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Negativity Thread

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Negativity Thread

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (38.99.44.122) on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 03:25 pm:

This thread is as good as any to post this story from ESPN Insider:

Struggling A's undergo system failure
By Keith Law
Scouts Inc.

The Oakland A's are in line for their worst season since 1998, the last year the club finished under .500. One small reason is just bad luck: The A's have underperformed their run differential; they've outscored their opponents by eight runs but sit five games under .500. Plenty of tangible things have gone wrong for Oakland this year, but one consistent theme is that the A's haven't been able to replenish the big club from within their system.

Hitting
The A's biggest problem this year is that they just can't score. Those Oakland teams that put up great second halves in recent seasons had average or better offenses, whether they were built around Jason Giambi and Miguel Tejada or Frank Thomas and Nick Swisher. But this year's offense has wavered between mediocre and terrible, currently sitting last in the American League in runs scored and slugging percentage, second-to-last in batting average, and third-worst in value over replacement player (VORP). The White Sox have the worst offense in the league, but the A's aren't that far ahead of them.

Bobby Crosby
2007 Season Stats
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
93 8 31 40 .278 .226

It's hard to make up for the fact that two of the highest-paid hitters on their roster, both of whom were expected to provide significant offense, have been terrible and/or hurt the entire season -- mostly terrible. Bobby Crosby and Eric Chavez account for more than 10 percent of Oakland's payroll, though that's mostly Chavez's fault ($9 million this year). Just about anyone who owns a television can tell you that Chavez will swing at high fastballs all the livelong day, and he hasn't hit left-handers well in more than two years. Meanwhile, Crosby seems to have forgotten how to hit; he stands well off the plate and yet continues to try to hit -- and pull -- off-speed stuff away. Good luck with that, Bobby. Crosby is signed through 2009 and Chavez through 2010, so there's a pretty good chance the A's will have some dead money on their hands.

The C&C Out Factory (Crosby and Chavez) isn't solely responsible for the A's offensive woes, however. The now-departed Jason Kendall was the worst offensive player in baseball; his bat is slow, he swings at everything, he can't run and he has zero power. The A's have gotten next to nothing from Mark Kotsay (who rarely seems to center the ball and can't drive anything), while Dan Johnson and Mark Ellis have disappointed.

Making matters worse, Oakland's offense has been wracked by injuries to projected regulars, with Kotsay, Milton Bradley (now in San Diego) and Mike Piazza all spending significant time on the DL. They were bailed out briefly by Jack Cust, who went on a tear when he first arrived in the majors in late May, but since then he has returned to his natural self as a slow bat who'll take walks and run into the occasional mistake pitch but who won't hit for average.

Pitching
The A's strength during most of their eight-year run of success was its starting rotation, built on Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson, the first two of whom were selected in the top 10 picks of the Rule 4 Draft. Although Oakland's pitching isn't to blame for its disappointing season -- the A's are second in the AL in ERA and first in starters' ERA -- they haven't been able to develop suitable replacements for the Big Three from within.

Joe Blanton
2007 Season Stats
GM W L BB K ERA
24 9 8 28 98 3.71

In fact, they haven't been able to develop any starting pitching at all of late. Eight pitchers have started games for the A's this year, and just three were originally drafted by Oakland, accounting for 35 starts out of 110 total by Oakland pitchers. Joe Blanton (23 starts) has been a workhorse for the A's since they took him in the first round in 2002. An innings-eater whose career ERA is slightly better than league average, his stuff is average, but he throws strikes and makes use of Oakland's defense and large home park (especially its spacious foul territory).

The other two starters in question, the often-hurt Rich Harden and the ineffective Dallas Braden, tallied 12 starts between them, meaning that Oakland had to get the vast majority of its starts from outside the organization for the first time since Zito's arrival in 2001.

