05/12/10 9:37 PM ET
Braden graces Sports Illustrated cover
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
Dallas Braden, who tossed the 19th perfect game in Major League history on Sunday, is gracing the front page of America's most prolific sports magazine this week. The issue launched Wednesday and represents the 21st time that a member of the A's franchise has been featured on the cover.
Among the other A's featured on the prestigious cover include Philadelphia great Al Simmons and stars from the Swingin' A's of the 1970s, including Vida Blue and Bert Campaneris. Other A's cover boys include the likes of Walt Weiss and Oakland's 1981 rotation, which boasted Rick Langford, Steve McCatty, Brian Kingman, Mike Norris and Matt Keough.
Reggie Jackson tops the list with four covers, while Jose Canseco, Rickey Henderson, Mark McGwire and Catfish Hunter have been featured on two covers each.
Jason Giambi's appearance on the July 17, 2000, cover had been the last time an Oakland player emerged on a cover. Pitcher Jim Nash, meanwhile, became the first Athletics player to make an SI cover on March 13, 1967.
Suzuki's return pushed to at least Saturday
ARLINGTON -- Kurt Suzuki's bat proved more than ready for a big league return after a big day at the plate for Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday night.
The catcher's intercostal strain, however, told him a different story.
Suzuki will stay with Sacramento until at least Friday to continue rehabbing the strain that landed him on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career back on April 30. The transaction was retroactive to April 24, and Suzuki was expected to join the A's in Texas on Wednesday.
"After the game, when he went back to his hotel, he felt a little sore," said manager Bob Geren. "He didn't quite feel ready."
In five innings for the River Cats in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, Suzuki went 2-for-2 with a double and a home run to go along with three runs and three RBIs.
Geren said the 26-year-old Suzuki will take Wednesday and Thursday off, but he will play Friday and could potentially meet up with the A's in Anaheim on Saturday, when right-hander Justin Duchscherer (left hip) is also due back and slated to start.
In the meantime, Landon Powell will be given regular catching duties. He entered Wednesday's contest against the Rangers batting .160, but has seven walks and has reached base safely in all eight games in which he has batted. Along with tallying his first career steal Tuesday, he scored the winning run in the A's 13-inning 7-6 win.
"We're always going to miss Kurt no matter how well we're playing," Geren said. "He's a valuable player to this team, but Landon's been doing a nice job."
'Perfect Homestand' set to honor Braden
ARLINGTON -- The A's on Wednesday announced "The Perfect Homestand," a special week-long celebration honoring Dallas Braden's perfect game that will include unique fan giveaways, ticket discounts and an on-field tribute to the Stockton, Calif., native during the team's next homestand, May 17-23.
The club will kick the promotion off Monday night when the Mariners come to town for the first of a quick two-game set. Plaza Level tickets, including Section 209, will be priced at $2.09 to correlate with Braden's dedication for his hometown area code. The deal is only available online by using the coupon code "209" at oaklandathletics.com/perfect.
The following night, Lower Box seats will be priced at $19 in honor of the 19th perfect game in Major League history. Parking will also be free.
The celebratory week will continue Wednesday when Braden makes his first home start since the perfecto. The game against the Tigers will feature a Braden T-shirt given to the first 15,000 fans in attendance. Then, on Thursday, 10,000 fans will receive a commemorative ticket dated May 9, 2010, to mark the game in which Braden accomplished the rare feat.
When the Giants make their trip across the Bay Bridge for the first of a three-game set Friday, the A's will host a special on-field ceremony honoring Braden and his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, who is slated to throw out the honorary first pitch.
Weekend offerings include a $5 discount for all Field Level tickets Saturday, using the coupon code "Bridge" when purchasing online. To round out the promotion week, the A's will hand out a Braden perfect game poster to 15,000 fans on Sunday.
Crisp, Ellis set for first rehab starts
ARLINGTON -- Manager Bob Geren confirmed on Wednesday that Coco Crisp and Mark Ellis will make their first rehab starts together with Class A Stockton next week.
Crisp (left pinkie finger) and Ellis (left hamstring) are expected to join the Ports when they play in Lake Elsinore on May 18-20.
Ellis has been stationed at home in Phoenix rehabbing a strained left hamstring, which has kept the A's second baseman off the field since April 20. He also missed time from April 12-18 with the same injury.
Crisp, meanwhile, has yet to make his A's debut since signing a one-year contract in December. The Oakland outfielder was placed on the disabled list April 3 with a fractured finger. He was slated to take batting practice with the club for the first time Wednesday.
"He's had no pain so far," Geren said. "That will be the biggest test yet."
Justin Duchscherer (left hip) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Thursday. The results of that outing will determine whether the right-hander will be lifted off the disabled list and make his scheduled start Saturday. ... Daric Barton, who hit an 11th-inning home run and a run-scoring single in the 13th inning for the A's on Tuesday night, became the first A's player since 1956 to have an RBI hit in two different extra-inning at-bats in the same game. Harry Simpson had a 12th-inning homer and a 15th-inning three-run triple for the Kansas City A's in Washington on June 12 of that season.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.