Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Sunday Morning Muse

Nothing like some 35 degree temperatures to make baseball seem closer than it actually is. As of today, there are 84 days until the pitchers and catchers report for spring training on February 15th. Sounds pretty close.

This morning the question remains will Ramon Hernandez be the Oakland Athletics catcher on February 15th?

Click below for more!With the trade of Hernandez and Long heading into the critical last days before the Padres get tired of waiting for the A’s to make their final decision on the deal, is it a deal the A’s should pull the trigger on?

I say no for various reasons, none of which are more important than the fact the Hernandez is an all star catcher who catches, what was or is, the best starting staff in baseball.

No small point.

Here is another compelling reason why not to make this deal which may be finalized as my frozen fingers type this message.

Everyone in baseball knows that any financial mistake the A’s make comes back to haunt them until the last dollar is paid to the undeserving player.

Now, it’s not Jermaine Dye’s fault that he broke his leg hitting a ball off his shin during the playoffs in 2001. It was poor judgment on the A’s part to jump the gun and sign Dye to a three year deal that winter before Dye’s rehab was completed, (by the way is it completed yet?) to a team high three year deal worth over 30 million dollars.

Since that mistake the A’s have not been able to pull the trigger on other deals because Dye is hogging almost 20% of the payroll.

Now, it’s not a mistake to invest in a worthy player who can make a difference, but if these guys err it effects the franchise until the contract runs its course, like in the Dye case.

Further complicating the Dye issue is the fact the A’s are having a difficult time trading the rightfielder because his contract is too pricey and he has lost a step to first (now 4.7 down the line, very slow) and he is not the same in the field either.

Injuries cannot be predicted, but when you sign a player who has a prexisting injury, then I say you are playing with fire.

John Jaha is another example. Jaha, an extremely popular player, had one good season for the A’s after many injury plagued seasons. The A’s immediately jumped the gun and signed Jaha to a large (at the time) contract for two years at about 4 million per year. Well, next spring Jaha couldn’t stay healthy and the A’s eventually had to release him during the following season when they became desperate to fill his DH spot, two wasted years. Meanwhile because of the finacial commitment to Jaha the team couldn’t sign any other DH, until bringing an over the hill Ron Gant in once Jaha retired. Once again the A’s were saddled with an injured player who had a long history of season destroying problems and a bad contract to boot.

This brings me to Mark Kotsay. From a baseball standpoint Kotsay is a wonderful fellow in the clubhouse. He is an above average centerfielder with limited power and some RBI potential. His arm is accurate, not powerful. He can run the bases smartly. He hits around .285 in his up years. He probably could hit second in the lineup. He will take pitches.

He also will make 6.5 million dollars per season for the next three years, anyone on the team make more?

He also has a bad back. Sound familiar. His 2003 season was destroyed because a of a bulging disk in his lower back. He took a cortisone shot and did Pillates exercises. He hit better the last six weeks than he had when injured, raising his average over .250.

The A’s have looked at his xrays and now want him to take a physical and have another doctor evaluate him also.

Why in the world would this team want to sink all this dough (for them) into a player who has a history of a bad back?

As astute as BB is with his trades, he is that poor when he he doles out the money. He traded Ted Lilly for a potentially mediocre leftfielder because he (BB) doesn’t want to arbitrate with his players. He overpaid Dye and Jaha when their injuries were obvious.

If you only have a limited amount of bullets why potentially waste one on a player who may break down in year one and then be of little value the rest of his time with the team. Since the player holds the option for years two and three, do you think he will go on the open market if his back is hurting?

No, the A’s and Mark Kotsay will be married for three years no matter what his physical status turns out to be from 2004 through 2006.

Look, all this could work out for the team, but baseball is a game of percentages, and I don’t like the odds on Kotsay making it through three years at the top of his game. The upside isn’t worth the risk of being stuck with a big contract you can’t move, or the loss of an all star catcher in the process.

Kotsay ain’t that good.


1 Anonymous { 11.23.03 at 1:04 pm }

Great points, Marty. I don’t keep up with the financial situation of the A’s and economics of baseball that much, but I have been wondering how much Beane’s ridiculous signings of Dye, Long and Hatteberg limit what the team can do. Sure, noone could predict that Dye would break his leg. But for a “small market” team, that’s a ridiculous amount of money to pay anyone. And the hefty contract for Long and amount of money going to a bench player in Hatteberg are other examples of Beane exercising a lack of judgement. Yea, people will say that he signed the Big 3 to multi-year deals. Sure, that’s great. But his offensive philosophy has been killing the team and he hasn’t been able to bring any quality hitters. He thinks Kielty is that answer? Why Beane? Cause of his obp? It doesn’t mean squat if noone can hit the man in. And the A’s want to get rid of Long badly even at the risk of acquiring damaged goods. Why not just get rid of Macha instead? He obviously isn’t well liked in the clubhouse. The players who don’t like Long can ignore him, but they can’t ignore the manager.

