A’s Plus

San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Susan Slusser interviews past and present players, managers and executives of the trend-setting franchise. She also regularly talks with The Chronicle's national baseball writer, John Shea, about happenings around the league.

Sports
Baseball
101
Hitting Coach Darren Bush; Scouting Director Er...
Hitting coach Darren Bush talks about the adjustments Natt Chapman and Josh Phegley have made plus Ramon Laureano’s hot streak, and how he works with hitters just off the DL, then scouting director Eric Kubota breaks down this week’s draft for the A’s.
24 min
102
Andy McCullough, National Baseball Writer for t...
Andy McCullough, the national baseball writer for the Los Angeles Times, provides his thoughts on the A’s and Angels and chats with Susan about their memories of the 2014 wild-card game, Billy Butler, Farhan Zaidi, Max Muncy and also the hazards of covering a bean-ball war.
21 min
103
Oakland Ballpark Dreams
The A's would love to build a baseball cathedral on the waterfront, just like the Giants. Can they pull it off? And would that be good for Oakland? In this episode of the Chronicle's flagship podcast Fifth & Mission, Phil Matier and Susan Slusser join Demian Bulwa to answer those and other questions.
18 min
104
A’s Catcher Josh Phegley
A’s catcher Josh Phegley discusses revamping his swing, the team’s recent hot string, and ... meat tents and the Pina Colada Song? Yes, yes he does.
17 min
105
Frankie Montas and the A's Hot Streak
A’s starter Frankie Montas stops by to talk about how much he’s grown as a pitcher - from not even liking baseball to throwing 100 mph, plus why he’s now conducting interviews in English instead of via an interpreter. Then, Susan and David Feldman break down the A’s hot streak and the Fernando Rodney decision.
30 min
106
Pitching Coach Scott Emerson
Scott Emerson talks to Susan Slusser about how the rotation’s been performing recently and the progress that’s been made by the young starters. Plus: Emerson’s analysis of the bullpen's up-and-down season and his thoughts on umpires.
21 min
107
Daniel Mengden
A’s starter Daniel Mengden talks about his rough spring, his time in Las Vegas, Edwin Jackson’s influence on him, plus: ballet and puppies!
18 min
108
Stephen Piscotty and David Feldman
A's outfielder Stephen Piscotty discusses the team's issues on the road and the inconsistent offense, including his own, and what he's working on right now as he tries to get his swing going. Then, David Feldman and Susan break down the past week, including Josh Phegley's big breakout.
30 min
109
Jharel Cotton and Chris Townsend
A’s starter Jharel Cotton joins us by phone to talk about his recovery from Tommy John surgery and his rehab assignment Friday at Stockton, plus how Oakland’s other rehabbing pitchers are doing. Then pre and postgame show host Chris Townsend and Susan examine the team’s latest news, including the bullpen’s struggles and the Morales and Jackson transactions.
26 min
110
Mike Fiers and Bob Nightengale
Mike Fiers reflects on throwing his second career no-hitter and why he wasn't that focused on the accomplishment and tells us how his dad didn't know until the next day; then USA Today national baseball writer Bob Nightengale talks no-hitter plus his thoughts on the A's and the AL West.
14 min
111
Mike Fiers No-Hitter
It’s a no-no edition of the Feldy Follies as Susan Slusser and David Feldman break down Mike Fiers’ no-hitter against the Reds and discuss what it might mean for him and for a team that's been struggling.
23 min
112
Skye Bolt, Ray Fosse
Outfielder Skye Bolt on the emotions of his his callup, his confusing first big-league hit and, of course, his name. Then broadcaster Ray Fosse talks about Oakland’s rotten road trip and the recent big night by fellow catcher Josh Phegley.
29 min
113
Stephen Vogt on His Wild Giants Debut
In a special joint episode of Giants Splash and A's Plus, John Shea talks to the former Oakland fan favorite about his spectacular return to the big leagues with his childhood team, as well as a memorable encounter with Willie Mays.
