FanPost

Terrific Article on ESPN Insider

I think Insider is only $9.95 a year (maybe more) but certainly worth it.  Here's the link if you have insider:

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/preview06/insider/columns/story?columnist=olney_buster&id=2389235 &lpos=spotlight&lid=tab3pos2

Some excerpts:

"Eventually, GM Billy Beane had to break up the frat brothers because of budget limitations. But a funny thing happened: Now reconstituted, the A's are defensively superb -- perhaps better than any other team. Their rotation is excellent, with Barry Zito and Rich Harden in front of Dan Haren and Joe Blanton, who combined to go 25-12 after May 29. Their position players, almost without exception, run well. Their 22-year-old closer, Huston Street, thrives on pressure. The baseball gods might not have the A's to kick around anymore."

"These A's are simply better. "A lot better," says veteran Eric Chavez. "When you talk about a team being suited to winning a championship, you go back and look at the White Sox, the Angels, the Yankees. They were all fundamentally sound, and that's the way we are now."

Regarding 2005:
"But no team could overcome the injuries that dogged them in the end. Crosby, the second-year shortstop with the powerful bat, came up limping after a collision with Orioles catcher Sal Fasano on Aug. 27. Crosby missed three games before going for an MRI, and he went into the trainer's room in Anaheim looking for the results. "What do you guys got?" he asked. Broken left ankle, he was told. "You've gotta be kidding me," he replied, slumping into a chair. At the same time, Harden was struggling with a muscle strain, and Kotsay's back gave out. The A's went 11-17 in September; the Angels won the West. Six months later, Crosby is sitting on a table in Arizona, ankle good as new, thinking about what might have been. "I knew we had one of the best teams in the league," he says."

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