird for the first out of the seventh inning.