Bill King did not win the 2006 Ford Frick Award. Instead, Gene Elston will be enshrined in Cooperstown. Lon Simmons, who wanted to make King's introduction speech, wondered if he should have lobbied the other members of the committee.``Maybe I should have,'' Simmons said from his home in Hawaii. ``But I don't know how much good that does. Sometimes I think that hurts more than it helps. Plus, it's unfair to the other candidates. I wish Bill made it -- I still do -- but I feel that the voters make up their minds for themselves.'' King's radio partner for the past 10 seasons, Ken Korach, said King deflected Hall of Fame talk and generally diverted attention.
``That said, I think he would have been thrilled,'' Korach said from his home in Nevada. ``Bill had an unbelievable sense and appreciation for the history of the game. He was human -- he enjoyed the recognition, especially from his peers.''There's always next year. We'll just have to vote like crazy again. Korach said that the best thing to come of King's candidacy is the way A's fans rallied around his cause. In online voting, King was the runaway winner with 25,380 votes, followed by Niehaus (17,091) and Doucet (15,002).
In Susan Slusser's latest, Ron Washington and Chad Gaudin describe what they saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At one point, Gaudin went to help a friend check on a building in the flood zone, and even though he was wearing a mask, Gaudin said, "It was a sick, overwhelming feeling. The stench was overwhelming, the mold was black and an inch thick and it went all the way up the wall and onto the ceiling.''
That described Washington's house, which he's owned for 20 years. The water went 7 feet up, and all his walls and ceilings had to come out. He also needed a new roof and fencing. About the only things that were sound were his foundation and the outer brickwork.
Only a few personal items were salvageable, things that were stored in the attic and hadn't been attacked by mold. Even the Gold Glove that Eric Chavez presented to Washington two years ago was ruined; as it floated from the fireplace in one room into a bedroom, moisture got inside the case and, "It looks like there are leaves growing on it,'' said Washington, who was promised a replacement from Rawlings.
One of his toughest losses was Washington's beloved 1985 stainless-steel top Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz.
Macha would like to have two lefties in the bullpen. Manager Ken Macha made it clear on Tuesday that he'd like to have a second left-hander in the Oakland bullpen, which means that Ron Flores, John Rheinecker and Randy Keisler suddenly have a shot at a roster spot.
That's not set in stone, of course; a second lefty is on Macha's wish list, but it's not a done deal. One of the aforementioned three will have to shine this spring, and the A's would have to clear an extra spot, either via an injury to a position player or the trade of an outfielder.If the A's carry twelve pitchers, someone is going to rot in the bullpen. Flores seems to be the favorite for that spot, but even Macha has said that he's not a LOOGY. And I have nothing against Flores. I wanted to see him pitch more last season. But with Kennedy on board and an already deep pitching staff, I think it would be a waste to carry twelve pitchers.
``It's a weird feeling,'' Fred Kendall said. ``I always hope my son does well against us. There was a scenario against Detroit in 1998. Someone was asking me the same question. I said, `The best thing would be if he went 4 for 4 and we won the game.' And that's exactly what happened.
``I don't think Kansas City knew when they hired me that he hits .800 when he plays against me. I don't know what it is. I don't throw the ball, but he gets fired up to compete.''
The numbers aren't as gaudy as Dad suggests, but they're still impressive -- .403 (31 for 77), with two home runs.
``When he's been in the stadium, I've always done well,'' Jason Kendall said. ``That's just the way it's worked out.''
UGH. Shortstop Crosby and other position players are expected to report today. Crosby has a cranky right shoulder that he hurt while weightlifting in the off-season. He has been examined, and the injury is not cause for alarm -- yet. ``We'll see how he does when he starts throwing,'' trainer Larry Davis said." It's always something with Crosby. I wonder how long it's been bothering him.