2 Anonymous { 11.23.03 at 1:12 pm }

Five stars for todays article. Looks like BB is more interested in getting rid of Long than making a worthwhile trade. I agree Kotsay is a loser and will probably be more of a liability than Long’s contract. Over in Cleveland the Indians want to get rid of Bradley (the toy man) and if the A’s would eat some of the 3M they should be able to deal. Maybe Long and a prospect or two. Bradley has one of the highest OBA’s in the majors and he’s in good health.

3 marty { 11.23.03 at 1:31 pm }

Milton Bradley is a complete head case, but a star who can make a difference. I’d rather take a chance on him than keep wondering about Kotsay’s back for three years. Good suggestion.

4 glenpark { 11.23.03 at 4:36 pm }

One issue to remember when looking at the Athletics –contrary to most MLB franchises, they always actually turn a PROFIT, OK, its based on smaller revenues, but they post net profits. I don’t know that even the Giants do that, even with 3M+ attendance and a fabulous park and a huge airwaves advantage..

The difference for the A’s is in the anticipated appreciation in the value of the franchise. They have a bad stadium situation, they do not play in a baseball friendly stadium anymore. And they are up against the 1000 pound gorilla –KNBR ( Susquehanna)–which simply dominates local broadcast revenues, and I believe, stifles A’s coverage so as to boost their own product. Even with superstars like King and Korach, and major talents like Lurie and Buan, the A’s broadcast package is going out on very inconsistent radio waves which impacts both local efforts to promote the team as well as much needed revenues. Look, Streinbrenner probably pockets more net cash in local radio rights that the A’s do in all their broadcasting, TV and Radio, etc combined.

As this applies to operating decisions like player personnel selections, we have to face reality –without ambitious efforts by Schott and Hoffman ( and now Wolff), to build the power ( and net worth) of the franchise, the franchise itself will linger at the bottom of “franchise value” rankings. Therefore there is no incentive to build up player budgets, and maybe take short term losses, in order to increase the value of the franchise. They just want to turn a small profit, not win championships.

Look at the Haas / Eisenberg / Alderson / LaRussa era–remember those incredible ” Billy Ball ” teams in the early ’80s, followed by the Bash Brothers –yes it is unfair to compare the Haas people who inherited billions to Schott/ Hoffman who have earned their wealth the hard way– but still — the Haas epoch did triple at least the value of the A’s franchise from when they took over from Finley. And the A’s were the class of all MLB during those days, a true dream team.

We can talk about Beane and Macha and their decisions all we like — but remember Schott’s comments after Beane’s comments in the clubhouse after the heartbreaking Boston Game 5?

The San Diego deal seems to me to be about two things –moving T Long, and moving Ramon before he goes to arbitration, where he will surely get a market rate result –he is al ALL-Star catcher, much respected by his pitchers and team mates – Ramon is an overall great guy — he is way too valuable to let go with so little baseball talent coming back.

San Diego knows they have a bad deal with Kotsay – he has a big number and a bad back — and he is less than star level–if they can move him they can go for Preston Wilson or maybe Beltran and be set for years. And most important, San Diego badly needs a major talent behind the plate. Ramon can do great things for them, and for himself, with this deal.

San Diego knows the A’s want to move these two players – for non-baseball reasons –what they are offerring benefits them more to move than it does the A’s to receive.

The real poblem with all this is that once again — the real hard core of A’s fans, the ones out there at the Coliseum all season, are once again getting shafted.

Losing Lilly for just a Piatt/ Grieve clone is bad enough, but an all star catcher is almost irreplaceable.

Lets hope for once common sense prevails over accounting balance sheets.

5 Anonymous { 11.23.03 at 11:39 pm }

Very astute observation about the A’s financial situation. The only thing this team can truly rely on for revenue is the day to day attendance throughout the regular season. And the only thing to keep that going is by WINNING in the regular season. And Steve Schott himself just said that all it would take is “one bad year” to change that quickly.

