Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

A's Are Distracted in Kansas City, Manager Wants to Choose His Own Coaches

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.

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Further evidence that the Bosley affair is taking time from game prep, the manager forgot to tell the press or the A’s PR Dept., that Ted Lilly was going to be moved back a day and that Tim Hudson would pitch on Friday.

Lilly pitches Saturday against Darrell May who threw an overwhelming game against Oakland last Sunday only to see it slip away when Erubiel Durazo hit a game tying homer off the lefty with two out and two strikes in the ninth inning.

I just don’t think May can shut down this team again for the second time in less than a week. Thad Bosley or no Thad Bosley, Darrell May ain’t that dominant.

Ted Lilly’s problems are walks and homers. The Royals don’t walk much, but they do hit homers. Lilly has given up 9 homers to righthanded hitters in 180 at bats, none to lefties.

Jason Giambi got loose in Detroit and went deep twice. More importantly, Jose Contreras lasted seven innings against the woeful Tigers, which will buoy his confidence, I’m waiting to see how the Cuban righty does against a real team.

Mark Buehrle has been awful lately. Why? I’m nort sure, but if he comes around the Sox will be passing KC shortly and then it will be a two team race with the Twins in the Central. Garland, Colon, and Loaiza still can pitch, so as I have said, all is not lost in Chicago.

Didn’t the White Sox fire their hitting coach too?

Casey Fossum versus Toronto and Mark Hendrickson. Two teams that can rake, even without Shea Hillenbrand, Boston puts runs on the board, there will be runs on both sides today.

The Angels are letting key games slip away against Tampa Bay and Baltimore. The A’s and Seattle won’t do the same, further complicating Anaheim’s season.

Can Kevin Appier put two good games back to back, he seems to like pitching against the Devil Rays and Joe Kennedy.

Colorado did its usual El Foldo act in SF Friday night. Today, Jason Jennnings who has thrown well against the Giants in the past goes against Jesse Foppert, who didn’t have it last week in Colorado.

Having this game at sea level will make all the difference in the world. Kurt Ainsworth looked like Cy Young to the Rockies early in the game, striking out seven in the first three innings.

Dontrelle Willis has a herky jerky delivery, but he dominated the Reds last time out, today he goes against Danny Graves who is improving and is one tough kid on the mound. Two good young pitchers in Miami.

Kevin Brown and Reuben Quevedo in LA. Just tell me how much LA wins the game by, I can’t see the Brewers beating Brown if he is on his game.

Wade Miller gave the Astros pen a rest Friday with a complete game two hitter, so expect the Houston bull pen to be in full force today in Wrigley with Roy Oswalt making his first start since a groin injury shelved him a couple of weeks ago.

Shawn Estes got blasted Friday giving up eight runs in 4.3 innings.

Orioles keep ripping the ball, it is hard to ignore them when they are beating up on the AL West, supposedly the best division in baseball. Rick Helling doesn’t have much left in the arm, and he faces wildly inconsistent Joaquin Benoit in Baltimore. You tell me how this one will turn out.

So, back to KC where the A’s have no business leaving with less than three wins in the four game series.

Someone has to step up and calm the waters. Will it be a player? The manager? The GM or the owner?

The team needs vocal leadership right now, not denials and vague statements.

More importantly, the team needs to win games and keep its eye on Seattle.


1 Anonymous { 06.01.03 at 2:28 am }

Marty, I don’t think you can blame Macha on this one. I would look instead to the source at the A’s who leaked the story to the Tribune. And then look at Bosley for making very emotional quotes to the press when the story was released. From all accounts, it seems that Macha has been addressing this with Bosley behind closed doors in three separate meetings. I don’t blame Macha for wanting to keep it inhouse, and when the story was leaked, to keep his quotes neutral. That seems to me a very professional approach to the game. The A’s haven’t been hitting well. It seems that would be something that a manager would want to address with his hitting coach.

2 Anonymous { 06.01.03 at 7:24 am }

Once again brilliant deductions from M.L.–

3 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

4 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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