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Title: Bay Area Babble

galraen - September 14, 2009 01:19 PM (GMT)
So the Athletics got thumped in the final game of the series, Gio Gonzlez looks favourite to miss out on being in next years rotation, starting to look decidedly too unreliable. Won the series though, so things looking reasonably bright. After a dodgy spell Pennington seems to have locked down the starting Short Stop position for next year, as one guy on another forum put it he has one massive advantage, he's not Bobby Crosby!

The Giants managed to salvage the last game of their series and keep their faint hopes of post season play alive, not looking good though. Nice to see them scoring runs for once mind, good game for Travis, but he needs several more of them to position himself as the starting 1st baseman next year.

Leemarlin87 - September 14, 2009 01:36 PM (GMT)
Gio not in the rotation next year thats a disapointment.

Means I'm going to have to carry him in the dynasty league on the bench and waste a roster spot for him, unless we bring in the Sending down ruling whcih is a discussion for the dynasty boards.

He has really struggled in putting consistent starts together, Striking out a ton but walking way too many

He kind of reminds me of Andrew Miller on our team, so infuriatingly inconsistent and when hes not on it for a certain start he is so bad its untrue.

Thats why he keeps boucing around

galraen - September 14, 2009 02:18 PM (GMT)
It's not a given Lee, just my twe penneth. Dallas Braden and |Outman will be back hopefully. That'll give us a front four of Braden, Anderson, Cahill and Outman, leaving Gio to fight it out with Vinny Mazarro, Tomko and Mortenson for the fifth spot. Recent performance would give Tomko the edge right now, but ST is where it'll all shake out. Gio needed a good outing last night and he'd have been in pole position, he really needs to nail the next couple of starts.

galraen - September 15, 2009 12:36 PM (GMT)
Brett Tomko helped his chances of being in someone's rotation next year last night. A five hit complete game shutout in Arlington certainly will mkae some people do a double take. Is Curt Young the best pitching coach in the majors, or is Tomko just on a lucky streak? Probably the latter, but if Tomko can close out the season on anything like last night's form he'll probably get more than a minor league contract this winter.

Nice to see our offence scoring soem runs again too, and see the Giants breath more life into their post season hopes. Another Cy Young performance form Tim, and another strong outing for Ishikawa. Keep it going, a sweep here and the last ten days of the season could be very interesting.

galraen - February 19, 2010 07:59 PM (GMT)
Last season still hadn't finished when I wrote the previous post, much has happened since then.

The A's projected line-up now looks something ike this:

1B Daric Barton, Eric Chavez, Jake Fox
2B Mark Ellis, Adam Rosales, Eric Patterson
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, Adam Rosales, Jake Fox
SS Chad Pennington, Adam Rosales
LF Rajai Davis, Eric Patterson
CF Coco Crisp, Rajai Davis
RF Ryan Sweeney, Gabe Gross, Travis Buck

SP Ben Sheets, Dallas Braden, Trevor Cahil, Vinny Mazarro, Bret Anderson

RP Brad Ziegler, Joey Devine, Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow, Brad Kilby, Jerry Blevins
CL Andrew Bailey

Not a team that on the face of it can score enough runs to win the division, but which, if things work out, could surprise a few people and finish at or slightly above .500, which would be good progress for a team still in rebuild mode.

fishandchippers - February 19, 2010 08:08 PM (GMT)
is Devine going to be ready Gal? Just picked him up in one of the fantasy leagues.

Tijani - February 19, 2010 08:09 PM (GMT)
The pitching could be very good and may have a shot at leading the league in ERA but as you say the problem is going to be scoring enough runs.

I fancy the A’s to finish at about .500 but I wouldn’t be that shocked to see them do better than that.

galraen - February 19, 2010 08:14 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (fishandchippers @ Feb 19 2010, 09:08 PM)
is Devine going to be ready Gal? Just picked him up in one of the fantasy leagues.

We're hoping so Ritch, he may have to have an extended ST, but should be with the team shortly after the season starts; he's ready to start working though.

galraen - June 14, 2011 03:07 PM (GMT)
Two news items today.

1. Brett Anderson is not going to have surgery and has had injections, he is slated for a 6 week rehab stint. I just hope this is the right thing to do; if this doesn't work then we'll end up losing him for all of next year as well.

