Wednesday, July 27, 2005

If He Only Had a Brain


"If I only had a brain
I could while away the hours
Conferring' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain
And my head I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain"
-Scarecrow

I don't know about you guys, but personally, I think they should have made the Tin Man the one without the brain, and the scarecrow the one without the heart. If for no other reason than that I found a picture of the Tin Man online that was a dead ringer for Macha. It would have been so perfect. Oh well. C'est la vie.....


Black (Jack) Tuesday

October 29, 1929. It was a Tuesday. The stock market crashed. 12 years of Depression ensued. October 29, 2002. Ken Macha hired as Manager. 2 years, 8 months, 29 days (and counting) of Depression (at least for A's fans) ensued. That was a Tuesday, too. Coincidence? Yeah, probably. But Tuesday or no, Macha's still a douchebag.

One of the oldest and most common betting strategies in Blackjack involves counting all the tens and all the non tens as they pass by and are removed from the deck. When the deck is relatively full of tens, you increase your bet, as the chances that the dealer will bust also increase. It's tough to do, but in the long run, you'll make more money that way.

It's the same thing in baseball. If you want to increase your run output, you stack all of your "tens" together in the lineup, meaning you want your best hitters back to back to back. And who are the A's best hitters, you ask? It's quite clear that our four best hitters are Bobby Crosby, Eric Chavez, Nick Swisher, and Dan Johnson. These guys SHOULD be batting 3-6 in the lineup. Last night, they were batting 3-4-7-9. Last night, those 4 combined to go only 2-13, so stacking them may not have made a difference. But in the long run, it will. This team will score more runs if Macha could pull his head out of his ass and stop putting the guy with the .655 July OPS (and only .731 overall) in the 5th spot. He's a rally killer, Ken. Don't you get that? Just stop putting him in a power position in the lineup. Just stop it. Please, Ken. Stop. I'm begging you. Stop. If you're looking for guys to put in the 5th and 6th spot in the lineup, might I suggest the guy with the 1.031 July OPS? Or the guy with the .914 July OPS? I'm begging you, Ken. Of the 83 different lineups you've used in the team's 100 games, this is the most favorable lineup to produce runs. I implore you, Ken. Make the change.

Ok ok, I've harped on this enough. I've made my point. I've said my peace. I'm sure Macha can look at the numbers and notice that when one guy is outperforming another guy by nearly .400 OPS points, it's time to make a change. Not even Macha can miss something so obvious as this, right? I mean, you'd have to be a brainless scarecrow to not notice. Surely, Macha gets the picture. Right?


"I like Johnson in the ninth spot," Macha said. "He's almost like a second leadoff hitter."
-Ken Macha, July 26th

(slaps forehead)

Great work, Ken. It'd be real nice if only you had a brain.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey

With the trade deadline less than a week away, I think it's time to start thinking about potential additions/subtractions.

There seems to be this misconception that our mighty Athletics need to add a power, right-handed bat. Even Mychael Urban, in his recent interview on Athletics Nation, said that he would make a move for some right-handed pop if he were GM. I, too, used to think that we could use a slugging right-hander to stabilize the middle of the order. Then I checked at the stats. We're pretty damn good against lefties.

Just look at the line-up we could throw out versus a lefty with the current guys on our roster:

2005 Stats vs Lefties

C. Kendall (.304 Avg/.368 OBP/.343 Slg%/.712 OPS)

CF Kotsay. (.314 Avg/.359 OBP/.424 Slg%/.783 OPS)
SS Crosby. (.322 Avg/.394 OBP/.576 Slg%/.970 OPS)
3B Chavez. (.280 Avg/.338 OBP/.441 Slg%/.778 OPS)
DH Kielty. (.340 Avg/.417 OBP/.500 Slg%/.917 OPS)
1B Johnson (.361 Avg/.457 OBP/.528 Slg%/.984 OPS)
LF Payton. (.318 Avg/.359 OBP/.482 Slg%/.841 OPS)
RF Swisher (.192 Avg/.276 OBP/.321 Slg%/.596 OPS)
2B Ellis.. (.297 Avg/.375 OBP/.453 Slg%/.828 OPS)

The only regular who clearly struggles versus lefties is Swisher. But there's about three guys who absolutely crush lefties and a couple more that can more than hold their own. Does that really merit a trade for a right-handed slugger? I don't think so.

If there is a right-handed bat we could use, it's one for the bench. It's time to give up on Keith Ginter. He sucks. Trade him, send him down, whatever. Just get rid of him. Given what he's shown this season, I don't want Ginter pinch hitting for ANY of our lefties in a close game. Not Hatteberg. Not Johnson. Not Swisher. And considering that he only has five pinch hit appearances all season, neither does Macha. So what's Ginter good for?

Absolutely nothing.

Now IF we had a quality righty on the bench, I think pinch hitting for Hatte or Swisher late in close game would be the "right" move. But that isn't an option right now.

So if I were Billy Beane, I'd be looking at Olmedo Saenz. I'd love to see him back in an A's uniform. The guy can still hit. And I think he'd be the perfect guy to have coming off the bench and starting at DH versus lefties.

Is he available?

I'd say yes.

Even though, the Dodgers are just five games back of the division lead (just like our mighty A's), they're 45-54 (unlike our Athletics, who are 54-45). DePodesta has to realize that his team just isn't very good. And given Saenz's age, I'd have to think that DePo would move him if the player he got in return made it worth his while.

I don't see why Seth Etherton couldn't get it done. He's got a 2.72 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with 75 K's and only 25 walks in 86.0 innings down in AAA. With the plethora of starting pitching we all of a sudden have, I don't think he's got much of a future with the big club. So he's expendable, imo.

