04 June 2013

A's Weekly Digest: Good, Not Great

By Joe Speaker
Los Angeles, CA

The A's are playing who? Milwaukee? Is Robin Yount still on that team? I know less about the Brewers than any other baseball team because....Brewers. Is there a more non-descript team in the universe?

This is probably because the Brew Crew is in the National League (very near the bottom of the National League) and I hardly pay any attention to a league where they let the bat boys (or girls) hit 9th. Naturally, Milwaukee used to be in the AL, but Bud Selig engineered their move to the Senior Circuit so each league would have an even amount of clubs (16 in the NL, 14 in the AL) after expansion. This was due to baseball not wanting nightly interleague play (and Selig probably got a bunch of under the table payments from other owners to sacrifice his own team because...conflict of interest). Of course, now we have 15 teams in each league and nightly interleague play because the Astros moved back to the AL so they'd have the Angels to beat up on regularly (7-3 against the erstwhile Anaheimians thus far this year). It's like the Astros look at the Angels the same way the rest of baseball looks at the Astros.

Scioscia Face!
But wait, you say. Isn't this an A's column. Did the author of this weekly (semi-weekly) piece just go all that way for an Angels-Astros joke?

Of course I did.

As I said to a friend last night on Twitter. If an A's win is a 100 on the enjoyment scale, the Angels losing is a 99. If that makes me a bad person, I'm willing to own that shit. I want the Angels to fail, spectacularly and with Mike Scioscia saying insipid things like, "We have to play with fire."

Is the author still talking about the Angels when the A's have won 15 of 17 and are now a season-high 11 games over .500? The team with the third best record in the AL?

It's strange and you're going to think I'm a nit or an idiot or some variation/combination of the two, but this win streak hasn't been something that makes me think the A's are great. Good, not great. I love when they win, but those 17 games have been against the following:

Kansas City -- Scuffling big-time and absolutely no power to speak of
Texas -- This one is good and the A's won 2 of 3 in Arlington, but the manner in which they lost the third game rankled
Houston -- We've been over this
San Francisco -- Again, another good team, but one not playing particularly well and some horrid hitting RISP prevented a four-game sweep. I swear Barry Zito's a warlock.
Chicago White Sox -- Hooo-boy does this team suck.That offense smells like high school wrestling practice.

And now the A's get to beat up on a Brewers team (10-2 win last night for the AL team) that is playing as poorly as anyone.

Look, I'm not saying you don't have to beat the teams that are on your schedule. And 15 of 17 is no joke against any level of competition. The A's pitching has been stellar and while the offense still occasionally makes you want to yank out your armpit hair, it is getting the job done more often than not. With Josh Reddick's return from injury and better health from Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes, the A's have their starting outfield together for one of the few times this year. Much has been made of the team's depth and versatility, which certainly helped with all the ailments, but there's no substitute for having your top-line talent in there every day.

So maybe the offense will jell. Maybe Jed Lowrie and Josh Donaldson can keep it up and the rest can raise their numbers. That'd be great. Then I might start thinking great things. It's all good right now. Great would be better.

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