2. Chris Carter comes off the Minor League DL. First base is his if he can take it, anything like .270/.350/.400 will get him to the majors and see Barton and him swap places.

galraen - June 25, 2011 02:06 AM (GMT)
Well to paraphrase The Who, 'Meet the new Bob, same as the old Bob'.

When will we get a manager who will get i through his thick head that Fuentes is crap and should only be used in a mop up situation? Even tehn have the brains to have a righty warming up so you can yank the bum when a right handed batsman comes up.

galraen - June 25, 2011 02:18 AM (GMT)
Having vented my frustration with Melvin, I should correct things by pointing out that the real problem with the A's isn't really either Bob, but Billy Beane.

Tijani - June 25, 2011 03:22 AM (GMT)
I’m not the biggest Brain Fuentes fan but I’m amazed by how much he seems to be struggling. I had a look at his numbers and the thing that would concern me is how badly he is doing against lefties.

galraen - June 25, 2011 01:10 PM (GMT)
That was what got me so mad last night, he can't even do a decent job against lefties, so why on earth didn't we have a righty warming up in the pen for the inevitable pinch hitter? Melvin screwed up big time.

Tijani - June 25, 2011 11:16 PM (GMT)
It seems like a big mistake from Melvin.

If he isn’t fooling lefties then he is in big trouble. He probably should have gone back to the NL where he has had some success. The Twins would maybe take him back after the success that he had at the end of last season.

galraen - July 1, 2011 01:12 AM (GMT)
Sad an glad news today, Mark Ellis has been traded to the Rockies. I wish him nothing but the best, he's been a favourite of mine for years, never number one on my list of favourites, but not far behind. I hope the Rockies know what a class act he is, they'll soon find out they've got one of the best defensive second basemen in the game, and his bat can't continue to suck the way it has this year. He's usually a second half player, expect him to heat up in Colorado.

galraen - July 1, 2011 02:08 PM (GMT)
To balance my frustrated rants, here's a piece from Athletics Nation, aka Beane NAtion. One thing which I have to disagree on, no way in hell would I trust blowing up and rebuilding to proven failure Billy Beane!

An Organizational Crossroads: How To Get Good Again Before 2016

by Nico

Legend has it that lurking in the darkness behind the CF wall are 300 runs waiting to be claimed. Do not be afraid, Coco. Only Matt Carson has tried to go there but he couldn't get through the wall.

Legend has it that lurking in the darkness behind the CF wall are 300 runs waiting to be claimed. Do not be afraid, Coco. Only Matt Carson has tried to go there but he couldn't get through the wall.

It's kind of like looking at one of those maps where the red X says "You Are Here," but as you look east there's a cliff, south there's a dead end, west there's a large swamp, and north there's a road that only leads east. 4-5 years into what was billed as a rebuild, the A's are sitting with a worse record than they started with, a lower rated farm system, an infield you couldn't give away and an OF that is poised to leave as one big free agent.

There are only so many directions you can go, from "blowing it up" to "becoming buyers for right now" to a few gradations in between. This post attempts to explain why some choices may not be the right ones, hoping that by the end perhaps a good course will reveal itself -- ideally one that does not require the ability to survive the fall off a cliff or the ability to thrive in the middle of endless swampland. (Seriously, that time share is not a scam you'll get me to go for twice, no sirree Bob. Hey, the name Bob! Isn't that the name of every manager we've ever had, from Bob Melvin to Bob Geren to Bob Macha to Bob Howe and all the way back to good old Bobbie Mack? But I undress...)

"Blow It Up"

When readers casually throw the phrase "blow it up, Billy!" around, they may or may not realize what they're actually advocating. "Blow it up" does not mean "foist the players you hate onto unsuspecting teams," it means trade the players who are essential to you now because other teams actually want them and will give you multiple good young players in return. Those players for the Oakland A's clearly begin with Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill.

Personally, I would not advocate dealing those two guys and my reasoning is that in order to come out ahead you would need to replace them not only with the middle of the order hitters you are so desperately lacking, but you would also need to replace them with two healthy, "front of the rotation" level starting pitchers.

