1.) Jim Johnson –This one doesn’t surprise me as it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind. I disagreed with the signing from the very beginning because A) I don’t believe in giving closers big money B) despite having 50 saves in Baltimore the year before, (hands down the most overrated statistic in sports) he still managed to blow 9 games…a horrible percentage. C) He just looked like a creep.
I was spot-on as the fans quickly grew tired of pitches that had zero movement and blown saves in bunches. Eventually he was run out-of-town until signing with Detroit who grew tired of him as well and sent him to AAA Toledo to waste away in the city known for unemployment and the smell of shit in the air…a fitting ending to the season for Johnson and perhaps an omen.
2.) Daric Barton — This guy never had a nickname, yet as far as I was concerned it should have been “The Cockroach.” (He was deemed “Churro Vendor” by this blog because readers thought that it would be a better suited job.) Barton was acquired in the trade with St. Louis for Mark Mulder (Dan Haren was also acquired in the trade supplying 43 wins and an All Star appearance, so the trade worked out pretty well overall.) and was slated to be the Athletics first baseman for years to come. The only problem was that he couldn’t hit a lick, but for some reason stuck around for EIGHT seasons, being shuttled back and forth to Sacramento (AAA) so much that he sort of became their unofficial mascot. The cherry on top of the shit-heap was when he was put on waivers twice in one week and not one team claimed him.
3.) Brian Fuentes/Bob Geren — Yet another closer that didn’t live up to his deemed position. His goofy face, big ears and screwy delivery added to the fire when the blown saves started to add up. Things got so bad that my mother, a neophyte baseball fan, would storm out of the room whenever he came into the game. A reader of this blog summed it up perfectly when she sent this response: I hate Brian Fuentes with a passion. He is a horrible closer. He blew 4 saves in eight days when he was with the Rockies. I cried a little when I had found out we picked him up in 2011. My dad kept trying to say he was good, and he was briefly, but I just told him to wait. It quickly turned into “OH (f-bomb)! Fuentes is coming in. There goes the game.” The only saving grace was when he criticized then manager Bob Geren’s (probably the least liked manager in Oakland history and an ex-Yankee, so who really gives a darn!) “unorthodox managing”, handling of pitchers and “zero communication.” Then ex-closer Huston Street piped in saying of Geren that “he is the least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports.” Ol’ Bob was let go after the 2011 season leading to the signing of another Bob (Melvin) and Fuentes’ career was over soon there-after.
Arthur Rhodes (yet another stinky closer.)
Luis Polonia (not sure about this one as he was busted for raping a woman as a Yankee. Perhaps the reader hated dripping jheri curl mullets.)
Nick Swisher (was sort of a lovable hick/douchbag until he got Yankee-itis and then began thinking he was a much better player than he really was.)
Jon Lester (more Yo hangovers)
Jeremy Giambi (strip clubs, drunkenness, a scolding by Brad Pitt in the locker room and the prancing “non-slide.”)
Bobby Crosby (a high pick that couldn’t do much of anything after his rookie year and even had his dad criticize Billy Beane in the media.)
Buddy Groom (dumb name, psycho looking face, and one of the worst LOOGY’s of all time.)
The A’s go all the way back to Connie Mack and the founding of the American League. Isn’t it a shame that Giambi’s “non-slide” is arguably their most famous play? As a Dodgers fan, I feel your pain.
It’s gotta be the Gibson home run… on a side note…I visit Dodger stadium around 10 times a year and I’m always disappointed at the lack of statues and the lack of some sort of marker (a red seat perhaps) where the Gibby dinger landed. These are petty complaints however, as it is a beautiful stadium. The Athletics visit this year for a short 2 game set…should be interesting.
What about Billy Koch and Keith Foulke for their postseason meltdowns while with the A’s? And Jason Hammel? He did go 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA in his first seven appearances with the team, and the A’s lost six of them. They ended up winning just two of his 12 starts.
Billy Koch (after doing some research…2002 seems like a lifetime away) actually played one season in Oakland and had a decent year statistically…44 saves, 3.17 ERA and came in 18th in MVP voting. Foulke played one season as well in 2003, ending with 43 saves, 2.03 ERA and an All Star nod. These are Bob Gibson-like numbers compared to the closers I mentioned!! 🙂 No one liked Hammel, but I’m not sure he was around long enough to get on anyone’s nerves.
P.S. After even more research…you were right about those meltdowns. Boy, bullpen problems in the playoffs seem to be our weakness!
