Monday, June 12, 2006

Behind the Macha

Well, wasn't this road trip just a nut-tickling good time? 5 out of 6 in two cities where we generally choke even worse than we choke everywhere else. Good pitching, breaks going our way, and fuck - even Estella Blowaiza threw a gem. Well, shove a Jack-O-Lantern up my urethra and watch me piss out of my nose. Ain't life grand. June is here; the team has won 9 of 11 and climbed to within 2 games of first place Texas. Not only has the hitting improved, but Frank Thomas has now gone from simply justifying his 500k salary to possibly being included in the All-star game discussion. Let's all throw a party. The A's are over .500 and winning ballgames. Let's just hoist up that banner right now. There's just no stopping the Oakland juggernaut.

Think again.

How many seasons in a row do we have to watch this pattern play out? Start out slow, hot in the middle, choke on dick at the end. It's the same thing every god damn year. And now that we've reached the portion of the season where we win games, then NOW all of a sudden this is our year. NOW there's no way we'll choke in September. NOW this is finally the season the A's stay healthy and win it all.

Think again.

Despite the recent winning streak, it's time to take a closer look at the team. It's time to go Behind the Macha.

Earlier this year, I wrote the following:

Look, this isn't the playoffs. We don't need Street or Duchscherer to perform Yeoman's work to win these games in April for us. I don't want to see these guys headed to the hill for 5 or 6 days in a row, even if all those games are close. If Macha is backed into a corner by how much he used these guys in the previous couple of three games, sit them down. There may be a situation where we have to send Jay Witasick out to protect a one run 9th inning lead. And he may lose that game. That's the way the ball bounces.
-Me, April 14th

Soon after that, Macha sent Huston Street to the mound four out of five days. Not long after that, Street went on the disabled list for about 12 years. As many of you know, Street has now pitched four consecutive days and five of the last six. Awesome. I realize the bullpen is kinda fucked up right now (even accounting for the fact that Macha is generally the one who fucks it up), but you are just playing with fire by sending the guy out there day after day after day. Of course, if Macha weren't a complete idiot, Street never would have thrown on Saturday.

With the score 4-2 and the bases loaded in the 8th inning on Saturday, Dan Johnson lofted a shallow fly ball down the left field line that landed in fair territory. With two outs, the runners were off on contact. Frank Thomas, the runner at second base, managed to not score on a ball that was in the air for a good 6 or 7 seconds. Even though it was obvious he should have been pinch run for at that point (obvious, of course, has a far different meaning for Ken Macha), he wasn't. Frank was injured on the play, and was forced to sit out Sunday's game. The A's say he'll be back Tuesday, but when it comes to injuries and recovery time, the A's word is about as helpful as Macha's brain. There have now been two obvious situations this year when Macha should have taken Thomas off the basepaths. He didn't, and both times, Frank suffered an injury. Macha can rationalize it all he wants about possibly needing Frank's bat in the lineup should his spot come up again, but he's just trying to cover his own ass because he's a retard. The first time Macha didn't take Frank out, we were down by 6 runs in the 8th inning. Yeah, I know. No further explanation necessary.

Anyway, had Macha inserted a pinch runner, the A's would have gone up 6-2, and Street wouldn't have come in to close. As it was, Street shouldn't have come in, anyway. Chad Gaudin should have come in to protect the three run 9th inning lead, and our star closer who has already been injured this year shouldn't have been forced in three consecutive days.

It is quite possible (and is actually happening) for Macha to fuck this team up even when we're winning. So let me ask you this: What makes this year different from all the rest? What possible reason for optimism is there? Chavez can barely walk now; it's only a matter of time until he's on the DL. Will Carroll is reporting that Harden is headed for Tommy John surgery. And we still have Macha.

