Athletics

Melvin's longevity with A's a remarkable feat in Billy Beane Era

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AP

Melvin's longevity with A's a remarkable feat in Billy Beane Era

Bob Melvin’s contract extension through 2019 with Oakland wasn’t nearly so much a surprise as the fact that he’s been the Athletics' manager as long as he has.
 
The A’s, after all, have been known for their roster volatility for years, a strategy that has hit as often as it has failed but has almost always been more frustrating than enervating.
 
But managers? Remarkably stable, even in the Billy Beane era, which will be precisely 20 years long in 19 days. Do send a card.

[RELATED: Beane explains Melvin's extension: 'We couldn’t have a better man' as manager]
 
The A’s have had but four managers – Art Howe, who was worked over in Beane’s most volatile period; Ken Macha, whose own volatility got him fired and rehired in the same managerial cycle; Bob Geren, Beane's close personal friend whose time matched a particularly stultifying period in franchise history; and Melvin, whose first three full seasons look very little like his last three.
 
But the A’s are acknowledging here that the team’s latest cratering is really roster-based, and that Melvin is better suited to resuscitate this franchise as it leans into its new stadium phase than anyone else either in or outside the organization.
 
Indeed, he is 64 games away from passing Howe for third in games managed with this team, and is three years away from passing Tony La Russa for second. Barring continued stagnation, political intrigues or some other catastrophe, he is likely to do so.
 
But he is under the same make-this-good-when-the-ballpark-opens pressure that general manager David Forst and even Beane himself are under. The A’s are playing not only for their place in the American League and the hearts of a city who is losing its two other teams, but for the success of a billion-dollar real estate venture.
 
Now guess which of those matters most owner John Fisher. 

Maxwell speaks about anthem protest, but stays mum on legal issues

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USATSI

Maxwell speaks about anthem protest, but stays mum on legal issues

When A's catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt during the anthem last season, he was the first MLB player to do so. He knelt before each of each of Oakland's final nine games, in order to protest racial inequality and in response to President Trump's incendiary comments about NFL players kneeling, but ended the season as the only MLB player to kneel during the anthem. 

This season, he won't kneel at all, he told reporters in a statement on the first day of spring training. 

“Obviously, I didn’t take that lightly,” Maxwell told the San Francisco Chronicle prior to the release of his statement.  “That was to bring awareness to a problem and the face we do see it, we do experience and we have empathy for what’s going on. This year I don’t plan on kneeling. … And we’ll move on forward.”

While Maxwell did address his protest during the anthem, he largely did not address his offseason legal issues.

“It’s ongoing, I can’t really discuss details,” he said. “It’s something me and my lawyers are handling.”

On Oct. 28, Maxwell was arrested in Scottsdale after allegedly pointing a gun at a food-delivery person. He pleaded not guilty to felony charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct in November, and is set for a settlement conference on April 13 after failing to reach a plea agreement on Monday, according to the Chronicle. 

If an agreement cannot be reached, Maxwell's trial is set to begin on Aug. 9. 

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson traded to... the Yankees

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USATSI

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson traded to... the Yankees

The New York Yankees Wednesday announced that they have acquired infielder Russell Wilson from the Texas Rangers in exchange for future considerations.

Wilson, 29, led the Seattle Seahawks to the 2014 Super Bowl championship, defeating the Denver Broncos, 43-8. At age 25, Wilson became the third-youngest quarterback to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory.

He has played the past six seasons (2012-17) with Seattle. A four-time Pro-Bowler, Wilson has completed 1,815-of-2,834 pass attempts (64.0 percent) for 22,176 yards and 161 touchdowns. He has compiled a career starting record of 65-30-1. In 2017, Wilson led the NFL with 34 touchdown passes.

"We've admired Russell's career from afar for quite some time," Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said. "This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete who has reached the pinnacle of his profession. 

"After talking to a number of our players, there is a genuine excitement in having Russell join us for a short time in camp. We are all looking forward to gaining insight into how he leads teammates toward a common goal, prepares on a daily basis for the rigors of his sport, and navigates the successes and failures of a season."

The Richmond, Va., native was originally selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, and was acquired by Texas in the minor league phase of the 2013 Rule 5 Draft. In 2014 and '15, Wilson participated in team workouts at Rangers spring training camp.

In 93 career minor league games between Rookie-level Tri-City (2010) and Single-A Asheville (2011) in Colorado's system, Wilson hit .229/.354/.356 (72-for-315) with 58R, 9 doubles, 8 triples, 5HR, 26RBI and 19SB. In his last 15 games with Asheville in 2011, Wilson hit .302 (16-for-53) with 13R, 5 extra-base hits, 9RBI and 5SB.

A two-sport athlete in college, Wilson graduated from North Carolina State University in 2010. Using his last year of amateur eligibility, Wilson enrolled at the University of Wisconsin and quarterbacked the Badgers to a co-Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl appearance following the 2011 season. 

Wilson is expected to be in Major League camp in March. While he is in Tampa, Wilson will participate in pregame workouts with the club and watch games from the Yankees' dugout.

He will be assigned to the Double-A Trenton roster.

Yankees media services