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2008 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 2008 season marked their 40th year in Oakland, California, after the franchise move from Kansas City, Missouri, in 1968.

Off-season

Potential free agents

Outfielder Jeff DaVanon, catcher Mike Piazza and outfielder Shannon Stewart all filed for free agency after the 2007 season. DaVanon was signed to a minor league contract by the Athletics on August 10, 2007, after being let go by the Arizona Diamondbacks less than week later. His contract was purchased on August 17, following an injury to Mark Kotsay, who was plagued with injuries in 2007. He posted a .238 batting average and no home runs in 26 games for the Athletics. Piazza was signed in the previous offseason to a one-year contract which began Piazza's career as a designated hitter. In early May, Piazza was placed on the disabled list after suffering an injury while sliding into third base against the Boston Red Sox. Piazza was activated from the disabled list on July 20 but saw limited action after that as Jack Cust, who the Athletics brought in as a replacement, put on a big show once he joined the team. Piazza played in a total of 83 games in 2007 and batted .275 with 8 home runs. Stewart was also signed in the previous offseason to a one-year contract after missing most of the 2006 season. Stewart played in 146 games in 2007 and led the team in batting average (.290).

October

  • October 11: Pitcher José García was claimed by the Athletics off waivers from the Florida Marlins. García had missed the entire 2007 season following Tommy John surgery.[3]
  • October 16: Ron Romanick was added to the Athletics coaching staff and will serve as the bullpen coach for the 2008 season.[6]
  • October 23: Don Wakamatsu was added to the Athletics coaching staff and will serve as the bench coach for the 2008 season.[7]
  • October 25: Outfielder Chris Snelling was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.[8] Acquired on May 2, 2007, from the Washington Nationals for Ryan Langerhans, Snelling played in just 6 games before being placed on the disabled list on May 16 and never played in another game for the Athletics. That same day Connor Robertson was outrighted to the minor leagues. Robertson appeared in 3 games in 2007 and posted an 18.00 ERA. Tony DeFrancesco was also added to the Athletics coaching staff and will serve as the third base coach for 2008.[9]

November

  • November 2: Pitcher Colby Lewis was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals.[10] Lewis mainly worked out of the bullpen for the Athletics in 2007, posting a 6.45 ERA and an 0–2 record in 26 games.
  • November 18: Infielder Marco Scutaro was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for two minor league pitchers, Graham Godfrey and Kristian Bell.[11] Scutaro, a valuable backup infielder, played in 104 games in 2007 for the Athletics, posting a .260 batting average and 7 home runs.

December

January

  • January 3: In another move as part of the Athletics rebuilding mode, outfielder/first baseman Nick Swisher was traded to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Fautino de los Santos, pitcher Gio Gonzalez and outfielder Ryan Sweeney.[15] In 2007, Swisher posted a career high .262 batting average but had only 22 home runs, a big drop from 35 in 2006. Of the players acquired from the White Sox, Sweeney was the only one with major league experience, having made his debut for them in 2006. In 15 major league games for the White Sox in 2007, Sweeney batted .200 with a home run.
  • January 11: Outfielder Emil Brown was signed by the Athletics to a one-year contract. Brown, 33, started half the games for the Kansas City Royals in the outfield in 2007. He batted .257 with 6 home runs. According to Athletics assistant general manager David Forst, Brown's success against left-handed pitching was what appealed the Athletics into signing the right-handed veteran.[16] To make room for Brown on the 40-man roster, fellow outfielder Danny Putnam was designated for assignment. Putnam made his debut in 2007 for the Athletics and batted .214 with a home run in 11 games.
  • January 14: In another move as part of the Athletics rebuilding mode, center fielder Mark Kotsay was traded to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Joey Devine and minor league pitcher Jamie Richmond.[17] Kotsay was limited to just 56 games in 2007 due to back problems that bothered him in the past. He hit just .214 with a home run in those 56 games. Devine spent most of the 2007 season in the minor leagues, splitting time in Double-A and Triple-A. In 10 major league games, all out of the bullpen, Devine went 1–0 with a 1.08 ERA.
  • January 25: Outfielder Jeff Fiorentino was claimed off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds. To make room for Fiorentino on the 40-man roster, pitcher Ruddy Lugo was designated for assignment.[18] Fiorentino spent the entire 2007 season in the Baltimore Orioles organization, playing at the Double-A level for the Bowie Baysox. He hit .282 with 15 home runs and 65 RBIs for the Baysox. Lugo was claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays earlier in the 2007 season and made a combined 38 relief appearances for the Devil Rays and the Athletics. He went 6–0 with a 5.40 ERA.

February

  • February 8: Pitcher Keith Foulke came out of retirement and signed a one-year contract with the Athletics. He had previously pitched for the Athletics in 2003, as their closer. To make room for Foulke on the 40-man roster, Bankston was designated for assignment and was later outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on February 13.[19]

March

  • March 25: First baseman and designated hitter Mike Sweeney had his contract purchased right before the Athletics first game. He had signed a minor league contract on February 11, 2008. He had previously spent his entire career with the Kansas City Royals and his last few years with them were plagued with injuries. Sweeney had done well in spring training to earn a spot on the Athletics 25-man roster.

