Big homecoming for Bailey this weekend

PHILADELPHIA -- The stands will be packed with Andrew Bailey's family and friends this weekend at Citizens Bank Park.

He might be staring down hitters he idolized while growing up in nearby Haddon Heights, N.J.

So when the A's closer says he has to treat this three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies as if it's just another opponent, that's easier said than done.

"I've got a job to do, and no matter who's in the box, my job is to get them out," Bailey said before Friday's 1-0 A's loss.

This weekend is a homecoming for Bailey, who grew up going to Veterans Stadium with his father, Bill, to root for the Phillies and Eagles.

His favorite team of all?

The 1993 Phillies squad that went 97-65 and advanced to the World Series before losing to the Toronto Blue Jays.

"Joe Carter played a big role in my childhood," Bailey said, "not in a good way. He ruined it, actually."

Bailey rattled off Darren Daulton, Len Dykstra and Mitch Williams among his favorite Phillies as a youngster. While in high school Bailey was a big fan of current Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins.

Second baseman Chase Utley was another favorite.

Bailey estimates he'll have a "couple hundred" people at each game this weekend based on the text messages he's received leading up to the series.

The rest of the crowd may not greet him so kindly considering he's wearing an opposing uniform, and Bailey would expect nothing less.


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"The fans in Philadelphia are great," he said. "They love you if you're doing good and definitely let you know when you're not."

  • Center fielder Coco Crisp, nursing a sore heel and other various physical ailments, did not start Friday. A's manager Bob Melvin didn't specify what else was bothering Crisp besides his heel.

    "It's important we keep him healthy," Melvin said.

    Crisp did enter in the ninth as a defensive replacement.

    Ryan Sweeney started in center and made a sliding catch to rob Rollins in the third.

  • Catcher Kurt Suzuki has endured a miserable month hitting-wise. He had one of the A's two hits Friday but is batting .158 (9 for 57) overall in June.

    -- JOE STIGLICH