Athletics

Coronavirus: A's, MLB working on 'alternative plans' after Oakland event ban

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Coronavirus: A's, MLB working on 'alternative plans' after Oakland event ban

The A's are working with MLB "on alternative plans" for home games scheduled in March following the City of Oakland's ban of events with over 1,000 people, the team announced Wednesday.

"We will provide more information about our plans for the games, including our ticket policy for impacted games, as soon as possible," the statement said.

The Giants announced earlier Wednesday the team will not play the preseason home game on March 24 against the A's at Oracle Park due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This was on the heels of San Francisco mayor London Breed's statement of prohibiting gatherings of more than 1,000 people. The ban is in line with other decisions made by state and local officials as the virus has spread.

Shortly after San Francisco's announcement, Alameda County issued its own similar ban for mass gatherings as well.

"At this time, we recommend postponing or canceling non-essential mass gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm's length of one another," the county said in a statement (H/T KGO-TV). "Mass gatherings do not include typical office environments or stores."

Both the Giants and A's currently are playing spring training games in Arizona. 

Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark released a statement on Wednesday as well:

“The Players Association is in daily contact with Major League Baseball, and our staffs are conferring regularly with federal health officials, state and local governments, and infectious disease experts to develop contingency plans. As circumstances evolve, our efforts will evolve as well. 

“Players want to compete and provide entertainment to fans. The Association’s focus will remain finding ways to do so in an environment that protects not just players’ personal health and safety, but also the health and safety of fans, umpires, ballpark employees, club employees and everyone in the baseball family.”

[RELATED: Leagues close locker rooms to media amid coronavirus]

Over 1,000 people are confirmed to have the coronavirus in the United States. According to NBC News, 37 people have died in the U.S. due to the virus. 

MLB rumors: Ramón Laureano suspended six games, Astros coach gets 20

MLB rumors: Ramón Laureano suspended six games, Astros coach gets 20

The punishment has been set for a benches-clearing brawl in the middle of a pandemic. 

A's outfielder Ramón Laureano on Tuesday was suspended six games for charging after Houston Astros hitting coach Alex Cintrón in Oakland's 7-2 win Sunday, according to Susan Slusser of The San Franciso Chronicle. Cintrón was suspended 20 games, believed to be a record for an MLB coach, for provoking Laureano. USA Today's Bob Nightengale was first to report the length of Cintrón's ban.

Laureano, after being hit by a pitch for the second time Sunday and third time in Oakland's series against Houston, charged into the Astros' dugout when Cintrón invited him to do so.

Cintrón reportedly insulted Laureano's mother, and A's manager Bob Melvin blamed the hitting coach for provoking the outfielder.

“I think the league will know who it is, and that person should get suspended,” Melvin told reporters after the game. “Hopefully that’s the case, and nowadays without fans in the stands, and mics everywhere, my guess is they know who he is.” 

[RELATED: Why Astros analyst blames Laureano for Coliseum kerfuffle]

No other Astros players or coaches were ejected Sunday. Laureano and A's catcher Austin Allen were tossed, but both Cintrón and former A's catcher Dustin Garneau -- who tackled Laureano when the outfielder charged the dugout -- remained in the game Sunday.

Laureano has been one of the A's best players this season. He's batting .263 with three homers in 2020, but Oakland's outfield depth should help the A's throw out a strong lineup without him.

A's spoil historic nine-game winning streak with wild loss vs. Angels

A's spoil historic nine-game winning streak with wild loss vs. Angels

The A’s magical month of August finally fell back to earth on Monday night.

Riding a nine-game win streak entering the first game of their series against the Los Angeles Angels, the A’s blew a four-run lead and lost 10-9.

A win for the A’s would have given Oakland a 10-game win streak, which when prorated over a standard 162-game season, would have been the equivalent of a 27-game win streak. The MLB record was set by the 1916 New York Giants at 26, while the 2017 Cleveland Indians own the AL’s best-ever win streak at 22 games.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

The Angels jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but Oakland roared back on the strength of two home runs by Matt Chapman, as the A’s led 9-4 after the top of the fourth inning. Chapman also cleared the bases in that inning with a triple, producing six RBI overall in the losing effort.

But three-time AL MVP Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani brought some power of their own, as a Trout homer in the fourth and an Ohtani bomb in the sixth brought the Angels even at nine.

The A’s bats went quiet down the stretch of the game after a strong start, and Trout gave the Angels the lead with a towering solo home run off Yusmeiro Petit in the bottom of the eighth.

[RELATED: Melvin pins blame for A's-Astros brawl on Houston coach]

Southpaw Sean Manaea struggled mightily against the potent Angels lineup, surrendering four runs on seven hits in just two and two-thirds of an inning before manager Bob Melvin went to the bullpen.

"I didn't think his stuff was bad, I think he's just got to fight through this right now," Melvin told reporters after the loss.

After an emotional weekend series against the rival Houston Astros, including a benches-clearing brawl Sunday that likely will be resulting in some discipline for outfielder Ramón Laureano, the A's couldn't sustain a strong start and see their winning streak end at nine games.

Oakland still leads the AL West by 4.5 games over the Astros, who've won the division in each of the past two seasons.

Mike Fiers will be on the bump Tuesday against Angels pitcher Dylan Bundy as Oakland looks to get back in the win column.