Slap Hitter: A's Muddle Relief


Is this where the other cleat drops? How the Athletics have managed to keep their heads and bodies above water has been a thing of mystery. An offense that underachieves at nearly every position other than catcher cannot possibly continue to play above average baseball can it? Actually with enough good pitching even a wild-card run seems possible, but the Faceless Middle Relief (FMR) is about to slam the door on an almost promising season.

Twice this week the A's had the Angels by the throat and both times had the FMR spit the bit. With the exception of Brad Ziegler the submariner from Sacramento, the 6th through 8th inning guys have been the arson squad since Flag Day. The losses have been demoralizing and costly. Rather than being 2 ½ games out and thinking about what color to print the playoff tickets, we're 5 ½ out and watching the local press wave the white towel. Of course it's not all back breaking home runs and busted rallies, the A's are going for bread and circuses to ring in summer, and after having chosen to sign a boy who just got his driver's license the Athletics may keep their July jump off the first part of the sports page.

I'm aiming my fireworks at the following.
A first baseman deservedly batting ninth.
Keith Foulke in anything other than a blow out.
Same with Santiago Casilla.
And Alan Embree.
Bobby Crosby barely making the throw to first.
Runner at third, Jack Cust at the plate.
Runners anywhere in the ballpark, Jack Cust in left field.
Why our injuries last for months.
Seeing the terrible Giants as close to first as the A's are.
Why we get practically no home games in August and September.
That our one All Star (Duchscherer, right?) probably won't get in the game (like last time, right?) and we'll endure hours of blab at Yankee Stadium, and none of it will focus on the A's.
Having to watch the Texas Rangers play adequately and breathe down our necks.
Seeing Nick Swisher having fun with his new White Sox teammates this weekend and the weird Captain Morgan pose thing he does now to celebrate his home runs.
Watching all of our minor league teams win their division and wondering why that doesn't translate at some point to the big league team winning ours.
The 6th, 7th and 8th innings, and a call to the bullpen. — Kibby Kleiman