Friday, June 03, 2005

End Of The Dotel "Era"

Macha Reads LFR

Good riddance to the now former A's reliever, Octavio Dotel.

Dotel, battling arm tendinitis and eyeing ahead to next year's free agent market, abruptly shutdown his rehabilitation effectively ending his tenure in Oakland.

Ironically, on the same day of Dotel's announcement rookie reliever Huston Street notched his first Major League save. The shadow of the rookie righthander was clearly felt by Dotel a few weeks ago when he openly said the A's would not resign him the off-season.

It goes further than a player in a dead-end situation looking out for himself with the report that four doctors recommended he continue rehabilitation rather than season-ending surgery. Ever since he arrived in Oakland from Houston, he's been known to be stand-offish to his teammates and inspired few by his closing abilities. Let the Street era begin.

Was it just a figment of many imaginations or was A's announcer, Ray Fosse, on to something when he said Street's delivery had taken some cues from the great A's fireman, Dennis Eckersley.

Sure, he has a completely different demeanor and begins his windup with an exaggerated step towards first, but when he takes that first step towards home, Streets arm angle is definitely Eckersley-like. Unfortunately, he still has about 395 saves to catch up with Eck.

There may be some doubt as to whether Street's slight build and throwing motion might lead to a few arm injuries, but there is little doubt that he has above average Major League stuff. One thing I've learned watching baseball is that commentators will often use the term "great stuff" referring to a pitcher's effectiveness, but rarely can a person at home literally see it.

Street has some of the most wicked movement on every single pitch he throws. The proof is the box score. Street routinely makes everyone from rookies to seasoned veterans look bad on a daily basis.

A New York Post writer noticed that the steroid-laced slugger, Jason Giambi, is now wearing Mizuno shoes that belonged to teammate Hideki Matsui. Nike confirmed that Giambi's association with the shoe company was terminated. The fall of Giambi continues the steep arch of a classic Greek tragedy. Now, if only Speed Stick would relieve us of those stupid commercials of Giambi in a tuxedo swinging a bat.

Why didn't the A's include Braves' righthander Kyle Davies in the Tim Hudson trade instead of the sore-armed Dan Meyer. Meyer, a former #1 pick and lefthanded was shutdown after the A's found his range of movement in his shoulder to be alarmingly nonexistent. Meanwhile, Davies jumped from AAA to more than cover the injuries to Mike Hampton and John Thomson. Nevermind that he's 2-1 with a 1.15 ERA, but Davies has the look and physique of a more mature hurler. I've watched two of Davies' three starts versus Boston and Washington and while he did make some mistakes late in the game, you could see a toughness and confidence that may long endure that of Meyer.

I have a lenghty yet-to-be posted blog demanding the firing of A's manager Ken Macha in favor of thirdbase coach Ron Washington. Just as soon as I saved it the A's ran off four straight wins and Macha finally made a change with the struggling Eric Chavez by moving down in the order. Either Macha reads the LFR or its just the nature of this game--anything can and will happen.


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