A's trade for a bat for the stretch run

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A's trade for a bat for the stretch run

From Comcast SportsNet
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Oakland Athletics landed their veteran shortstop in Stephen Drew. Current shortstop Cliff Pennington and the rest of the A's players found out by ballpark announcement late in the game. The A's acquired Drew from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday in exchange for minor league infielder Sean Jamieson. The trade, announced by Oakland before the seventh inning of Monday night's game with the Minnesota Twins, reunites Drew with former D-backs manager Bob Melvin -- in his first full season as A's skipper. "It'll be refreshing and a new start," Drew said. "It's a good feeling to go over there and still be competing (for the postseason)." Drew is expected to join Oakland in time to play the middle game of the series against the Twins on Tuesday. He recently returned after being sidelined for nearly a year with a fractured right ankle. He sat out 137 games in all. The 29-year-old Drew is batting .193 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 40 games since coming back June 26. "Coming back, I've been hitting the ball well but haven't been finding any holes," he said. Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said last month it was "highly unlikely" the team would trade Drew this season, saying he hadn't received an offer for either Drew or Justin Upton that would improve the Arizona club. A's GM Billy Beane must have changed his mind. "We must be very persuasive," Oakland assistant GM David Forst said, noting the A's will see how the remainder of the season goes with Drew before making any decisions about his status with the club for 2013. "It was more than likely he would have tested free agency so we probably would have only had his services for another six weeks," Towers said. "I have no doubt in my mind that he'll make the A's a much better ballclub." Oakland, a surprise playoff contender this season with a cast of moving parts and new faces, had been looking for a consistent regular in the middle of the infield given the struggles and injuries of Pennington and Adam Rosales. Pennington is hitting .198 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 92 games. That includes batting 6 for 29 (.207) in 10 games since returning from the disabled list Aug. 7 after missing time with elbow tendinitis -- his first career DL stint. "He plays the same position, so I guess we'll see what happens," Pennington said. "I was sitting there in the dugout and they announced it. I have no idea what those guys (in the front office) think. I'm going to try to pretend I do." During the 2007 postseason playing for Melvin and the NL West champions, Drew batted .387 with two home runs and four RBIs in seven games, including .294 (5 for 17) against the Colorado Rockies in the NL championship series. "I do know Stephen and he's a good player," Melvin said, preferring to wait until Tuesday to elaborate on the move. "He'll be a good fit here." Drew is coming off the severe ankle injury and has a 10 million mutual option for next season. If the option is not picked up, Drew receives a 1.35 million buyout. "I think he's probably recovered better than I thought," Towers said. "We have a lot of middle infielders and it's tough to spread the reps and at bats among three middle infielders." The A's will make corresponding moves to their 40-man and 25-man rosters upon Drew's arrival. He is currently in an 0-for-15 stretch and is batting .069 (2 for 29) over his past nine games. Drew homered in consecutive games Aug. 5-7. Second baseman Jemile Weeks said the announcement was "surprising to everybody." "He's a good player, so if he comes along and jumps in and fits in and helps us win, we're all for it," Weeks said. "I guess they're trying to make a push, they're trying to improve what they feel they need to improve. They're trying to head in a certain direction. Obviously they have that vision in their heads and that's what they're trying to show right now." The 23-year-old Jamieson, Oakland's 17th-round draft pick out of Canisius College in 2011, was batting .234 with 10 home runs, 49 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 118 games for Single-A Burlington.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.