Hi, everyone. I hope you all had a good Labor Day weekend.
Of course, I'm an A's fan, so every weekend's been good to me lately. And yet, even with the continuation of The Streak, I'm beginning to get the same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I did when Jeter made the flip to nail Giambi last year. Yeah, 19 in a row is tremendous, but if Oakland can do it, so can Anaheim or Seattle–and there's still plenty of time. Sure, it's better to be in first, but I'd feel considerably better if they could shred out another four or five wins immediately after this run ends.
Anyway, that's enough of that. Here's the rest of it….
Props: Montreal Bullpen. Some of the high performers:
G IP H BB K ERA Joey Eischen 48 41.7 35 12 38 1.30 Dan Smith 23 35.0 23 15 21 2.31 Scott Stewart 59 55.3 41 20 60 2.93 T.J. Tucker 54 58.3 65 28 42 3.70
World beaters? Probably not. Solid? Without a doubt–and not a particularly expensive or difficult group to put together. We don't always advocate going after inexpensive players, but there's an awful lot of them out there who can help a club. And if you can get enough of them, you can spend the money on the occasional Giambi or A-Rod.
Nod of Achievement: Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Hung a three-game sweep on the Texas Rangers, behind their devastating young trio of Phelps, Gardner, and Victor Zambrano. Now, if they can only find a location that's less dangerous for their young pitching prospects, they could really be onto something. Given their recent track record, I'd suggest hanging out on the Edgar Winter Agricultural Cooperative just outside Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. That'd probably be safer, and at this point, one could argue that the instruction wouldn't be significantly worse.
Lost in the shuffle: A CBA tidbit.
Here's one of the components of the new CBA:
"All contract tenders to unsigned players on 40-man rosters will be made by the commissioner's office instead of individual teams."
I'm not certain what to make of this, and the few people I've spoken to in front offices seem comparably baffled. Is it a way to centralize and become more efficient in terms of the administration of a large number of contracts?
My best wishes go out to the several general managers out there who went out and traded for prospective free agents so they could collect draft choices. At least two GMs I've spoken to since the agreement was reached had lots of colorful language about the elimination of draft pick compensation for the loss of Type A and B free agents, and I know at least one more who would probably use comparable language, albeit with more syllables.
Thanks to everyone who responded to our request for assistance in reviewing potential changes and new offerings. We were looking for about 100, and received well over 3,000 offers. I apologize for not responding personally to each note, but the volume was just too great. Again, thank you very much for the generous offer of your time. We'll be in touch with the 100 or so potential reviewers relatively soon.
I'd like to set up at least two Bay Area Pizza Feeds for the beginning of the postseason. If you'd like to make a case for a particular location, please do. Also, if you'd like to make a presentation or take part in a debate at a Pizza Feed, please let me know. We're looking at a Las Vegas Feed in January, and National Airlines will apparently still be around, so if you're looking for an excuse to head out to the Bellagio, hopefully you can work your schedule out to join us.