Regular season

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 100 62 .617 50–31 50–31
Texas Rangers 79 83 .488 21 40–41 39–42
Oakland Athletics 75 86 .466 24½ 43–38 32–47
Seattle Mariners 61 101 .377 39 35–46 26–55

Record vs. opponents

Team BAL BOS CWS CLE DET KC LAA MIN NYY OAK SEA TB TEX TOR NL
Baltimore 6–12 4–5 4–4 4–3 5–3 3–6 3–3 7–11 0–5 8–2 3–15 4–5 6–12 11–7
Boston 12–6 4–3 5–1 5–2 6–1 1–8 4–3 9–9 6–4 6–3 8–10 9–1 9–9 11–7
Chicago 5–4 3–4 11–7 12–6 12–6 5–5 9–10 2–5 5–4 5–1 4–6 3–3 1–7 12–6
Cleveland 4–4 1–5 7–11 11–7 10–8 4–5 8–10 4–3 5–4 4–5 5–2 6–4 6–1 6–12
Detroit 3–4 2–5 6–12 7–11 7–11 3–6 7–11 4–2 3–6 7–3 3–4 6–3 3–5 13–5
Kansas City 3–5 1–6 6–12 8–10 11–7 2–3 6–12 5–5 6–3 7–2 3–5 2–7 2–5 13–5
Los Angeles 6–3 8–1 5–5 5–4 6–3 3–2 5–3 7–3 10–9 14–5 3–6 12–7 6–3 10–8
Minnesota 3–3 3–4 10–9 10–8 11–7 12–6 3–5 4–6 5–5 5–4 3–3 5–5 0–6 14–4
New York 11–7 9–9 5–2 3–4 2–4 5–5 3–7 6–4 5–1 7–2 11–7 3–4 9–9 10–8
Oakland 5–0 4–6 4–5 4–5 6–3 3–6 9–10 5–5 1–5 - 10–9 3–6 7–12 4–6 10–8
Seattle 2–8 3–6 1–5 5–4 3–7 2–7 5–14 4–5 2–7 9–10 3–4 8–11 5–4 9–9
Tampa Bay 15–3 10–8 6–4 2–5 4–3 5–3 6–3 3–3 7–11 6–3 4–3 6–3 11–7 12–6
Texas 5–4 1–9 3–3 4–6 3–6 7–2 7–12 5–5 4–3 12–7 11–8 3–6 4–4 10–8
Toronto 12–6 9–9 7–1 1–6 5–3 5–2 3–6 6–0 9–9 6–4 4–5 7–11 4–4 8–10

Season summary

March

The Athletics opened the regular season on March 25 in Japan and faced the Boston Red Sox there. Before the opener, the Athletics placed starting pitcher Chad Gaudin and third baseman Eric Chavez on the 15-day disabled list and placed relief pitcher Kiko Calero on the 60-day disabled list. The Athletics were allowed to carry 25 players plus three extra inactive players in case of injury. The three extra players were pitchers Justin Duchscherer and Dana Eveland along with outfielder Carlos González.[20] The Athletics opened with ten pitchers, two catchers, seven infielders, five outfielders, and one designated hitter. The pitchers were Joe Blanton, Dallas Braden, Andrew Brown, Santiago Casilla, Lenny DiNardo, Alan Embree, Keith Foulke, Rich Harden, Fernando Hernández and Huston Street. Rob Bowen and Kurt Suzuki were the two catchers while Daric Barton, Bobby Crosby, Mark Ellis, Jack Hannahan, Dan Johnson, Donnie Murphy and Mike Sweeney were the seven infielders. The five outfielders were Emil Brown, Travis Buck, Chris Denorfia, Jeff Fiorentino and Ryan Sweeney, while Jack Cust was the designated hitter.

Joe Blanton got the nod to start the first game. The game went into extra innings and the Athletics lost 6–5 in 10. Emil Brown made a costly baserunning error in the 10th, which possibly cost the Athletics the game.[21] Rich Harden started the second game of the two game series and led the Athletics to a 5–1 win over the Red Sox after pitching six strong innings while giving up one run on three hits and also struck out nine.[22]

Game log

2008 game log

Notable games

  • March 25, 2008 – As the 'home' team, in the Tokyo Dome, Japan, vs. the Boston Red Sox.
  • March 26, 2008 – Second game at the Tokyo Dome, Japan.

