A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Friday, October 15, 2004

Roster "news"

The A's made some expected moves today, declining the options on Jermaine Dye and Chris Hammond. They also added Nelson Cruz to the 40-man roster -- Cruz had a completely unexpected great year this year, and at 23 might turn into something.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Ken Caminiti

I have had a few brushes with fame. Two years ago I was watching my wife Tanya
play softball at the Twin Creeks Softball Park in Sunnyvale. I wasn't playing because I had recently broken my ankle. There was a guy sitting next to me in the bleachers and I knew him but couldn't place him. I manage a mens baseball team and I thought I knew him from my league.

I said, "Do you play hardball?"

Him: I used to, not anymore.

Then I saw him playing catch with another guy and I recognized him from
his throwing motion. It was Ken Caminiti.

Then when he sat down I said:

Me: Is your name Ken?

Ken: yeah.

Me: I loved to watch you play on the Padres, you were one of my favorite

Ken: thanks.

Ken wasn't playing at the softball park, he was watching friends play. We sat there on the bleachers and proceeded to talk about everything. I knew he was into cars, as
I am. And he liked AZ where I used to live. Then he told me about his divorce and how he is moving, and about how has had a lot of injuries and how he grew up in San Jose. I aked him if he liked the A's, he said "Yeah they are a fun team." I know just about when that was because after that game I remember going into the bar there and seeing that the Angels were playing the Yankees on TV, so it must have been Oct 2002. A former major leaguer was out watching softball during the playoffs and not watching playoff baseball. I guess he'd had enough Major League Baseball at that time in his life.

Tanya was up to bat and hit a rope down the 1st base line for a double, and Ken said: "Nice Hit!"I told Tanya about it. She said that was the highlight of her softball career.

It was sad to hear that he died. 41 years old is too young. I am not going to preach of the dangers of steroids or illeagal drug abuse, because I think the dangers are obvious. We may or may not ever know exactly how much of which substance was involved with his death, but I think it is safe to say substance abuse didn't help.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Speier fired

The A's have chosen not to bring back bench coach Chris Speier for a third season in 2005. The bench coach, for those of you who don't know, serves as the manager's right-hand man; essentially his role on most major league teams is to serve as an assistant decision-maker. Given some of the gruesome decisions Macha made this year, it's hard to see how this move is a bad one.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Rocket

Watching today's game between the Astros and the Braves, I couldn't help wondering, "How many men in the history of the human race have been able to throw a baseball 94 mph at the age of 42?" Because there it was on the screen, 94 mph on a Roger Clemens fastball. Then they went and interviewed Nolan Ryan in the stands, and I thought, there have been 2 in the history of mankind and they are both in Minute Maid Park right now. I guess when Randy Johnson turns 42 next September 10th, he might be the 3rd. I just never remember other old pitchers throwing so hard. It is a credit to how well Clemens keeps himself in shape. You can hate the guy if you want, my wife does, based on his years with the Yankees, but you have to admit, Roger Clemens is great.

The other thing I have noticed from this postseason, and it is a sad realization, there is not much starting pitching. There is no team with the depth and quality of the Oakland A's starting 5. The Astros 3rd starter, Backe, had about 10 career starts before the playoffs. The Yankees 3rd starter is Jon Lieber. The Twins weren't going to dare to try a 4th starter, and had just in the last few weeks decided to go with Silva as their #3.

If you knew the A's would have been swept in the playoffs, just like the Angels were, would it have been better to make the playoffs and get swept, or miss the playoffs by 1 game? I don't know how to quantify the pain of that. In a way, maybe it is better to not even be there. But on the other hand, a guy like Bobby Crosby had a great year, and probably was excited about a playoff appearance, I guess I feel for the first time playoff guys the most. How about Scutaro? He may never be a starter for a playoff team again. Who knows, maybe few of them will ever play on another playoff team. I guess it is better to go and lose than never go.

Projected 2005 roster

I'll try to update this periodically. This assumes the A's offer arb to all arb-eligible players and don't sign any free agents. I'm just guessing here; I have no inside info on what the team will do.

Manager: Ken Macha

Lineup (my guess at what Macha will do, not my best lineup):
CF Mark Kotsay (L)
LF Eric Byrnes (R)
3B Eric Chavez (L)
DH Erubiel Durazo (L)
RF Nick Swisher (B)
1B Scott Hatteberg (L)
SS Bobby Crosby (R)
C John Baker (L)
2B Mark Ellis (R)

Bench: C Adam Melhuse (B), IF Marco Scutaro (R), IF Esteban German (N), OF Billy McMillon (L), OF Bobby Kielty (R)

Starting rotation (I'd put Harden 2nd but they won't, not that it really matters):
RHP Tim Hudson
LHP Barry Zito
LHP Mark Mulder
RHP Rich Harden
LHP Mark Redman

Bullpen (not ordered):
MR Justin Duchscherer (R)
RP Arthur Rhodes (L)
RP Ricardo Rincon (L)
RP Chad Bradford (R)
RP Jairo Garcia (R)
CL Octavio Dotel (R)

Others on 40-man:
SP Joe Blanton
SP Brad Knox
RP Shawn Kohn
RP Justin Lehr
C Mike Rose
1B Dan Johnson
1B Graham Koonce
SS Mark Kiger
IF Freddie Bynum
IF Michael Rouse
IF Adam Morrissey
UT Mike Edwards
OF Matt Watson
OF Steve Stanley
OF Nelson Cruz

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