It was appropriate that in the emerald city, our green and gold jewel made his triumphant return. King Richard was good, stifling the M's offense for five innings. I expect him to get better as he goes along and gets more of a feeling for his pitches again.
Harden then let DJ take over. Don't look now, but Dan Johnson is now hitting .279 after feeling his way around the majors for the first couple of weeks. That's the third highest batting average on the team behind Crosby and Kielty. He also cranked his first home run tonight. DJ has done all this while playing as solid a first base defense as the Athletics have had in a long time.
The mood was then dampened by a report that the A's are running into problems trying to sign Mark Kotsay to an extension. Who knows how reliable Ken Rosenthal is? If this was coming from Gammons, I'd be more inclined to believe it.
But still, the caveat being that this is coming from a person who wholeheartedly loves Mark Kotsay, this rumor is troubling to me. Kotsay has proven over a season and a quarter that he can single-handedly turn a game around with a play in the field and has a tendency to get that key hit. He gets the best read off the bat that I've ever seen (you really have to see Kotsay play in person to see how quickly he reacts to the ball off the bat). But I mentioned this in the game thread and I'll say it again here. I would consider trading anyone else on this team for the right price. Anyone that is, except Rich Harden and Mark Kotsay. That's probably my heart talking when it comes to Kots, but watching him patrol center field and just control the other outfielders is a pleasure. He's aggressive and dominant out there.
So I want to pose the question, in a poll to AN...do the A's have to do what it takes to keep Kotsay? Click on entry link below to vote.