Athletics

Edwin Jackson explains being MLB bubble player is tough as Black man

Edwin Jackson explains being MLB bubble player is tough as Black man

Edwin Jackson understands the fragile nature of being a Black player in Major League Baseball.

The former A's pitcher -- who also has suited up for 13 other franchises across the league -- believes being on the roster bubble is different when you are Black.

"Being on the bubble, a bubble player, where it's maybe myself and a white player, and myself not getting a job because I'm Black," Jackson told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole and Logan Murdock on the July 3 episode of "Race In America: A Candid Conversation."

"I've been in the office before where, I've been told that I needed to go back and work on my slider, I'm like 'My slider? That's what I came up on.' If you told me I need to go work on a changeup, then at least it wouldn't have been a slap in my face.

"You tell me I need to go work on my slider, and that's a better pitch for me than my fastball, it's clear and evident why I'm going back to Triple-A."

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

[RELATED: Colin Kaepernick, Nate Boyer helped enact real change with discussion]

Jackson signed a minor-league contract with the A's in 2018, and ended up going 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA over 17 starts for Oakland after being called up on June 25. He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in May of 2019.

You can hear the latest episode of "Race In America: A Candid Conversation" in the podcast player above and see previous episodes here.

Watch A's red-hot slugger Matt Chapman crush two home runs vs. Angels

Watch A's red-hot slugger Matt Chapman crush two home runs vs. Angels

Matt Chapman is on a tear.

After the Los Angeles Angels took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning of Monday's game against the A's, the third baseman turned on a pitch from starter Julio Teheran to put the A's on the board with a solo home run to lead off the second inning.

[RELATED: This projection nearly guarantees A's will make the playoffs]

It was Chapman's third consecutive game with a home run. But the star wasn't done there, as he absolutely crushed a pitch from Teheran in his next at-bat that flew well over center fielder Mike Trout's head.

His second blast gave the A's a 5-3 lead in the third inning.

Chapman still wasn't done. In the top of the fourth inning, he came up with the bases loaded and drove in all three runners with a triple to right-center to give the A's an 8-4 lead.

Chapman so far Monday night is 3-for-3 with two homers, a triple and six RBI.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Ram贸n Laureano says he regrets charging 'loser' Alex Cintr贸n in brawl

Ram贸n Laureano says he regrets charging 'loser' Alex Cintr贸n in brawl

Ram贸n Laureano said he regretted going after Houston Astros hitting coach Alex Cintr贸n in Sunday's benches-clearing brawl, but the A's outfielder didn't hold back his feelings about Cintr贸n on Monday in his first comments since the kerfuffle at the Oakland Coliseum.

"I regret charging him because he's a loser," Laureano told ESPN's Jeff Passan in an interview Monday. "[A suspension] is understandable, but I hope it's not that many games. At the end of the day, I'm here to win a World Series with the Oakland Athletics -- this wonderful group of guys. I don't want to be a distraction. Obviously, I am right now. Hey, I've already moved on. I'm facing Julio Teheran (and the Los Angeles Angels) today, and that's all I'm thinking right now."

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Laureano said in the interview with Passan, and later on a video conference call with local reporters, that the Houston hitting coach insulted the outfielder's mother from the opposing dugout. Former Astros beat writer Jose de Jesus Ortiz first reported Sunday those comments were the source of Laureano's ire, while A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters that day that something Cintr贸n said caused Laureano to charge towards the Astros dugout after reaching first base on his second hit-by-pitch of the game (and third of the series).

Cintr贸n denied talking about Laureano's mother to Passan via an Astros employee, though the Houston Chronicle's Chandler Rome noted the coach wasn't made available for comment after Sunday's A's win. Astros manager Dusty Baker said Cintr贸n was "remorseful."

Laureano said that he shouldn't have stooped to Cintr贸n's level, admitting "I look like not a very smart guy" (H/T Bay Area News Group's Shayna Rubin) for disregarding MLB's healthy-and-safety measures in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. "[Fighting] and instigating fights are strictly prohibited" under the protocols, and both Laureano and Cintr贸n reportedly are expected to be suspended.

"I guess it鈥檚 an unwritten rule that you can鈥檛 be doing that, you know, as a coach," Laureano said of Cintr贸n (H/T NBC Sports California's Jessica Kleinschmidt). So yeah, I guess it was wrong for him to do that. But, hey, I鈥檓 a man, I鈥檓 a freakin鈥 man -- whatever happens, happens. And I couldn't keep my cool, and I should've, and I wasted my time with that guy."

[RELATED: Why Laureano was tackled by Garneau in A's-Astros brawl]

Laureano, 26, is slashing .278/.406/.519 with three home runs and 10 RBI so far this season. Only Matt Chapman currently has more extra-base hits, and no batter has been worth more wins above replacement at the plate than Laureano (1.1).

The A's are riding a nine-game winning streak, and Oakland would miss Laureano's bat and glove for as long as he's out of the lineup. In the meantime, he said he has felt supported by the organization in the aftermath of Sunday's fracas.

鈥淚t meant a lot to me, that鈥檚 how close we are as a group," he told reporters. "Not only the players, but the coaching staff and everybody. It felt good, (all of) the support and people reaching out to me.鈥