A's Roster News...

By ,

So the A's just made a crap load of roster moves...

They placed both Sweeneys and Joey Devine on the DL, activated Kiko Calero from the disabled list, and called up Travis Buck, Carlos Gonzalez, and Brad Ziegler. Also, Eric Chavez made his season debut yesterday at DH (he's supposed to be back at 3rd base in tonight's game against Texas), and Frank Thomas was placed on the DL with a strained quad.

When asked to comment on all of the recent moves, Bob Geren said "It's unfortunate that Crosby is back on the DL after his strong start this season. And Harden was really getting into a groove, too. It's a shame he's hurt, again. Hopefully they'll both recover soon."

When he was informed it was not Crosby and Harden who were being placed on the DL, Geren replied "Oops! Sorry...It's just habit."

Wait, how many guys were placed on the DL? 3? 4? And none of them were named Harden or Crosby? Guys, April Fool's Day was last month...

The Crying Game

By Governor X

I've just learned that some Angels fans have given Maicer Izturis the nickname "Crying Game" because he looks like the guy from that movie. This is the first bit of remotely interesting news I've heard about the Angels since the rat infestation was exposed.

110 to go...Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo

By Governor X

Had the Dodgers just stayed home and forfeited the series with Chicago, it wouldn't have been anymore embarassing than the result of the series: 3 games, 3 runs, 3 losses.

What else can I say? Well, I could point out that Cap Anson was a racist son of a bitch. About the series though? I got nothing. At least Tommy had the huevos to say "root root root for the Dodgers" when he sang the 7th inning stretch. If you want to see the Cubs' angle, check out Funk's ramblings on The Jizz...err, I mean The Gist over on TMS.

Rich Harden Injury Watch...

By ,

In case you haven't been keeping score, Rich "I'm made of glass" Harden made his fourth straight start since coming off the DL earlier this month. It's the first time he's made 4 starts in a row since the beginning of the 2006 season.

So...To what do we owe this pleasant surprise? I think it's the facial hair.

Let's take a look at the facts for this season:

Rich Harden, before facial hair: 2 starts, 1 trip to the DL
Rich Harden, after facial hair: 4 starts (3 of which went 6 innings or more), no trips to the DL (yet)

What have we learned here? I am a genius.

Greg Smith...Let this be a warning:

If you want to have a fruitful and injury-free season, you'd better start growing something on that chin. And lose the necklace, please...

Maddux And The New Writer

By Rich Funk

The pressure of winning game #351 must be weighing heavily on Greg Maddux.

Like I've mentioned here before, winning game #350 was tough enough for Maddux. Winning #351 is even harder. One game harder to be exact. The time between win 349 and 350 was 5 starts. So if my theory is correct, it'll be 6 starts until we get to that fabled mark of #351. So mark down Saturday, June 14th in your calendars. Mad Dog will be celebrating #351 in Cleveland.

In other Padres news, they are no longer the worst team in the majors! Good for them! The Pod People are currently one game better than the Seattle Mariners. Padres...Mariners...both outside shots at the playoffs...both have a hard time scoring runs...both have decent seafood. So they've got that going for them, which is nice.

And what better way to celebrate all that is Mariners' baseball than bringing in a fan to SFWH! We've got a new writer starting here some time this week, so be on the lookout. because if you're not, said new writer will most likely punch you in the throat and make off with your wallet. The picture below is the last person that messed with the new writer:

113 to go: Addition by Subtraction

By Governor X

The Dodgers lost two of three over the weekend to St. Louis, but the real news was off the field. The Dodgers got much much better.


Nomar - Sent to the 60 day DL. A stint on the 60 day DL with a strained calf? Take the hint and retire Nomar. The Blake DeWitt era is here to stay.

AndrEw - After inexplicably trying to avoid surgery, the Dodgers and Jones relented and put fatty on the DL. To go out in style, he appeared as a pinch hitter Saturday night and struck out with the go ahead run on.

Esteban Loaiza - DFA. Two partial seasons, two wins, six losses, and an ERA of nearly seven. All this for the low low price of $7.67 million. Nice pick-up Ned.


Clayton Kershaw - The Dodgers' 20 year old version of christ incarnate was called up to replace Loaiza and made his MLB debut Sunday. Six innings, two runs, and a no-decision...not to shabby.

The AndrEw Jones Watch

Series with St. Louis: 0 for 1, 1K
Current BA: .165
Ks: 45 in 43 games

With his stint on the DL, it is highly unlikely he will finish with more Ks than BA points. Therefore, The AndrEw Jones Watch is placed on the indefinite DL.

Daft Funk's West Coast Musings

By Rich Funk

Another Friday, another set of musings. West Coast Musings are the blogger who can't think of anything's best friend!

