A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Thursday, September 02, 2004

One more Athletic having a Career Year

A few days ago I pointed out that I thought 7 of 9 starting position players for the A's were having what I call a "Career Year". Jon Greenberg at OaklandAthletics.com wants to make a case for another:
Backup catcher Adam Melhuse has career highs in just about every offensive category this season -- hits, at-bats, runs, homers, doubles, RBIs, you name it. The 32-year-old has also played in a career-high 53 games as he's trying to shake off a career minor leaguer tag.

A commenter postulated that Chavvy's career best .404 OBP should also vault him into the "Career Year" category. The A's have been so great lately. I can't help thinking sometime there will be some rough times ahead. I wish they could be this hot in the playoffs. The way the A's are playing right now, it looks like they could roll over anyone. Maybe not Boston, which appears to be equally hot after sweeping the previously scorching Angels. And starting Monday the 2 teams living Sherman's March to the Sea meet up in their own little war. A preview of coming attractions. It couldn't have been scripted any better.

Who are your favorite 5 teams?

We spend a lot of words on BZF talking about the A's and why the A's are great, and how the A's are great, and how the Yankees suck...Sometimes we talk about why other players on other teams are great or fun or interesting in some way. I thought a fun topic would be "Which teams BESIDES the A's do you like?"

Here is my top 5:

1) Oakland A's
2) Minnesota Twins
3) Boston Red Sox
4) Chicago Cubs
5) Florida Marlins

Obviously it is easy to pick #1, but #2 is hard for me. I like the Twins and the Red Sox almost exactly the same amount. I think to like a team there needs to be something about that team that is fun. On the Twins, Torii Hunter is fun, Lew Ford is pretty cool, and the team shares the A's low-budget can-do attitude. Anyone who can dominate like Johan Santana is worthy of fandom, unless of course he plays for the Yankees. On the Red Sox it is very easy to hate Ortiz and Manny, who seem to hit with power but have no other discernable baseball skills. But Pedro just looks like postseason pitching. As does Schilling. And those former A's, Foulke, Damon and Bellhorn are still A's in my heart. Maybe theirs too.

Now there is a big drop off between 3rd and 4th for me. I like the NL quite a bit, I think the DH's time has come and gone. The Cubs have those great pitchers, Wood, Prior and now Maddux. Sammy is worth watching any time he is up. Dusty is a character made for TV. When Moises isn't peeing on his hands or crying at Bartman he is fun to watch too.

How about those Marlins to round out the top 5? They looked straight at the New York Yankees last fall and didn't blink. This is mostly the same team, without Redman, Pudge and Derrick Lee. And they also have the A's low-budget can-do lineup, only theirs revolves around speed, which is fun. Miguel Cabrerra might be one of the best youngsters in baseball, I love to watch him.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

A's Pitchers Having Career Years

The A's have had such great pitching for so long, it is not so likely that A's pitchers are having career years. I could only come up with 2 for sure:

1) Rich Harden - First full year in the bigs, I would say he has been a little inconsistent but mostly he has been just dominant.

2) Justin Duchserer - This guy gets my vote for most underrated player in baseball. Some of those long middle relief outings he has had have been spectacular. Doesn't throw that hard, just gets batters out fast. This guy may be the glue holding the whole pen together.

A case could be made that Mulder is having a career year. But he is great every year, and I don't think W-L record alone is a good enough reason to call this a career year. A dark-horse candidate for career year could be Tim Hudson. Sure he has missed some time due to the DL, but his stuff right now and for the last few weeks has just looked incredible. But like Mulder, he is fighting against a great past when vying for a career year. Redman is 9-10 and he lost the A's last loss 2-1. He is solid, the only other A's pitcher under .500 is Mecir at 0-5. But get him his work one inning at a time, and get him out fast if he is not cutting it, and even Mecir looks pretty good.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Career Years

Quite often in the playoffs, the announcers will talk about many of the players on the teams having "career years". A "career year" means that a player is having the best year of his career so far. I've always thought what gets a team into the playoffs and even a World Championship is having a bunch of good players having Career Years. For the Position players on the A's here is who is having a career year:

1) Durazo - Ruby has already tied his career high for HR set last year. He is batting 67 points higher than he was last year and so far has one less 2b and one lesss RBI. Career year for sure

2) Hatteberg - Scott needs one HR to tie his career best, his 75 RBIs already beat his former career best by 14. As of right now he has the best BA of his career.

3) Byrnes - Already has career highs in hits, 2b, HR, RBI and SB.

4) Crosby - No previous seasons to compare to, obviously has been doing great in his first full season in the bigs.

5) Kotsay - Needs 5 bombs and 7 RBIs to match career highs. Current BA is a career best if he can keep it there.

Scutaro is having a career best also, but his stats aren't quite as shiny. Chavvy won't get a career year due to the injury. Damian Miller needs a few more good weeks at the plate to get himself a career year. That leaves Dye. Jermaine Dye is not having a career year. Of course if the guys on your team have been great for years, it will be tougher to have a career year, but not so tough to get to the playoffs. But you gotta feel good about the A's performances this year, when 7 of 9 starting position players are having career years.

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