Athletics

A's Bob Melvin recalls celebrating Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre's careers

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AP

A's Bob Melvin recalls celebrating Ichiro Suzuki, Adrian Beltre's careers

OAKLAND -- Without fail, every time -- there's BoMel.

Just as the 2019 season opened up, Ichiro Suzuki decided he would play in his final major-league game in Tokyo. A's manager Bob Melvin was at the top of the opposing dugout paying his respects as the 10-time All-Star bid farewell to the game of baseball.

Suzuki made sure to personally run over to Melvin and shake his hand.

Ever the professional, Melvin knows he's been able to witness some amazing things across his illustrious career.

"I think the longer you're around, the more you really understand those type of days," Melvin told NBC Sports California. "I know when I was a player it wasn't something I had a focus on, but Ichiro, I had a close relationship with him and his career is one of a kind, so you want to see how he's embraced -- you want to be there for something you know you're going to remember for a long time."

The Texas Rangers retired 21-year veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre's number in Arlington a few months later. The team hosted the A's, and there was Melvin, at the top of the dugout paying his respects once again. 

And despite being on the other side of Beltre's retirement ceremony last season, and receiving "a lot of pain from Beltre over the years," Melvin knew what he did during his time in the game had to be celebrated.

"The fact that he's such a great player and such a good guy, and I've had so many conversations with him and -- a Hall of Fame-type guy -- you want to be out there and really feel good about watching it and seeing how he's embraced by the fanbase."

These were some of those significant moments Melvin's collected over the years.

Beltre has a certain unique quality to him. Well, it's more of a rule, really.

Do not -- under any circumstances, touch his head. Unless maybe if you're Elvis Andrus.

"No -- I don't even think I'd try to go there," Melvin said. 

"We did have a funny conversation," he recalled. 

[RELATED: BoMel calls Fiers' a hero for revealing Astros scandal]

When it was Yoenis Cespedes' first year, the A's were in Texas and Cespedes had slid into third base. 

"His ankle was a little funky -- we weren't really sure, I went out there, and [Cespedes'] English isn't very good, so Adrian was translating for us, which was really funny."

"I could tell at times, he was trying to get Cespedes out of the game and Cespedes was looking like 'No, no, no,' so it ended up being a funny situation, but I've spent a lot of time on the other side against Adrian."

MLB rumors: A's David Forst mad over delayed coronavirus tests results

MLB rumors: A's David Forst mad over delayed coronavirus tests results

The A's position players were supposed to conducted their first full workout at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday. It didn't happen.

The team is hoping the workout might happen Monday, but it could be delayed again.

The Athletic's Alex Coffey reported Sunday night that the A's coronavirus tests have yet to be shipped from San Francisco to the league's lab in Utah.

According to Coffey, A's general manager David Forst told reporters that the July 4 holiday played a role in the tests not being shipped Saturday.

While A's pitchers and catchers were working out at the Coliseum on Sunday, position players can't participate until their coronavirus test results come back negative. In this case, the tests haven't even had a chance to be processed and analyzed.

Coffey reported, citing a source, that A's third baseman Matt Chapman "voiced his displeasure" to Forst.

Forst then sent a lengthy WhatsApp message to all A's players, and Coffey obtained a copy of the text. Here's part of what Forst wrote.

"MLB has informed me this evening that our test samples from Friday have not arrived at the lab," Forst wrote. "They were not delivered as intended on Saturday because of the federal holiday and then were not switched to Sunday delivery in time to arrive today. As of this moment, they are sitting at SFO waiting to fly to Salt Lake to be delivered to the lab by 1:30 Mountain Time tomorrow. On top of screwing up the logistics of this whole thing, neither MLB nor CDT (the company that collects the samples) communicated any of this to us until we pressed them for information, at which point all they could do was apologize, which frankly doesn’t really do much for us."

Forst continued to point the finger at the league for what happened this weekend.

"At this point, the blame lies with CDT and MLB and I won’t cover for them like I did earlier today," Forst wrote. "Despite having our schedule a week ahead of time, they didn’t alert us to the possibility of any complications around July 4th, and once there were issues, they did nothing to communicate that to us or remedy the situation until Nick (Paparesta, the A’s head athletic trainer) and I forced the issue at various times today. If possible, I’m as frustrated and pissed as you are (well, probably not as pissed as Matt is), and I assure you the rest of the staff is as well.”

While other teams have had their full squads working out at their home stadiums, the A's are now behind the eight-ball. With limited time to get ready for the 60-game 2020 season, every day matters.

Earlier in the day, before the A's knew the full extent of the delay, manager Bob Melvin expressed his frustration that position players weren't going to be able to work out Sunday.

[RELATED: Manaea might wear mask during starts]

According to Coffey, the A's tests are scheduled to arrive in Utah at 1:30 a.m. MT.

It's unclear if the lab can turn the tests around quick enough for the players to report to the Coliseum and conduct a full workout Monday evening.

A.J. Puk's new Summer Camp haircut has A's Sean Manaea in disbelief

A.J. Puk's new Summer Camp haircut has A's Sean Manaea in disbelief

Like most youngsters attending a summer camp, A's pitching prospect A.J. Puk wanted to make a good impression upon his arrival.

But no one was ready for Puk's appearance Sunday.

The prized left-hander showed up to the Oakland Coliseum for the A's Summer Camp workout minus his trademark blonde hair.

Yes, Puk got a haircut. Not just a trim. It's all gone.

Teammate Sean Manaea couldn't believe the rookie cut all his hair off.

Sometimes, everyone needs a fresh look, including Puk, who was known for his flowing hair.

Hair or no hair, the A's are expecting big things from Puk this season. The 2016 first-round draft pick will compete for a spot in Oakland's rotation. If Puk and fellow pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo win starting jobs, the A's could have one of the best rotations in baseball.

[RELATED: Manaea might wear mask during starts]

Manager Bob Melvin used Puk out of the bullpen last season, bringing him into 10 games. The 25-year-old posted a 3.18 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings pitched.

But now, Puk, without his hair, will look to help the A's win the World Series by being a part of their rotation.

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