MLB Franchise Notes: A's Reportedly In Mix For '15 Season-Opener In Taiwan
In S.F., Susan Slusser cites sources as saying that MLB is "exploring the possibility of season-opening games in Taiwan" in March '15, and the A's are "at the top of possible teams to go on that trip." After season-openers in Tokyo in '08 and '12, A's Exec VP & GM Billy Beane said that the team would "enjoy going any time they're asked." Beane yesterday said, "We've always been open to considering playing international games, subject to details. I can only speak for baseball operations, but our experiences in Japan were fantastic from a baseball standpoint" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/20).
BRAINS OVER BRAUN: In Milwaukee, Rich Kirchen reported Brewers LF Ryan Braun "appeared in recent days on a digital billboard along Interstate 94 promoting Opening Day and in a print advertisement for the Brewers." While not all fans are "ready to forgive and forget" Braun's PED suspension last season, the Brewers' front office "likes the idea of including Braun in promotions for the upcoming season." He has "made an effort to mend fences with fans" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/18).
IRON CITY UNCERTAINTY? Pirates Owner Bob Nutting yesterday said that working out contract extensions for manager Clint Hurdle and GM Neal Huntington "is not a top priority." In Pittsburgh, Rob Biertempfel notes Hurdle's contract extends through this season with a club option for '15, while Huntington's deal "also runs out after this season." Nutting said, "Having talked with both of them, I don't think that's the first topic on anybody's mind right now" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 2/20).