Before we get to this week's musings, there are two important pieces of info:

1. You can now simply type www.FinleyWasHere.com into your browser. No more Blogspot for us! Piss on them!

2. We have a store! Get your Finley on with our sweet shirts. Have an idea for a shirt? Send us an e-mail and request it. We can make pretty much anything.

Now, on to your regularly scheduled pointlessness.

  • So how about them Padres? Lost in the wake of Albert Pujols laying waste to their team like Brittney Spears tearing through a box of Waffle Crisp is Brian Giles. Since moving the former Pirate and artificial tanning aficionado to the #3 spot in the lineup, he's 15-25 this week. Expect to see him in another uniform by the end of the month.
  • Can I just say that Chris Young is a trooper? After getting his nose smashed in by Pujols, he calmly sat there on the ground next to the pitcher's mound, bleeding all over himself. He didn't even grimace...he just sat there as if he wasn't gushing out vital fluids and waited for the trainer. Although he may have had some kind of concussion...
  • Has anyone had a harder time over the last few weeks than the Oakland A's? They ran into Cleveland during their crazy-hot starting pitching scoreless streak. They went straight to Atlanta (20-5 at home). Then they hosted the red-hot first place Rays, who threw James Shields (3.38 ERA), Scott Kazmir (3-1, 1.57 ERA) and Andy Sonnanstine (6-1 at the time) at them. Now they get Boston, the best team in baseball and winners of 7 straight. Did I mention that the Red Sox will trot out Josh Beckett and Mr. No-Hit Jon Lester over the weekend?
  • Looking for a reason Oakland isn't scoring runs? Sure they've faced great pitching for a few weeks straight, but this season, Travis Buck, Mark Ellis, Kurt Suzuki, Rajai Davis, Jack Hannahan and Daric Barton have hit .193 out of the leadoff spot. In their 48 games this season, the A's first batter of the game has gone 7 for 47 (.149 AVG) with only one walk.
  • Barry Zito just can't catch a break, and I love it. Before he got "demoted" to the bullpen, Zito was 0-6 with an ERA of 7.54. In his 3 starts after returning to the rotation, he's got 3 straight quality starts and a respectable 3.94 ERA...and he's 0-2.
  • The Angels still continue to be MLB's most boring team. Where else could serious pre-Mitchell Report rumors of steroid use pop up for a player (Gary Matthews Jr.), and no one even really remembers? The government should start using Anaheim as a witness protection relocation area. Especially if they're relocating people like this brohamulus.
  • With the Diamondbacks' offense starting to fade and Andruw Jones out of the lineup, the Dodgers are making a move. They're only 2.5 games out of first. But knowing the Dodgers, they'll put Andruw Jones and Nomar back in within a few weeks.
  • The Mariners...still not very good. When is that breakout season by Felix Hernandez going to happen again?
That's all for today. Buy some shirts.

All-Stars In The Outfield...

By ,

So rumor has it that Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County just off the 5 freeway, will host the 2010 All-Star Game.

And to commemorate the event, every fan in attendance will get a limited edition pet rat!


I'll leave you with this fun fact about "Angels In The Outfield:" According to IMDB, the movie was actually filmed at Oakland Coliseum. They say it's because the then-Los Angeles Rams were using the stadium in Anaheim (and this was before the Raiders came back to Oakland), but I say it's because even movie crews know that Oakland is better than Anaheim.

116 to go: Ganesh removes obstacles

By Governor X

...and man oh man did he (she?) ever remove a big fat one keeping the Dodgers down. AndrEw Jones has
torn knee cartilage and a "golf-ball sized wart" that may require surgery. If he does, he'll be out 4-6 weeks. Inexplicably, the Dodgers are hoping he can avoid the procedure until the off season. Why? Are they that fucking stupid that they want an injured fat guy hitting .167 playing every day? The answer is of course yes and if you need any proof, just remember that they were dumb enough to sign him in the first place.

Jones did not play against the Reds. And how did the Dodgers respond without their "slugger"? Just a quick sweep of those commie bastards from the Rust Belt. Ho hum... His replacement in center, Matt Kemp, went 7 for 12 with 2 RBI in the series. Yeah, lets get fatty back as soon as possible. *rolls eyes*

Brad Penny continues to blow ass. The Dodgers won in spite of him giving up five runs in the first game and he has now allowed 20 runs in his last three starts. Someone check him for golf-ball sized warts please.

The AndrEw Jones Watch

Series with the Reds: Did not play
Golf-ball sized warts: 1

Albert Pujols: Defiler Of Virgins, Destroyer Of Worlds

By Rich Funk

Albet Pujols, shown above hanging out with mentor and fellow mongol Genghis Khan.

"Things can't get much worse for the Padres, can they?"

Surely the above sentence has been uttered in the greater San Diego area countless times over the last 2 months. Going from potential playoff contenders to potential 100 game losers will do that for a team.

"Things can't get much worse for the Padres, can they?"

