A View from Section 139

Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

How I came Face-to-Face with Oakland A’s Pitcher Ben Sheets

Like This!

Oakland A’s pitcher, Ben Sheets has been the target of harsh criticism in more than a few of my earlier posts. No other player on the Oakland 2010 roster has infuriated me so much.

Then on a cool and rainy Sunday night in Chicago, I came face-to-face with Oakland A’s Pitcher, Ben Sheets!

I was at the end of a very long and tiring day. What started out as a fun day at AT&T Park in San Francisco ended with the sting of a 3-game sweep at hands of the cross town rivals. It was now long past midnight and there I was waiting impatiently in baggage claim in Chicago’s O’Hare’. The airport had the emptiness of the Oakland Coliseum…  during a mid-week series with the Kansas City Royals. (more…)


Angels Firstbaseman Kendry Morales’Broken Leg Should End Homeplate Celebrations

Kendry Morales, First Baseman for the Angels, suffered a broken leg today while celebrating at home plate.

He had just hit the first Grand Slam Home Run of his career and it should have been a happy day for him and the team. After, what happened, I don’t think anyone associated with the Angels is celebrating today’s win.

I knew sooner or later, someone was going to get hurt. Every time I watch a team with a walk-off win, I would say it out loud.

“Someone is going to get seriously hurt”. Today it finally happened! (more…)

6 Reasons Oakland A’s 2010 Rotation Will Not Survive Spring Training

If things continue the way they are now in Phoenix, I can’t imagine the projected starting rotation will survive spring training. The A’s players haven’t had time to get used to the Arizona weather and we are hearing about injuries. Are we in for another frustrating season of frequent trips to the DL? And players with injuries they can’t seem to recover from?

I am passionate about baseball and I love the Oakland A’s, but it’s hard to get excited about the 2010 team. Too many injuries and uncertainties that lead me to believe the starting rotation won’t be what the A’s are expecting this year. (more…)

Ben Sheets and the Oakland A’s – Marriage made in Hell.

You probably thought the A’s couldn’t afford to spend money in the off-season. Yet Ben Sheets and the Oakland A’s agreed on a 1-year $10 million deal in January. I am sure this was a surprise to you as it was to me. It seemed to come out of nowhere. Heck, Billy Beane needed a marquee baseball player to add to the roster and Ben Sheets needed a place to pitch. Sounds like the perfect match. But, is it a marriage made in hell?

Only time will tell if Ben Sheets will stay healthy. Unless you have a magic ball, you can’t tell how the season is going to play out. Every Spring Training all 30 baseball teams (except maybe the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals) have visions of playing post-season baseball, winning it all and having their parade. Yes, of course. Twenty-nine teams will be watching the World Series parade in November, from their vacation spots.

I would like to see Ben Sheets do well in Oakland. Not only for his sake, but also for the Oakland A’s and their fans. After three losing seasons, uninspiring roster moves, empty stands, fans need a reason why they should show up and be excited at the Coliseum this year.

The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Ben Sheets back in 1999 and he spent his entire major league career with them. The last time anyone saw him pitch was September 27, 2008. The A’s must have seen something in his workout (that no one else saw) to sign him to such a contract. Look, whether you like it or not, Ben Sheets is going to bring interest to the Athletics much like Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi did last year.

I don’t understand why baseball analysts aren’t willing to give this “marriage” a chance. Many have started to speculate as to what uniform Ben Sheets will be wearing after the July trading deadline.The Oakland A’s have a history of rehabilitating injured, washed-up players. You can’t forget Frank Thomas in 2006. He helped the A’s make it to the ALCS. I mean four games away from a World Series title. In 2009, Adam Kennedy, on the scrap heap with the Tampa Bay Rays, found his groove in Oakland. OK, so it didn’t work out with Jason Giambi, but I am sure you knew he had nothing left in the tank.

What’s your take? How many games do you think Ben Sheets will win in 2010? Do you think the A’s have a shot to be in the hunt by July?

A’s fans, Billy Beane and Bob Geren are putting their trust in Ben Sheets to lead the young staff. Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzales, Dallas Braden and Vin Mazzaro. I am hoping the experiment works. So whether you like it or not, he will be taking the mound opening day for the Oakland A’s. By Mid-May you will know whether Ben Sheets and the Oakland A’s is a marriage made in hell.

