This isn't how it was supposed to be. Sure, losing Harden and Bradley for some time wasn't surprising, but Duchscherer, Kennedy, Street, Loaiza, Witasick, Crosby, Ellis, DJ, Blanton...whether they were hurt or just plain sucked, it wasn't something I saw coming.
That streak we're all waiting for? The big turnaround? I'm afraid that's only going to happen if the A's stay healthy, and I'm not sure that they can. Duke could be closer to returning (scroll down), but Kennedy seems nowhere near that...he paid a visit to Dr. Lewis Yocum. "No rotator cuff tears, just tendinitis, so he needs more rest."
Chavy was scratched from last night's lineup due to back stiffness.Chavez took two rounds of batting practice before shutting it down. He was bothered by the same problem the night before, first feeling it on a routine chopper in the second -- and it was still bugging him when he homered off Scott Sauerbeck in the eighth.
The five-time Gold Glove winner revealed after the game that he's been playing all year with a strain in his left hamstring where that muscle is attached to the glute, an injury he expects to linger all year. As a result, he has been running differently, and he believes that has led to some recurring irritation in his back. (He was scratched from an eventual rainout at Kansas City in late April with the same problem.)Larry Davis said the A's planned to rest Chavy for one day in Cleveland anyway. But that hardly makes me feel better since that planned day of rest was to come in a series following a day off (Monday). This is pretty serious, and while a lot of people have called for Davis to be fired for all of the injuries the team has endured, this is where I expect him to shine. He has to keep Chavy healthy. The hamstring is going to be an issue all season, so Davis needs to be proactive. Chavy should get rest from time to time, because the last thing this team needs is to lose him. There's just too much going wrong right now. If Chavy gets hurt because he's not getting the rest he needs, the blame goes directly to Davis. Not Macha.
As for the game, it sucked."Whatever," Blanton said. "A three-run homer, a solo homer, yeah, that's four runs, but I felt like I give up a lot of bloop hits, balls through the infield, off the end of the bat, like that." Pitchers make comments like that all the time. But it's been two months. Although Blanton had a fine rookie season, I expected less from him this year. However, I didn't expect this implosion.
Jay Witasick sucked, too. Though he's probably rusty.Jay Witasick, in his first action since spraining his ankle in April, gave up two hits and two walks -- one of them intentional and the other to Martinez with the bases loaded, forcing in a run in the sixth.
Asked if Witasick's ankle was a factor Wednesday, Macha said, "He's been cleared to go 100 percent, so there are no excuses on that."
The offense? Sucky and stupid last night. Frank Thomas needs to understand that he has no business going for a double when he can't run. He's also one ugly slide away from hurting himself again.
Loaiza starts tonight. I'm hoping he's effective (duh). I want the A's to win, and I want Loaiza to be the pitcher Beane thought he was getting when he offered that contract. But also, Macha will have a short leash for Haren and Zito in New York. Zito has thrown 120+ pitches in two of his last three starts. Haren threw 122 pitches in each of his last two starts. Harden will be on a pitch count of 90, I believe. I don't think the A's can afford to have Loaiza completely bomb tonight. If he does, it could get ugly against the Yankees. The A's offense will be facing Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, and Shawn Chacon.
Ozzie Guillen and Jeff Nelson will share the Most Amusing Reaction to the Jason Grimsley Investigation Award.In discussing Grimsley's situation, Nelson brought up Rafael Palmeiro, who reportedly said teammate Miguel Tejada provided a vitamin that might have led to Palmeiro's positive test for steroid use.
The difference? Palmeiro compiled Hall of Fame-caliber numbers. Grimsley journeyed to seven teams and has a career ERA of 4.77.
"This isn't some superstar player who's coming out and naming names," Nelson said. "How much credibility is this guy going to have? You look at the guy's past.
"You'll figure out this guy can't be very credible for what he's gone through in his life.""I didn't like him when he was playing because he was nasty," Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
"A former player should shut up and go," Guillen continued. "Shut up and move on."Who's in charge of PR over there? Holy cow, someone needs to staple Guillen's mouth shut. You didn't like Grimsley because he was "nasty"? And what the heck is Nelson talking about? Palmeiro is credible because he's a superstar?!
"It was a specific effort to target Bonds," said Edward F. Novak, one of the pre-eminent criminal attorneys in Arizona. "We were told that Jason's cooperation was necessary to their case."
Novak said Grimsley "was outed by the feds" because he refused to cooperate.Novak denied Grimsley volunteered the names of any fellow players and former players. He said, instead, federal agents questioned Grimsley about specific athletes and asked what he knew about their illegal drug habits. "They asked him specifically about Barry Bonds and Jason said he didn't know Bonds well and didn't know if he did or didn't use drugs."
Novak said investigators then asked Grimsley whether he knew anybody on the San Francisco Giants, Bonds' team, who he might get to confide about the slugger who is now second on the all-time home run list.
Grimsley refused and, according to Novak, told investigators that "baseball players don't go around talking about who is using and who isn't."
Novak said: "There is a lot in the affidavit that my client would dispute."
Third baseman Melvin Mora agreed.
"I hope nothing negative comes from this in the clubhouse," Mora said. "We have a lot of young guys in here, and we don't need what happened last year to happen again."
Update [2006-6-8 9:55:9 by Sharon]: Thanks to asfaninTX for this news...Harden is on the DL with a sprained ligament in his right elbow.