Dealing Gio and/or Cahill would make the team truly terrible, which has its advantages in the draft. Your 2012 and 2013 picks might be very high picks -- which means you can draft guys who might be ready to help you around 2015 or 2016. That's 4-5 years from now, and only if you hit on them.

Meanwhile, you might get multiple starting pitching prospects along with what you hope is at least a couple potentially good solutions for your lineup. Those pitching prospects are likely to wind up being a Brett Anderson type ("man he's good if he could only stay healthy"), a Luke Hochevar type ("Well he was supposed to be better but I guess he's ok"), and a Tyson Ross type ("He could be as good as Cahill and Gio, or he could be disappointing, or he could be totally injured -- good luck!")

In Cahill and Gonzalez, you have pitchers who are already pitching 200 excellent innings and have no history of injury. Dealing them is banking on replacing them -- which is hard enough to do in and of itself -- in the hopes that you can hit on the draft, as well as on the other players you acquire in trade, in order to be good not next year, nor the year after, nor the year after that, but perhaps by 2015-16.

Basically if there's any way to build around Cahill and Gio (and hopefully Anderson if he bounces back -- though he's the one I would have traded due to the combination of his terrific ability and his not-so-terrific health), rather than dealing the best thing the A's have going, and really the one thing that teams really envy for good reason, that's my vote.


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!! That is all.

Yes, a team can make up 7-8 games in the standings in half a season, but not when they're a .444 team whose lineup reminds you daily as to why. Some rosters have ".700 ball for 6 weeks" written all over them and this isn't one of them.

And herein lies the problem. The A's have few "trade chips" that other teams want enough for them to rebuild without blowing the team up fully. Yet the current crew of position players, which looks like a nice-but-not-inspiring 3Bman, a "less annoying than Crosby but not that much more productive" SS, 1Bmen whose power ranges from zero HRs to one, a catcher who is hitting pop-ups and throwing grounders, and an OF of guys who "should be slightly above average, but they came to the A's so naturally they're underperforming," doesn't offer a myriad of good options.

What To Do?

So what to do, what to do? Who to keep and who to deal? Who to try to keep around and who to let walk?

Josh Willingham...It is tempting to try to keep Willingham, who represents something the A's so desperately lack: A power hitter who is also a good hitter in general. Here's the problem. Willingham, already a below-average defensive player, is 32 and coming off knee surgery, now slowed by a bad achilles, and the writing on the wall is clear: In the coming years, Willingham figures either to be a LFer who gives up too much of his offensive value in the field, or he figures to become a DH. And the one position where the A's should be ok the next few years, if they play their cards right, is DH.

Deal Willingham in July if a team is willing offer a potential "impact prospect" for him, and if not let him walk and take the draft picks (assuming they still exist with the new CBA), let Matsui go, and tell Chris Carter that he's the DH from 2012-2017, period. If the A's will just let Carter develop as a full-time DH, he may give the A's one less hitter to worry about and on this team that's not to be taken lightly.

David DeJesus...Sign DeJesus to an extension if he's open to staying. DeJesus is a much better player than how he has performed this season, and even so he has been quite decent against RHP (.251/.347/.411) with a career record that does not in any way suggest a repeat of his absurdly bad 2011 line against LHP (.123/.167/.123).

Moreover, DeJesus is healthy, is still only 31, is a very solid defensive player, and should, thanks to his poor 2011 showing, be pretty affordable. He's not the star the A's need to find to build around, but he is an excellent complementary piece. Given that the 2012 free agent class is putrid, meaning DeJesus will be more appealing on this year's open market, I'd try to extend him mid-season. I know he hasn't been anything like we had hoped. But he should be a very good player in 2012-14 and he's the OFer I'd try to keep.

Coco Crisp...Same age as DeJesus, but with an extensive injury history, a noodle arm, and skills heavily reliant on being spry. Think Chone Figgins to appreciate the risks of keeping a guy like Crisp around into his 30s. Much as I think he's one of the A's better players, and love the guy, I wouldn't commit to him. I'd trade him mid-season if there's a suitor and let him walk if there isn't. Ryan Sweeney, ideally platooning with a RH Peter Bourjos/Carlos Gomez type, becomes your CFer until you can upgrade.

