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Elephant Rumblings: A’s and Giants will play two exhibition games next week

MLB news roundup

Oakland Athletics vs. San Francisco Giants Photo by Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s have begun their preseason preparation, but this is no ordinary spring training. In an effort to social distance during the coronavirus pandemic, Summer Camp 2020 has included only team workouts and intrasquad games, with no competition or interaction between clubs.

That will change next week. The A’s will play two exhibition games against the Giants, one at the Coliseum on Monday and then another in San Francisco on Tuesday, reports Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle. The home game will begin at 6:40 p.m. PT, televised on NBCS California, and the away matchup the next night will be at 6:45 on NBCS Bay Area; audio of both will be available on TuneIn streaming. See Slusser’s story to find out who might start for Oakland.

The return of live baseball will be a welcome sight. We last saw the A’s in action in the Wild Card Game in October, over nine months ago. We’ll get our first look at a contest with no fans in the stands, as well as no spitting or finger-licking, though also no Buster Posey after the Giants star catcher opted out of the season last week.

We’ll also hopefully get a preview of some of Oakland’s new players and prospects — and maybe at the revised hitting mechanics of second baseman Franklin Barreto. The 60-game regular season will begin for the A’s next Friday, July 24, as they’ll host Opening Day against the Angels.

One thing to keep an eye (ear?) on during the telecasts next week is what kind of sound the teams pump into their stadiums to replace the missing fans. One possibility is artificial crowd noise, but Slusser mentioned another option on Monday:

I’m kind of with Tony Kemp when he says he hopes the A’s keep playing music during games rather than crowd noise. It’s kind of a club vibe here - so two things no one’s been able to do, baseball and music/clubs at the same time.

Here’s a brief sample of baseball being played to background music:

Which would you prefer: Simulated crowd noise, or background music?

A’s Coverage:

MLB News, & Interest:

Summer Camp video

Enjoy some batting practice from Monday’s workout at the Coliseum!

Bonus peek at the new high-five! Familiar to anyone who has ever worked in a kitchen.

Best of A’s Twitter:

At the very least, this is the absence of bad news

The plot thickens in the competition for second base

At least catchers will be protected?

Bummer, but understandable

Kemp continues to be a leader on the subject of race relations

... And he’s working on the field, too

Astros get Manaealated

Best of MLB Twitter:

In case you forgot, the two sides are still negotiating some details

Not a promising development for a couple key young Astros

But on the bright side, another formerly positive player is back in action

OK, enough good news, back to bummers. A 13th MLB player has opted out, though he was going to miss at least part of the season anyway while finishing his TJS recovery.

Speaking of elbows, hopefully this is nothing major