- # of Angel Defensive Double Plays
- # of Angel Offensive Homeruns
- Total errors in game, both teams
I thought that this year was going to be different, but it isn’t: For the 6th time in 7 seasons it is terribly apparent that the American League West race will not be involving 2 of the 4 teams in the division: Seattle and Texas. The Oakland Athletics are once again mutably reshuffling into a division contender. The Mariners and Rangers are about to give up treading water before even May this season.
The Mariners had their “healthy” season last year – this one has seen them lose their ace closer for three weeks and their rotation ace for three starts, but worst of all they have chosen to re-sign the worst mid-30s starting catcher in the division – and perhaps the American League – to a three year deal. Seattle General Manager Bill Bavasi is the man who locked up Gary Disarcina to a 7-year, $15 million deal (and got exactly one good season out of that), so this should not boggle the mind – what boggles the mind is how the organization that oversees Bavasi and company still retains their employment. Oh, and by the way, the re-signing of Kenji Johjima blocks a top young catching prospect – perhaps Seattle will trade this AAA catcher to the Red Sox for Heathcliffe Slocumb.
Meanwhile Texas is about to fire manager Ron Washington as they continue to wander the Pudge-free desert for forty seasons. If Jarrod Saltamachia and Josh Hamilton can put it together, the Rangers are looking at 65 wins this season, easy.
And then there was Oakland. They traded Dan Haren to begin rebuilding and they got prospects that could be kicking our asses as soon as this week. While their vaunted hi-tech Fremont Stadium has been pushed back a season or two, look for its viability to disappear and Portland or Las Vegas to wiggle the almighty dollar in front of Lew “The Tarper” Wolff. You think Peter Magowan likes the empty seats and Candle-Bell Park enough to tell Bud Selig to forget about the gambling stigma of Whiskey Pete’s North? Do you see dollar signs going to free agents and even an occasional MRI to an aching AAA pitcher or two? The cheapskate ways of Fremont have been lauded in Moneyball but derided in a slew of injuries to players who would have been better treated by an organization that spent money on prevention instead of publicists. This is all in the near future, but it is near, and it is green and gold.
But they are here, and right now they are cobbling together something that might resemble a team of contenders. Picking up Frank Thomas will allow them to soon cut Curveball Cust assuming he does not trip himself into injury galloping in an outfield spot that 3 out of 5 fans can play better. An arm or two allows them to conceivably hang close in July and then the caché of prospects can be turned into the foundation of a hot two-month run toward our behinds. Ever had a dog bite you in the ass? Imagine a green and gold leash being let go of on August First by a laughing Billy Beane as his re-constituted mutt becomes pure-breed pitbull.
They're in our house for four games now, so let’s put some distance, all four games worth if possible, between us and the Fremont doghouse. Now. The pooch is here, let’s send this puppy to 2nd place obedience school starting Monday night.