Athletics

Rickey Henderson wanted to play for Raiders, but A's wouldn't let him

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Rickey Henderson wanted to play for Raiders, but A's wouldn't let him

This isn't the A's first go-around with a two-sport star.

Long before Kyler Murray spurned Oakland in favor of pursuing his NFL dreams, Rickey Henderson had ideas of starring on both the baseball diamond and the football field.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Henderson had the approval of Raiders owner Al Davis to play for the Oakland football team, but the A's shut it down.

"When Bo Jackson first came into the league, I went to Al Davis to go play football and he was going to let me be a two-way player,” Henderson told Slusser. “The Oakland A’s said, ‘Oh, no way. You’re not going out there. That’s not going to happen.’

"That was my chance, and I missed it," Henderson continued. "I always used to tell Bo (Jackson) and Deion Sanders, ‘I could have done that, played both sports, but the A’s said they weren’t going to let me.’ That was my dream."

Henderson, who is serving as a visiting instructor for the A's at spring training, was looking forward to spending some time with Murray, but he doesn't blame the reigning Heisman Trophy winner for pursuing a career as a professional quarterback.

"It’s always a tough choice,” Henderson told the Chronicle of the two-sport predicament. “It’s really what you love, and his love really was football.

“People try to compare his decision and my decision, but mine was different. I came out of high school and I had time to grow in baseball, and he came out of college, he didn’t have as much time with baseball."

[RELATED: As Murray chooses NFL, A's 'don't regret the pick at all']

Surely, Murray hopes things work out for him in the NFL. But if not, perhaps baseball is where he's supposed to be, and the A’s will retain Murray’s rights in that sport.

Despite Henderson’s football dreams, a fruitful baseball career awaited the Man of Steal.

Why Rangers manager Chris Woodward likes A's chances in MLB playoffs

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Why Rangers manager Chris Woodward likes A's chances in MLB playoffs

OAKLAND -- Count Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward among those who believe in the Oakland A's this postseason.

Woodward had plenty of compliments for the Green and Gold ahead of Sunday's series finale, as reported by MLB.com's Martín Gallegos.

It certainly makes sense that Woodward is impressed by the A's. After all, Oakland has won 13 of 18 games against the Rangers this season, including the last seven. Through two games this weekend, the A's have outscored Texas 20-3.

Oakland is also playing its best baseball of the season at the right time. The A's have won 10 of their last 11 games and 15 of their last 18.

[RELATED: How A's will use bullpen down stretch]

Still, Oakland's path to a potential World Series will be treacherous. If they can get past the wild-card round, the A's will likely have to beat the Astros, Yankees, and Dodgers in succession.

But it's nice to know that Chris Woodward has faith.
 

A's vs. Rangers lineups: Tanner Roark looks for first win over Texas

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A's vs. Rangers lineups: Tanner Roark looks for first win over Texas

Although today is the final regular-season home game for the A’s, it likely won’t be the last time fans will get a chance to see Oakland play at the Coliseum.

With six games to go, the A’s are two games ahead of Tampa Bay for the top spot in the Wild Card standings and would be in line to host the game if the season ended today.

Tanner Roark gets the start for Oakland. The right-hander never has beaten the Rangers despite maintaining an impressive 2.25 ERA in three starts vs. Texas.

Opposite Roark will be Lance Lynn, who has been dominant in 2019. Lynn is third among AL pitchers with 6.7 wins above replacement.

Coverage begins at 12:30 PT with A’s Pregame Live, available on NBC Sports California and streaming in the MyTeams App.

[RELATED: How Bob Melvin plans to utilize A's inconsistent bullpen going forward]

Here are the lineups for A’s-Rangers:

Texas Rangers (74-81)
DH Shin-Soo Choo
3B Danny Santana
LF Willie Calhoun
RF Nomar Mazara
2B Rougned Odor 
SS Elvis Andrus
1B Ronald Guzman
CF Delino DeShields
C Jose Trevino

RHP Lance Lynn (14-11, 3.77 ERA)
 
Oakland A's (94-61)
SS Marcus Semien
3B Matt Chapman
1B Matt Olson
CF Mark Canha 
LF Seth Brown 
DH Khris Davis
2B Jurickson Profar
C Sean Murphy
RF Robbie Grossman

RHP Tanner Roark (10-8, 4.12 ERA)