A's notes: Coco scratched, Kottaras faces good friend


A's notes: Coco scratched, Kottaras faces good friend

OAKLAND -- The A's made a last minute modification to the lineup on Sunday morning. Coco Crisp was originally set to start in center field in his typical leadoff role but was scratched from the game with an eye allergy issue called allergic conjunctivitis. The condition is considered minor and the A's aren't sure he'll be available to pinch hit. "He's actually been dealing with it for the last couple days," Melvin said. "It's a little worse today. Hopefully we are all clear of that tomorrow."As a result of Crisp being scratched, Yoenis Cespedes moves from the DH spot to center field, Jonny Gomes moves from left field to DH, and Collin Cowgill will be the leadoff hitter and play in left field. "I show up everyday planning to play so I am not surprised when something like this happens I look forward to it," Cowgill said. "I always want to play but my role right now is to fill in when I need to and help out when I can." The A's will face left-handed pitcher Randy Wolf. George Kottaras, who is in the lineup batting ninth, was Wolf's personal catcher in Milwaukee. Kottaras has provided some inside information to his teammates and hitting coach Chili Davis about Wolf. "I told Chili Davis kind of some things that he can and can't do do, what he likes to do and we go from there," Kottaras said.Kottaras said he is still good friends with Wolf and he is happy that he latched on with the Orioles after getting let go by the Brewers. He looks forward to facing his good buddy. "It's going to be fun having a guy out there that I caught for two and a half years," Kottaras said. "Business is business and we've got to play the game but at the same time it's going to be a good time." A's manager Bob Melvin says that he planned on having Kottaras in the lineup even before he knew Wolf was pitching on Sunday. The Orioles named the left-handed veteran Sunday's started late Saturday afternoon. Inge-ury AlertBrandon Inge underwent surgery earlier this week. Melvin says the veteran third baseman might be visiting with the team in Detroit. Inge plans to suit up and remain with the team as soon as he is able to.

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

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?


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.