Most people hear that as a question. Albert Pujols heard it and took it as a personal challenge.

Busy in the visitor's clubhouse before the game torturing midgets and eating babies whole, Pujols reflected on the numerous sissy fights he'd had earlier in the season with Astros pitcher Brandon Backe and catcher J.R. Towles (Wanna get high?"). Sure, doing a lot of yelling and taking someone's legs out from under them at home plate was fun and all, but both players were still around and well to help the Astros climb back into contention in the NL Central. "No," Albert thought to himself, showering in the blood of 75 virgins, "If I'm gonna keep us in this race, I need to take out the competition. Permanently."

"Things can't get much worse for the Padres, can they?"

With Jake Peavy already injured and Trevor Hoffman suffering from JoeBorowski-itis, Pujols set his sights on the starting pitcher for San Diego that evening: Chris Young. With the uncanny skill of a Hall Of Famer and the cold calculation of a serial rapist, Pujols slammed a pitch right back into Young's face, breaking his nose and knocking him out of the game.

"Things can't get much worse for the Padres, can they?"

Standing on first, Pujols had such a rush from the bloodletting that he decided he wasn't done. A few batters later, Pujols was breaking for home plate. Poor Josh Bard, catcher for the Padres, never knew what was coming. Pujols coldly slammed his foot into Bard's ankle on a slide, spraining it and knocking Bard out of the game as well.

On his way back to the dugout, Pujols surveyed the chaos and destruction he had created, and simply stated, "I'm finished."

The Rise And Fall Of The Cubs In California

By Rich Funk

I've always known that the Cubs are a popular team. Even when they're on the road, there's always a large number of Cubs faithful in the stands. Hell, some stadiums have a 50-50 split (See: Miller Park).

But is this a good thing?

Tonight, while eating at the local chain Chinese food restaurant, I was sporting my Cubs hat. One of the waiters came up to me and asked how the Cubs were doing. Having to prove that he was a true fan, he whipped out his cell phone and showed me his Cubs wallpaper. Later, when dessert came, the waitress asked how the Cubs were doing. On the way out, another waiter said "Hey, go Cubs!"

Things look suspiciously like the Red Sox pre-2004. Before 2004, the Red Sox were the little team that couldn't. Everyone loved them and their fans because, gosh darn it, they tried so hard, didn't they? How cute is that?

So how are things going to work once the Cubs (hopefully) win the Series? Are the Cubs going to become the new Red Sox? Are we going to become just another big-market team with obnoxious fans and an overblown payroll a la the Yankees/Sox?

Right now, everyone in San Diego loves me and loves my Cubs hat. After a Series win, will I be just another frat douche walking around with the trendy hat of the week claiming that I had been a Cub fan all of my life, even though "no really, I've loved the Cubs forever" just like everyone else who comes out of the woodwork?

All I can hope for is that the year after the Cubs win the Series, the Indians win one of their own and take the pressure off the Cubs. Cleveland guys are douchebags too.

A's "O" Needs TLC ASAP

By ,

Yeah - I don't really understand the title of this post, either...

But here's what I do understand: The A's offense has been having...shall we say..."problems" lately. They're 2-8 over their last 10, and they've scored 2 or less runs in 6 of those losses - 3 of them being shutouts. So after examining the team's roster, I have decided to make a few lineup suggestions. Here's how I'd shuffle up the order:

1. Bobby Crosby - I think Crosby should be batting leadoff right now. He's got one of the highest batting averages on the team (as far as everyday players go), and although he may not fit the ideal "leadoff" profile, he does have a decent amount of speed and has shown patience at the plate from time-to-time (although it would be nice if he showed a bit more consistency).
2. Jack Hannahan - Aside from Jack Cust, he's the everyday player with the highest OBP. He also takes a lot of walks. The reason I don't think he should bat leadoff is because when Crosby's healthy, he seems to be a better baserunner than Hannahan has proven to be so far. It's early in his career, and he might develop into a decent leadoff hitter, but right now, I don't think he has the experience to set the table.
3. Frank Thomas - When Jack Cust was struggling, it made sense to bat Frank Thomas behind him for protection. But now that Cust is finally warming up (so far this month, he's slugging close to .600), I think we should have him protect Thomas (who before yesterday's 2 homer game, had a SLG close to .400, which is quite a bit off from his career mark of .558) until he starts to hit for more power (he showed signs of life with the multi-homer game against Tampa Bay). Hitting in front of Cust should get Thomas a few more fastballs, which'll hopefully allow him to hit a couple more home runs.
4. Jack Cust - (see above). And here's a fun piece of Jack Cust trivia (courtesy of the always truthful wikipedia): He and teammate Jack Hannahan are both legally named John Joseph, yet both choose to go by Jack. In other fun trivia, my dog's name was JJ, but it was short for Joseph Junior. See the connection here? Nope. I don't, either.
5. Emil Brown - His RBI total = high enough to bat near the top of the order. His OBP = low enough to bat towards the bottom. Let's compromise and stick him in the middle.
6. Daric Barton - Forever known as the "other guy" in the Dan Haren/Mark Mulder trade, Barton is not having the rookie season Billy Beane promised me. It's still early, but here's what we know so far: Barton does walk a lot, but he also strikes out a lot, and has one of the lowest SLG in the lineup. I haven't given up on Barton - he could get good - but right now, he's like Jack Cust, but without the power (and the portly frame). So that's why he's sixth.
7/8. Kurt Suzuki/Mark Ellis - Kurt Suzuki started the year out hitting pretty well. According to the A's website, he batted .339 over his first 17 games. But now he's in a slump and has lost the leadoff spot in the order. So until he starts hitting the ball again more consistently, it's down in the lineup for him. Ellis ain't doing so hot, either (he was batting .200 in May before he got hurt), so when he comes back from his injury, he should be in the bottom, too.
9. Ryan Sweeney - Sweeney has some promise, and batting him this low in the lineup will take pressure off him while he develops. The other advantage of batting him ninth is that he can act as a sort of "second leadoff hitter," since his average is currently hovering around .300. If Rajai Davis is in the lineup, he'll work as a second leadoff man, too, mostly because of his speed.

