Oakland sure had its fair share of unconventional characters in my
childhood. Finley (who owned two teams in Oakland--the A's and the NHL Seals).
The whole Mustache Gang. Al Davis. Franklin Mieuli. Billy Martin. Sandy
Alderson (a lawyer running a baseball team?). And of course, Bill King.
A couple of questions come to mind:
It seems to me that a bigger deal is made of Moneyball and Billy
Beane outside the East Bay than inside it. Perhaps we're just used to
the unconventional approach around here?
Was this embrace of the unusual the chicken or the egg? Was this a
precursor of the Silicon Valley innovative spirit in the Bay Area, or
an early example of it?
* * *
Six former A's on the Hall of Fame ballot: Goose Gossage, Tommy John,
Doug Jones, Willie McGee, Dave Parker, and Walt Weiss. Only Weiss spent
a big chunk of his career in Oakland. Did you know Weiss had a career .351 OBP?
I never would have guessed. He hovered around a .300 OBP for most of
his Oakland years. But four years in Colorado will do that for you.
* * *
Some former A's moving around: Johnny Damon to the Yankees, Chad
Bradford to the Mets, and Eric Byrnes to the Diamondbacks. I wish them
luck in their new homes.
* * *
Kevin Millwood signed with the Rangers. I don't think Millwood is
going to be a great pitcher for them, but it does change things in the
AL West a bit. Before, when facing the Rangers in a three-game series,
you were pretty much guaranteed to face at least one starting pitcher
who didn't really belong in a major league rotation. I don't think
that's the case anymore. The Rangers may now have five mediocre
pitchers (Millwood, Padilla, Eaton, Loe, Dominguez), but that's quite
an improvement for them. And with the addition of Otsuka in the pen to
set up Cordero, I think Texas is going to be much harder to beat.
* * *
All quiet on the Zito front. However, it should be noted that: