A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Saturday, January 31, 2004

Writers Wanted
Although Ken has done an excellent job almost singlehandedly keeping this site afloat in the dull winter months, and although in theory I'll be a lot more active here than I'd been for awhile, earlier this week he e-mailed an observation:
[KEN, inserting missing quote: "I have to wonder if we should even bother continuing the blog?"]

Without active participation, any enterprise like this is at risk of just withering away. Mike (whose idea this blog was to begin with) claims still to have given up on baseball. The rest of us contribute to varying degrees. That leaves room for you, the reader. If you'd like to post here drop a line to zito at zombia dot com. At worst you'd hear back from me within 48 hours or so; and you'd probably hear from someone (probably Ken) much sooner than that.

UPDATE: Johnny Rhoads has joined the blog. Welcome, Johnny! Go ahead and introduce yourself.
UPDATE: Andrew Van Wye is joining, too. Another A's fan living in Illinois. With the majority of the writers on this blog now living outside the Bay Area, perhaps we should consider changing the name of this blog to "Athletics Diaspora".
UPDATE: And Mike Ahern, too. I think we've got enough new writers for now. Let's see how this goes.

Be glad we're not White Sox fans.

Feel free to share your favorite Fanfest moments in the comments to this post. I've never been to one (it consistently conflicts with a college quiz-bowl tournament that I help run) but I'm told that Oakland's typically involve people like the girl who asked Barry Zito to the prom.

A's nab Karros

According to the LA Times, free agent 1B Eric Karros has decided to sign with the A's for a one-year, $1M deal with a possible option for 2005. Before everybody starts moaning and groaning, I think it's actually an excellent cheap pickup for us. Karros has good power, and in particular, he can really thump lefties. His splits from 2001-2003:

vs LHP: 316/389/515 in 345 PA
vs RHP: 246/298/374 in 1068 PA

Sure, his OBP is mediocre--outright bad for a regular 1B--and he's awful against righties, but given that so many of the A's other 1B/DH/corner OF types (Hatteberg, Durazo, Koonce, Kielty, McMillon) either bat lefty or are switch-hitters who are much better from that side, I think Karros is an excellent fit. Without a doubt, he's one of the best platoon players available in MLB. If he ends up having more than a platoon role, that's probably not a good thing, but I feel pretty good about this signing.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Jay Jaffe has finished calculating the 2003 DIPS ERAs. Once again, Barry Zito has defied DIPS. His DIPS ERA is 4.28, while his real ERA was 3.30.

That's the fourth year (out of four) that Zito's real ERA was lower than his DIPS ERA. His real ERA has been, on average, .915 runs lower than DIPS. I explained why I think this happens here.

Of the A's five projected starters, only Zito's DIPS ERA was not below 4.00. The rest of the AL West combined only has one projected starter with a DIPS ERA below 4.00: Anaheim's Kelvim Escobar.

OK, now I'll get back to being AWOL...

AL West Win Shares

Baseball Crank takes a look at the established win shares levels of the four AL West teams for the upcoming season. Check it out.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Administrivia, part 2

Thanks, Matt, for the admin privileges. As you can see, I've made a few changes:
  • I've populated the blogroll. I tried to add anyone who requested reciprocal links. I also did a google search to find any other active blogs who have links to us. If I have left off anyone, please add a comment below.
  • I changed the header a little. It was too big and bright green for my taste, so I toned it down just a tad.
  • I added a generic contact email address, with no HTML link to avoid spam. If you want to email us, you'll have to type the address in yourself.
Now that Matt's returned from his AWOLness and we've got this paperwork overwith, I shall be going on an AWOL stint of my own for awhile. As the cliche goes, you other guys will have to step up and do the job in my absence.

Profuse apologies to all of you, especially the people who want (and deserve) reciprocal links, for my AWOLness lately.

Just added Ken Arneson to the admin list, appropriately enough for the most prolific (and alphabetically superior) poster. Out of laziness I'll leave the blogroll updating to him for now, though I might be able to handle it tomorrow evening if that's more convenient.

Sad to say I'll be out of town June 6. I was even about to add that day to my mini-plan (not knowing about the Sabermetrics day), until I remembered where I'd be.

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