And, after the jump, a Mike Piazza-in-green-and-gold sighting
It is my sad duty to report that Piazza struck out in his lone at-bat.
Other notes from Wednesday's intersquad game:
• Yes, it's only spring training, and an intersquad game at that, but boy, did Erubiel Durazo look good in his first at-bat today against a pitcher with a number in the double digits' upper stratosphere. He roped a ball to the right field gap that ricocheted off the scoreboard -- a home run under Phoenix Municipal's ground rules. Durazo's shot followed a warning-track double that Eric Chavez hit to practically the same part of the ballpark. You take your encouraging signs where you can at this point in the year.
• Also pitching Wednesday was Rule 5 pickup Jay Marshall. In case you're not well-versed on the outer fringes of the A's roster, Marshall's a left-handed side-armer. The first three batters he faced -- Chavez, Durazo, and Daric Barton -- were all lefties, and he made two of them just look silly. Chavez struck out, and Durazo broke his bat hitting a lazy bloop pop right at the shortstop. Barton unleashed a beautiful swing on a 2-2 pitch that just went over the second baseman's glove -- otherwise, it's a 1-2-3 inning. Some more outings by Marshall like that against actual competition this spring, and the A's will have some roster decisions to make with their bullpen staff. Because I was sitting right behind home when Marshall pitched to Chavez, Durazo, and Barton, and I can't imagine too many left-handers getting the better of him when he's got his stuff working for him.
• Strangest sight of the afternoon: Equipment manager Steve Vucinich sitting in the stands with a poodle decked out with green and gold ribbons. Was that his poodle? One of the players'? Do the duties of equipment manager now entail dog-watching? Near as I can tell, the dog was part of a photo spread likely coming soon to an A's program near you, as Huston Street came over to be photographed with the poodle by army of photographers. I did not snap a photo of my own of any this. Regrets.
• Line of the day, loosely paraphrased from third-base coach/impromptu public-address announcer Rene Lachemann: "Now batting is Nick Swisher. Get used to that face, ladies and gentlemen, because he'll be the cover boy for our May program. Of course, he's going to be on the cover of Sacramento's April program." Also, Lachemann gets a lot of mileage out of Jason Kendall's one home run as an Athletic.
• Apparently, my father did not get wind of the Kirk Saarloos trade until now. He is not adjusting well to the news.