14 min
114
Al Pedrique and David Feldman
Al Pedrique breaks down the defensive issues that Jurickson Profar has dealt with lately and tells us how lonely life can be for a first-base coach when the offense is quiet, and Susan and David Feldman look at the A's disastrous road trip, potential moves and how the start to this season compares to last.
28 min
115
Marcus Semien and Glen Kuiper
Shortstop Marcus Semien comes by to talk about the strong start to his season, how the team is playing lately and the possibility of signing a contract extension; then A's TV announcer Glen Kuiper gives us his thoughts on Jurickson Profar's start, expectations for Oakland the rest of the way - and just how fun it is to call Ramon Laureano's astonishing defensive feats.
25 min
116
Team President Dave Kaval on the Stadium
The A's president discusses big recent developments, including a stadium vote and the Khris Davis contract. Plus: Assistant director of minor league development Ed Sprague provides updates on some high-profile prospects.
25 min
117
Mark Kotsay on Turning It Around
The A’s coach talks about Oakland’s excellent crop of all-around outfielders and the difficulties of turning around an early slump with a new team. He did that himself with Oakland in 2004. Plus: Kotsay’s thoughts on Triple-A Las Vegas.
17 min
118
The A’s Horrible Weekend
Susan Slusser and official scorer David Feldman discuss the weekend sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays. What’s wrong with the rotation? With the offense? And why Kendrys Morales’ slump is showing more positive signs than Jurickson Profar’s.
41 min
119
Sandy Alderson; David Feldman
Former A's GM Sandy Alderson is back with the team as a special assistant - does he have deja vu? what do his duties entail? plus his thoughts on Moneyball, pace of play and more. And David Feldman and Susan talk about the A's recent road trip, bullpen issues and the struggles Mike Fiers and Marco Estrada have had away from the Coliseum.
33 min
120
Chad Pinder; Ann Killion
Utility man extraordinaire Chad Pinder discusses his hot start to the season and wows at longtime teammate Matt Chapman's play; columnist Ann Killion tells Susan why the A's should be picking up the Bay Area's casual baseball fans and also gives her thoughts on Khris Davis, John Fisher and the stadium situation.
37 min
121
Red-hot reliever J.B. Wendelken
The Oakland right-hander discusses his breakout September, talks about what went wrong with his curveball this spring, and provides a look at the personalities in the A's bullpen. Plus: In the first domestic edition of Feldy's Follies this season, David Feldman and Susan Slusser break down the bad start to Oakland's road trip and Jurickson Profar's struggles.
34 min
122
Aaron Brooks on Rejoining the A's; Pete Abraham...
A’s fifth starter Aaron Brooks discusses his strong first outing of the season and his reaction to rejoining the A’s last September, and Boston Globe Red Sox beat writer Pete Abraham discusses the World Series, and why the A’s seem to have the Red Sox’s number.
23 min
123
Ramon Laureano on Last Season; Dallas Braden on...
Center fielder Ramon Laureano drops in to talk about his sensational late-season run as a rookie, his slow start to 2019, and his personal chef - his mom. Then, Dallas Braden and Susan chat about the A's first week back in the U.S., what to make of the pitching staff, and the Bradens welcome a new family member.
32 min
124
Matt Olson on His Injury
Matt Olson talks about his broken hamate bone - diagnosed by Dee Gordon on the field in Japan - and the team's acquisition of Kendrys Morales. On the Shea Hey segment, Susan and John Shea discuss Franklin Barreto's demotion, the challenges the A's face early in the season and much more.
27 min
125
Catcher Beau Taylor; the Feldy Follies
From Tokyo: Nonroster catcher Beau Taylor on the A’s trip to Japan, his insights into the team's top minor-league pitchers and a recounting of his hilarious first big-league hit. Then, David Feldman stops by for the first Feldy Follies of the year to talk about new issues for official scorers to consider, plus a look at Oakland’s roster to open the season.
49 min
126
Billy Beane, Ken Korach
Vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane joins Susan Slusser in Tokyo to talk about the A’s love for international travel, his love for Japanese baseball, and the A’s roster going into Opening Day. Plus: A’s broadcaster Ken Korach joins Susan to talk about their new book, “If These Walls Could Talk: Stories From the Oakland A’s Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box.”