Now, if Bowen's in the lineup, put him in Suzuki's spot. If Murphy or Petit are in the lineup, put them in Ellis' spot. If Mike Sweeney is in the lineup at DH, put him at cleanup and put Cust in the 3 spot. If Mike Sweeney is playing 1st base, put him 2nd, and drop Hannahan down to Barton's spot in the lineup.

Bob Geren, if you're confused by any of this, call me. We'll do lunch...

Now, who bats third?

119 to go: Walt Disney was a racist

By Governor X

A weekend for the Dodgers in the Tragic Kingdom is always, well, tragic. Without fail, a trip down to the land of Disney and plowed under orange groves never ends good for them and this series was no exception. Fully anticipating the debacle, I really didn't pay much attention to the games. They won on Saturday in 98 degree heat, but couldn't get it done in the other two games.

Let me just point out that this is one of the primary reasons I hate interleague play. The Dodgers have to play the Angels 6 times a year while division rivals like San Diego, Arizona, and Colorado get to play whatever sad sack American League division we're matched up with this year (the mighty AL Central this time!). Its fundamentally unfair. Fuck you Bud Selig.

The AndrEw Jones Watch

Series with California of Los Angeles of Anaheim: 0 for 11, 5Ks
Current BA: .167
Projected K Total: 170

Panic in Padre-Land

By Brant Brown

Panic you say? Panic because they have the worst record in the majors? Panic because they have the largest deficit in the standings? Panic because Mark Prior will never see the light of day? No, no, none of these things. They're panicking and searching for the nearest ledge because their pride and joy, Jake Peavy, has discomfort in his elbow. Uh oh.

Face it, the season is lost for the Padres, and we haven't even made it to Labor Day. Oh sure, stranger things have happened, but look at that roster. It is not major league quality. Most fans and anyone around the team knows their offense is abysmal, but they have the pitching, right? Yeesh, not when you're counting on the incredible comeback story that is Shawn Estes. Not when the normally reliable Chris Young has an ERA over 4.00. Or you're throwing Randy Wolf and his 5.00 ERA every fifth day, and not when Greg Maddux is showing that he's wearing down. And now Peavy. Let's just hope it's inflammation I suppose...

This team needs an overhaul. Fortunately, they have just the right guy in the front office to work on this, though his exact role is vague, and we don't know if or how much control he has over any personnel moves. Jody Gerut is a quality stopgap until a Felix Pie or equivalent can be traded for. Obviously Giles needs to go at the trade deadline; someone will need an outfielder with a strong OBP down the stretch, even if only in a bench role. Trade Greene and cross your fingers for a decent pitching prospect or corner outfileder in return. Let Maddux go to a contender for one more run, perhaps a reunion with the Braves or Cubs, though by all accounts he wants to stay in Southern California. Peavy (elbow willing) and Gonzalez are your building blocks, but that's nothing you fans don' t already know. Sit back and don't fret too much this year, or next year, or the year after that. Accept the fact that this is a rebuilding project and embrace the positive steps that are sure to be taken. Hey, at least you have a great park to take in a game.

R.I.P. 2007-2008 Utah Jazz

By Governor X

JAZZ DOMINATION has come to an end, and I must say, it didn't end as I had imagined it. In my mind there was going to be a lopsided stomping of the Boston Celtics in game 6 of the finals. The fans at Polygamy Solutions Arena would go wild and rowdy crowds outside would riot and burn SLC police cars. It would have been glorious.

