A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Another Win for Barry Zito

Zito beat the Twins today in the Metrodome to win the series 3 games to 1. It wouldn't be fair this blog if we didn't have a Zito story. In fact, there should be a story every week about Barry Zito. He continues to dominate. He is on a run that rivals the best he has ever had. Bringing it with a vengence. A couple games ago he was in a in a jam in the 7th inning. he got strike three and the third out of the inning and showed more emotion than I have ever seen from him. It appeared he said, "Yeah....Fuck Yeah!" Now there is being the ball and knowing that the key to bending the spoon is that there is no spoon and bats and balls are illusions and the only thing that really exists is a collection of wave packets. And you should keep and even keel, and have your mind feel "unconcious". But when you get an important out in a critical time in a ballgame, I see nothing wrong with some emotion out there. Especially when it is probably the last pitch of the night for you. The A's are on a great streak of great baseball. They come back from backbreaking defeats and seem to get stronger.

Robert Baun was asking the question a couple nights ago: "Who is the MVP of the A's turnaround?" A weird but interesting question. I have an answer and I didn't hear it on KFRC. The MVP of the A's turnaround is Billy Beane. He could have easily panicked. He could have traded Zito or Kotsay, packed it in for the year the first week of June. But he hung with these guys, because they are all HIS guys now. You name them, I'll tell you how they are "Beane's Guys". Barry Zito is a great example. There was the Big 3 and at least one had to go. It turned out 2 went. The one that stayed was the one Beane wanted to keep, and I am forever grateful that guy was Barry Zito. That's the one I would have picked. Over the long haul it is going to turn out to be the right move. It's already the right move. He has the mind-bending stuff and the mind-bending mind, doesn't get hurt and he looks great in those pink/orange pants, (thanks to Athletics Nation for the photo.)

Now, Chavvy or Miggy? At the end of 2003, I made a big sign that said, "KEEP TEJADA" and walked around the coliseum with it. And so far maybe keeping Tejada and letting Chavvy walk could be argued for. But Chavvy is no slouch, at least not after about July 1, and he's gonna get a room full of gold gloves before he is done. Again, he is BEANE'S GUY. There is no question all the young guys are Beane's guys. There are chapters in Moneyball about Swisher and Crosby was the reason Tejada was allowed to walk. Were all these choices perfect, the best possible choices? Maybe, maybe not. Overall is this team optimal? Pretty damn near optimal right now. Keep it Rollin'.

Monday, August 01, 2005

You Line 'em Up, We'll Knock 'em Down

Or in the words of Englishman Phil Legett, when talking about Lance Armstrong leaving contenders going up a climb in the Alps, "You name them, we'll dispatch them." The A's won a real game tonight, 2-1, Blanton over Santana. Street got a tough save, and he was mowing with extreme prejudice. 2 athletic plays on comebackers. Tony Gwynn astutely pointed out that Street played 3B in college, and would be expected to be a good fielder.

The A's being like Lance Armstrong is not my idea, it was Rick Peterson's, but I love the analogy, and after the All Star break the A's do kick some serious butt. Let's hope they are too young to know what pressure is, and too good to care, and lucky enough to avoid injury. I am already trying to figure out which scenario would give the A's the White Sox in the first round. Wouldn't that be fun?

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Just flying right now

When you're going good, you're going good. The boys took three straight rather easily from the Tigers this weekend, despite being outhit in the series. Aided by some rather sloppy play from the Tigers (bad baserunning, inability to execute a rundown), the A's posted a trio of victories so relaxing that Huston Street didn't even get in a game. I love looking at the box score and seeing lines like, from today's:

Crosby 0-2, 2 BB, 2 RS
Swisher 1-2, 1 HR, 1 RS, 2 RBI, 1 BB

across from an endless supply of 2-for-5 with 2 singles by the Tigers' hitters. Now it's off to Minnesota, a tough park, where the A's once again catch a break with Torii Hunter's being injured. Tomorrow presents another challenge, as the A's and Blanton will go against defending Cy Young winner Johan Santana and his filthy change-up. Who's to say they can't win?

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