30 min
127
Marco Estrada on Being a Veteran and Ken Rosent...
Marco Estrada talks about his struggles last season and his thoughts on his new team, plus how great it feels to make a hitter’s knees buckle with a great changeup. Fox Sports/The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal then drops in to give his thoughts on the AL West and on the potential rule changes MLB might embrace next year.
33 min
128
Assistant G.M. Billy Owens and Coco Crisp
Billy Owens, the A’s assistant G.M. and director of player personnel, talks to Susan Slusser about some of Oakland’s most pressing roster decisions, as well as his thoughts on Kyler Murray’s decision to enter the NFL draft. Plus: Longtime A’s favorite Coco Crisp, who’s back with the club as a broadcaster.
18 min
129
Closer Blake Treinen, team secretary Mickey Mor...
A's closer Blake Treinen tells Susan Slusser how tough it was to deal with his poor results in last year's wild-card game and how that will drive him this season. And team travel secretary Mickey Morabito goes through the ins-and-outs of getting more than 160 people to Japan for the season-opening series against the Seattle Mariners.
23 min
130
A's broadcaster Chris Townsend, Tyler Kepner of...
Chris Townsend, the A's pre/postgame radio guy, has a fascinating new gig with the team. He talks with Susan Slusser about the new broadcast deal plus a lot of baseball. Also: Tyler Kepner of the New York Times and Susan discuss Oakland's outlook this year and why the A’s are always such an interesting team to write about. Plus: Tyler's amazing catch in the Houston press box last year.
44 min
131
Bob Melvin on the Game's Evolution
Bob Melvin is a three-time Manager of the Year who piloted the A’s to the playoffs last year. He discusses the game’s analytic evolution, Bruce Bochy’s decision to retire after the season and proposed rule changes.
16 min
132
Player Development with Keith Lieppman and Labo...
Keith Lieppman and Jared Diamond. Lieppman, the A's director of player development, discusses up-and-coming players such as Jesus Luzardo and Lazarito Armenteros and talks about his own disastrous first day as an A's player. Diamond, the Wall Street Journal's baseball writer, talks about the A's influence on baseball business, plus the uncertainty over the sport's current labor issues.
40 min
133
Pitcher Chris Bassitt, Yahoo's Tim Brown
Rotation hopeful Chris Bassitt details his challenging 2018 season, his high hopes for the team in 2019 and why he thinks the A's starters are underrated. Then, Yahoo.com's Tim Brown joins Susan Slusser to talk about how blindsided he was by last year's A's, Khris Davis' status as the most overlooked slugger in baseball, and what's going on in baseball's labor market.
29 min
134
Dave Stewart on Kyler Murray
A’s great Dave Stewart analyzes the pitching staff and gives his opinion on using an opener and on the Kyler Murray decision; ex Giants catcher Nick Hundley discusses moving across the bay and the diet that has him feeling like he’s in his mid 20s again.
27 min
135
First Spring Training Episode
A's pitching coach Scott Emerson talks to San Francisco Chronicle beat writer Susan Slusser about how the staff is shaping up, his thoughts on using an "opener" and the recent loss of both of his parents. Plus: ESPN's Howard Bryant on the A's hottest topics — including Kyler Murray — race in baseball, and Bryant's upcoming book project, which will interest A's fans a lot. (Hint: It's about Rickey Henderson.)
30 min
136
Live! The Chronicle Talks Baseball
San Francisco Chronicle A's beat writer Susan Slusser and Giants beat writer Henry Schulman join sports editor Al Saracevic to talk baseball in front of a live audience of subscribers. They preview the season, tell war stories from the press box and the clubhouse, and answer questions from the audience about openers, free agents and ballpark food.
61 min
137
5 Questions Going Into Spring Training
What sport will Kyler Murray play? What will Oakland’s starting rotation look like? Will Madison Bumgarner be traded? Is this Bruce Bochy’s last year? In this combined episode of A’s Plus and Giants Double Play, San Francisco Chronicle baseball writers Susan Slusser and Henry Schulman tackle those and other questions as they prepare to head to Arizona.
