A’s Plus

Matt Kawahara hosts The San Francisco Chronicle's podcast on the Oakland A's, featuring interviews with past and present players, managers and executives of the trend-setting franchise. With contributions from national baseball writer John Shea.

Season in Review
John Shea, The Chronicle's national baseball writer, joins Matt to break down the A's season and lingering questions heading into the offseason.
39 min
Chris Bassitt’s Remarkable Return
The A’s starter explains to Matt Kawahara why it was important for him to return from a frightening injury to pitch again this season and gives his assessment of Oakland’s season.
18 min
Josh Harrison High-Steps Through
Josh Harrison, one of the A's valuable midseason trade additions, talks with Matt playing with flair on the field and how he became a super-utility defender.
18 min
Kemp and Clemente
Tony Kemp, the A's nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, talks with Matt about his off-field causes as well as his strongest major-league season to date.
22 min
Baysball Stretch Run
Wrapping up the Bay Bridge Series at the Coliseum, Susan Slusser and Matt Kawahara chat about the concerns for the Giants and A's over the final weeks of the season on this combined episode of Giants Splash and A's Plus.
25 min
Giants, A’s Buzz at Trade Deadline
Susan Slusser, Matt Kawahara and John Shea discuss the upcoming trade deadline and who’d be good fits for the Giants and A’s.
25 min
Bay Bridge Series Wrap-Up
Susan and Matt talk about the just completed Bay Bridge Series, All Star possibilities and speculate on the trade deadline. And what about Sergio Romo and his unexpected moment during a spot check?!
28 min
Baseball, Bitker and the Bay
In a special Giants Splash-A’s Plus combo podcast, Steve Bitker, the retired long-time sports anchor at KCBS, shares Giants and A’s memories on the field and in the broadcast booth with John Shea.
28 min
Cole Irvin Talks Pitching
A’s left-hander Cole Irvin talks with Matt about his early pitching influences, advice for young pitchers and working on the Angel Stadium grounds crew.
41 min
Steve Vucinich: 54 Years of Memories
The A’s long-time clubhouse manager shares stories and memories with John Shea in advance of his retirement that’s coming after an amazing 54 years in the organization.
27 min
Seth Brown’s Road to Oakland
A’s outfielder Seth Brown walks Matt Kawahara through the steps on his journey to the majors that shaped him as a baseball player -- and the wait for his first home run.
35 min
Minor-League Baseball Is Back!
Fran Riordan, manager of the A’s Triple-A Las Vegas affiliate, talks with Matt Kawahara about the return of minor-league ball after its 2020 hiatus -- and a cool screening of "The Natural."
23 min
Mark Kotsay on Shifts and Sends
The longtime A's coach talks with Matt Kawahara about the A’s infield shifting tendencies and his first few weeks in his new role as third-base coach.
27 min
Giants and A's 2021 Season Preview
Susan Slusser, Matt Kawahara and John Shea look ahead as MLB returns — hopefully — to a 162-game schedule in this 2021 season preview for the Giants and A's. A combined episode of Giants Splash and A's Plus.
31 min
Ed Sprague on the State of the Farm
The A’s director of player development talks about the Oakland system, players who are trying to get back in the groove after a lost year, and which prospects have stood out in major-league camp.
25 min
Bob Melvin, Gabe Kapler on When the Games Stopped
On March 12, 2020, MLB halted spring training and delayed the season, as sports pressed pause amid the growing pandemic. A year later, the Giants and A’s managers recall that uncertain time.
25 min
Meet outfielder Buddy Reed
Non-roster invitee Buddy Reed, who shifted from hockey to baseball while at a boarding school, joins Matt to discuss his love for travel, finding himself as a hitter and his so-far successful spring.
25 min
Hot Topics for Bay Area Baseball
Giants beat writer Susan Slusser and A's beat writer Matt Kawahara break down the first few days of spring camp, the flurry of recent moves by both teams, big expectations – and the return of fans.
36 min
Scott Emerson: ‘Armed’ and Ready
With pitchers and catchers reporting this week, Oakland’s pitching coach joins Matt Kawahara to discuss the storylines in camp, including bullpen issues, the A.J. Puk plan and intriguing prospects.
