Sonny Gray has successful thumb surgery.


OAKLAND, Calif. – A’s right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray has undergone successful surgery on his left thumb, the team announced today.

The surgery was performed Thursday by Dr. Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital. The procedure was an internal fixation with a screw to repair the thumb fracture. Full stability of the thumb has been restored and Gray is expected to be fully recovered in time for spring training in February 2014.

Gray was 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA in 12 games, 10 starts, with the A’s this season. The former number one draft pick out of Vanderbilt became a instant local star after his July call up from Triple-A Sacramento. He was also 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two ALDS starts, including a no decision October 5 where he tossed eight scoreless innings.

Kings Sign Cousins to Long-term Deal


By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings have made a major investment in their future by signing center DeMarcus Cousins to a reported four-year $62-million contract extension. The exact contract figures were not released per Kings policy.

The very talented Cousins has at times shown that he can be a dominate force who can take control of game and lead a team to victory. He has also shown that he can be inconsistent and moody at times. The Kings are betting on the fact that with maturity Cousins’ strengths will become the dominate factor in his play.

No one can deny that Cousins is an impressive player with the potential to become an All-Star caliber player. The 6-11 center has averaged 16.3 points (.448 FG%, .704 FT%), 9.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 29.8 minutes per game in 220 games over his three seasons with the Kings. Cousins has missed just two games due to injury over that time period.

The Kings management is happy to have Cousins signed, sealed and delivered for the long-term. This contract makes the statement that management believes Cousins is a major building block to the team’s future success on the floor.
“DeMarcus is a unique talent with skills rarely witnessed at the center position,” said D’Alessandro. “His combination of size, quickness and athleticism lends an invaluable dimension to our team now and in seasons to come. We look forward to watching DeMarcus continue his development into one of the best players in the game.”

“I am excited to continue to be a part of the Kings under the leadership of Vivek Ranadivé and the Sacramento ownership group,” said Cousins. “I’m also thankful to work alongside Pete D’Alessandro and Coach Michael Malone. I’m anxious to get back on the court with my teammates and can’t wait to play in front of the best fans in professional sports. I plan on showing them my appreciation this season and beyond.”

With Cousins in the fold, the Kings can now concentrate on evaluating the talent at training camp in order fill the 2013-14 roster. The Kings first preseason game is Monday, October 7th at Golden State.

A’s Wallop Mariners 9-0



By Charlie O. Mallonee

Game 162 can be a throw-away game for a Major League team. If you are in the playoffs, then take it easy and look forward to the post-season. If you are just playing out the season, put as many of your Triple-A players as you can in the game and let the vets think about going fishing.

On Sunday, the A’s showed up to play hard and get ready for the Tigers in the ALDS. Oakland demolished the hapless Mariners 9-0 to close out the 2013 regular season. The intense play and stunning result shows that Athletics have their heads in the right place to enter the first round of the American League Playoffs.

A’s rookie pitcher Sonny Gray took the hill for the A’s on Sunday. Gray worked 5.0 innings giving up no runs on just three hits. He struck out eight Mariners and walked only three Seattle hitters. It was a great tune up for Gray as he prepares for his opportunity work in the post-season.

Oakland posted two four-run innings in the game. The A’s scored four-runs in the top of the second inning and repeated the feat in the top of the fifth inning. Oakland added one-run in the ninth to top off their 96th win of 2013.

The one surprising fact was the A’s did not use the long ball in the lopsided victory. To win 9-0 and not have a home run is almost unheard of in the MLB. Oakland used well timed singles and doubles to pick apart the M’s.

Seth Smith led the way for the A’s on Sunday. He went 3-for-5 in the game including two doubles, scored two- runs and had one RBI. Smith had the only multi-hit game for Oakland.

The A’s used 13 position players and six pitchers in the game. Closer Grant Balfour even threw an inning in a non-save situation just to have a game level pitching opportunity before the playoffs begin next Friday in Oakland.

As for Seattle highlights, there were none. The Mariners finished the season 71-91 and missed the playoffs for the 12th consecutive year.

It was the final game for Eric Wedge as manager of the Mariners. Wedge announced on Friday that he would not return to manage the Seattle club in 2014. Wedge cited philosophical differences between himself and the Seattle front office as the reason for his departure.

Yoenis Cespedes did not play for the A’s on Sunday due to his sore shoulder. Expect to see Cespedes in the line-up next Friday versus the Tigers.