A’s finally get rid of Jim Johnson

When the A’s first signed him, I thought it was a hefty $10 million investment. But he just wrapped up his second straight season of over 50 saves. So I knew that if he was to replace Grant Balfour, he’s a good candidate.

I watched him on Opening Day. He blew the game. I didn’t boo him, but I understood the reason for booing him. He had a big shoe to fill and he didn’t deliver. Then he started blowing more games. Then in blowouts, he couldn’t get through the innings without surrendering runs.

Last night was the final straw. He faced four batters and all of them would eventually score. His ERA ballooned to 6.94. That was enough. He had to go. He just was not good. He might do better elsewhere. But here, he was not the player the team paid for. What a shame. But this was the move that had to be made. It could have been made earlier, but better late than never.

Farewell.

They’re selling A’s-Giants split caps at the Coliseum?

When the A’s and Giants met in the World Series, these caps were born.

When the two met again in 1997 for the first ever year of Interleague Play, these caps were dusted off from the closet.

Now New Era and MLB are selling these caps? What a shame!

The Battle of the Bay Interleague Series is starting to lose its steam

One of the things I really enjoyed about the Interleague matchup between the Giants and A’s is that it was a three-game set at one park and a three-game set at another. Nowadays because of the Astros’ move to the American League, it’s harder to make that happen.

This year, the Bay Bridge Series is only a four-game affair, with the teams splitting the games at their home park. Not only are they playing fewer games, but the games are in the middle of the week. These used to be set aside for the weekend. Instead, now it’s a Monday to Thursday deal.

I still get excited for this matchup but it’s not as cool when it’s shortened and moved to the middle of the week. At least it’s right before the All-Star Break, so people can get their jollies on about this right in the middle of the summer. But it’s not as cool as it once was.

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The Oakland A’s are finally getting HD scoreboards

https://twitter.com/JoeStiglichCSN/status/484769315820826624

Ever since becoming an A’s fan as a kid, the scoreboard has always been pretty subpar. In fact, as more teams started installing HD screens, the A’s continued to use their low-budget, out of date screens.

It is so commonly associated with the place, they even made a shirt of the scoreboard (with some bulbs out).

But now with this news, along with the approved 10-year lease, I’m really excited to see what this will look like. I still want the team to get a new stadium but for now, this will hold the team here in Oakland and at least possibly keep them in the discussion.

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Keith Law is the anti-George Costanza and hates on A’s, Derek Jeter

Baseball writer Keith Law doesn’t like that the A’s did a nice thing today.

The Oakland Athletics gave Derek Jeter a farewell gift, which included over $10,000 to Jeter’s charity Turn 2. This is the charity’s mission statement:

To create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “TURN 2″ healthy lifestyles. Through these ventures, the Foundation strives to create outlets that promote and reward academic excellence, leadership development and positive behavior. Turn 2′s goal is to see the children of these programs grow safely and successfully into adulthood and become the leaders of tomorrow.

Sounds like a great foundation that looks out for the well-being of children and their future. But then Law tweeted this:

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What’s up with Manny Machado?

What a very strange weekend between the Oakland Athletics and the Baltimore Orioles.

On Friday, Manny Machado from the Orioles lost his cool after being tagged out by Josh Donaldson. There was no logical reason for him to lose his temper.

Later on that game, Donaldson was then hit by a pitch. That may have been the Orioles’ form of retaliation even though it appeared Donaldson did nothing wrong in tagging out Machado.

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A bobblehead was shipped to me in a brown paper bag

Shipped in a paper bag.

I just won an eBay auction for a Catfish Hunter bobblehead. When I received it in the mail, the bobblehead was shipped in a brown paper bag.

The bobblehead came in its original box. But other than that, the entire thing was just shipped in a bag. No protection. No extra box. No packaging peanuts. Nothing.

Fortunately there was no damage, but this is the first time I have ever seen a bobblehead shipped this way. These things are fragile and can break easily if dropped once. Yet here we are.

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Unwritten rules lead to hard feelings in Astros-A’s game

Unwritten rules lead to hard feelings in Astros-A’s game

Samuel:

I agree with this. If it’s a 7-run lead late in the game, you don’t bunt. But it was the first inning and the shift was on. The Astros could still come back and win the game. Or maybe the Astros don’t believe in themselves and got all angry at themselves.

Originally posted on HardballTalk:

As you’ve probably heard, the A’s racked up seven runs in the first inning of their 11-3 win over the Astros on Friday night, knocking starter Jarred Cosart out of the game. That frame only ended when Jed Lowrie, batting for the second time in the inning with a man on, aimed for a bunt single against the shift and was thrown out at first.

Even though the bunt didn’t work and actually helped Houston’s cause, the Astros didn’t take too kindly to it. Paul Clemens’ very first pitch the next time Lowrie was up in the third was aimed at his knee and ended up right between his legs. The second was thrown inside, too. Eventually, Lowrie flew out to left-center and exchanged some words with Jose Altuve as he was taking off his batting gloves by the first base bag, at which point Astros managed Bo Porter exited the…

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