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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