Well, it ended in game six in Salt Lake, but not as described above. The Lakers, clearly cheating as usual, jumped out to a big lead and never surrendered it. Oh, they tried alright. Leading 15-19 for most of the game, they fell apart in the 4th quarter so bad that Utah had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but it wasn't to be.

What went wrong? Frankly in game 6, pretty much everything, but lets set that aside for a moment. The real problem in the series was the complete disappearance of Carlos Boozer. Carlos really only showed up in Game 4, never being seen or heard from before or after. Had Boozer put up his average numbers from the season, the Jazz very likely would have won the series.

The hoisting of a championship banner in Salt Lake is therefore put off for another year. It will happen my friends, oh yes. The talented core of the Jazz is young and the last two seasons of playoff ball can only help build them up for next year.

The highlight of the season for me was the total emergence of Deron "Mormon Chocolate" Williams as a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. Williams runs the offense as skillfully and brilliantly as Stockton did back in the day and while his pick'n'roll teammate Boozer vanished in the playoffs, Deron did his best to carry the load.

Aside from Williams, two of his teammates made an impression in my eyes. Mehmet "The Turk" Okur has moved up my list of favorite Jazz players. Big men who can rain threes aren't something that comes around every day. The strong performance of Andrei "AK47" Kirilenko in the playoffs allowed me to forgive his pre-season sins. His two threes late in game 6 to put Utah in a position to tie were beyond clutch.

Making Up for Lost Time

By Brant Brown

If you are among our four loyal readers, you have noticed a dearth of Padres and Angels coverage in this young season. Much like the Padres with their Jim Edmonds mishap, we have now realized our error and will work to rectify it. Oh, but the Edmonds reference is old news already. If he was going to hop over to the Cubs so quickly, couldn't the Padres have at least traded him to the North Side in exchange for another "ill-tempered, underperforming, might as well hang 'em up" player ala Mark Prior and Michael Barrett? Surely the Cubs could have given the Pads Jason Marquis...

Ah, but I digress...or something. YOUR San Diego Padres, as your beloved radio play-by-play man Ted Leitner would call them in these darkened times, have reached the lowest of lows, and should probably be spared ridicule from outsiders like us. Unfortunately, we can't let that happen. It's not what Steve Finley would have us do. We will pile on when necessary from here on out, and though we would praise any positive revelation on San Diego's season, we just don't foresee any of those happening. Brace yourselves Padres fans, it will indeed be a long, grueling summer.

Lest the Angel fans feel slighted, I can assure their loyal followers that they will not escape SFWH's wrath. Matthew Brown? Really? Yikes. Howie Kendrick = Mr. Glass. I won't even go into the rest of their young stars that they should have parted ways with years ago. I hope they're grooming a new closer for next year.

It's a long season, and there is plenty of time for Vlad's knee cartilage to disappear or Peavy's arm to blow out. We'll be here to detail the rest of it, including the expected purge in San Diego, and Anaheim's (not Los Angeles) perennial futility at the trade deadline. We hope you hang in there with us.

Daft Funk's West Coast Musings

By Rich Funk

It's Friday, so you know what that means...right? It means that I've slacked off long enough and so now I'm bringing you the highlights of what's happening on the West Coast.*

*TRANSLATION: I can't think of anything else to write about.

Cue up the Ron Burgundy: "Here's what's happening in your world...today.
  • Yesterday against the Cubs, Greg Maddux failed to deliver his much anticipated 351st career win. One has to wonder if the pressure of winning #351 is getting to Maddux. Remember how hard it was for him to get to 350 and all the media attention he got every time he took the mound? Well this one is much harder. It's...well, it's one game harder. It's one more difficult. And this amp goes up to 11.
  • The Indians completed a sweep of the A's yesterday. You gotta feel for the Athletics. They hit Cleveland at the worst time. How often do starting pitchers go an entire week without giving up a run? I especially feel bad for Greg Smith. The rookie lost his third straight start yesterday. Over his last 4 starts, he's only given up 10 earned runs in 24.2 innings (a respectable ERA of 3.65) with 26 strikeouts...and he's 0-3.
  • Question Of The Week: Are the Giants better than we thought, or is the rest of the NL West just that bad? Right now, the Giants are ahead of both the Padres and Rockies in the standings and are a surprising 11-11 at home. But their record may be deceiving; the Giants are 8-8 against the equally terrible West and 6-16 against the rest of the NL.
  • There really is no in-between with the Dodgers' Chad Billingsley. He's either great or not-so-great. In 10 starts this season, Chad's given up one earned run or less 6 times and given up 4 or more runs 4 times. I guess it doesn't matter if he wins or if he loses, as long as he does whatever he does all the way. Go big or go home, right broham? I feel like a tool just typing that...
  • The Lakers gotta win tonight in Utah to put their series away. I love watching the crowd whenever games are in Utah. There was a woman in a courtside seat in Game 3 that was seriously wearing an ankle-length dress. In LA, I don't think girls in courtside seats are allowed to cover more than 40% of their body.
  • The Angels...still annoy the piss out of me. What a dull and boring team. In fact, the mere thought of them boils my blood so much that I can't write any more.
That's all. Apologies to Seattle, but we're all out of time.

