Athletics

Watch A's defensive gems preserve Mike Fiers' no-hitter in 6th inning

Watch A's defensive gems preserve Mike Fiers' no-hitter in 6th inning

In every no-hitter, there tends to be a defensive gem that preserves the historic night.

In the case of Mike Fiers' masterpiece over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night, there were two -- both in the same inning.

Fiers had thrown five innings of hitless ball when Reds second baseman Kyle Farmer stepped up to the plate with one out in the 6th inning and the A's leading 1-0. Farmer lofted a pop up into shallow right field, which looked like it would fall for a bloop hit.

Jurickson Profar had other ideas.

The A's second baseman lunged to his left for a diving catch to preserve the no-no ... for the time being.

The very next batter, Reds slugger Joey Votto, crushed one to deep center field. But as we all know, center field is where fly balls go to die in Oakland.

A's defensive wizard Ramon Laureano leaped over the center-field fence to rob Votto of a game-tying home run and keep the no-no intact.

Profar added an insurance run with a solo shot in the 8th inning -- he also provided the other RBI with a double in the 2nd -- to give Fiers a 2-0 lead he would not relinquish.

[RELATED: Anderson reacts to watching Fiers' second-career no-hitter]

Fiers breezed through the final frames to complete the second no-hitter of his career. He finished the night with six strikeouts, two walks and 131 pitches. 

But Fiers will probably be the first to tell you he owes his teammates a steak dinner for their defensive efforts.

Roy Steele, A's 'Voice of God' and legendary PA announcer, dies at Auburn home

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Getty Images

Roy Steele, A's 'Voice of God' and legendary PA announcer, dies at Auburn home

One does not easily earn the "Voice of God" moniker, but when it came to Roy Steele, nothing else would do. 

The long-time public address announcer for the A's passed away Thursday at his home in Auburn, leaving behind a tremendous legacy as one of the most recognizable voices in the history of the game. The A's released a team statement acknowledging his vast contributions to the history of the franchise.

"As the PA voice of the A’s for nearly four decades, his booming baritone filled the Coliseum from the Mustache Gang to Billy Ball, the Bash Brothers and Moneyball," the statement said. "Beloved by all, he touched the lives of generations of A’s fans. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones."

Steele began his tenure as the A's PA announcer starting in 1968 and remained in the position through 2005, though he did make occasional appearances during the 2007-08 season. He covered over 3,000 A's games, including six World Series and an All-Star Game. Throughout his 38 years at the helm, he only missed five days of work.

[RELATED: A's might have to delay targeted 2023 ballpark opening]

His death comes during a sad week for the Oakland franchise. On Sunday, Chester Farrow, who operated the scoreboard at the Coliseum for over 50 years, passed away at the age of 77.

Whenever MLB resumes, one would imagine both longtime employees will be honored.

A's might have to delay targeted 2023 Howard Terminal ballpark opening

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Oakland A's

A's might have to delay targeted 2023 Howard Terminal ballpark opening

The A's have publicly said they plan to open a new ballpark at Oakland's Howard Terminal ahead of the 2023 season.

Those plans could be delayed.

An A's spokesperson admitted to The San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Ostler on Thursday that the team "might have to push back" their targeted opening date. Ostler wrote that "growing political and logistical hurdles," "[coronavirus]-related delays" and a recent federal court ruling could endanger the 2023 target, as could a recent federal court ruling. 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Oakland's ban on transporting coal through the city in a two-to-one ruling Tuesday. The Sierra Club told Bay Area News Group that there are plans to file another appeal, as they and community leaders have argued that coal dust would add to West Oakland's polluted air. Howard Terminal, which already requires environmental certification before the A's can ever begin construction, is fewer than two miles downwind from the site where Utah coal companies planned to transport coal prior to the city's now-struck-down ban.

[RELATED: Why Braden vehemently opposes MLB's proposal to players]

A's owner John Fisher, who Forbes currently estimates has a net worth of $2.1 billion, announced in a letter to fans Tuesday that the team would cease paying minor leaguers a weekly $400 stipend starting in June and that the team had "implemented a significant temporary furlough of staff positions, and reduced compensation for staff members who are not furloughed."

The A's previously said in a statement to NBC Sports California earlier this month that they deferred their annual $1.25 million rent payment for use of the Oakland Coliseum because the Coliseum Authority "has been unable to make the Coliseum available for use by the A's" during the coronavirus pandemic." Henry Gardener, the Coliseum Authority's interim executive director, told Bay Area News Group that the A's told the stadium authority they "had no ability to pay."