OAKLAND -- Even before the end of season, A's outfielder Jonny Gomes will have to clear up some more shelf space for clubhouse awards.Gomes received the 2012 Jim "Catfish" Hunter Award on Tuesday, an honor for the Oakland player whose play on the field and conduct in the clubhouse best exemplifies the similar courage, competitiveness and inspirational spirit as the late Hall of Fame pitcher. After signing with the A's as a free agent in the offseason, the Petaluma, Calif., native has provided a season-long spark for an A's club that he followed closely while growing up. Gomes was named the winner of the Dave Stewart Community Service Award on Friday for his charitable contributions throughout Northern California and across the country. "He's been terrific," manager Bob Melvin said of the 31-year-old veteran. "He's such a great resource, not only for the players, but for myself and the coaching staff. These awards don't surprise anybody here. He is the guy for this, the obvious choice for a lot of these awards, and we're proud he is that guy."
Playoff-bound A's still have goals to meet
OAKLAND -- The A's have clinched a playoff position, but a host of variables will dictate where, who and when they'll be playing in the postseason.The list of scenarios includes everything from the A's traveling to Baltimore for the Wild Card game, all the way to the A's holding the top seed in the American League. "I think we need to get through these games here first with these next couple games, starting with today," manager Bob Melvin said before Tuesday's matchup with the Rangers, which they would have to win in order to keep their hopes of an AL West title alive. "If we have to, we'll take a proper look down the road. Our personnel and front office has looked at this thing at every possible angle you can possibly look at. I will insulate on today, and they'll look to the future, and that's probably a good dynamic for us to work that way." And with not only the division title but also home-field advantage still in play, the A's don't have much time to enjoy clinching their first postseason appearance since 2006, which culminated in a raucous clubhouse celebration following Monday's 4-3 win against the Rangers. "I think it's business as usual for us," Melvin said. "I don't think anybody was here until 2 in the morning last night. I think everybody got out of here at a decent hour, and as a matter of fact, I know they did. I don't think anybody overdid anything. I think we had a lot of fun with it in the time that we were here, but I think everybody recognized that today is as important as a game as yesterday, as is tomorrow. I think it's business as usual for us." The differing postseason possibilities affect not only the A's as they peek ahead to who they may be facing, but also the potential 25-man roster, especially the size and personnel of the bullpen. "I think the uncertainty of it, if you look that far out, is difficult," Melvin said. "But I think that the underlying theme with that is that we're in and we're going to be somebody, and we're all pretty happy about that. You don't want to get too wrapped up in the all the variables because there's too many to think about where you'll potentially be. You try to win today's game, and then when it's all said and done, somebody will tell us where to go."
Neshek to miss final two games for birth of child
OAKLAND -- The A's will be without reliever Pat Neshek for the rest of the regular season, with Neshek leaving the team to be with his wife as they expect their first child."Hopefully they're inducing today and tomorrow and everything goes well with him," manager Bob Melvin said before Tuesday's game against the Rangers. "We wish him the best. It's his first child, and we're excited for him." Neshek has proven to be a valuable commodity in the Oakland bullpen since he was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 3, immediately joining the A's after having spent the entire season with Baltimore's Triple-A squad in Norfolk, Va. Neshek is 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA for the A's, and he has allowed two runs in his last 3 1/3 innings, which broke his 14-game, 12-inning scoreless streak. The 32-year-old Neshek will be available for postseason play if the A's choose to name him to their playoff roster.
Brett Anderson, who had a bullpen session on Monday, played catch before Tuesday's game, and Melvin said the southpaw remains an option to pitch a potential Wild Card game on Friday."We'll see how he's doing, but my discussion with him earlier, he felt good," Melvin said before Anderson's throwing session. Oakland's 4-0 start to their season-ending homestand improved their record at the Coliseum to 48-31 (.601), and another win would give them the most victories at home since the 2006 A's went 49-32.
Jay Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.