Athletics

A's reunion: Team hires Sandy Alderson as Senior Advisor to Baseball Ops

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USATSI

A's reunion: Team hires Sandy Alderson as Senior Advisor to Baseball Ops

Sandy Alderson isn't a stranger to a baseball front office, especially to the A's. And after a 21-year absence from the club, the team announced on Tuesday they have hired him as the Senior Advisor to Baseball Operations.

“I am thrilled to welcome Sandy as a Senior Advisor to Baseball Operations,” said Billy Beane, A’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations in a press release. “His mentorship and friendship have been invaluable to me over the course of my career, and I look forward to the expertise and perspective he will add at every level of the organization. David and I couldn’t be more excited to bring him back to Oakland.”

Beane's relationship with Alderson is a special one. Alderson was a mentor to Beane back in the 1990s, who eventually became his successor.

Alderson was the A's general manager from 1983-1997, and oversaw the teams that went to three consecutive World Series from 1988-1990. He was once part of a special trio in the A's front office that consisted of current famous executives Walt Jocketty and Andy Dolich.

The trio brought life back into a front office that was missing the days of Reggie Jackson and the dynasty teams of the 1970s.

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“I am really excited to return to the A’s and the Bay Area,” Alderson added to the release. “I look forward to being as helpful as I can to Billy, David, and the rest of the Baseball Operations staff.”

Alderson boasts an impressive résumé with time in the MLB commissioner's office, CEO of the San Diego Padres and, most recently, the general manager of the New York Mets.

During his time with the Mets, he was part of bringing on and developing, pitchers Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz.

Alderson was named as Baseball America's Executive of the Year Award in 2015, when the Mets lost to the Royals in the World Series.

A's reliever Liam Hendriks stands up against cyberbullying on social media

A's reliever Liam Hendriks stands up against cyberbullying on social media

OAKLAND -- A few weeks ago, after a rare poor outing, A's reliever Liam Hendriks did something he hardly ever does. He went on social media and checked his mentions.
 
As he expected, the comments weren't pretty -- everything from generic insults and taunts to wishes for injury, ill will toward his family, and even death threats. Hendriks chose to share a couple of these messages on his Instagram story in order to make a point.
 
"I stayed off social media for years," he said. "This is the first year I've had social media. That was by choice and for a reason because of the cyberbullying that goes on. It's something that affects everybody, not just kids at school."
 
That's something Hendriks wants to make clear, especially for the many children who are victims of bullying.
 
"I want them to know that they're not alone, that this doesn't just happen to them," he explained. "No matter who you are, you're going to get those people who are out there just to hate. ... It's an issue that affects everybody, especially with how much kids are on social media these days."
 
This year, Hendriks and his wife Kristi decided to fight back against cyberbullying, an issue that has affected both of them personally. Kristi runs an online clothing store and has faced harassment, particularly when people find out who she is.
 
"We've wanted to do something," Hendriks said. "We've always spoken out against cyberbullying, but I think this year was one where we really decided to focus on it. It's something that has affected both my wife and me, and we decided to take a stand against it and do what we can to try to prevent the cause."
 
Hendriks has teamed up with Major League Baseball's Shred Hate campaign, which seeks to "eliminate bullying by encouraging kids to choose kindness." ESPN and X Games are also involved with Shred Hate.
 
"MLB's mission with Shred Hate is huge because it shows kids that all of these athletes are behind you," Hendriks said. "They get the same thing. It doesn't matter what someone says online. It just matters who you are."
 
Last year, Kristi and Liam Hendriks participated in Canada's Pink Shirt Day, which aimed to get Canadians to stand up against bullying. Hendriks even got several of his A's teammates to join him.
 
Hendriks says he and his wife would like to be even more active in the community moving forward. They hope to speak at schools about cyberbullying.
 
"That's definitely our plan, to try to speak to groups and just go over the fact that they're not alone. If they need an ear, just shoot me a message." 

A's considering removing struggling Lou Trivino from late-inning role

A's considering removing struggling Lou Trivino from late-inning role

OAKLAND -- To call this a rough stretch for Lou Trivino would be an understatement.

Since May 29, the A's reliever has been pinned with five losses, the most recent coming Sunday afternoon against the lowly Seattle Mariners. Trivino allowed four runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks in just a third of an inning, suffering his fourth blown save of the season.

"It's frustrating," Trivino said. "Cutter wasn't there today, fastball wasn't there, curveball wasn't there. It just wasn't a good day."

In his last nine outings, Trivino has gone 0-5 with a 12.46 ERA, allowing 16 runs (12 earned) in 8 2/3 innings. During that period, the right-hander's season ERA has ballooned from 2.42 to 4.93.

"I think right now with Lou, it's more location than anything else," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "His stuff is still good. He's still throwing 98. He's still throwing 93 mile-an-hour cutters. He's getting behind in the count. He's walking guys. He's just coming out a little bit early and having a tough time finding the strike zone. I think that's just the issue with him right now. It certainly isn't stuff."

Trivino agreed with that assessment, explaining that it's a mechanical issue with his delivery.

"I think I'm just drifting a little bit, getting out ahead of myself," he said. "I'm not behind the ball. ... I'm not quite filling up the zone, and when I am, it's just not in the areas that I want."

While Melvin quickly dismissed any notion of sending Trivino to Triple-A, he did not rule out a potential role change for Oakland's primary setup man.

"We'll take a look at it," Melvin said. "This guy is really good. He’s just going through a tough stretch right now. Whether or not we need to give him a little bit of a break from that role, maybe that part of the lineup, we’ll discuss it internally. But he’s got good stuff.”

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This has certainly been a far cry from the Lou Trivino we saw last season. As a rookie, he went 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA, looking flat-out dominant for extended stretches. But the 27-year-old appears to have fallen victim to the dreaded sophomore slump, at least so far.

"It's frustrating when I'm not commanding my pitches the way I want," Trivino said. "We played really well today. We pitched our butts off. I thought we played really, really well and I come in and blow the lead for what seems like the 10th time this year. So it's very frustrating. Lord willing, I can fight through this and come up for us."