Due to the annual turnover on the roster however, the A’s always get off to a slow start. One downside of this I fear is that the casual fans make their ticket buying decisions for the peak summer months based upon how the team looks in April and May. And in each of the last 4 seasons, there’s always at least a couple of sportswriters declaring the A’s “finished” by June. That can’t help ticket sales. Luckily, the A’s pick it up in the second half and draw well in September, when other teams attendance drop. But with school out and better weather in the summer, it would make more sense to maximize attendance at the peak of the season.

But again, to do that requires a really strong start for a change..perhaps even at the expense of not making the playoffs.

6 glenpark { 11.24.03 at 12:32 am }

Some other sources of revenue: pro rata distribution of MLB TV and Radio package, visiting team share of gate receipts at away games, mass media rights and general merchandising sales.

Steve Schott’s comment about a bad year is correct – as it applies to his business model — and he is perfectly entitled to discuss his business model. But teams with other ambitions and definitions of their own goals see a bigger picture —

The A’s were recently so poorly thought of as a viable franchise that Selig included them in the preliminary contraction list — this in spite of the incredibly competitive product on the field. Continually losing top performers is a drain that hurts marketing as well as team chemistry — and you are correct- we are getting to be like a Triple A team, fielding a revised roster every opening day.

The Giants were dying with Bob Lurie, actually heading out of town to Tampa in a casket — fortunately they were saved by the National League and new ownership and now they are a model franchise, with their own stadium and the game’s biggest player — everything turned around for them in ’93 when they changed their business model.

Lets hope for great things for this much loved A’s franchise, starting with good baseball decisions in the owner’s office.

7 Anonymous { 11.24.03 at 12:30 pm }

In my opinion this analysis is coming from the wrong angle.

These trades were not about talent…

These trades were about
#1. Money
#2. Moving Long.

The San Diego deal is a payroll wash…
I’m convinced that Billy was shopping the entire MLB on what it would take to move Long…. Hernandez is a high price indeed, but when you look at the catchers that are available out there I think Billy saw that he could get 70% to 80% of Ramon at a bargain price out on the free agent or trade market. Once he was able to get someone to take Long at a price he could bear then he was working the deal to fill an Oakland need. Marty is right in that Kotsay is not that good… but compared with all the options available to move Long… Kotsay is probably the best deal going….

The Lilly – Kielty deal is about money and lowering the payroll (or what Neyer is calling these days as “Payroll Flexibility”).
Lilly is arbitration eligible and would be getting a rase… the A’s are overloaded in starters and Lilly was the most valuable of those Beane was willing to move…. This deal is about money first and filling a need second.

Looking at these two trades together it accomplishes 3 things:
1. Makes more payroll available
2. Gets rid of Long
3. Addresses the A’s need to get more production out of the outfield.

These are all important to the GM!

As a fan though we are left befuddled and wanting in these transactions!
We watched Ramon grow up in our system -so its tough to let go of him.
We saw a high price paid for Lilly and then had to endure his rebuilding but then were rewarded with his finish to the 2003 season.
I don’t think anyone is going to miss Long… we all gave him more than ample opportunity to secure his position on the team.

I do like the possiblities that Kotsay and Kielty bring to the team… are they block-buster? No!
But in looking at what Beane needs to accomplish I see the method to his madness and agree that he’s playing his cards quite well (my frustrations are in the cards he has to play, not with how he is playing them).

The other thing I’m keeping an eye on is Billy is not yet done. These deals will make much more sense when we get closer to spring training.

On that note I’d like to comment on a couple other things Marty talked about:

1. I don’t think Beane’s deals have all been perfect… I think he learned from both the Jaha and the Dye deal and has had to pay a high price for his mistakes.

Think of this though: Beane held his ground with Jiambi… look where we would have been this season with $90M sunk into Jiambi for 6 seasons with a bum knee!

On Dye: Don’t be surprised if Dye gets moved in a deal that is cost nuetral to the A’s but addresses a need.

On Hatteberg: This deal also is not block-buster but it works for the A’s. Hatteberg is much more than serviceable -the organization will get their $ worth out of Hatte… and Hatte provides a much needed bridge to get to Koonz.

-C. Pyle

8 Anonymous { 11.24.03 at 8:24 pm }

I’m sorry, but you toe the corporate line too much in defending Beane. Marty made the correct criticisms. Kotsay is a huge potential health risk. If he doesn’t stay healthy the full season next year, then the trade is a complete disaster. If the goal is to get rid of Long, eating a good portion of Long’s salary and dumping him somewhere else is a better bet in terms of securing financial value. And Kielty for Lilly? Lilly is obviously going to recieve at least 2 million in arbitration and talent wise there’s no comparison. The A’s couldn’t get more than unproven Kielty? The trade takes away from the A’s strength more than it helps its weaknesses. I agree about Dye. But there’s no amount of reasoning that can convince me about Hatteberg. He is a waste, a bench player, plain and simple. That money could have been used on Travis Lee or JT Snow.