122 to go: Is that Halley's Comet?

By Governor X

No, that was something almost as rare: an AndrEw Jones home run. I guess its no surprise that a fat man like Jones waited to visit a town of fat men for his bat to wake up. Jones went an astounding three for nine in the series driving in two runs.

Not so rare? Fellow fat man Brad Penny blowing ass. Coming off a 10-run outing against New York, Penny gave up 5 runs in the first game of this series. Its now a toss-up between Penny and Lowe to see which Dodger pitcher will make me throw something at the TV first.

Someone tell Ryan Braun to lay off the eyeliner please...

The AndrEw Jones Watch

Series with Milwaukee: 3 for 9, 2RBI, 1HR (Way to go tubby!)
Current BA: .182
Projected K Total: 162

Meet The Athletics

By ,

Due to the frequently rotating roster of the Oakland Athletics, I have decided to compose a short bio of some of the players that may be unknown to the masses. You never know - you might read one of these bios and find a new favorite player...Or you might think to yourself "Wow - how can I get those 2 minutes of my life back?" Either way, today I'd like you to meet (per request): Catcher Kurt Suzuki...

Who is the man behind this mask?

Kurt Suzuki was born on October 4, 1983 in Hawaii. He grew up, learned to play baseball, then attended Cal State Fullerton, where he had a pretty successful college career. Some highlights: In 2004, he won the Johnny Bench award (given yearly to the top college catcher), was selected as a 1st team College All-American, and won the inaugural Brooks Wallace award (player of the year award given by the College Baseball Foundation). He also helped Cal State Fullerton win the 2004 College World Series (over Huston Street's Texas Longhorns).

Suzuki was drafted by the A's in 2004. During his time in the minors, he batted .283 with a .380 OBP. He was a Double-A All-Star in 2006, and during that year, he threw out about 40 percent of baserunners, which ain't too shabby. He also played for Team USA. He was called up in June of last year, and became the starting catcher when Jason Kendall was traded to the Cubs. During his time with the A's in 2007, he batted .249 with 7 home runs.

This year, Suzuki started out the pretty well. According to the A's website, he batted .339 over his first 17 games, and took the leadoff spot from a slumping Travis Buck. But now, Kurt seems to be in his own slump, so he's been dropped in the order for the time being. But he's thrown out about 35 percent of baserunners so far this year, which isn't bad. There's still a lot of baseball to be played, so we'll see what happens. Either way, Kurt has definitely been a contributer in the A's surprising start to the season.

I'll end with this fun fact: In the 68 games he played for Oakland in 2007, Suzuki hit over double the number of home runs that Jason Kendall hit during his entire time with the A's.

Yep, Its Clearly Collusion...

By Governor X

MLB had better do a thorough investigation as to whether or not there is collusion among teams to keep Barry Bonds out of the league. I mean, what team wouldn't want to drop millions on a 43 year old who can't play the field anymore, lives under a cloud of steroid suspicion, and is now facing 15 felony counts of lying to a grand jury?

Free Tim Lincecum Update

By Governor X

Since we announced the Free Tim Lincecum movement, he's established himself as the Giants' premier pitcher and the only thing standing between them and the sweet release of oblivion. Tim is currently 5-1 with an outstanding 1.61 ERA, most recently going a strong 8 against Philadelphia for the win.

This just reinforces the need to free him from this orange and black prison. Did you even notice how good he was doing? I doubt it. Since the Bonds circus has moved on, the media has taken to ignoring the Giants like they do with every other team that plays in California. I can't say I blame them. I doubt Eugenio Valez highlights help your ratings too much.

125 to go: Uggh....

By Governor X

Jesus, I don't even want to write about this series. Its too depressing. The Dodgers have gone from red hot to ice cold in a matter of days, losing four straight including a sweep by the Astros. Yesterday, Hiroki Kuroda took a no hitter into the 6th only to have it blown by the bullpen.

The lone bright spot? Blake DeWitt. He went 5 for 11 in the series. Good thing Nomar will take his job when he's "healthy"...sigh.

The AndrEw Jones Watch

Series with Houston: 1 for 6, 2Ks
Current BA: .170
Projected K Total: 171

Guess Who's Back...

By ,

The starting pitcher for the A's today was...Rich Harden?

Yes, Harden made his first start today since being placed on the DL with a shoulder strain. He has made 6 trips to the DL over the last 4 seasons. Apparently, it's very "Hard"en for him to stay healthy. Zing!

