Athletics

Maxwell's arrest on gun charge leaves his baseball future uncertain

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Maxwell's arrest on gun charge leaves his baseball future uncertain

Details remained sparse Sunday afternoon and the future uncertain for A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell, who was arrested the night before in Arizona for allegedly pointing a gun at a female food delivery driver.

Maxwell was transferred from the Scottsdale city jail to Maricopa County jail Sunday morning, a Scottsdale Police Department spokesperson said, after being arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. It wasn’t immediately known when Maxwell might make his initial court appearance.

The woman making the allegation claimed Maxwell pointed a gun at her Saturday night, and Maxwell was taken into custody at his Scottsdale home at roughly 6 p.m. that night.

After drawing attention as the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, Maxwell’s offseason has gotten off to a very turbulent start. Earlier this week, he told TMZ Sports that he and two friends were refused service at an Alabama restaurant because of a waiter’s disapproval with his decision to kneel. That drew a direct denial from restaurant employees, leaving it unclear whose version of the story is the truth.

But his weekend arrest is much more serious, and how the legal process unfolds obviously could impact not only his baseball future but his life in general. In Arizona, any assault with a deadly weapon charge is considered “aggravated” and listed a Class 3 felony, with Class 1 the most serious on a scale of 1-6.

Penalties for a Class 3 felony in the state can include anywhere from five to 15 years in prison plus a fine up to $150,000, though a number of factors are taken into consideration that could reduce sentencing, including whether the defendant has any prior criminal history. Right now, it’s not even clear if the charges will be carried forth against Maxwell toward a potential trial, and if so, whether he could plea bargain to lesser charges.

Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, declined any comment when contacted Sunday afternoon.

Aside from his legal issues, it stands to reason that Maxwell could face separate punishment from Major League Baseball over his arrest.

At the very least, this latest incident will reflect poorly on Maxwell’s reputation. That’s unfortunate for the 26-year-old catcher in that — regardless of where people stood on his polarizing decision to kneel during the anthem — he seemed to win respect from A’s teammates and many around baseball for his intelligent, genuine explanation for why he chose to kneel in the first place.

Maxwell joined A’s president Dave Kaval and manager Bob Melvin for a trip to Santa Rosa recently to bring gifts to a young boy who lost all of his baseball memorabilia in the North Bay wildfires. Afterward, Maxwell tweeted about how impactful it was for him personally to visit with fire victims.

After the regular season wrapped up, A’s executive VP of baseball operations Billy Beane praised Maxwell’s on-field performance in 2017 and said the rookie set up nicely as Oakland’s primary catcher looking ahead to 2018. But again, how things unfold from a legal standpoint likely will impact his status with the A’s.

“We were disappointed to learn of the allegations,” the A’s said in a press release Sunday. “We take this situation and ongoing investigation seriously. We are gathering information from the proper authorities and do not have further comment at this time.”

A's notes: Canha, Fowler demonstrate Oakland's depth with clutch hits

A's notes: Canha, Fowler demonstrate Oakland's depth with clutch hits

OAKLAND — Despite Tuesday's loss to the Angels, a pair of somewhat forgotten A's outfielders had big nights. Left fielder Mark Canha made his first start in 10 days and came through with a big three-run double in the fourth inning. Rookie Dustin Fowler pinch-hit in the eighth and notched a two-run single, his first hit since July 26.

“It just felt good to contribute,” Canha said. “It was a big moment for me. ... When you're not playing all the time, it's nice to have some reassurance that what you're working on when you're not playing is the right thing.”

“Everybody is ready to play,” added A's manager Bob Melvin. “They know we're going to pinch-hit and try to get the best matchups. ... Guys know in our dugout when to be ready for certain situations and both those guys were.

Canha's bases clearing double gave him 50 RBI for the season. He has already tied a career high with 16 home runs.

--- Right-handed pitcher Daniel Mengden allowed just one run in four innings of work. In his last three “bullpenning” appearances, Mengden has allowed one run on three hits in 13 2/3 innings.

“I'm getting really acclimated to this new role now,” he said. “I feel like I have my feet under me now and have a grasp of what to do and how to handle it.”

“I thought he was good,” Melvin added. “He gave us what he needed to and left with a lead. Usually in that situation, we're able to close out games.”

--- Pitcher Liam Hendriks has thrown five straight scoreless innings as an “opener.” He lowered his ERA to 2.70 in his six starts this season.

--- Second baseman Jed Lowrie walked three times, tying his single-game high. He set a career high with his 74th walk of the season.

--- Reliever Shawn Kelley allowed his first runs as a member of the A's. He had thrown 12 1/3 scoreless innings in his previous 14 games.

--- Angels center fielder Mike Trout blasted his 15th home run at the Coliseum since 2010, the most of any visiting player during that time. This season in Oakland, Trout is batting .424 (14-for-33) with two homers and six RBI. 

--- The A's have lost three games in a row for the first time since July 27-29, when they were swept by the Rockies.

--- The A's fell to 6-8 against the Angels this season. Los Angeles has won the season series four straight years. 

--- Despite Tuesday's loss, the A's are 56-25 since June 16, the best record in Major League Baseball.

Stephen Piscotty questions game-changing call, but doesn't fault A's fan

Stephen Piscotty questions game-changing call, but doesn't fault A's fan

OAKLAND — A's right fielder Stephen Piscotty has no doubt he would have caught the ball. Neither does manager Bob Melvin.

With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning, and the A's leading 4-1, Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons skied a foul ball down the right field line. That's when the Coliseum experienced its Steve Bartman moment, as a fan reached over the railing and deflected the ball away from Piscotty. Given new life, Simmons would single home two runs, sparking a six-run inning, as the Angels beat the A's 9-7.

“He was going to catch it,” Melvin said after the game. “I'm not sure what they saw that we didn't see.”

“As an outfielder, you have a good idea when that ball is coming in close where to put your glove, and I felt like I was in the spot,” Piscotty added. “It's a tough play going into the wall, but I felt like I was there in enough time. It definitely changes how that inning goes, but there's nothing we can do about it now.”

Melvin challenged the ruling, asserting fan interference, but after video review, the call on the field stood.

“We've seen him catch that ball in the corner many times,” Melvin said of Piscotty. “It's not going to be an easy play, and maybe that was the overriding factor in New York, that it wouldn't be an easy play and they can't just give you a play like that. Just a guess.”

“I never understand when they're going to overturn stuff,” Piscotty shrugged. “I had a feeling they wouldn't.”

Piscotty added that he didn't blame the fan. “Obviously we don't want folks to interfere, but 95 percent of people are gonna do that. I don't fault the fan or anything.”

The A's have lost three straight games for the first time since late July, allowing the Tampa Bay Rays to creep back within 5 1/2 games of the second AL Wild Card spot. But the players remain confident in themselves and each other.

“I think we'll be fine,” said RHP Daniel Mengden. “We've been in every ballgame and we give ourselves a chance to win every time in the late innings. ... I'm not worried about it. I think the team is in a good spot.”

“This team is as talented as they come,” added outfielder Mark Canha. “It's only a matter of time before the ball starts rolling the right direction again. The resilience is still there. There's fight in us. The telltale signs are all there that we're going to bounce back and start getting on a roll here.”

Melvin echoed those sentiments, adding that he appreciated his team's resilience even in defeat. 

“It wasn't our cleanest game, but we came back after being down considerably and made it game again. When you talk about bouncing back, it's not necessarily just the next day, it's as the game goes along. I think we showed that.”