1. TC said...

    When you’re making jokes out of the deleted comments, you’ve surpassed obscurity. How many people get that? A dozen? Two?

    Love it.

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    I find it much easier to write this blog when I pretend that I’m the only one who reads it. wink

  3. APBA Guy said...

    Wow- ATH is bombarded today, so in light of the A’s game last night without Giambi, here’s my own conspiracy theory:

    Scott Boras called Matt Holliday before the game and said “Matt, your value on the market is dropping faster than Starbuck’s stock price. You have to do something.”

    Holliday responded with 2 HR’s and 2 doubles, and he looked alive in left, where he normally sleepwalks through a game.

    And while the controversery over the call at home plate has reached Cuckoo’s Nest proportions, that doesn’t obscure some other “facts”:

    1) Giambi being on the DL (presumably until Oct 1) eliminates the automatic out in the A’s lineup much like removing the pitcher from batting. As long as Giambi was in the lineup, about half the A’s felt they didn’t have to perform and could still expect to keep their jobs. Some still feel that way. For instance, Ryan Sweeney, who failed to run hard after a foul fly in right that dropped 5 feet in front of him in the second inning, and then got doubled off on a pop up in the 8th. He needs to spend some time at Sacramento with Sean Gallagher et al and “get his mind right”.

    2) Gio Gonzalez may have had the worst start in Oakland A’s history: 11 ER in 2.2 innings. Trust me on this, the homeruns by the the Twins 3-4-5 hitters were among the hardest hit balls this year at the Mausoleum. Morneau’s in particular, I think that ball was flattened on impact.

    3) There were 10,000 in attendance last night. Monday’s are slow and the rivalry with the Twins is, well, not a rivalry. And Gardenhire was resting Mauer. But still, allowing Gonzalez to come out in the third behind 8-2 was criminal, but consistent with the A’s playing not to win this year. Besides having no stars and not playing hard, the obvious indifference to winning displayed by A’s management is driving the hard core fans away now, not just the casual fans.

    4) Let’s keep in mind that a big reason for the A’s comeback last night was that several of the A’s veterans are playing to be traded: Adam Kennedy, Orlando Cabrera, Matt Holliday, Michael Wuertz, all would love to land two months with a contender. If they are still here in August the A”s will be even sorrier than they are now.

    5) What can you say about the play at the plate? He looked safe, but “the ball was there” and the ump was right on top of it. Even the A’s broadcasters were non-committal, and Ray Fosse is as big a homer as they come, although in a subtle, delightful way. Still, as he points out, the A’s have been on the short end of a lot of calls this year, so getting a break is overdue.

    Still, in real time, that’s a tough call. He looked out at first in real time, then the replays indicated a good possibility of being safe (slow drop on the tag by Wuertz, tag high on the leg while Cuddyer appears to be crossing the plate). If the ump had been around to the side rather than behind the call, it might have been different.

    Nevertheless, much as I have been a huge fan of Jason Giambi over his career, he needs to hang them up and the A’s need to continue to explore lineups without his presence.

    Hopefully the game tonight will be just as exciting as last nights, but we may not see 14 runs again for the rest of July.

  4. Joe said...

    Michael Wuertz is a veteran? 

    <looks it up>

    He’s in his sixth season.  I’ll be damned – I’ve never heard of the guy before this year.  Too AL-centric, I guess.

  5. Brian said...

    @APBA Guy:

    Agree with most. (I wouldn’t attribute a comeback to vets wanting to be traded. And I thought Cuddyer was pretty obviously safe.)

    What really bothered me was the lack of excitement throughout the dugout following Holliday’s grand slam, and then after Cust’s homer. Those are moments when even the shittiest of teams celebrate like Little Leaguers, yet most of the A’s were “meh.”

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