Athletics

Ex-A's outfielder/DH Harold Baines elected to Hall of Fame

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AP

Ex-A's outfielder/DH Harold Baines elected to Hall of Fame

LAS VEGAS — Against all odds, Harold Baines is heading to Cooperstown.

Baines and Lee Smith became the two newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday when they were elected by the Today's Game Era Committee.

Baines, 59, played 22 Major League seasons, including three with the A's from 1990-92. The outfielder/DH was named an All-Star in 1991, one of six career All-Star appearances.

Baines had been eligible for the Hall of Fame since 2007 but never came close to garnering the necessary 75 percent vote on the writers' ballots. He was dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2011 after receiving just a 4.8 percent vote total.

However, Baines got 12 of 16 votes (75 percent) on the Today's Game Era ballot, just enough to qualify for Cooperstown. The Today's Game Era Committee is one of four "Eras Committees" which provide an alternate route to reach the Hall of Fame, besides the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

In his 22 seasons, Baines slashed .289/.356/.465 with 384 home runs and 1,628 RBI. In three seasons with the A's, he slashed .274/.360/.431 with 39 homers and 187 RBI.

Smith, 61, pitched for eight different teams in his 18-year career, finishing with 478 saves, third-most in MLB history, and a 3.03 ERA. The seven-time All-Star was a unanimous selection by the Today's Game Era Committee, receiving 16 of 16 votes. He currently works as the Giants' minor-league pitching coach.

Lou Piniella, Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel, and George Steinbrenner were also nominated for the Hall of Fame but came up short of the required votes.

Baines and Smith will officially be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 21, 2019.

Watch Ramon Laureano, Laz Diaz argue after questionable strike three

Watch Ramon Laureano, Laz Diaz argue after questionable strike three

Umpire Laz Diaz just wanted to go home.

At least that's what we're going to assume after what transpired at the end of the A's-Blue Jays game on Friday night at the Coliseum.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Toronto leading 5-1, Diaz rung up A's center fielder Ramon Laureano on a high strike three call to end the game.

As you can see from the graphic on the screen during the NBC Sports California broadcast, Diaz got the call wrong.

Diaz walked away and started to head for the clubhouse. When Laureano started yelling at him, Diaz got demonstrative and yelled back. He wasn't about to back down.

A's first base coach Al Pedrique and outfielder Chad Pinder had to hold Laureano back.

"I don't remember what he said, to be honest," Laureano told the media in Oakland after the game.

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Diaz was wrong on multiple instances here. The pitch was a ball, and he should have just walked away from Laureano.

"In those moments, I'm pretty heated," Laureano said. "I know that. But it's in the past already. I feel good. Tomorrow's gonna be a good day."

Nobody is tuning in for the #UmpShow, bro.

Former A's player asked Dave Kaval about player amenities for future A's home

Former A's player asked Dave Kaval about player amenities for future A's home

When the A's announced the team made plans to move to Howard Terminal near Jack London Square, fans were excited, but many questions remained.

One, in particular, was how the players felt about it. One would assume it would be a positive reaction and the new, beautiful, waterfront location in Oakland could be a great way to recruit players to play for the Green and Gold.

Former A's player, Anthony Recker, made sure to ask Dave Kaval a few questions about this upcoming project during A's Pregame on NBC Sports California before the team faced the Blue Jays on Friday night.

"Have they talked about the players and what the accommodations are going to be like? I'd like to learn a little bit more about that," Recker, who is now part of NBC Sports California's broadcast, asked Kaval.

Kaval said it would be "top tier" in regard to taking care of the players. He has a plan to gather a group of players to inform them of the decision-making process on the design of the clubhouse and all of the amenities to "make sure it's world class."

Recker knows what it likes to spend most of his time at a stadium and in a clubhouse -- he played in the bigs for seven seasons. It's the players' second home, he explained.

"I eat there, I shower there -- I haven't slept there, but I practically do," Recker said. 

Kaval also brought up the importance of making sure this future home of the A's was a place the organization could recruit good talent to.

He also gave an update saying on Tuesday there will be a vote from the county for approval for the A's to purchase the Coliseum site from them and there will be a vote in May from the board commission, as well.

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It appears that everything is on track -- and if not, Kaval has certainly thought everything through. 

You can watch the interview in its entirety atop this page.