If it looks too good to be true, it isnt As baseball


If it looks too good to be true, it isnt As baseball

Even with Brandon Moss as todays Wearer OThe Dessert, there is bad news in Oakland. Even with his three-run home run that sped the Elephants to a 7-4 win in 10 innings over the Seattle Mariners and cut their duty by one more game, things are worrisome in Oaktown.

And why? Because the reports on pitcher Brett Anderson remain good. His way-off-to-the-side throwing session (long-toss) went well, and he is loosely scheduled to throw a bullpen session as early as Monday.

Now this good news-becomes-bad news thing seems counterintuitive, but the As as a concept work best as a complete headscratcher, a bafflement to the game, the nation and even to themselves.

And frankly, for the what-the-hell narrative to play out again, they need that all-rookie pitching rotation that Anderson would ruin.

Anderson could conceivably pitch a wild-card game Friday if the Monday session goes well and the As are in a mood to rush him. This would ruin the childrens crusade the As would otherwise send into the division series, and would take a little edge off their How The Hell Are They Doing This? campaign.

Having a pitcher of Andersons caliber (when healthy, he is very good) and vast experience (68 entire starts) available for whatever postseason opportunities await both helps the Athleticals and undermines their whole raison detre. They are, after all, the team the nation would fall in love with if it could only figure out how the hell theyre doing what theyre doing.

And the all-rookie postseason rotation, the first of its kind, would have been a perfect metaphor for a team veritably swimming in them. Even the 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers, who got 69 starts from rookie pitchers en route to the World Series, used veterans Preacher Row and Carl Erskine for four of the seven starts against the Yankees.

The As, on the other hand, are prepared to face OctoberWorld with Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, Dan Straily and A.J. Griffin, have 10 more career starts than Anderson combined. And if thats the difference, then give us the one more oddball item every time.

Now while it amazes us that we still have to do this, we must explain that we have no dog in this fight. The As are going to do what theyre going to do, and we have no rooting interest either way.

But if theyre going to go to the trouble of setting up a team that nobody can comprehend, they may as well go big. When youre the wackiest ship in the army, you have to come correct.

And given what the As have done and how they have done it, this is about as correct as they can come. And now Bob Melvin might ruin it by taking advantage of someones return to health?

Damn it.

Saturdays game meets the narratives demands nicely. Fall behind early, have Straily give up two massive homers to Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders in the same inning, get a runner (Stephen Drew) thrown out at the plate to end the eighth, and then go two-run homer from Josh Donaldson in the ninth and then three-run cakeface from Moss in the 10th. Moss reward, one pie and two Gatorade buckets, are all part of the plot line.

But good news like Andersons potential return just gets in the way. The team that gave you, and then took away from you, Manny Ramirez, Bartolo Colon, Brandon McCarthy, Jemile Weeks, Brandon Inge and yes, Anderson, shouldnt be adding components this late in the movie . . . er, season.

The As are not finished here yet. The Moss home run kept them a leg . . . well, a shin and a patellar tendon . . . up on the principal foes, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay, and they can still reach up and touch Baltimore and New York. There is much to win, and much to lose, in the final four games of the regular season, so Anderson if ready is an obvious choice for either a play-in game, the wild card game, or even the division series opener if Texas can be caught.

But thats not what the narrative demands. The narrative demands a childrens crusade of pitchers, and injuries and pink-eye and bee-stings and ricketts and Dutch elm disease and poison sumac. This isnt the Moneyball narrative where Billy Beane has sunbeams emanating from his head. This is the Moneyball narrative where everything that can go wrong goes wrong and the team ends up winning anyway, and for no sensible reason.

So be wary of good news. It isnt what these guys do. I mean, it is what they do, but it isnt . . . I mean, this looks lots harder than the box score say . . . I mean, oh, the hell with it. Just go with this: If it looks too good to be true, it isnt As baseball.

And if you dont believe that, go ask Brandon Moss. Hes the one trying to remove cream cheese from his nostrils.

A's issue statement regarding Oakland's plan for Raiders stadium

A's issue statement regarding Oakland's plan for Raiders stadium

On Friday, the city of Oakland released a detailed framework for a planned stadium for the Raiders.

A day later, the A's issued the following statement in response to Oakland's plan.

"Oakland is an incredible sports town that deserves world class facilities. We wish the Raiders the best in their stadium quest. Our work is independent of theirs. We are focused on building a ballpark in our hometown for our fans."

On Tuesday, the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Supervisors will hold a public hearing and vote on a term sheet for a stadium proposal designed to keep the Raiders in Oakland.

A's holiday shopping focuses on a center fielder

A's holiday shopping focuses on a center fielder

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The A’s didn’t add any players during the four-day winter meetings, but they did wave goodbye to one.

Minor league right-hander Dylan Covey was scooped up by the Chicago White Sox in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft. The Sox pay the A’s $50,000 for his rights, and he must either remain on their 25-man roster for the entire 2017 season or be offered back to Oakland for $25,000.

The 25-year-old Covey, ranked the A’s No. 20 prospect by mlb.com, was an Arizona Fall League standout this offseason after working his way back from an oblique injury that wiped out most of his 2016 season.

“We’ll see what happens,” A’s general manager David Forst said. “He certainly was as deserving as anybody of being protected (on the A’s 40-man roster), we just ran out of spots. Good for him to get this opportunity.”

As for ways Oakland might supplement its own roster, that task continues.

The A’s held plenty of discussions over four days spent at the sprawling Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, but those talks didn’t bear fruit in their search for a center fielder. They had trade dialogue with the Kansas City Royals regarding Jarrod Dyson, a blazing runner and potential leadoff man, but couldn’t find common ground.

As the holidays approach, the A’s will continue to scan the free agent market and explore trade opportunities.

“My guess is there are plenty of things we talked about this week that have legs, and those conversations will continue over the next few weeks,” Forst said. “We’ve got two months until pitchers and catchers report, four months until the season. We’re not the only ones leaving here without actually consummating something.”

The Orioles are another team reportedly trying to pry Dyson from the Royals. Another center fielder mentioned as being available is Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, although reports suggest Cincinnati isn’t in a rush to move him.

Dexter Fowler is the best free agent center fielder still on the market, although Austin Jackson and Rajai Davis seem to fall more in the A’s price range.

Forst was asked how much urgency there is to the center field search.

“I’m not confident they’re gonna be there all winter, there’s only a certain number of guys,” he said. “We’re not going to risk anything to jump out (and do something) we wouldn’t otherwise do. But we think we’re being diligent.

“We cast a wide net, and we continue to. We have to keep doing that just to make sure — free agents, trades, different kinds of players, platoons, whatever. I think we have to keep our toes in every option.”

As for other areas the A’s can improve, they may look to add a veteran starting pitcher. Just speculation, but Doug Fister is one free agent whose price tag figures to be reasonable, and he’s a Northern California native. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the A’s simply invited a veteran to camp on a minor league contract to see if they can find a diamond in the rough, or at least someone to provide competition.

A’s executive VP of baseball operations Billy Beane mentioned second base as an area of concern because of injury issues (Jed Lowrie) and inexperience (Joey Wendle, Chad Pinder), but it’s very possible the A’s stick with their in-house options.