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Of Ships And Shoes And Ceiling Wax (Cabbages And Kings Cost Extra)

Some stray thoughts today ...or, as Monkeyball might dub it, a veritable poo-poo-ri of topics, lettered for your responding convenience...

a. Fine, Dan Johnson is now hitting his uniform number. So let me propose a simple solution: Change his uniform number to 287 and see what happens.

b. You know you're going bad when...Street is fit as a fiddle while the A's are blowing 3rd inning leads in Minnesota; then he goes down for a day and we have a save situation. The one day Justin Duchscherer just doesn't have it, no less. Street couldn't get his owie in Minnesota?

c. Speaking of Street, if Huston's problem was a pulled muscle in his chest, why did the doctor who examined him insist he pull down his pants? And why did the doctor look so much like baseballgirl?

d. To prove that I am not a Macha apologist, let me point out that the A's continue voluntarily to bat 3rd a player whose OPS currently stands at .506 (thanks to a .227 OBP and slugging percentage of .279), and who is now 1/18 when batting with any runners on base. I thought the players made out the lineup cards. Hello-o-o-o-ooooooo! Qualifying note: I am presuming the "voluntarily" part. If a sniper is holding Macha's wife hostage unless the A's bat Crosby 3rd, I take it all back and wish her well.

e. "A win in April is the same as a win in September--every win counts the same." Well, yes and no. I checked with a leading mathematician and confirmed that indeed, every win does count the same. the same logic, in a given baseball game, doesn't every run also count the same? Yet...with a runner at third and one out, in a 3-3 game in the 9th inning, a team will play the infield in...but in the first inning of a 0-0 game, they will often play the infield back. Just ponder.

f. Part of Barry Zito's problem right now is just that it's April. His career ERA in April is over 5.00, he has a losing career record in April, and I have no doubt he will "heat up" and post far better numbers by mid-season. But I do get tired of hearing about guys like Zito, Chavez, and Crosby being "slow starters". Part of being an effective player is being a reliable, consistent player. Being a "slow starter" is part of not being as good as guys who are more consistent month to month. Again, is "a HR a HR" no matter how you get 30 of them, is "a win a win" no matter how many of them come in what months, is a .260 average a .260 average even if you get there by alternating stretches of hitting .160 and .360? Or does the ability to distribute your success more evenly and reliably matter? Personally, I think it matters.

g. With Street still unavailable tonight and Duke having thrown 30 pitches yesterday, look for Harden to go as long as he can, and let's hope Calero doesn't wind up making it a "closer hat trick" for the week. The best cure for unavailable closers? Offense.

h. You know you're probably going to be fine, when your starters--heralded as among the league's best--have an ERA over 6.00, your bullpen--considered to be solid--has already turned two wins into losses, your first basemen is getting a hit every two weeks and your shortstop is walking once every two weeks, you've just finished one of those stretches where you keep playing "just well enough to lose," and if you win tonight you'll be tied for first place.

i (with a heart for the dot). Finally, nobody has ever seen Kellie Pickler and Cindi at the same time. I'm just saying.