28 min
138
Kyler Murray’s Big Decision
Susan Slusser, John Shea and Matt Kawahara discuss the biggest current topic in MLB and the NFL — the future of the A’s top draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner. Did the A’s make a mistake choosing him? Which way might he be leaning? And what happens next?
32 min
139
Winter Meetings wrap-up
Reporting from the the last day of the MLB Winter Meetings, San Francisco Chronicle Oakland A's beat writer Susan Slusser says one executive told her that recently released catcher Bruce Maxwell may not be signed by any team, not because of his play but because he kneeled for the national anthem. San Francisco Giants writer Henry Schulman says the Farhan Zaidi era is in full swing, as the club has made an unprecedented two picks in the Rule 5 draft.
11 min
140
Winter Meetings, Day 3
A baseball beat writer says if he had to, he'd buy a ticket. To a baseball game? Heck no. To Scott Boras' scrum by the Christmas tree at the Winter Meetings. In their daily joint podcast from Las Vegas, Henry Schulman and Susan Slusser talk about the annual "State of the Scott Address." This year's talk included thoughts on Kyler Murray, the top A's draft pick, who also plays a little football. Plus: Buster Posey's health, the A's and Giants' second-base situations, and the future of Oakland slugger Khris Davis.
21 min
141
Winter Meetings, Day 2
San Francisco Chronicle beat writers Susan Slusser and Henry Schulman talk about the possibility of Troy Tulowitzki landing in Oakland and discuss new A's catcher Chris Herrmann. Plus: The Giants didn't make any moves, but they did reveal how they might approach their starting pitching.
13 min
142
Winter Meetings, Day 1
In a joint A's Plus and Giants Double Play podcast, San Francisco Chronicle beat writers Susan Slusser and Henry Schulman review the first day of the 2018 MLB winter meetings. The Giants and A's may be pursuing the same starting pitchers. The A's may be pursuing 2B D.J. LeMahieu, and they're trying to sign a catcher. Nick Hundley? The Giants have a new outfielder and may have the inside track on Japanese free-agent lefty Yusei Kikuchi. Plus: Susan and Henry work out a Giants-A's trade. Pack your bags, Shark.
17 min
143
Steve Kerr talks baseball with John Shea
It's a special "Warriors Off Court" edition of A's Plus. John Shea talks to Warriors coach Steve Kerr about baseball — which, long before his basketball stardom, was his best sport. He twice pitched in city championship games at Dodger Stadium. Kerr says that with the Warriors and Raiders leaving, the A's can own Oakland, and as an East Bay resident, he'd love to go to games at a new A's ballpark
22 min
144
Looking ahead to 2019 With John Shea and David ...
Susan Slusser, John Shea and David Feldman rehash the wild card game and discuss the A’s priorities for the offseason and hopes for 2019.
35 min
145
Mike Fiers, Ramon Laureano
Mike Fiers talks with Susan Slusser about being left off the Astros' playoff roster last year and leading the A's into the playoffs this year. Plus: Rookie sensation Ramon Laureano. And: Shea Plus with Chronicle national baseball writer John Shea.
46 min
146
Khris Davis, Fran Riordan
Khris Davis talks about the 2018 A's how Oakland is a great fit for him, and Triple-A manager Fran Riordan on Nashville's standouts, including Jesus Luzardo. Then John Shea joins Susan Slusser for Shea Plus.
35 min
147
Scott Emerson, Buck Showalter
Pitching coach Scott Emerson talks about the A's success despite an astonishing number of rotation injuries. Plus: Orioles manager Buck Showalter, and John Shea and Susan Slusser talk about Sean Manaea and possible wild-card "bullpenning."
50 min
148
Marcus Semien, Matt Olson
A's shortstop Marcus Semien talks about the team's — and his own — defensive improvement; first baseman Matt Olson discusses Oakland's winning ways; and John Shea and Susan discuss the big Yankees series and the A's using Liam Hendriks as an "opener."
51 min
149
Bob Melvin, Stephen Piscotty
Bob Melvin makes his A’s Plus debut. Is he as surprised by the team’s dash into contention as everyone else? And just how great a player is Matt Chapman? Stephen Piscotty, who lost his mother, Gretchen, to ALS in May, talks about Monday’s ALS...
