Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Who is the A's Team MVP? by Alexa Maremaa

Alexa MaremaaThe only sure thing about the Oakland A’s lineup this season: it’s sure to be a surprise. Ken Macha gifts us every game with a revamped order, apparently reveling in tossing his players’ names into the air and playing a little 9-card pickup. Now towards the end of August, the lineup is finally beginning to fall into place.

For a long time, injuries propelled the veritable batting order shakeup—Frank Thomas, Milton Bradley, Bobby Crosby, Eric Chavez, and/or Mark Kotsay. Now there’s something else to it. When Eric Chavez volunteered to bat 9th during his tendinitis-induced slump, he exemplified what makes the A’s so much fun to watch right now: this team does not revolve around a single, high-priced MVP. Can you picture Manny Ramirez volunteering himself for the bottom of the order if he ever hit the skids?

Click below for more!As guys don’t necessarily have fixed spots in the batting order, they no longer have those fixed roles either. Each player is stepping up in his own way. And the Athletics have ultimately coagulated at their regular post-all-star game appointment. Here’s how…

In this every-man-held-accountable world, we don’t lower our expectations for the 5th starting pitcher (Loaiza has a 4.05 ERA in the last 10 games). On this team, the catcher has the highest batting average (.293) and the most stolen bases (Kendall is tied with Crosby for 8). Sophomore Nick Swisher is on par with, or ahead of the “Big Hurt” in both walks and home runs. (We’ll cut Frank Thomas a little slack for being injured.)

Milton Bradley, Swisher, or Thomas could be considered for team MVPs. But what about the A’s pitching? Third in the Majors. And defense? Fourth in the AL. So doesn’t that really make Ken Macha and Billy Beane the team MVPs?

One thing is certain—one player cannot claim all the glory. Obviously the ‘team is greater than the sum of its players’ mentality is nothing new (the New England Patriots, Detroit Pistons, and Boston Red Sox all won championships while promoting this image). This truth plays itself out even on the A’s website, where the weekly poll is as divided as Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures. “Who will be the star of the stretch drive for the A’s?” The responses: Nick Swisher 32%, Frank Thomas 25%, Eric Chavez 19%, Milton Bradley 14%, Huston Street 5%, and 5% to “Other.”

Perhaps Macha and Beane could fall under “Other”? Or maybe the Coliseum grounds crew?

The A’s are 19-6 in August at the end of a big division series against Texas, and after a shutout of the Red Sox yesterday. With September baseball looming, the A’s have to forget about last year’s late-season fizzle and stay hot for the long haul. But I’m not too worried about a repeat collapse; this year’s team knows how to spread out the heroics and even out the pressure. A smug confidence seems to radiate throughout the clubhouse.

Maybe because the A’s know they are all MVPs.


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.