Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Week Closer to 2009

As the 2008 season grinds toward it's merciful end, the A's had another poor week, going 2-4 against the Rays and White Sox. Sure, there were a couple bright spots, but there were too many low points.

Three blog posts caught my eye this week:

(1) F's for the A's from BaseballMusings.

I'm a big a fan of Billy Beane as anyone, but he screwed up this year... He tore the heart out of the pitching staff, and the result is a team that obviously no longer cares and no longer even tries to win. The Athletics... trot out a lineup that can't get on base, can't hit for power, and can't score runs. It's a joke and an embarrassment... The A's may have a plan, but it's getting harder to see. Maybe keeping Haren and Harden and drafting players who can actually hit would have been a better strategy.

I agree with Pinto's observation that the team stinks and that they've essentially quit on the 2008 season. It's probably also true that Beane screwed up the 2008 season, but I'm not too bothered by it. We knew this was going to be a rebuilding year, and the A's have done a tremendous job stockpiling young talent. The ceiling for this year's squad just wasn't that high, and it would have been a bigger mistake to have sold prospects in order to make a run this year. I'm still willing to give Beane the benefit of the doubt.

(2) Gettin' Ziggy With It (Season 2, Vol. 6) on AthleticsNation

I want to take a quick second to thank everyone for the support I received as I approached and eventually surpassed the Major League record for consecutive scoreless innings to start a career. I honestly didn’t think the record would be that big of a deal…it’s such an obscure record, and it had been held for so long that I honestly didn’t know that it was something that would be kept track of... I got a lot more attention with it than I anticipated, and that really surprised me. My teammates have been very supportive, which has been really nice, since they’re the main reason the streak exists in the first place. It’s obvious I’m not a strikeout pitcher, so I rely on my defense so heavily night-in and night-out. And, from what I can recall, I think we’ve made 1 error in my 34 innings so far. And at any point, if there had been an unearned run that scored, the streak would’ve been over. But they keep making the plays, so I keep doing my best to get groundballs.

Ziegler seems like a pretty good, down-to-earth guy. He's easy to root for.

(3) Ziegler (Director's Cut) from Joe Posnanski. (h/t to Gregg)

Recaps Ziggy's journey: He's had his skull fractured twice, was released by the Phillies, played independent league ball, etc. Basically, he's Seabiscuit crossed with Cinderella Man, minus the Depression. In short, his is a a good tale to tell.

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