47 min
150
Josh Phegley, Randy Velarde, Rick Peterson
Catcher Josh Phegley discusses his superb work with the A's starters, along with getting whacked in the face during batting practice recently; former A's infielder Randy Velarde talks life after baseball; onetime pitching coach Rick Peterson on what...
43 min
151
Shawn Kelley, Dallas Braden
Brand-new reliever Shawn Kelley discusses his sudden departure from Washington and his thoughts on his future; starter turned broadcaster Dallas Braden will steal your nachos and has a new man crush; plus John Shea and Susan talk about the week in A's...
58 min
152
Matt Chapman, Farhan Zaidi, Dave Feldman
A's third baseman Matt Chapman explains Matt Williams' influence on him and discusses the team's key upcoming stretch; Dodger GM Farhan Zaidi talks L.A. and A's; and Susan and Dave Feldman break down all the team's recent news, including trades, in...
51 min
153
COO Chris Giles, Nick Martini, trade deadline r...
A’s COO Chris Giles talks about the team’s unusual new way to see games — via memberships (with no price increase). Outfielder Nick Martini answers the burning question: shaken or stirred? And John Shea and Susan talk trade deadline. Did Oakland...
41 min
154
Matt Williams, Mark Kotsay, Jeremy Bleich
Matt Williams on working with Matt Chapman and the challenges of coaching third base in a new league. Coach Mark Kotsay on his close relationship with Hall of Fame inductees Jim Thome, Chipper Jones and Trevor Hoffman. Plus: Reliever Jeremy Bleich,...
45 min
155
Billy Beane, Brett Anderson
On a special All-Star break edition, Billy Beane discusses the A's outstanding first half and what he and the rest of the front office might do before the trade deadline. In a wide-ranging conversation, Beane also talks about the possibility of...
36 min
156
Adam Rhoden, Josh Lucas, Bay Bridge Series
A's video coordinator Adam Rhoden breaks down what goes into deciding if the team wants to challenge a call and recalls the time Sonny Gray subbed in for him as Oakland's replay-review point man. Does reliever Josh Lucas play as himself on MLB: The...
49 min
157
Edwin Jackson on Tying an MLB Record
New Oakland starter Edwin Jackson talks about tying a major-league record by joining his 13th team, his thoughts about the A's and his recollections of his most unusual no-hitter. Then, bench coach Ryan Christenson talks about his unique artistic...
36 min
158
Chad Pinder, Jeff Hem, David Feldman
Chad Pinder makes his A's Plus debut, discussing the challenges of being a utility player with Chronicle beat writer Susan Slusser. Plus: Triple-A Nashville radio announcer Jeff Hem talks about Sounds players to watch for this year, and on Sluss Plus,...
44 min
159
Draft Special: Eric Kubota, Scott Boras, A.J. H...
Beat writer Susan Slusser talks to A’s scouting director Eric Kubota about top pick Kyler Murray, who is Oklahoma’s quarterback, and the rest of the 2018 draft. Then Murray’s agent, Scott Boras, provides his thoughts on Murray and on the state...
45 min
160
Lou Trivino and Chris Hatcher
Host Susan Slusser talks to reliever Lou Trivino about how quickly he’s moved into a key spot in Oakland’s bullpen and also about his very unusual diet plan. On the Player’s Choice segment, Chris Hatcher, another A’s reliever, discusses his...
20 min
161
A's Plus - Mickey Morabito and Daniel Gossett
Longtime A’s travel secretary Mickey Morabito discusses his friendship and work relationship with combative manager Billy Martin, details the changes in team travel over the years and talks about the MLB schedule. On Player’s Choice, starter...
29 min
162
Jonathan Lucroy and Ken Holtzman
The podcast welcomes new A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who’s been a tremendous addition to the team and who stops by to talk about his late signing, the A’s pitching staff and the art of working behind the plate. Ken Holtzman, the ’70s great,...
