Yes, folks it's that time of week. A few random thoughts for a slow January so far in A's land.
- Did you really think a roided up pariah would make it into the Hall of Fame? And I'm not talking about Jose Canseco. Mark McGwire who was once the poster boy for a baseball renaissance has been relegated to an afterthought. I know he only really has that huge home run total to hang his hat on, but I guess that's life. It's just funny to see the same journalists who wrote lovefest columns about baseball's savior McGwire in '98 now come back and brand him as the devil. Part of me suspects it's because of their own shame in feeling duped by McGwire. At least it saves us from having to bitch when he went in with a Cardinals hat on instead of an A's cap because you just KNOW that was coming.
- The question becomes will this just be a one-year rejection or will McGwire be permanently rejected? I tend to think a lot of the voters will think that McGwire is being punished this year and others will reverse their vote next year. I still don't think it will be enough to get him in. And truthfully, he probably shouldn't be in.
- Everyone knew that Canseco wouldn't get in either, but it's sad to see the Bash Brothers rejected in tandem. I wonder if the Canseco book wasn't published and McGwire was subsequently dragged in front of Congress to make an ass of himself if McGwire would've had a much better chance. I think those words about not talking about the past sealed McGwire's fate for any of those who were on the fence.
- Jason Kendall is apparently standing outside Billy Beane's office with a sign that says, "Will catch 145 games a season for an extension". Seriously, Billy can't be considering this unless he's going to get Kendall for around a $1 million a season. Yes, Jason is great behind the plate and working with the pitchers. He'll throw himself face first into oncoming cleats or smack a batting helmet with his hand for a win, but the A's have a pretty good prospect in Suzuki coming and coming soon. He'll also be a lot cheaper than Kendall's been.
- Apparently A's fans are interested in bringing Sammy Sosa to the Bay and getting Andruw Jones. Wow, those are some wild ideas. Sosa probably wouldn't play for less than a couple of million and he'd be a bigger risk than Frank Thomas ever was...and Andruw Jones wouldn't be handed over for the package that guy recommends. Oh and while I usually agree with a lot of what Mychael Urban says, the reason I feel that it's a good idea to trade Blanton isn't just his ERA but that K:BB ratio, his 1.54 WHIP and 4.96 K/9. I understand that Blanton isn't a strikeout guy, but his control isn't there either. If you can get a good package from the Mets in return, you have to do it.
- OK, those might be some fans desires, but apparently the A's are interested in Darin Erstad. Ugh, yeah, Darin Erstad. I know the guy is hard nosed in a Jason Kendall kind of way, but the A's must have little faith n Kotsay's ability to remain healthy if they're trying to get Erstad. Again, this also speaks volumes about the A's reluctance to use Dan Johnson at first. The A's would be building the All Madden baseball team with Kendall and Erstad on the same roster. I could see them banging heads like football players (only without the helmets) before the games. This would also truly show that the A's care more about defense than any of us suspect because Erstad is a superior defensive first baseman and still a decent center fielder. The A's would also have cornered the market on players who tend to get injured...a lot.
- Be ready for another season of Antonio Perez. It's tough to judge him based on his performance last year. It'll be interesting to see if it's an aberration as I always thought it was. I felt like as a young guy he needed to play a bunch. Course he still likely won't get that opportunity this year unless injury happens.