Fri Apr 13
Athletics 7:10 PM
Felix Hernandez (1-0, 4.40)
Bartolo Colon (1-1, 5.84)
RHP Felix Hernandez
LHP Jason Vargas
RHP Blake Beavan
RHP Kevin Millwood
RHP Hector Noesi
RHP Brandon League (closer)
LHP George Sherrill
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma
RHP Tom Wilhelmsen
LHP Lucas Luetge
RHP Steve Delabar
RHP Erasmo Ramirez
1B Justin Smoak
2B Dustin Ackley
SS Brendan Ryan
3B Kyle Seager
INF Alex Liddi
INF Munenori Kawasaki
LF Chone Figgins
CF Michael Saunders
RF Ichiro Suzuki
OF Casper Wells
By the time Oakland gets through its first eight games, the Athletics will already have faced Mariners ace Felix Hernandez three times.
It’s a crazy schedule that began with these two clubs facing off in their first two games last week in Japan, with each winning once – including ”King Felix’s” Game 1 victory at the Tokyo Dome.
Now, the AL West rivals resume their season-opening series stateside – albeit eight days later. It’s a nontraditional two-game series Friday and Saturday. Then, the A’s travel to Seattle next weekend for a three-game series at Safeco Field in the Mariners’ home opener.
Yes, the Mariners and A’s will know each other inside and out by mid-April.
”It’s a little weird playing so many games, then we’ve got their home opener, too,” Oakland catcher Kurt Suzuki said. ”We’ve got like nine games in the first two weeks. That’s part of scheduling, but they’re in our division so we’re going to see them a lot.”
Seattle manager Eric Wedge even swapped his starters for this weekend to move Hernandez to Saturday and Jason Vargas to Friday so Hernandez is lined up to also pitch the Mariners’ home opener April 13.
”He’s the ace,” Hernandez joked of Vargas.
This situation is also unique for these clubs given they opened the regular season last week only to return for more exhibition games before they reunite in the Bay Area.
These two clubs will certainly know each other well by mid-April.
Arizona Diamondbacks 28/1
Atlanta Braves 22/1
Baltimore Orioles 150/1
Boston Red Sox 10/1
Chicago Cubs 40/1
Chicago White Sox 65/1
Cincinnati Reds 22/1
Cleveland Indians 60/1
Colorado Rockies 35/1
Detroit Tigers 15/2
Houston Astros 200/1
Kansas City Royals 80/1
Los Angeles Angels 15/2
Los Angeles Dodgers 40/1
Miami Marlins 18/1
Milwaukee Brewers 28/1
Minnesota Twins 75/1
New York Mets 80/1
New York Yankees 7/1
Oakland Athletics 80/1
Philadelphia Phillies 11/2
Pittsburgh Pirates 100/1
San Diego Padres 100/1
San Francisco Giants 15/1
Seattle Mariners 100/1
St. Louis Cardinals 25/1
Tampa Bay Rays 20/1
Texas Rangers 10/1
Toronto Blue Jays 30/1
Washington Nationals 30/1
Former New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra was sentenced Monday to three years in state prison in a grand theft auto case…..Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig sentenced Dykstra after refusing to allow him to withdraw a no-contest plea.
The judge said the theft scheme showed sophistication and extensive planning.
Dykstra was immediately remanded to custody and he walked into the court’s back room, hands in his pockets.
Dykstra, 49, initially pleaded not guilty to 25 counts after police arrested him and found cocaine, Ecstasy and synthetic human growth hormone at his Los Angeles home last April.
Prosecutors said Dykstra and two co-defendants tried to lease and then sell high-end cars from several car dealerships by claiming credit through a phony business. His accountant, Robert Hymers, pleaded no contest to one count of identity theft, while Christopher Gavanis pleaded no contest to one count of filing a false financial statement. They are both awaiting sentencing.
Dykstra changed his plea in October to no contest and in exchange prosecutors dropped 21 counts Dykstra has had a series of legal problems over the past year. He faces federal bankruptcy charges and is scheduled to stand trial this summer.
On the long list of Scott Boras shockers, this one ranks near the top….Boras’ top free-agent client, first baseman Prince Fielder, has agreed to a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Tigers, according to major-league sources.
Fielder’s deal with the Tigers does not include an opt-out provision, a source said.
Tigers general manager David Dombrowski recently told ESPN.com that Fielder, “doesn’t fit for us. He’s looking for a long-term deal and that just doesn’t fit.”
Either Dombrowski was shading the truth, or Tigers owner Mike Ilitch — who has worked well with Boras in the past — made a last-minute call to sign Fielder.
The Tigers’ slugging first baseman, Miguel Cabrera, is guaranteed $86 million over the next four seasons. But the team recently lost its principal DH, Victor Martinez, to a knee injury that is likely to sideline him for all of ‘12.
Fielder and Cabrera figure to share time at first base and DH, forming one of the game’s most potent middle-of-the-lineup combinations. Fielder hits from the left side, Cabrera from the right The Nationals had been a leading contender for Fielder, but their ownership was divided on whether to give him the type of long-term deal he was seeking. The Orioles, Rangers and Mariners also showed varying interest in Fielder….Fielder’s average salary of $23.8 million will be third only to the Phillies’ Ryan Howard and Pujols among first basemen. Howard averages $25 million, Pujols $24 million. The Yankees’ Mark Teixeira averages $22.5 million, the Red Sox’s Adrian Gonzalez $22 million.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP)
Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death early Monday and his brother was arrested as a suspect, Dutch police said……Rotterdam Police spokeswoman Patricia Wessels said police were called to a home in the port city in the early hours of the morning and found the 24-year-old Dutch player bleeding from a stab wound.
The officers and ambulance paramedics were unable to resuscitate Halman.
Wessels said the officers arrested Halman’s 22-year-old brother. She declined to give his name, in line with Dutch privacy rules.
”He is under arrest and right now he is being questioned,” Wessels told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. ”It will take some time to figure out what exactly happened.”
No charges have been filed in the case.
Halman hit .230 in 35 games and made starts at all three outfield positions for the Mariners in 2011 before being optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.
Mariners Chairman Howard Lincoln, President Chuck Armstrong and general manager Jack Zduriencik paid tribute to Halman on behalf of the club.
”Greg was a part of our organization since he was 16 and we saw him grow into a passionate young man and talented baseball player,” they said in a statement. ”He had an infectious smile that would greet you in the clubhouse, and he was a tremendous teammate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Greg’s family.”
Because he played professionally in the United States, Halman was not part of the Netherlands team that won the Baseball World Cup in Panama last month. The Dutch beat Cuba 2-1 in the final to become the first European team to win the title.
”The loss of a talented 24-year-old young man like Greg, amid such tragic circumstances, is painful for all of us throughout the game,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. ”On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to the entire Mariners organization and to all those whose lives were touched by Greg.”
Born in the city of Haarlem, Halman played in the Dutch Pro League and was part of the gold-medal winning Dutch squad at the 2007 European Championship and played for the Netherlands at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Former major leaguer Robert Eenhorn, the technical director of the Dutch baseball association, said he was devastated by the news.
”The only thing I can say right now is we are deeply shocked,” Eenhorn, who played for the New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels in the 1990s, told the AP. ”All our thoughts are with his family and how they are going to have to deal with this tremendous loss.”
Michael Weiner, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, also paid tribute to the slain player.
”Greg was passionate about the game of baseball and generously gave of himself to share his passion with others in an attempt to help grow the sport’s popularity across Europe,” Weiner said. ”He will be sorely missed.”
Yankees have claimed home-field advantage in the American League…..click here to see where they land in this week’s Power Rankings
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