Anyway, Harden's start was, in a word, blah. He gave up 5 runs in 3 2/3 innings, and seemed to have control problems, considering he walked 4 guys. The A's did win the game, though (Casilla got the win). And Harden did have 5Ks.

At this point, all we can do is hope that Harden doesn't wake up tomorrow with some kind of tightness or soreness.

However, what was impressive about Harden's start today was his sweet facial hair. A while back, I had suggested that Harden grow some facial hair as a last-ditch effort to stay healthy. Today, he showed up looking like this:

It's good to see that Rich Harden is a fan of SFWH, and hopefully his new face fur will bring him good health for the rest of the season*

* Yes, I just typed "Rich Harden" and "good health" in the same sentence.

Riches to Rags

By Governor X

Italian citizen and mustache aficionado Mike D'Antoni has opted to leave the Phoenix Suns in favor of the New York Knicks. Why in gods name would anyone do such a thing? New York sucks and I mean that in terms of the city AND the team. Patrick Ewing and the days of respectability in New York are so far in the past they're now studied in archeology classes.

It was probably the money ($24 million) and the realization that nothing was going to happen with the Suns. Mike's run'n'gun style and the half assed attitude of stars like Nash and Stoudemire couldn't get it done in the playoffs. The Suns won at least 54 games in each of his full seasons as head coach but couldn't win a Championship.

The Suns now begin an off-season coaching search for the first time since 1988.

Jim Edmonds was Here

By Governor X

No, that "396" isn't his age...but its close.

The Padres, who have replaced the Giants as the team in the NL West most likely to lose 100 games, have
released Jim Edmonds. Edmonds was a shell of his former self, hitting just .178 and unable to shag fly balls. The team called up Jody Garut to replace him. You may remember Jody if you're related to him, and probably not even then.

You haven't heard much about the Padres here on SFWH, but to be blunt, they're a joke. They've fallen to a major league worst 12-23 and currently sit 11 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. Unable to score any runs, they have repeatedly foiled Greg Maddux' attempts at getting career win 350. Frankly Bulldog, it serves you right. You should have taken one look at that roster and ran for the hills. Unless you signed with Kansas City or Washington, you probably could have wrapped up your career with some measure of respectability if not on a contender. Lots of teams currently at the top of the league have gaping holes in their rotations right now.

So anyway, goodbye Jim Edmonds. I never liked you anyway.

128 to go: I heart Blake DeWitt

By Governor X

The Dodgers continued their hot streak, taking two of three from the Mets. We'll just pretend that Wednesday afternoon game didn't happen...

The Good

Blake DeWitt hit the first inside the park home run for the Dodgers in five years Tuesday night. He's currently hitting .306 and has already played Andy LaRoche out of a job. With any luck, Nomar will be out of a job soon too... Not to be forgotten, Matt Kemp has a 12 game hitting streak.

The Bad

Brad Penny has stunk up the place in his last two starts, going only five innings against Colorado and surrendering 10 runs in 4.2 innings against the Mets on Wednesday.

The Ugly

AndrEw Jones' batting average with runners in scoring position? .038 - ouch.

The AndrEw Jones Watch

Series with New York: 2 for 8, 2Ks
Current BA: .170
Projected K Total: 177

Don't Be Sad, Chad...

By ,

I'm a sad panda...

The A's have too many decent starting pitchers...

What a nice problem to have...

Chad Gaudin is being moved from the rotation to the bullpen in order to make room for Rich Harden. Harden is scheduled to start Sunday against Texas.

So let's break this down: All of the A's starters have disadvantages - Blanton and Gaudin have the highest ERAs, Eveland walks a lot of guys and seems to have a problem going deep into games, Duke is injury-prone, and Greg Smith is the "new guy" without much big league pitching experience.

But even though Blanton's numbers are worse than Gaudin's, Joe has proven that he's a durable starter who doesn't get hurt and can go deep into games. Plus, in a few of Blanton's losses, he pitched pretty well, but the offense couldn't give him any run support. I think you've gotta give Greg Smith a chance because he's pitched really well since being called up. So far, his "worst outing" was when he gave up 6 hits and 3 earned runs against Kansas City. Although Duke spent some time on the DL, his numbers have been good when he starts - he hasn't given up more than 2 earned runs in an outing, and he has good control - posting an 18/5 K/BB ratio. So now it comes down to Eveland and Gaudin. Rookie Eveland has been a starter for the majority of his minor league career, while Gaudin has pitched out of the bullpen for the majority of his time in the majors. So at the end of the day, the decision appears to make sense...

But I wouldn't be too frustrated if I were Gaudin. After all, what are the chances Harden stays healthy for more than 2 weeks? You'll probably get your job back soon enough, buddy...

Zito On Return To The Rotation: "Uhhh..Rad."