Player stats

Batting

Note: G = Games Played; AB = At Bats; R = Runs Scored; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In; BB = Walks; SO = Strikeouts; SB = Stolen Bases; OBP = On-Base Percentage; SLG = Slugging Percentage

Player G AB R H Avg. HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Jeff Baisley 14 43 1 11 .256 0 5 4 7 0 .319 .279
Wes Bankston 17 59 4 12 .203 1 4 2 15 0 .238 .305
Daric Barton 140 446 59 101 .226 9 47 65 99 2 .327 .348
Rob Bowen 37 91 6 16 .176 1 9 4 38 0 .219 .286
Emil Brown 117 402 48 98 .244 13 59 27 65 4 .297 .386
Travis Buck 38 155 16 35 .226 7 25 11 38 1 .291 .432
Eric Chavez 23 89 10 22 .247 2 14 6 18 0 .295 .393
Brooks Conrad 6 19 0 3 .158 0 2 0 9 0 .158 .211
Bobby Crosby 145 556 66 132 .237 7 61 47 96 7 .296 .349
Aaron Cunningham 22 80 7 20 .250 1 14 6 24 2 .310 .400
Jack Cust 148 481 77 111 .231 33 77 111 197 0 .375 .476
Rajai Davis 101 196 28 51 .260 3 19 7 34 25 .288 .372
Chris Denorfia 29 62 10 18 .290 1 9 6 16 2 .362 .387
Mark Ellis 117 442 55 103 .233 12 41 53 65 14 .321 .373
Jeff Fiorentino 2 1 0 1 1.000 0 1 0 0 0 1.000 1.000
Carlos González 85 302 31 73 .242 4 26 13 81 4 .273 .361
Jack Hannahan 143 436 48 95 .218 9 47 55 131 2 .305 .342
Dan Johnson 1 1 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
Donnie Murphy 46 103 10 19 .184 3 13 11 38 2 .274 .301
Matt Murton 9 30 1 3 .100 0 2 1 7 0 .129 .133
Eric Patterson 30 92 11 16 .174 0 8 12 24 8 .269 .207
Cliff Pennington 36 99 14 24 .242 0 9 13 18 4 .339 .293
Gregorio Petit 14 23 4 8 .348 0 0 2 9 0 .400 .435
Kurt Suzuki 148 530 54 148 .279 7 42 44 69 2 .346 .370
Mike Sweeney 42 126 13 36 .286 2 12 7 6 0 .331 .397
Ryan Sweeney 115 384 53 110 .286 5 45 38 67 9 .350 .383
Frank Thomas 55 186 20 49 .263 5 19 28 44 0 .364 .387
Joe Blanton 1 1 0 0 .000 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000
Justin Duchscherer 2 6 0 0 .000 0 0 0 6 0 .000 .000
Dana Eveland 2 4 0 1 .250 0 0 1 2 0 .400 .250
Rich Harden 2 4 0 1 .250 0 0 0 1 0 .250 .250
Greg Smith 2 2 0 1 .500 0 0 0 1 0 .500 .500

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games Played; GS = Games Started; IP = Innings Pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned Run Average; BB = Walks; SO = Strikeouts

Player G GS IP W L ERA BB SO
Joe Blanton 20 20 127.0 5 12 4.96 35 62
Dallas Braden 19 10 71.2 5 4 4.14 25 41
Justin Duchscherer 22 22 141.2 10 8 2.54 34 95
Dana Eveland 29 29 168.0 9 9 4.34 77 118
Sean Gallagher 11 11 56.2 2 3 5.88 36 54
Gio Gonzalez 10 7 34.0 1 4 7.68 25 34
Rich Harden 13 13 77.0 5 1 2.34 31 92
Josh Outman 6 4 25.2 1 2 4.56 8 19
Greg Smith 32 32 190.1 7 16 4.16 87 111

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games Played; SV = Save

Player G GS IP W L SV ERA BB SO
Jerry Blevins 36 0 37.2 1 3 0 3.11 13 35
Andrew Brown 31 0 35.0 1 0 0 3.09 21 28
Kiko Calero 5 0 4.2 0 0 0 3.86 3 7
Santiago Casilla 51 0 50.1 2 1 2 3.93 20 43
Joey Devine 42 0 45.2 6 1 1 0.59 15 49
Lenny DiNardo 11 2 23.0 1 2 0 7.43 13 12
Alan Embree 70 0 61.2 2 5 0 4.96 30 57
Keith Foulke 31 0 31.0 0 3 1 4.06 13 23
Chad Gaudin 26 6 62.2 5 3 0 3.59 17 44
Jeff Gray 5 0 4.2 0 0 0 7.71 1 4
Fernando Hernández 3 0 3.0 1 0 0 18.00 5 2
Dan Meyer 11 4 27.2 0 4 0 7.48 14 20
Kirk Saarloos 8 1 26.1 1 0 0 5.47 4 12
Huston Street 63 0 70.0 7 5 18 3.73 27 69
Brad Ziegler 47 0 59.2 3 0 11 1.06 22 30

Roster

2008 Oakland Athletics
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches


Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Sacramento RiverCats Pacific Coast League Todd Steverson
AA Midland RockHounds Texas League Webster Garrison
A Stockton Ports California League Darren Bush
A Kane County Cougars Midwest League Aaron Nieckula
Short-Season A Vancouver Canadians Northwest League Rick Magnante
Rookie AZL Athletics Arizona League Ruben Escalera

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Sacramento, Stockton

References

Game logs
1st half: Oakland Athletics Game Log on ESPN.com
2nd half: Oakland Athletics Game Log on ESPN.com
  • Batting statistics: Oakland Athletics Batting Stats on ESPN.com
  • Pitching statistics: Oakland Athletics Pitching Stats on ESPN.com
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