Taking a break from an increasingly busy life to contemplate all things green and gold in A’s Musings …
* Twitter is alive with A’s spring training updates which means there’s no better time to blog about the dudes in white shoes.
* If you’re looking for A’s news on Twitter some good places to start are susanslusser, oakclubhouse, joestiglich, JaneMLB, newballpark, WhiteElephantAs, athleticsnation, MUrbanCSN, JohnSheaHey and DaleTafoya.
* If you happen to be marking your calendar for a notable spring date for the A’s, keep an eye on Feb. 27 when they’re scheduled to play their first game. Stuff like that makes me long for the annual spring training trip I used to take with my friends before marriage, a mortgage and a couple of kids understandably shifted my priorities.
* Another great thing about spring training is that it’s a welcome break from the seemingly neverending and totally frustrating ballpark/relocation issue. There are some dedicated bloggers who do a nice job following the story (a couple of Web sites to regularly check are here and here) and the more you read, the more frustrating it gets to see the franchise stuck in limbo. A steady stream of games as the spring and summer rolls along will be a great distraction from the ballpark mess.
* Do I like seeing former A’s third baseman/invalid Eric Chavez don pinstripes for the Yankess in an attempt to revive this playing career? To say the least, it makes my stomach turn a little bit anytime I see a former Athletic go to the Dark Side but I honestly hope Chavez finally enjoys a healthy season … as long as he goes hitless and commits a few errors when he plays the A’s.
Then again, smart money says Chavez breaks down before he even has a chance to play a dozen innings in spring training.
* Speaking for broken-down former A’s, I’m also pulling for Justin Duchscherer to have a solid season for the Orioles. The man was a class act while he was in Oakland and an amazingly effective jack-of-all-trades on the pitching staff. If he can stay healthy and shut down the Red Sox, Yankees and any team in the AL West not wearing white shoes I’ll be a happy man.
* Now that we’re getting closer to having some ballgames on the radio there’s no avoiding the fact that I still miss the late, great Bill King. Just looking back at the humorous gusto he gave to the “Valero: Gas with vrrrrrroooooom!” promotion during pre-game shows still brings a smile to my face.
* I have to admit that the A’s new yellow jerseys are starting to grow on me. The first time I saw them I thought they were a nightmare. But the photo I initially saw via Twitter didn’t do the jersey justice. The throwback use of yellow as the dominant color is a nice/borderline garish tip of the hat to the team’s rich history.
Winning or losing will make the biggest impact on how those yellow jerseys look in the long run. If manager Bob Geren can guide the A’s to a division title those new jerseys will look gorgeous but if they stumble to a sub-.500 finish then they’ll be collecting dust at the Coliseum souvenir stands.
* Even though I’m fired up for the regular season to start I have to admit that the the fact that the A’s are getting some buzz as a team to watch this season is making me a little nervous. This team is definitely full of potential but I’m still cautious in my optimism.
What’s tempering my enthusiasm? The injury bug, Geren and the lack of a 30-homer threat in the lineup.
I’m crossing my fingers that the A’s can finally stay healthy, Geren can prove my doubts wrong and the upgrades to the lineup can produce some real run support for an amazing pitching staff.