By ,

So after being demoted to the bullpen last week, Barry Zito is scheduled to start today against the Pirates. Zito made no relief appearances during his "vacation," as he was too busy taking yoga classes and playing John Mayer songs on the guitar for underage girls at a local high school lock-in.

In this picture, it is unclear whether Zito is explaining how many millions of dollars he made during his "vacation," or showing the media how many runs he's going to give up in his return to the starting rotation...

131 to go: Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

By Governor X

A day late and a dollar short...oh well, you weren't looking forward to this recap of the Dodgers and Rockies anyway. Suffice it to say, the Dodgers took two out of three and that ain't bad. How's this for esoteric Mr. Sullivan?

Baby we can talk a-all night, but that ain't getting us nowhere
I told you everything I possibly can, there's nothin' left inside of here
And maybe you can cry a-all night, but that'll never cha-ange the way that I feel
The snow is really piling up outside, I wish you wouldn't make me lea-eave here
I poured it on and I poured it ou-out, I tried to show you just how much I care
I'm tired of words and I'm too hoarse to shout
But you've been cold to me so long, I'm cryin' icicles instead of tears

And all I can do, is keep on tellin' you
I want you (I want you), I need you (I need you)
But there ain't no way-ay I'm ever gonna lo-ove you
Now don't be sad (don't be sad 'cause)
'Cause two out of three ai-ain't bad
Now don't - be-ee sad, ('cause) 'cause two out of three ain't bad

You'll never find your go-old on a sandy beach
You'll never drill for oil on a city street
I know you're lookin' for a ruby in a mountain of rocks
But there ain't no Coupe de Ville hidin' at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box

I can't lie (I can't lie...)
I can't tell you that I'm somethin' I'm not
No matter how I try, I'll never be able
To give you somethin', somethin' that I just haven't got (woh-oh)

Well there's only one girl that I will ever love
And that was so many year-ears ago
And though I know I'll never get her out of my heart
She never loved me back, ooh-ooh I know

Well I remember how she left me on a stormy night
Ahh, she kissed me and got out of our bed
And though I pleaded and I begged her not to walk out that door
She packed her bags and turned right away-ay-ay
And she kept on tellin' me, sh

The AndrEw Jones Watch

Series with Colorado: 2 of 10, 5Ks
Current BA: .163
Projected K Total: 184

SFWH Player Playlist

By ,

America seems to be captivated by celebrity iPod playlists. When the contents of President Bush's iPod were revealed, the media jumped all over it. And iTunes features the playlists of such A-listers as Judith Light (Avril Lavigne? Really?), Poison (they have their OWN songs on their playlist. That's lame), and Donny Osmond (he's got Avril Lavigne on there, too! What the hell is wrong with these people?). So due to the fact that I have access to several West Coast baseball clubhouses,* (Alyssa Milano hooked me up) I've decided to share certain players' playlists with you, the loyal reader. Today, we're going to take a look at Barry Zito's playlist...

Now, Barry Zito already has a playlist on iTunes, but due to his recent banishment to the bullpen, his taste in music has changed. And since the Giants are probably afraid to put him in ANY game, he's going to have a lot of time to sit around and listen to this. So here's his newest playlist:
  1. Loser - Beck
  2. How Do You Like Me Now?! - Toby Keith
  3. Bad Day - Daniel Powter
  4. Help! - The Beatles
  5. Take The Money and Run - The Steve Miller Band
  6. Nobody's Fault But Mine - Led Zeppelin
  7. Unwell - Matchbox Twenty
  8. Big Girls Don't Cry - Fergie
  9. Loser - 3 Doors Down
  10. Stuck With You - Huey Lewis and the News
  11. Take Me Out - Franz Ferdinand
  12. Is This It - The Strokes
  13. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams - Green Day
  14. I Practically Stole Over 100 Million Dollars But I Don't Care Because I'm a Long-Haired Hippie - Barry Zito

* No, I don't. I made all of this up.

134 to go: The Brooms Stay Out

By Governor X

Keep the brooms out Arnie! Another series, another sweep. The Dodgers who were on life support just a week ago have rebounded with a second consecutive series sweep.


Blake DeWitt nearly hit a grand slam Wednesday night. With LA already up big, Blake crushed a ball that would have gone out of any proper baseball stadium.

Russell Martin continued to rebound from his slow start. In 11 days, he has raised his batting average a full 100 points and has now hit in 8 straight.

Juan Pierre is an RBI machine. He now has 10 on the year in limited duty.


Frankly, at this point, I'm bored with bashing Fat Ass Jones, but he is now literally the only guy on the team save for Gary Bennett who can't hit the ball. Jones was 1 for 6 in the first two games before Torre sat him down today.


If your team gets swept and no fans bother to show up, did it really happen? Something to ponder Florida...

The AndrEw Jones Watch

This Series: 1 for 6
Current BA: .159
Projected K Total: 168