What I think we really need is someone who can hit righties. Check out the line-up most likely to be out there versus a right-handed pitcher:

2005 Stats vs Righties

C. Kendall.. (.263 Avg/.348 OBP/.318 Slg%/.666 OPS)

CF Kotsay... (.250 Avg/.306 OBP/.391 Slg%/.697 OPS)
SS Crosby... (.308 Avg/.374 OBP/.474 Slg%/.848 OPS)
3B Chavez... (.268 Avg/.333 OBP/.472 Slg%/.805 OPS)
DH Hatteberg (.293 Avg/.371 OBP/.378 Slg%/.749 OPS)
LF Kielty... (.244 Avg/.356 OBP/.356 Slg%/.712 OPS)
1B Johnson.. (.282 Avg/.360 OBP/.479 Slg%/.839 OPS)
RF Swisher.. (.265 Avg/.329 OBP/.515 Slg%/.844 OPS)
2B Ellis.... (.303 Avg/.350 OBP/.382 Slg%/.731 OPS)

There's a couple of guys who are pretty bad and a lot of guys who are just pretty meh. Adding a power, left-handed bat would do A LOT more than adding a slugging righty.

The most high-profile name floating around the rumor mill is Adam Dunn. No doubt this guy can mash. He hit 46 homeruns last season and is on pace to reach that number again this year. And he's only 25 years old.

Adam Dunn has the patience and power that a lot of teams covet, but I thought maybe his homerun total was inflated by that bandbox of a park the Reds play in. I'm still not sure. In 2004, 21 of Dunn's homeruns were hit on the road. However, this year only seven of his 28 homeruns have come on the road. Either way, he may not be a 45 homerun a year guy in EVERY ballpark, but I think it's pretty safe to say that in ANY park, Dunn's a legitimate power hitter.

Now for the financial side of things. Dunn's arbitration-eligible for another two years. I'd say he's scheduled to make anywhere from $14 to $17 million in that time. That's a lot of money.

Would that sum keep us from re-signing Zito?

I don't know.

If we assume that we'd only keep Dunn through his arbitration years and that we'd sign Zito to a contract extension (which could be a WAY OFF assumption, but bear with me here), Dunn's arbitration-determined salary would only overlap with Zito's new contract salary in 2007. 2007 also happens to be the final year of Jason Kendall's contract. And a stipulation in Jason Kendall's contract has Pittsburgh sending us $5 million in cash. So IF we could afford the contracts of Kotsay, Kendall, Chavez, Zito and Dunn in 2006, I'd have to think that we could afford the contracts of Kotsay, Kendall, Chavez, Dunn and Zito in 2007.

On the flip side, Zito might be out of our price range anyway (moreso because of the number of years he'd undoubtedly be looking for than because of the yearly salary he could get) . So any deadline deal that involves ownership taking on salary wouldn't effect Zito's situation one way or the other. If that's the case and Dunn isn't out of our price range, I don't see why he wouldn't be an option.

Now IF the salary ownership takes on before the deadline will effect what happens with Zito, then I say there are probably better options than Adam Dunn. The guy at the top of my list would be Aubrey Huff. He might be at the top of my list anyway.

Huff won't provide as much power as Dunn, but he WILL provide some pop and should hit around .300. And he's spent his whole career in the AL, so there shouldn't be any prolonged adjustment period, like there might be with Dunn.

Not only is Huff an exceptional hitter, but he's extremely versatile. He can play the outfield, first base and, most importantly, third base, which would allow Chavez to rest his bum shoulder every once in a while without a significant drop off in offensive production.

Huff's only under contract through next season and in that time is scheduled to make about $9.5 million, which is still A LOT of money, but not as much as Dunn is looking to make. Now if that amount of money would keep us from signing Zito, I say ef him too.

I don't know if there's anyone else out there who's available that could really help the club. Moises Alou and Rondell White, a couple of right-handers, are some other names I've seen linked to the A's. Maybe oft-injured Nick Johnson, who's currently on a rehab assignment and arbitration-eligible for a couple more years. Maybe Lyle Overbay, who I believe is just entering his arbitration years. But those guys can only play first base and DH, which would mean the end of the Scott Hatteberg era. And, for whatever crazy reason, I don't think Billy Beane wouldn't do that to Hatte. Maybe you guys can think of someone I'm forgetting.

That our mighty A's are only one or two players away from being REALLY good THIS year is pretty damn surprising. Even more exciting is that Billy Beane always makes that one or two moves necessary before the trade deadline to put the team in the best position possible to win down the stretch.

Macha's Greatest Shits, Vol. 1


A's 13, Indians 4. Ok, I don't care how bad of a manager you are, there is not one move you can make that can be construed as incorrect when your team is up by 10 runs in the late innings. Put in the scrubs (Ginter? Check. Yabu? Check) and just get through the game. Not even Ken can fuck that up.

And since it certainly appears that Macha only has 2 months, 5 days, and the playoffs remaining with the title of Oakland Manager, I thought I'd take this opportunity to relive some of Macha's most egregious game-costing fuckups.

I think my favorite was the shit he pulled at the end-game scenario in Game 5 of the 2003 playoffs. First two batters walked, Ramon bunts them over. So far, so good. Jermaine Dye up. Now, Dye sucks. Nobody will dispute that. I hated him then, I hate him now, and I'm so glad he's gone. However, pinch hitting for him was idiotic because he was GOING TO BE INTENTIONALLY WALKED!! I mean, what was the fucking point? To stay out of a double play when the infield would be in? Christ, Ken. Also, with Chris Singleton and Terrence Long following, perhaps using Melhuse to PH for one of those worthless idiots would be a bit smarter. Just a bit. And who knows if Lowe would have still walked Singleton (or Melhuse, if he was pinch hitting), but if he did, that would have tied that game. I guess I just can't figure out why Macha would be against having another baserunner, and being able to use Melhuse for Singleton or (especially) Long instead of Dye.

Letting the season come down to a Terrence Long circa 2003 at-bat is completely indefensible on every level. That's my point. Macha fucked that up. And it (likely) cost us the ALCS.


