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Elephant Rumblings: Spring training wraps up, 2021 MLB season almost here!

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MLB news roundup

Oakland Athletics Spring Training Workout
Looks like Joey Wendle? It’s an old picture is what I’m saying.

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

Spring training is officially over for 2021! At least, the MLB portion of it, with Oakland A’s players heading to the Bay Area to prepare for Opening Day on Thursday against the Houston Astros — with 11,000 fans in the Coliseum stands!

The 26-man roster is almost decided, with only one spot still up for grabs, and you can check out the links below in the A’s Coverage section for all the latest updates. To catch up on the final few spring exhibition games plus some video highlights and key interviews, check out the Cactus League section.

But first, a piece of tragic news from last week.

Mike Bell dies at 46

Minnesota Twins bench coach Mike Bell died Friday at the age of 46, the team announced.

Bell was the Twins bench coach in 2020, but was diagnosed with kidney cancer after the season and underwent surgery in January.

As a player he was a 1st-round draft pick, and played 19 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2000. He later spent 13 years in the Arizona D’Backs organization, as a minor league manager and then a front office executive as high as VP of Player Development.

Mike was a member of the well-known Bell family, who has been part of MLB for generations. His brother David played more than a decade and is now the Reds manager; his father Buddy was a player and manager who now works in the Reds front office; and his grandfather Gus was a four-time All-Star player.

A’s Coverage

MLB News & Interest

Cactus League

Zombie Lowrie makes the team!

Get ready for more of this wonderful, familiar sight

And also it turns out we got more than just Elvis Andrus and cash in the Khris Davis trade

Oly dinger

The 3 Amigos

No kneed for panic

It’s usually annoying when your phone autocorrects your text to “Duck!” but in this case it would still work

Encore!

Time to start getting excited about Nick Allen

Nice knock by an NRI

Two generations of A’s radio broadcasters!

Best of Twitter

Update on county’s upcoming move to Orange Tier, expected this week (which would increase Coliseum allowance from 20% capacity to 33%)

Meanwhile, on the less encouraging side

Astros taking the scenic route to Oakland

Angels add a few relievers at the last moment — including re-signing Ramirez, whom they just traded away in December in the Raisel Iglesias deal (he was later cut by his new team)

Click the link in the tweet to learn more about Haley!

A wonderful story!

Only a couple more days until we get to watch this crew on TV again!

Bryan is one of the greatest fans the A’s could ever hope to have

... with a particular specialty for outfield signs

Two days until Opening Day!