Monday, October 27, 2003

Baseball: End of Season Rant

Well Baseball is over and the A’s are chipping away again. Never mind that there is little chance, if any, of resigning Tejada, there is a potentially more damaging move being considered. The A’s may allow pitching coach Rick Peterson to move to the Mets without compensation. That’s right, the A’s may lose one of the best coaches in the game in return for absolutely nothing. If you have any doubts about Peterson’s value to the team just look at the staff. Sure, the big three are very good pitchers with a ton of ability, but look at what Peterson did with some more marginal talent.

Example 1: Jason Isringhausen. Izzy was considered washed up when he was traded to the A’s in 1999. He was a failed starter with a bad elbow and a 7.58 ERA. Peterson turned him into one of the best closers in the game with 75 saves a 2.85 ERA and 0 trips to the DL in 2 plus seasons. Once he left Oakland Izzy stayed productive, when he was healthy.

Example 2: Billy Koch. Koch had 36 saves and a 4.80 ERA for Toronto in 2001. In Oakland for ’02 he had 44 saves, a 3.27 ERA and the Rolaids Relief Pitcher of the Year Award. Once he left (traded for example 3, Keith Foulke) he lost his closer’s job and ended up with a 5-5 record, 4 blown saves and a 5.77 ERA.

Example 3: Keith Foulke. Oakland traded Koch for deposed White Sox Closer Keith Foulke. Foulke was coming off a year in which he had just 11 saves, a 2.90 ERA and had lost the closing job. With Peterson’s guidance Foulke made an astonishing 72 appearances, picking up 43 saves and registering a 2.08 ERA.

See also:
-Ricardo Rincon, with Cleveland in 2002: 4.18 ERA. With Oakland in ’02-’03 3.18.
-Chad Bradford, an unwanted throw-in from Chicago (career ERA 8.28 in 41 appearances). With Oakland, 2.95 ERA in 182 games pitched.

Peterson was even able to get rock headed Ted Lilly (pre Oak. ERA: 5.50, in Oak. ERA: 2.99) to develop into a good pitcher down the stretch. Lilly pitched very well in the playoffs, as did waiver wire pick up Steve Sparks. Letting Peterson go would be a huge mistake. Peterson’s value to the team is second only to Billy Beane’s. Peterson makes the A’s staff go. He is a mechanics guru and is a big part of the reason that the big three have stayed as healthy as they have. He can find the positives in almost anyone and turn shaky pitchers into solid contributors. If he does go to the Mets expect two things, a rise in Oakland’s team ERA along with a sharp decline in wins, and at least 15 wins from Steve Trachsel.

Losing Peterson would be as huge a loss for Oakland as losing Tejada, and to make things worse, the A’s a rumored to be considering including Terrence Long in a deal for Peterson. If that happens the A’s had better resign Jose Guillen or they could go from having too many good out fielders (Long, Dye, Byrnes, Guillen, Singleton, Piatt, McCarty) to not enough. Piatt, Singleton and McCarty were cut, Guillen is a free agent and Long may be traded. Another off season, and another chance for the A’s to chip away at the foundation that has seen them contend for the past four years. How long can Beane keep spinning straw into gold? How long before he leaves too? One thing is for sure, Bobby Crosby will be the starting short stop at some point next season and the A’s will eventually miss the playoffs. Chip chip chip...

Random World Series Musings:

-I predicted Josh Beckett as the MVP in a seven game Marlins win. I was close. Beckett is the MVP, the series went six, and the Marlins won.

-I love watching the Yankees lose.

-Remember when Giambi left Oakland, the two reasons were better endorsements and a chance to win the World Series every year. Well, he’s the deodorant guy, and he still has no ring. I love watching Giambi lose.

-Oh yeah, he also said he liked New York because he didn’t have to be a leader. Good call, he really hasn’t led anyone anywhere.

-I’m glad for Pudge. It’s always nice to see Puerto Ricans do well. Especially a guy who took a one-year deal, and a pay cut, to go to a team that took a chance on him.

-Just as we asked the past two years, is this good for the game because the Yanks lost? Or bad because now The Boss will go out and spend even more money?

-The Marlins have never lost a post-season series.

-Why is everything being presented in the locker room? Why don’t the Marlins get the big on field celebration? Did The Boss have a hand in this?

-Jeffery Loria does not deserve a ring after he tanked the Expos.

Even though the Yawn-ks haven’t won in three years, they have still been in 6 of the last 9 World Series, it’s still boring, baseball is still broken. I can’t wait to see The Boss go ballistic. Hide your free agents. Next year’s line up (?):


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