Athletics

Why Bob Melvin is confident Khris Davis will have a bounce-back season

Why Bob Melvin is confident Khris Davis will have a bounce-back season

MESA, Ariz. -- "He's a pretty confident guy." 

A's manager Bob Melvin was talking about Mr. Consistent: Khris Davis. That isn't the A's slugger's actual nickname, but it might as well be.

"Keep him healthy and he's been known to hit .247 and 40 home runs," Melvin said, smiling.

Davis walked through the clubhouse with a new hairstyle. The cornrows were gone, but his manager's confidence in him remained. 

The main goal is just to get him to Opening Day healthy, Melvin said. That goal was important because of injuries the designated hitter suffered in 2019. It was a bug he couldn't quite escape from. 

"Just trying to keep him healthy because we saw last year, the numbers didn't look like they normally do, it's more because of health," Melvin added. "Not so much being hurt, you know when he came back, more having to work around more mechanically around some of the injuries. And then once you start trying to do something differently, sometimes it's tough to find those mechanics again, and I think that's more what happened with him last year than anything else."

Melvin mentioned the A's are not in any rush to give KD a ton of at-bats at the moment, but this upcoming season is a big one for the DH.

"I'm really not thinking about him too much right now, I know he'll be here for us," Melvin said.

It's the message Melvin has preached since the beginning of Davis' decline, which really has only been for one season. Every time he was prompted on Davis' offensive struggles, the manager never seemed worried.

He said the 32-year-old had picked up the team before, and it was the team's turn to return the favor. Melvin told NBC Sports California at the end of January he admitted he, and the team, were spoiled by Davis' ability to lead the club. Whether he was hitting those 40-plus homer numbers or being that power bat, Davis' consistency has never been a concern.

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The Green and Gold head into the 2020 season with a lot of promise in every aspect of the roster, but Davis being at the top of his game will make that promise a reality. 

Ever wonder why A's mascot is an elephant? It involves a Giants insult

Ever wonder why A's mascot is an elephant? It involves a Giants insult

Editor's note: Every Tuesday and Thursday during this sports hiatus, we'll answer questions that Bay Area sports fans long have debated in "Ever Wonder?" First up in the series: Why is the A's mascot an elephant?

If you've been to an A's game at the Oakland Coliseum during the last two decades, you've surely encountered their mascot, Stomper, running around.

But you might have wondered to yourself: Why is the A's mascot an elephant? After all, elephants, while beautiful creatures, aren't exactly athletic.

Well, NBC Sports Bay Area has the answer in the first episode of the "Ever Wonder" series, as baseball historian Dave Feldman recounts how the A's elephant mascot came to be.

Believe it or not, the Philadelphia A's adopted the elephant as their mascot all because of an insult by New York Giants manager John McGraw in 1902.

To hear the entire story, watch the video at the top of the article.

Liam Hendriks, A's thank medical field during coronavirus pandemic

Liam Hendriks, A's thank medical field during coronavirus pandemic

During this unprecedented time amid the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), it’s given us an opportunity to give thanks to those who so selflessly have been working hard to ensure the rest of us stay safe. 

For A’s closer Liam Hendriks, he wanted to give a special shoutout to those in the medical field working hard:

 “We, as an Oakland Athletics organization, want to say, ‘Thank you,’ for everything you’re doing, please stay safe,” he said via the A’s Instagram account.

Hendriks personally has felt the devastation the coronavirus has brought upon us as a society. He revealed recently that a friend of his, Conrad Buchanan, died due to COVID-19. Hendriks announced the news on Instagram last week and urged the world to stay home, “not only for your health, but for the sake of others as well.”

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Hendriks also wrote that Buchanan is survived by his wife and daughter.