So that's my worst Macha memory ever. What's yours?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

He's still an asshole, though


It has been said that a million monkeys working at a million typewriters would eventually reproduce Shakespeare's entire catalog. Putting aside for a moment that generally, only two monkeys and nine minutes would be needed to reproduce one of Macha's lineups, we here at FireMacha.com are nothing if not objective, and will give credit when credit is due.

Last night, in Oakland's 5-4 victory over Texas, Macha used the bullpen. Flawlessly. It was fucking incredible. It was like one of those monkeys had inhabited Macha's body for the game. I can't explain it, and probably never will. As I was watching the game unfold on my computer screen, and Macha kept walking out of that dugout to make the pitching changes at the correct moments - and bringing in the right reliever - I didn't know what to do. Was this really Ken Macha, or just some wickedly similar lookalike? Taking out Saarloos when he was clearly done, and bringing in a reliever to face a guy hitting .170? Beautiful. Guys batting .170 getting hits off of clearly tired starters are what starts rallies, and lose games. What's the word we use for something like that? Proactive? Was Macha proactive? I guess he was. Fucking A, Ken. Fucking A. And then Rincon against the lefty and the guy that can't hit lefties, solid setup guy in the 8th, and then the closer in the 9th. Bada Bing. Bada Boom. Ballgame. Didn't get cute. He went with the guys he should have went with. And what happens when you put the right guys in the right situations? You win.

Yeah, putting in the right relievers at the right time is Macha's job. He gets paid to (not) do that, so perhaps we shouldn't be tonguing his balls quite so vociferously, but jesus christ, man. This would be like a mentally retarded guy walking into the medical lab and saying, "Step aside Jonas, I've got this mother fucker handled," and then 5 minutes later polio is cured. You just don't expect it.

So congrats, Ken. Last night you finally found your nut. We knew it would eventually happen, because that's the great thing about eventually. Eventually, eventually always comes. But enjoy that nut. Savor it. If past history is any indication, it'll be 2 years, 3 months, and 23 days before you find another. But right now, this moment is yours, Ken. The confetti being tossed is being tossed for you. The banner on the wall was made for you. The guests are all there for you. The cake has your name on it. Have fun at the party.

You're still an asshole, though.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Voice of the People

How would you best describe Macha's "managing" tonight?

Idiom Wind

"Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth.
You're an idiot, babe,
It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe."

--Bob Dylan, "Idiot Wind"

Because of. In Spite of. Two of America's favorite idioms, they have practically opposite meanings. This team has won 3 in a row. 6 of 8. 9 of 11. And 19 of 24. Which one of these two idioms more accurately describes our manager, Captain Dipshit? You get two guesses.

Good guess.

The genius once again exhibited that he has no idea how to turn out a lineup or manage a bullpen. If he did, Ginter wouldn't be in there, ever. But for some reason, Macha thinks Ginter's .414 OPS vs. lefties (not a typo) is just too lethal to leave on the bench. Shockingly, Ginter went 0 for 3 last night with 2 strikeouts. Now batting .169, it's a wonder why Macha just doesn't have the guy hit cleanup.

And when you go to the bench for a pinch hitter in a 1-run game with the bases loaded, do you go with the guy with the .614 July OPS, or with the guy with the .867 July OPS? What? Oh yeah, they're both left-handed. You'd go with the .614 OPS guy, you say? Yeah, that's what Ken did, too. I can see how that'd be a tough decision. Not that Hatteberg's weak pop-up to second wasn't impressive or anything, it's just that well.....ok, it was unimpressive. Could have blown the game wide open, and Macha goes with the worst option off the bench. What were you saving Johnson for, Ken? An important spot in the game? Fucking Christ you're dumb.

And, oh yeah. Going with Kennedy for a second inning, when he wasn't particularly sharp in his first? Brilliant. Kennedy threw 46 pitches, and only 25 for strikes. Yeah, he was totally on his game. I mean, only 9 of the 10 batters he faced were right handed, so that whole situational matchup thing went real swell for you, Ken. Why bring in Kiko Calero and his .103 BAA in July when you can make another stupid move? And why is Calero in the doghouse all of a sudden? When's the last time he pitched, 1973? I hate you so much, Macha.

Homer : [from croud] Hey, Flanders! You're the worst coach this team has ever had!
Marge : He's the only coach this team has ever had... and the season hasn't even started yet!
Homer : Yeah, well ... he's wearing that hat like an idiot.
Marge : You know, Homer, its very easy to criticize.
Homer : Fun, too.
And nice work with that hat, Ken. It looks great. It's completely straight and everything. Good luck in the Special Olympics. You'll need it.


The boys in green and gold won again last night. They're playing extremely well right now. And winning is becoming commonplace.

In Spite of Ken Macha.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Scioscia's Bloody Vagina




















What a fucking asshat. What a god damn disgrace. What a fucking embarrassment to our national pasttime. Yeah, I'm talking about Ken Macha, but I'm also talking about Mike Scioscia. Where I come from, we have a word we use to describe people who act like Scioscia: fat pussy fuckface. I mean, look at this fucking loser. I don't want to say that he looks a lot like the Kool-Aid Man, but jeez, the resemblance is a just a little more than uncanny.

It's also nice to see that a grown man is capable of wearing a baseball hat, and not look like a complete fucking idiot. Scioscia has totally pulled the bill down far enough over his fat head that he totally doesn't look like a Special Olympian. Oh, wait. Guess he does. Sorry, Mike. I hope you win. But if you cannot win, I hope you're at least brave in the attempt. You fat fucking assclown. And I also hope Steve Physioc wins whatever event he'll be entered in. His disability, you ask? Well, as a child, instead of being born with a brain, he was just born with more hair.

