On Ellis’ injury and more

A few thoughts as the A’s head (thank goodness) into the final turn.

— Can’t help but think that second baseman Mark Ellis has played his final game as an Athletic, at least for the immediate future. I’m basing this completely on a hunch and history. Ellis and the A’s have kept a relatively tight lid on the progress made in negotiations for a new deal, but whenever a player and team stop talking during a season, it’s generally an indication it will be a challenge to get the deal done. Throw into the equation the thrift spending habits of the team for which Ellis currently plays, and well, that’s why my hunch is he’s gone. I hope he isn’t. Ellis is as professional as any player I’ve dealt with in my seven seasons around the team, and he cares too much at times. He’ll go down as an all-timer, so remember that, A’s fans, if he heads out the door.

Interesting decision to sit Bobby Crosby in favor of Cliff Pennington down the stretch. Can’t say anything about Pennington has remotely impressed me, so I’m not entirely sure what the A’s are thinking. Then again, I don’t get paid to evaluate talent. That said, I thought Crosby made strides. He’s cut down the hole in his swing, and he’s shown he can hit the ball in the gaps. Whether his double power turns into homer power is another question entirely, and you have to wonder if this decision indicates whether the A’s are beginning the process of re-evaluating their shortstop position. Who knows? Maybe, they’ll ask Crosby to play third.

— Reading about the joke that is the Raiders this morning, and the thought occurs that this could be the A’s if general manager Billy Beane is not careful. Already, the players inside the A’s clubhouse are fully aware of the influence of the front office, and more than one coach over the past couple of years has expressed disgust with the way things are done. It’s one thing to be dynamic and hands-on when things are great. It’s another when a team isn’t good, because in that situation, players can tend to tune out the manager/coach because they know he really isn’t calling the shots. The one difference in the A’s situation and the Raiders is that there’s no question that Beane has manager Bob Geren’s back and vice versa. That said, the line Beane walks is a dangerous one. Just something to think about.

— Speaking of Geren, the great elephant in the A’s clubhouse is how much the A’s players truly respect him. I would imagine that most of them do, and they should, because the bulk of the A’s roster is composed of kids. But how the veterans feel might be different, and I’ve heard enough rumblings from enough corners to conclude that, for at least a few, that’s the case. Geren, for his part, is in a tough spot, because he doesn’t have enough talent to win, and unless a manager has that, it’s awfully difficult to gauge his effectiveness.


  • Oakland Si

    When I heard that the jersey giveaway was for an Ellis jersey I exchanged one of my season ticket game tickets so that I could get one. I’ve had the good fortune to speak briefly with Ellis and have him anser a baseball related question very thoughtfully. I’m a big fan of his, even if i question what some of his teammates and the staff (and front office) do from time to time.

    There’s no doubt that Billy Beane calls the shots, and that the manager has very little power (at least, relative to some other managers). Geren and BEane are close friends. While I don’t doubt Geren’s baseball qualifications, I do think that relationship has to help — and that a lack of such a relationship made thihgs much more difficult for Howe and Macha.

    Surely the players know that Geren doesn’t really call the shots as manager…

  • Bee

    Interesting about Bobby Crosby sitting on the bench. Maybe Geren/Beane want to get a look at what Pennington can do if he plays regularly. You can’t do that if Bobby is playing. Cliff hasn’t shown star power on offense or defense, but getting a look at kids in an MLB setting is what September is for, especially if you are out of the playoff picture.

    Crosby playing third? What an interesting concept. I wonder if he has ever played third. A-rod made the transition okay. I’d still rather have chavvy there if he can get back to being healthy–a big if, IMHO.