A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Friday, October 17, 2003

A nice defense of Billy Beane

in the New Jersey Star-Ledger by Lawrence Rocca.

...and now, the World Series.

I enjoyed both League Championship Series. Since I don't like either the Yankees or Red Sox, I didn't really care who won, and I could enjoy the drama. I will be rooting for the Marlins in the World Series, but above all I'd like the dramatics to continue. A Yankee blowout would be so anti-climactic after such an entertaining season to date.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Peterson to the Mets?

According to the NY Post, Rick Peterson interviewed yesterday for the pitching coach vacancy with Art Howe's Mets. I personally think this would be a huge loss for the Oakland staff, especially with young guys like Harden and Duchscherer (along with Joe Blanton, soon enough) maturing into big league pitchers.

As I understand it, Peterson is still under contract, so hopefully Beane will get some compensation. I think his emphasis on and knowledge of biomechanics and psychological make-up has been invaluable to the development of Hudson, Mulder, Zito, and Lilly. I can't think of anyone who is a Peterson protégé, but I truly hope Beane can fill what appears to be a huge void in the coaching staff.

Plus, Peterson has always struck me as a fascinating guy. His interview with Baseball Prospectus is a must-read. Some excerpts:
    The goal is for every pitcher to master the delivery. We have a comprehensive program based on drills and throwing programs to teach that. The core of efficient delivery theory comes from the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) lab of Dr. James Andrews. Last year, we had Tim Hudson and Barry Zito down to work with Dr. Andrews. This year, we've got Hudson, Zito, Chad Bradford (which should be interesting, because we've got no data on guys who throw sidearm), Joe Valentine, John Rheinecker and Rich Harden.

    [ . . . ]

    We do a lot of work with guys early in their careers with their eyes closed, just training the body to move efficiently. We'll deprive them of sound or add sound like loud music so they can get a feel for working under those conditions. Finally, we teach pitchers to understand the rhythm of their movements. The windup has three beats, the stretch has two. This way they become aware of their time to home plate, or realize when their rhythm is off.
Such a sound approach to pitching is just another way that the A's are able to stay ahead of the curve and milk the most out of Schott's budget. I sincerely hope they don't lose this edge if Peterson leaves.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Best and Worst Fans?
Ah, the worst possible time to keep up a weblog for a team that's no longer in the playoffs. All the free agent action starts up after the World Series, when everyone else in baseball is just as Hot Stove as we are. Blah.

Anyhow, remember Someone who was there? Jim Caple's column about wearing the other team's colors to ALCS games reminded me of him. Apparently Caple got respect/indifference at Yankee Stadium (in Sox gear) but was harassed in/around Fenway (in Yanks gear).

Coincidentally, I've never seen visiting fans harassed at Oakland except for New York or Boston fans. Then again, I've never seen harassing visiting team fans except the NY/BOS people and Mariner fans. It's possible that Mariners fans get harassed back and I just don't notice.

(Ichiro gets harassed, but doing that to a player seems different.)

My 2002 seats were right behind the visitor's bullpen. Great seats most games, with just a handful of sun problems on late-afternoon starts. Got to see a lot of visiting fans that way, most of them enthusiastic but polite.

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