These links pretty much speak for themselves, so let's get to it!
First, I would like to highlight something from a recent FanPost. AN'er "DofCT" shared a link which might be the prize of the offseason so far: Andrew Carignan doing an Ask Me Anything on Reddit this past Tuesday. Thankfully, we now know the following things: among A's players, Josh Donaldson is the most like Kenny Powers, Josh Reddick parties the hardest, and Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium is a hidden gem (which brings the Royals' total number of organizational gems to 1).
Next, we move to Troy Kirby of the Tao of Sports Podcast. Troy recently interviewed Oakland's Director of Ticket Sales, Brian DiTucci. I've actually met Brian before, and he is a fantastic guy. I haven't listened to this interview yet, but don't lie to yourself; you'd rather listen to someone from the A's front office than spend even 5 seconds thinking about a Falcons/Lions Thursday Night Football match-up.
An AN'er named Mary sent us a fun track by a non-profit Oakland band called Englewood. The name of the track is "Walk-Off!" and I guarantee that it will put a smile on your face. Their Facebook page says that any money they earn from selling tracks is donated to charity.
Most of you probably saw this when Blez posted it in a recent thread, but here is Next Media Animation's take on the Hiro Nakajima signing. If you aren't familiar with this Taiwanese "news" source, then I really don't know what you've been doing with your life up to this point. This episode has everything: Japanese people wearing Borat costumes, players hitting hot dogs with brooms, Dystopian Lew Wolff whipping people, and even Brakajima....you know, that thing where Nakajima daydreams about being in a romantic relationship with Brad Pitt.
When the A's traded Collin Cowgill to the Mets (to make room for Nakajima on the 40-man roster), they received a prospect named Jefry Marte from New York. Marte is a third baseman who played in AA last season at age 21. He is expected to repeat AA this year. Here is a scouting report from MLB Prospect Watch, another from SB Nation's Amazin' Avenue (this is a June re-printing of a pre-season list from February; they ranked Marte as the 21st prospect in New York's system at the time), one from ScoutingBook.com (who calls Marte the "one-time best bat in the Mets system"), and most importantly, John Sickels' recent opinion on the youngster. The word seems to be pretty much unanimous: Marte is a high-ceiling hitter who hasn't figured it out yet, but is young enough to still have a shot. He's at least a decent defender and makes a good amount of contact at the plate, so if he ever does find his power stroke then he could have a chance at making the Majors someday. I mean, don't hold your breath or anything, but at least Beane got something back for Cowgill.
On a related note, Sickels has released his list of Top 20 Oakland prospects heading into 2013. He ranks Addison Russell as a B+/A- prospect, and Dan Straily is all the way down at #5 (our Community Prospect list has Straily at #2).
Don't look now, everyone (especially not at last night's box score), but the Golden State Warriors are doing their best impression of the 2012 Oakland A's. Two scrappy, upstart, surprise contenders in one parking lot? Who knew? Here's an article from Hua Hsu on Grantland about the resurgence of Bay Area sports as a whole (including the A's, of course), and why the Bay Area is their sports city (metro area?) of the year.
And, last but not least, check out my recent FanPost about my regular guest spot on the Phil Naessens Show (a sports podcast). I've been doing a 10-minute weekly spot as a representative of Athletics Nation, discussing topics relating to the A's and the AL West. Right now, the FanPost only has the link to last week's show, but I'll be adding future episodes to the same post as they are released (this week's has already been recorded and should be posted sometime tomorrow).
Don't forget to keep sending in your questions to athleticsnationmailbag (at) gmail (dot) com! We still have a few more responses to write up, but we're quickly running out of material. By the end of next week, Cuppingmaster and I will have literally responded to every single question that has ever been submitted, so history states that you have a 100% chance of having your voice heard if you send us an even slightly-relevant question or piece of A's-related work/art/media/etc.