Whenever Major League Baseball opens a season in Japan, count on the Oakland Athletics to show up. The regular season will start at the Tokyo Dome for the fifth time on Wednesday, and this is the third time in a row that the A’s will be there.
They are never the main draw, but they love it.
“It’s cool how baseball is such a big part of their culture,” outfielder Stephen Piscotty said in Mesa, Ariz., a few days before the A’s left spring training. “I can’t wait. I was just so fired up when I heard we were going.”
The A’s are there, essentially, because the Seattle Mariners and Ichiro Suzuki need an opponent. The Mariners abruptly ended Suzuki’s season last May after 15 lackluster games, but he will be active on Wednesday and Thursday in games that will start at 5:35 a.m. Eastern, and hoping to add to his career hits total of 4,367 in the majors and Japan.
Oakland, meanwhile, is hoping to stage a revival of 2012, when its visit here began an improbable run to a division title — and a three-year playoff streak. The A’s faced Seattle to begin that season and opened with the Boston Red Sox in Tokyo in 2008.
“It gets you even closer,” Manager Bob Melvin said of the season-opening trip. “We have some new guys here this year but we do have a core group that’s been together, came up through the minor leagues together, has won together. All that plays, and there’s value in that.”
The A’s talk a lot about intangibles, which might seem odd for the team most responsible for the analytics wave that has washed across the game this century. But they improved to 97 wins last season, from 75 in 2017, so hear them out. The path to their improbable wild-card berth, closer Blake Treinen said, started with a selfless attitude.
“When everybody does that, a beautiful thing happens, and that’s what happened with us last year,” he said. “I mean, nobody even guessed 80 wins. Nobody guessed 75, probably. You can stack everything up into analytics if you want, and there’s a place for it, but there’s also a place for heart.”
Heart, yes — but Oakland’s formula also includes home runs, stingy relief pitching and, especially, stellar defense from Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, cornerstones on the corners. Olson won a Gold Glove at first base and Chapman won it at third base, while adding a Platinum Glove for best overall fielder in the American League.
“I haven’t got it yet; I think they present it during the year and then you get to take it home,” said Chapman, 25. “But I don’t have a house, so it’s going to go in my parents’ front room, probably. They’ll probably put the Gold Glove and the Platinum Glove in their house, and hopefully some more to come.”
Last season was Chapman’s first full year in the majors — except for a one-game injury rehabilitation assignment — as it was for Olson, who was the only A.L. player to appear in all 162 games.
Olson’s agility and long levers — he is 6 feet 5 inches — were a big help for Chapman and shortstop Marcus Semien. A reliable first baseman is perhaps more important for the A’s than for any other team because their ballpark has the most foul territory in the majors, and a throw that skips past Olson would typically result in two extra bases.
“I can’t tell you how many times he saved an on-the-run play I made that I threw up the line, or he dug out,” Chapman said. “He’s like 10 feet tall on the bag, but then he’ll pick anything and go in the line; he’s not afraid to sacrifice his body. I’m thankful for him. I probably owe him some steak dinners, now that I think about it.”
Only the Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers hit more homers last season than the A’s, who bring back their top four home-run hitters: Khris Davis (the major-league leader with 48), Olson (29), Piscotty (27) and Chapman (24). But they added only Marco Estrada to a thin starting rotation, and Melvin would prefer not to use an opener, as he did in last fall’s wild-card loss to the Yankees.
That makes it essential for the A’s to prevent runs with standout defense, and Chapman sets the standard.
“He’s a freak athlete, to start,” Olson said. “He gets to some things I had never seen before I played with him. He’s consistent, he’s hard-working. You can find him in batting practice every day, running himself tired taking ground balls. We always say he’s like a dog, just out there having fun.”
Chapman attended El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif., with Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies, the perennial N.L. Gold Glove third baseman who is two years older. Both players were shortstops then, but Chapman said he closely followed top third basemen like Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria and David Wright. To Melvin, Chapman already belongs in their class.
“The arm strength, the ground that he covers, both on the ground and in the air — and at our ballpark, in the air is big, because it’s down into the bullpen, it’s over to the dugout,” Melvin said. “With shifts, you put him at shortstop and you know he’s going to cover the whole left side of the infield — and wants to cover the whole left side of the infield.”
Added Melvin, who has played and managed in the majors for 25 seasons: “I don’t know that I’ve been around as talented a defender as he is, probably ever.”
