I got back to sunny Northern California after driving back from monsoon-like weather in Los Angeles and what do I find?
Byrnes discusses the trade talk with typical upbeat, positive Byrnes attitude. But the reality is that the A's outfield will be too crowded, and judging from what Billy told me in my interviews, he wants to give Kielty a shot to compete on a daily basis.
It's one situation where I think if Kielty and/or Thomas excel during the spring and Billy believes he's going to get good value for Byrnes, it will still happen.
And we all know Billy's feelings on keeping players merely because fans adore them:
BB: Maybe I'm criticized for this a little bit, but I've always thought the best marketing tool for a team is the wins and losses. To try and work from the other side, there isn't enough legs to that sort of speak. Let's face it, if you signed Barney the Dinosaur to play left field for you, you'd probably have a good crowd one day, but they might not come back the second. The bottom line is that it's really a player's performance that is ultimately going to drive our decisions 99.9 percent of the time. I try and stay away from making marketing signs because I don't think they have any legs to them. And I think that what people truly want to cheer on is a good winning team and a player who contributes to that as opposed to a gimmick that sells tee shirts for a couple of weeks.
So, Ray Ratto, don't expect that to be a part of the decision at all. If Billy thinks it would help his club, he'd trade Jesus Christ in a heartbeat.