And while the A's have done a creditable job of scaring up some starters behind Blanton and Dan Haren (acquired from St. Louis in the Mark Mulder larceny), they haven't produced the quality of the A's better rotations. Chad Gaudin's first half was outstanding, but since the break he's been elevating his fastball too much, and he's had trouble with left-handed batters all season (.376 OBP). Joe Kennedy averaged little more than five innings an outing as a starter, but he walked more men than he struck out and was recently given to Arizona via major league waivers. And Lenny DiNardo, a sinkerballer who might touch 86-87 mph on a good day, has been the savior of the staff after Oakland claimed him off waivers; even so, he's had an ERA just under 4.00 as a starter, and he's given up four or more runs in five of his 12 starts.

The bullpen has had to pick up some of the slack for the weakened starting staff, but it has also been hit hard by injuries. Huston Street missed two months with a nerve problem in his elbow, although he's been close to his old self since his return. Justin Duchscherer hurt his hip after throwing just 16 ineffective innings and is out for the year. Kiko Calero has also missed time due to injury and has been awful when he hasn't been hurt. Only scrap-heap pickup Alan Embree and Santiago Casilla (the former Jairo Garcia) have given the A's any consistent relief so far, and it's hard to build a bullpen around three relievers.

The farm
The A's run of success from 1999 to 2004 was built around players the A's had drafted, mostly college products who reached the majors quickly. But their 2007 team has had to rely on players brought in from outside the organization because some of those homegrown A's players haven't developed as expected, and because more recent Oakland drafts haven't been that productive.

The A's pitching staff through those years was built around three pitchers drafted from 1997 to 1999: Hudson, Mulder and Zito. All three proved to be durable and mostly effective, although Mulder fell off a cliff in the second half of his last season with Oakland. Since their departures, the A's have developed just one replacement for those three in Blanton, who was effective in the first half this season but who has been pounded since the All-Star break.

Nick Swisher
2007 Season Stats
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
104 14 56 50 .396 .254

The offense hasn't received any more help. Crosby and Chavez were both supposed to anchor the A's lineup through the end of the decade, but it hasn't happened. Crosby has missed so much time due to injuries that he hasn't improved in any aspect at the plate since his Rookie of the Year campaign. Chavez, meanwhile, has a book on him an inch thick, from his helplessness against high heat to his inability to hit lefties to his overeager approach when he's behind in the count. Add to those two disappointments Johnson, a great minor league slugger who gets on base but hasn't hit for average or power in the majors, even though he's reached an age when his power should have already come. Even Swisher, the most disciplined hitter on the roster and the second-best performer this year, has taken a step back from his previous levels of performance.

Since Swisher and Blanton were drafted in 2002, the A's drafts haven't produced those quick-to-the-majors players on which their previous contending clubs depended. They had two extra picks in 2003, but the only regular player to come out of their draft that year is Andre Ethier, who was traded to the Dodgers to acquire Bradley. In 2004, Oakland had four extra picks, and while the A's have gotten three big leaguers from that pool so far (Street, Braden and Kurt Suzuki), those players have contributed little to the 2007 club, and the fact that the A's top three picks that year (Landon Powell, Richie Robnett and Dan Putnam) are all busts to date has hurt them. Their 2005 draft included Travis Buck, who has been one of their better hitters this year, but again their first pick (Cliff Pennington) has been a bust to date. Their pipeline of cheap, internal talent hasn't dried up completely, but it stopped producing as much talent as it had previously in a year when the parent club needed the help because of injuries and some losses to free agency.

One thing that did change around the A's was the scouting landscape. Until 2002 or so, few teams were drafting the way Oakland was, emphasizing college players with good performances who would get to the majors in 2-2½ years, thus improving the return on investment of those draft picks despite the sacrifice in upside. But as other teams started to draft this way, the return on this strategy dropped. In 2005, the A's did the unthinkable: They used their third, fourth and fifth picks on high school pitchers, two of whom are hurt now, with the third struggling in high Class A. In 2007, in a draft heavy on high school players, however, many teams that had abandoned the prep player went back in that direction, allowing Oakland to return to its old strategy, nabbing low-ceiling, high-probability right-hander James Simmons in the first round. Simmons is already in Double-A, working on a limited pitch count, and is only a year or so away from the majors.

