This is exciting news! My favorite Marks are back together again, for spring training at least, and that is good enough for me because it means I will likely be able to catch a glimpse or two or more of both Mark Kotsay the A’s new bench coach and Mark Ellis who will be a guest instructor for the team during the spring.
Ellis and Kotsay’s careers with the Athletics overlapped from 2004 (although Ellis was injured for the entire season) to 2007. They were part of the team that defeated the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series in 2006, taking the A’s to the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers. They lost of course as almost everyone knows the A’s can’t seem to get past the Tigers in the postseason. Yet that 2006 team broke the curse of the first round and took the A’s farther than they had been in the postseason since 1992.
Ellis, still a fan favorite to this day, came up with the team as a rookie in 2002 and was a big part of the Athletics 2002 20-game win streak, which set an AL record. He was the A’s second baseman from 2002 until 2011 when he was traded to the Colorado Rockies. During his tenure with Oakland, Ellis hit .266/.331/.337. He was most impressive on defense however and he has been brought in to work with the middle infielders.
With one week of spring training in the books, here are the top three things we learned
It’s’ the beginning of a new season. Spring Training began as pitchers and catchers reported late last week and position players started to arrive early on this week.
Of course there are going to be at least a few interesting situations that will go down in this first week or two of Spring Training. It happens every year beginning with almost every player declaring “I’m in the best shape of my life” to there being so many new faces on some of the teams that the players literally need to meet one another for the first time.
That was the case for the Oakland Athletics last year after many offseason trades and it appears to be the case in Seattle this season with the Mariners. New GM Jerry Dipoto turned over more than 40% of the Mariners roster in hopes to improve the team enough that they can compete in what is going to be a very competitive race to win the AL West or at least slide in as one of the two AL Wild Card teams.
Some free agents are still signing agreements and getting their physicals while other players are already incurring injuries such as the San Francisco Giants Matt Cain and the Detroit Tigers’ Anibal Sanchez.
While injuries and guys without jobs are no joke …. Here are a few very fun and somewhat interesting things we’ve already learned in 2016: Continue reading on BBST