Sometimes, it’s just time to move on.
That said, I suppose you have to respect the hell out of the guy for trying.
I think when people are saying “tough,” they really mean “evenly matched.” To me, Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim aren’t more than, say, five games apart right now.
The Blackley comment was an off-the-cuff remark, and he’s not going to get serious consideration for a major league job coming out of spring training. As Jason alludes to, Madritsch (and possibly George Sherrill) are better fits as lefty one-out guys, and are closer to the majors. Blackley’s repetoire is built for starting, not relieving, and he’s not especially tough on left-handers anyways. Bringing him out of the bullpen to throw 40-50 innings this year would be a monumental waste of development, and it won’t happen.
Also, I continue to be befuddled as people, mainly referencing Rob Neyer’s recent columns, refer to the AL West as a tough division. It has been a tough division the past several years, but 2004 looks like a race to 85 wins. The A’s are probably still the consensus favorite, but Billy Beane has got his work cut out for him if he’s going to repair that offense. As much as we’re not looking forward to watching the M’s take their hacks, the A’s group of hitters resembles something from the Texas League.
1. Bobby Kielty, LF
2. Mark Kotsay, CF
3. Eric Chavez, 3B
4. Erubiel Durazo, DH
5. Jermaine Dye, RF
6. Scott Hatteberg, 1B
7. Damian Miller, C
8. Mark Ellis, 2B
9. Bobby Crosby, SS
Thats just u-g-l-y. Now, the A’s can spend some more money and find another competant bat before spring training, but that offense is still going to struggle to average four runs a game.
If the Orioles or Blue Jays played in the AL West, one could make a compelling argument that they’d be the favorite to win the division right now.