Posts Tagged ‘Oakland A’s


Eric Chavez Remains Sidelined

I like the Oakland A’s this year, I think their young pitching might make the leap and I like the offensive pieces they’ve assembled too. The additions of Matt Holliday, Orlando Cabrera, Jason Giambi and even his brittle-ness himself, Nomar Garciaparra should add some much needed pop and depth to the lineup.

So, it was disappointing, although not that surprising, to see the news that A’s third baseman Eric Chavez was a late scratch from his spring training debut on Monday. Having played in only 113 games the last two seasons due to injuries, Chavez hasn’t performed particularly well even when he has been on the field. After his last good season, in 2005, Chavez was signed to a 6 year $66 million contract, with the A’s making a noteworthy commitment to, at the time, one of the best third baseman in the game.

The deal was particularly interesting because of who was and WASN’T offered a long-term contract. The A’s made little effort to sign either Jason Giambi, the 2000 AL MVP or Miguel Tejada, the 2002 MVP when their contracts were up, despite both putting up prodigious numbers. While both men commanded extremely high salaries, a major reason for why no long term deal was offered, I wonder if there wasn’t something else to it.

Most baseball fans would agree that Billy Beane is one of the top GMs in baseball (in fact, we’ll have an excellent guest column on this very subject coming shortly) and that he chose to NOT lock up either of these stars is very interesting to me. Also, at the time, the Chavez deal helped set the market for his position, so it wasn’t as though the A’s were completely adverse to spending money on their homegrown talent.

Of course, since both Tejada and Giambi left the A’s they have been linked to and investigated for using steroids. Currently, Chavez has never been mentioned in any manner regarding performance enhancing drugs.

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Is Barry Zito Biodegradable?

Have you ever thought about what you would do with a million dollars, how you’d spend it, what awesome things you could do or buy? What about winning the lottery, say, a megabucks worth 126 million dollars? Well, now imagine that you have that money and you can only spend it on one thing, a curveball pitcher who can’t strike anyone out, who walks way too many people and whose reputation is partly based on erroneously winning the Cy Young over Pedro Martinez based almost solely on win totals*. Want to kill yourself yet? Try this link that my buddy Garnold found where you can see how many years at your current salary it would take to equal Barry Zito’s yearly $14.5million. Now you’ll definitely want to kill yourself.

Only 17 months into a 7 year contract, Barry Zito has been taken out of the rotation and placed in the bullpen for the time being. With an ERA of 7.53 in nearly 29 innings, he has been ridiculously ineffective, a WHIP just shy of 2, and a K:BB of 11:15 adds up to Zito being garbage right now.

What happened to the fun-loving Zito who brought a devastating 12-6 curveball that just froze hitters? The Zito who won 40 games in his first two full seasons has disappeared from sight. The guy once struck out 200 hitters but now is lucky to get ANY swing and misses, how could this have happened?

Clearly, right now, with his control terrible, and hitters knowing this, they are keying off ALL of his pitches as he just tries to get ANYTHING to be a strike. The way he’s pitching right now, especially off his 84 mph fastball, I think even I could go 3-4 with a couple doubles off him.

Could it be that Zito misses the fun days of the crazy A’s? Back when he, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson all lived together, everything seemed to be easy for these three stud pitchers. It seemed like they might become the new version of the Braves, with their pitchers trading off Cy Young seasons back and forth. Zito who had been maybe the most initially advanced though got passed by his teammates. Also, unfortunately, of course it bares mentioning that the offensive catalyst of that team Jason Giambi is a known steroids user and it is likely that other players on the team used them as well. Maybe Zito should call his uncle, actor Patrick Duffy for how he handled the transition from a show like Dallas to Step by Step. Or maybe Zito is out too much with the Hollywood starlets, most recently Hillary Duff. It is possible that he no longer is bringing his stuffed animal collection on the road or maybe he just needs to change his incense, maybe some Nag Champa to lighten up the room?

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Hey Joe Blanton, What’s That on the Brim of Your Hat?


I am no expert, but watching the Red Sox-A’s game tonight, I noticed something extremely odd about Joe Blanton’s hat. He kept going to it, often multiple times during an at-bat, and then, at one point, the camera zoomed in on his face and I noticed something very peculiar about the brim of his hat. I have not doctored or edited these photos in any way. Is it me, or is there a distinctly brown section on his hat. Not only that, but isn’t that the section that he keeps going to? Again, I’m not saying that this is definitely pine tar, but that’s what it looks like to me. If anyone has any information, or outlandish theories, please send them in. To me, it looks like there is definitely something not allowed on his hat. It is too localized to be merely a sweat stain from his head. I suppose it is possible that the mark is sweat from his fingers, but I don’t think it is. Check it out and make your own decisions…3347051045_b04eca47f73347050075_7c86287d6c3347886034_f33054196d

Note: these pictures are not immediately following one another but are taken at several points in the game, particularly the 5th inning following Jacoby Ellsbury’s RBI single.


Rich Harden Deals

Rich Harden simply befuddled my beloved Red Sox this morning in Japan.

Unfortunately the last few seasons have been marred by injuries from Harden and stopped his seemingly limitless talent from being showcased. In spurts he has been dominant but then a shoulder or an oblique injury or some other injury pops up and he goes onto the DL never to be seen again for the season. Featuring a high 90s fastball and a devastating splitter he has the pure stuff to overpower major league hitters but he hasn’t made at least 20 starts in a season since 2004.

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Red Sox Stand Strong (UPDATED)

Presumably there is an agreement of some sort as the stadium announcer just announced to a big cheer from the crowd that the spring training game between the Jays and Sox will start at 1:10. Likely something has been solved or else the Sox wouldn’t be going out there.

I’ll update as soon as I hear anything new.

Continue reading ‘Red Sox Stand Strong (UPDATED)’


Red Sox Stand Strong

It’s not often that multimillionaires think of others, (hello, Mr. Google, my bank account would like to meet you…) but I for one am glad at the action of the Red Sox right now.

Unhapy that MLB was going against their promise of paying the coaches the same appearance fee as was promised the players, the Red Sox are refusing to play their spring training game against the Blue Jays right now.

For many of the coaches the $40,000 appearance fee they were originally promised represents two-thirds of their salary.

While the game is being delayed because of this dispute, the Sox players are all out on the field signing autographs for the fans who are awaiting the game, just one more example of how well they are handling this whole situation.

(more after the jump)

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March 2023