Well, another season come and gone- sort of sad note the way our boys finished out the season- more of whimper than a statement of promise. But after four decades of watching all sorts of A's teams take the field, I can honestly say that in my unscientific opinion, this is far from the worst team we've fielded. Were there great disappointments this year? Surely. Perhaps the biggest bomb ever to land on the field in Oakland was named Matt Holliday (whom I am convinced gave about 35% effort in his short stay with us). I'm always cautious about these over-hyped National League guys and Holliday proves my caution. The return of Giambi was nothing like most of us imagined and the expected hopes of players like Sean Gallagher (what happened there?) and Dana Eveland fizzled at the start.
But enough of the negative. I see a lot of positive notes coming out of the 2009 A's- we have probably one of the best young pitching staffs getting ready to bust out in the AL next year- other teams are going to be amazed at what they see coming their way. Suzuki ranks right up there with the cream of the crop in the AL catchers and the best part is we have him locked up for at least four more years. I like Pennington- despite his 8 errors and sporadic batting, this kid is going to shine. Our biggest gaps probably rest in the outfield- still no real power hitters there and the fielding has been suspect. Rajai has been fun to watch (until this last week) but Patterson cannot remain in Left Field. We've got to find more power to pull from the OF positions.
As for Cust- I know he's fan favorite of many- I see him as a rally killer- time for him to go. We can find another DH to hit 25 HR a year without striking out 185 times.
I've joined the "fire Geren" crowd a few times but I can't see it happening. Beane will not boot his friend unless ordered to.
Gaps to fill- sure, but I feel much more optimistic about 2010 than I did a few months ago.
Oh well, that's my view of the season- looking very forward to next year and hoping the bandwagon fans come back on board. It's tough seeing those empty seats game after game.