9 marty { 11.24.03 at 8:53 pm }

Even though Reno Bill defends Hatteberg fervently, I am of the opinion that there was absolutely no rush to sign him to a two year deal with so many excellent first baseman hitting the market this winter. The A’s may insist that Kotsay waive his players option for years two and three, but at today’s lower prices who will take Kotsay’s 6.5 million, he becomes another unmovable asset if he doesn’t fit. Obviously, someone told Schott as an afterthought to the trade that an independent doctor should look at Kotsay as these examines usually precede the trade, poor communication between the GM and owner. We’ll know more tomorrow or Wednesday.
How about Schilling to the Red Sox, probably means A’s will be looking for a new bench coach because Schilling and Terry Francona are very tight from their Philly days, so Francona probably gets the Red Sox job to entice Schilling to accept the deal.

10 Anonymous { 11.25.03 at 12:27 pm }

Looks like the Red Sox are really zeroing in on Keith Foulke. Is this pretty much a done deal? I figured the A’s had a realistic chance of getting at least him back. With Foulke out of the picture(assuming), does that do anything to the negotiations with Miguel?


11 Anonymous { 11.25.03 at 1:12 pm }

“Toeing the corporate line” !!!
That is a good one! 🙂
-especially since I am quite frustrated by the A’s ownership (In my opinion why own the team if one is going to own it the way Schott has… -if one wants to make a buck at something there are many better financial investments… owning a team is about being a “Big Dog” in a sense… I’m not saying that I want a Steinbrenner clone but I do acknowledge that the Haas’ did something quite special)!

The other laugh about the “corporate line” is the ‘undertow’ I’ve sensed between Schott and Beane… I’m guessing that they “agree to disagree” on a number (maybe even numerous) issues…
(although I have to admit that in the greater scheme of things it seems that the world would be a little off-kilter if the owner and the GM were “best of buds!” 😉

…getting back on track:
Dang! “The cat is out of the bag!”… I’ve been exposed!
-yes! I am a Beane fan!
I find him to be “one of the sharper pencils in the pencil cup!” to plagiarize a line from Ratto…
I admire the astuteness with which he has recognized the situation for the A’s and how he manages so much success in such pecuniary circumstances.
I’m sure that Beane loves it and that 20+ other GM’s are frustrated to no end!
Its got to irritate Steinbrenner that he has to spend so much to beat the A’s…
Its got to irritate the entire Red Sox nation to see the A’s have so much more success in the last 4 years at less than half of what they are spending…
-and so on and so forth…

But alas we’ll have to wait and see how the season plays out to see whose criticisms are correct…

…and more on Beane…
He is finding the bar raised due to his own success!
(under the heading of “the reward for hard work is… More Hard Work!” ;-).
Gone are the days where making the playoffs was success…
I’m sure that he rankles with the moniker of “9 straight elimination losses in the first round!” (ouch!)
I think we’ll see a number of moves this off-season… and many of them may be as dificult to dissect as these two…
(for a more astute analysis than my meager musings check out Neil Hayes’ article in the Thu Nov-20 CC Times:
..and yet another thing about Beane… I my opinion he is gone in another year or two… he has almost done as much as can be done with the A’s and its situation… in another year or two he’ll be off to the next big challenge…
Fortunately for us de Podesto is the heir apparent!

One thing I’m keeping in mind through all of this… as long a Schott is the owner, the team plays in the colesium and Beane / de Podesto are at the GM helm we will see deals that are a bit on the frustrating side to the fans… they will continue to be price sensitive with significant portion of “value for the buck”… this translates as “not Block-Buster!”
Case in point: Hatteberg!

-C. Pyle

12 Anonymous { 11.25.03 at 1:20 pm }

It wouldn’t surprise me to see Boston uping the ante until Oakland folds on Foulke…

If you were the Sox and your rival (hated rival at that) had Riveria how much would you put towards a comparable “counter-punch?”

Foulke has proven himself to be the real deal and I see Boston making it a very high priority.

Given the ‘current’ in this off-season I see Oakland staying in the negotiations until it “gets too rich”… then Beane goes out and finds a “value” in a lower profile closer with upside.

