Athletics

Magic behing 'Amazing Pie-derman' revealed

835351.jpg

Magic behing 'Amazing Pie-derman' revealed

OAKLAND -- All magicians use diversionary tactics to pull off their illusions. They distract your attention and then trick you. Josh Reddick had an amazing diversion at his disposal. As the A's celebrated their major league-leading 13th walk-off win on the field, he slipped away and got into costume. In just two minutes and four seconds he re-emerged as Spider-Man -- or PIE-derman as he is being called now. As the famous web-slinging comic book character ran onto the field -- a pie in each hand -- those that endured the 15-inning marathon game were treated to an unimaginable scene. POW. Pie-derman planted two whipped cream treats onto the head of walk-off hero Coco Crisp, who wore the pies like earmuffs. Instead of slinging webs, this Spiderman slings pies. "That was definitely shocking," Crisp said. "I knew he had a costume obviously, but I didn't know he was going to pie me in a Spider-Man outfit."At this rate nothing seems to amaze A's manager Bob Melvin. He makes sure not to watch his clubs crazy celebrations but admitted that he caught the Spider-Man act on television after the fact."He's the first one off the field so I know when he comes off in that fashion he is going to do something," Melvin said of Reddick. "Whether it's with the pies and all that, it seemed like he added to the dynamic."Prior to Saturday's game, the Spider-Man outfit was hung with care in Reddick's clubhouse stall. After 13 walk-off wins, it must be tough to come up with new and interesting ways to celebrate. "You pretty much know what's going to happen now for the most part," Crisp said. "You're going to get freezing cold ice all over you, Gatorade and water, pie, maybe some seeds, but the new thing to our walk-off celebration was the Spider-Man."With some further digging, it was discovered that Reddick didn't act alone. He had to clear the costume with one of the club's veteran leaders. That man was Jonny Gomes, whose stall is located next to Reddick's in the clubhouse. "I guess you could put that in my job description as giving that the green light, yellow light, or red light," Jonny Gomes said. "For whatever reason the kid really wanted to do it. Who am I to un-shape how you want to be known and how you want to carry yourself?"Gomes said he has a huge respect for the game and is a big fan of the history of baseball. He says that if he thought in anyway the celebration would be disrespectful to the game he would have shut it down. Crisp, the victim of the celebration, says he is happy the celebration wasn't taken the wrong way."It's fun and everybody enjoyed it. There was nothing negative said about it and that's awesome," Crisp said. "Everybody took it in stride. It was a 15-inning game. For the fans, it was worth it."The loose and fun atmosphere in the A's clubhouse is why this team is succeeding on the field. It is carrying over in the win column and with the fan base. The Bernie, the pies, the walk-offs ... it's all working for the Oakland right now. They hold the top spot in the American League wild card race. "These guys aren't arbitration eligible, they're not free agents, so they're not playing for the money, they're playing for the fun factor," Gomes said. "I think Reddick had fun doing it. I'm not here trying to crush dreams. I'm trying to make them come true." After 13 walk-off wins you might be wondering what they will think of next. Well apparently, something is indeed in the works. Crisp divulged that there are plans for a new celebration -- possibly for walk-off No. 14. "There's an idea for something different, not quite Spider-Man suit status," he told me.Stay tuned.

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

sabathia-yankees-astros-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

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 NBCSportsBayArea.com 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.jpg
USATSI

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

BOX SCORE

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.