SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Jet-lagged from Japan, the Oakland Athletics arrived at Raley Field on Saturday feeling a bit sluggish. Manager Bob Melvin told reporters he took a nap on the bus ride up to Sacramento as his team traveled to play its Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats.
"It was the best sleep I've had since I've been back," Melvin said. "Honest to God."
The players were also feeling the effects of traveling several time zones. Not even 48 hours passed from the time they touched down in the Bay Area on Thursday to Saturday's batting practice. Catcher Kurt Suzuki said he was still affected by the jet lag, while second baseman Jemile Weeks said his Friday consisted of "sleeping, eating and then back to sleep again."
As their bodies recover from the travel, the A's will tune up for a return to the regular season with four exhibition games: Saturday's tilt and then three games with the San Francisco Giants. Though Weeks acknowledged there was a bit of an exhibition feel to the pair of contests against the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo, he said the regular-season intensity was there.
"We had to go out there with the mentality that it was a real game," Weeks said. "We clicked that switch and it became different than Spring Training. But, yeah, it was a weird thing to jump into the season then come back."