Athletics

A's fans can receive baseball if cutout image hit in 'Foul Ball Zone'

A's fans can receive baseball if cutout image hit in 'Foul Ball Zone'

As if this baseball season isn't going to be weird enough. Now, A's fans can be in two places at once -- and can even receive a souvenir baseball for it.

Seriously. 

While watching from home (as games will be without fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic), fans can submit cutouts of themselves to have at the Coliseum, the A's announced Tuesday. 

But get this. If a cutout gets hit by a baseball during the game in the "Foul Ball Zone," the A's then will send that fan the ball.

Now that should make for some good mid-game theater.

If you want to have your cutout in the Foul Ball Zone, it will cost $129. Otherwise for general fans, the cutouts will cost $89. A's Access members can purchase them for $49. All proceeds will go to charity.

[RELATED: Projecting A's initial 30-man roster for 60-game MLB season]

So while fans will not be allowed at games during this wild 60-game season, the seats won't be completely empty in Oakland -- and fans will be watching foul balls more intently than ever.

It's time to embrace the weirdness of this season.

MLB rumors: Ram贸n Laureano suspension reduced from A's-Astros brawl

MLB rumors: Ram贸n Laureano suspension reduced from A's-Astros brawl

After an appeal, A's outfielder Ram贸n Laureano will have his suspension reduced from six games down to four, league sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan on Friday morning.

Laureano was suspended after charging toward the Houston Astros dugout Sunday following an exchange of words with coach Alex Cintr贸n. Laureano just had been hit by a pitch for the third time in the series. Cintron was suspended 20 games for his role in instigating the incident.

Laureano told reporters after the game that Cintr贸n had said something about Laureano's mother that prompted him to charge toward the dugout. Cintron denied the allegation, but MLB's suspension of Cintron for a third of the Astros' games seems to indicate he said something objectionable.

Houston has been a target of much frustration around MLB following the revelation of a systemic sign-stealing scheme the Astros utilized during the 2017 season, one in which they went on to win the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

[RELATED: Why A's will greatly miss Laureano during his suspension]

Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly was suspended eight games earlier this season after throwing at multiple Houston hitters and mocking shortstop Carlos Correa after a strikeout, prompting the benches to clear.

As Passan noted above, Laureano's suspension will carry through all three games of this weekend's Bay Bridge Series against the Giants, and the first game of Oakland's next series in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. The outfielder won't miss any divisional contests.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]
 

Scott Boras discusses Matt Chapman's contract status, A's philosophy

Scott Boras discusses Matt Chapman's contract status, A's philosophy

A鈥檚 third baseman Matt Chapman is really good at baseball. That could complicate things down the line.

The two-time Platinum Glove Award winner and 2019 All-Star is one of the best third basemen in the game, and according to his agent, Scott Boras, he should be treated as such.

Boras spoke to The Athletic鈥檚 Alex Coffey about how MLB's shortened 60-game season could pertain to Chapman and his upcoming arbitration process. If this were a normal 162-game year, the A's star could have been paid anywhere from $10-12 million via arbitration or with an agreement with the team.

But Chapman, playing on a minimum contract, just has adjusted season salary of $230,926, according to Spotrac. 

Yes, the guy who led all of baseball with 32 Defensive Runs Saved last season is making that little. This is the same guy who carries a .920 OPS this season after accumulating 8.3 WAR in 2018 and 2019.

It鈥檚 no secret he wants to get paid, and it鈥檚 even less of a secret he needs to get paid.

鈥淢att鈥檚 a star player,鈥 Boras told Coffey. 鈥淗e鈥檚 a franchise player. The right of arbitration means more to franchise players than anybody, no doubt.鈥

Boras also made it a point to list other prominent third basemen in the league. And there are plenty. Colorado Rockies鈥 third baseman Nolan Arenado, a childhood friend of Chapman, has an adjusted salary of almost $13 million this year. 

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

It鈥檚 the same story for the Kris Bryants and Alex Bregmans of the world, who will be making eight figures per year under their current contracts.

The A鈥檚 have spoken for years about building a new stadium, which would then allow the team to spend more money on their players. But Boras believes the stadium itself is secondary to Chapman.

鈥淵ou build the stadium,鈥 he said, 鈥渁nd then it鈥檚 ready to start. But you forgot to plant the grass. So you build the stadium, it鈥檚 beautiful, but you look at the field and you forgot to plant the grass. The grass is the players. Now you鈥檝e got a beautiful stadium and you鈥檝e got no grass. No one wants to go watch it. The players have to precede the stadium. That鈥檚 the rule.鈥

[RELATED: Chapman believes the defensive game deserves more respect]

Chapman will be a free agent after the 2023 season, which might seem far off in the distance right now, but we know quickly these things go by.

He wants to stay with Oakland and A鈥檚 fans want nothing more than for that to happen. While the pandemic threw a wrench in more than just the game itself, it's still yet to be determined what his future might be in Oakland.