45 min
163
Matt Joyce and Danny Coulombe
This week's guests include A's outfielder Matt Joyce, who discusses how to best put together a strong at-bat and his thoughts on this year's team. We also catch up with Danny Coulombe to talk hacky sack and ping pong. On Shea Plus, John Shea stops by...
45 min
164
Blake Treinen and Bruce Maxwell
Closer Blake Treinen talks about his unusual and inspiring road to the major leagues and his return to the A’s last year. Catcher Bruce Maxwell describes a play for all ages he saw on Broadway while the team was in New York. In the last segment,...
44 min
165
Mark Canha and Ken Korach
John Shea steps in for Susan Slusser and talks with Mark Canha, who addresses his transition to center field, his versatility, his ski mask — a necessity or superstition? — and which players he admired while growing up in San Jose. Ken Korach...
20 min
166
Daniel Mengden and Chris Bassitt
Houston native Daniel Mengden talks about starting in his hometown Saturday, the same night his sister, Rachel, is dancing in the West Side Story ballet several blocks away. Chris Bassitt then joins the podcast to discuss his love of the outdoors, and...
44 min
167
The A's turn 50
To celebrate the A’s 50th anniversary in Oakland, we chat with equipment manager Steve Vucinich, who started working for the club in 1968 — hired in part on the recommendation of Joe DiMaggio. He discusses some of his all-time favorite players, as...
43 min
168
Is Shohei Otani the A's kryptonite?
Two members of the A's coaching staff join A's Plus this week: former Oakland outfielder Mark Kotsay explains his duties as the team's quality control coach and new first base coach Al Pedrique breaks down some of the A's young players, including...
34 min
169
We're Baaaaack!
In each episode of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Oakland A’s podcast, beat writer Susan Slusser and assistant sports editor Janny Hu discuss the trend-setting team known for innovating baseball business, with regular updates on the pursuit of a...
24 min
170
Boog Powell and Nick Swisher
Opening Day center fielder Boog Powell stops by to talk about competing for a job this spring with his friend Dustin Fowler, meeting his namesake last year and much more. Player’s Choice is a free-form chat with Nick Swisher, who updates us on his...
40 min
171
Kendall Graveman and Simon Castro
Kendall Graveman, the A’s Opening Day starter, joins A’s Plus to discuss his new leadership role, Greg Maddux and his own fielding prowess, while reliever Simon Castro stops by to tell us what music he’s listening to and which sitcom character...
36 min
172
Andrew Triggs and Dustin Garneau
A's Starter Andrew Triggs joins A’s Plus to discuss his unconventional path to the majors and the times he nearly threw in the towel, while Catcher Dustin Garneau talks about what he’s currently watching — or, more accurately, re-watching —...
36 min
173
Liam Hendriks and A.J. Puk
A’s reliever Liam Hendriks stops by to discuss the team’s bullpen, his love of animals - including a new addition to the family - and his wife’s efforts to help stop cyber bullying. Hotshot prospect A.J. Puk discusses his current favorite video...
33 min
174
Brandon Moss and Khris Davis
San Francisco Chronicle A's beat writer Susan Slusser catches up with popular outfielder Brandon Moss, who was let go by the team Sunday. Moss discusses his time in Oakland, his favorite embarrassing stories and his plans after being designated for...
35 min
175
More from spring training and the debut of "She...
San Francisco Chronicle A's beat writer Susan Slusser catches up with veteran second baseman Jed Lowrie about recent pace of play changes, features Mark Canha in the "player's choice" segment and debuts Shea's Plus, a new segment with the Chronicle's...
40 min
176
Dave Stewart at Spring Training
San Francisco Chronicle's A's beat writer Susan Slusser catches up with former A’s great Dave Stewart at spring training. They discuss who stood out to Stewart and we debut "Player’s Choice."
20 min
177
Spring Training Preview
Join San Francisco Chronicle Giants beat writer Henry Schulman and A's beat writer Susan Slusser as they break down the top five questions heading into spring training.
23 min
178
Introducing A's Plus
In each episode of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Oakland A’s podcast, beat writer Susan Slusser and assistant sports editor Janny Hu discuss the trend-setting team known for innovating baseball business, with regular updates on the pursuit of...
24 min