34 min
Inside The Chronicle’s New Baseball Coverage
Giants beat writer Susan Slusser, A’s beat writer Matt Kawahara and national baseball writer John Shea discuss The Chronicle’s plans for covering the Giants and A’s and the teams’ outlooks in 2021.
33 min
Bill Greason, Negro Leagues Veteran
A teammate of Willie Mays on the 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, 96-year-old Greason talks with John Shea on this episode of the Giants Splash podcast that we're sharing with A's Plus listeners.
17 min
Scott Emerson: Mounds of Information
Oakland's pitching coach breaks down the team’s rotation and bullpen. He talks about how they fared in 2020 and what the A's have to look forward to in 2021, including their recent Rule 5 additions.
31 min
Closer to Leaving
All-Star Liam Hendriks talks with Susan about his first foray into free agency, an uncertain market, and the A's season and the series with the Astros. He also muses about next year's bullpen.
28 min
Agent Rachel Luba's Amazing Journey
Agent Rachel Luba, who is from Monterey and represents Trevor Bauer and Yasiel Puig, joins Susan Slusser to talk about being one of the few women in the industry.
39 min
Jesús Luzardo Gives Thanks After Rookie Season
Left-hander Jesús Luzardo checks in with Matt Kawahara about his rookie season, his playoff experience and his offseason roommate. Plus, he shares a few family Thanksgiving traditions.
24 min
Dan Straily's Season in Korea
Former A’s pitcher Dan Straily talks with Matt Kawahara about playing for South Korea’s Lotte Giants in 2020, how it restored his confidence -- and about that time he brought a gong to the dugout.
32 min
Feldy Follies, Offseason Edition
Stats expert David Feldman talks World Series, the free agent market and what it might take for the A's to get Marcus Semien back, plus: Susan and David chat about their favorite baseball movies.
37 min
Instructional League Report from Ed Sprague
Director of player development Ed Sprague joins Matt Kawahara to discuss the A’s instructional league camp in Arizona. Who stood out? How will a year without minor-league games impact prospects?
29 min
The A's Future: Billy Beane, Free Agents and More
Susan Slusser and Matt Kawahara talk World Series and what Billy Beane's likely departure might mean for Oakland. And: What will the A's do with free agents such as Marcus Semien and Liam Hendriks?
35 min
It’s a Wrap: Changes Ahead
David Feldman joins Susan to break down the A’s season and the major offseason changes ahead: What happens with free agents Marcus Semien and Liam Hendriks? Will Billy Beane and Bob Melvin be back?
39 min
Ray Fosse: What the A's Have to Do Now
The A's broadcaster breaks down Game 1 and discusses ways Oakland's pitchers could counterattack the favorable home-run conditions at Dodger Stadium. Plus: Fosse's thoughts on the ALDS, the Astros and much more!
28 min
A's-White Sox Playoff Preview
Co-A's beat writer Matt Kawahara joins Susan Slusser to break down Oakland's wild-card series with the White Sox, including pitching plans, start times and which players might be the key to help the A's advance.
28 min
Baseball's Final Week Drama
Will the Giants make the playoffs? How far will the A’s go in the postseason? Susan Slusser and John Shea weigh the possibilities. Plus, each has a great Rollie Fingers story to tell.
35 min
Dishing with Dallas Braden
The A’s TV analyst and former pitcher chats about the difficulties of broadcasting from home when the team is on the road and his new appreciation for sound engineers, plus a look at the first-place A’s with two weeks to go.
44 min
A Rare Chat with A's President Dave Kaval
A's president Dave Kaval joins Susan to talk about the progress on a new stadium, the difficulties of planning for next season and the team's success on the field.
22 min
Mark Canha: Big League Foodie | Extra Spicy Pod...
Mark Canha, outfielder for the Oakland Athletics, talks about his unlikely turn as a Bay Area food influencer
36 min
Next Stop: Doubleheader City
Stats guru David Feldman joins Susan Slusser to talk about all the makeup games Oakland will have to play after multiple postponements. They also discuss the A’s positive COVID test and analyze the team’s trade deadline pickups.
