morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!
The Oakland A’s are off to a tough start to the 2021 season on the field, so let’s take a break from that for a peek behind the scenes. Today’s top story is actually from last week, but it’s too important to let pass by without a headline on AN.
On Wednesday, A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich announced on A’s Cast that he will retire after spring training in 2022, relays Alex Coffey of The Athletic.
Vucinich joined the A’s in 1968, and 2021 will be his 54th season with the club. Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle details Vuc’s career:
Vucinich, 68, has been with the A’s as long as they have played in Oakland. He started with the team in 1968 as a sophomore in high school and worked as an assistant in the home clubhouse from 1969 through ’73. He was Oakland’s visiting clubhouse manager from 1974 through ’93 and is going into his 28th season as the A’s equipment manager.
Despite never playing an inning for the team, Vucinich is still a crucial part of A’s lore. He’s been there for literally the entire ride in Oakland, from the club’s arrival in 1968, through two dynasties in the 20th century, then the Moneyball era, and now the Bob Melvin Era, and everything in between. Consider that Connie Mack, renowned for his longevity in Philadelphia Athletics history, also spent exactly 54 years with the franchise, between 50 seasons of managing and a few more as part of the ownership group.
Thanks and congrats to Vuc on a great career!
On the field, the A’s are done with their forgettable opening series against the Houston Astros, and now gear up for three games against the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Games are Mon night, Tue night, and Wed afternoon, all televised on NBC Sports California, but note the night games are slightly early at 6:40 p.m.
- Berman and Coffey: The A’s believe their Howard Terminal ballpark project is eco-conscious. Environmental groups are skeptical ($$$)
- Espinoza: Guduan reaches dubious wild pitch milestone in A’s loss
- Nico: A’s Reeling From A Putrid First 48 Hours
- A’s announce 2021 alternate site roster, schedule
A’s Game Highlights
- Game #2: A’s score some runs but lose again to Astros
- Game #3: A’s blasted by Astros for third straight day
- Game #4: A’s swept by Astros to open season, but there are 158 games to go
- Outfielder Ka’ai Tom pitches in third career MLB game
Only A’s homer so far through four games
Return of the Jedi
Oakland’s newest RBI Machine?
Getting some defense out of the SS spot
Blaze dialed it up as high as 72.4 mph of pure flame
Ka'ai Tom, Nice 69mph Pitch. ♋️ pic.twitter.com/0fI4PxIRQY— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 4, 2021
Reminder of mathematical context
The #Athletics are 4 games into the 2021 MLB season, or 2.5% complete.— Alex Hall (@AlexHallAN) April 5, 2021
If this were an NFL season, they would be halfway through the 2nd quarter of the first game of the year. Wouldn't even have seen the Opening Day halftime show yet.
At least one member of the A’s is off to a good start!
- Kawahara: A’s cautious with Ramón Laureano, Sean Murphy due to wrist injuries ($)
- Chad Pinder exits game Sunday with knee sprain
Frankie pitches tonight!
Montas says his finger feels good (he was sidelined with a cuticle tear) and thinks he should be able to go 90 pitches tomorrow. Said it was bothering him a little on all his pitches but that his slider was bothering him the most, but now he feels fine.— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) April 4, 2021
Don’t slide into first base
Ramon might have jammed his hand on this slide into 1B pic.twitter.com/g4ff1Ba2A3— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 3, 2021
Any day now
Melvin says that Murphy is progressing but will need some more time. Had some trouble swinging in the cage but will probably need another day. Says that Laureano feels a lot better today, TBD on when he might return.— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) April 4, 2021
Ouch! It’s a left knee sprain.
What a play by Pinder to start this game (also he's ok) pic.twitter.com/16InVxLpcT— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) April 4, 2021
Best of MLB Twitter
That sound is haunting
This man threw 101 and hit one 115 in the same inning, wtf pic.twitter.com/5PEioGw2HC— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) April 5, 2021
This might be a problem for the rest of the AL West
Of all the ways you would have expected Ohtani’s night to end, that one wasn’t even on the chart. Nevertheless...— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 5, 2021
Ohtani threw 9 pitches clocked at 100.0 mph or faster.
And hit the 2 hardest hit balls of this game.
The HR (115.2 mph EV)
The lineout to CF (109.7 mph EV)
First pitch of his career!
Washington Nationals will finally get to begin their 2021 season
Official: Nationals begin season Tuesday against the Braves at Nationals Park. Most recent round of tests for COVID-19 included no new positives. Announcement regarding rescheduling of Monday’s game vs. Braves and postponed season-opening series vs. Mets will be made later.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 5, 2021
But if Meowrie is here in Oakland, then is this Craig Gentry running on the field?
A cat is loose at Coors Field— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) April 3, 2021
I've seen it all pic.twitter.com/l1GFpA2UTe
At the Rogers Centre in Canada, it’s spelled “homre”
Semien SLUGS— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 3, 2021
He just launched his FIRST homer as a Blue Jay! pic.twitter.com/bDVoWuicrL
Paging JerryEBHI, Rooker Alert
Josh Donaldson to the injured list. Brent Rooker has been recalled. #MNTwins— danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) April 3, 2021
Ty Buttrey pitched three seasons for the Angels, and that’s enough for him. Respect to a person for doing what they want even if it’s not what other people expect or understand.
My favorite highlight of the week