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The Weekly Bernie, 4/3/17: Opening Night has finally arrived for Oakland A’s

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The A’s Opening Night roster is finally set, and the Raiders are officially on their way out of town, among other news.

Oakland Athletics Photo Day Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Welcome back to The Weekly Bernie! The big day is finally here, as the A’s kick off their 2017 season tonight! It’s the best dance in the game, so let’s get rolling once more!

  • The A’s Opening Night roster is officially set. Notably, the A’s have opted to start the season with eight relievers and a three man bench. This means that southpaw Daniel Coulombe and young righty Frankie Montas will open with the team, and outfielder Jaff Decker will start in Triple-A Nashville. Mark Canha will instead be the de facto back-up centerfielder, a sentence I wish I didn’t have to type. Maybe the sideburns will help. Regardless, Montas should be very exciting to watch, as the 24 year-old regularly hits triple digits. He will be a reliever for now, but as Joe Stiglich of NBC Sports California reports, the club does still see him at a starter long term. Also, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Decker has a May 1 opt-out, and will likely be called up to the roster before that date. For a thorough evaluation of the Opening Night roster, check out Alex’s post.
  • Slusser also reports that former Athletics Jose Canseco, Dallas Braden, and Dave Stewart will be joining the A’s broadcast team for pre- and post-game shows. This is certain to be very interesting, and for a very amusing collection of fan reactions, check out Tim’s round-up.
  • The Athletics have re-signed lefty Ross Detwiler to a minor league deal, also per Slusser. Detwiler opted out of his original deal last Sunday, but has now returned to the organization as depth. The 31 year-old southpaw posted a 6.14 ERA over nine games with the A’s (seven starts) in 2016.
  • The Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas has officially been approved by the NFL owners, as 31 of 32 owners voted in favor of the move. Only 24 votes were required for the move. No target date has yet been announced for the Raiders’ move, but it seems that soon the A’s will truly be the only professional sports team to be “Rooted in Oakland,” with the Golden State Warriors also leaving town soon. For more on the Raiders’ move, check out Jeremy’s piece.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals have officially signed star catcher Yadier Molina to a three year, $60 million extension. Molina will now remain a Cardinal through 2020. While he is set to turn 35 this season and is no longer the superstar he used to be, he remains a well above-average catcher and a fan favorite in St. Louis. This extension will probably leave him overpaid based solely on on-field production, but one could argue Molina is worth it for his leadership skills and other intangibles.

That’s all for this week. Kendall Graveman and the Oakland A’s will look to start the 2017 with a win against Ricky Nolasco and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. First pitch is at 7:05 PM PST, and pre-game ceremonies, including the dedication of Rickey Henderson Field, begin at 6:15.

Feel free to dump any links in the comments below. Until next week - lean on, A’s fans!