It's about time the A's stopped worrying about defense and started focusing on putting the best line on the batting card. For some reason or another, the A's philosophy has changed over the past couple of seasons and it has led to the team becoming the worst offensive team in the league. The A's used to not care as much about defense as long as the player could hit. Gone are the days in which players like Nick Swisher would roam center just so that the team could have his bat in the lineup. I wish the A's would start focusing on getting the hitters they need to compete again.
I've heard the excuses for why the team can't hit...
"They play in a big park"
"They dont have the cash to buy hitters"
"They have only had 1 top 10 pick since the 90's"
et cetera...Of the three listed above, only the bottom one has any real validation for me and still, it seems like after trading away a lot of their top players since 2007, someone would have emerged as a solid franchise player for them and/or they could at least get players on the roster that are above average hitters. I guess they might have had one if they had not traded away Carlos Gonzalez, but that can be debated (based on home/road splits), but still.... The A's inability to develop players from within right now is maddening.
The ballpark excuse is as lame as ever. Yeah...I understand they need a new ballpark, but it's not as if the dimensions have changed at all since Mt. Davis arrived in the mid 90's. Players can hit better than .250 here. I've seen it done multiple times. Heck, there was a point when Bobby Crosby was my least favorite A's player because he hit .220 something and had a low OBP. Now it seems like every player on our team (aside from a few) are hitting just the same and the team is okay with it.
In regards to the team not having enough cash to buy hitter, I don't want to hear it.
The A's are paying Coco Crisp, the same amount of money per year as the Twins are paying Josh Willingham. Why would the A's sign a worse hitter for the same amount of money as their 2011 MVP? I mean....Were the A's trying to lose this year? Were the two compensation picks really worth it? I just don't understand this logic at all. It's not as if Crisp is any younger than Willingham either, nor is it the case that Crisp could eventually have higher upside. I get that the A's didn't have a CF at the time of the signing, but this comes back to my original point.
The A's need to find hitters first and then assign them positions later. Even had the A's not signed Cespedes (don't see why they wouldn't be able to have both, but still), would it really have been the worst thing in the world to have Josh Reddick starting in CF everday knowing that Josh Willingham was manning one of the corners? How much better would our offense be right now? Would I even be having this discussion?
Not to mention, good pitching will dictate how often bad or below average fielders see the ball.
Furthermore.....The A's are making preemptive strikes in the minor leagues to match their major league roster and seem to be doing it haphazardly. A few years back they trade Brett Wallace for Michael Taylor simply based on the team thinking Wallace couldn't play 3B. They didn't look to even try him there, or play him elsewhere. Granted, neither Wallace nor Taylor has turned into anything special, but still...making a trade based solely on the position one may or may not be able to play is dumb.
They now moved Grant Green away from shortstop because they thought it would get him to the majors quicker as the OF depth was nothing last year. Now, the move seems idiotic. Was Green that bad that he could not improve and/or be taught anymore? And how hard would it have been for Green to make the transition to the outfield (if the A's still wanted him there) when he was finally ready to hit at the majors? You often see infielders go to outfield all the time with no prior experience. The A's simply need to assemble the best group of hitters they and let the defense come later or rely on pitching to help it out.
And just because a major league player was good 'once upon a time' or had one good season does not mean we need to hang on to them forever to see if they can repeat. What have you done for me lately? If your last good season was 3 years ago, why are you still on the team?
-I'm tired of having the only starting catcher in the league without a HR
-Tired of having a first baseman that looks to fool the pitcher or ump into letting him walk to first
-Tired of having players on the team that just can't do anything with the bat whatsoever
I'm also tired of leading the league in players on the DL. Where is the toughness of this team? Brandon McCarthy was bothered by a sore shoulder so the A's put him on the DL. However, McCarthy wasn't pitching like he was hurt and an MRI showed nothing. Furthermore, he doesn't even have a contract past this season. McCarthy should have been on the mound pitching for the A's. They shouldn't be throwing games like what they did against the Angels when Godfrey started and every single bench player was in the lineup and the best hitters on the team were on the bench. Heck, that started this slide the team is on. Granted, McCarthy cannot swing the bat, but who knows how those games would have gone if he were on the mound. This team is not tough. Aside from Suzuki, nobody ever plays through minor injuries anymore.
All in all though, the A's need to change their mindset. They need to get some hitters on the field anyway they can.