I like to call this "bon thoughts, cheap mots, and deep shots." Some ideas to chew on; I'm just trying to be a fodder figure...
* As I'm loving the way the A's are -- finally -- playing, I'm thinking back to my Locus Of Control piece and how the A's mindset has shifted, for the better, in recent weeks. What I kept hearing from the A's in the first half of the season were comments like, "These guys will hit their career norms eventually," as if it would just happen without anyone doing anything. Well, Cabrera did, Giambi didn't, but lately I see a far healthier approach to the A's offense, which is "What are the things we need to do differently?" Lacking power, they need to run more. With RISP, they need to look for a pitch to hit. They need to seize every chance to turn productive outs into runs. And they're doing it, rather than waiting for "it" to happen somehow.
Hearing Landon Powell's HR followed by a Pennington bunt single, steal of second (third on the errant throw), and sac fly, I feel like the A's are actively embracing the idea that the best offense is a balanced, versatile, resourceful one -- and that if you don't have the hitters best equipped to give you that offense then you need to see where, in the group you have, you can find as many of the pieces as you can. It started with Rajai Davis and because speed can bring infectious energy, excitement, and spirit to a dugout, it no longer ends with Davis. Good stuff.
* Speaking of Rajai Davis, how does this guy not have a fan club, a bleacher banner? If anyone should be the fans' darling right now, it should be Rajai Davis, yet I can't recall (and maybe the camera just hasn't panned on it) the kind of signage you would expect to see for a guy who has nearly single-handedly re-energized A's baseball in the last month.
How about a CF bleacher sign that reads, "Mister Raj-ers' Neighborhood!" Make it happen, folks; the guy deserves it.
* Speaking of Landon Powell, I had no problem with the A's pinch-hitting for Pennington in the 9th inning on Tuesday, but what I didn't understand is why Nomar was the choice instead of Powell (especially against a RHP). It's Powell who should be in the "high leverage pinch hit" role, as he is just not getting enough ABs for such an impact hitter.
And by impact hitter, I mean 30 games, 90 ABs, and 20 RBIs (with a solid .253/.324/.429 line). No, RBIs are not the most meaningful stat in the world, but just to put it in perspective, those numbers project, in 150 games, to 100 RBIs, and Powell has maintained that pace pretty much steadily throughout the season. Plus he could be part of the A's future, while Nomar...not so much. I'd really like to see Powell pinch-hitting in those situations the rest of the way.
Thoughts? Questions? Ideas? Anyone care for a mint?