For many professional athletes, the mental toll of a season ending injury can be just as difficult as the physical toll. For Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden, the anguish of not being able since undergoing shoulder surgery in May, was so much that Braden could not bring himself to watch an A’s game on TV, let alone in the dugout. Finally after encouragement from general manager Billy Beane, Braden is back in the Oakland clubhouse. In an outstanding article by Susan Slusser, a must follow on twitter @SusanSlusser, Braden talks about the mental anguish he felt following the surgery, finally being able to change his mentality, and updates the status of his physical rehab. Additionally Braden’s teammates share their thought on disabled list etiquette. It’s a very good read.
This is a nice short film on Oakland Athletics farmhand Eric Sogard. In the documentary Sogard talks about growing up with a love for baseball, the importance of his family. and chasing his big league dream.
If you were a fan of minor league baseball back in the 1990’s you probably remember Charles Poe. The former Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, and San Diego Padres farmhand broke into professional baseball as an 18 year old, and left nine years later after spending three seasons in Triple-A without making it to the majors. These days Poe is the hitting coach for the Kannapolis Intimidators the Low-A affiliate of the White Sox, and he was none too pleased last Friday against the Augusta GreenJackets. With Kannapolis nursing a 2-1 lead late in the game, home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz called four consecutive Intimidators batters out on strikes including the side in the top of the ninth. Between innings Poe went nuts as seen in the video below. After Poe was sent to the showers, Augusta came back and won 3-2 on a walk off single by Adam Duvall.
He was the 19th overall pick in by the St Louis Cardinals out of Wake Forest back in 1994 but a degenerative hip condition kept Bret Wagner from making it to the big leagues. These days Wagner’s hip is feeling good and he is still pitching, albeit at local high school fields rather than in the major league stadiums he seemed destined for. In the great piece by Jason Bristol, a must follow on twitter @JasonBristol, Wagner talks about life after baseball, the ups and downs of being a top pick that didn’t make it, and still enjoying getting outs on the mound.
The Hagerstown Suns, the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals honored the late Nick Adenhart with a night in his honor as they took on the Lexington Legends. Adenhart’s mother Janet Gigeous threw out the first pitch, a plaque honoring Adenhart was placed on the Suns Wall of Fame, and a silent auction was held to raise money for the Nick Adenhart Foundation. The late Los Angeles Angels pitcher was killed by a drunk driver hours after pitching six scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics in April 2009. He was a native of Williamsport MD which is located just a few miles from Hagerstown. In the story, Adenhart’s mother talks about the fun her son had growing up watching the Suns play, the memorial foundation created in his honor, and keeping his legacy alive through contributions to youth baseball.
The Oakland Athletics have traded Brad Ziegler to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Brandon Allen and Jordan Norberto. The 25 year old Allen has seen limited time in the major leagues in each of the last three seasons. His best cup of coffee with Arizona came in 2010 when he hit .267 in 22 games. This season for the Diamondbacks Allen has hit .172 over 29 at-bats with three of his hits being Home Runs. He has seen time for the Triple-A Reno Aces in each of his three seasons in the Diamondbacks organization after coming over from the White Sox midway through the 2009 season. Allen hit .306 with 21 Doubles, 4 Triples, 18 Home Runs, and 66 RBI’s in 83 games for Reno this season prior to being called up. He was fifth round pick of the Chicago White Sox in the 2004 draft. Norberto is a 24 year old left handed reliever who has posted a 6-2 record with a 4.25ERA in 41 appearances for Reno, his second season in Triple-A. Norberto made his major league debut in 2010 going 0-2 with a 5.85ERA in 20 innings with the Diamondbacks in 2010. The 6’0″ lefty was signed by Arizona as a non drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 2004.
The Oakland Athletics have trade Rich Harden to the Boston Red Sox for prospect Lars Anderson and a player to be named later. A former member of the U.S. Junior National Team, Anderson never quite lived up the the lofty expectations Boston had for him when the signed him out of high school in the 2006 draft. The 23 year old is currently batting .261 with 26 Doubles, 10 Home Runs and 57 RBI’s in his second year at Triple-A Pawtucket. Anderson’s best season in the minors when he hit a combined .317 with 32 Doubles, 18 Home Runs and 80 RBI’s between the Single-A Lancaster Jethawks and the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs. His lone big league experience came in 2010 with Boston where he hit .200 with a Double in 18 games with the Red Sox.
UPDATE: According to multiple online sources this trade has fallen through at the last minute. Was previously announces by many as being a done deal. Sean McAdam of the Comcast reports the Red Sox wanted to take away a player to be named later after looking at Harden’s medical reports and just trade them Anderson, and were denied by Oakland.
North Carolina A&T journalism major Tirelle Daye recently sat down with Oakland Athletics 2011 Draft 12 Round pick Xavier Macklin for an interview at the college’s television studio. Macklin is currently posting a .264 average with 6 Doubles, 1 Triple, and 9 RBI’s for Oakland’s Short-A New York Penn League affiliate the Vermont Lake Monsters. In the interview Macklin talks about being drafted, playing at NC A&T, and his baseball upbringing.
Former Florida Marlins prospect Jai Miller, now 26 years old, is having a Triple-A All Star season for the Sacramento River Cats in the Oakland Athletics system. Miller has hit 7 Home Runs in his last 10 games and has a career high 22 Home Runs on the season. Miller talks about his motivation to make it back to the big leagues after getting a taste majors, playing 55 games for the Royals in 2010.