Posts from — May 2003
The A’s are playing like a distracted team which is not unusual when one of the teams most important staff members is on the verge of being removed from the major league staff.
When Ken Macha was hired to manage the team in October, he inherited his coaching staff, other than being permitted to bring in his friend Terry Francona as his bench coach.
From the comments in the news over the last few days, it is clear Macha does not want hitting coach Thad Bosley on his staff. At no time has Macha defended Bosley or has he indicated his support of the A’s hitting coach. The public evidence seems clear, the two men don’t see eye to eye.
As I said earlier in November, Macha’s test as a manager will come when the team faces adversity, that time is now.
Clearly, the general manager will act soon. The team has not played up to its potential over the last few weeks.
Whenever the A’s pitching is less than spectacular, they are in for a rough day. It is not easy to play 162 games under those conditions.
So, someone needs to be blamed for the offensive woes. With Art Howe in NY (the usual scapegoat in the spring), the annual May fingerpointing points toward the hitting coach since the manager just got hired and it is too early to look in his direction.
So, it it is May and you are in Oakland, and the team is struggling, it is someone’s fault, and Thad Bosley, sorry, but the wheel just stopped on your number.
Forget the fact that Bosley has had two rather undisciplined hitters to work with as his main offensive weapons (Miguel “MVP” Tejada and Eric “If they would only let me hit against lefties I’d be fine” Chavez) the past two years.
The manager wants his own guy, he blames the hitting coach for the lack of offense, the hitting coach responds to the criticism, they clash, so guess who goes?
Now is the time for Macha to be the leader of the team, let’s see how he responds when Bosley leaves.
What an unnecessary distraction.
Anyone see Seattle’s record lately.
Click read more for more.
May 31, 2003 No Comments
With the Athletics sitting four games back of the Mariners in second place in the AL West, it is time to assess the players and give them grades for the first 52 games of the 2003 season, about one third of the year now in the books.
Mark Mulder is getting better every time out on the mound. Thursday night, the big lefty completely dominated the Royals enroute to his eighth win of the year. As I said two weeks ago, unless something happens to Mulder, he will start the All Star game in Chicago for the American League.
Mulder gets an “A” for his work in 2003.
Click below for my take on the rest of the team. [Read more →]
May 30, 2003 No Comments
Fans click below for a truly enjoyable review by Ed Stern, one of the best baseball fans I know, of Stephen Jay Gould’s book, “Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville”. Gould’s book has been acclaimed by baseball enthusiasts as one of the most genuine collection of baseball essays in years.
Ed also gives his thoughts on the American League race and continues with his season long look at the Giants strengths and weaknesses.
Thanks Ed for your expert look at the game.
[Read more →]
May 30, 2003 No Comments
At the time of this article the Giants
had a 2 game lead on top of the
NL West. Last year at this time
the Giants were in second place
2.5 back of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Giants are in good shape, considering
this weekend will mark the first
one-third of the 2003 season.
By Amaury Pi-GonzÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡lez
[Read more →]
May 30, 2003 No Comments
Here’s some NY baseball news for A’s fans who aren’t thrilled by NY baseball, especially the Yankees.
There is much internal dissension between George versus Torre and Zimmer. By the end of April, the Yankees had won the Division, the ALCS and were ready to issue World Series tickets. But bad things began to happen like no hitting, no pitching, poor fielding etc. which alllowed the Red Sox to first catch the Pinstripers and then pull ahead. So Mr. Steinbrenner who, for years, extolled the virtues of Joe began to hound him, blaming him for the sudden demise of the squad. Now “Zim” has joined in knocking George who’s been knocking his pal Joe. It’s a real circus in the Bronx. Furthermore George feels he overpaid for Matsui since the man, who was a Japanese great, ain’t cutting the mustard in Uncle Sammy baseball. Additionally Mr. Giambi was hitting a hot .203 because, as he said, his personal trainer and psychiatrist was fired by George. Now it looks like the shrink will return and hitting coach Rick Down will be fired.
On the other side of the tracks, Art Howe of course can no longer pull his dome hair out so he’s working on his ear and nose hair being frustrated by the fact that a very good manager can’t win pennants with garbage as his daily starting nine. I notice that each picture I see of him day to day, he looks older and what I saw in the NY Post today puts his countenance at 109 and counting. What a shame. In Oakland he’d be going to the playoffs while in Flushing Meadows he’s going to the proctologist because the team with whom he’s associated is one gigantic hemorrhoid.