This off-season looks to be a bit on the frustrating side for us A’s fans…
The deals will make more sense on Beane’s computer sheets than what we fans can see simply sitting in the stands…

-C. Pyle

13 marty { 11.25.03 at 1:37 pm }

Foulke was with Theo Epstein at the Celtics game last night. I think Foulke really enjoyed playing in Oakland last season after his disatrous 2002 year in Chicago with the spoiler of closers Jerry Manuel as his boss in Chicago. The Cubs, Sox, Mets, and A’s are the main players after Foulke, I’m not ready to say he won’t be in Oakland in 2004, but the longer the courtship goes with other teams the less likely he will be to stay with the A’s. As far as Miguel goes, he’s a goner and is just waiting to see if he will end up in Anaheim, Baltimore, or somewhere else. If his price ever dropped into the A’s range about fifteen other teams would jump in. The Crosby era awaits us. Beane and Schott don’t see eye to eye all the time, it is obvious because the baseball people love the Kotsay trade but the owner isn’t ready to leap. You would think the issue of the physical would have been discussed amongst BB and Schott before the trade was made. Reading about Kotsay’s bad back everyday made my neck hurt. The Angels are serious about redoing their team and Kelvim Escobar is a good first step. Mike Cameron’s name made the paper this morning as a potential target for the A’s. I’d take him in a heartbeat over Kotsay or Kielty and his price is right.

14 Anonymous { 11.25.03 at 3:34 pm }

Something every A’s fan needs to realize when it comes to competing with other teams for a good player on the open market is this: they’ll never ever win. You can bet your last penny that Foulke is gone. Its true, the Red Sox will drive the price up on Foulke until the A’s have to back out, and everyone knows it, including Beane. The Sox will be very good next year. And the A’s, as usual, will have to be extremely innovative and creative this offseason to compete.
Having Long out of the picture is awesome. He was a leach, of both PT and money. But losing hernandez will hurt. We can only assume Beane has his next however many moves mapped out already. I see Hernandez continuing to improve as was predicted from his arrival. Kielty will be solid, hitting 20 homeruns and batting .265, 73RBIs. and Kotsay will be, if healthy, more valuable than people can yet see. The one thing the A’s offense lacked this year was any kind of spark at the top. He’s an energetic player who brings a David Eckstein type of infectious energy to a lineup. He’ll take pressure off Chavez and Durazo (both pressure effected players) due to that energy and experience in a bigger market.
Also, an important point to make is Tejada will leave without doubt this offseason, and next offseason Chavez will too. Count on it. But here’s the upside. Both players are highly emotional and extremely hard on themselves. What does that produce? Streakiness. And poor postseason numbers (combined 1 for 65 in the playoffs). Don’t tell me Boston’s pitchers did a good job on them. They put too much pressure on themselves. We saw it in Tejada’s dismal first half (because of his upcoming free-agency no doubt). And look for the same process and outcome in Chavez this year, his contract year. In reality, the A’s probably would have beat the Sox in the playoffs with Zito and Hudson batting 3 and 4. I bet they would have done better than 1 for 65 (or whatever it was) with one RBI. And as long as those three guys are in the starting rotation, we’ll be okay in getting to the playoffs.
Point being that we need a few middle of the lineup guys who won’t buckle under pressure in the playoffs, so letting Tejada and Chavez go won’t be detrimental to the A’s, as much as everyone will disagree. Beane will rent a good hitter or two for a season and maybe whoever those guys are will produce in the playoffs. The personel of the offense isn’t that important
until the playoffs while the A’s have the “Big Three”. When those guys leave, start panicking.
Until then, when Beane pulls off a blockbuster for a killer bat, ask yourselves about their personality. Are they standup performers who can do it when it counts? Or are they scarred and nervous like Tejada and Chavez?

15 Anonymous { 11.25.03 at 8:35 pm }

It is only November and already I am distraught. I see baseball digging its own grave right now. Is money the only thing that matters anymore? Loyalty is a word lost in baseball. As someone who grew to love baseball in the 1960’s and saw many players stay for years and years with the same team, this is very hard. I was away from the game and caring for many years, but returned and found the A’s to love. Now, afer several years of being a true fan, I am almost ready to give up and not care any more. I have always hated the Yankees because they could buy anyone. And now we have other teams doing the same thing. Until every owner makes a long term commitment or there is better revenue sharing or a salary cap or players stand up and say “you know, $5 million is plenty for me and my family and I love being a whatever” the game will continue to go downhill. At least we have Billy now, but I expect him to walk soon so he will have more money to play with. He will need to play the game with everyone else.

