* Proud to say I’m blogging in an Osama bin Laden-free world today.
* Time to turn the calendar and quickly size up the A’s and the first thing I want to say is that I’m disappointed I can’t use the “It’s only April” excuse anymore as this team continues to tread water and score runs at a snail’s pace. Maybe May will be a different story.
* These guys are lucky to be hovering around .500. The pitching staff is clearly the only thing allowing the A’s to rise above manager Bob Geren’s odd moves and the offense’s inability to regularly put some crooked numbers on the scoreboard. If I was Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez or Brandon McCarthy I’d seriously consider penciling myself in for a loss as soon as I coughed up a single run in any given game.
* Speaking of McCarthy, he has to be one of the most pleasant surprises in baseball so far and one of the most entertaining A’s on Twitter. If you’re not following @B__McCarthy you’re missing out.
* Anyone else out there starting to have momentary visions of a lost season? Of postseason dreams being left in a smoldering pile of ashes? With so many free agents in the starting lineup it’s easy to envision a fire sale if the club continues to waste brilliant starting pitching as the Angels and Rangers gradually pull away in the AL West.
* Overstock.com Coliseum? I hate it. What makes it even worse is that the A’s don’t get a single penny out of the stadium naming deal.
* The only potential bright side to a total collapse by the A’s is that Geren may finally get the boot but I’m sure general manager Billy Bean would find some way to make an excuse for the skipper and cut him some slack. Even if they did kick Geren to the curb who would take his place? Bench coach Joel Skinner? I don’t know enough about the man to root for his promotion but I definitely know enough about Geren to look forward to a changing of the guard. It’s time to move on to Beane’s next hand-picked puppet.
* It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Rich Harden update from any of the A’s beat writers but I’m sure we’re not missing much. I can live without the standard, “Harden was going to throw today but he felt sore and now won’t do anything for a month.” The man is so fragile he should have a uniform made out of bubble wrap.
* The more I watch A’s hitters helplessly flail away at the plate the more I long for the arrival of prospects Chris Carter and Michael Taylor in Oakland. But when I recently looked for news on the two outfielders I found that both of them are out with injuries. Sometimes I think this franchise is cursed.
* I have a bad gut feeling that Taylor is going to be a bust. He reminds me a little bit of how Beane was portrayed as a ballplayer in “Moneyball:” Highly talented and smart enough to earn a free ride to play at Stanford, but ultimately too smart for his own good between the lines. Taylor seems to fit the bill.
He’s a big, strong, fast kid who played on The Farm and it sounds like he put too much pressure on himself last season. Once things started going downhill he tried to incorporate too much advice from too many people into his approach at the plate in a fruitless effort to salvage his season.
I hope I’m wrong and he ends up thriving in green and gold. It’d be nice to have something to show for trading Carlos Gonzalez.
* The A’s new radio station SportsRadio 95.7 hasn’t grown on me yet. Like a lot of A’s fans I was all fired up to hear that the team would have its own all-sports station. Who doesn’t want an alternative to KNBR? But so far the programming has largely left me disappointed.
The Monty Show in the morning is hosted by a Cubs fan and a Giants fan. A Giants fan on the A’s flagship station? Bad call. I’ve already heard them talk about Brian Wilson and Tim Lincecum one too many times.
The fact that Monty insisted one morning that Daric Barton is a power hitter officially disqualifies him from ever acting like he knows anything about the A’s.
I usually switch over to Sarah and Vinnie on 97.3 after 5 or 10 unsatisfying minutes of The Monty Show in the morning.
My evening drive home isn’t much better with Rob and Arnie. Check these dudes out. One guy is a Rangers fan and the other guy looks like he bought his A’s jacket at a garage sale. Of course, they’re on the radio so who cares about their looks, right? It’s all about what they do on the air but unfortunately their schtick is largely-worthless juvenile banter.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been some entertaining moments but overall the A’s new station has fallen flat during my commute. I’m crossing my fingers that as time goes by 95.7 FM will replace The Monty Show and Rob and Arnie with some real local personalities and it’ll feel more like home for die-hard A’s fans.
* One more quick thought on Geren: The A’s have gone from dull to duller to dullest with the managerial transition from Art Howe to Ken Macha to Geren over the years. I miss the intensity of Tony La Russa and the insanity of Billy Martin.
* It’s great to see radio broadcaster Vince Cotroneo on Twitter. His pre- and in-game updates are almost always insightful and informative. Now that Vince has broken the barrier for A’s broadcasters I want to see Ken Korach and Ray Fosse join Twitter too. Nothing would be sweeter than seeing Foss tweet about groundskeeper Clay Wood, Dibs, Ultramo and HDTV.
As for Glenn Kuiper, I get enough of him on TV. The Twitter-verse is doing just fine without his bland observations. He seems like a nice guy but he’s a snore-inducing broadcaster. The team never should have let Greg Papa go.
* You know what the A’s could really use right about now? A good young hitter in the middle of their lineup. Someone like this guy:
Hopefully general manager Billy Beane can work on that. Wait a second, we had this guy and we traded him away for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez. Bummer.
Bradley’s contribution to Oakland’s last playoff team is a distant memory and the only thing fresh in my mind is the team’s current offensive funk in direct contrast to what Ethier has done in Dodger blue.
* That’s enough for now, hopefully the A’s can take down the Rangers today to improve to 2-0 in May, climb to 1 game over .500 and move 1 game closer to first place in the AL West. I’m crossing my fingers that over the long haul of the season the pitching staff keeps doing its thing and the hitters in the lineup start playing to their career averages. Combine that with a few breaks and you could end up with 90+ wins and a trip to the playoffs.