COLD BATS AT THE HOT CORNER
* Now that we’re a few games into the Brandon Inge Era at third base we might as well take a moment to reflect on the Not-so-Golden Age of Josh Donaldson at the hot corner. The catcher-turned-third baseman put up a forgettable .094/.094/.094 line with 3 errors in just 9 games which went a long way toward earning him a ticket to Sacramento.
It was a painful performance to watch and I’m certain it was even more painful for Donaldson to be the guy posting those numbers. I feel for the guy, I really do. It’s not his fault the injury bug chewed up and spit out Scott Sizemore during the first drill of spring training and it’s not Donaldson’s fault that the A’s were caught with their pants down when it comes to having some viable candidates to play third base in Oakland.
Who’s the bigger failure in this situation? Donaldson for struggling to even hit .100 or the A’s for having Sizemore as the one and only person in the entire organization capable of playing third base in the Major Leagues? I’m totally sympathetic toward Donaldson and thoroughly annoyed with the front office for the mess at third base in 2012. Hopefully Donaldson can get back on track in Triple A and make it back up to Oakland this year.
* What the heck happened to Adam Rosales‘ place in the A’s organization? While Donaldson, Eric Sogard, and Luke Hughes were doing almost nothing at third base for the A’s there was never any mention of Rosales getting a shot at playing time in Oakland.
Rosie’s hitting about .301/.337/.419 for the River Cats this season and even though he’s more of a utility guy than an everyday third baseman I think it would have been worth giving him a shot at filling Donaldson’s shoes.
It’s no knock on Inge but I’m a sucker for Rosales’ hustle.
TIRED OF PLAYING THE GAME
Ever get the feeling when you listen to The Rise Guys on 95.7 FM The Game in the morning that co-host Dan Dibley is either dressed in a court jester’s outfit or a Giants uniform? Or how about an orange and black jester’s outfit to cover all the bases?
I know that’s not a particularly nice thing to say, so since I’m already digging myself into a hole I’ll just throw in the fact that sometimes I also picture Mark Kreidler and Whitey Gleason by his side wearing panda and giraffe hats. I’ll give 95.7 this: They never pretended to be a pro-A’s station/warm, fuzzy home for fans of the guys in white shoes so I can’t complain that their programming delivers on any kind of false advertising.
It’ll be interesting to see where the station stands in 3 to 5 years. Will they be holding their own in the Bay Area market or will their big investment to try and eat into KNBR’s territory fail miserably, leaving the station’s owner no choice but to pull the plug?
There’s just enough annoying fawning over the Giants and mocking of the A’s on 95.7 that I decided to take a break from them last week and only tune in for A’s games. And you know what? My life is far better for it.
A little music beats listening to the 95.7 crew flap their gums beating the same stories to death all day and talking in circles about nothing of particular news value just to fill air time. Take my word for it, the A’s flagship station isn’t so bad if you don’t listen to them when the A’s aren’t in action.
Tune in for the games and the post-game show with Chris Townsend and go online to cherry pick the interviews you want to check out and you’ll come out ahead of The Game every time.
NEGATIVE POST YIELDS POSITIVE RESULTS?
When I took a look ahead to May I braced for the worst with a tough schedule ahead and pegged the A’s for as few as seven wins but they’ve already ripped off four victories on what promised to be a brutal road trip. I also vented some major frustration with Daric Barton‘s overly patient/catatonic approach at the plate but everyone’s favorite rally killer has posted an OPS around 1.267 this month.
I like the way things are going so far. If looking at the glass half empty from time to time leads to some wins I’ll take the same approach in my Fast Forward post next month and hope for a strong June for the A’s.
* One thought I’ve occasionally had while watching Yoenis Cespedes abuse baseballs this season is that I’ll miss him when he’s gone. Cespedes has been amazing so far. Raw, brilliant, awe-inspiring power with some flair and showmanship. I’m loving every minute of it especially because the A’s might not even be able to hold onto him through his current contract without a new ballpark and/or ownership.
* This is a little more random than most items in this post, but I just want to throw it out there: I hate Sulia and I hate slideshows. But I like Susan Slusser’s work enough to grin and bear it and go through Sulia to get to her stuff at the Chron via Twitter.
Slideshows? They’re another story I hate’em enough to avoid Bleacher Report like the plague. One pithy story is never worth a dozen clicks to get through. Say what you will about anything I post, but all you have to do is click one time and you have it all and you can move on with your life without wasting much time.
* The Bronx Bombers’ rotation is less than spectacular with Michael Pineda on the shelf and their bullpen is on shaky ground now that Mariano Rivera is out for the year. I think Brandon McCarthy and Grant Balfour for one of the Yankees’ top prospects would ease their pain, help Oakland’s ongoing rebuild, and make McCarthy a potential star once the Big Apple gets a load of his performance on the mound and wit off it.
* Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d rather see Colin Cowgill, Jermaine Mitchell, Michael Taylor, or even Chris Carter and his iron glove playing left field instead of Coco Crisp. I love Coco but he doesn’t have much use on a team going nowhere in 2012 with it’s sights set on the future. I’m crossing my fingers that the A’s do everyone a favor at the trade deadline and ship Crisp to a contender even if it requires eating some salary and throwing in a prospect.
* The A’s and the Ray have a lot in common. They’re both small market teams in dumpy ballparks in desperate need of a new stadium. One of the major differences is ownership. Right now, I’d take Rays owner Stu Steinberg over Lew Wolff in a heartbeat.
Give me the guy who works with local politicians and businesses, who puts money into improving the ballpark experience for fans and doesn’t bad mouth the venue as he seeks a new stadium.
* I’ll never cheer for the Rangers, but I have to tip my hat to a classy, touching move the franchise made by erecting a statue to honor the fan who fell to his death during a game against the A’s last season.
* The Oakland Tribune took a nice look at the storied history of the Coliseum. Say what you will about the aging eyesore but it’s seen it’s fair share of glory over the years. It may be a dump, but it’s our dump.
* Is it just me or does it seem like every time the Rangers play they have 5 or 6 runs by the third or fourth inning. That team is an absolute beast. Scary good right now.
* Can we start getting excited about minor league starting pitcher A.J. Griffin yet? The kid has 41 strikeouts to go along with just 5 walks and a 1.93 ERA in Double A. I came into 2012 planning to closely follow the progress of an A.J. in the minors for Oakland but I expected it to be A.J. Cole, not Griffin. I’m definitely not complaining because two high-ceiling A.J.’s are better than one.
DIPPING INTO THE MAILBAG
You didn’t ask me anything or throw any comments my way after I sounded the call in my most recent posts so there’s really nothing to say here. We’ll see what May has to offer from the faithful readers of Swingin’ A’s.
FILL THE MAILBAG
In an effort to make things a little more interactive here at Swingin’ A’s please feel free to send me some questions or comments about the A’s, Major League baseball or … well … whatever and I’ll try and get around to answering them in my monthly Random Ramblings post.