Friday, February 12, 2010
A's of the Decade: Catcher – Kurt Suzuki
Other Candidates: Ramon Hernandez (1999-2003); Damian Miller (2004); Nancy Kendall (2005-2007)
Summary: To some degree, Suzuki's a wee bit overrated by every A's fan. He gets too much credit for the ERA of the pitching staff. His league average offensive output looks a lot better inside the A's anemic line-up. And, for me, his call-up in 2007 hastened the end of the Jason Kendall era (.658 OPS!) in Oakland. This alone should put Suzuki within the imaginary pantheon of ballplayers credited with saving baseball over the past 15 years. Ripken, McGwire, Sosa…Suzuki. Rolls right off the tongue.
Favorite A's Moment: One of Suzuki's most endearing/annoying qualities is his Vlade Divac-knack for flopping to the ground on any pitch thrown inside. On August 15, 2008, DJ Carrasco of the White Sox threw one in the general vicinity of Suzuki. Hit the deck! On the next pitch, Suzuki launched a walk-off home run. The sequence was even turned into an A's commercial (100% Owned) for 2009 season tickets.
Runner-Up: Ramon Hernandez
Worst of the Decade: Jason Kendall