So Mike: If you want to be taken seriously, quit with the fucking gamesmanship. It was annoying six years ago. Nowadays, I would dance a fucking jig if you were mauled by a wild llama or something. Seriously, it doesn't do anything except piss people off. Your pathetic little lineup can't hit Zito. It can't hit Street. It couldn't hit Mulder, and it couldn't hit Hudson. So stop worrying about bracelets. Or toes on rubbers. Or balks. But if you like, you can worry about how your own scab of a pitcher is a dirty, filthy, fucking cheater. Or maybe you could give Vlad a god damn tube of toothpaste, and tell him his ugly teeth wouldn't be so god damn green if he'd just brush them every once in a while.

Scioscia is a fucking disgrace.

Also, I haven't forgotten about Macha. He's a disgrace, too. But I shouldn't make any jokes about him until the city workers are done cleaning the pigeon crap off of him. You know, because he's a statue? Get it?

Seriously, Scioscia. You're a fag.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

My man-love for Billy Beane might just be at an all-time high. And he just traded away my most favorite prospect ever. So that's really saying something.

The guy never ceases to amaze me. The deals he made last week weren't necessarily "big", but they made the team A LOT better, in my opinion. And I'm not talking about just this year's team.

By now, everyone knows all the details, so I won't rehash them, but in essence we replaced Byrnes with Payton, Bradford with Witasick and gave up Quintanilla for Kennedy.

Jay Payton probably isn't that much of an upgrade over Byrnes, but this is such a good move for a one main reason: money. Byrnes is still arbitration-eligible for two more years. So over the course of the next two years, Byrnes stands to make about $5-6 million. Considering that Byrnes is, and always will be, a platoon player, that's way too much money for our mighty Athletics.

I'm sure he will be missed in the clubhouse, but whatev, they'll get over it.

And I keep hearing how Byrnes was a "fan favorite," but I think that needs to be re-phrased; he's was a "casual fan favorite." The casual fans see the gritty hustler. The guy who always sprints out to his position in the outfield and makes spectacular catches.
"I can't believe how upset I am. I don't know if I can follow the A's anymore."

--My wife, upon hearing that Boo-yrnes had been traded
Yes, she calls him "Boo-yrnes." She picked it up from me. She still doesn't get it. Dumb broads.

Anyway, the hardcore fans know Byrnes for what he really is: A guy that can't hit righties and a pathetic defender that has to make up for terrible routes with dives. Sure, he brought some excitement to the game, but so does the Super Chicken.

I can't think of a situation possibly occurring in the future where I might say to myself, "Damn, I wish we still had Byrnes." He won't be missed. Not by me anyway.

This is the same case with Bradford. He's arbitration eligible for one more year. So he'll make no less than $1.12 million (80% of this year's salary) in 2006. That is way too much money for a right-handed specialist with a history of back problems. He probably isn't even worth half of that at this stage in his career.

Giving up Quintanilla hurts me deeply (he's from my hometown), but I guess you have to give to get. I heard Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd on the radio a couple of days ago saying that he wouldn't be surprised if Quintanilla made to the majors before September. THIS September. There's no way he could have gotten that opportunity with the A's. And with Pennington in the mix now, I guess he was expendable. Oh, well. All I can do now is suck it up and wish him well.

In return we got a journeyman outfielder, a journeyman relief pitcher and a journeyman starting pitcher. Doesn't sound all that great, but it is. Believe me it is.

Payton and Witasick are only under contract through this season. Which means instead of spending about $4 million in 2006 on a platoon leftfielder and a ROOGY, about that much will be coming off the books. That's an $8 millon swing. And that's a lot of money.

So not only can you count on the production of the new guys being equal to or better than the production of the old guys, but come next off-season Billy's got more money to spend. Brilliant. Effing brilliant.

Some of that money is already earmarked for the newly-acquired Joe Kennedy. Entering his second arbitration year, he'll probably account for less than $3 million of they payroll in 2006...unless we trade him, which I believe is a very good possibility.

But in order for that to happen, I think he needs to be in the rotation. His value lies in the fact that he's a left-handed starter. And that value is really takes a hit when he's working out of the bullpen. I just can't see Kennedy taking over the fifth spot in the rotation. Not at this point in the season, with the team still in contention for a playoff spot.

Saarloos has done a damn fine job as the number five starter and I don't think he's done anything to lose that spot. Now if he should go into a tailspin or if HE gets traded, MAYBE Kennedy would get a shot.

Then again, Juan Cruz might get a shot too.

Cruz is dominating as a starter down in AAA. In 29 innings for Sacramento, he has a 1.84 ERA and 45 strikeouts and has given up just 18 hits. Opposing hitters are batting .176 against him. If something should happen to Saarloos, the front office brass might prefer giving Cruz what he's wanted all along: a chance to start.

Which still leaves us with Kennedy in the bullpen. And I just don't believe he's a bullpen guy. Not yet. If he gets his stuff together, Joe Kennedy's still the type of guy a lot of teams can use. I'm just not sure how we're going to get him more than a handful of innings each week.

How this all plays out sure will be interesting. But one thing's for sure: the team is in a A LOT better shape now than it would have been had they kept Byrnes, Bradford and Quintanilla.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Fun with Pictures

Kiel-teeing Off!!!

Bobby Kielty's 14th inning homerun wins the game



Mel-Whose that Guy?

Is there any reason why this guy never gets an AB? He has roughly the same number of at-bats this season as Charles Thomas, and less than half the at-bats of Keith Ginter. Um....why?


Chap-Acquitted!!

Joe Kennedy's 2nd appearance with the A's goes much more smoothly than the first. 3 shutout innings and a win. Ich bin ein Athletic!


Still a fucking moron



Any reason why you left Haren out there for the 7th, you gum chewing ass spelunker? Was it the fact that he had "only" thrown 110 pitches after six laborious innings? Was it the fact that his 107th pitched was crushed for a homerun? Was it the fact that his velocity was down, his pitches up, and his location everywhere else? Were you surprised that his 120th pitch of the day was hammered out to centerfield? Or had you just fallen asleep again, you stupid penis-wart?


