A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Saturday, March 06, 2004

On A’s Signing Free Agents

Over at OaklandAthletics.com, there is an interview of A’s co-owner Steve Shott. About how they tried to keep Foulke, he says:

“It was our first go-round for signing one of our players and we came up short. We made a good run at it."

Am I the only one hears something slightly alarming in those words? I don’t want to read too much into a couple of sentences but what I think Schott says is, "you guys who thought we tried to keep Jason, Damon, Izzy, Miggy, hahaha. We were never going to keep any of those guys." I made my “KEEP TEJADA” sign in vain last fall?

Should I be alarmed? Probably not. Should A’s fans care if management moves players around like chess pieces? Probably not. I know some Giants fans who say that the A’s can’t draw well because the players are always leaving. I could make the case that a clubhouse full of players that know they are chess pieces is a GOOD clubhouse. They know Beane and Co are going to go get them the pieces to compete. But it can be tough on a fan like me that bleeds a little every time a player leaves. I guess I didn’t bleed so much when Ben Grieve left.

So what does it all mean for Chavvy? It sounds like Dave Stewart and Beane are talking, that’s a good sign. It must be a good sign that Chavvy's agent is one of the great A's of our lifetime. I sure hope they can get this deal done. But if not, bring in some more pieces and keep playing chess.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

In an post about Byrnes and his possibly deplacing Kotsay or Keilty in the A's plans, Athletics Nation says the following.

"The reality is that Jermaine, as long as he is healthy, will be in the lineup. He's got 11 million clams worth of leeway. Now, if he struggles to the same extent as last year through the first month, then it may be time to pull the plug."

I think he's right, but for the wrong reason. The A's understand sunk costs. If they conclude that they'll win more with Byrnes, Kotsay, and Keilty out there (and McMillon should be thrown into that mix too), that's who'll be out there. Why then, you ask, was Dye playing last year when he was so manifestly horrible? Because the A's don't really believe he was as bad as his numbers indicated, just that he was monumentally unlucky, and likely to turn it around if given enough chances and improved health. They still think that, which is why Dye will start the year as the starter. But, if Jermaine fails to perform adequately, and convinces the A's front office that he now possesses a true level of skill lower than that of Byrnes or McMillon, we'll see Dye become the backup, salary or no. It's unlikely that we'll see any changes before the season though. The A's prefer to rely on numbers for their decision making (staggering, I know), and Spring Training numbers are largely meaningless.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

For those of you who play baseball

If you wanna play ball and you live in the Bay Area, the Bay Area Mens Senior Baseball League is having tryouts this sunday at Big Rec Field in San Francisco. There is a 28+ division and a 38+ division. I manage the Zephyrs in the 38+. If you are over 38 and play catcher, email me directly at zephyrs_baseball@yahoo.com.

Notes from Spring Training

Rich Harden and Chad Bradford both seem to have recovered from very minor injuries sustained last week. Harden's is the most amusing I have heard in a while: apparently he strained his left (non-throwing) shoulder while reaching to shut off his alarm clock. He threw about 40 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday and seems to be fine.

When does the Cactus League start up? I'm itching for games.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Two Horses Can Win A World Series

Since we are in the “dog days of spring training” I thought it would be fun to look up some more history. First of all baseball people say the “modern era” of baseball started in 1903 with the start of the World Series. I think it started much later than that. The start of the modern era of baseball is the year after the Black Sox scandal, 1920. We need to start a new era after that abomination. 1920 was also Babe Ruth’s first year with the Yankees and first year as a hitter and not a pitcher. He changed the game.

I wondered how many times a team won a World Series with 2 pitchers getting all 4 wins? Since 1920 here is the list:

Year Team Starters
1920 Indians Covaleski(3) Mails
1921 Giants Douglas Barnes*
1925 Pirates Kremer Aldrich
1926 Cards Alexander Haines
1930 A's Grove Earnshaw
1931 Cards Hallahan Grimes
1934 Cards D. Dean P. Dean
1940 Reds Derringer Walters
1946 Cards Brecheen(3) Munger
1952 Yankees Reynolds Rasche
1957 Braves Burdett(3) Spahn
1960 Pirates Haddix Law
1967 Cards Gibson(3) Briles
1968 Tigers Lolich(3) McLain
1989 A's* Stewart Moore
1992 Jays Key Ward*
2001 Dbacks Johnson (3) Schilling

I put a 3 next to a pitcher who won 3 WS games. In all those WS
obviously 2 pitchers won 4 games. There is an asterisk next to Ward in 1992 cause he won both games in relief, it couldn’t really be said that he was a “horse” for the Jays that year.

In 1934, the Dean brothers won all the games, the only time one family won all the games of a WS. 1989 has an asterisk cause the A’s were able to rest their top 2 starters because of the delay caused by the earthquake.

There is an obvious change to baseball in the 70’s when no team had two horses win them 4 games. I guess that starts the great (?) era of the reliever.

I was surprised to not see Koufax and Drysdale in the 60s, and was surprised that Viola and Blylevn didn’t make the list in 87, although they started all the games the Twins won, Schatzeder got a win in relief that year.

Randy Johnson won the 7th game in 2001 in relief but there is no asterisk there, Schilling started that game and they definitely qualified as “2 horses”. I wonder if we will ever see another set of horses like that? It might be another 30 years.

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