That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Rickey and Rajai back together; Man of Steal reunited with 2016 AL theft leader

January 5, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

photo from en.wikipedia.org: Rajai Davis (11) during his Oakland A’s days taking a hack at the plate will return for the 2017 season to the tune of $6 million

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez

OAKLAND–The Oakland Athletics signed Rajai Davis to a one-year $6 million contract and he will be back patrolling centerfield at the spacious Coliseum. A’s fans are happy, he is a popular player and left very good memories, last time he play here.

Rajai played for the Athletics in 2008, 2009 and 2010. In 2010 he sole 50 bases, becoming the first Athletic to steal that many since the “Man of Steal” Rickey Henderson in 1998 when he stole 66 bags. During those three seasons at Oakland, Rajai stole a total of 115 bases, and last year with 43 steals for the American League Champion Cleveland Indians led the American League. He is a great guy to have in the clubhouse and a very humble but hard-working player. Last World Series, his last at bat of the season came in the eight inning of game seven, a game tying two-run homer against Aroldis (103mph) Chapman of the World Champion Chicago Cubs whose now a Yankee. Rajai said goodbye to 2016 in style.

Nobody since Rickey Henderson has come close to be a total blur on the base paths for the A’s. l remember Rickey as a rookie in 1979 with the green and gold. He was part of that famous outfield together with Dwayne Murphy in centerfield and Tony Armas in right field. I remember when Rajai first came to the Athletics in 2008, Rickey was very happy to see a fleet-footed player like Davis. I remember talking to Rickey during Spring Training in Arizona. He always likes to coach players that are fast and always a threat to steal. I am sure Rickey is happy to see Rajai again, and will be working with him this spring again in Arizona.

Rajai’s brother is a missionary spreading Christianity around the world, I had the pleasure of meeting him years ago. Rajai Davis is one of those guys that seems to have a smile on his face when he comes to the park, he works hard, but also has fun playing, a positive attitude he always maintains, and that is good in any sport at any level. The mental part of baseball is extremely important, long season, long trips, ups and downs. But Rajai Davis always seems to manage the ‘high and the lows ‘of the long summer.

Always happy to talk to the media, to mingle with the fans. This was a good idea by A’s management, to bring him back, at the same time resolving their centerfield situation.

One brief anecdote about Hall of Fame member Rickey Henderson. I remember I used to tape promos for him, for Spanish radio. No, he doesn’t speak Spanish, but every season in Spring Training I would write in a 3X5 card something like “Hola, yo soy Rickey Henderson, escuche los juegos de los Atleticos en Espanol en ___radio” Hello, this is Rickey Henderson, listen to the A’s games in Spanish on___radio”. He would take that 3 by 5 card and rehearse for a few minutes, with my coaching, reading it a few times…then he would tell me: “OK chief, I’m ready” and then we taped it. Quite a guy Rickey, looks like he can still play today and at 58 he still looks great.

It will be fun in a couple of months to see Rajai Davis listening to Rickey Henderson in Spring Training, about the stealing technique and all that good baseball stuff. After all Rickey Henderson is the only man on earth than can say he played for 25 years in the major leagues and stole 1,406 bases.

Bienvenido a la bahia otra vez Rajai! Welcome to bay again Rajai!

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does the Oakland A’s Spanish Radio play by play and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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