I hate you. I hate you so fucking much. I hate you more than I hate Hitler. Hitler would have at least put Duchscherer out there to start the 7th. Bitch.

HALLELUJAH!!!!



• Sports Weekly reported this week that despite the A's turnaround, the team is expected to let Manager Ken Macha go after the season and replace him with bullpen coach Bob Geren. Beane has said that Macha has done an admirable job this season. However, the two haven't spoken about a contract extension since before spring training.


Well rape my anus and call me a prison bitch! This is the best news I've heard all week! I knew that Billy wasn't this stupid. I just knew it. Despite using such words as "masterful" to describe Macha's managerial performance, he had no intention of keeping this gum chewing assclown on board.

So what about his replacement? Bob Geren, beyond the fact that he currently is the A's bullpen coach, recently was the manager of the AAA Rivercats for a few years. But that's neither here nor there. A's fans have a pretty lengthy set of prerequisites that all new managers must have fulfilled before we'll accept you. Let's see if Geren meets the requirements.

  • New A's manager requirements:
  • 1) The new manager cannot be Ken Macha.
  • 2) That is all.


Well, it looks like Geren passes. Welcome aboard, Bob.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Gimme A Break

The All-Star Break gives me the perfect opportunity to go back and reflect on this little blog and what I want it to be moving forward.

Do I go back to my roots and just stick to bashing Ken Macha and his moronic moves? Do I steer more toward statistical analysis ("Fun with Numbers" was a smashing success. I think I got like seven hits that day.)? Do I put more effort into Roman's (gay and time-consuming) Round-Up. Or do I continue a mix-mash of all three? I'll think about all of this in the next few days.

But before I go into into my state of meditation and reflection, I guess I should comment on this beauty:
"I don't think he should have been out there, personally. I was totally against it. One game is not worth the second half of the season"

--Eric Chavez
Calm down, Dr. Chavez. Ten extra pitches isn't going to have any long-term effects.

Sometimes I wish Chavy would just shut hit trap. I'm pretty sure Macha was totally against Chavy airmailing that ball into right field. He was also probably totally against Chavy going 0-4 and leaving four guys on base. But he's not spouting off to every beat writer that'll listen.

Sure 43 pitches is a lot for a closer, but with a three-day break coming up, it's not that big of a deal. And it worked. So I don't know why this jackninny feels it necessary to even comment on Street's use.
"I went two-for-13 with just two RBI this series and we still managed to sweep the best team in baseball. I think that says a lot about our team."

--What Eric Chavez should have said
Sure, just reading off the company line is a little boring, but when Chavy tries to put his original thoughts into words, he just sounds like a fool.
"The guy who put his neck on the line was Huston. He kept his composure and he kept giving us chances."

--Nick Swisher
Swisher's just a rookie, yet he's the one that sounds like the veteran. Chavy should take notes.

Actually, I take it back. Chavy should just do his job and shut his hole. He's already made it very clear that he has no desire to be the vocal leader of this club. And I have no problem with that. He just doesn't have that type of personality. I don't think that because he's been here the longest and makes the most money that he should be obligated to be the team's captain. So he should just hit homeruns, win Gold Gloves and leave the media alone. Quite frankly, I don't even care what he has to say anymore.

Anyway, now that I've got that off my chest, let me know what you'd like to see more of. I'm all about giving the people what they want.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Round-Up

For Friday, July 8th, 2005
_____________________________________________________________
Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox
............1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9... R.. H. E
OAK (42-43) 0. 0. 2. 0. 1. 0. 0. 1. 0... 4. 13. 0
CHW (57-27) 0. 0. 0. 1. 0. 0. 1. 0. 0... 2.. 9. 0
box log photos
Saarloos outduels Garland as A's edge White Sox
W: Saarloos (5-5); L: Garland (13-4); S: Street (5)
HR: None.

Comments:
-Mark Kotsay is 2 for his last 13.
-Five of Nick Swisher's last 7 hits have gone for extra bases.
-Justin Duchscherer has allowed 10 of 17 inherited runners to score this season.
-The A's won the season series versus Chicago for the fifth year in a row.
-Oakland announced that they have signed 2nd round draft pick Craig Italiano.

A's grind out win over White Sox
Club's confidence continues to build as break nears
Mychael Urban, MLB.com

A's frustrate Garland, top ChiSox again
Susan Slusser, SF Chronicle

Young A's come through
Greener members of Green and Gold play key roles in win over AL-leading White Sox
Josh Suchon, Oakland Tribune

Street silences fans, strikes out Thomas
Josh Suchon, Oakland Tribune

Notes: Kotsay MVP of first half
Payton-for-Bradford deal has hurdles to clear
Mychael Urban, MLB.com

A'S REPORT
Payton's agent shoots down Boston trade for Bradford
Susan Slusser, SF Chronicle

A's won't discuss rumored Bradford-for-Payton deal
Joe Roderick, SJ Mercury News, (Registration Required)
_____________________________________________________________
Sacramento River Cats at Fresno Grizzlies
........... 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9.10 ..R.. H..E
SAC (50-39) 0. 1. 0. 0. 0. 0. 1. 0. 0. 2 . 4. 10. 0
FRE (42-46) 0. 0. 0. 0. 1. 0. 1. 0. 0. 0 . 2.. 8. 0
wrap box log
W: J. Garcia (2-5, 5.76); L: E. Espineli (0-1, 18.00);
HR: None.

Comments:
-Charles Thomas was 0-5 and is now 6 for his last 53 (.115 Avg).
-Brant Colamarino was 2-4 with a double and is now batting .400 for the month (10-25).
-Juan Cruz has allowed 12 hits, 6 walks and 3 earned runs over his last 3 starts (1.42 ERA, 0.95 WHIP)
-Chad Bradford pitched a scoreless inning, retiring 3 batters on 7 pitches.