Outlook
The A's are staring up at a 12-game deficit in the AL West and a nine-game deficit in the wild-card race, with Chavez (back spasms) and Crosby (fractured left hand) on the disabled list, with Gaudin and Blanton struggling, and with DiNardo the savior of the pitching staff. The short-term future isn't pretty unless most of these guys can turn it around. But the long-term future is going to depend on Billy Beane and company overturning a few more stones and finding more out-of-favor players who'll produce on the cheap, an endeavor in which they have new competition (the Padres and Diamondbacks). They have solid young players in Buck, Suzuki, Street (if healthy), Gaudin (more likely as a reliever), Haren and Blanton, but they'll need either one of their struggling veterans to turn it around or the front office to find a few guys like Frank Thomas (2006 version) or Geronimo Berroa (1996 version) for their offense to become a strength again.

Keith Law, formerly the special assistant to the general manager for the Toronto Blue Jays, is the senior baseball analyst for Scouts Inc.

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/insider/columns/story?columnist=law_keith&id=2962854

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.45.192) on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 03:50 pm:

How can he say Ellis is having a dissapointing year. He already set a career high in HRs and is on his way to break his RBI high and we still have 2 months left. His AVG isn't great, but I expected him to be a .260-.270 type hitter. Ellis is the least of the A's problems in the lineup, in fact, he's the guy whos having the best year in the entire IF, even including Swisher.

Crosby and Chavez, I agree with. Although I still have some hope Chavez if healthy, can still have solid years with the stick, .270/25/90/.850 type hitter, not the stud many thought he'd be. Crosby I'm about done with. Will him moving closer to the plate help, doubt it.

Kotsay, Kendall, Bradley, DJ..all have busted. Kotsay's #s have slipped the past 3.5 years he's been here every year, Kendall was one of the worst starting players in recent A's history, Bradley is too injury prone to be relied upon, and DJ is a solid role player who if on a team loaded like a BOS, CLE, or NYY, he'd fit well, but not this team.

Swisher is having a down year...started off great those first two months, but since, he's struggled. In fact, last year I checked his # out and he had two great months in APR and May, struggled in the summer.

06 #s...

April/May-.300+, 16 HRs, 42 RBIs, 1.000+ OPS.
June/July/AUG-.203, 12 HRs, 36 RBIs, .680+ OPS.

...although his AUG #s of 6 HRs/22 RBIs made up for his poorous 3 HRs/7 RBIs in both June and July.

He picked it up again in SEP going .294/7/17/1.062/

Interesting, 07 #s...

April/May-.305, 9 HRs, 32 RBIs, .970 OPS.
June/July/AUG-.208, 5 HRs, 24 RBIs, .650 OPS.

...is this gonna be a trend for Swisher, great start, slow middle, and then a hot SEP?

I think had Piazza and Stewart been able to stay healthy, well in the case of Piazza, they were solid signings.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.45.192) on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 04:05 pm:

Pitching..

-Haren has been great!

-Blanton after a great start, had that 5 bad string of starts starting with SEA just before the break, but pitched well last SAT against LAA.

-Gaudin, again I think he's more of a SP now that RP. I said he would struggle once he got past his 64 IP career high of last year as a RP! He's surpassed his IP for the past 3 seasons combined so was expecting him to do not as great in the first half.

-Loaiza and Harden were injured.

-Kennedy after those first 12 very good starts to start the season stunk it up since, and DiNardo has his moments, good and bad since being signed.


