Marcus Semien made his return to the Bay Area on Monday, albeit not in the way the Oakland A's and their fans had hoped this offseason.
The former A's shortstop signed with the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason, leaving the A's after six seasons with the team, which included a third place finish in MVP voting in 2019.
Semien continued to live in the Bay Area throughout the offseason at his home in Alameda, where he commuted from today.
“It was cool, I got to stay in my own house in [Alameda] and make the same drive that I’ve made for all these years," Semien told reporters before the game. "I think I'm going to see some of the guys [later], I've been looking forward to that. I’ve been keeping in touch with them, and I saw some of them in Tampa when they made the trip there. I met with some of them at the hotel and said hello."
No longer on the team, Semien played no role in the A's recent 13-game win streak but watched from afar.
"Keeping track of the year, everyone saw what they did with the 13-game win streak, I think this year is going to be exciting. There’s so much talent on the field and I can't wait to play.”
Semien will face off against Frankie Montas and a bunch of his former teammates Monday night.
“Last night was the weirdest part, just turning on video of [A’s pitcher Frankie Montas] a guy who I've played behind for years, and I'm studying him because I'm going to face him. It’s just weird. I know everything about these hitters and what they’re doing because I’ve been watching all year, but once you’re competing against a team you really have to dig deep into the data and the video. When you know exactly who that person is, it does feel a little weird.”
A's manager Bob Melvin is not looking forward to facing against one of his favorite players.
“What’s it going to be like for me? Not great," Melvin said. "We wish him the best, and he’s meant a lot to this team and a lot to this community, and continues to. It’ll be difficult, I’ve had to do this before but probably not too many guys as I’m as close to as [Marcus Semien]."
"It’ll be hard to see him on the other side, we’ve gone back and forth a little bit today. Hopefully, I get to see him in person, we’ll go out for batting practice. There are certain guys that you just don’t want to see in a different uniform and that’s the way baseball is, it happens.”
A's first baseman Matt Olson is excited to see his former teammate as well.
“It’ll be weird to see him on the other side, but it’ll be good," Olson said. "Everybody here loves Marcus [Semien], and the kind of guy and player that he is. It’ll be fun to compete against him, I'm sure we'll have a little fun with it too.”
Both the A's the Blue Jays are playing well as of late and will begin a four-game series in Oakland on Monday night.