Cuz, it's Monday somewhere.
Recapping the first few weeks of Oakland's offseason…
A's to open 2008 season in Japan - Awesome! The A's get to play Washington Generals to the World Champion Boston Red Sox's Harlem Globetrotters right in the middle of spring training, except these games count in the regular season standings! And, the A's are the "home team", consequently losing two dates off their true home schedule, because Allah knows we can't have any long-suffering 18-year-old pink hats at Fenway not spending $250 for scalped seats (obstructed view).
Marco Scutaro traded to Toronto - The Venezuelan Lilliputian (or "Hispan-Eckstein", if you prefer) takes his grit, guile and gumption north of the border where the exchange rate on these overrated traits previously killed the careers of Manny Lee and
GM Billy Beane hints at rebuilding in '08 - Well, then. Beane has reportedly said he'll decide by early December whether or not to try'n win in 2008 or begin a rebuilding process. Most accounts had the A's planning to sign free agent Barry Bonds as the foundation for a playoff run next year, but the Federal Witch Hunt has scuttled that talk. On Beane's watch, the Oakland offense has turned into one of the worst in the AL and there aren't many other FAs out there who wield the potential impact (and relative affordability) of Bonds. As long as Beane delineates the untouchables (SP Dan Haren and…umm…) then, I'd have no problem getting some young upper echelon prospects for average talent like SP Joe Blanton.
3B Eric Chavez lashes out at A's fans - In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Chavez shows more piss n' vinegar than he ever has on the diamond. I know a lot of you folks on the east coast don't get much A's coverage, but try and think of Chavez, personality-wise, as akin to former Met Kevin McReynolds. Chavez has supposedly been "playing hurt" the last few years and "can't understand" the criticism from fans and the media. Never mind that he plays in front of 14,000 die-hards most nights, who've often ignored his swing-at-the-first-pitch-to-end-the-eighth-inning-after-the-pitcher-walked-the-bases-loaded approach at the plate. And, if Eric thinks the ass-kissing Oakland media is harsh…
Former A's pitcher Joe Kennedy dies - My boy Smitty and I watched from the field level as Kennedy threw six decent innings vs. the Angels up in Anaheim back in April, before Vlad Guerrero hit one about 800 feet off of reliever Jay Witasick. Kennedy had a strong year out of the bullpen in '06 for Oakland before he returned to the rotation in an ill-fated attempt to replace Barry Zito. One of the hundreds of ballplayers who got no love when they were going good and too much crap when things went bad. God must've needed a fifth starter with frosted hair. I jest. RIP.
Angels sign CF Torii Hunter - OK, so this isn't exactly A's news, but the Angels are Oakland's primary competition in the AL West. Our friends at Fire Joe Morgan have, not surprisingly, the best take on this move.