39 min
Dave Stewart on Protests and Postponements
The former A's ace, an East Oakland native, discusses the team's decision not to play at Texas in order to make a statement about racial injustice. He also talks about the trade deadline and tells us about his late mom, Nathalie.
32 min
Midseason Breakdown With Billy Beane
The A’s head honcho discusses the team’s strengths and weaknesses heading down the stretch and looks at what the free agent market might look like. As always, the Josh Donaldson deal gets a mention.
39 min
Cooling Down in the Desert
Arizona Republic beat writer Nick Piecoro joins Susan to discuss the first two games of the Diamondbacks series, his impressions of the A's, plus lots of Stephen Vogt and Bob Melvin talk.
31 min
Four Ball Scribes Preview Bay Bridge Series
In a joint A’s Plus-Giants Splash podcast, The Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, Matt Kawahara, John Shea and Henry Schulman assess the vastly different local teams before this weekend’s Bay Bridge series.
30 min
Brawls and Streaks: A's Second Baseman Tony Kemp
A's second baseman Tony Kemp, a former Astro, talks with Susan about the rivalry brewing between Houston and Oakland after Sunday's melee; and he weighs in on the A's recent 9-game winning streak.
22 min
Previewing the Big Series: Astros-A's
Houston Chronicle writer Chandler Rome talks about the fallout from the Astros cheating scandal, and he and Susan break down the series between the division’s top teams starting Friday at the Coliseum.
27 min
Ken Korach Checks In
A's radio play-by-play man Ken Korach joins Susan to talk about the team's radio deal, walk-off homers, Jesus Luzardo's first big-league start and calling games in Oakland when the A’s are on the road.
38 min
Should Baseball Shut Down?
Chronicle sports columnist Ann Killion joins Susan Slusser to provide her impressions of the atmosphere at the fan-less Coliseum this week, and whether baseball should even be scheduled during this coronavirus wave.
31 min
Dipping Into the San Jose Pool
Director of Player Development Ed Sprague discusses Oakland's pool player camp in San Jose. Who might be ready to help the A's? How are prospects such as Tyler Soderstrom and Robert Puason doing?
30 min
Fifth & Mission: Will Coronavirus Baseball Work?
On the Chronicle’s flagship news podcast, A’s Plus host Susan Slusser and Giants Splash host Henry Schulman join Demian Bulwa to talk about the season opening under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss what fans can expect in the 60-game sprint, Giants manager Gabe Kapler and two players kneeling for the national anthem, and whether the A's can avoid their usual slow start. | Unlimited Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod | A’s Plus Newsletter: sfchronicle.com/asnewsletter
25 min
View from the Top: GM David Forst
How does the A's general manager approach putting together a 30-man roster? He also talks to Susan Slusser about re-starting training camp and his thoughts on kneeling during the national anthem.
19 min
How the A’s Hitting Is Shaping Up
Assistant hitting coach Eric Martins breaks down how many of Oakland's key hitters — especially slugger Khris Davis, coming off a down year — are looking a week into the team's training camp.
24 min
Baseball's back!
The Chronicle's Susan Slusser and Matt Kawahara talk about the first week of A's training camp at the Coliseum, what safety procedures are in place, what it’s like covering the team, and top storylines.
24 min
Canseco Comes Out Swinging
Former A's slugger Jose Canseco describes his new power-hitting tool for baseball, softball and golf - and he takes some shots at Major League Baseball, reminisces about Oakland's 1990 team and the new popularity of the Bash.
26 min
Scott Emerson Talks Pitching in Time of COVID-19
Oakland’s pitching coach talks about the A's fresh arms, what pitchers have been doing during the shutdown and some of the safety precautions Emerson, a Type-2 diabetic, will need to take.
31 min
Bob Melvin on the Challenges of Baseball's Restart
A’s manager Bob Melvin talks with Susan about the trickiest aspects of getting baseball restarted, plus how well is his team set up for a short season? Trying to get off to a good start will be a key.
