Athletics

A's do the 'Bernie Lean' in music video shoot

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A's do the 'Bernie Lean' in music video shoot

OAKLAND -- "Can you Bernie Lean? Can you, can you Bernie Lean? I can Bernie Lean, I can, I can Bernie Lean."

As the lyrics to ATM & IMD's Bernie Lean song reverberated through the empty Oakland Coliseum, a group of eight A's players tilted back and wiggled to the beat (or in some cases off beat) with the young Los Angeles-based rappers and their camera man. A's manager Bob Melvin looked on -- likely in horror. They were doing the Bernie, the cult dance craze loosely based on "Weekend At Bernie's II" that has spread through the A's clubhouse and into the stands.

As part of "Bernie Weekend" at the Coliseum, Coco Crisp and the A's invited the Bernie Lean musicians out to shoot a music video on Friday and Saturday.

The players rallied around the opportunity.

"It's very cool," Jerry Blevins said. "It's one of those things where as a baseball player you are presented with random opportunities to do cool stuff, and that was definitely one of them."

The craze all started when Blevins discovered ISA's song "Moving Like Bernie" and played it for Crisp, who then played it in the clubhouse for the team. Brandon Inge then made it his walk up song. Once it was introduced to the masses, it exploded. That's a different song altogether though. (Yes there's actually more than one Bernie song.) The song they were shooting the video for is called "Bernie Lean." A different spin on the Bernie that Crisp discovered when rapper ATM sent him the link on Twitter.

"I was checking it out and I was like, 'Man this dude is hilarious,'" Crisp said. "The song is awesome. The production, the beat is amazing."

When Inge went on the DL, Crisp decided someone had to come out to a Bernie song. He took the torch and ran with it.

"I didn't necessarily want to because I was hitting well with that other song I had," Crisp said. "But I did it, I kept hitting which is always a bonus, and then everybody liked the song, and everybody was tweeting about it."

The rest, as they say, is history.

Next thing you know Terry Kiser, who played Bernie Lomax in the Weekend at Bernie's movies, is at an A's game throwing out the first pitch, there is a music video being shot at the Coliseum and the A's are putting up 20 runs on the scoreboard against the Red Sox.

"That's the key to our whole success," Blevins said. "On top of having talent and great leadership, we have a relaxed atmosphere and we expect to win and play to win."

The loose atmosphere in the A's clubhouse is an integral part of their success on the field. It translates into wins. The A's are a season-high 17 games over .500. As the players did their best Bernie dances, you could see the smiles on their faces and hear the laughs. They even tried to get their manager in on the act.

"You're not going to see me in any videos like that," Melvin said. "I would have to be promised something pretty exotic to get me in a video like that."

The skipper did eventually name his price: 20 wins in a row -- and it would have to be guaranteed.

"I do enjoy that whole Bernie dynamic thing," he said. "It seems the fans have a good time with it."

Crisp, Blevins, Cook, Evan Scribner, Sean Doolittle, Jordan Norberto, George Kottaras, and Josh Reddick were involved in the music video shoot, providing an eclectic collection of dance performances.

"It was hilarious seeing the different Bernies," Crisp said. "The different rhythm people had with the song being played."

When asked to critique each other's dance moves, the A's players came to a quick conclusion as to who the Bernie master was.

"I've got to give it to Coco; he's got the rhythm," Blevins said. "He can dance with anything, so he makes any type of dance look good."

"I think Coco has the best different variations of the Bernie," Cook said. "Blevins is giving him a run for his money."

As the expert, Crisp gave a detailed breakdown of his teammates. Crisp described Scribner's Bernie as a stiffer version, said Blevins had a real loose lanky Bernie and added that Norberto's accessories made his dance stand out.

"He had the funky glasses and the beard," Crisp said. "He had the arms moving kind of like they do in right field with Grant Balfour's rage, but it was in a Bernie downward motion."

While the video gets ingested and edited, the A's will have to go back to work and do what they do best -- play ball.

"We know our main focus isn't doing things like that," Crisp said. "Our main focus is to come here and play the game, but to be able to enjoy yourself at the ballpark with your teammates is like a clubhouse thing, a chemistry thing."

