Also in the game: Lefty Joe Kennedy said the adrenaline that came with his first starting assignment in a year and a half caused some problems on Friday, when he gave up four runs on six hits and two walks before being pulled with two out in the second inning."I didn't really know where it was going, it was moving so much," Kennedy said when asked if his command was off. "The first two weeks [of camp], I was right there with everything. But first game, you get a little amped up." Said manager Bob Geren: "Kennedy threw a lot better than the results. He really did. I thought he threw the ball well, and [catcher] Jason [Kendall] said he made some really good pitches." Relievers Kiko Calero, Alan Embree, Huston Street and Jay Witasick made some tough pitches, too, combining on four innings of one-hit work. Witasick, whose mysterious, mythical and potentially non-existent new "Sizzler" pitch was recently the subject of a tongue-in-cheek San Francisco Chronicle article, picked up the save with a perfect ninth inning and seemed to be smiling the whole time. Not long after he got on top of the rubber to start the inning, a small pocket of fans among the announced crowd of 3,483 started yelling, "Give 'em the Sizzler, Jay!" And yes, Witasick heard them. "I swear, I almost stepped off the mound and had myself a big belly laugh," he said. "A few years ago, I probably would have. Man, that was funny. This thing has just taken on a life of its own. It's awesome." After the second of Witsick's strikeouts in the frame ended the game, even Geren got into the act while rehashing the game with reporters. "Witasick looked great," he said. "Did he break out the Sizzler?" Sneak peek: The A's are known for putting together some of the funniest TV commercials in sports, and this year's batch has at least one instant classic and several chuckle-worthy moments. The classic is a flashback to Nick Swisher's Little League days. A young actor portrays Swisher hitting a home run, and Swisher himself is in costume as little Nick's celebrating father, who sports a mesh-and-foam trucker hat and one of the most ridiculous mullets in the history of the haircut. Other highlights include Rich Harden blowing a kiss to Geren in a spot that features Harden and Dan Haren trying to land the coveted Opening Day start; Bradley playing paddleball left-handed in a spot that highlights his and Swisher's ambidexterity; Kotsay yawning in the outfield as Harden racks up strikeout after strikeout; and Eric Chavez dropping everything in sight on a bad-hands day. Also amusing, perhaps unintentionally, is a spot that asks whether a ballplayer reveals a part of his soul during home run trots and shows game footage of several A's rounding the bases. One of the first players shown is Kendall, who enters 2007 with one home run in his past 1,374 at-bats. Filmed in January at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, spots from the "Athletics Defined" campaign will start airing on Bay Area stations during the second week of March. Geren said he enjoyed being part of the process, but he'd have liked a little more responsibility. "I was in three [commercials], and I have a total of one line," he said. "I yell, 'Kotsay!' in one. The rest was all facial expressions." High 5: Rule 5 outfielder Ryan Goleski, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, has impressed the coaching staff with his approach at the plate. "A lot of big guys come off the ball. He stays on it and gets through it," Geren said. "He's got tremendous power. A lot of talent." Goleski, 25, batted .306 with 27 homers and 106 RBIs while splitting last season at Class A and Double-A in the Indians organization. The Devils Rays made him the first pick overall in December's Rule 5 Draft, then sent him to the A's for $100,000. If he doesn't make the big-league team (and stick with it all year), he'll have to be offered back to Cleveland. "Obviously, he's going to get a nice, long look," Geren said. "And so far, everyone really likes what they see." Dribblers: Geren said Kielty's surgery "went very well. It was a small tear." ... Kotsay saw one doctor on Friday and is scheduled to see another one Monday. ... Shortstop Bobby Crosby looked a little stiff while running the bases with the rest of team in the morning, and his scheduled work in the batting cage was scratched. "He did very little. Almost nothing," said Geren, who added that the team's athletic trainers are being "extra cautious" with Crosby. ... Street likely won't pitch in save situations until later in the spring, when teams typically play their regulars longer. For now, he'll work early in games to face as many front-line hitters as possible.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.