FanPost

Does Eric Chavez Deserve the Benefit of the Doubt???

The A's flew to Canada on Monday-- well in time for the players to have an evening-- watch the Angels-Jays game, go out to eat, whatever.

I have few illusions about the temptations that await 20somethings who make, at a minimum, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and often millions, when they go from city to city. I think all a fan has the right to expect is that a player is ready to play at game time, no matter what he does the rest of the time.

That said, something Chavez did/ate shelved him for an entire series and perhaps another to follow. That could be 3-4% of the season. he's our most valuable player, and this comes at a time when injuries have tested this team's depth to the limit.

Generally when I hear a player isn't "feeling well" before a game-- particularly a road game-- and cannot play, I assume it's something more than a bad cold or even a fever. In other words, something different than the standard ailment(s) we all get when we travel. I think euphemisms are used all the time by teams trying to protect athletes from too much scrutiny-- from the press, the fans, and very possibly their loved ones back home. And a lot of these guys drink a lot.

So forgive me if I'm skeptical and am not engaging in "poor Chavy" talk right now-- when Tim Hudson chose to hit a bar in Boston the night before his start in the 2003 playoffs, and clearly under the influence of alcohol get "into it" with some Boston fans, i think he let himself, his teammates, and the A's fans down. Maybe it contributed to his less than one inning start the next night; maybe it didn;t. But the fact is that the question should never have even been raised-- and the fact that it was a direct responsibility of Hudson's behavior.

It is certainly very possible that Chavez simply ate some bad food. It is also very possible that Chavez hung around with someone who made sure he ate some bad food-- don't kid yourself about the presence of people in around professional players who might have a financial interest in a game or series' outcome. It is also possible that chavez' ailment has nothing to do with food and something to do with another source of intake-- we don't really know these guys, do we???

All I know is that at a time when all hands need to be on deck, our two most expensive hands are not. One because he lost it in the heat of battle. And the other for reasons still unclear.

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