Posts Tagged ‘oakland athletics’

Don’t Look Back In Anger: Luke Hochevar, Mike Carp, Brandon McCarthy

For Razzball: Don’t Look Back In Anger: Luke Hochevar, Mike Carp, Brandon McCarthy

http://razzball.com/dont-look-back-in-anger-luke-hochevar-mike-carp-brandon-mccarthy/

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold Fantasy Baseball) All-Stars

Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.

That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.

Cause you’re hot…you’re yes…you’re in…you’re up

Hideki Matsui: Man, Matsui has come back from outer space over the last seven days: 13/29 with two dingers. It raised his disappointing season average to .244 and has him on the cusp of double digit homers. Matsui, who hasn’t hit less than 21 homers or batted less than .273 in his last three full seasons, could make a decent down the stretch addition. It wouldn’t surprise me if he hit around .270 the rest of the way and doubled his homerun output.

Cliff Pennington: I’ve always loved Cliff Clavin (Hey he did predict Obama) and always kind of liked Cliff Pennington. However I hate the Jets and I hate Chad Pennington, go figure. Anyway, back to whatever the point of this was: Pennington has smoked the ball of late (12/26 with two dingers). He hit a modest .250 last year, but did steal 29 bases in 34 attempts. Unfortunately, this year he is abysmally 6/15 in SB attempts. With shortstops and middle infielders around the world falling like fruit flies, Pennington is worth a look. The batting average is decidedly average and the power is non-existent, but he could go on a decent steals “tear” down the stretch. Hey, when Alexei Cassilla hitting the DL is a blow, people like Pennington become relevant.

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Moose Haas

mosse haas back

moose haasThe 1987 Oakland Athletics had the most eclectic team judging from the back of their baseball cards. If you don’t believe me, continue to read on. I have at least five or six more in addition to Mike Davis and Carney Lansford to write about.

None, however, are more interesting than Moose Haas. Man, I’ve wanted to write about this one for so long. Basically, he is Jean-Claude Van Damme combined with Gob. Bluth and a dash of MacGyver. Of course, there is also the tiny fact that he goes by Moose (even though his real name is Bryan Edmund). He was also born in Baltimore, which is a city I love.

Unfortunately for the nickname-, karate-, magic- and locksmith-loving public, 1987 would be the last year in the majors for Haas. He ended with a pretty impressive 12-year career going 100-83 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.

In reality, he could have used a bit more Bluth/MacGyver in him as he posted a miniscule 4.6 K/9 rate and a 1.96 K:BB rate. With a little more illusionary capabilities, Moose Haas could have been a household name.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Carney Lansford

carney lansford 1987 BACK as carney lansford 1987 asI told you that the Oakland Athletics had a crazy team in 1987. I must admit that as a youngster I was swept up in the A’s of the late ‘80s. The brash bash brothers, snarling Dave Stewart, wily Ricky Henderson and Tony Philips (sans nickname) really captured my young baseball attention.

For whatever reason, I also liked Carney Lansford. Maybe it was because I was, more or less, a utility infielder willing to do whatever it took to help the team.

Had I known at the time that Lansford was a direct descendent of bad-ass extraordinaire Sir Francis Drake, I would have followed his career a bit more closely. Let’s get this clear, Drake was a pirate. He was knighted and his sins righted because he helped the British Empire absolutely destroy the Spanish Armada. He was such a scourge to the Spanish that King Phillip II likely offered a 20,000 ducat reward for his capture – that would be about $6.5 million in today’s currency.

Mustache and all, Lansford’s playing style didn’t exactly live up to his ancestor – it was more wild than continually successful. While he would finish with a .290 average, he twice batted .336. In 1981, he lead the league in hitting, a year after he batted .261 and lead the league in sacrifice flies (it’s amazing the knowledge the interweb provides). However, his best year, for which he got no love, was the 1987 season. He hit .289/.366/.455, tied a career high with 19 HRs and stole 27 bases. In his career, he stole 224 bags and sported one heckuva mustache and lineage.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Mike Davis

mike davis back mike davisIt’s official, the Oakland Athletics had one bizarrely interesting team in 1987. Just wait until you see the Moose Haas and Carney Lansford posts.

