Let the A’s fire sale begin!

Note to A's general manager Billy Beane:  The next time one of your players reaches free agency, just let him walk.  It's what you're good at and it's worked a lot better than signing guys like Jermaine Dye and Eric Chavez to long-term deals.

Let's face it, after Dye signed his free-agent deal to stay in Oakland he spent most of his time nursing injuries. And Chavvy?  Someone should just stick the guy in a body cast because his $66 million deal has been a trainwreck.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Chavez is one more back injury away from retirement (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/19/SPTP17MKKV.DTL&hw=eric+chavez&sn=001&sc=1000).

The guy could be one swing, one groundball or even one violent fart away from hanging up his white cleats for good.  He makes Samuel Jackson in "Unbreakable" look like Cal Ripken.

So much for Oakland's longshot chance of making a run at the playoffs this season.  The young starting pitchers are floundering, the offense often seems as bad as last year's model and the injuries are piling up again.

Combine that with the fact that the first-place Rangers are actually getting some good defense and pitching for once and the Angels are finally getting healthy and the A's could easily go from 8 games out of first to 16 by the All Star break.

Unless this team can get on a roll fast and climb to at least .500 by the break it'll be time to shed payroll and tear the roster down for prospects again.

At this pace the time is rapidly approaching for the A's to put Matt Holliday, Orlando Cabrera, Russ Springer, Nomar Garciaparra, Justin Duchscherer, etc. on the trading block.

That'll open the door to give infielder Adrian Cardenas, outfielder Aaron Cunningham and starting pitcher Vin Mazzaro a long look in the big leagues.

There's no point for Oakland to waste playing time and money on established players with soon-to-expire contracts in a lost season with attendance going down the drain.

* MORE RANTING ABOUT THE A'S:  Beane and Co. should have drafted Brett Wallace instead of Jemile Weeks last season.  Wallace is already slugging at Triple A for the Cardinals (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&page=starting9/090520) while Weeks is injured just like everyone else in green and gold seems to be (http://www.athleticsnation.com/2009/5/11/872608/mondays-way-delayed-minor-league) …  Make Andrew Bailey the closer, now. … How about keeping a lefthanded reliever in the bullpen?  Russ Springer has pitched well so far this season but the money would have been better spent on a southpaw … Stop with the nonstop shuttle to and from Sacramento.   How is anything productive being done for the development of Gio Gonzalez, Jerry Blevins, etc. by jerking them around?  What happened to the good old days when the A's waited until a prospect was ready, called him up and stuck with him through a learning curve? … What the heck happened to Daric Barton?  A couple of years ago he looked like a can't miss prospect for Oakland and now he's barely hitting .200 in his second tour of Triple A (http://www.rivercats.com/team/stats/).

* LIFE ON TWITTER: It's been a few days since TWGB made the thoroughly ignored leap to Twitter (http://twitter.com/howlingmadjay) and even though I didn't think this was possible, Twitter has actually managed to dumb down my dumb posts.  Twitter's 140 character limit can lead to some lazy little posts and it forces you to stop spelling things correctly — real words just take up too much darn space.  But it would be nice if the annual State of the Union speech was limited to a Twitter-riffic 140 characters so we could all get back to our precious little TV shows in 30 seconds rather listen to a couple of hours of partisan B.S.

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TWGB hits Twitter … plus some Mental Leftovers

I’m exhausted and stressed out from adjusting to parenthood but somehow I’ve found the time to fire up an account on Twitter.

I know, it makes no sense on so many levels that it’s beyond absurd. But in a strage way that may be exactly why it kind of makes sense.

If you’re a glutton for punishment check out http://twitter.com/howlingmadjay for quick hits of the scatterbrained musings you’ve come to know here at The World’s Greatest Blog.

Meanwhile, here’s a Monday swing through all the odds and ends that didn’t quite fit into any other blog post during the past several weeks …

* I’m not even one month into being a dad but so far changing diapers hasn’t been anywhere as bad as I thought it would be. Cleaning the cat box is still worse than changing a loaded diaper. Then again, if I only changed my son’s diaper once a week I might change my tune. Everyone warned me that baby boys will sometimes pee on you while you change their diaper but so far I’ve been able to dodge that urine-soaked bullet. Check out my Twitter account to see if I just jinxed myself.

* Time to finally take a bold stance: Have I ever mentioned that I hate Windows? I’ve lost track of how many hours I’ve wasted the past couple of weeks trying to troubleshoot a nagging startup/shutdown problem on my PC. I’m convinced that Bill Gates is an evil genius bent on ruining my life and driving me mad. I’d blame Gates for all the problems I’ve been having with our laptop but I think spilled Smirnoff vodka is going to have to take the fall for that one. Check out my Twitter account to see if I cave in and buy an Apple computer.

* Why did I draft David Ortiz in my fantasy baseball league? It’s not like Big Papi’s lifeless bat keeps me up at night but since I’m up anyway thanks to the baby I can’t help but wonder where my lifeless team would be if I picked someone else. The big guy returns to the Red Sox lineup on Tuesday so we’ll see whether he can get back on track and follow in Carlos Delgado’s 2008 footsteps by salvaging a seemingly lost season. I’ll believe it when I see it. Check out my Twitter acount to see if … OK, enough of the Twitter plugs. Sorry about that.

* Hate to say I called this because someone’s now out of a job … but I called this (http://twgb.blogspot.com/2009/03/life-is-rough-over-at-chronicle.html): San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Delfin Vigil got laid off in the paper’s most recent round of cuts (http://penpressclub.org/).