Kurt Suzuki...Down year or not, I suspect Suzuki has some trade value due to his position, his age, his reputation, and his reasonable multi-year contract. I think you have to bite the bullet and trade Suzuki if a team is prepared to give you a potentially good young hitter or two in return. Sure it would be great if Josh Donaldson were better than you think, but currently he is stalling like someone who might only be as medium as you feared, and it would be uber-ducky if Anthony Recker proves to be more than a AAAA hitter with an ass that gets 83,300 hits on a google search.

However, the drop-off from the current Suzuki to those guys may not be so cavernous, and Suzuki fits that middle position of possibly being enough in demand to bring back value in trade but also not "Cahill and Gio" essential to the foundation of the team.

Daric Barton...I think Barton has no real trade value. He's a 1Bman with zero HRs who has sandwiched a terrific season with a couple absolute stinkers. He may be better than many fans feel he is, but his trade value, probably "too low" when he was performing well, is at a nadir, and not the Ralph kind. I also don't believe he's part of the A's future, as this team is simply going to need to get more power/slugging from the corners of the diamond than Barton can ever hope to provide. What Barton's "true OBP" is, I don't know, but it's probably neither .393 nor .325. It may be around .360, which is very good. But not good enough for a low-slugging 1Bman on a team that can't easily afford sluggers around the diamond. Like Adrian Cardenas, Barton may become a nice additional piece in a multi-player trade. As good as he was in 2010, I think that's pretty much what Barton will be at this point, as opposed to being the A's 1Bman of the future or being a key piece in any deal. Just my opinion.

Andrew Bailey, Tyson Ross, and Michael Wuertz...These are three other players whom the A's can probably replace in relative stride and who might bring back value in return. I value an excellent closer more than some do, but Bailey's injury history is enough to make me willing to move him, while Ross' "time bomb" mechanics, his appealing upside as a trade chip, and the A's skill at finding solid back-of-the-rotation starting pitchers, make me comfortable moving Ross if it can bring back good young hitting talent. Wuertz could go, and even sans Bailey the A's would be left with Balfour and Devine, De Los Santos on the way -- honestly a team with this many holes on the diamond needs to use its relief pitching depth to win tomorrow's players, not today's game.

So what might the A's be able to get in the way of talent, from the draft picks you can squeeze out of letting Willingham and Crisp walk, and trading 3-4 of Suzuki, Bailey, Ross, and Wuertz? Can you possibly get from that, say, the team's next 1Bman and next LFer, one of whom is a special player and one of whom is good?

Here I'm talking about a raw talent on par with a BJ Upton/Matt Kemp level prospect but who is still totally unproven, and another well regarded prospect widely expected to be quite good. The kind of prospects who come to mind include Yonder Alonso (1B, Reds), Jaff Decker (OF, Padres), Freddie Freeman (1B, Braves), Brett Jackson (OF, Cubs), Jerry Sands (1B-OF, Dodgers), and Jonathan Singleton (1B-OF, Phillies). If you can score two guys like that, and bolster your drafts with the picks from losing Willingham and Crisp, your not-so-distant future looks like two (hopefully legitimately) good young position players joining what currently includes:

DH - Carter
C - Donaldson/Recker
2B - Weeks
SS - Pennington hopefully giving way to Green
3B - Sizemore, maybe Parker if he progresses
CF - Sweeney platoon
RF - DeJesus

a rotation still anchored by Cahill, Gonzalez, hopefully Anderson, and then you might have Outman, McCarthy, maybe even Braden, or their heirs apparent, in the mix, and a farm system bolstered by the free agent losses and trades, aiming to move up Michael Taylor, Michael Choice, Yordy Cabrera et al as they're ready.

As for who to pursue and which teams might be good trade partners, that's for another day and probably another writer. Is this a great plan? No, absolutely not. Is it better than building around what you have, or dealing Cahill and Gio in a full out "ok we wasted 5 years, and now we don't even have any starting pitching" blow up? Possibly.


galraen - July 5, 2011 11:34 AM (GMT)
Another day, another loss due to pathetic hitting. The only thing that surprises me these days about the A's is why Sweeney hasn't demanded a trade to a team that would actually give him an honest chance to compete for a spot, the way that Bob2 is treating him is nothing short of disgraceful. Melvin seems to have got the message though, whatever you do make sure you lose, especially at home, those attendance figures must be driven down!

galraen - July 6, 2011 10:47 PM (GMT)
The A's managed to salvage a game in the series with the mighty Mariners 2-0, thanks to Moscosco being able to handcuff Seattle's weak hitting better than Vargas handled our pathetic bunch. Both runs were driven in and one scored by Scott Sizemore, who has been a very pleasant surprise since we acquired him from the Tigers, how long it will last is guesswork.