5 Reasons Why The Oakland A’s Are The Best In The AL Since The All-Star Break

Reason Number 1. RAJAI DAVIS -Discarded by the cross-town rivals San Francisco Giants in 2008, we all wondered why on the earth the A’s would sign him. Raj had limited playing time and struggled at the plate. Fans kept waiting for him to show his speed and steal bases. Eyes popped and tongues when wagging when he was brought back to a crowded outfield in 2009. Fans called for his release when his production was dismal. Fast- forward to September 2009.
– Raj is the only A’s player batting above .300. I mean when was the last time a player on the A’s was batting .317.
– He has 39 stolen bases to date with a .375 OBP and .429 SLG.
Raj creates runs, disrupts the opposing team and causes them to panic.

Reason Number 2. ANDREW BAILEY – Last year this time Bailey was struggling as a starter in AA Midland going 0-8. Maybe someone saw something in him that showed he could be a relief pitcher. He was converted to the bullpen and invited to Spring Training. No one expected him to make the roster. Yet at the July All-Star game in St. Louis, Bailey was the only rookie and the lone Oakland A’s representative. To date he has 25 saves – surpassing the record set by Huston Street in 2006. Bailey has 20 consecutive saves and is on a list with the likes of Mariano Rivera, Huston Street.
Andrew Bailey has distinguished himself as the 2009 AL Rookie of the year.

Reason Number 3. KURT SUZUKI – When the A’s promoted Suzuki to the big leagues, the writing was on the wall for Jason Kendall. A good veteran catcher and a solid member of the team. However, as the A’s have proven, youth is the building block of the organization. At the all-star break, a nervous Kurt Suzuki took over the reins of calling the game. His contributions have been valuable to the team since. He is leading the league in innings, improved his defense and works hard on his offense. In addition, he gives back to the community. What an amazing guy.


Reason Number 4 – BRETT ANDERSON- Hands down, he is he ‘ace’ of the A’s. He was highly touted as part of the “Little Three, the M-A-C Attack”. He has come of age. I know it is early to anoint him the next Cy Young Award Winner, but his performance has been spectacular.
A career-high 10 strikeouts against the Cleveland Indians at the Oakland Coliseum Friday night. With extra days rest, he seemed to have gotten stronger as the season went on. His poise on the mound and confidence in his pitches has propelled him to a .500 record this far.
His 1-hit performance against the Boston Red Sox earlier this year went largely unnoticed nationally. For A’s fans, it was a sign of things to come. Whenever he is on the mound, the team has the confidence that they will win the game.
In 28 games, so far he has pitched 164.2 innings with 139 strikeouts. What a performance.

Reason Number 5. THE BULLPEN. Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler, Santiago Casilla, Jeff Gray, Edgar Gonzalez.
Need I say more!

It Must Be Nice playing for the New York Yankees

We love to criticize the New York Yankees and the amount of money they spend on getting talent.

But for those lucky players, it must be nice playing for the New York Yankees.


Watching today’s game brought a big smile to my face.

Three former teammates with the Oakland A’s during the Yankees, Blue Jays game in The Bronx.

Marco Scutaro at the plate for the Toronto Blue Jays – batting average .297. Tied for fifth in the league in walks. – Traded to the Blue Jays by Billy Beane

Nick Swisher – “swishalicious” as John Sterling calls him- at first base, – third in the league in walks – traded to The White Sox – by Billy Beane

Chad Gaudin – on the mound, first appearance as a Yankee – thrown into the Rich Hardin trade to the Cubs – by Billy Beane.


I can only imagine all three players are enjoying their new teams. Yes, it was fun with the A’s, but now they

have a chance to play for winning teams. OK, the Blue Jays are not really a winning team but you get what I mean.


Chad Gaudin from the last place Padres to the New York Yankees, a World Series contender.

To the rocking sound of a packed Yankee stadium crowd. I can’t say “sold-out” as that only happens

with the Red Sox in town. A World away from the Oakland Coliseum with its ten thousand

fans per game. What a great feeling that must be for him.


And in his first appearance at Yankee Stadium. Chad Gaudin gets the win.

I wonder how that feels. It must be nice playing for the New York Yankees.

Thank you Billy Beane.

Yes, Folks. It’s Red Sox-Yankees…Again

Yes, it’s that time again. Another Red Sox, Yankees match up. All that matters to the baseball world is what the Yankees and Red Sox are doing this weekend.

Kings of the Baseball World. The teams with the most to spend on “gobbling” up talent.

Should the Yanks enforce the “Joba” Rules? Should they have kept him on his normal day rest? Will he throw inside to Kevin Youkilis? Will the benches clear sometime during the weekend? (more…)