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False Hope

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This game was following a familiar script...as a matter of fact we'd just seen the same movie last night. Opposing starting pitcher absolutely dominates the A's lineup while Kuiper pleads for the A's to give the crowd "something to cheer about."

But Weaver only went seven innings and then the A's went to work on Donnelly and Rodriguez. The game wound up being lost on the Crosby at-bat the eighth. It sounds simple, but the key to beating Rodriguez is going after that fastball as both Frank Thomas and Jay Payton did. You've got to spit on that slider because nine times out of 10 it's a ball.

Here's the bigger question to me as the A's approach the trading deadline...would it make more sense to package Joe Blanton as a part of a deal for a hitter? Everyone has been talking about Zito, but Blanton could be the one who would be more desirable to a smaller market team because he's cheap and he's longer term. Blanton has been inconsistent this year, but he was absolutely brilliant down the stretch last season. He was possibly the A's best pitcher. Now, the A's might not be able to afford to deal someone like Blanton who is young and cheap especially in thinking about 2007. But the A's will need to give something up in order to get something. And it's becoming painfully obvious that the offense needs some help desperately, Blanton might be that chip (especially if Windsor keeps performing). Patience might pay off in the fact that the offense may turn around, but chances are that it won't. Weaver and Lackey are very good pitchers, but the fact remains that the offense has been shut down by much lower profile players one too many times this season.

Patience may be a virtue, but there's a point where even the most patient man will have his boundaries tested. It may be getting to that point.

The good news is that if the A's can take the game tomorrow, they finish the All Star break all alone in first place and in better shape than they have been in years. The bad news is the fact that it may just be a fluke that they're there, especially given their runs scored and runs against.