Scenic route

Don­ald­son re­turns to Oak­land with the Blue Jays

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Josh Don­ald­son had a lit­tle ex­tra time to re­flect on his ten­ure with the Ath­let­ics dur­ing his first trip back to the ag­ing Oak­land Coli­seum.

Toronto’s All-Star third base­man spent about two hours in a taxi from San Fran­cisco to Oak­land on Tues­day be­cause his driver ap­par­ently took a few failed “short­cuts.”

Fi­nally, Don­ald­son saw the sta­dium’s new video boards as the car ap­proached and thought back to his old mem­o­ries of play­ing for the green and gold.

“When I pulled up, my heart started flut­ter­ing a lit­tle bit see­ing this place,” Don­ald­son said, wear­ing his Blue Jays uni­form in the visi­tor’s dugout.

No doubt Don­ald­son felt some emo­tions in his re­turn to Oak­land, where the Blue Jays and A’s were meet­ing for the first time since the off-sea­son trade that re­shaped their ros­ters.

In a sur­pris­ing move Nov. 28, the A’s sent Don­ald­son to Toronto for third base­man Brett Lawrie, right-han­der Kendall Grave­man, lefty Sean Nolin and mi­nor league short­stop Franklin Bar­reto.

Grave­men (6-5, 3.38 ERA) was start­ing for Oak­land in the opener of the three-game se­ries.

“Maybe a lit­tle in­cen­tive there,” Don­ald­son quipped.

Don­ald­son said he has “zero an­i­mos­ity” to­ward the A’s. He re­calls only fond mem­o­ries of his four sea­sons with the team – “mi­nus some flood­ing a cou­ple times” in the club­house – and is thank­ful for the op­por­tu­nity the team gave him.

But Don­ald­son ad­mit­ted the move by A’s gen­eral man­ager Billy Beane to break up a club that had made the play­offs three straight sea­sons left him stunned.

“It prob­a­bly took me two or three weeks at least to kind of let it soak in. It was def­i­nitely hard,” Don­ald­son said.

“There was def­i­nitely some emo­tions go­ing on be­cause a lot of the guys that were here, we’ve been through so much to­gether, we’ve kind of built what we thought was a core and re­ally some foun­da­tions.”

Oak­land, which won the AL West in 2012 and 2013, lost by 10 games to the big-spend­ing Los An­ge­les An­gels last sea­son.

The A’s were then elim­i­nated 98 in 12 in­nings in the one-game wild card at Kansas City.

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