From Comcast SportsNetPHOENIX (AP) -- Manny Ramirez found a taker in Oakland -- at a bargain price. The suspended slugger agreed on a minor league contract Monday with the Athletics that is worth approximately 500,000 if he's added to the big league roster. The A's announced the deal and said Ramirez is expected to report to spring training by the end of the week, in time for Oakland's first full-squad workout Saturday. He is a non-roster invitee. The 12-time All-Star is due to serve a 50-game suspension for his second positive drug test before he can play for the A's. Barring rainouts, his first game could be May 30 -- on his 40th birthday. But that didn't deter general manager Billy Beane and the Athletics. "I am very pleased Billy was able to add Manny to our team," owner Lew Wolff said in an email. "I look forward to welcoming him and the entire team that Billy and his people have assembled for the coming season." ESPN first reported earlier in the day that the sides had reached an agreement, speaking directly to Ramirez. The A's made public their interest in the enigmatic outfielder, who had been working out in Florida this winter. Starving for offense, Oakland finished third in the AL West last season at 74-88 and ranked 12th out of 14 American League teams in runs. For the small-budget A's, Ramirez presents little financial risk. They don't have to pay him during his suspension and will give him per diem money during the club's spring training stint in Phoenix, which is shorter than usual because of two season-opening games in Japan next month. Oakland sent representatives to Florida this winter to watch workouts by Ramirez, who retired from the Tampa Bay Rays last season rather than serve a 100-game suspension. For Ramirez, this could become a chance to help mend his reputation -- at least a little bit -- and serve as a positive clubhouse influence on a young team. The A's recently agreed to terms on a 36 million, four-year contract with highly regarded outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, a Cuban defector who has expressed interest in playing with Ramirez. At baseball's winter meetings in December, it was announced that Ramirez had applied for reinstatement. He had his suspension for a second failed drug test cut to 50 games because he sat out nearly all of last season. MLB had announced his retirement on April 8, saying he was notified "of an issue" under the drug program. Ramirez ranks 14th on the career list with 555 home runs. He went 1 for 17 (.059) in five games last season for Tampa Bay, which had signed him to a one-year deal worth 2.02 million. This would be the 20th major league season for Ramirez, a career .312 hitter with 1,831 RBIs.
OAKLAND -- Sidelined with a back strain, Andre Iguodala spent Tuesday night “yelling at the TV more than I normally do” as the Warriors labored through an uneven performance before blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.
So there was Iguodala, this time with his teammates, sitting before a monitor Wednesday as coach Steve Kerr review the horror show that was a 122-121 loss to the Houston Rockets.
“We only did about a half-hour on the floor, mostly skill work,” Kerr said after the light practice. “Watched a lot of video.
“That game was a weird game because we were shooting the ball well and scoring enough to win. But we never had control of it the way we normally have control of a game, with defense and toughness.”
Though the Warriors were hampered by injuries -- Iguodala being out, while Draymond Green and Omri Casspi were hurt during the game -- beyond their control, there was at least one thing they believe they can fix immediately.
They can avoid some of the fouls, particularly those that are mindless.
That’s the trap Stephen Curry fell into, picking up three fouls in the first four minutes. That he was limited to 30 minutes, and only 18 through the first three quarters, had an impact on the playing rotation and was a factor in the loss.
“The only thing I’m worried about with him is just those little fouls,” Iguodala said. “Because when he’s on the court, no matter if he’s scoring or not, he’s making life easier for everyone else.”
Kerr after the game cited conditioning as an issue and elaborated on the subject Wednesday.
“Conditioning is not just physical. It’s mental, too,” he said. “We were not ready, mentally, to play that game, even when we weren’t tired early in the game.
“There were other lapses, too. After made baskets, transition threes for them we neglected to pick up. That’s not physical conditioning. That’s mental conditioning. That’s where we need to get better. And we will.”
The Warriors will be wounded in more ways than one when they board their flight to New Orleans Thursday morning. They’ll have some achy players, for sure, but they’ll also have a 0-1 record.
“I feel like losses have this huge effect on us that usually benefits us,” Iguodala said.
ALAMEDA – NaVorro Bowman was a sponge this week, absorbing the Raiders defense as quickly as possible.
The veteran inside linebacker signed with the Raiders Monday afternoon and did enough to play Thursday night’s pivotal home game against Kansas City.
That’s a huge plus for a Raiders team looking to snap a four-game losing streak. Bowman should be able to help right away despite being new to the scheme.
“He’s a veteran. He understands ball,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday. “We haven’t tried to install the entire playbook, but specific game plans and things. He’s had a good week. Even though it’s a short week, we feel good and he’ll play.”
He’ll probably start at inside linebacker and play the base defense as least. While many have criticized his speed and coverage skills diminished from major injuries, Bowman remains a sure tackler who can provide solid on-field leadership.
Veteran savvy and natural ability should carry Bowman while he masters a new scheme, allowing him to make the immediate impact required with the Raiders reeling at 2-4.
“He is very instinctive,” Del Rio said. "He’s a veteran guy that’s been there before. He understands what it looks like to lineup against a good football team and help us win.”
Bowman’s fresh and healthy, a step above his others at his position. Inside linebackers Cory James (knee), Marquel Lee (ankle) and Nicholas Morrow (ankle) are all questionable heading into Thursday’s game.
He has also been a willing teacher to a group of inside linebackers featuring a second-year pro and three rookies.
“They’re just soaking it up,” Del Rio said. “They’ll ask, ‘When do you lift? How often do you lift? When do you meet? When do you cover this?’ It’s good stuff to have for a really young group.”
In other injury news, right tackle Marshall Newhouse is out, leaving Vadal Alexander to start in his spot. David Sharpe should be the swing tackle in reserve.