September at last

Had the privilege to share a post-game table with A’s second baseman Mark Ellis and clubhouse man Steve Vucinich at the team’s hotel during the visit to Seattle last week. It’s a lost art among the print media, and it really can give you insight, even if the bulk of it may never see the public light of day.

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Leftovers from a rare win

The game story will be posted later, and I wrote heavily about the team’s injury woes. So a lot of the game stuff was overlooked. That’s kind of the way it is this time of year when a team is out of the race. The individual game doesn’t mean that much.

That’s what’s wonderful about the blog. Can get some leftovers in it right here, so away with go.

— Frank Thomas didn’t stick around to discuss his sixth-inning ejection by home-plate umpire Bill Hohn. Thomas apparently wasn’t happy with the way pitchers were being called inside. Looked to me like he didn’t do anything; I had to ask a couple of the TV people what exactly happened, because I didn’t notice anything out of line from where I was in the press box. Bob Geren, as insightful as ever (yes, that’s sarcasm), said: “I’m not quite sure.  It’s still arguing balls and strikes, and you’re not supposed to do that. He’s been around a long time. He knows.”

— Greg Smith had better command, and that’s just what the doctor ordered. Geren said the A’s talked to Smith about strike-zone effeciency between starts, and he wound up throwing 48 of his 90 pitches for strikes. That number doesn’t say a lot, but Smith was ahead 0-2 and 1-2 all night. That seems to indicate he’s not feeling the fatigue of pitching more than 100 innings this season.

— Smith also had the quote of the night, saying, “I think we’re about to come out of our funk.” Yeah, one win in a row. Woo-hoo.


Who’d you rather be?

Did my annual, “What Team Would You Rather Be?” column regarding the A’s and Giants today? Wanna hear from fans out there in A’s nation? What do you like most about this team, and aside from the lack of power, what do you like the least? And what should they do regarding Frank Thomas? Sign him, or pass on him?

Incidentally, Rajai Davis, a symbol for some of the Giants’ poor management, is now an Athletic.


Wonderin’ about the Big Hurt

So Frank Thomas in an A’s uniform? Whadda ya think? You intrigued?

Haven’t had a chance to talk to any of the A’s management about this topic yet (not that they’d tell me what they’re thinking anyway), but my extreme first instinct is to say, “Sorry, let’s pass.” I love Thomas, and his bat was huge for the A’s in their run to the 2006 American League Championship Series. I’m just not so sure he’s the greatest fit on this team at this time.

That’s the problem with baseball in April. It’s impossible to draw definitive conclusions. But one of the things I’ve liked about the A’s so far is the youthful energy, and their legs. This A’s team runs the bases with an aggression I haven’t seen in years, and that has a tangible effect both on energy and the chemistry of a lineup.

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