The ‘Who Are Th-A’s’

At one point Monday, I took a quick glimpse of the television. I take care of my two boys on Monday nights, which means it’s usually “Hannah Montana” or “SpongeBob”. But somehow I found a spare moment of freedom, and flipped it on. The A’s already were way behind, and some lefty was flipping some unimpressive stuff up there. From the kitchen, I couldn’t spy the number or the name on the back of the jersey.

“Who in the world is pitching?” I texted beat writer Joe Stiglich (who, by the way, deserves hazard pay for having to cover rotten September baseball; nothing is worse).

“Gio started,” he replied. “Now, it’s Outman.”

Ah, Josh Outman. A guy, normally, that I’d be interested in seeing, since the A’s got him in the Joe Blanton deal. But I’m interested in seeing him next spring, not this fall. Because nothing he does now remotely is going to tell us what he does down the line. And that’s when I realized just how said A’s baseball has become.

Really, when’s the last September that was as unwatchable. Just a bunch of faceless guys who more times than not are overmatched. Gio Gonzalez clearly isn’t ready to be an effective pitcher yet. Too wild. Too much of a thrower. Remember, he was projected as a fourth or fifth starter at best, and he’s not even that yet. Hey, but at least he was part of history.

Outman? Who knows? He’s only here, because the team is awful. So his mere presence is nothing but a reminder that the A’s are back in 1998 mode after a decade of fun baseball. Hopefully, they move back toward 1999 next season and don’t regress to 1997.



  • Bee

    Glad to see you back on the Blog, Rick.

    I know I am a sucker for punishment but I like watching the young guys, even when they are struggling. It was hard watching Gio pitching last night but he probably needed that shelling to take his overactive ego down a peg. He will be great if he can master the mental part of the game. He certainly has the tools.

    I was glad to see Jeff Gray make his MLB debut last night. He has been in the minors a long time and has worked hard. The homerun was too bad, but the Tigers were popping them off with regularity last night so he had a lot of company in the throwing dingers department. He’s a nice humble guy who deserves a shot. I interviewed him at the Arizona Fall league two years ago, for an article I wrote. He was gracious and forthcoming with a profile of the life of a minor league player off the field. Invaluable stuff.

    The 8 runs the A’s scored should not be lost in the 14 runs the pitching staff gave up. Offense has been slim to non-existent for most of this year, so seeing them put up that many runs was a treat.