Friday, April 11, 2008

Slap Hitter: A's Road Trip is De-Lovely

Fri, Apr 11, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Not since the mid 90's have A's fans had the experience of having to cheer on one of the hometown heroes by sounding slightly, I don't know, theatrical. Remembering the days of rooting on starting pitcher Ron Darling by shouting his surname aloud, it's back to Broadway as we celebrate last night's first ever appearance and win by Joey Devine.

The slighty righty had a helluva day just getting to the ballpark Then he pitched himself into and then out of big trouble. He got Frank Thomas to hit a 500 foot foul ball and then two pitches later whiff him on a pitch five inches away from home plate. I love Billy Beane's philosophy So to save you the cost of $6.98 on the remainder shelf to pick up Moneyball, quite simply it says take what the market will give you.

So this winter the Athletics traded quality for quantity. Genius. The A's can't afford superstars; we grow them, we export them,what can you get for them? The answer is, lots of players. And who knows, a few may grow up to be superstars.

We have about half a dozen outfielders, none of whom have really seized the position(s), which is cool, let them all play. (The only two who were written in ink at the end of Spring Training are both hitting below .200 anyway). We have about eight starting pitchers, and will have used every one of them by the season's twelfth day. Who cares if Dana Eveland can't keep fooling em, there's a line half a block long in the minors to take his place.

The only Oaklanders hitting over .300 are the eighth and ninth place hitters and they haven't had a hit since Tuesday. Tonight the Athletics take on C.C. Sabithia, one of the top guys in the league, against our own Big Joe Blanton, who hasn't won a game since 2007. And the giddy thing about it is, I think we can win.

Let's be honest, these are the teams A's fans love best. The underdog suit fits like a doubleknit and when the opposing manager needs to buy a program just to see who's on the mound, you know the guy who just got fitted during the National Anthem's got nothing to lose. In the last four games, three guys have won their first ever game as A's. Who are those guys?

For now, the first place team in the American League West.— Kibby Kleiman

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