Charlie [Read more →]
May 29, 2003 No Comments
Two of the best pitchers in the American league pitched Tuesday night with varying results. Barry Zito had one of the best curve balls I have ever seen him have, but threw one too many inside fastballs to pinch hitter Bobby Kielty and the Twin pinch swinger hit a three run homer deep into the left field seats to win the game for Minnesota.
“Everyday” Eddie Guardado finsihed the game for the Twins who now are starting to put some ground between themselves and the rest of the AL Central.
Roy Halladay won his sixth in a row as Toronto closed to within 3 games of the lead in the AL East. The White Sox are no match for Toronto on the turf, in fact Paul Konerko and Frank Thomas sat this one out. As I thought he would, Bartolo Colon pitched his customary complete game, but to no avail as his mates could score only once against Halladay and that only helps if you can throw a shut out, which Colon did not.
Click read more! [Read more →]
May 28, 2003 No Comments
Baseball fans live to analyze their teams chances for success. One variable that no one can predict is the injury bug, which inevitably hits each team sometime during the season.
Will the Mariners stay healthy for 162 games? Will Edgar Martinez, John Olerud, and Jamie Moyer last thru August?
The baseball season is a long grind, the summer months are particularly difficult because the off days are few, the weather is hot, and the players have been playing since February.
Erick Hinske is gone for two months with a broken hand, Fernando Vina is out two months with a hamstring, Darin Erstad has missed at least one month with various muscle injuries, and Jermaine Dye has been out for one month with a knee.
Who knows how Barry Bonds and Randy Johnson will hold up once they get back into the lineup?
The A’s have a relatively young team and that is a major plus when assessing their chances to win the West. Last summer, they put away Boston (with an injured Pedro) and Seattle with a tremendous second half run. Manager Ken Macha told me last summer that the A’s would beat the older teams. He was right they did and should do it again this year once the weather heats up.
Click read more for more baseball.
May 27, 2003 No Comments
New Audio Interviews Added Including:
May 26, 2003 No Comments
The Rangers missed a chance to get to .500 Saturday, no small accomplishment for a team that has Alan Benes and a soon to be returning Chan Ho Park in its starting rotation.
A Rod is a league leader in strikeouts, but Carl Everett, Michael Young (highly unknown infielder, and Hank Blalock are firmly entrenched among the top ten in hitting in the AL.
In case you are wondering, Texas is last in the league in pitching with an ERA hovering around the 5.80 mark.
With all that in mind, the Rangers are making life uncomfortable for the Angels and they did sweep the reeling Yankees in Yankee Stadium last weekend.
I’m keeping my eyes on Texas for a while, they just might be the Angels of 2003. They hit and don’t stop hitting, if only they had average pitching, they might scare the big boys in the West.
Kyle Lohse continued his hot pitching last night in Seattle. A native American from Northern California, this young man stopped the Mariners at home, not easy to do.
Click below for more! [Read more →]
May 25, 2003 No Comments
Last week I predicted that Mark Mulder will start the All Star game in Chicago this year. yesterday, after beating the Royals in a little over two hours, Mulder left the Bay Area for Chicago for his brother’s Sunday wedding.
Mulder better study the airline schedule because he will be back to the Windy City in July to start the big game.
The Royals have a nice snappy up the middle defense, but lack discipline right now overall and are just what the doctor ordered for the A’s. Oakland and Kansas City will play six more times finishing up next Sunday in KC.
Until Jeremy Affeldt goes to the hill, I wouldn’t worry too much about the Royals, they do just enough wrong to lose to a solid team like the A’s, virtually every time out.
The Giants can hear the footsteps of the Dodgers loud and clear. Milwaukee is ready to roll over for LA, while San Fran’s pitching staff gets mauled in Coors Field. Barry Bonds probably won’t play today in Colorado due to a sore knee, hurt in a fielding attempt in Friday’s game.
Kurt Ainsworth gets his first taste of Rocky Mountain baseball and may be a pleasant surprise if he relies on a sinking fastball, the only pitch that works in Colorado.
More baseball below! [Read more →]
May 24, 2003 No Comments