Athletics

Bob Melvin supports Buster Posey's decision to opt out of 2020 season

Bob Melvin supports Buster Posey's decision to opt out of 2020 season

Buster Posey took several days of Giants training camp to deal with what was termed a personal issue. It turns out he spent that time weighing whether to play baseball this season during an ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Posey announced Friday that he would opt out and explained exactly why. Turns out he has a damn good reason.

His family adopted two twin girls born July 3 at just 32 weeks. They are in the NICU now and Posey said they will be in a particularly vulnerable state for at least four months. That’s more than the entire 2020 MLB season, even if everything goes right.

Posey made an easy decision, the right one.

That’s clear to most, including A’s manager Bob Melvin.

“In his case, I don’t know why you would want to play with what’s going on there,” Melvin said in a Friday video conference. “Each guy looks at it a little differently, so I’m not surprised that some have opted out. I’m certainly not surprised about Buster, now knowing the whole story.”

While most are supportive of easy choices like Posey’s or the less straightforward, detractors have proven vocal even in a decided minority.

A’s relief pitcher Jake Diekman has a higher risk for complications if he contracts COVID-19 due to a pre-existing condition but chose to play the season. The team is cognizant of that while strictly adhering to health and safety protocols during training camp.

[RELATED: Zaidi, Kapler support Posey's decision]

Whether someone chooses to play or not, Melvin says, that player will receive backing from around the sport.

“Whoever decides to opt out will be fully supported,” Melvin said. “There’s a lot at stake right now. It’s easy once you’re out on the field and it feels great again and everyone likes playing, but the underlying factor and issues are still there. If there’s somebody who has reservations, whether it’s Jake, who says he doesn’t have any, will be fully supported and I don’t think they’ll be criticized by the baseball community.”

Stephen Piscotty hits game-tying grand slam in ninth inning vs. Giants

Stephen Piscotty hits game-tying grand slam in ninth inning vs. Giants

The 10,000-plus cardboard cutouts at Oracle Park got to witness something great Friday night. 

Following Matt Olson’s solo home run in the top of the ninth, A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty cleared the bases with a grand slam to tie it at 7-7 against the Giants. 

Piscotty knew it was gone as soon as he hit it.

Piscotty's grand slam was off of Trevor Gott, who ended up up surrendering five runs in the inning before being removed.

According to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs, Piscotty is the 14th player in MLB history with multiple ninth-inning grand slams in a season.

Piscotty hit a walk-off grand slam against the Texas Rangers over a week ago to give the A’s a 5-1 victory. 

There’s something about grand slams and the A’s this season. 

Olson started the season off with a walk-off grand slam over the Los Angeles Angels. It was the first game in league history that went into extra innings since the new rule was implemented in the 2020 season to have a runner on second base beginning in the 10th.

There's something special there. 

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Mark Canha fills Ramón Laureano void with impressive catch vs. Giants

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Mark Canha fills Ramón Laureano void with impressive catch vs. Giants

It’s not impossible, but it’ll be difficult to replace Ramón Laureano as he serves his four-game suspension for his role in the benches clearing brawl between the A's and Astros on Sunday.

However, between Chad Pinder and Mark Canha, at least defensively, the A’s should be OK.

Watch this catch by Canha on a deep fly ball hit by Evan Longoria in the bottom of the sixth of Friday night’s game against the Giants:

Canha was on the ground for a while, but appeared to be fine and was back in the game hitting moments later.

The catch was very Laureano-esque if you ask me.

Canha also has been pretty productive at the plate, collecting15 hits in 18 games this season, and he has proven he’s a diverse option in the outfield. He can even be used as the designated hitter if needed.

If that doesn’t work, there’s always Pinder who showed off his own defensive skills against the Los Angeles Angels earlier this week.

A’s manager Bob Melvin has always appreciated versatility, so knowing he has a couple options to fill that void helps.

[RELATED: Why A's will miss Laureano greatly upon suspension]

Laureano reportedly won the appealed on his original six-game suspension after he had an on-field confrontation with Astros’ hitting coach Alex Cintrón who, as Laureano admitted, made a comment about the A’s centerfielder’s mother. He served the first of his four-game suspension Friday.

Cintrón is serving his 20-game suspension for his role in the incident.