18 min
Art Howe on Recovering from COVID-19
The former A’s manager details his recent hospital stay and discusses the possibility of baseball returning to action in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. He also remembers his playoff teams and 20-game win streak.
30 min
Is MLB Going to Play in 2020 or Not?
Stats expert David Feldman joins Susan Slusser to talk about the potential to start the season and what that might look like, and about A's owner John Fisher's reversing some financial decisions. Plus: David and Susan have a rare major difference of opinion.
39 min
Jose Guillen Remembers Racism in Baseball
The former A's outfielder talks about some of his experiences dealing with prejudice in the major leagues. He also talks about playing hurt in the postseason for Oakland, and the steroid allegations at the end of his career.
32 min
The A's and a Weird Baseball Draft
Baseball America's J.J. Cooper joins Susan for a look at this week's truncated draft -- and what happens with all those undrafted players? Plus: a look at the A's draft and issues they might face.
34 min
Bruce Maxwell: A Voice of Protest Experience
The former A's catcher discusses his life since becoming the first and so far only MLB player to take a knee to protest police violence against African Americans, and his thoughts on major-leaguers' reactions to the current protests. | Get full Chronicle access: sfchronicle.com/pod
34 min
Bobby Witt Was Perfect, We Say!
Former A's starter Bobby Witt recalls losing a perfect game to a bad call at the Coliseum in 1994 and talks with Susan Slusser about his work as a player agent during a period with no baseball.
25 min
I-5 Series Game 7 Postgame Show
The I-5 Series ends in disaster for NorCal, as SoCal completes its comeback with a Game 7 rout. North manager Bruce Jenkins is fired midgame and replaced by a tippling Billy Martin. Henry Schulman has the details, Jon Miller the highlights.
14 min
I-5 Series Game 6 Postgame Show
We’ll see you tomorrow! Eddie Mathews’ grand slam off Dave Stewart in the 10th caps a Lefty Gomez-Jim Palmer pitchers duel and forces a Game 7. Henry Schulman talks to a worried NorCal manager Bruce Jenkins, and Jon Miller calls the highlights, including a homer and a defensive gem by Joe DiMaggio. | Follow the I-5 Series: sfchronicle.com/sports
13 min
I-5 Series Game 5 Postgame Show
Northern California had the bubbly on ice but the SoCals stay alive on a walk-off homer by Mark McGwire. Henry Schulman talks to NorCal manager Bruce Jenkins about his disastrous pitching moves and Jon Miller calls the highlights. | Follow the I-5 Series: sfchronicle.com/sports
10 min
I-5 Series Game 4 Postgame Show
A confident manager Bruce Jenkins joins Henry Schulman after his NorCal team takes a commanding 3-1 series lead. Mark McGwire's two homers aren't enough, and Dennis Eckersley slams the door by striking out Ted Williams.
13 min
I-5 Series Game 3 Postgame Show
What a finish! Rollie Fingers strikes out Barry Bonds as the tying run in the ninth to preserve a 6-2 win for Southern California and keep NorCal from taking a 3-0 series lead. Henry Schulman, Bruce Jenkins and Jon Miller with the recap.
14 min
I-5 Series Game 2 Postgame Show
Tom Seaver fires a complete-game three-hitter and Barry Bonds homers twice for the second straight game as Northern California beats Walter Johnson and Southern California 5-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the APBA Baseball series.
12 min
I-5 Series Game 1 Postgame Show
Northern California manager Bruce Jenkins joins Henry Schulman to talk about the North's 11-6 win in Game 1 of Golden Greats: The I-5 Series, an APBA Baseball simulation between all-time teams from Northern and Southern California.
9 min
Ex-Reliever Craig Breslow: Still a Brainiac
Ex-A's reliever Craig Breslow, now an executive with the Chicago Cubs, talks with Susan about his time with the A's, the logistics of baseball's return and his charity for pediatric cancer research.
31 min
Stephen Vogt Among I-5 Legends
Former A’s and Giants catcher Stephen Vogt, on the Northern California roster for the I-5 Series, talks with John Shea about his appreciation for baseball history and growing up in a baseball family.