The other hits were contributed by Jemile Weeks, who has cooled slightly from his electric start, Coco Crisp who is just about holding up his trade value, and a rare contribution from Pennington, who scored the other run.

Ryan Sweeney continues to live in Melvin's doghouse, being used just as a defensive substitute. Under Melvin he's not even being used in a platoon, whilst Matsui continues to play nearly every day despite now being below the Mendoza line, as does The Anti-Christ who is trying hard to catch Hideous Matsui.

galraen - July 10, 2011 10:32 PM (GMT)
Not a lot to say, without multiple expletives, about our first half other than the pitching was mostly good, everything else [multiple expletives deleted].

We fired one Bob, but promptly replaced him with another Bob who has actually managed to be even worse, and I didn't think that was possible!

galraen - July 23, 2011 10:47 PM (GMT)
Interesting article from LA Times:

Slipping on an Oakland A's jersey as a starting pitcher 30 years ago meant being dressed for the nines.

Come hell or high-water pants with socks pulled to the knees, Manager Billy Martin expected his starters to throw a complete game — pitch counts be damned.

"If you didn't go nine innings," said Steve McCatty, one of the A's starters, "you didn't feel like you did your job."

More often than not, they got the job done.

Oakland's pitching staff in 1980 and '81 combined for 154 complete games in 271 starts — nearly 57%. (This season, through Sunday, there had been a total of 118 complete games in the major leagues, in 2,840 starts — 4%.)

Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, considered baseball's ironman pitcher these days with six complete games in 19 starts, would have been a laggard if he played for those A's teams.

In 1980, Rick Langford finished 28 of the 33 games he started. Mike Norris completed 24 of 33, Matt Keough 20 of 32, McCatty 11 of 31 and Brian Kingman 10 of 30.

The next season, which was shortened to 109 games by a strike, the staff had 60 complete games, nearly doubling the 33 complete games compiled by the next-closest team.

Langford finished 18 of 24 games, McCatty 16 of 22, Norris, lagging well behind his pace of the previous season, 12 of 23.

Over the last 13 years, only one major league pitcher has matched even Norris' 1981 complete-game total — Randy Johnson in 1999, and that was in a 162-game season.

The fallout from the A's heavy workload was severe. Five promising careers ended prematurely and other teams more strictly enforced pitch limits to protect their starters.

"You're not going to see that in today's game, mainly because of the mind-set," said Bert Blyleven, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday after a 22-season career in which he amassed 242 complete games. "They have the pitch count and so-called quality starts of six innings today."

One reason Martin wanted his starters to pitch deep into games was that the late manager thought he had the best rotation ever assembled — Langford, McCatty, Norris, Keough and Kingman were dubbed "The Five Aces." But mostly, Martin just wanted to minimize a suspect bullpen.

"Let's face it, we didn't have any Dennis Eckersleys out there," Norris said.

So Martin would hand his starters the ball and rarely ask for it back. In 1981, the A's won their first 11 games, with the starters going the distance nine times. Reliever Tom Underwood, traded from the New York Yankees to Oakland in May, told McCatty he soon realized he wouldn't pitch most days he wasn't used as a spot starter.

Pitch counts were kept but never used to determine when a starter was done. Langford, the most economical of the bunch, would average about 110 pitches in nine innings, according to McCatty, who usually threw between 130 and 140 pitches in his complete games.

Sometimes they needed a lot more pitches than that. Langford, Keough, Norris and McCatty each threw a 14-inning complete game in 1980, when the A's set a major league record with 94 complete games. Norris needed 152 pitches to get through his extra-inning marathon.

McCatty? Two hundred and seven. When Martin came out to see how his pitcher was feeling in the 11th inning, the right-hander sent him marching back to the dugout.

Recalled McCatty: "I said, 'I'm staying out here one way or another. I'm getting a win or a loss.'"

