OAKLAND -- The A's will honor the franchise's 1973 World Series championship team before their game this afternoon against the Orioles. Most of that team, including Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue, Sal Bando, Bert Campaneris and others, will be here for the pre-game on-field reunion.
"You can't help but just feel good being around world champions," said manager Bob Melvin, who grew up in the Bay Area following those mid-70's A's teams. "They're always there for a resource and picking their brain, and when you're around winners sometimes it rubs off."
The current A's could use a little of that. They've lost seven of their last eight games and were shut out last night by Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen. It's right-hander Chris Tillman on the mound for Baltimore today, meaning the A's are going with their lefty-heavy lineup:
Reddick is bumped back down after going hitless in four at-bats last night hitting in the No. 3 spot. And the Orioles' lineup against A's right-hander A.J. Griffin goes like this:
* A couple pre-game notes: Outfielder Yoenis CÃ©spedes remains on track to return Sunday after hitting a home run and single in four at-bats at Triple-A Sacramento last night. The A's will be glad to get CÃ©spedes back -- they're 9-2 this season when he's in the lineup and they've seen some slow offensive starts from their outfield, particularly Reddick and Chris Young.
"He takes pressure off everybody, and that's what premiere players do," Melvin said. "Even when he's not swinging well, the other team knows where he is all the time, they're always aware of him, and everything around him seems to get a little bit easier. So we look forward to getting him back."
Struggling right-hander Jarrod Parker threw a bullpen session before today's game, and while Melvin declined to give details about what Parker's working on in light of his latest rough start against the Orioles on Thursday, he said, "there are always things he's specifically working on -- maybe a little more specifically now."
"I think maybe (Parker is) just a little bit frustrated right now," Melvin said. "It certainly sounds like listening to his comments that he's able to turn the page and move on ... And always as a starting pitcher you have at least four days to move past it, think positively and start your process for your next start."
-- Matt Kawahara