Don't think for a second the A's players believe they would be able to film dance videos at the Coliseum if they weren't currently one of the best teams in baseball. Even when dancing like stiffs, they have pretty good, although wobbly, heads on their shoulders.

"I feel like some of this stuff wouldn't fly if we weren't winning," Cook said. "With that said, that's part of the fun and part of winning."

A's pitcher Mike Fiers reveals Astros would steal signs electronically

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AP

A's pitcher Mike Fiers reveals Astros would steal signs electronically

The AL powerhouse Houston Astros have long been suspected of stealing signs, but new information came to light Tuesday.

In a feature from The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported that the Astros used a camera in center field during their 2017 World Series run to help steal signs electronically.

Yankees star Aaron Judge summed up the report succinctly.

A's pitcher Mike Fiers was on that Astros team, and earned a World Series ring of his own. Now with Oakland, he not only confirmed the setup of technology but also commented on how it was affecting the game. 

“I don’t know if we really had any hard proof, but I’m sure there was (some evidence of other teams’ conduct),” Fiers told The Athletic. “Going into the playoffs, we had veterans like Brian McCann -- we went straight to multiple signs (with our pitchers). We weren’t going to mess around. We were sure there were teams out there that were trying certain things to get an edge and win ballgames. I wouldn’t say there was hard evidence. But it’s hard to catch teams at home. There are so many things you can use to win at home.”

Fiers then added how there were some players who didn't like it, as they would prefer not to know what was coming. But clearly, there were guys that benefitted as well.

“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing,” Fiers said. 

After the story was released, the Astros released the following statement:

A former player told NBC Sports California on Tuesday most teams participate in stealing signs in some fashion, but the Astros flirt with the line of what is legal and what is not.

"The Astros are super talented," the player said. "But ... they will do whatever they need to do to get an edge."

[RELATED: Daniel Hudson potential trade target for A's]

"In my honest opinion, they got beat by their old bench coach Alex Cora," he continued. "He knew all the Astros secrets, weaknesses, everything. Then, this year it seemed like the Astros only hit well when pitchers were tipping pitches. It happened with [Stephen] Strasburg the first two innings of Game 6. He cleaned it up in between innings and Houston couldn't hit him."

"Teams steal signs, it's been happening for years," the former player added. "Astros take it to another level."

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MLB rumors: A's in talks with Stephen Vogt's agent during free agency

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USATSI

MLB rumors: A's in talks with Stephen Vogt's agent during free agency

Stephen Vogt could be staying in the Bay Area after all. But the catcher might choose a reunion over the option to continue wearing a Giants jersey.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported Monday morning that the A's have contacted the agent for the free-agent catcher.

Vogt, 35, proved to be fully healthy after what was once seen as potentially career-threatening shoulder surgery. After missing the entire 2018 season, Vogt was one of the Giants' most reliable bats this past season. 

The veteran catcher signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February, and went on to be a steal for San Francisco. He played in 99 games, hitting .263 with 10 homers and 40 RBI as a spot starter and backup to Buster Posey. Vogt also played seven games in left field last season. 

Vogt became somewhat of a cult hero over his four-and-a-half seasons in Oakland. He broke through as a 30-year-old for the A's in 2015 when he made his first of back-to-back All-Star Game appearances. 

The left-handed hitting catcher had a .255 batting average with 49 homers in 458 games with the A's. Even as someone who turned 35 on Nov. 1, he could be the perfect fit for an Oakland reunion. 

Adding Vogt likely would be the end of the Josh Phegley era. The A's have one of the best young catchers in the game in Sean Murphy, and could pair the 25-year-old right-handed hitter with Vogt, a veteran lefty. 

[RELATED: Vogt's championship desires might hinder Giants return in 2020]

Vogt could start games here and there behind the dish, as well as at DH, play left field and even first base, while being an incredibly serviceable bat off the bench. He hit .325 with two homers in 43 games off the bench for the Giants last season.

At this stage of his career, Vogt has one thing on his mind: A World Series ring. The A's could fit his desires while keeping him in the Bay Area on the team that truly gave him his first chance.