8 min
Gabe Kapler and Dave Roberts Pick Their I-5 Ser...
Giants manager Gabe Kapler and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts take to a Zoom call to pick their lineups from the 34-man rosters of all-time Norcal and SoCal greats selected from more than 100,000 votes.
48 min
I-5 Series Rosters Revealed: Who’ll Win?
In an A's Plus/Giants Splash combo podcast, Chronicle and Los Angeles Times writers break down the all-time NorCal vs. SoCal rosters based on fan votes ahead of a seven-game APBA virtual series.
24 min
Reggie Jackson Speaks!
Reggie Jackson, the centerpiece of the A’s 1970s dynasty, talks to Susan Slusser from his home in Monterey about how he’s handling sheltering in place and his love for the Oakland A’s franchise.
27 min
Reopening MLB? What About At-Risk Players?
Jake Diekman, who has ulcerative colitis, says he wants to play, but he's at higher risk for COVID-19, and he doesn't want to compromise his health or his family's, nor does he want baseball to take tests from those who need them most.
18 min
Let’s Play APBA Baseball, and You’re Invited
We’re going to play an APBA series between NorCal and SoCal, with fans voting to decide both all-time rosters. John Shea moderates a roster discussion with Bruce Jenkins and L.A. Times’ Steve Henson.
39 min
10 Years Ago, Braden and Powell Were Perfect
As the 10th anniversary of Dallas Braden's perfect game -- on Mother's Day, 2010 – approaches, the man who caught that game, Landon Powell, takes Susan Slusser through that remarkable day.
26 min
Former A's Owner Wally Haas' Oakland Pride
Former A's owner Wally Haas talks with Susan about his family's tenure with Oakland from the days of Billy Ball, A World Series title and an unprecedented work stoppage that has parallels to today.
34 min
Landon Powell At Risk During Coronavirus Pandemic
Former A's catcher Landon Powell talks to Susan Slusser about losing his infant daughter to a rare disorder in 2013, and how his own health issue puts him at-risk during the coronavirus outbreak.
42 min
Having Stared Down Death, Micah Bowie Fears COV...
Part 2 with ex-A's reliever Micah Bowie about his nearly fatal medical issues, leaving him with massive lung damage. He's now concerned about COVID-19 patients enduring similar battles.
31 min
Having Stared Down Death, Micah Bowie Fears COV...
Ex-A's reliever Micah Bowie talks to Susan Slusser about his nearly fatal medical issues, leaving him with massive lung damage. He's now concerned about COVID-19 patients enduring similar battles.
44 min
Chronicle Subscriber Zoom Q&A, Part 2
Susan Slusser and Henry Schulman answer subscribers' questions about the A’s and Giants in the second of two parts. Could robo umps be near? Will the White House have any say on baseball's restart?
38 min
Chronicle Subscriber Zoom Q&A, Part 1
The baseball crew of Susan Slusser, Henry Schulman and Jon Schultz answer Chronicle subscribers' questions. How are the A's and Giants players working out? And how is Susan's ankle injury healing?
26 min
A’s Gone By: Rob Bowen, Cop
Former A's catcher Rob Bowen calls Susan from Georgia, where he's got a second career in law enforcement. He describes his work in the K9 and SWAT units and chats about his dog partners.
26 min
Puk, Luzardo Ride Out Time of Coronavirus
Top rookies and ex-roommates A.J. Puk and Jesus Luzardo discuss how they're weathering baseball's COVID-19 shutdown, the possibility of no baseball this year and Puk provides a health update.
17 min
How Liam Hendricks Is Staying Safe
Closer Liam Hendriks and wife Kristi tell Susan how they're handling baseball's hiatus, which members of their animal family are with them in Arizona, and how Liam is managing to work out safely.
32 min
Marcus Semien on the Coronavirus Shutdown
Shortstop Marcus Semien, who is also the A's player representative, discusses baseball's shutdown. Will there even be a season this year? He also talks about the potential ramifications on service time and free agency, plus what he's doing to stay in shape during the hiatus.
