Brandon McCarthy was in the dugout for Oakland's 8-2 win on Friday, the right-hander's first time sitting with his teammates during a game since he was hit in the head by a line drive on Sept. 5 and required emergency brain surgery. McCarthy told reporters that he has been cleared to begin riding an exercise bike and if that goes well, to play catch. He also hopes to be able to travel with the A's in the postseason as a non-participant. McCarthy believes he will be completely ready to pitch by spring training. The only real remaining concern is post-concussion syndrome, which McCarthy noted to the San Francisco Chronicle, has caused substantial problems for other players, such as Minnesota's Justin Morneau. A free agent after the season, McCarthy had said even before he was injured that he'd like to return to Oakland, but the way the team and the front office treated him and his family as he went through a life- threatening situation has solidified his desire to return. "Going through something like this where you see the reaction, not only from fans and teammates, but the way the front office handled it -- it was first class," McCarthy said. "They were fantastic to my wife and family, and I can't tell you how much respect I have for the way they treated me."
- Brandon McCarthy