Tijani - August 11, 2011 12:14 AM (GMT)
What did you make of C.J Wilson's comments about the A's?

galraen - August 11, 2011 12:47 AM (GMT)
Pretty childish but he's right about the ;ac of support in Oakland, but what can you expect when the owner keeps trashing Oakland and is adamant that he's going to move the team elsewhere? Wolff has made it clear that he doesn't care a jot about Oakland or the fans, he's been doing everything he can to drive away fans and push down attendance 'Major League' style and surprise, surprise he's succeeding.

galraen - August 11, 2011 12:52 AM (GMT)
Nice ovation for Alvarez as he leaves the game with 2 0n and 2 out in the 6th. The kid's got good stuff, nice movement on his mid 90's fast ball.

galraen - August 15, 2011 08:26 AM (GMT)
Pipped at the post!!!

WE were just one eror away from being the first major league team to make 100 errors only for the Cubs to put on a last minute surge to beat us to it! Dams, but at least we still have a firm grip on the race to 100 unearned runs, we're now on 69 whilst the Cubs have a paltry 53! :rolleyes:

Not long ago Billy Beane was talking about how important it was to build a good defence to back up our young pitching, so he went out and built baseball's worst defence, way to go Billy! The closer we get to the release of 'Monkeyball the movie', the more ridiculous the project looks!

Tijani - September 21, 2011 01:52 AM (GMT)
It is being rumoured that the A’s have agreed a 3-year extension with Bob Melvin. How do you feel about this?

galraen - September 21, 2011 03:30 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Tijani @ Sep 21 2011, 02:52 AM)
It is being rumoured that the A’s have agreed a 3-year extension with Bob Melvin. How do you feel about this?

Furious, but not surprised, the ownership, which includes Beane, don't give a toss about winning, all they care about is pocketing the revenue sharing and moving to San José so they can exploit the real estate development opportunities there.

galraen - September 26, 2011 03:43 PM (GMT)
When interviewed about the Monkeyball movie recently Beane said that injury was the new inefficiency, teams that can handle injuries well can benefit from that. I would have laughed my head off at that if I wasn't spitting blood! The real inefficiency in Oakland is the GM and owner, I'm now praying fervently that the Cubs, or anyone hires Beane and someone who actually cares about baseball and isn't just using it as leverage in real estate speculation will buy the team.

galraen - October 3, 2011 01:10 PM (GMT)
My assessment of the Athletics position players by position, mostly looking at players who are likely to be around next year:

First Base:

Daric Barton started out as the unchallenged player in this position but had a disastrous season, not only could he not maintain his hitting ability, his glove went south also. Demoted to AAA, where he still struggled he wound up on the DL. The only hope for him is that he was carrying an injury from the start and he can bounce back next year. Don't hold your breath though, if he does it'll probably be with another team after his reaction to demotion annoyed Billy Beane.

Brandon Allen was acquired mid season and initially looked good, but struggled big time at the plate after the first couple of weeks. When he makes contact it is with power, but unfortunately that is far too infrequent. Defensively though he is sound. Will start ST as a contender for a starting position, but the A's desperately need someone to challenge him.

Second Base:

After his call up due to an injury Jemile Weeks made the position his own. He knows how to make contact, and when he keeps the ball down his speed gets him on base consistently. His bae running needs a lot of improvement, and his defence is definitely a work in progress. All in all he was a rare bright spot in the A's season, and had he got called up earlier he would have been the front runner in the Rookie of the Year stakes.

Third Base:

Kevin Kouzmanoff and Andy Laroche started off platooning at thitrd, but that didn't work at all, Kouzmanoff in particular was awful both offensively and defensively. A trade for Scott Sizemore saw the end of both of them at the major league level, and he was a pleasant surprise. Not great defensively, he gets the job done most of the time, decent range, but his arm really isn't strong enough for third. The A's will start ST with him, but if they need to upgrade, and there's no one in the system they can look to.

Short Stop:

Cliff Pennington is not good enough defensively, clanks too much and his throwing leaves much to be desired. Offensively he'd be fine if he was good defensively, but he's not and too streaky to be depended on. Again, there's no one in the system to challenge him.

