The ground in California has been a-shakin' lately, with four pretty big quakes in the last week. Then yesterday I got my annual earthquake insurance bill from the Mariner Domers, the price of which is pretty ground-shaking on its own.
Around here, we weren't close enough to feel Mother Nature's shimmying, so Billy Beane took it on himself to shake up the East Bay. So Juan Cruz goes to Sacramento, where he'll be a starter until he can fix what has been ailing him. Tim Harikkala, whom I have never been impressed with, gets designated for assignment.
I had no idea that Cruz had any options left. I had assumed he didn't, since this is the fifth different season he's spent time in the majors. Since I was obviously wrong, my question now is this:
What the #&(@*$&$ took so long?
Jeez, this guy has been completely and utterly ineffective since day one. All this time, I had assumed he was still on the major league roster because they didn't want to have to pass him through waivers to send him to the minors. But they could have sent him to Sacramento two months ago if they wanted to!?!
Up to replace those guys are Jairo Garcia and Ron Flores. They each pitched an inning last night and allowed one hit and no runs. When I saw Garcia last night, for some reason he reminded me of Felix Rodriguez. Hard thrower, body flying all over the place. Flores is a soft-tossing lefty, and he's probably here so the A's can see if he can handle the LOOGY job if the A's trade Ricardo Rincon.
Barry Zito pitched a great game last night until the sixth inning, when everything fell apart, but it wasn't really his fault. He got Jim Thome to hit an easy double-play ball, but Eric Chavez and Bobby Crosby played "you got it, no you got it", and instead of two outs and nobody on, there were no outs and two on. A couple of batters later, Kiko Calero came in and opened the floodgates, but all the runs were charged to Zito. Zito deserves better.
Calero has been back from the DL for a while now, but he still doesn't look right to me. His slider has no bite; it's just kinda looping up there, and the only reason he's not getting killed is that Calero is smart enough to keep the ball down below the knees.
Tomorrow, I'll be spending Father's Day at the Coliseum. Let's hope Joe Blanton keeps up his recent streak of good pitching; he'll have a tough opponent in Jon Lieber. And hopefully, I'll get there early enough to get me one of them Barry Zito neckties.