As for development? True, but how tough is it for a team to keep developing stud SP, especially they're not drafting high anymore? Since 99, the year both Mulder and Hudson arrived...they've brought up those two, Zito, Harden, Blanton, Bonderman was drafted here...that's 6 good to very good SP drafted by this team that have arrived in a 7 year span from 99-05 when Blanton arrived as a full time SP, what the A's are supposed to crank #2 and #3 type SP every year?!


Bullpen, tell me any pen in the bigs to lose their top 5 bullpen arms from last season.

Street-injured
Duke-injured
Calero-injured
Gaudin-moved to the rotation
Kennedy-moved to the rotation

How many teams could see that decimation of a strength from last season and still put up decent overall #s with Embree, Casilla and an emerging Brown?


Draft wise, okay, the A's haven't developed a Giambi, Tejada, or even Chavez type young stud. Swisher is really the only thing close, but they haven't been bare as many would think developing solid big leaguers at least.

Since the "Big 3 era" ended, which is before 05..players who have come up from their system include Swisher, DJ, Ethier, Teahen, Bynum, Ludwick, Cruz, and now Buck/Suzuki/Barton who will be key pieces on this team in the future.

I doubt the A's will ever see what they did back in the late 90s-early 00s when they brought up stud after stud prospects like Grieve, Chavez, Tejada, Ramon, Long, Hudson, Mulder, Zito, Brynes and even Harden in 03. Even guys that didn't make it like Ortiz, Spezio

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.45.192) on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 04:21 pm:

As of now, I'd compare how the A's and Twins do as they're almost the mirror images of each other in MLB.

Both have GMs who are about IMO the same level in Beane and Ryan, both are coming from small markets playing in terrible venues. Both had about the same success winning multiple division titles and only reaching the ALCS once during their tenure.

Still at this point, MIN is only 4 games better than the A's are now and that's with as depleted as a roster as we've seen in recent A's history.

This offseason, MIN will most likely lose Hunter and in terms of "bitchyness", MIN has to come to grips with what Santana said a few days ago about their team not reaching championship level with their way of thinking with their trade deadline moves, or non-moves. Sound familar to A's fans and how they view of Beane and this franchise.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (75.61.84.202) on Monday, August 06, 2007 - 05:35 pm:

The A's need to hit some HRs with these next few drafts, they should have a pick in the top 12-15 if things continue the way they have this season, probably a top ten if they play worse.

Also, where are those latin ballplayers the A's used to bring up all the time?

Tejada, Hernandez, Encarncion(RIP), Ortiz, Columne..these guys were top 5 prospects? Who is there out there in the system, Herrera. But that's about it. I know other teams are going that direction now more than when the A's opened up one of the first DR academies, but still, the A's need to face the facts and say 08, and probably 09 are rebuilding years with young players.

Just hope some of these youngsters in Buck, Barton, Suzuki, and in the near future in 08 guys like Meyer, Simmons, Cahill, Petit, Herrera, Pennington, maybe Powell/Italiano/Mazzaro/Lansford who have been bitten by the injury bug this season, Sulentic can produce in the bigs and a handful become very good players and all stars.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.46.231) on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 05:57 pm:

Blanton staked to an 8-1 lead and he blows it in a matter of innings.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.46.231) on Friday, August 10, 2007 - 06:06 pm:

Gotta wonder if Beane regrets not trading Blanton when his stock was relatively high still during the deadline for Laroche, who was one of the best 3B prospects in all of MLB, and two other prospects.

I said it back then, if it's true, and Beane doesn't see Blanton as a piece to this team in the future, he made a huge mistake and got too greedy thinking he could land another Mulder type deal.

That Dodger deal could look like a dream deal now if Blanton continues to struggle this second half and the A's are looking to trade him this offseason.

What the hell happened to Blanton anyawys. I know he wasn't as great as he was the first half when he had damn near just over a 3 ERA but he's not as bad as he's been in the second half, what 6 out of 7 starts that have been god awful.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (75.61.91.95) on Saturday, August 11, 2007 - 06:58 pm:

Tell me why Casilla was put in there for a second inning when he looks totally gassed out?

