Athletics

Notes: Crisp in shades, Inge on the way?

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Notes: Crisp in shades, Inge on the way?

DETROIT -- Still recovering from a case of allergic conjunctivitis in both of his eyes, Coco Crisp sat in the clubhouse with his sunglasses on playing cards. He is in the lineup batting first and playing centerfield. Aside from the occasional ribbing from his teammates, it appears he is just fine after suffering from what is more commonly called pink eye. "He's probably a little bit better than yesterday," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "As we know Coco, if he can play he's going to do everything he can to play." Crisp was forced to miss Sunday's game with the eye issue and had to take a separate flight to join the team in Detroit. Melvin said he wanted to see how Crisp was doing after batting practice, but with the rain it looks like no one will be hitting on the field before the game. "It's an inconvenience and it is somewhat bothersome, but we certainly wouldn't put him in a position where he was at risk," Melvin said. "Earlier in the day it was good enough to make the lineup out." -- The A's are in Brandon Inge's hometown. There was a contingent of Detroit area reporters hovering around the A's clubhouse anticipating his arrival. Inside the clubhouse there is a stall set aside with his name on it. According to the A's, Inge's season-ending shoulder surgery was performed last Thursday in Detroit by Dr. Stephen Lemos, who is the Tigers' orthopedic surgeon. Inge wants to dress and travel with the team as soon as he is recovered enough from the surgery. It looks like he will show up at some point during this series, but no one seems to know when, yet.
"I'm not sure as far as he's a few days after the surgery," Melvin said. "He doesn't sit still for long I know that, so there is no telling where he is right now." -- The A's don't appear to be nervous as they begin what could be a road trip that decides the fate of their season. While the A's are an American League-best 40-31 on the road, they will be put to the test. The three teams that Oakland plays on this trip are the top three teams in the league in home winning percentage (Texas .635, Detroit .606, New York .597)."When you get ahead of yourself and look at the schedule on this 10-game road trip it can be kind of daunting," first baseman Brandon Moss said. "You know it's going to be a fight but if you take it one game at a time, anyone can win one game." While the "one game at a time" talk sounds cliche it has served the A's well this year. They embrace the mentality. "You look at the road trip as a whole and start worrying about going this and this, or blah blah blah, then you completely lose focus on today's game," Moss said. The A's hold the top spot in the A.L. Wild Card race and are in striking distance of the Rangers in the division. Catching Texas is still the A's top priority. "I don't think it's ever not been the focus," Melvin said. "For any team that still has a chance to win the division that's what you look at first and foremost." The A's still have seven games against the Rangers this season, four of them come on this road trip. Worrying about the Wild Card is an unnecessary distraction for more than one reason."For me the whole Wild Card thing is way too confusing to try and follow too much," Melvin said. "I look at one number behind us and then another, and you've got to do math to add it up. We're just looking at right now winning on a particular day." -- Rookie A.J. Griffin takes the mound for Oakland in the series opener. His 6-0 record to start his career is an Oakland record for a starting pitcher. Griffin is certainly turning heads in the baseball stratosphere. With the A's entrenched in their own October Quest there has been a lot of national media around lately and they all seem to ask about Griffin. "He's got good stuff, he believes in his teammates behind him, and to this point he's had a tremendous amount of success," Melvin said of the pitcher with a quirky and upbeat personality. "I wouldn't say he is one of those fierce-eyed competitors that's grinding out there. It's not like he's got Roger Clemens face when he is out there on the mound, but it works for him." Griffin will be opposed by right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer, who leads the American League with 220 strikeouts. The A's lineup is stacked with five lefties and two switch hitters.

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.