2012 Oakland a's Media Guide

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Transcript of 2012 Oakland a's Media Guide

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Joe Rudi, Gene Tenace and Vida Blue (left to right) of the 1972 World Champion Oakland As answer questions at FanFest.

Front oFFice

1972 World SerieS ChampionSAs CelebrAte 40th AnniversAry of bAy AreAs first World titleLed by Hall of Famers Hunter, Jackson, Fingers, Williams and Reigning MVP Blue, 72 Club Won 1st of 3 Straight World Series The 49ers, Raiders, Warriors and Giants have all won one or more World Championships during their storied franchise histories in the Bay Area. But it was the Oakland Athletics, despite not arriving on the scene until 1968, who became the first professional team to bring the region a world title. Whats more, the Swingin As were the firstand still onlyBay Area organization to reel off three consecutive World Championships. It happened from 1972-74, and yellowed press clippings and the passage of time has not lessened the As remarkable accomplishment. In fact, quite the contrary. This season, the organization celebrates the 40th anniversary of that first World Series championship team by welcoming back members of the 1972 As for special ceremonies at the O.co Coliseum April 21. When owner Charlie Finley moved the franchise from Kansas City in 1968, there was no indication the Green & Gold would soon become one of the greatest sports dynasties in U.S. history. Finley, a Chicago insurance executive with no previous baseball background, was notorious for placing frequent phone calls to opposing general managers and other baseball people in an attempt to gather valuable baseball intelligence. He utilized that information in remarkable fashion, as he oversaw the drafting and development of some of the finest young talent in baseball history. By 1972, future Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams led a colorful cast of charactersincluding future Hall of Famers Jim Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson and Rollie Fingers, plus the reigning Cy Young Award winner and league MVP Vida Blueto the first of three consecutive As World Championships. Those 72 As finished the regular season with a 93-62 mark to clinch their second straight AL West crown. In the postseason, they beat the Detroit Tigers in five games in the AL Championship Series, then edged the heavily-favored Cincinnati Reds in a seven-game World Series, marking the first time a local team had captured a World Championship banner in Bay Area history. Some 20 years before the NBAs Chicago Bulls coined the phrase, Three-Peat, that same corps of As players thrilled Northern California fans the next two seasons as well, posting additional World Series titles in 1973 and 1974.

Oakland As owner Charlie Finley celebrates the As first of three consecutive World Championships

Ron Riesterer, Oakland Tribune

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front offiCeRon Riesterer, Oakland Tribune

Sal Bando, Rollie Fingers and Dave Duncan celebrate the first World Championship by a Bay Area professional sports team.

Pitching, defense and clutch hitting were the trademarks of those three As clubs. The starting triumvirate of Hunter (21-7, 2.04 ERA), Ken Holtzman (19-11, 2.51) and John Blue Moon Odom (15-6, 2.50), and a bullpen that featured multiple-inning closer Fingers (11-9, 2.51, 21 saves) and the left-right combo of Darold Knowles (5-1, 1.37, 11 saves) and Bob Locker (6-1, 2.65, 10 saves), were the cornerstones of that first As title team. If Blue (6-10, 2.80) had not been a lengthy contract holdout, who knows how great the 72 club would have been? Joe Rudi, better known for his brilliant outfield defense, led the 72 lineup with a .305 batting average, nine triples, 19 home runs and 75 RBI. Remarkably, that .305 season marked the only time during the three-year dynasty that an As regular batted .300. Yet few teams hit better in the clutch than that Oakland team, and game-winning hits came from everywhereJackson (.265, 25 HR, 75 RBI), first baseman Mike Epstein (.270, 26 HR, 70 RBI), third baseman and team captain Sal Bando (.236, 15 HR, 77 RBI), as well as a veteran bench that included Matty Alou, Ollie Brown, Art Shamsky and Don Mincher. So, perhaps it was fitting that Gene Tenace, who hit just .225 with five home runs during the regular season, rose to the occasion to hit .348 and a then-World Series record four homers to earn 72 Series MVP honors. The As went on to beat the New York Mets in a seven-game World Series the following year, then made it three in a row with a five-game conquest of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first-ever AllCalifornia World Series. With that third straight title, those legendary Oakland teams are now part of a very select group of professional sports teams to win three straight World Championships. TeamS To Win Three or more ConSeCUTiVe ChampionShipS, maJor SporTSteAM Boston celtics chicago Bulls Green Bay Packers la/Minneapolis lakers Montreal canadians new York islanders new York Yankees oakland Athletics toronto Maple leafs leAGUe nBa nBa nFl nBa nhl nhl MlB Mlb nhl yeArs 1959-66 1991-93, 1996-98 1929-31, 1965-67 1952-54, 2000-02 1956-60, 1976-79 1980-83 1936-39, 1949-53, 1998-00 1972-74 1947-49, 1962-64