Geren also had Brown who had pitched two scoreless innings FRI out there warming up.

Yeah, lets overwork these two young arms in a meaningful AUG game.

Now they bring in Marshall when the game is basically over.

Nice managing there.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactofan (71.193.31.150) on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 06:10 pm:

I hate to say it, but Kotsay has got to sit on the bench. He has completely forgotten how to hit. Let Scutaro or Stewart or Buck play center.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (75.61.90.88) on Monday, August 13, 2007 - 07:23 pm:

Kotsay is done, his back is done.

Why Beane gave him another extension after 05 I don't know. He was lucky Kotsay gave us two relatively healthy and very good seasons with the bat.

How the A's can trade him, don't know, you'd think the A's would have to pay at least 3/4 of his salary next year to get a team to trade for him in the offseason.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.44.35) on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 03:08 pm:

Well as things couldn't get worse...one strike away and Street blows the game.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (71.131.2.239) on Friday, August 31, 2007 - 09:51 pm:

Well, things couldn't get worse...one strike away and Street blows the game.

Wait, is there an echo in here?? No, it's just deja vu all over again.

I sure hope Street figures out what he's doing wrong.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay (207.200.116.200) on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 09:27 am:

Well, unless Street puts up a good September, that's another player who may not bring much on the trade front. Also, looking at Blanton's home and away splits, makes me wonder if his value is all that great. It's looking more and more like the A's don't have anything of value to trade, (excepting Haren, of course, and I certainly hope they don't deal him) which will bring anything worthwhile back. But Street has become very dispensable with the liklihood that Carignan, likely on a fast track, may be ready to close by the start of '09, if not sooner. In the meantime, they have a number of options to bridge the gap, if they choose to deal Street. Billy's best pick up last winter is unquestionably Embree, and, of course, Stewart wasn't too shabby, either. As I recall Embree signed a 2 yr. contract with a 3rd year option.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (71.131.2.239) on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 10:49 am:

What do you think about flipping Street and Embree, i.e., Street sets up Embree to close? Right about now, I have more confidence in Embree.

Of course, if Street continues to give up runs, it wouldn't matter...

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay (207.200.116.200) on Saturday, September 01, 2007 - 09:11 pm:

Yeh, flipping Street and Embree might work, but I don't see them ever doing that because I suspect that would crush Street, who came through college as a closer, prides himself as a closer and loves it. Baseball is a business, sure, but I really think Beane would deal him before doing that. And, also, I don't think Embree has longterm value as a closer; his value is, however, he can do both, some set up and some closing. Though if Duke comes back healthy, I think he would be the "emergency" closer, as before.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dorrit (207.69.139.150) on Sunday, September 02, 2007 - 01:53 pm:

National television, and we looked BAD. That and lousy attendance for Saturday..

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (71.131.18.56) on Sunday, September 02, 2007 - 02:02 pm:

Cal and Stanford both playing, plus the Bay Bridge being closed were probably all contributing factors.

If more people had been there, I wouldn't have gotten my Travis Buck t-shirt!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (71.131.18.56) on Sunday, September 02, 2007 - 02:30 pm:

Continuing in the NEGATIVITY vein, Tigers are up 7-0 in the 5th. Braden may be able to strike out AAA players, but he's no mystery in the bigs. He looked BAD. Of course, the Tigers look really good. Robertson has not allowed a hit so far.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (75.61.86.191) on Sunday, September 02, 2007 - 02:36 pm:

Just like that, 3 straight hits including the 2 run double off the wall by Hannahan.

The more and more Hannahan hits well this past month, gonna be harder to see him on the bench and not starting next year.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.47.120) on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 07:42 pm:

Getting one hit by a SP who has stunk this year.

Typical A's of this year.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (71.131.9.105) on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 07:59 pm:

Santana's ERA against the A's is only 1.55. Not sure if that's for this season or career, but you get the point.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.47.120) on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 08:07 pm:

True, Santana has owned the A's the past two seasons, don't know what he's done this year though.