Bradford sharp in rehab stint
A's reliever could be back with the parent club after the All-Star break -- or traded.
Anthony Galaviz, Sacramento Bee (Registration Required)
_____________________________________________________________
Midland, Stockton, Kane County, Vancouver and AZL Athletics still to come. Maybe.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Round-Up

For Thursday, July 7th, 2005
_____________________________________________________________
Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays
............1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9... R. H. E
OAK (41-43) 0. 2. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0... 2. 7. 0
TOR (44-41) 0. 0. 0. 0. 3. 1. 0. 0. X... 4. 6. 0
box log photos
Wells done: Three-run homer lifts Jays past A's
W: Chacin (7-5) L: Harden (5-4) S: Batista (15)
HR: OAK: E. Byrnes (7) - TOR: V. Wells (17)


Comments:
-Eric Byrnes and Mark Ellis were allowed to take batting practice. They were a combined 3-5 with a double and a homerun.
-Eric Chavez was 0-2 and is now 0 for his last 6.
-Rich Harden allowed his first homerun since coming off the DL.

A's drop series to the Blue Jays
Oakland keeps it close, but is unable to pin down a win
Jordan Bastian, MLB.com

Notes: Bradford continues rehab
Right-handed submarine pitcher eager to come back to A's 'pen
Jordan Bastian, MLB.com

A'S REPORT
Trade reported with Boston swaps Bradford for Payton
Susan Slusser, SF Chronicle

Payton could land in Oakland
Josh Suchon, Oakland Tribune

A'S NOTEBOOK
Hitting woes on the road baffle Byrnes
Joe Roderick, Contra Costa Times (Registration Required)

A's sign 2nd round Draft pick Jared Lansford
MLB.com
_____________________________________________________________
Sacramento River Cats at Colorado Springs Sky Sox
........... 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9....R.. H..E
SAC (49-39) 0. 0. 0. 2. 0. 0. 1. 0. 0... 3.. 5. 0
CSP (37-48) 0. 2. 1. 0. 0. 1. 0. 0. X... 4. 10. 2
wrap box log
W: J. Young (8-5, 5.56); L: S. Sparks (7-5, 5.56); SV: R. Speier (5)
HR: SAC: S. Garrett (9), B. Smith (5).

Comments:
-Charles Thomas is 6 for his last 48 (.125 Avg).
-Jack Cust is 3 for his last 23 (.130 Avg) with 7 K's.
-Sacramento lost back-to-back games for the first time since June 11-12.

Sky Sox edge Cats despite Sparks' effort
Danny Summers, Sacramento Bee (Registration Required)
_____________________________________________________________
San Antonio Missions at Midland Rockhounds
..........1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9....R.. H..E
SAN (9-5) 0. 0. 2. 0. 1. 2. 0. 0. 0... 5. 13. 0
MID (7-6) 0. 2. 0. 0. 0. 0. 1. 0. 0... 3. 12. 0
wrap box log
W: T. Oldham (7-5, 3.66); L: J. Windsor (2-2, 2.51); SV: E. Fruto (7)
HR: SAN: G. Harris (3).

Comments:
-Daric Barton was 3-3 with a double and is now 8-12 (.667 Avg) with 3 doubles and a homerun since being promoted.
-Vasili Spanos was 0-3 and is now 11-44 (.250 Avg) with 2 doubles and 2 homeruns since being promoted.
-Jeremy Brown was 0-4 and is now 2 for his last 24 (.083 Avg)
-Jason Windsor allowed 3 earned runs on 8 hits in 5.0 innings.

'Hounds fail to capitalize on opportunities in loss
Jack Marrion, Midland Reporter Telegram
_____________________________________________________________
San Jose Giants at Stockton Ports
..........1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9... R.. H. E
SJO (8-6) 1. 0. 0. 2. 2. 0. 0. 0. 1... 6. 10. 1
STO (9-5) 1. 2. 0. 0. 0. 0. 1. 0. 3... 7.. 9. 2
wrap box log
W: J. Crowder (1-0, 2.28); L: J. Hedrick (1-2, 4.36);
HR: SJO: T. Ishikawa (12), J. Wald (8), G. Rodriguez (3). STO: K. Melillo (11).

Comments:
-Kevin Melillo was 4-5 with a double and a homerun and is now 9-18 (.500 Avg) with 2 homeruns and 3 doubles since being promoted.
-Lloyd Turner was 2-4 and is now 13-41 (.317 Avg) with 2 doubles, a triple and a homerun since being demoted.
-Richie Robnett was 0-4 and is now 5 for his last 34 (.147 Avg).
-Danny Putnam suffered a tear in his esophagus and is out indefinitely.

Port gains redemption
Morris delivers winning hit after costly error
Scott Linesburgh, Stockton Record

Ports lose Putnam to freak throat injury
Scott Linesburgh, Stockton Record Staff
_____________________________________________________________
Kane County Cougars at Peoria Chiefs
..........1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9... R. H. E
KCC (9-6) 0. 0. 0. 3. 0. 0. 0. 1. 0... 4. 7. 1
PEO (6-9) 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0... 0. 3. 0
wrap box log
W: R. Webb (4-7, 4.08); L: S. Gallagher (8-3, 1.71);
HR: KCC: J. Pineda (3).

Comments:
-Cliff Pennington was 1-3 and is now batting .293. He also made his 5th error in 14 games.
-Eddie Kim was 1-3 and is now 13 for his last 31 (.419 Avg).
-Ryan Webb allowed 3 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 3, in 6.0 innings. He has now struck out 59, walked 25 and allowed 10 homeruns in 86.0 innings.