* My mind is in the gutter as I surf the Web for updates on Big Papi. I guess my brain works in strange ways which is why Sean McAdams’ story (http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/red_sox/view.bg?articleid=1173005&srvc=sports&position=2) on Ortiz amuses me. McAdams calls Ortiz’s time on the bench the “Lost Weekend” and points out that the slugger got a deep tissue massage. When I think of a lost weekend I think of Ray Milland as a raging drunk (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037884/). And when I think of deep tissue massages I think of 49ers great Jerry Rice suspiciously being in the wrong place at the wrong time during a prostitution sting (http://www.49erhaters.com/massage.html). Is McAdams trying to say what I think he’s trying to say? Know what I say? If booze and hookers are what Papi needs to get back on track, more power to him.

* I won’t even pretend to be a hockey fan, but even as a casual observer of the San Jose Sharks seeing them get knocked out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs made perfect sense. Who cares if they had the best record in the NHL? It’s the Sharks for cryin’ out loud, they always flop in the playoffs.

* Want to be lulled into a coma? Give the Dexbaby Sound Sleeper (http://www.dexproducts.com/products_sleeping_ss.htm) a try. We picked this thing up at Babies R Us to try and help our infant son fall asleep and the thing is amazing. I can’t even be in the same room with this contraption for more than a few minutes before my eyelids start feeling heavy. Take your pick of soothing sounds: Rain forest, ocean, birds, womb, etc. There’s something for everyone who wants to sleep the day away.

* “Rocky III” was on TV recently and I have to admit that the training montages have probably been a terrible influence on me. I’ve grown up with the Rocky movies where all it ever seems to take is a good 5 minutes of working out to whip Rock into shape for a big fight. Probably explains why I’ve only spent 5 minutes on my elliptical trainer since I bought it almost a year ago.

Greetings from Diaper Town

I have a great excuse for disappearing from this site for several weeks: The rugrat arrived.

My son finally made his world debut on April 19 and life has been a sleepless whirlwind ever since.

I don't know where first-time parents find the time and energy to blog much less Twitter, but here's what little I could wring out of my sleep-deprived brain:

*  Weekend heat wave + worthless over-the-hill air conditioner = One really unhappy baby.

*  It didn't take long to realize how painfully naive I was heading into this crazy parenthood thing.  For nine months I was enthusiastically looking forward to welcoming the kid into our world but by now it's become perfectly clear that I'm in the baby's world now.  Eating?  Sleeping?  It only happens when the kid allows it to happen … if the kid allows it to happen.  But he's so cute that I'll just roll with the punches and see what he has in store for me.

* I have realized that poo is funny again.  Maybe it's just because I'm so tired that I can't really grasp clever, witty humor anymore but there's suddenly something hilarious about my kid burping and farting up a storm while filling his diaper with a surprised, terrified look on his chubby little face.  At least one male in this house can get away with farting and acting like someone else did it.  I'm jealous of the little guy.

*  All my friends with children warned me that I'd never sleep again.  That was an understatement.  But they also said that the baby makes it all worth it which is also shaping up to be an understatement so it kind of balances out.  I love my little son but I also really miss sleeping.  I'd dream about getting a good night's sleep if I could only find the time to snooze long enough to have a dream.  I'm not counting on that happening any time soon.

* When my wife and I take the kid out for a walk in the stroller we look like a vibrant, happy family in my mind's eye.  But we're so burned out from the lack of sleep we've been getting that we probably look more like the living dead attacking suburbia.

* Naps just don't work for me.  Parents, doctors and nurses have all given the advice to nap when the baby is sleeping.  Only problem with that idea is that I've never really been able to nap and even if I could who would take care of everything non-baby related in my life?  My maid?  My man servant?  My small army of Third World child laborers?  Unfortunately, taking naps isn't magically going to get the house cleaned and the bills paid.

*  Speaking of poo … man, is baby dung colorful stuff!  Green, yellow, orange — it's just bizarre and oddly amusing.  It's like my kid's butt is a kaleidoscope of poop.

* The rugrat had to spend a week in intensive care and now that I've seen an invoice from the hospital it has me casually wondering whether hospitals and health insurance companies can repossess babies.  I hope not because the medical bills are going to hit us like a bomb and we don't have a spare bedroom stuffed full of cash to cover all the expenses.  I guess the rugrat's college education just went up in smoke.  I'll just do my best to raise a well-mannered, law-abiding ditch digger.

* I've come to realize that my wardrobe sucks compared to my son's.  He isn't even a month old and he has more clothes than I do.  Then again, if I pooped my way through a few outfits a day like he does I'd probably make it a point to do a better job stocking my dresser with lots of clothes.

* I finally have a family so why am I eating like I'm single?  I've been consuming way too much frozen and fast food ever since I became a parent.  But these days any meal that doesn't require much time or effort on my part looks great.  Does any of it taste great?  No, not even close but I'm learning to love microwavable chicken nuggets.  If that doesn't scream "sleep-deprived insanity" I don't know what does.

*  What happened to my house?  Baby stuff has come out of the woodwork around here.  I know it was here before he was born but now it seems like everywhere I look there's a bouncy chair, a swing, a bottle, pacifiers, blankets, breast feeding support pillows, baby monitors, etc.  You name it and I've sat on it, stepped on it or tripped over it since April 19.

* Seriously, I really can't stop talking about poo.  My son screams his head off when he has a dirty diaper but he seems to scream even louder when I put a clean diaper on him.  I still can't wrap my head around that one. One of these days I'm going to figure this kid out.