After the fairly fun, exciting, solid win last night, I have been more positive about some of these A’s players than I have in a long time. Jack Cust (the III, which to our announcers last night, seemed to be the most important fact about him), has had an almost fairy-tale entrance back into the big leagues this year, clubbing two more impressive homeruns last night, and somehow managing to play the field without making the ‘Not Top Ten’ highlight reel. His father (Jack Cust, Jr.) must be proud. And must not be getting any sleep when the A’s are playing at home, since he’s on the other coast. Actually, from the stories they tell about his father, I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t taken the season off to come watch his son in person, every game.
What can be done for Travis Buck? How different the season may have been if he had been able to play the majority of the games. At any rate, he’d be making a serious bid for Rookie of the Year, and may have even helped the A’s woeful offense earlier in the year. As it is, in 79 games, he is batting .289 with seven homeruns and 34 RBI’s. That’s a good rookie season by anyone’s standards. But he needs to get healthy. Is surgery a possibility? Will he ‘rehab’ and then wait until Spring Training to decide to go under the knife?
Oh wait...that was Mark Kotsay, who has apparently has replaced Jason Kendall as the offensive black hole on the team. I cringe when he comes up to bat, but I’d rather have him in center than Swisher.
And speaking of players who have refused surgery over the years, Chavez is missing and presumed dead. Let’s all take a moment to mourn the loss of the consecutive Gold Glove streak, because he’s not winning it this year.
But Mark Ellis may be the dark horse surprise. Batting .262 with sixteen homeruns, and 55 RBI’s, he’s quietly put together a nice season. Although one should absolutely have nothing to do with the other, except maybe as it relates to playing time, Ellis probably would have helped his bid for the Gold Glove last year with these offensive numbers.
And let’s give a big Oakland welcome to another Jack; Jack Hannahan, who has an interesting story, to say the least.
And not for the first time, but I’m asking the question: What does Donnie Murphy have to do to flat-out replace Crosby? I’m okay with that move, even with the small sample size of 26 games.
I’ll sum up with one last question: Has anyone noticed what is up with our announcers lately? Between making up the ‘Jason Kendall phenomenon’, dissecting the naming conventions of Jack Cust III, Jr. and Sr., they have somehow found the time to marvel every 16 seconds at the mystery of how bad the White Sox are. They are positively Joe Morgan-eque lately. From FJM:
Matt (Watertown, NY): Where do you put the blame for the fall of the White Sox this year? I'm blaming injuries for our demise.. Erstad, Podsednik, Crede, and Dye have been injured, hurting our offense!
Joe Morgan: A lot of it has to do with injuries, but every team has injuries. Every team. That's not a good enough excuse. I'm not sure of what's going on there, but injuries is not the main problem there. It's contributed to their downfall. All those good players with proven records all of a sudden can't hit. I'm not close enough to the situation to put my finger on the exact cause.
KT: If you are a regular reader of our blog, you would know -- from a post not too far down on this page -- that PECOTA had the ChiSox at 72-90 this year. A computer knew that this was going to happen, Joe. A computer.
The reasons are many and readily evident. Joe Crede came back to earth and got injured. Jermaine Dye is not nearly as good as he looked in 2006. Thome is 36. Konerko is 32 and declining already. Toss in a few pitching woes here and there (their staff is pretty old, too) and you have a disaster on your hands.
I stopped short of emailing our announcers the PETCOTA prediction for the White Sox this year. My personal opinion says that our announcers either perform much better when the A’s are winning, or I pay less attention to the details the more I care about the game. But lately...man.
The A’s take on the White Sox again tonight at 7:05. Join us back here for all the action!