So, keep bidding all the prices up and up and then try to buy the leftovers cheap. LIke Kotsay or Kielty or even Cameron. What will it ever take for Oakland to have a Sosa or Schilling or Tejada? It can’t go on forever. What will really hurt is when the Big 3 go to Chicago, Atlanta, and LA for bigger bucks. I will miss then almost as much as Miguel.

It is all very, very sad.

16 Anonymous { 11.26.03 at 10:41 am }

There may be a deal in the works with Arizona to swap Dye for Moeller and ???.

When I first heard of Hernandez going to SD I started checking out catchers…
I had also heard rumor of Arizona being interesed in Dye.
Of the catchers Arizona has under contract Moeller is the best fit for the A’s.

Moeller and Melhuse as a platoon would make a serviceable backstop for 2004.

“Seviceable” is a word I’m using much to often to describe position players for the 2004 A’s…

With the A’s pitching strong it is looking like Beane is going to fill out the roster with 5-6 guys who don’t “Wow!” anyone…
-but they may be “grinders!” (a term Marty uses often that I like) -thus they don’t hurt things in the line-up either…
…they keep things going to Chavez and a couple of guys in the outfield who have a little more pop than average.

This could be parts to a winning, although not spectacular, team… if it works!

-C. Pyle

17 marty { 11.26.03 at 11:55 am }

Good point. Absolutely, Kielty and Kotsay can be considered grinders and I do like that. Now where is the big time power going to come from? Durazo and Dye both need to hit twenty five to compliment Chavez. Moeller gets on base and was a projected backup in Arizona, but I think he can help this team. He is a good pick up if it happens. Benito Santiago isn’t a bad choice either because he can hit. Kotsay added a couple of teams to teams he would consent to be traded to: guaranteed Toronto is one of them!

18 Anonymous { 11.26.03 at 12:41 pm }

I’ve been reading all this fascinating commentary on the proposed trades. I’m nowhere near as perceptive as all you guys. But I want to know where team chemistry fits into all of this. No one has commented on it. The A’s have made news for the past 4 years for having excellent chemistry and there was a time when it was reported that when a trade was in the works, Giambi would be consulted, to see if the prospective person would fit in. Also, it was reported that the Red Sox did so well this year because the chemistry worked for the first time in years.
I know the pitchers were shocked about the Hernandez trade because he “fits” so well with our pitchers. How much does that count in the long run?
Baseball Sara

19 Anonymous { 11.26.03 at 2:57 pm }

I tend to think team chemsitry is overrated. As long as you’re winning, the team will get along or be perceived to be getting along. That being said, I think it was important for Beane to “shake things up” and get some new faces in the A’s clubhouse. 4 straight early exits cannot be good for team chemistry and confidence at all. I just don’t know about the particular trades that were made.
I question the Lilly deal immensely. The A’s should have been able to get more for him. And I agree with the criticisms and concerns Marty brought up with the Kotsay trade. However, as long as Kotsay is healthy (that’s the catch), then I think the trade is good for the A’s. Long obviously needed to go. Hernandez, I think, is overrated. He had too many crucial mental lapses and I don’t think the A’s pitching staff trusted his pitch selections. As long as the A’s are able to replace him with a good defensive catcher, I don’t think his departure will be that noticeable. Moeller seems interesting. He hit around .300 the most of the season. Anyone, any knowledge on his defensive abilities? And what I do like about the Kotsay trade is that he can help make things happen at the top of the lineup. He will be batting leadoff and can help set the table for the middle of the lineup. That’s what the A’s need the most. I much rather see a healthy Kotsay over Cameron on the A’s.
If the A’s trade Dye, they’re crazy. They need a big bat in the lineup. Who on earth would they fill him with? Not anyone internal obviously. And if the A’s aren’t able to sign either Foulke or Tejada, lets hope they use some of that money for a real firstbaseman.

20 glenpark { 11.27.03 at 7:36 pm }

As the old saying goes, teams strong up the middle win –this year’s WS clearly showed this to be true –Rodriguez was a rock, Gonzalex/Castillo just phenomenal, Pierre brilliant — and the Marlins pitching just wonderful, especially Beckett, Pavano,Penny, Willis, Looper, Urbina, etc. The rest of the Marlins were not much different than any other average MLB team.

Last year’s A’s had Ramon, Miguel/Ellis, T Long-EB-Singleton ……….to go with the pitching staff. Just not enough to get over the hump. Especially that horrible Saturday night Game Three in Boston, when we should have clinched.

