I have a bunch of different things I wanted to mention today, so I figured I'd take the Laz...I mean Larry King USA Today way out and bullet point them.
- First, as we get very close to the trade deadline, I'm starting to think I want to see more of the "names" we've bandied about on AN for quite a while now. For seemingly years we've talked about Daric Barton and Dan Meyer. Both have had issues due to injury, Meyer more seriously than Barton, but I think I'd like to get these guys feet wet this year, especially if we're "building" towards a triumphant 2008. I know it might not be exactly the right time, but it would be nice to get these guys some experience at the next level just to see what they can do. Barton probably isn't going to provide a lot of power at the pro level, but he might be a perfect leadoff or number two hitter. Meyer could be a nice addition considering opponents are hitting .167 off of him in July. I've interviewed them both in the past and I'm just looking forward to seeing their faces in an A's uniform. Maybe I'm just looking for a little more excitement with this team right now.
- I've critiqued ESPN and the family of networks before, but my criticism came mostly from the viewpoint of a myopic, disenfranchised A's fan who felt neglected repeatedly by the Worldwide Leader. This is one of the best critiques of ESPN from a fellow SportsBlogs Nation blogger who frames the argument in an almost open-and-shut case format. It's when I read something like this from one of my fellow SB Nation guys that I realize just how great this network of blogs truly is. Kudos, Kyle, kudos.
- Jason Kendall has played four games with the Cubbies so far. His batting average? .091. His OBP? .231. Now it isn't exactly like Jerry Blevins has been tearing up Midland or anything, but I'm just glad we can put the Kendall days behind us. What has been more encouraging that anything is that Danny Haren threw an excellent game on Saturday after his first inning stink-o-rama and that the pitching staff doesn't seem to be weeping in sorrow now that Captain Gritty has gone to the Windy City. I'm not a Kendall hater, but I am very glad to have Suzuki getting the majority of the work behind the plate these days.
- In other former A's news with small sample sizes, Milton Bradley has hit .341 and has an OBP of .413 in San Diego. That would look really nice in the A's lineup right now. I am starting to get convinced of the curse of Larry Davis because part of me believes that there is NO way Bradley would be in the A's lineup right now. Still, we'll see if Bradley can play the rest of the year. Hey, maybe he'll actually play through an injury now just to prove something to the A's and prove something to the rest of baseball since this is a contract year for him.
- Speaking of Larry Davis, Will Carroll brought up Rick Peterson in our conversation last week. He brought up some of the pitching injuries and asked me if he thought that the A's injury issues had to do with the departure of Peterson as the team has seemingly gone down a path of more injuries each subsequent year since Peterson bolted for the Mets. I thought about it and the reality is that yeah, that might explain why Rich Harden can't seem to stay healthy at all and Justin Duchscherer, Kiko Calero, Esteban Loaiza and Huston Street have all had issues this year but it doesn't explain the injury issues with the position players. Peterson had nothing to do with that. Do I think there's a chance that Peterson would've had a better handle on Harden's issues? I do. But that doesn't mean he wouldn't have had them. I think that the health issues are bigger than just the pitching coach, but it could very well be a contributing factor. This is, in my humble opinion as a fan, the biggest issue that Billy Beane needs to address this offseason. You can't call this freakish luck at this point especially when the injuries seem to be a franchise epidemic that doesn't begin and end with the big league club. How many of the A's young stars have been stunted by injuries? Too many.
- Normally I would be pretty excited about the A's playing the Angels, but the A's are in such a position where even a sweep of these accursed beach balling baffoons wouldn't do that much. The A's would essentially have to sweep the next seven games in order to really make things interesting in the AL West and that kind of mentality isn't going to get you far as a fan. So I'm approaching the games with the Angels as wanting to be the spoilers for the Mariners as I'd happily take a Mariners division win over the Angels any day of the week.
- For those of you that are into baseball video games, my personal opinion after some time with both baseball entries this year is that MLB 2K7 isn't worth your time. I much prefer the MLB 07: The Show this year even though he graphics are much weaker. I just somehow wish that EA Sports could still make their MVP series. There hasn't really been a good baseball game since then. Although I haven't played The Bigs. If nothing more, I can at least win the virtual World Series this year.
- I can't believe we're only a little over a week and a half away from AN Day 4. I want to thank baseballgirl for all of her fantastic work in putting this year's event together. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you and can't wait to get together and meet some new people that I haven't met before. I'm also looking forward to getting some time at the Coliseum. I miss the old concrete girl.
See you at 7 p.m. tonight as Chad Gaudin takes on Shrek and his bloated ERA in the series opener.