Athletics

Watch Batting Stance Guy hilariously imitate past, present A's swings

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Watch Batting Stance Guy hilariously imitate past, present A's swings

So ... I went to the World Series before the Washington Nationals were crowned champions. Specifically, I was at Game 2 at Minute Maid Park and was joined by some really cool baseball media people, including Batting Stance Guy.

Never heard of him? That's OK -- let me give you rundown.

His name pretty much says it all. He can mimic any batting stance of a player you throw out there, so I made sure to take advantage of that with some current and former A's players.

You're welcome in advance.

Matt Olson

I immediately wanted Batting Stance Guy to do an Oly impression for a number of reasons. 

For example, the A's first baseman approaches the plate with such confidence and everything managed to work for him in 2018. I noticed he has a specific way he holds the bat and is never short on a pine tar supply as well.

And yes, he earned a souvenir beer cup and used it as a bat because we couldn't get our hands on any lumber at the moment.

What do you think? 

The two-time consecutive Gold Glove Award winner finished his 2019 campaign slashing .267/.351/.545 with 36 home runs in 127 games. 

Khris Davis

This was pretty accurate with just the visual expressions Khrush makes. I'm also a bit unsure how he's able to see, but that's another article.

Still, that shimmy and the hand placement is perfectly on point.

And that swing ...

If only he had his socks up this would have been the most accurate depiction of the A's designated hitter.

[RELATED: Four A's players nominated for inaugural 'All-MLB' team]

Yoenis Cespedes

I know, probably too soon, but I needed to head down memory lane and get a Cespedes swing.

It started out beautifully and not only because he made sure the eyebrows were a prominent part of the entire impression. 

If you notice the details, he doesn't let go of the bat, a characteristic Cespedes possessed back when he was with the A's. He had plenty of time to watch the balls fly over the fence.

Across three seasons with the A's, the two-time All-Star tallied 66 home runs and 229 RBI.

Ahh ... memories. 

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MLB rumors: A's looking at San Jose Giants stadium as alternate site

MLB rumors: A's looking at San Jose Giants stadium as alternate site

The A's might get to use San Jose after all.

Years after the A's unsuccessfully tried to move to the South Bay, they could send their pool players there to work out.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported Tuesday night, citing two sources, that the A's are looking at Excite Ballpark, the home of the San Jose Giants, the High-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

Excite Ballpark is approximately 40 minutes south of the Coliseum, so if the A's need to get a player to Oakland quickly, it's the best option.

The A's originally wanted to use Banner Island Ballpark, the home of their High-A affiliate in Stockton, but as Slusser reports, the rising number of coronavirus cases in San Joaquin County is a growing concern.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Banner Island Ballpark is an hour east of the Oakland Coliseum.

Last Friday, A's general manager David Forst addressed the issue of an alternate site for the players that don't make the 30-man Opening Day roster.

“That has not been easy,” Forst told reporters. “We’re working on that. We have a lot of players and staff members waiting by the phone anxious to hear when they’re leaving and when they’re going. I’m spending a lot of time working on that, as are a lot of other people.”

[RELATED: A's home-field advantage won't be same]

Forst also mentioned the ever-evolving situation with the coronavirus, and how it factors into the decision of where to send the players and coaches.

“Stockton is in the mix,” Forst said. “Anywhere we’ve looked around here, the situation with the virus is a factor. San Joaquin County, Stanislaus County -- we’ve looked around Alameda County -- how each county is handling things and their particular orders come into play when we’re looking into alternate sites.”

The A's are set to open the 2020 MLB season on July 24 against the Los Angeles Angels, so Forst and the front office still have a little time to sort through the options and lock in an alternate site.

Marcus Semien embraces leadership role to keep A's safe amid coronavirus

Marcus Semien embraces leadership role to keep A's safe amid coronavirus

Marcus Semien reached out to general manager David Forst before the A’s started their three-week training camp at Oakland Coliseum.

The shortstop told his GM that he’s going to take a leadership role in making sure A's players are staying as safe as possible during baseball’s return to work.

Semien is a Bay Area native and a full-time resident here. He sees how seriously people are taking the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and wants to make sure the A’s act the same way. It’s not just about keeping 42 finely tuned athletes healthy. It’s about more vulnerable parts of the A’s staff still going about their business.

Forst came away thoroughly impressed. Semien talked about setting a good example, and at times being a traffic cop.

“There are a lot of ways you can do it., especially amongst the group,” Semien said in a Tuesday video conference. “We talked today about it, reminding people that if you see someone not following the protocols, I have no problem reminding someone to put a mask on. It’s not me trying to be a stickler. Everybody understands why it’s important. With the testing system that we have, it’s known that we don’t get results right away. That means you have to do everything you can to be safe at all times.”

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Major League Baseball’s testing system has already caused some hiccups. The A’s full squad couldn’t get on the field Sunday because they’re intake results got delayed over the Fourth of July holiday. They had to wait until Monday night to take the field while results were processed. There were a bunch of elite ball players waiting in the parking lot for the green light to start work

“There was a possibility that we could get sent home if we didn’t get the results in, but we told [A”s manager Bob Melvin] that we would wait to hear what they were,” Semien said. “For everybody who is negative, we were able to get in the building. It was a little later than we wanted to do it, but I’m glad we got the work in last night so we could have a good day today.”

The A’s played a simulated game Tuesday afternoon, and Semien had a groundout, a double off the wall and a single up the middle. It was clear he enjoyed just talking baseball as MLB tries to return to work while trying to keep infections to a minimum.

The game should be the same between the foul lines, though Semien gladly accepts the additional responsibility. He’ll try to match the career-year of 2019 on the field while increasing his leadership role at a time when he needs it most.

“It’s a tough one, and it’s why I’m going to be as safe as I can be. I’m not just going to be thinking about myself,” Semien said. “I’m thinking about teammates, coaches, my family. That’s something that we have to live with off the field anyway. We get to do what we love and go back to work. We’re all in good spirits because of that. The testing thing, I’m hearing it could get better. It’s still early in the process and I knew there would be some hiccups along the way. As long as we can minimize the positive tests, it’ll get better over time.”

[RELATED: Diekman says MLB coronavirus testing delays 'just can't happen']

Forst is thankful to have someone like that in the clubhouse to make sure everyone’s adhering as closely as possible to the safety protocols.

“Everybody is in this together,” Forst said. “That was something that Marcus relayed to me unsolicited and I really appreciated that, and I trust that he'll lead those conversations with teammates and that we'll have other guys step up and do the same thing."