Suzuki’s return to the Mariners’ active roster will command the most attention in the opening series, of course; he is 45 years old and a baseball treasure on two continents. But the most captivating, in-his-prime talent is probably Chapman, and the platinum glove so indispensable to his team.B:
【云】【泛】【泛】【带】【着】【他】【游】【了】【好】【一】【会】【儿】，【才】【到】【自】【己】【住】【的】【地】【方】。 【她】【平】【常】【就】【和】【云】【浮】【睡】【在】【这】【片】【密】【布】【石】【头】【的】【地】【方】，【云】【浮】【直】【接】【睡】，【她】【则】【是】【找】【了】【些】【水】【草】【铺】【着】。 【原】【本】【也】【觉】【得】【没】【什】【么】，【只】【是】【带】【了】【宿】【池】【一】【起】【来】，【云】【泛】【泛】【忽】【然】【就】【觉】【得】【有】【些】【害】【羞】【了】：“【我】【家】【就】【这】【样】。” 【云】【泛】【泛】【也】【就】【自】【卑】【了】【那】【么】【一】【会】【儿】，【之】【后】【想】【起】【来】【自】【己】【的】【小】【玩】【意】，
【影】【之】【国】【的】【女】【王】【斯】【卡】【哈】。【库】【丘】【林】【的】【老】【师】，【以】【人】【之】【身】【弑】【杀】【神】【明】【到】【达】【神】【境】【的】【弑】【神】【者】，【绝】【世】【的】【战】【士】【与】【王】。 【在】【嬴】【政】【看】【到】【她】【的】【刹】【时】，【便】【敏】【锐】【的】【发】【觉】【到】【了】【那】【种】【生】【产】【的】【安】【排】【阶】【层】【的】【气】【息】。 【的】【确】……【就】【像】【是】【自】【己】【的】【进】【化】【型】【一】【样】。 【仅】【仅】【只】【是】【看】【着】【她】【逐】【渐】【向】【自】【己】【走】【来】，【一】【种】【由】【弱】【到】【强】【的】、【新】【鲜】【的】【咚】【咚】【声】【在】【嬴】【政】【耳】【边】【响】【起】。 ——【那】
【上】【津】【城】，【马】【牙】【巷】。 【紧】【邻】【主】【街】【的】【缘】【故】，【马】【牙】【巷】【的】【几】【家】【小】【店】【生】【意】【一】【直】【不】【错】，【虽】【非】【大】【富】【大】【贵】，【但】【掌】【柜】【们】【也】【能】【衣】【食】【不】【愁】。 【死】【者】【杜】【庆】【就】【在】【马】【牙】【巷】【经】【营】【杂】【货】【店】。 【他】【是】【个】【鳏】【夫】，【老】【妻】【三】【年】【前】【病】【故】。【女】【儿】【嫁】【了】【本】【地】【的】【席】【铺】【少】【掌】【柜】，【夫】【家】【同】【样】【是】【殷】【实】【之】【户】。 【杜】【庆】【已】【经】【年】【过】【四】【旬】，【但】【每】【日】【适】【量】【劳】【作】，【加】【之】【吃】【食】【充】【裕】，【他】【看】【起】【来】185.kjcom手机看开奖结果显示【婚】【后】【某】【一】【天】，【秦】【由】【被】【林】【北】【鸣】【逼】【着】【直】【播】【中】。 【家】【里】【最】【近】【添】【了】【一】【只】【小】【猫】，【秦】【由】【起】【初】【是】【不】【愿】【意】【的】，【毕】【竟】【刚】【结】【婚】【不】【久】，【自】【己】【媳】【妇】【还】【没】【稀】【罕】【够】，【就】【要】【来】【一】【个】【争】【宠】【的】，【谁】【让】【他】【自】【己】【当】【初】【嘴】【快】【的】【答】【应】【了】【她】？ 【现】【在】【想】【想】，【真】【是】【恨】【不】【得】【抽】【自】【己】【一】【嘴】【巴】。 【不】【过】【现】【在】【躺】【在】【他】【怀】【里】【的】【小】【猫】，【着】【实】【是】【可】【爱】【的】【紧】，【平】【常】【它】【不】【粘】【着】【宋】【榅】【时】【候】，【他】
（【一】）、【自】【我】【介】【绍】： 【大】【家】【好】，【我】【是】【怅】【味】【清】【欢】！【一】【个】【莫】【得】【感】【情】【的】【写】【手】，【能】【看】【到】【这】【里】，【是】【真】【爱】【无】【疑】【啦】！【谢】【谢】【大】【家】【的】【支】【持】！（【装】【作】【书】【粉】【很】【多】【的】【样】【子】） （【二】）、【关】【于】《【颐】【希】【为】【贵】》：【这】【是】【我】【的】【第】【二】【本】【书】，【其】【实】【一】【开】【始】【计】【划】【的】【是】【一】【百】【万】【左】【右】，【我】【的】【梦】【想】【就】【是】【一】【百】【万】【字】【啊】【啊】【啊】【啊】【啊】！ 【然】【鹅】，【这】【个】【目】【标】【只】【能】【等】【新】【文】【开】【了】【再】【完】
【翟】【家】【年】【却】【是】【一】【颗】【平】【常】【心】。 【在】【外】【面】，【一】【个】【镇】，【少】【的】【也】【有】【几】【千】【人】。 【要】【是】【大】【镇】，【可】【得】【上】【万】【乃】【至】【十】【万】【以】【上】【了】！ 【不】【过】【这】【工】【胡】【古】【镇】【加】【起】【来】【也】【不】【足】【一】【千】【人】。 【一】【千】【人】……【翟】【家】【年】【在】【混】【乱】【区】，【以】【一】【己】【之】【力】，【也】【不】【是】【没】【杀】【过】。 【对】【他】【而】【言】，【拿】【丈】【母】【娘】【来】【要】【挟】【自】【己】，【这】【些】【人】【就】【跟】【混】【乱】【区】【那】【些】【人】【没】【啥】【区】【别】。 【皆】【可】【杀】！ “