As Obviousman is on vacation, I won't dwell on the depths of the A's recent offensive futility, other than to acknowledge that it has indeed been very offensive. For discussion, I pose the question as to whether the failures of the A's lineup reflect poor choices by Macha, or simply poor choices. The case against Macha has been made on many recent threads, and can be made on this one; for balance, here's my case for the latter argument.
- The A's don't really have a true "leadoff hitter". The ideal leadoff hitter should get on base a lot, and be a disruptive force able to move around the bases in many ways. Chone Figgins and Johnny Damon are prime examples. Kendall only gets himself to first base, then is virtually no threat to steal, yet he has proven to be the closest the A's have to an adequate leadoff hitter.
- The A's don't have a true #3 hitter. The ideal #3 hitter should be a "masher," someone who is such a good pure hitter that opposing pitchers tremble and batting slumps are few and far between. Vlad Guerrero, Gary Sheffield, and David Ortiz are prime examples. The A's do not have an option available to them that fits this description, so Crosby gets the call as the best "potential #3 hitter".
- Eric Chavez, as the "#2 go-to guy" in a lineup, might be among the league's elite offensive players, up there with Manny Ramirez, A-Rod, Garrett Anderson, et al. But his strength is not as a "#1 go-to guy" and yet that is his function in the current A's lineup, so he is the A's "clean-up hitter" by default.
Perhaps this is the real problem? Or is Macha missing a chance to get runs out of this roster through more adept combinations and permutations? Find out next time on another episode of "A's Of Our Lives"...