Left Field:

Willingham played the most in left, but he won't be back. We have no one anywhere near good enough to replace him with.

Centre Field:

With Crisp on his way out the only player left who can play the position is Ryan Sweeney. Ryan is plenty good enough against right handed pitching but need a lot of improvement against lefties, getting more opportunity to face them might help. Defensively he's sound but not awe inspiring.

Right Field:

After DeJesus's woeful season hell be with another team next year, and there isn't an in house replacement in sight.


Kurt Suzuki remains as the main man, although he deteriorated badly with the bat, and it seemed to affect his defence unfortunately. His defence did improve later in the season, but if he doesn't get off to a good start next season he will probably lose his job to Recker.

So looking toward next year the probably line-up looks even worse than this years:

C. Suzuki/Recker
1B. Allen
2B. Weeks
3b. Sizmore
SS. Pennington
LF. AN Other
CF. Ryan Sweeney
RF. AN Other

This means Beane will have to find free agents or trade for replacements due to his ineptitude at building from within. Unfortunately it's been announced that we won't spen any money on free agents until Selig resolves the stadium situation, as Bud has been sitting on this for over two years, there's no reason to expect resolution any time soon.

God help us; move over Astros, we're coming through.

galraen - October 3, 2011 01:37 PM (GMT)

As per normal thsi was our strong suit, unfortunately having the second worst defence in the majors badly undermined this. The pitcher most adversely affected by the totally inept fielding was Trevor Cahill who is a contact pitcher who relies on the players behind him. As the season wore on his confidence in the defence deteriorated to the pint where he tried to become a strike-out pitcher, which is defintiley not his style, the resule was an ERA above 4, if the D improves next year, and it cant get much worse, he should bounce back.

Gio Gonzalez, and Brandon McCarthy battled it out for the Ace title, with Gio winning in most people's eyes, not so sure myself as Brandon had a much better WHIP. A late entrant in the stakes was Guillermo Moscoso, who wound up having the best WHIP on the team. If Dalas Braden and Brett Anderson can come back strong ext year our rotation would be amongst the best in baseball. Unfortunately at least one of our pitchers, most likely Gio Gonzalez will almost certainly be traded this winter. Hopefully Beane won't screw up again.

The back end of the bullpen was strong this year, with Balfour and Bailey having good seasons, but middle relief was suspect to say the least.

galraen - October 6, 2011 11:04 PM (GMT)
In my previous posts I summarised our position looking forward. Here are some of the players who the A's hope will fill the gaps:

Adrian Cardenas - He's had a good year with the bat in Sacramento, but the A's don't seem to know what position he'll play. Initialy he was seen as a Short Stop or Second baseman, but they gave up on that; this year he's mostly been a DH and occasional outfielder.

Michael Taylor - Was awful last year, started poorly this year, recovered enough to get a cup of coffee, but spilled it.

Anthony Recker – OK defensively as a catcher, hit well in AAA this year, if Suzuki doesn't get his act together this is the guy who is most likely to take his job.

Jermaine Mitchell and Jai Miller will be contending for an outfield spot in ST unless a couple of free agents are signed. Both can play centre field, Jai Miller possibly has the best chance as he can be platooned with Ryan Sweeney.

Grant Green and Stephen Parker, Short stop and 3rd base respectively, are long shots to make a push for promotion from AAA and AA. Both have recovered from poor starts to this year offensively, but both are a serious liability defensively.

galraen - October 21, 2011 07:08 PM (GMT)
First good news for ages; Curt Young is back as our pitching coach.

Of course the A's being the A's, for every good bit of news there's a bad rumour. According to some sources Beane wants to bring back Matsui next year! That would be a terrible move and tantamount to giving up on next season already.

galraen - October 31, 2011 12:02 PM (GMT)
A snippet from 'A's Inbox' sums our future up pretty well:

Why would the A's brass continue to "wait" for a decision on a stadium? Seems to me that no matter the result of that issue, wouldn't it be prudent to always work toward building a winner?
-- Dave M., Palm Desert, Calif.

(jane Lee, our answer to Ladson)Of course. But building a winner means spending money, and the A's won't be doing much of that if the club's San Jose plans are approved, as they would rather then turn their focus to the Draft, player development and international signings -- all of which would, hopefully, equate to a contending team just in time for the opening of a new ballpark. However, if they're denied such plans, the A's would likely open the checkbook in an effort to not only draw bigger crowds to the Coliseum, but make the franchise appear attractive to potential buyers.