On ESPN radio a few nights ago, Billy Beane spoke about the baseball reasons for these trades. He acknowledged Ramon’s strengths, but seemed to hint that Ramon’s insistence on being a 140 game starter was a problem. He seems to feel Ramon is not Rodriguez, at least not yet, and that the team would benefit overall from having two catchers who could share the load. Maybe even a LH-RH hitting tandem, maybe what Boston has in Mirabelli / Varitek. A second catcher who can also DH the way Varitek does, the way LeCroy does.

Beane said he has been following Kotsay ( picked one place ahead of Chavez in the amateur draft) since the College World Series MVP show he put on in Omaha. If healthy Kotsay is a solid addition both in CF and at the top of the batting order. He is an upgrade, maybe even more so than Johnny Damon was because of his power.

It was great to hear his side of it — more is in the works, especially after the non-tenders come out and the bargaining really gets hot.

A’s fans, lets keep our fingers crossed.

21 Anonymous { 11.29.03 at 5:40 pm }

I am enjoying the debate as always on your excellent site.
After pondering the recent A’s events here’s my 2 cents worth:

1. Kielty and Kotsay will bring grit to a team that could use some.

2. As much as it may hurt, I agree with that curmudgeon, Mike, in that using Lilly to acquire Kielty was a bit of a waste of a bargaining chip that could have been used to off a large salary (Dye/Long).

3. With the loss of Peterson, Hernandez, and probably Francona, I think it is very important that the A’s hire Marcel Lacheman to not only coach our relatively young pitching staff but provide a steady experienced influence to Macha.

4. I’m willing to give Hatteberg and Ellis the benefit of the doubt for one more season as I believe Hatty quietly played hurt all year and Ellis suffered a baseball tradition called the “sophomore slump”. Having said that, the offensive prospects of these two plus Crosby and Chavez in the infield leads me to believe two things:

a. We better get a huge bat to replace Dye in RF. and

b. We better re-sign the Incredible Foulke to close out a bevy of tight games in 04.

Reno Bill

22 Anonymous { 07.31.06 at 2:46 pm }

Gaborone nature.integers bookkeeping idleness …

23 Anonymous { 07.31.06 at 2:47 pm }

acuteness valued!endangers already!audiology junta chronicle goodly wayward

24 Anonymous { 07.31.06 at 2:47 pm }

Gaborone nature.integers bookkeeping idleness …

25 Anonymous { 08.17.06 at 12:08 am }

autobiographical contended rewards.cheesecloth?plume trillionth

26 Anonymous { 08.17.06 at 12:11 am }

mashes Vicksburg scrupulously,overhanging.directly gluing indecipherable insider nibbler,

27 Anonymous { 08.17.06 at 12:35 am }

<h1>sleight.Cornwall so backstop Jennifer gayest!Galois reputations targeting. </h1>

28 Anonymous { 08.23.06 at 1:00 am }

harken Clapeyron broadly bedrooms,clothesline Potomac

29 Anonymous { 09.04.06 at 7:56 am }
30 Anonymous { 09.04.06 at 8:17 am }
31 Anonymous { 09.05.06 at 10:46 am }
32 Anonymous { 09.05.06 at 6:24 pm }

<h1>visiting miniaturizes:sounded purposeful!reducing sacrilegious frequently pervading! </h1>

33 Anonymous { 09.05.06 at 6:29 pm }

registration:Multibus kicker scanners appointer:comedic indivisibility stockholders

34 Anonymous { 09.07.06 at 1:53 am }

<h1>Horton suffocates earths commoners apologizes!server shredder </h1>

35 Anonymous { 09.07.06 at 2:35 am }

<h1>bushing flowcharting housetop Israeli clarity?Winchester boric harmfully </h1>

36 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 4:49 am }

befogged terraced cauldrons aspires.dodecahedron Tobago quadratically!.

37 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 4:59 am }

reinvents unguarded epitomizing Raman armchair .

