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Blog Entry

Getting to know the A's

Posted on: March 22, 2011 12:39 am
 
By C. Trent Rosecrans

MVP

Hideki MatsuiThe A's may have baseball's deepest pitching staff one-through-12, and if not, there aren't many teams in front of them. The team should have the pitching to contend in the American League West, but the problem may be scoring enough runs. 

Oakland was 11th in runs scored last season (663), ahead of only Cleveland, Baltimore and Seattle. Only the Mariners (101) hit fewer home runs than the A's (109) and had again the Mariners were the only team with a worse slugging percentage (.339) than the A's (.378).

Billy Beane's answer? Hideki Matsui.

Matsui signed a one-year deal worth $4.25 million and is expected to add some much-needed pop to the A's lineup. That said, Matsui is coming off a year with 21 home runs in Anaheim and moving into a less-friendly stadium in Oakland. It will be tough for Matsui to repeat his .274/.361/.459 slash line he put up last season (good for a 124 OPS+) with 21 homers and 84 RBI. But if he can come close to matching that production, he'll certainly help the A's score runs and contend in the AL West.

Player Oracle

Home Run Baker played with Waite Hoyt for the 1922 New York Yankees
Waite Hoyt played with Bert Haas for the 1937 Brooklyn Dodgers
Bert Haas played with Minnie Minoso for the 1951 Chicago White Sox
Minnie Minoso played with Harold Baines for the 1980 Chicago White Sox
Harold Baines played with Frank Thomas for the 2001 Chicago White Sox
Frank Thomas played with Daric Barton for the 2008 Oakland Athletics

Pop Culture

In 1972, Vida Blue appeared in four World Series games and also in Black Gunn, a blaxploitation film starring Jim Brown and Martin Landau.

Blue stars as Sam Green, who works at a parking lot and is interrogated by mob members about a robbery. Green is beaten up for not telling the mobsters anything. Brown's titular character, in the end, gets his bloody revenge.

Blue was also the subject of a song by Albert Jones in 1971, the year the left-hander won the Cy Young and American League MVP, going 24-8 with a 1.82 ERA.

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