Yup. In 2002, the A’s would have faced a very beatable Angels in the ALCS had they gotten past Minnesota in the Division Series. Down 2-1 in the fifth game in Oakland, Koch’s job as the closer would have been to keep it a one-run deficit, but he imploded by giving up a two-run homer and RBI double, rendering the A’s three-run bottom-half-of-the-ninth rally meaningless. Game Five at home against a beatable Twins club…you’ve got to win that one. I’m just surprised Koch isn’t a bigger part of A’s playoff failures lore.
Then I’m sure you know, the following year with Foulke, the A’s were four outs away from eliminating Boston in Game Four. But Foulke, brought into the game to start the eighth, gave up a game-winning two-run double to David Ortiz. Could they have beaten the Yankees in the ALCS? I don’t know. But waiting in the wings were a very beatable Marlins club in the World Series.
So, really, I would look at it as two big opportunities in 2002-2003 that went out the window. 🙂
Reblogged this on BBSTmlb.com and commented:
This is a GREAT and kinda funny list! I really hate Bob Geren … Johnson, Crosby, Swisher (he’s right hick/douchebag is a good description!), Polonia (a name I hadn’t thought of in a while!!) – the only ones I don’t dislike are Jon Lester because he was great and people need to get the f**k over Yoenis Cespedes – he wasn’t that great and seriously, teams just keep trying to get rid of him and the A’s collapse had nothing to do with him being traded – it was a GOOD thing to get rid of him! GET OVER IT!And I liked Rhodes even though he was NOT a good closer … overall perfect list besides those two!
Yeah Cespedes sucked, He only hit 3 HR yesterday. Jon Lester was ****ING AMAZING in that playoff game, the one we picked him up for 3 months for for the sole reason of winning that game. What was his line again? 6 runs allowed??
That comment is so stupid it hurts my brain.
I agree, Gil. But let’s remember, these were readers choices, not my own.
Yeah he hit 3 home runs YESTERDAY!!! In 2014, even with that tear he went on with the Mets – He STILL finished behind Brandon Moss – who only hit 4 in the second half and Josh Donaldson who only hit 9 in the second half and they both had over 20 in the first half. We didnt need Cespedes if Moss had been healthy. He would have been enough protection in the line up for JD. You people are all idiots that you can’t see that there is a much better plan in the works here. But whatever, I’m sorry your brain hurts….It’s probably because you’re missing part of it. Moron.
Thanks Jen. 🙂
Barton was in the Mulder trade not Mcguire. Always fact check EVERYTHING be publishing. To me it ruins the quality of everything else.
Ignore my comment. No idea why I saw Mcguire and not Mulder.
No worries….thanks for reading. BTW it’s “McGwire.”
What–no Charles O. Finley?
I think current owner Lew Wolff is hated by Oakland fans more than any current or former player on ANY team in the history of the game.
I remember when STL dealt that Haren trade in the early 00’s. I was 12 and glad because the one Cards game I went to that year Haren (a young ‘bullpenner’ then) gave up a game winning 13th inning grand slam vs. the Expos!
That grudge kinda backfired on me.
Wish I could have contributed – What about Ruben Sierra, 92-94- useless. Milton Bradley – another drone. Jim Spencer from the early 80s – past his time.
Here’s someone you probably forgot: Bob Kearney. worst clutch hitter I ever saw. If there was a runner on 3rd and 1 out, he struck out. One out, first and third, he’d hit into a double play. He always managed to find the worst possible result.
Let us not forget Matt Holliday, that piece of shit.
Foreal, i was so excited to have Matt Holliday on the A’s, only for him to be the biggest piece of shit player that obviously didn’t want to be on the A’s. Then he goes over to the Cardinals that same season and does well. & for Brian Fuentes, i couldn’t stand that dude after he couldn’t close a game out. I remember it was a day game, and I went with my brother to the game. Brian Fuentes comes in bottom of the 8th inning, and me and my brother sitting next to the warm-up mound, stood up and boo’d the fuck out of Fuentes. Felt so good. Oh & Jim Johnson is a piece of shit too, went to two games where he blew the lead. Wish we never picked him up.
Ben Grieve–always trying to pull the ball when he had warning track power.
Terence Long–Used the original Apple Maps to plan his routes to the ball. Could make the routine look like the spectacular (robbing Manny in Boston was because he took two steps in on the ball when it was hit). And that called strike 3 against the Red Sox after he watched Melhuse strike out on the same pitch?
Ramon Hernandez–couldn’t call a game to save his life (fastball to Manny when Zito was gassed and Manny would have flailed at a breaking ball)…and his hitting was only eclipsed in pathetic ness by:
Jason Kendall–if you needed a weak ground ball to second, Jason was your guy. If you needed to see the other team run at will, Jason was your guy. And if you needed a prima donna who thought he should play every day and wasn’t there to bring along young players, Jason was your guy.