Athletics

Khris Davis Q&A: A's slugger discusses teammates, favorite breakfast

davisusa.jpg
USATSI

Khris Davis Q&A: A's slugger discusses teammates, favorite breakfast

MESA, Ariz. -- Khris Davis remains one of the most influential bats in the A's lineup. And not just because of his long-ball potential.

Teammates bookending him in the lineup also typically see better pitches when “K.D.” is leaving the yard at a frequent clip.

The designated hitter is ready to put a rough 2019 behind him in order to get back to being the feared masher he was in the previous three seasons.

Davis is a rare interviewee, but this Q&A gave us a great chance to get to know him better at spring training.

NBC Sports Bay Area: Teammate you would trust most to babysit your children?
Khris Davis: Oh, man. I’ll go with [Matt] Chapman. Because he’s actually really good with kids.

How many times can you wear the same jeans without washing them?
I’d say as soon as they get dirty. So probably five times. You’re supposed to wear them until they get dirty.

If you could clone yourself, what would you make that clone do?
Go to school ... finish up my school.

The bat you use, why did you choose it?
I got that model from [A’s coach] Mark Kotsay actually -- he gave it to me. I was in the minor leagues with the [Milwaukee] Brewers, He was a major leaguer at the time. The first time I used it, I hit a home run, and I fell in love. It’s an L162, kind of a custom model. 34 Inches, 31.5 ounces.

Were you named after anybody?
No.

Best smell of baseball season?
I’ll say the baseball or leather. I like the leather smell.

Can you still write in cursive?
Yes. I don’t personally choose to, but I can.

Teammate you would assume spends the most time personal grooming?
I hope it’s not me, with the braids, high maintenance. I’ll go with [Chad] Pinder, but there’s a lot of choices. Everybody in there takes care of themselves.

Only one breakfast for the rest of your life, what’s on that plate?
Pancakes.

If you were a media member covering the A’s spring training, what would your No. 1 story be?
I’m not sure. It’s been a quiet offseason -- maybe that’s the story? There it is!

Amount of time on average you spend preparing for the opposing pitchers?
I like to time him up on deck. I like to watch a little video. Nothing excessive, including batting practice. I’d say probably 30 minutes. It’s nothing crazy, I’m not like a studier. I just want to see different things, like his release, his arm angle, and see what his stuff does.

Can MLB players be friends with their coaches?
Yeah, absolutely. I am friends with all of our coaches.

One MLB player you’d be a fan of if you didn’t play?
I like hitters. [Cody] Bellinger is pretty nasty.

Best way to split a lunch or dinner tab with a teammate? We’re told you’re pretty generous?
I do offer to pay, but hopefully, somebody is there to pick me up and join. Share maybe? The veterans should take care of the younger guys, obviously, but it’s nice if there’s multiple veterans, right?

Relive three iconic A's victories, performances against rival Astros

Relive three iconic A's victories, performances against rival Astros

Programming note: NBC Sports California will air three classic A’s-Astros games beginning Saturday at 3 p.m. PT.

Since joining the AL West after switching leagues in 2013, the Houston Astros quickly have morphed into one of the A’s most hated rivals.

Those seven seasons have produced plenty of classic matchups, as the clubs finished the season as the division’s top two teams in four of the seven years.

However, the coronavirus outbreak forcing an indefinite suspension upon MLB has robbed teams of getting a chance at revenge on Houston, after the organization was implicated in a nefarious sign-stealing scheme this offseason.

Nevertheless, there's still a way to get your fix, as fans can tune in to NBC Sports California on Saturday afternoon to relive three memorable A’s victories over the Astros.

Lowrie caps comeback -- Sept. 8, 2017

The A’s had their backs against the wall entering the bottom of the seventh inning, trailing Houston 7-3 on a cloudy fall evening in Oakland.

Then Marcus Semien walked to the plate. It took just one swing for the game to be tied at seven as the Bay Area native connected on his third career grand slam. After former A’s outfielder Josh Reddick gave Houston back the lead in the top half, the A’s brought out the power once again. 

Boog Powell led off the bottom half by tying the game with a solo home run, then a few batters later Jed Lowrie brought Semien home to deliver a walk-off win.

The A’s clearly fed off the momentum of that victory, as Oakland went on to sweep the four-game set.

Olson beats Astros -- Aug. 17, 2018

Neck-and-neck in the divisional race, these two adversaries faced off once again at the Oakland Coliseum just under a year later. 

In his 29th career MLB appearance, outfielder Nick Martini was the night’s first hero, tying the game in the bottom of the ninth with an RBI double to bring home Ramon Laureano, who initially was called out before a replay review reversed the ruling.

Slugger Matt Olson came up in the 10th, and lifted a towering shot just over the right-field fence, bringing the A’s to within one game of the AL West lead.

[RELATED: Why Olson's walk-off homer vs. Brewers was so impressive]

A’s offense explodes -- Sept. 10, 2019

A day after the A’s were hammered 15-0 at Minute Maid Park, the A’s returned the favor in a big way with a 21-7 win.

Astros starter Wade Miley lasted just a third of an inning before being relieved, having allowed six runs, all of which came on RBI singles.

Oakland ended up with six total home runs, including two apiece from Olson and young catcher Sean Murphy. It also was the first time in the expansive history of the A’s that the team scored 20 or more runs, had 25 or more hits, and hit at least six home runs in the same contest.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy what likely would have become America’s new greatest pastime this summer: Watching your team beat the Astros.

Chad Pinder, A's players will feel 'residual effects' when MLB returns

Chad Pinder, A's players will feel 'residual effects' when MLB returns

A’s utility man Chad Pinder is home in Charlotte, North Carolina getting plenty of things done. Watching Netflix, painting nursery furniture, and getting in decent workouts in his garage.

Productive, but not reassuring.

“This is kind of unprecedented in our lifetime, basically to have the nation on hold right now,” Pinder told NBC  Sports Bay Area this week. “It is a very scary time, especially in some the areas that are affected bad right now.”

It was only a few weeks ago Pinder and his Oakland teammates were in Mesa, Arizona getting ready for a highly anticipated 2020 MLB season. 

They, like most of the country, didn’t fully interpret the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at first.

“I don’t know if we initially realized what was going on,” Pinder said. “Thought maybe this would be a two-week break, month maximum. The more information you get, the more you see going around, you realize this is a long-term thing.”

Pinder, a highly-regarded clubhouse leader, now keeps in touch with teammates mostly through text messages.

“We have a group thread, everybody’s talking,” Pinder said.

Their main conversations are about MLB developments, and to keep each other in the loop of when baseball could resume. Players don’t have any more assurances or insights than the average fan does these days. But there are some certainties. 

“Even when we resume stuff, there will be residual effects of what’s been going on,” Pinder said.

[RELATED: Stewart better after coronavirus scare]

That aforementioned nursery project is indeed preparation for Chad and his wife Taylor’s first child, due in the late summer months. He is certainly seeing different perspectives of events right now, as they relate to the future.

“The way we handle this, the way we come out of this,” Pinder said. “We’ll look back on the rest of our lives and remember this time.”