Still you got a SP has has gotten owned by every team basically this year and the A's only get two hits off of him.

Now the A's had their chances especially early in the game as he did BB a handful of hitters, but the A's couldn't come thru.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (71.131.9.105) on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 09:06 pm:

otf, do you ever get the feeling you and I are the only ones who are still watching the games?

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactofan (71.193.31.150) on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 09:09 pm:

I am so completely sick of the hitting philosophy of this team - all up and down the lineup but best illustrated by Cust taking a called strike 3 in the 9th. I guess I have to wait for Beane to move on. It puts a damper on my excitement for next year because I know that even with new, young players, they'll just take and take and take and it's so darn boring, not to mention ineffective.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.47.120) on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 09:20 pm:

I'm also tired of the A's philosphy. Would love to add more speed and maybe more aggressive play calling. The days of waiting for the 3 run HR are gone, the A's don't have a ton of HR hitters like they did back in 00 and 01 when they had 4 or 5 guys who could hit 30+ HRs in Giambi, Dye, Tejada, Chavez, Grieve, and Stairs.

What I see now and in the future with the likes of Barton coming up soon and with Buck are a bunch of line drive/gap/contact hitters so why not get more hit and run calls and let guys swing at the first pitches or hell, swing at 3-0 counts which always frustrates me since a 3-0 pitch is usually the best pitch you'll ever see in a game but almost every hitter doesn't swing.

As for Cust? I think Swisher is the perfect example of the A's hitting style and I love the guy but the guy is as of now hit and miss...very streaky too. But he has a pretty solid OBP in the high 380s/low 390s and he leads the AL and is 3rd in all of MLB in BBs with 93 yet when compared to others who are in the top 5-10 in BBs in MLB, his power #s are the lowest with 17 HR/64 RBIs and a SLG of .443.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactofan (71.193.31.150) on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 09:34 pm:

So the A's get a ton of walks, but because, as you say, they don't have the power to drive them in, or the batting average to string together hits, they must lead the league in runners left on base! So you can have your walks! And speaking of Swisher, does anyone else think he might lack the work ethic to make the most of his talents. I mean, I like to see him out there smiling and all, but I am beginning to question whether he works hard enough.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.231.47.120) on Monday, September 03, 2007 - 09:49 pm:

Power wise, I agree, really Swisher is the only guy IMO in the future who has 30 HR power..maybe Chavez if he stays and is healthy. Possibly Buck who has showed some surpring power this year with all those 2B and those 2Bs maybe in a few years will become HRs.

But I think with Buck and especially Barton on the way, you may see a couple of .290-.300+ AVGs in the A's lineup in the future. Although not many projected high AVG hitting prospects in the A's minor league system after that. I guess Sulentic could be that but he's still at A VAN.

Some OF prospects that maybe here in a few years like Robnett/Herrera and possiblly C.Brown will be more like Swisher than they are Buck/Barton. .260-.270 AVG with some pop but not enough of a power offering, even when compared to Swisher, to offset a .260+ AVG.

For the A's brass, the guy next in line to Beane is Forst so we'll see if things change personal wise with the A's scouting and development since some think in a few years that Beane wants to run a soccer team whether it's Wolff's MLS SJ team or a Euro team.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay (207.200.116.200) on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 08:58 am:

This is why I am not as enthralled with Barton as many are. I think he is a glorified Hatteberg type and will be just another hitter to clog up the bases. That's fine, if as sacto and otf have alluded to, if you've got some power behind these guys. We don't, with the occasional exception of Cust. Geez, over the past week or so, the two guys who have had that "power" have been Hannahan and Suzuki. I think Hannahan is capable of putting up some power #s in the 20 HR range, however. Batting averages are fine ... but only if you've got guys behind them to knock them in. And good batting averages are often meaningless if the guys who carry them don't have speed. Barton certainly doesn't. Buck, on the other hand, does have decent speed.

