If the loss last night is going to be a wake up call then they need to turn up their ringer tone and turn off their voice mail.
Art Howe had a busy weekend over-managing and kept up his quest to be manager of the year by micro managing via hand-wringing.
Art is on a management regimen that requires him to make more moves than he has to and then over react to those moves when they backfire. Just when you think it's over, he'll bring in another pitcher. Usually the wrong one.
Here are a few questions:
Why did Barry Zito start Ichiro with a belt high fastball over the plate?
Ichiro did the same thing on June 6th, hitting the first pitch offered by Zito for a homerun.
Why was Barry Zito pitching in the 7th?
If the plan is to go with a 3 man rotation for the playoffs, or alter the rotation for the last week of the season, why have Zito even come out for the 7th? Why wait three batters and getting only one out? Just get a reliever in there and shut it down. The A's had an off day on Monday, so there's no excuse for not having a happy, healthy bullpen.
Why weren't any of the runners ever started or at least offered a chance to swipe a base?
If you watched or listened to any of the games over the last week Art Howe has been moving runners and stealing bases here and there. Kind of an October primer. So, why drop the game plan in the Columbia River on the way to Seattle?
Who the hell positions Terrence Long in the Outfield?
We know Mike Quade is the outfield coach, but, we really don't know what the hell T Long is doing. Several balls were misplayed over the weekend and Long twice had to turn and go back for balls after he had already taken several steps toward the infield. Blaming it on the sun in Oakland doesn't help. The opposing teams never seem to have the problems Long does in center.
Why the hell would you bring in Chad Bradford and not Ricardo Rincon or Mike Venafro to face Bret Boone?
Art has figured out he gets his ass on TV a lot by visiting the mound. You get as much pub when you just make the right moves. Chad Bradford hasn't been Chad Bradford lately and having a right hander face a right hander doesn't make any sense. Especially a ground ball pitcher to guys who like to hit the other way.
Why leave Bradford in when he didn't get the only batter he should have faced?
So, what's the theory, stink up the joint and make sure you make the next pitcher's job impossible? Art should just stand in the dugout with a fishing pole with a line attached to the reliever's jerseys when they come out of the bullpen. You can't have a successful bullpen by setting up guys to fail.
Why have Rincon start the 8th inning?
We've written this before, Art needs to realize Jim Mecir and Ricardo Rincon don't open innings well. They are firemen in the purest sense. For whatever reason they just don't react well with the warm up pitches and the throw down to second. Who knows? The fact is, the are not efficient when starting an inning.
Where was Jim Mecir?
So Rincon gets into trouble, where's Jim Mecir? You know, the set-up guy?
Where the hell was Billy Koch?
For someone who like to pitch as much as possible and when the A's needed to slam the door on the Mariners it's kind of stupid to leave one of the better situational pitchers in baseball down in the bullpen.
Where the hell were the A's bats after the 7th?
If you score 7 runs against the Mariners, you better hurry up and get an 8th and 9th run, too. This is a team that doesn't quit and were playing for more than pride mathematical impossibility of knocking the Angels out of the playoffs.