Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s have a tough start to the 2021 season on the field. So let’s take a break to take a look behind the scenes. Today’s top story was actually from last week, but it’s too important to let it pass without heading to AN.

On Wednesday A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich announced at A’s Cast that he will be retiring after spring training in 2022. Seasons Alex Coffey from The Athletic.

Vucinich joined the A’s in 1968 and 2021 will be his 54th season with the club. SF Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara describes Vuc’s career::

68-year-old Vucinich has been with the A’s as long as they have played in Oakland. He started with the team in 1968 in the sophomore year and worked as an assistant in the home clubhouse from 1969 to 1973. He was Oakland’s visiting club manager from 1974 to 1993 and is entering his 28th season as the A.

Although Vucinich has never played an inning for the team, he’s still a vital part of A’s lore. He’s been in Oakland literally the entire time, from the club’s arrival in 1968, to two dynasties in the 20th century, then the Moneyball era, and now the Bob Melvin era and everything in between. Note that Connie Mack, known for his longevity in the history of Philadelphia Athletics, spent exactly 54 years with the franchise, between 50 management seasons and a few more as part of the ownership group.

Thank you and congratulations to Vuc on his great career!

***.

On the field, the A’s have finished their unforgettable opening series against the Houston Astros and are now preparing for three games against the defending world champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The games are Monday night, Tuesday night, and Wednesday afternoon, all televised on NBC Sports California. Note, however, that the night games are a little earlier at 6.40pm

A’s reporting

A’s game highlights

So far, only A has been homer in four games

Return of the Jedi

Oakland’s newest RBI machine?

Great slide!

Get some defense out of the SS spot

Blaze chose it up to 72.4 mph of pure flame

Reminder of the mathematical context

The #Athletics 4 games are completed in the 2021 MLB season or 2.5%.

If this were an NFL season, they would be in the middle of the 2nd quarter of the first game of the year. Couldn’t even have seen the opening day halftime show.

(h / t @ mhatter106)

– Alex Hall (@AlexHallAN) April 5, 2021

At least one member of the A has got off to a good start!

A’s injuries

Frankie pitches tonight!

Montas says his finger feels good (he had a cuticle tear) and says he should be able to drive 90 places tomorrow. Said it bothered him a little in all of his pitches but his slider bothered him the most but now he’s fine.

– Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) April 4, 2021

Don’t slide into the first base

Every day now

Melvin says Murphy is making progress but will still take some time. Had some problems swinging in the cage but will likely take another day. Says Laureano is feeling much better today, TBD, when could he return.

– Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) April 4, 2021

Ouch! It is a Left knee sprain.

Best of MLB Twitter

That sound haunted

This could be a problem for the rest of AL West

Of all the ways you would have expected Ohtani’s night to end, this one wasn’t even on the menu. Yet…

Ohtani threw 9 pitches at a speed of 100.0 miles per hour or faster.

And hit the 2 hardest hit balls in this game.

The HR (115.2 mph EV)
The lineout to CF (109.7 mph EV)

Wow.

– Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 5, 2021

First pitch of his career!

The Washington Nationals can finally begin their 2021 season

Official: The Nationals start the season on Tuesday against the Braves at Nationals Park. The last round of testing for COVID-19 did not contain any new positive results. The announcement of a postponement of the game on Monday against Braves and the postponement of the season opening series against Mets will be made later.

– Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 5, 2021

But when Meowrie is here in Oakland, is that Craig Gentry walking in the field?

At the Rogers Center in Canada it is called “homre”.

Paging JerryEBHI, Rooker Alert

Josh Donaldson on the list of injured. Brent Rooker has been called back. #MNTwins

– danhayesmlb (@DanHayesMLB) April 3, 2021

Ty Buttrey threw up three seasons for the Angels, and that’s enough for him. Respect a person for doing what they want, even if it’s not what other people expect or understand.

As

My favorite highlight of the week