Mike Davis was a third round pick in the 1977 draft. Three years later, at age 21, he would play 51 games in the big leagues. He would ultimately play a full season in 1983 and post a respectable .275/.322/.402 slash line. He’d perform poorly in ’84, but post a truly good season in 1985 – the kind of season any kid would take. He’d hit .287/.348/.484, smack 24 HRs and steal 24 bases. That’s a pretty good roto star right there – especially for 1985. He wouldn’t reach those heights again.

Still, he would be serviceable throughout the next two years. So, what lead him to aspire to have a real estate career? Davis, quite simply, had a job that millions and millions of people aspire to, but, realistically, have no chance. Yet his aspirations weren’t athletics, but selling houses or commercial land? Sure, there is money in real estate, but Davis made $3,660,000 in his career – no small lump, especially back in the ‘80s.

If you would ask his brother, Mark, I’m sure he’d say he aspired to be a full time ball player. Mark was a 12th round pick of the White Sox in 1986. He would make the majors in 1991 with the California Angels. He would play in three games, get two plate appearances and record outs both times. He would spend seven seasons in the minors, but those two ABs were the only ones he would get in the show.

Maybe Mike would open a real estate firm with Mark after their playing days. Mike could talk about playing in the postseason and dreaming of selling houses, while Mark could talk about those two at bats he got against major league pitching.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Matt Stairs

stairs backstairs frontThis card is from 1992. Apparently at that point in time, Matt Stairs was svelte enough to play second base. But, in all fairness, he probably wasn’t. In reality, I assume Matt Stairs wasn’t moved off second base because of the logjam, but rather because he couldn’t field the position worth a lick – and that is okay.

In 1991, he did kill the ball in AA, posting a .333/.411/.509 line. He would reach the majors in 1992, but played in only 13 games for the Expos. In 1993, he played in only six games – all in the outfield.

He resurfaced in the majors in 1995, during which he appeared in 39 games for the Red Sox. The following season he played in 61 games for the Oakland Athletics.

Finally, in 1997, as a 29-year-old, Stairs would get full time duties; presumably the function the Expos moved him off second base for six years previous. Stairs would hit .298/.386/.582 with 27 HRs. Over the next three seasons, he followed up with similar campaigns that saw him hit 26, 38 and 21 HRs.

After that, he joined the Cubs, did his usual thing, then went to Milwaukee the following year, then Pittsburgh, then Kansas City for two+ seasons, and then Texas for 26 games and Detroit for 14 games. After Detroit, he was in Toronto for a full season and part of the next, before joining the Phillies, hitting a home run and appearing in 115 games .

In sum, after 16 years of playing, Stairs went to the post-season with the Phillies and changed baseball history. I didn’t even remember that Stairs, a Canadian, started his career with the Expos. I certainly had no idea he started out as a second basemen. It’s funny, this game. You begin as a bright-eyed 24-year-old power hitting infielder who can take a pitch, and low and behold 16 years later you hit one of the most important homeruns for the city of Philadelphia.

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Willie Wilson

For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

Willie Wilson back 2Willie Wilson back 1

Holy crap, Willie Wilson was a freak athlete. I wasn’t really recruited for any sport, so I don’t know how many scholarships real athletes receive, but 200 seems like a ton especially because there are currently only 211 Division-I NCAA baseball teams and most go pro in something other than sports.

But baseball wasn’t Wilson’s only sport. Clearly he had the build (6’3 and 190) and speed (668 career SBs) required to succeed at multiple sports. In fact, according to Wikipedia, he was a three sport star from Summit, New Jersey (the hometown of several of my college buddies, let’s call them Lippdale and Roni or Kevo and Timbo).

What limited Wilson from being a superstar was his propensity to strike out (1,144 times in 7,731 ABs), while not being able to walk much (just 425 BBs). In the 1980 World Series, Wilson set a record by striking out 12 times. Now, he did lead the league in hitting in 1982 with a .332 AVG; however, he only posted a .365 OBP. That 1982 season should be remembered as the luckiest of his life (.380 BAbip compared to .329 for his career). Continue reading