It's absurd, really. The Oakland Athletics have the best record in the American League, half a game ahead of Kansas City and Baltimore. Who'da thunk that before the season started? Who thinks the standings will look anything like this at the end of the year? Well, apparently, the A's do.
Remember Billy Beane's old idea that you take the first two months of the season to evaluate where you are, two months to fix your problems, and then go for it in the last two months? Well, throw that out the window. Two months? Try two weeks. The A's are going for it now. They think they can win this year. Yesterday, they DFA'd Rule 5 pick Fernando Hernandez and brought up Kirk Saarloos. You don't do that--replace a young pitcher with plenty of upside with a mediocre pitcher without any upside--unless you're placing a lot of value on the here and now.
I thought that the A's would be the last sports franchise on earth to fall victim to the illusions of small sample sizes. It's only 13 games into the season--and only three games into Hernandez' major league career--so it's pretty early to jump to conclusions: that the A's are competing for a playoff spot, and that Hernandez isn't ready for the majors. And yet, that's obviously what the A's are saying here.
Greg Smith did his best Kenny Rogers impression last night, and befuddled the White Sox. Can he keep it up all year? Will Dana Eveland keep his ERA under 2.00? I doubt it, but we'll give it another look-see today. Eveland will try his best to keep the A's from tying a major-league record by winning today's game.