A's set for Thursday's charity golf outing
Current, former Oakland greats to hit the links for philanthropy
OAKLAND -- There's only so much a team can do when sitting in an offensive slump. New bats may offer a mental boost and extra batting practice may work out the mechanical kinks.
A's players, however, are hoping a day on the golf course will help them rejuvenate from a cold streak at the plate as they put away the bats and take out their clubs for the A's annual Community Fund Golf Classic on Thursday.
The tournament, which supports charitable organizations in improving the quality of life for people throughout the Bay Area, will bring out past and current A's players, as well as coaches, at the Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, Calif.
The main attraction of the day will have Oakland greats Vida Blue and Dave Stewart facing off against pitchers Dana Eveland and Chad Gaudin in the always popular long-drive contest.
"We're coming out in full force," said a confident Gaudin before the finale of a three-game series against Tampa Bay on Wednesday. "They better watch out."
Gaudin said he hasn't been on the links much recently, but he still expressed a strong sense of assurance in his game.
"I can do well out there, and Dana can shoot a 75 one day and a 95 the next," Gaudin said. "So it will all depend on the clubs tomorrow."
Additional players expected to attend include Jack Hannahan, Greg Smith and Joey Devine, who said he's not too worried about his golf performance in his A's tournament debut.
"I don't try to score high," said Devine. "I play every now and then, but I'm just looking forward to having a good time and meeting some people."
Among those Devine can expect to brush shoulders with are former players Bert Campaneris, Shooty Babitt, John "Blue Moon" Odom and Gene Tenace. Other participants include A's manager Bob Geren, who ordered a new set of clubs for the big event, and coaches Ron Romanick and Don Wakamatsu, President Michael Crowley and several A's broadcasters.
"It's really about having fun out there," Gaudin said. "Winning's always nice, but just making it enjoyable for the people to watch is what makes it great."
A few minutes after hearing his bullpen mate predicting a long-drive win, Devine could only laugh and shake his head.
"I see Gaudin having a little power," Devine said, "but I'm picking Stewart."
Jane Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.