Idiots are so quick to credit Macha's steady hand when things are going well. Well, that's just fucking great. It's so god damn difficult to be a manager when your players are winning. But what about Macha's steady hands when the team isn't winning. Before this winning 9 of 11 run, the team lost 10 of 11. Well, did Macha do anything different during that losing streak to try and get them out of it? Any hit and runs, stolen bases, bunts, sacrifices? Early in the season, the ONLY thing that was good about our lineup was Swisher and Chavez back to back. Well, Ken couldn't break that up fast enough. But when the lineup wasn't working, did Ken make any changes to it? Did he hire a priest to perform a clubhouse seance (don't laugh..psychosomatic measures can help too)? Did he do ANYTHING that might help the team stop losing? Or did he just sit there like a cocksucker and watch loss after loss pile up and then blame the injuries, just as I told you he was going to do?

Yeah, I thought so.

And the next time the going gets tough (early September), you can bet your bottom dollar (the one you're hopefully not wasting to watch the A's), that Macha will just sit there like a jackass and watch the team tank for yet another year. Different year, same movie.

But hey, let's celebrate this winning streak. We have won 10 of our last 22 games, after all. This team is totally world class. THIS is the year they finally win it all.

Um, think again. You have to look closer. You have to look Behind the Macha.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of your best blog entries to date Greg. Just because the calendar reads "June" doesn't mean the A's are going to the World Series. When the leaves start to fall, the A's will fall like a house of cards and Ken Macha will be asleep in the corner of the dugout choking on his Juicy Fruit when they do. Does anybody feel like watching an A's season is like watching Groundhog day over and over again? Don't get in line for playoff tickets yet Blez, instead I'd be working on your excuses on why the A's tanked it again at the end of the season!

Monday, June 12, 2006 9:10:00 PM  
Anonymous ignoramus said...

excellent post.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post completly agree, fuck Macha.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yep, this one is not looking good

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 1:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people must secretly hate the A's. I think you should just root for another team. It's clear that you hate Ken Macha so much you secretly hope the A's fail. Macha is no worse a manager than Art Howe but why is it the A's under Howe managed to make the play-offs consistently but under Macha has fallen short more often than not? Could it be a difference in talent? Ever noticed that we haven't made the play-offs since Beane decided to keep Chavez over Tejada? Whose fault is that? I'm not trying to blame Beane. Beane is an amazing GM but he had some luck on his side when the A's developed home-grown talent like Giambi, Tejada, Hudson, Mulder and Zito. But the A's had to let these guys go because we couldn't afford them. Now the team has no legitimate offensive superstars to balance the pitching. Is that Macha's fault?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 2:45:00 PM  
Blogger The Anti-Blez said...

Over at Asslickers Nation, the T-shirt salesman and his she-men followers are celebrating as though this was 1974 and the A's are on the verge of winning Game 7 of the World Series.

I love that site. It's even funnier than Comedy Central.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 8:39:00 PM  
Anonymous smac said...

I fully expect Street's arm to come flying off tonight when Macha sends him out for a couple innings of mop-up duty.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger darthmoridin said...

Good post, Greg. Glad you decided to come back.

You're absolutely right--this year looks to be a carbon copy of the last 2 years, except even Macha might not be able to screw up getting into the playoffs. Texas has no pitching and the Downtown Anaheim Angeles of Los Angeles in Southern California can't seem to choke on their own shlongs fast enough this year (which is fun to see, BTW.) So the A's could very well break our hearts once again in October and Macha's future would be even more secure.

(And our misery, obviously, increased.)

((No, I didn't leave out Seattle--AAA teams don't count))

I think the best we can hope for, looking down the line, would be to finish a good 18 games out of first and to cool off quick so that we can trade Zito and join the Mariners in AAA West Coast. That might hasten the end of the Machary that is this coaching staff.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah!!! I love it! This flawed team has a fabulously talented starting pitcher who can't stay healthy; a "franchise" player who is either super hot or super cold; an MVP candidate (what a laugh!) who hits .250 with a .700 OPS; and a .260 hitting starting catcher with zero power and a $10 million+ per year contract. BUT IT'S THE MANAGER'S FAULT! I love it!

Thursday, June 15, 2006 3:30:00 AM  
Blogger The Anti-Blez said...

Actually, it's the GM's fault, who has his head stuck up his moneyballs.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 4:24:00 AM  

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