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Pointing Bullets At July
2006-08-01 09:15
by Ken Arneson

Some things on my mind:

  • On Sunday, my daughter had her 6th birthday party. It was a warm day, so we had the Slip 'n Slide out on the backyard lawn, and the kids partied in their swimsuits. I had the TV on in the living room just inside the door, so the A's fans in attendance could keep an eye on the developments in the A's game from time to time.

    When Huston Street showed that he was human enough to be unable to pitch two innings after being used three out of the previous four games, and coughed up three runs in the ninth, I figured it was time to move on to more pleasant things, and bring out the cake and ice cream.

    This is how I experienced the bottom of the ninth:

    "...Happy Birthday to you!"

    Puff! Clap, clap, clap...

    (Voice heard coming from doorway to living room) "Wooohooo!"

    Me: "What happened?"

    "Milton Bradley just hit a three-run homer!"

  • Last night's A's-Angels games lacked such dramatics, but the pitching duel between Ervin Santana and Dan Haren was thoroughly enjoyable. I love those kind of low-scoring, tense ballgames.

    The A's and Angels play a lot of those types of games against each other. I suppose that's because both teams have good pitching, and neither team can hit very much. But still, it's becoming a very fun rivalry to watch.

  • I have a hard time believing the rumors that the Angels actually offered Santana in their attempts to trade for Miguel Tejada and/or Alfonso Soriano. If the Angels actually did offer him up, and the Orioles and Nationals both turned them down, that just goes down as another example of the sad shortage of brainpower in and around the District of Columbia. I'd be more than happy to have that guy out of the A's division.

    But from what I understand, Santana was asked for, not offered. There's no shortage of brainpower in Anaheim.

  • So neither the A's nor the Angels did anything this trading season. That's OK. Between the callups and people coming off the DL, both teams have plenty of opportunities for improvement from sources within.

    And then there's Bobby Crosby and Mark Ellis. Imagine what would happen if either of those guys actually stopped looking like the second coming of Rob Picciolo at the plate, and started hitting like, oh, I dunno, Bobby Crosby or Mark Ellis (any vintage but 2006).

  • I can stop dreaming about Lastings Milledge now, and start dreaming about the three first round draft picks the A's will have next June, when Zito departs.

    Meanwhile, I think I'll focus my minor league mancrush energies on 18-year-old Matthew Sulentic.

  • In July, the A's played 3 games against teams currently under .500. They went 14-13 for the month.

    In July, the Angels played 18 games against teams currently under .500. They went 19-7 for the month.

  • In August, the A's will play 8 games against teams currently under over .500. In September/October: 13.

    The Angels will play 13 such games in August. September/October: 16.

  • Some Yankee fans working at ESPN:

    I was watching SportsCenter last night, when the phone rang for my wife, so I put the TV on mute. My TV automatically switches to closed captioning when you mute it, so I started reading the highlights of the Red Sox comeback against the Indians last night.

    When the highlights of David Ortiz hitting his three-run walkoff homer was shown, the closed captions actually said this:


  • I can now confirm, for I have verified the data with my own two eyes: Bob Timmermann is tall.
  • Bob emailed me yesterday and said that Billy Beane was recently spotted at a corporate retreat at Pebble Beach with Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Rupert Murdoch, and U2.

    So that's why the A's did nothing at the trading deadline: Beane kept hearing voices nearby that kept telling him, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for".

2006-08-01 11:46:42
1.   Bob Timmermann
That actually was a confederate I sent to meet Ken.

I'm really the guy who starred in "The Station Agent."

2006-08-01 12:26:59
2.   xaphor
You mean There's no shortage of brainpower in [Los Angeles]

Or was that a conscious decision :)

2006-08-01 15:34:18
3.   For The Turnstiles
There seems to be a typo in bullet point 7: the numbers you give (21 for Oakland, 29 for the Angels) are of games remaining against teams over .500, not under.

Looking at games against teams with losing records, the two have about the same number of games remaining against their barely-below-.500 division rivals Seattle and Texas (20 for the Angels, 18 for the A's). The big difference is in the number of games against the four bottom dwellers (Baltimore, Cleveland, Tampa, and KC): the A's play these teams 17 more times, and the Angels only 8.

Of course, there are no guarantees: each of KC and Tampa has already won a series against Oakland this year. But I like the A's chances if they can stay halfway healthy.

2006-08-01 16:05:45
4.   Ken Arneson
Thanks for catching that, Turnstiles. Fixed it.
2006-08-02 22:10:58
5.   Ruben F Pineda
If I remember correctly, I believe Stuart Scott was making a joke about Ortiz. Earlier, he also made a joke about Soriano or somebody really good getting traded to the Devil Rays. But yeah, never was much of a believer in clutchness at the MLB level, but Papi sure is testing the faith...

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