As for Swisher not working hard, I understand he is one of the first guys at the park daily and works very hard. Even so, I am concerned with what he has shown this year. He is striking out waaaaay too much and really, has afforded little power; not even close to what he showed last season. I agree, I think he is being too fine with his pitch selection. I've always said that a power guy and/or the guy with the ability to hit for average, should be willing to go outside "his strike zone" now and then. I'm not seeing that with any of our guys. On 3-0 counts, I hear what you're saying, but I believe there are more hitters in the game who do not feel comfortable swinging on the 3-0 pitch. It's a mental thing. And, yes, this team is boring. I'm afraid next season is going to be more of the same ... with or without the injuries.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (38.99.44.122) on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 12:35 pm:

I think Swish misses Milton. He hasn't seemed the same to me since Milton was traded.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (75.61.80.175) on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 02:35 pm:

High AVGs are fine, but look at Scutaro, he's hitting what in the mid .250s yet has a BA in RISP over .300. The word "clutchness" has been used with A's hitter not having any, you can't measure clutchness with prospects or young players really until they're in their 3rd seasons.

I do think the A's will have enough power...potentially with Buck, Barton, Swisher and in the future with Herrera, Robnett, C.Brown, Hamblin, and etc...these guys could hit you 20+ HRs..maybe they never had the potential of a Grieve/Chavez when many thought 35-40 HRs down the road but these newer prospects sans Barton looks to be much better athletes than what the A's brought up back in the late 90s.

As for Swisher, mentioned it early in this thread..

Swisher in 06 and so far in 07 had hot starts in April/May, struggled badly in June/July, did well in AUG with Swisher hitting .287 but again not much power with 3 HRs/8 RBIs which the RBIs are lower than what he had the previous two months where his AVG was in the low .216 and .205. In SEP last year.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay (207.200.116.200) on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 05:55 pm:

Eyleenn, I don't think Swisher misses Bradley as much (if at all) as some think. I do, however, think he misses Frank Thomas. Remember Swisher was injured earlier in the year ... hammy. I just think he has gotten all out of kilter this year. Could having a different hitting coach be a part of it? I don't know. By the way, he started having hitting problems before Bradley was DFA'd. I know others may poo-pooh it, but I don't think his having to play multiple positions and especially center field ... where he is running hard all over the place ... is helping him offensively, either. But because Bradley is gone? I place more substance into "Sampson cutting off his hair," frankly. :)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (71.131.7.38) on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 08:13 pm:

Swish did seem to have more fun when Milton was here, but I agree that Thomas was his mentor. An odd couple for sure, but whatever works.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (75.61.86.57) on Tuesday, September 04, 2007 - 10:06 pm:

Swisher 0-5 tonight. To finish my last post, last year Swisher in SEP was very good, as of now, he's starting off SEP bad thru 4 games.

Again, bad baseball tonight by the A's. Had a 2nd and 3rd one out situation in the 1st and couldn't get the run in with DJ popping out in the IF. Then DJ get on second base due to an error to start off the 7th and the A's don't advance him, no bunt attempt by Ellis he pulls a ball to SS, what happens? Hannahan hits what would've been a fly out RBI.

And they lose by one run tonight.

Typical.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactofan (130.86.63.81) on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 08:09 am:

There have probably been 8-10 games this year where the inability to advance runners by making outs has cost them the game. It's the biggest thing they need to improve on - except I think that's what Geren said coming in, based on the same problem last year!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay (207.200.116.200) on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 09:56 am:

A continuation of my comments on Swisher and his playing multiple positions. A's mlb site has an article this morning, on that very topic.

Swisher: "I won't lie; it'd be nice to settle in somewhere. I think that would help me be a better defensive player, for one, wherever it is, and I think it'd help my offense, too."

He also said in the article he'd prefer to play first base, but realizes with the advent of Barton up here, that's his position.

I still maintain his having to play multiple positions all season, has some bearing on his offensive numbers this year. Especially center field, where he's played the most. He has done an admirable job, but he is not blessed with the speed required of a smooth center fielder; I have little doubt he spends a great deal of his time fine tuning his ability to play the position.

http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070904&content_id=2189172&vkey=news_oak&fext=.jsp&c_id=oak

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn (38.99.44.122) on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 12:29 pm:

Reading that piece reminded me that I sent Urban a question a few weeks ago, asking how he could continue covering the A's for mlb.com, when he shills for the gnats on KNBR on the weekends.

No surprise, he did not respond.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By finleyunplugged (205.225.207.97) on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 04:29 pm:

It's no wonder playing multiple positions causes Swisher to tail off at the plate.

He's no Marco Scutaro, after all.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.236.68.111) on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 08:29 pm:

A's lose another...they'd have to go 13-6 to be a be an above .500 team and set a Oakland record of 9 straight winning seasons.

Don't like the chances.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactofan (71.193.31.150) on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 09:07 pm:

And they are just a game out of last place!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (75.61.95.150) on Sunday, September 09, 2007 - 03:24 am:

As of now the A's would have the 12th pick in the draft. So the A's will get a pick anywhere from 10-14.

Do A's fans care now if they do finish last in the AL West as long as it nets them a higher pick next summer? Not as the A's are the only playoff team from last year stinking up the joint, MIN is only a half game better, same win total but one less loss than the A's currently and both teams are in the same boat being a "low/mid market" MLB team that's been succcesful for the past half decade but looks as their luck or success has run out this year in 07.

The closest losing teams are SF and CIN who are 4.5 games worse than the A's so good chances are the A's won't get better than a top ten pick as the other worser teams are 6 or 7 games at this point, don't see the A's collapsing to that point the last two weeks of the season.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay (207.200.116.200) on Sunday, September 09, 2007 - 10:20 am:

Oh yeh, I hope they finish with a bad enough record to draft in the first ten.

Continuing sactofan's comments. Yes, and interesting that the two managers were "rivals" in selection of the A's manager. Only Texas didn't wait around for their selection. Even had they done so, little question Beane would have made the same selection. The other guy they had interest in, was selected by SD early .. Bud Black. That said, regardless who managed them this year, the results would have been close to the same. With decent health next year, we'll be able to tell more about Geren's overall ability to do the job.

Course, with them (likely) heading to Japan to open the season, I suppose that will be bring about a myriad of reasons to expect more injuries.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey (24.23.52.90) on Sunday, September 09, 2007 - 05:56 pm:

wash was given less talent then even the banged up A;s hm.... think geren was just another dummie mgnr beane had o hire to keep under control wash was the best talent to hire for mnger oh well another reason beane will never win the big one with any of his teams.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan (76.202.77.151) on Sunday, September 09, 2007 - 11:31 pm:

Yeah, I guess the A's setting records in injured players wasn't possibly the #1 cause for the A's lack of success this year.

I qustion Geren a few times this year but not many other mangers could've done better with this mash unit of a team.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay (207.200.116.200) on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 09:19 am:

Frankly, I think Tony Francesco is looking like a heckuva managerial candidate. Talk about injuries/roster changes ... Cats have had something like 180 roster moves this season, that is fathomless ... and they are still playing for all the PCL marbles. He at least deserves a promotion to the big club next season. I saw a blurb somewhere a while back, where he was disappointed not to get an opportunity on the big club's roster this season. He certainly seems much more than deserving now.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By deajay (207.200.116.200) on Monday, September 10, 2007 - 09:26 am:

Correction: Tony DeFrancesco, of course.

OTF, I agree with you about Geren. My subsequent post on DeFrancesco was in no way saying he might be better than Geren. Just wanted to clarify that, too, case it was taken differently. :)


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