The “Swingin'” A’s

Just watched Melky Cabrera hit his walk-off homer to beat the A’s 9-7 in 14 innings and cap a 1-4 road trip, and one of our co-workers muttered disgustedly about how the A’s have only four homers as a team trough the season’s first 14 games. Which incidentally leads to our favorite phrase — “on pace for” — and in this case, the A’s are on pace to hit 46 home runs (maybe they should give their old buddy Jose Canseco a call).

I decided to do a quick bit of research. The A’s have team totals of 576 plate appearances and 513 at-bats. Last year, 148 players totaled the 502 plate appearances that are needed to qualify for the batting title. Of those, only five — the Brewers’ Jason Kendall, the Angels’ Chone Figgins, the Rockies’ Willy Taveras, the Cubs’ Ryan Theriot and the Braves’ Gregor Blanco — hit four home runs or fewer. Of those five, only Kendall and Theriot had as many plate appearances as the A’s have made as a team this year.

(Incidentally, the Phillies’ Ryan Howard alone hit more than the 46 the A’s are projected to hit this season).

In other words, a lineup that has been upgraded with Matt Holliday (no homers in an A’s uniform, spring training included), Jason Giambi (the Giam-bozo, so far), Nomar Garciaparra (or should I say No-More Garciaparra) and Orlando Cabrera has basically been a lineup full of Jason Kendall’s. No need to tell A’s fans how feeble that looks.


  • Well, we can start placing odds on what date the big hitters are moved for more prospects so that we can “stock” the minors for other organizations futures. If you had told me that Holliday and Giambi would have no homers I would have said your nuts. Chavez will never ever hit the ball hard again. Sad, but at some point you gotta throw in the towel. Giambi may be too old and Holliday is a fraud so far.

  • Oakland Sí

    well, in fairness Cabrera was not signed for his power hitting, but rather for his above average defense and consistently respectable offense.

    Was Beane being overly optimistic that Giambi wasn’t on the decline that 38-year olds are often prone to, or that Nomar would — uncharacteristically for the past few years — actually be healthy enough to play regularly? You’d have to think that Chavez would take some time to actually be productive offensively (if indeed he has anything left after such serious injuries and surgeries).

  • kyle

    Note to Robert Geren. Do not pitch DAN GRIESE. We suck.

  • kyle

    or DAN GIESE. I can’t spell. Long day

  • Giambi, Garciaparra, and Chavez (throw in Cust) — these are old war horses who aren’t fearsome anymore. Look up ugly journeyman, and you’ll find these guys. I’m actually surprised the A’s have 4 homeruns. 70-92 this season.

  • Michael M

    It’s April, it’s gonna happen. I don’t like losing to the Yankees either but it’s nothing to get into a twist over. There’s a long season ahead.

  • Marc

    Is it just me or has Geren had a tendency to leave a declining pitcher out there for about 2 too many batters?

  • Oakland Sí

    Geren may be concerned with overuse of his bullpen…that might help account for his apparently leaving in struggling starters or even relievers a bit too long.

  • Bee

    Hey, guys, Geren may not have had much of a choice in the 14th inning. And Giese had pitched 2 good innings before hand. It doesn’t look good that Giese has given up two walk-off in extras, but it’s early. Give the team and Giese a chance. Also, the A’s usually start off slow–maybe not quite this slow–so check back in June and see where they are. Then you can bitch.

  • Derek

    Bob Geren is a terrible manager. The A’s also have to many slow 240 hitters.

    T. Buck and Sweeney are No.# 4 outfielders, Cust is a DH. Chavez and Oldmar are washed up and have been for a few years. Bobby Crosby should be out oof basball or playing in the minors.

    The pitching is far to young and inexperienced, there is no leadoff hitter, no team speed, the outfielders move like trucks.

    The A’s are not a very athletic team, with a bum manager

  • English Teacher

    On another note, the “Swingin’ A’s” has already been used for a greater time in Oakland Athletic’s history dating back to the great teams of 1972-1974. A time when the players would fight the other team as well as themselves. A team where the players banded together in rebellion towards their owner Charles O. Finley