This signal has been coming out for some time now, and is past the 'idle speculation' stage. The message is clear, if Selig and three quarters of the owners approves a move to San José Oakland can get *ed, and all efforts will be put into building a team for the new stadium. On the other hand if approval isn't forthcoming the team will be put up for sale. No real surprise as the only alternative is to build a new stadium in Oakland, and that will not include any additional real estate development opportunities for Wolff, and that's all he's ever really been interested in.

galraen - November 17, 2011 12:42 PM (GMT)
This would be funny if it wasn't so painfullly accurate:

Barney1975 - November 17, 2011 04:19 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (galraen @ Nov 17 2011, 12:42 PM)
This would be funny if it wasn't so painfullly accurate:

Gal, do you feel Oakland are in the running for any free agents, or do you feel any new blood will be brought in via trades?

Michael Choice aside, is there anything waiting in the OF and if not why aren't the A's re-signing Josh Willingham?

galraen - November 17, 2011 08:06 PM (GMT)
The official stance of the A's front office is they won't commit any money to FAs until they get an answer on the stadium situation. Selig has been sitting on the report he asked a commision looking into the situation for evcer two years now, and even if he was to make an annoncement nothing could happen until after the witner owner's meeting.

The A's stated position is if the team is given the go ahead to move to San José they will tear down the club and start yet another rebuilding programme scheduled to be competetive once the move is completed.

If on the other hand they are denied permission then they intend trying to sign players to make the team competetive in order to make the club a more attractive proposition to prospective buyers.

The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that as far a Wolff is concerned it's san José or bust.

Even if they are denied a move to San José it'll be far too late to garner any worthwhile FAs this winter. So next year is already guaranteed to be a bust no matter waht.

All our FAs were allowed to leave because of this attitude, which hs not surprisingly infuriated A's fans, especially as Josh made it clear several times he wanted to stay in Oakland as was prepared to give the team a discount.

galraen - December 10, 2011 06:46 PM (GMT)
Well the great winter clear out continues, after dumping all out potential free agents the sell off of any player with a pulse has started with the give away of Cahill. What we got back was a former decent prospect coming off TJ surgery and a couple of spare parts for Sacto!

We could set a couple of MLB records next year, the most losses ever and the lowest attendance ever. One hundred plus losse is looking inevitable, the only thing that could keep attendances in 7 figures is gloating Angel, Yankee and Redso fans!

Jimmy - December 10, 2011 08:15 PM (GMT)
Are there any players you would like to see go Gal?

With Parker, Outman and Anderson, the A's are well on their way to having a rotation full of pitchers who have had TJ surgery

galraen - December 11, 2011 04:35 AM (GMT)
Are there any players you would like to see go Gal?

Not really, right now we don't have enough MLB level players to field a team!

Right now our opening line-up is

2B Jemile Weeks
SS Cliff Pennington
CF Ryan Sweeney
C Kurt Suzuki


Gio Gonzalez (but everyone knows he won't be an A come opening day)
Brandon McCarthy (I doubt he'll be on our opening day roster either)
Guillermo Moscoso

On the subject of TJ surgery, don't forget Fautino De Los Santos and remember when Ynoa (or however you spell it) was the next 'Big Thing', until he had to have TJ surgery from which he doesn't seem likely to recover, don't forget according to Billy Beane, injury proneness is the new market innefficiency!

galraen - December 12, 2011 11:59 PM (GMT)

Interesting article which begs the question "Why is this rebuild being entrusted to the guy who screwed up the rebuildomg since 2006 so badly?".

Barney1975 - December 19, 2011 07:41 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (galraen @ Dec 12 2011, 11:59 PM)

Interesting article which begs the question "Why is this rebuild being entrusted to the guy who screwed up the rebuildomg since 2006 so badly?".

Because he's a hollywood star now 'and everything'?

But does the Mat Latos deal for a wealth of talent make a Gio trade more or less likely, and has the talent package required for Gonzalez increased or decreased?

God that reads horribly, like a Garth Crooks question. :rolleyes:

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