What do you do if you’re a team that lost 94 games this season? Well,if you’re the Oakland Athletics you promote two of your executives. That’s exactly what Billy Beane and David Forst got last week. Beane is now Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and Forst is now the General Manager.
“You have to look at the sum total of their tenure and what they’ve accomplished as a whole,” owner Lew Wolff told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “I think you’ll find they’ve done well within our capabilities with our payroll, our small market position and our abysmal venue. These are two extremely bright individuals, both extremely dedicated.”
While they are no-doubt dedicated,what they aren’t is championship winners. You’d think with all the talent those two have brought to Oakland they’d have a couple rings by now. But because Wolff is a cheapskate who actually has deep pockets doesn’t want to bring players there or keep them long-term, a 94 loss season is a result. I don’t believe in rewarding failure and that is what this organization continues to do time and time again. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I think it’s time that Billy and David got that message, and maybe even Lew.
“I want the A’s to stay in Oakland,” Manfred said during a news conference Tuesday. “I think it is possible to get a stadium done in Oakland, and that remains my preference.”
If Manfred wants the team to stay where they are,it’s going to take some serious talks between the team and the city to get on the same page. Talks broke down last week and another meeting is scheduled this week.
Right now,it’s going to b a challenge for Oakland to keep any of its teams. The Warriors fresh off of a championship have annnounced plans for their new aena in San Francisco near UCSF, the Raiders are flirting with Los Angeles,and the A’s have courted San Jose and could bait another city like Sacramento to see if they can move there should Oakland not work out.
Ultimately, I see Manfred doing what his predecessor wouldn’t: paying attention to the situation in Oakland and doing something about it. I’m sure A’s fans will agree with me on this statement: It’s about time!
Chase Utley probably had one of the dirtiest slides in baseball history on Saturday when he dove straight into Ruben Tejada’s legs to break up a double play in the Dodgers 5-2 win over the Mets in Game Two of the National League Divisional Series. Tejada suffered a broken leg as a result,ending his postseason. To add insult to injury (pun intended), Utley was awarded second base instead of what should have been an interference call,which would have Utley being out as a result. Utley was suspended by Joe Torre and Major League Baseball for two games as a result.
“After thoroughly reviewing the play from all conceivable angles, I have concluded that Mr. Utley’s action warrants discipline,” Torre said in a statement. “While I sincerely believe that Mr. Utley had no intention of injuring Ruben Tejada, and was attempting to help his club in a critical situation, I believe his slide was in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a)(13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base.”
I do disagree with Torre in that I honestly believe Utley did have some intent to hurt Tejada. He has done this before earlier in the season in San Diego when he had a dirty slide on Jedd Gyorko and has a history of dirty slides. I don’t think he meant to necessarily break his leg, but to hurt him somehow. These slides are dangerous and as we saw Saturday,cost players their health. I feel like if Tejada was a bigger name like Troy Tulowitzki or Brandon Crawford, Utley may not have been given the base.
If baseball has gone to great lengths to protect catchers after the Buster Posey- Scott Cousins collision in 2011 that cost Posey the rest of his season, they can protect shortstops or other infielders a little better by outlawing slides like Utleys. As a middle infielder himself,he should know better. If the Mets want to make any sort of statement regarding this incident, do it by winning the two games Utley is out,therefore ending the Dodgers’ postseason and making his suspension one that lasts the rest of the postseason as many fans were hoping he would get.
The San Jose Sharks will be missing Raffi Torres for the first half of the 2015-16 season after delivering an illegal hit to the head on Anaheim Ducks right winger Jakob Silfverberg in an exhibition game last week. Torres is eligible to come back on Jan. 14,2016 when the Sharks host the Oilers. He is a repeat offender when it comes to illegal hits. He served a 21-game suspension between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons when he was a member of the Phoenix Coyotes for an illegal hit on Chicago’s Marion Hossa.
Torres did not appeal the suspension and he did issue an apology to Silfverberg and also stated “I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play.”
“It’s nice of him to apologize. I’m grateful for that,” Silfverberg said, “but I think it was a bad hit and I’m just leaving it at that.”
I understand why they had to suspend Torres that long and I do hope it serves as a wake-up call to other players that this same length of suspension could happen to them if they make a similar or worse hit to another player’s head. However, the hit to Silfverberg wasn’t that bad and didn’t warrant a suspension that lasted half a season. Sure,maybe you give him 20 games or 30 games, but the league wants to teach him a lesson that you can’t hit like that and the more you do it,the more time you’re going to miss because of it.
After the Oilers dropped their first game of the season in St. Louis on Thursday night, many Oilers fans were saying “Here we go again” and “This season is over”. If Dallas Eakins was still coaching this team, Craig MacTavish was still the general manager and Kevin lowe was vice president of hockey operations, then yes,you have every reason to be concerned. But this is a new group who has a different vision for this team than the group before them. It’s going to take time for them to gel and honestly,it’s already happening. There is going to be some losing in a rebuild,but if it’s purposeful, it’s acceptable. This team is playing better despite the losses and it shows.
I think the players in question who aren’t getting the job done are Teddy Purcell and Andrew Ference. Ference, who was the team’s captain before dropping down to be one of four alternates, will more than likely be gone because his skills are diminishing, I think Peter Chiarelli just needs to find the likeliest taker for him. As for Purcell, he could either be on a different line or suffer the same fate as Ference.
I had little hope of them winning on the road in St. Louis because they aren’t on the same level as the Blues. They played Nashville tough for about half the game before giving up the first goal in the second period. What sucked about that was you could see it coming, it was uncanny.
I know it’s been a rough decade,Oilers fans, and I know you want this team to be better. I do,too. This team will be. They have absolutely nowhere to go but up right now and I think we as fans owe it to the new coach and the new front office to try and turn things around. After all,it takes time to clean up a decade of shit.