Webb, Cougars sweep Chiefs
Kane County Chronicle
_____________________________________________________________
Yakima Bears at Vancouver Canadians
...........1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9... R.. H. E
YAK (6-11) 1. 0. 0. 0. 2. 0. 0. 0. 0... 3.. 7. 3
VAN (12-5) 0. 1. 0. 0. 2. 0. 0. 1. X... 4. 11. 0
wrap box log
W: B. Davis (2-1, 0.00); L: M. Torra (0-1, 3.00); SV: M. Mitchell (4)
HR: None.

Comments:
-Twenty-ninth round draft pick Trey Shields (University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa) made his first start of the season, allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 5, in 4.0 innings.
-Fourteenth round draft pick Bradley Davis (Lewis & Clark) pitched a scoreless, hitless inning, striking out 1. This left-hander has not given up an earned run in 6.2 innings, allowing only 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 12.
_____________________________________________________________
AZL Athletics at AZL Mariners
NO INFORMATION CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Great Plan, Dumbass

"We played very poorly in every second game. In Tampa Bay, the second game -- not good. Yankee Stadium, second game -- not good. So, I'm trying something different."

--Ken Macha, July 5th
That "something different" was keeping all the players away from the clubhouse until 4:00 p.m. ET, three hours before first pitch.

Now if I knew that I didn't have to go to work until 4 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, I'd drink and drink and drink tonight. And I'm the same age as a lot of the A's players. Not that I'm suggesting that our boys went out and got liquored up on Molson last night. I'm just saying.
"Well, nobody was there and they didn't even take batting practice. Like you're saying, this is the first time we're seeing their players all afternoon."

--Pat Tabler, Toronto Colour Commentator

No batting practice, eh? Sure. I mean, what's the worst that could happen?

............1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. R H E
OAK (41-42) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.
0 7 0

Oh.

Eric Byrnes and Mark Ellis hadn't played since July 3rd. I wonder if they could have used some BP. They were a combined 0-7 tonight. And considering that each of them have a good track record vs lefties (Eric Byrnes - 1.010 OPS , Mark Ellis - .851 OPS), I'm going to say yes.

Next time you want to try something different, try not being a douche-bagging moron.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Round-Up

For Tuesday, July 5th, 2005
_____________________________________________________________
Oakland Athletics at Toronto Blue Jays
............1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10 11.. R.. H. E
OAK (41-41) 0. 0. 0. 3. 0. 2. 0. 2. 0. 0.. 3.. 10 17. 1
TOR (42-41) 0. 2. 0. 0. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 0.. 0... 7 15. 1

Box .Log Photos
Athletics back at .500 after victory over Blue Jays

W: Duchscherer (4-1) L: Batista (4-1)
HR: OAK: M. Kotsay (6), B. Crosby (5), N. Swisher (10), D. Johnson (3) - TOR: G. Zaun (6), O. Hudson (7)


Comments:
-Bobby Crosby had a career-high 4 RBI and hit his first career inside-the-park homerun.
-Dan Johnson was 2-6 and is now 17 for his last 48 (.354 Avg).
-Huston Street blew his third save of the season. His first blown save was also against Toronto.

A's deliver final blows, win in 11th
Joe Roderick, SJ Mercury News (Registration Required)

A's get even
Win over Blue Jays in 11 innings means .500
Susan Slusser, SF Chronicle

At long last, A's reach .500
Hatteberg's two-run single in 11th lifts Oakland
Josh Suchon, Oakland Tribune

A'S REPORT
Nifty play by Kotsay might have saved game
Susan Slusser, SF Chronicle

Swisher has final word on heckling Jays' fans
Joe Roderick, Contra Costa Times (Registration Required)

Notes: Chavez is the constant
Third baseman a big part of his team's recent charge
Jordan Bastian, MLB.com

Blanton named AL Rookie of the Month
MLB Press Release
_____________________________________________________________
Sacramento River Cats at Colorado Springs Sky Sox
........... 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9....R..H..E
SAC (49-37) 1. 0. 0. 0. 2. 0. 0. 0. 0... 3. 9. 0
CSP (35-48) 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 1. 0. 0. 0... 1. 7. 1
wrap box log
W: S. Etherton (5-3, 2.29); L: J. Acevedo (0-1, 1.80); SV: B. Reames (4)
HR: CSP: R. Shealy (14).


Comments:
-Brant Colamarino was 2-4 with a double. He is now 8 for his last 17 (.471 Avg).
-Seth Etherton allowed 1 earned run on 4 hits, including a homerun, and 1 walk in 7.0 innings. He has allowed 6 earned runs over his last 32 inning pitched (1.69 ERA).

Etherton advances Cats, his major-league return
Danny Summers, Sacramento Bee (Registration Required)

Sky Sox handled by Etherton for 3rd time
Bob Stephens, Colorado Springs Gazette
_____________________________________________________________
Midland Rockhounds at Corpus Christi Hooks
..........1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9....R..H.. E
MID (6-5) 3. 0. 1. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0... 4.. 9. 0
COR (6-6) 0. 0. 1. 0. 3. 0. 0. 1. X... 5. 12. 1
wrap box log
W: J. Merchant (1-0, 1.80); L: N. Mattioni (1-2, 1.60);
HR: MID: D. Barton (1).

Comments:
-Daric Barton got his first start since being promoted. He was 2-4 with a homerun.
-Omar Quintanilla was 3-3 and is now 10 for his last 26 (.385 Avg).

Hooks rally to beat 'Hounds
Midland Reporter Telegram
_____________________________________________________________
San Jose Giants at Stockton Ports
..........1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9... R.. H. E
SJO (7-5) 0. 2. 0. 0. 0. 1. 2. 1. 0... 6. 11. 0
STO (8-4) 1. 1. 0. 1. 3. 0. 1. 0. X... 7. 13. 0
wrap box log
W: S. Smyth (3-1, 5.73); L: G. Broshuis (7-7, 4.99); SV: J. Burton (5)
HR: SJO: N. Schierholtz 2 (8).

