Wow. Hard to believe I haven't had anything to say for the last week. Actually, I've been talking a lot as per usual on places like Lookout Landing, etc. But, I've neglected this place a bit, in spite of actually wanting to write on a lot of different things. I got a new computer, which has taken up a lot of my time setting up. I still have to find a few software CDs to load important programs like Photoshop and Premier. I've also been appeasing the wife by driving all over the place loading stuff for redecorating the hot tub room. Hopefully the load of cardboard I hauled off last night is it for awhile.
A couple of things are actually swirling in my mind...
1) This series in Oakland I believe is a true gauge for the season's outlook. If the M's win the series, then I'll start to give them some credit for actually turning their season around. Sure, we can complain about Meche's FIP, and that our DH is hitting for a negative VORP or something of the sorts. But if the M's are able to take at least two of the next three games, when they don't have to face the likes of Harden or Zito, I will be a lot more willing to say that the M's are a team finding themselves and pushing their losing ways behind them.
What do I expect to happen? Well, they've disappointed me so much before, that I'm sort of conditioned to believe that they'll get swept. What's different, though, about this latest battle is that they've been able to have some success against some tough, tough pitchers. And, they've made some not-so-tough pitchers look like the not-so-tough pitchers they are. That's actually been more of a sign for me that things are starting to turn around.
I would like to hope that this recent success gives Hargrove something to build upon. A less-than-winning team, though, shows signs like this -- win 2-3 games then lose 2-3 games; win 5-6 then lose 5-6, etc. That's what .500 and below clubs do. They're hot then immediately cold. They tease you with their success then fall flat on their face.
That last-place object in the mirror is closer than it appears.
2) Speaking of Hargrove, I'm not yet willing to click on the "mute" button for "Free Dan Rohn" campaign. Sure, the M's have been winning. There are a few things I'm willing to attribute it to. I'm not convinced Hargrove has had much to do with it. I've been pondering if having Adrian Beltre batting second in the order is a move that Hargrove made on his own, or if Rohn had anything to do with it. Nevertheless, Beltre does have a 6-game hitting streak and (SAMPLE SIZE ALERT) has hit .278/.328/.481/.809 in the 12 games he's batted second. There's still the Reed/Bloomquist platoon split and the continual wilting of Petagine on the vines of the bench. He's still using George as a LOOGY (which is probably OK as long as Putz and Soriano continue to do well -- although Soriano does have a tinge of gopheritis), and really hasn't changed a whole lot. We just happened to have faced some of the league's bottom feeders. Of course, good teams beat these types of teams consistently and struggle with the good teams. This series with Oakland, again, will be a good gauge of the direction in which the M's are headed.
3) I've juuuuust this morning finished reading a totally good book. For me, that's somewhat of a major accomplishment, since reading time (away from the blogs, of course) is practically nil. I'll try and do it justice by having a review posted as soon as I can. It definitely gave me a deeper perspective on a lot of different aspects of how the game of baseball is played within MLB.
Other than that, I hope the weather and my schedule clears up so I can catch Tacoma during this current homestand. I've got to get Cruceta and Little G added to my photo database. Kinda funny how the M's are playing Oakland and the R's are playing Oakland's AAA club.
Free Dan Rohn! Go M's!