OAKLAND – A day later, A’s players were shrugging off the turn of events that led to them flying home from Seattle on Sunday in a plane branded with the Giants logo.
The story got legs when right fielder Josh Reddick tweeted a picture of the plane – with the hashtag “#AreYouKiddingMe” – as the A’s were boarding their charter for a flight home following a three-game sweep of the Mariners.
A’s closer Sean Doolittle said players cracked a few jokes about it on the plane but weren’t seriously bent out of shape about it.
The A’s have a contract with MLW Air in which they share a plane with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Because there was a scheduling conflict Sunday, MLW Air subserviced the A’s flight to Eastern Airlines, which provided a plane with the Giants’ logo.
“We can laugh at it because our plane’s better,” Doolittle said with a smile. “If there’s one thing we got, one thing we do that’s entirely big league and first class all the way, it’s our plane. We do have that going for us.”
Doolittle found another silver lining in flying a Giants-affiliated plane.
“It’s an even year -- maybe some of that magic will rub off, you know?”
Other players, including shortstop Marcus Semien, said the logo on the side of the plane simply wasn’t a big deal.
“I just wanted to get home safe,” Semien said. “We’re blessed to fly first class anyway. I’ll never have any complaints.”
Manager Bob Melvin expressed sympathy for starting pitcher Felix Doubront, after a second medical opinion Monday confirmed that the left-hander needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the season and most likely part of 2017 as well.
“Felix made his mark here and found a home for himself based on what he did for us last year, and the versatility he brings us in whatever role he’s in,” Melvin said. “I feel bad for him.”
Eric Surkamp remains the No. 5 starter for now, but the A’s have other options that will emerge as well. Jesse Hahn had a strong outing in his debut for Triple-A Nashville. Sean Manaea, Oakland’s top pitching prospect, makes his Triple-A debut Monday night, and right-hander Henderson Alvarez continues his progress back from shoulder surgery. His return could come by late May.
Asked if Surkamp is being evaluated start to start, Melvin suggested that’s always the case for every member of the rotation.
“There’s a lot of guys we’re looking at along those lines.”