Well, it is official now. The Oakland A's suck.
OK fine, they probably have officially sucked all season, but I tried to deny, hide and dance around it. Anything to avoid the obvious. But it is no longer possible, I have lost hope. They suck.
Plus, they traded their best player, Matt Holliday. They suck even more.
The team has almost nothing going for it right now. I like the young pitchers. Give them a few years and I am hoping that Braden, Anderson, Cahill and Mazzaro will be reminiscent of Hudson, Mulder and Zito from 2000 to 2003. And Andrew Bailey is as good a closer as anybody in baseball right now, him and Michael Wuertz are a hell of a combo in the eighth and ninth. But beyond that?
Bailey and Wuertz are good, but Wuertz will get traded. The offense sucks. The manager sucks. The stadium sucks. If they get a new stadium, it will be in Fremont, and Fremont sucks. That is a lot of sucking for one team.
In trading Holliday, the A's lost their leader in RBI, batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage. He was second in hits and steals and tied for second in doubles and homers.
The absolutely pathetic offense now only has two players with at least 10 home runs. Jack Cust, who is batting .234, and Jason Giambi who is batting .193 which is the worst in the league for starters. I would say Giambi going on the DL was probably a good thing, except that he has been replaced by Daric Barton, who is batting .100.
Orlando Cabrera is staring to hit, which is definitely a good thing. It means the A's will get slightly better prospects when they inevitably trade him later this week. This will probably put the fearsome Bobby Crosby back into the lineup, with his whopping .227 batting average and four homers.
With that all said, I do like the future for this team. Come 2010 or 2011, I think they could be very good. A healthy Justin Duchscherer back in a rotation with the four young guns, with Bailey closing the door, would make a formidable pitching staff.
Kurt Suzuki is emerging as a very good catcher, he should have made the AL All-Star team as Joe Mauer's backup. Brett Wallace, the centerpiece of the package that came from St. Louis in exchange for Holliday, is the real deal at third base, hitting .289 with 11 homers and 35 RBI in AA and AAA so far this year. Look for him to make it to the big leagues maybe by the end of this year, almost certainly by the end of next year.
It was rough seeing the best player get traded, but the A's win this deal long term. Holliday is good, but massive numbers with the Rockies were a product of Coors Field. We got a number of good prospects in return. And when Cabrera and Wuertz go, remember, Beane knows best. He is getting the players necessary to get competitive again in a few years.
Remember the last time Billy Beane traded a great player to the Cardinals? His name was Mark Mulder, and in exchange we got some unknown named Dan Haren. I think Beane knows what he is doing.
So, the team might not be any good now. But they are laying down the foundation of what could be a very solid team in years to come. For now, in these dark days all A's fans are facing, it is easy to get depressed. But remember, there always is a bit of a silver lining, a tiny bit of solace, we can take away from this season.
The A's may suck, but at least they aren't the Nationals.
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