16 min
Shutdown Check-in: Ken Korach
Susan Slusser talks to the A's broadcaster — and her co-author — about baseball's decision to halt during the coronavirus outbreak and how he and his family, including his 101-year-old father, are doing.
26 min
Coronavirus Shutdown: Giants, A’s React
Giants writer John Shea and A’s writer Matt Kawahara discuss Major League Baseball’s decision to suspend spring training and delay the start of the season amid the coronavirus pandemic and how the Bay Area baseball teams are responding.
25 min
The MLB Response to Coronavirus
MLB.com national baseball writer Mark Feinsand talks to Susan about the league's response to the coronavirus health crisis -- plus he picks the A's to win the AL West. | A's Plus Newsletter
18 min
Mark Canha on Hitting, Bat Flips and Food
The A’s outfielder tells Matt Kawahara about the key to his productive 2019, the toughest pitcher he's faced in the majors, his stance on bat flips and his favorite restaurants around the Bay Area
29 min
Susan Slusser Speaks From the Injured List
Chronicle A’s beat writer Susan Slusser joins Matt Kawahara to discuss some of the position battles playing out in spring training, how the A’s might use their 26th roster spot – and her prognosis on recovery from a broken ankle. | A's Plus Newsletter
33 min
How the A's Will Hit
New assistant hitting coach Eric Martins, a former mailman who scouted for the A’s and played and coached for them in the minors, tells Matt Kawahara about joining the big-league staff and his approach to working with hitters, and breaks down some of Oakland’s young hitting prospects. | A's Plus Newsletter
21 min
Dustin Fowler's 2020 Challenge
Oakland outfielder Dustin Fowler talks to Susan about his rough 2018 and where he now stands in the A's plans after Ramon Laureano grabbed the center-field spot; and spring webcast play-by-play man Donny Baarns gives his impression of the team this spring and how battles might shake out.
24 min
Sandy Alderson: Is Sign Stealing the New Steroids?
Former A's GM Sandy Alderson discusses his first year as a senior advisor back with the team, his unique take on the Astros cheating scandal. And: Are there are parallels with the steroid problem of the 90s? Alderson's perspective on how the A's handled those.
23 min
ESPN's Howard Bryant on A's, Astros and Rickey
ESPN's Howard Bryant and Susan discuss the A's outlook, Mike Fiers' role as the whistleblower in the Astros cheating scandal, his new book, "Full Dissidence," and his upcoming book on Rickey Henderson. | Listen to Bryant on It’s All Political
33 min
Sean Manaea Flames the Astros
The A's lefty talks to Susan Slusser discusses what he learned from his disappointing wild-card start and his desire to be in the Cy Young race this year, plus: More of Manaea's thoughts on the Astros.
24 min
Introducing Catcher Austin Allen
The former Padre tells Susan Slusser about how his first camp with Oakland is going, his efforts to improve his defense and what it’s like to face — and now catch — Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk.
16 min
A's and Giants: Five Questions Heading into Spr...
In their second annual joint podcast ahead of spring training, Susan Slusser and Henry Schulman ask the five key questions that each team must answer in the 2020 season, with the Giants and A’s starting off in very different places.
28 min
Pitching Coach Scott Emerson
A’s pitching coach Scott Emerson stops by to talk with Susan about the team’s talented rotation and plans for AJ Puk and Jesus Luzardo, plus his thoughts on the Astros cheating scandal and how it affected pitchers.
20 min
A Chat With Chris Bassitt
The A’s pitcher talks with Susan Slusser about his thoughts on Oakland’s upcoming 2020 season and what his own role might be, plus how the A’s pitching staff was aware about allegations against the Astros for years.
14 min
Feldy's Follies
Stats expert David Feldman talks with Chronicle A's beat writer Susan Slusser about the A’s slow offseason, Houston’s cheating scandal and other hot topics, plus Susan discusses her vote for Tuesday’s Hall of Fame election.
37 min
Best of A's Plus: Billy Beane
The A’s vice president of baseball operations discusses his 2019 team’s biggest surprises and looks ahead to the then-upcoming playoffs. First published Sept. 27, 2019.
28 min