Comments:
-Kevin Melillo was 2-4 with a double and is now 4-8 (.500 Avg) since being promoted.
-Richie Robnett was 1-4, lowering his season average to .245. He is now 4 for his last 25 (.160 Avg)
-Jared Burton pitched another scoreless inning. He has gone unscored upon in his last 5 appearances.

Stockton holds off S.J. Giants 7-6
SJ Mercury News
_____________________________________________________________
Peoria Chiefs at Kane County Cougars
..........1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9 10... R. H. E
PEO (6-7) 0. 0. 0. 1. 0. 0. 1. 1. 0. 0... 3. 8. 1
KCC (7-6) 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 3. 1... 4. 9. 2
wrap box log
W: J. Pickens (3-2, 5.94); L: V. Ramos (0-1, 5.40);
HR: None.

Comments:
-Cliff Pennington was 0-5 with 2 strikeouts. He also made his 3rd error of the season.
-Javy Herrera was 3-5 with 2 stolen bases. He is now tied for 10th in the league with 17 steals.
-Marcus McBeth allowed 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in 2.0 innings.

Peterson strong in no-decision
Brett Smith, Kane County Chronicle

An Interview with the new Cougars Shortstop
Jennifer Zasada, The Cougars Online Newsletter
_____________________________________________________________
Yakima Bears at Vancouver Canadians
RAINED OUT
_____________________________________________________________
ASL Athletics
NO GAME

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Head of the (Cl)Asshole

Meet Arvid Engen, mathematical genius from the eighties sitcom "Head of the Class." When it comes to numbers, there's no stopping Arvid. Unfortunately, Arvid is extremely awkward when it comes to social situations. Witty repartee is not his thing. Arvid is good at some things, terrible at others. Such is life. Arvid is a lot like Ken Macha. Even looks a lot like a younger Macha. They're both awkward in social settings, as each will stumble with his dialogue. The only difference between the two is that, unlike Arvid, instead of being a mathematical genius, Macha's a mathematical douchebag. And he sucks at bullpen management, too. Like, really fucking sucks.

Rincon in the 7th? So you can turn around a switch hitter who isn't particularly good from either side? And are you aware of Rincon's struggles against righties? It's not like this is a new thing for him. Rincon's career numbers against righties has been downright pathetic. The difference is staggering. I would hazard a guess that even ol' Arvid could have figured that out.

What about Calero in the 7th? It's not as if the guy has a track record of getting lefties out or anything, right? Oh, my bad. I guess my problem is that I can read. Maybe if I smack myself on the head with a 2 x 4 for the next 12 years, I can start thinking like Macha. On second though, better make it 49 years. You know, just in case.

7th inning lead. Calero for the 7th. Duke for the 8th. Street for the 9th. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Stop getting cute with the matchups, Ken. You trying to think ahead is like Webster playing Center in a game of pickup basketball. You trying to think at all is like..... I don't even know what it's like. But it's bad. And you're stupid. And I hate you.

When I was 16 years old, I took my Toyota Camry in for an oil change. The attendant presented my used air filter to me, which had a small, but tangible amount of dirt and soot on it, and asked if I would like to buy a new one for 25 dollars. I asked the attendant what he thought, and he said it was up to me. Said I could pay 25 dollars now, or potentially pay thousands in the future if my engine should crap out. I went ahead and bought it. My dad saw the used filter in the back of my car, and informed me I'd been taken. I was a novice driver, and knew very little about cars. I didn't need a new air filter at all. It may have been a bit dirty, but it was still very usable, and had a lot of mileage left. But I had to admit, it was a nice scam by the gas station worker. Shame on him for fooling me once. But guess what? I've never been taken like that again. Even though I've been asked if I want to buy a new filter every single time I get an oil change. 8 years ago, I learned a 25 dollar lesson the hard way. However, that lesson's residual value has been significantly greater than that. Perhaps I should send that Arco station a thank you card. I grew up a little that day.

So what gets me is how Macha can make the same mistake over and over and over again, and never learn. Never. It's no longer a question of whether or not Macha will do something stupid. It's just a matter of when, and if it will cost us the game. Tonight it didn't. Thank fucking god for that.

So I'd like to introduce a new phrase into the lexicon of A's fans. Every time Macha fails to make an obvious move such as a pitching change or pinch hitter, or makes a move, but it's the wrong one, we'll say that Macha "bought the filter." This probably won't catch on, because nobody reads this site anyway, but dare to dream, they say. Dare to dream.


Macha's stupidity grab-bag:

1) "It's been a joy in that dugout for the last three weeks or so. They believe in what they're doing right now, everything I've been beating the drum on for a long time now."

--Ken Macha, July 3rd.
Ken gets some points for trying to make up his own cliche, but loses all of those points, plus infinity more, because it was the stupidest god-damn cliche in the history of the universe. "I've been beating the drum on?" You've been beating the moron drum. You're last chair of the percussion section in the Douchebag Symphony. So congrats on that.

2) Macha has ordered his players not to show up before 4 p.m. for Wednesday's 7 p.m. game. Macha said his team always struggles in the second game of East Coast trip, so he wants them well rested. There is a $450 fine for an early arrival.
Newsflash, Ken. They've sucked on the road, period. There's nothing magical about the second game of East Coast Road Trips. They've lost 25 of their 39 road games. If it was only a matter of not playing well in the second game, maybe you'd be on to something. Unfortunately, the only thing you're on to are the record books of the Imbecile Hall of Fame. So at least you've got that going for you, which is nice. But with any luck, maybe all 25 guys will arrive early, and you can net 11,250 dollars for the lobotomy you so deperately need. Were you the kid, when asked by his teacher the product of 8 x 7, who replied "87?" I bet you were. You know, because you're a moron.