Bob Melvin more optimistic than ever new A's stadium will be built


Bob Melvin more optimistic than ever new A's stadium will be built

When the A's announced it had possibly found its future home in Oakland, there were many questions and concerns -- and rightfully so. This was something that has been a long time coming. 

[RELATED: A's plan Howard Terminal stadium]

But would it really happen?

When MLB Network's Christopher Russo had Bob Melvin as a guest on Tuesday, the A's manager said he was very optimistic this plan would be implemented.

"I am [optimistic], and more so than ever," Melvin said on High Heat. "They wouldn't make the announcement if they didn't think it was going to happen."

"We have our Fan Fest out there, on the water and it's a beautiful place to put a ballpark, so hopefully we can get through some of the hurdles that California gives you to try and build something, but I don't know that there would be a better place for it."

The recently named AL Manager of the Year also complimented the people that are behind it and said the players themselves are excited about the new stadium. 

"I think our franchise deserves it."

It absolutely does.

A's tentative 2021 MLB schedule includes Astros, Dodgers in opening week

A's tentative 2021 MLB schedule includes Astros, Dodgers in opening week

Before 2020’s regular season has officially begun, MLB announced the tentative schedules of all 30 clubs for next season on Thursday. The A’s open up the 2021 campaign at home against the Houston Astros on April 1.

This will also be the first time since 1968 all 30 teams will play their first game of the season on the same day.

For the most part, it will be regular-schedule programming for the A's with the AL West matchups against the Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, and Texas Rangers. 

But April will have the A’s also starting the season against the possibly Mookie Betts-less Los Angeles Dodgers right after their Houston home series then they head to Minute Maid Park directly after that. That’s quite a competitive sandwich. But the balls tend to fly there which is a boost for the A's. 

If things stay the same, which is never the case in baseball, there shouldn’t be too many surprises for Oakland next season as far as the competitive circuit goes. 

The Battle of Bay against the geographically rivaled Giants will take place three times in 2021. The first being an exhibition series, as the teams usually have, March 28-29. During the regular season, they will meet back at Oracle Park June 25-27 and later at the Coliseum Aug. 20-22. After that, the New York Yankees come to town to play Aug. 26-28 in Oakland. 

The A’s will also host the Boston Red Sox on July 4th and wrap up the season on the road against the Astros Oct. 1-3.

[RELATED: A's alternate 2020 site could be Giants affiliate's park]

Here’s a look at the entire tentative schedule:

A's Mark Canha ahead of the game when it comes to playing with a mask

A's Mark Canha ahead of the game when it comes to playing with a mask

Mark Canha came to Oakland Coliseum on Wednesday and found a new face mask in his locker. Most everyone was given one, but it certainly wasn’t a standard issue. Not with its design.

Someone made masks that looked like Mike Fiers’ face when he had rocked that swirling facial hair design on Sept. 14, 2019 against the Texas Rangers.

Canha suspects Fiers himself.

The A’s outfielder tried it on, fully intent on wearing it for a workout. He ultimately, however, went against joining Bob Melvin and Sean Manaea in a Fiers facemask.

“I was excited about them, but the comfort level wasn’t there for me,” Canha said Wednesday afternoon in a conference call. “It was ill-fitting, so I didn’t wear it out there, but I wanted to.”

It’s not like Canha is anti-mask. Quite the opposite in fact. He wears them when he should in public and in communal areas of Oakland Coliseum now that baseball’s getting back to work during the coronavirus pandemic.

He wore one well before it was required for anything but warmth. Canha has worn a type of ski mask on colder nights, even in the East Bay when it’s not completely frigid. He even wrote a poem about it last year. 

“You know how cold it gets at night here, so now nobody will make fun of me on social media for wearing it when it’s 65 degrees out,” Canha said. “I have a good excuse.”

It sounds like Canha could often wear a mask while playing defense this season, though it might not be as consistent at the plate.

“When I do wear the mask at night, I typically wear it at the plate,” Canha said. “On hot day games, that’s a different situation. It will be a feel thing. If it’s super-hot, it’s hard to wear a mask, especially if we’re in L.A. or something. You want to be able to breathe and you get sweaty, so it can be uncomfortable.”

[RELATED: Semien doing his part to keep A's safe during pandemic]

Canha definitely understands the importance of MLB’s health and safety protocols. It’s something the A’s discussed on Tuesday, and they all seem to be in lockstep about following the letter of the law.

“We had a meeting yesterday and talked about having a high-risk guy on our team in Jake Diekman and we have guys with families,” Canha said. “We talk about how we have to keep it in mind that there’s a bigger picture beyond playing baseball. At the same time, on the baseball side of it, we have to make sure we stay healthy so we have all of our players in the lineup. … When you talk about kids and families and the bigger picture of what’s going on, I think everyone is respectful of that.”