Bay Bridge Series

A's COO Chris Giles lists his top 10 moments of successful 2018 season


A's COO Chris Giles lists his top 10 moments of successful 2018 season

It's fun to take a trip down memory lane, but sometimes it's a daunting task if you've had a really great year and need to list the top moments.

Luckily, Chris Giles has taken that difficulty out of the job for you -- at least when it comes to the A's.

The team's chief operating officer relived his top moments from the A's successful 2018 campaign -- and I was instructed to see if these indeed were the top moments.

Well, let's see ...

Giles’ No. 10 moment was for the launch of The Treehouse, a 10,000-square-foot area for fans to get together and enjoy entertainment and libations at The Coliseum.

There is bar/lounge seating, a renovated bar and televisions, among other things -- and most importantly, very good views of the game. Giles called it a "game-changer," and I can say I very much agree. Who doesn't love mingling, drinking and watching the game?

The No. 6 moment was a guy who was sporting an A's jersey ... with "Beer" on the back. 

Clarence Beers played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1948, when he pitched two-thirds of an inning. He "boasted" an 13.50 ERA -- I doubt this jersey was dedicated to him.

But I support this.

The moment Giles went "undercover."

OK, there are a few things to unpack here. 

First of all, Giles -- c'mon man, there is nothing undercover about this. Your name still is Chris G., and you're wearing a hat. I can spot you from a mile away. 

Still, I DO appreciate someone who has the confidence to walk up to someone who is eating and ask them, well, anything. And it was cool to see Giles talking to the fans, most of which seemed interested in what he had to say. The reactions from people when they find out they're on camera always is great content. 

The No. 3 moment was when the A's set an all-time attendance record. 

You guys, there were fans all the way up to the top of Mount Davis!

And the No. 1 moment? That's easy. That's when the A's punched a playoff ticket by clinching a wild-card berth.

Yes there was champagne, there were goggles and there were smiles. 

So while my opinion doesn't matter, Giles did a fabulous job reminiscing on the feel-good moments that put the A's on the map and gave a lot of people something to talk about. 

But ... I think Sean Manaea's no-hitter deserved some love. OK, it deserved a lot of love -- especially during an era when pitchers aren't throwing complete games anymore.

You can check out Giles’ list in its entirety here

Jeurys Familia joins the A's at perfect time and picks up win in debut

Jeurys Familia joins the A's at perfect time and picks up win in debut

Jeurys Familia didn't have a whole lot of time for introductions. The newest Oakland A's reliever arrived at the Coliseum just over an hour before first pitch Sunday, less than 24 hours after being acquired from the New York Mets.

A few hours later, the 28-year-old reliever made his A's debut, with the game on the line, no less. Familia entered a 5-5 tie in the ninth inning and proceeded to pitch two scoreless frames, earning the win when Matt Chapman singled home Marcus Semien in the bottom of the 10th, giving the A's a 6-5 victory over the Giants. 

"When you have that kind of a trade and you come to a new team, first impressions are important," A's manager Bob Melvin admitted in his postgame press conference. "When you pitch the way he did, it makes you feel like part of the team very quickly. He was terrific."

"Unbelievable," Sean Manaea marveled from the A's locker room. "I remember watching him in the World Series a couple years ago, and just watching him today, his stuff is nasty. I'm super excited to have him."

Familia joined the A's at the perfect time, as closer Blake Treinen was unavailable to pitch Sunday after throwing 41 pitches the night before. A former All-Star closer, Familia will primarily be used in a setup role moving forward, but he has no problem with that.

"I'm not really concerned with it," he told reporters after the win, through an interpreter. "Whether I pitch the seventh, eighth, or ninth inning, i just want to help the team win."

Added Melvin: "To come into a tie game, you have to be perfect. To do it two innings in a row, for the first time in front of the fan base and in front of your team, there were probably some nerves involved. It certainly didn't show. It was big."

Prior to this weekend, Familia had spent his entire career in the Mets organization. He was understandably emotional when he found out about the trade.

"It was really difficult," he said. "I spent 11 years there, six years in the big leagues. It was really tough to say goodbye to some of those guys."

But Familia is excited to be on a contender and help form one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. The A's are the only team in MLB without a loss when leading after seven innings (39-0), and now they've added another All-Star closer to the mix. Good luck coming back against that.

Brandon Crawford breaks down what happened on A's walk-off single

Brandon Crawford breaks down what happened on A's walk-off single

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford made highlight play after highlight play during the last three games of the Bay Bridge Series. In the aftermath of Sunday's extra innings loss to the Oakland A's, the All-Star was asked about one he didn't.

A's third baseman Matt Chapman chopped a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Oakland possession of "The Bridge." The ball bounced helplessly off of Crawford's foot and into center field, handing the Giants a second straight loss.

Crawford told reporters after the loss that he charged at the ball because he thought Chapman would beat the throw to first if he didn't. 

"it was a high enough hop that I thought I could get it on that first big hop," Crawford told reporters from the visiting clubhouse at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. "But it came down a lot steeper than I thought it was going to. I think that's what caused me to miss it.”

Crawford entered Sunday 10th among MLB shortstops in fielding percentage (.981), as well as second in putouts per nine innings (1.59) and assists per nine innings (3.07). 

The three-time Gold Glove winner made a pair of impressive catches against the A's on Saturday. He covered the vast foul territory at the Coliseum to make a sprinting catch in one instance, and snagging a ball over his shoulder in shallow center field in another.

A's manager Bob Melvin felt Crawford was in a tough spot on Chapman's chopper on Sunday, and had to react quickly on a "tough play" in order to get Chapman out.  

"But man, how many runs did he save for them in this series," Melvin continued. "He's as good as [shortstops] get. And not only is he a perennial [Gold Glove winner], he's a tough at-bat for them... [He's] a great player. That's not an easy play."