We're not even going for wins right now -- we're going for "watchable," win or lose. And while these players, with this level of ability at this stage of their career (i.e., "too young" and "too old"), might not be able to win so many games they absolutely could do some things differently. My wish list:
1. Hitters: Play with a "take what they give you" mentality. Every time there's a shift, hit or bunt against it. No matter who you are, if you're at 1B and they don't pay attention to you, steal second. Dedicate yourself to punishing the opposing team for every opportunity they hand you. It's good baseball -- and it's worth watching.
2. Runners: "Go for it" on taking extra bases. Why? Because this A's team is last in the major leagues in total bases, last in the AL in doubles (one ahead of thefor last in all of baseball), last in the AL in HRs. Waiting around for extra-base hits is not a good strategy with this team at this time, so on every fly ball that takes the OFer far to his left or right, tag up from first. It's actually very difficult for an OFer on the run to stop, turn, and make an accurate throw -- and harder yet for the A's to score runners from 1B no matter how many outs there are in the inning. Go for it -- lead the league in tagging up from 1B. You'll lead the league in something and it's worth watching.
3. Pitchers: Claim the fricking inside half of the plate. Here's another important stat in which the A's are dead last in the AL: They have hit all of 13 batters this season. 13. We've watched Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill get beaten when hitters looked inside, and we've seen hitters leaning out over the plate to cover both sides, but what we haven't seen is the A's pitchers backing hitters off the plate. Dig in against Bob Gibson or Randy Johnson? I don't think so. Dig in against Mazzaro and Gio? Why the heck not? Claim the inside part of the plate, for God's sake. It's ok to be a little territorial sometimes, and it's worth watching.
You might win more games, too.