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20-Game WinninG STreak10 yeArs lAter, As 20-GAMe WinninG streAk reMAins reMArkAble feAtHattebergs Walk-Off Homer Caps 2002 Clubs Record-Breaking Run Depicted in Moneyball Movie The Streak began with little fanfare on Aug. 13, 2002. Backed by a three-run home run by Jermaine Dye and eight four-hit innings from Barry Zito, the As eeked out a 5-4 victory over Toronto at the Coliseum. The win elevated Oakland to a 69-51 record and kept Art Howes club in third place in the AL West, four-and-a-half games off the pace set by the Seattle Mariners. Little did anyone suspect such a routine, one-run win would be the start of baseball history. Yet three weeks later, the Oakland As were celebrating their 20th straight victory in an improbable run that set the American League record for consecutive wins. Beyond setting the AL mark, it was the third longest winning streak in the Major Leagues since 1900 and the longest in 67 years. The 1935 Chicago Cubs won 21 straight from Sept. 4-27, while the 1947 New York Yankees claimed 19 in a row from June 29 to July 17. During their monumental string, the As outscored their opponents by a 141-65 margin, and perhaps more impressively, they trailed in only 10 of the 180 innings during the 20-game bonanza. After dropping the opener to the Blue Jays, 2-1, on Aug. 12, Oakland reeled off two straight wins over Toronto, followed by series sweeps of the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, and the Royals again. On Sept. 2 at the Coliseum, the As claimed a 7-6 victory in the bottom of the ninth inning for a second consecutive day, with Miguel Tejada delivering the walk-off heroics for the second straight game with a RBI single. The triumph extended the As winning streak to 19 games, tying the American League record set by the White Sox in 1906 and equaled by the Yankees in 1947. As unfathomable as that achievement was, the Athletics broke the record the following game (Sept. 4) in an even more unlikely way. As depicted in the movie, Moneyball, which premiered last fall around the country, the As roared out to an 11-0 lead against Kansas City after three innings. Playing before the largest regular-season home crowd (55,528) in Oakland history, the Athletics appeared on their way to their easiest win of the season, a lock to set the record for longest winning streak in league history. However, the Royals would storm back, eventually tying the game on a Luis Alicea two-out, RBI single in the ninth. The large crowd, as well as many of the As players, were stunned by the comeback. Of course, this was a streak that truly defied description, so it almost seemed apropos that Scott Hatteberglater portrayed by actor Chris Pratt in the moviewould pinch hit to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, and promptly and emphatically, stamp Win No. 20 by homering off Jason Grimsley to give Oakland a 12-11 victory. After the game, as fan hysteria reigned, the As grounds crew pulled the bases from the field and had Hatteberg autograph one of them to ship to Cooperstown. Meanwhile, the team unfurled a massive banner high above center field that simply read: 20. It was a scene fit for Hollywood. oaklandS 20-Game WinninG STreakdate aug. 13 aug. 14 aug. 16 aug. 17 aug. 18 aug. 19 aug. 20 aug. 21 aug. 22 aug. 23 opponent toronto toronto chicago chicago chicago at cleveland at cleveland at cleveland at cleveland at detroit score 5-4 4-2 1-0 9-2 7-4 8-1 6-3 6-0 9-3 9-1 date aug. 24 aug. 25 aug. 26 aug. 27 aug. 28 aug. 30 aug. 31 sept. 1 sept. 2 sept. 4 opponent at detroit at detroit at kansas city at kansas city at kansas city Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota kansas city kansas city score 12-3 10-7 6-3 6-4 7-1 4-2 6-3 7-5 7-6 12-11

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front offiCe

Table of ConTenTSfronT offiCe1972 World series champions................................... 2 20-Game Winning streak ........................................... 4 table of contents ....................................................... 5 Front Office Directory ................................................. 7 Executive Profiles ..................................................... 10 Baseball Operations ................................................. 12 administration .......................................................... 19 sports Medicine staff ............................................... 21 Medical consultants ................................................. 23 clubhouse and staff ................................................. 23 additional clubhouse staff ....................................... 24 Manager and coaches ..................................