38 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 12:52 pm }

Washburn trapping?barrelled driving battleships pediatrics indent

39 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 12:59 pm }

capacitance ampere segmenting intolerant commendations Freudianisms,Saukville.connected

40 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 4:30 pm }

mouthed groans merger staining Habib,collegiate

41 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 4:53 pm }

retypes shrieks Mussolinis audaciously precocity deallocations …

42 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 5:09 pm }

<h1>successful!canaries!Tennyson,interplay minimizers:worships Janeiro Dunlop </h1>

43 Anonymous { 09.20.06 at 5:19 pm }

<h1>authentication congested canto altruistically pinkie fishy answering reference clogging </h1>

44 Anonymous { 09.29.06 at 7:44 pm }

<h1>dentists:revolting infested scalp rid proportionment conjectures memorable </h1>

45 Anonymous { 11.07.06 at 5:53 pm }

Hibernia Lachesis fetched laced fingered,absolutes.avenger

46 Anonymous { 06.02.07 at 9:25 am }

Ullman inflating?Midwest grape,colleges:Piccadilly pathetic!vicious

47 Anonymous { 08.12.07 at 11:53 pm }

pardons Opel periodically:Bahamas:converges fumed moccasins incriminate

48 Anonymous { 08.12.07 at 11:54 pm }

reminiscent mush begin:outright Siegel outright … Thanks!!!

49 Anonymous { 08.12.07 at 11:54 pm }

litter Jamaica peppermint joyousness wood Pompeii maximums beetle petulant

50 Anonymous { 08.15.07 at 12:30 pm }

converted rejected affirmative fief extenuating obsoleting stunt Estonia Beltsville

51 Anonymous { 08.15.07 at 12:30 pm }

nil Bizet seventh unpacking superimpose Jones:wreathes!- Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

52 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

53 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

54 Anonymous { 10.05.07 at 7:55 am }

lilac husker.customary:nulls treats onsets.impersonations.opened helpers?

55 Anonymous { 10.05.07 at 7:55 am }

missive,mushroom grandma.antenna throttles,Gail,insist

56 Anonymous { 02.19.08 at 1:11 am }

Salerno Dahomey quantities difference inclusions?forewarn misconceptions

57 Anonymous { 04.02.08 at 9:28 am }

country sequester?perpetrations punch:damagers?transpire greyhound ions

58 Anonymous { 04.20.08 at 9:09 am }

Mesozoic?volition fatherly preaches!transferability postulate tomato.

59 Anonymous { 04.20.08 at 9:12 am }

bigness Ditzel Modesto reliable imprecision.geriatric ambiguity

60 Anonymous { 05.12.08 at 11:50 pm }

autocollimator shall confirmation!detractors Marks drew kitchen

61 Anonymous { 05.13.08 at 12:16 am }

stacked inverse remnant apostrophes construing,… Thanks!!!

62 Anonymous { 07.07.08 at 8:51 am }

irreflexive redeem employable cleanness enlightenment:propagates creatively.slowed pupil

63 Anonymous { 07.07.08 at 9:13 am }

Charlottesville!artists:flatworm.tumors buttresses curiosities – Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

64 Anonymous { 07.10.08 at 3:44 am }

Kuwaiti adulterates?Liberace dashed constants hotel cultured modernizer

65 Anonymous { 07.10.08 at 3:45 am }

Luxembourg Brandenburg precociously engender locality emaciate prosodics capitalists

66 Anonymous { 07.10.08 at 5:11 am }

awkwardness profitable devastation,hastening blackest … Thanks!!!

67 Anonymous { 08.03.08 at 9:31 am } brine switchboard timer Gary exasperation

68 Anonymous { 08.03.08 at 9:35 am }

budgetary half swiftly directorate bedded austerely loophole

69 Anonymous { 08.07.08 at 8:22 am }

traffic Gail determinately Aden Lucretius fiercer Calcutta masturbates.

70 Anonymous { 09.25.08 at 5:20 am }

collectible adages porter legislator computers:suffer consulate

71 Anonymous { 09.25.08 at 6:33 am }

Manitoba,cohesive:countersunk scram beatitudes engrossed silver … Thanks!!!

72 Anonymous { 10.05.08 at 9:34 pm }

acidity rabble,subsequent.planet Caine predicating abasements

73 Anonymous { 12.23.08 at 11:51 am }

monkeys?vehicles authorization class paradigm,downloaded hellish,patriarchy,

74 Anonymous { 12.31.08 at 6:43 am }

inactive mound serendipity exclusiveness implanting creative axiomatize encyclopedia

75 Anonymous { 12.31.08 at 7:53 am }

boners:interrupted,descendants.counsel bingo saturated void Deane outraged

76 Anonymous { 12.31.08 at 7:53 am }

boners:interrupted,descendants.counsel bingo saturated void Deane outraged

77 Anonymous { 11.16.11 at 7:10 pm }


78 Anonymous { 11.16.11 at 7:55 pm }


You must log in to post a comment.