Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Feel the Byrnes
2005-07-14 16:27
by Mark T.R. Donohue

A day after, reports on the trade are coming in from all sides. A's assistant GM David Forst on Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick: "The two pitchers we got were exactly what we were looking for in terms of improving our pen. [Kennedy] is a long-term acquisition for us. He certainly has a chance to get back in the starting rotation. We have control over his contract for the next 2 1/2 years." Eric Byrnes is heartbroken but classy about leaving his home in the Bay Area: "Hey, I gave Ken Macha a big hug today.... I'm not upset, not at all. I didn't always see eye to eye with Billy [Beane] or Ken, but that's part of the relationship. I'm thankful the A's gave me the chance to play major-league baseball."

Mark Kotsay on Byrnes' future with the Rockies: "You saw it coming over the offseason. There were definitely teams that pursued Eric Byrnes. I think this is the best situation for Eric. He can play every day, possibly in center field, in a hitter's environment." Numerous articles reflect on Byrnes' popularity in the Bay Area, a cult of personality quite disproportionate with his on-the-field skills. Hey, nothing quite perks up the second half of a lost season like an inexplicable fan favorite. Just ask Bucky Jacobsen or Augie Ojeda.

Over on the other side of the country, Jim Bowden giggles about fleecing the Rockies. "Let's lay out what this deal is. We protected all the organization's top prospects, and we traded a pitcher that I think is very good, but in reality, he had a 6.75 ERA for us, wasn't on the major league roster, and didn't look like he was going to help us win this year." The Nationals also signed Mike Stanton, by the way. Wilson hit a solo home run in his Washington debut today, in a road loss to the Brewers. Let's face facts: Washington is not as good as its record. Somehow the Braves have managed to stay right on their tail despite three-fifths of their rotation and Chipper Jones being out of commission. Florida is still hanging around as well despite useless first halfs from Juan Pierre, Mike Lowell, and Al Leiter. The Nationals aren't going to the playoffs, although just finishing in contention should be a good story for Washington and MLB. An even better one if the team gets, you know, an owner.

Finally, to our beloved local press corps. The Post has some good parting shots from Kennedy ("I was part of the youth movement, then I wasn't part of any movement, unless you count getting traded") and Wilson ("When a team is winning that's a good situation"). The News has still yet another apology for the youth movement and their own spin on the trades. Only thing interesting there is the photo accompanying the latter, which makes Zach Day look about 14 years old. Go, youth movement.

Wasn't sure where to fit this in, but Albert Chen has a column on with a good All-Star quote from Brian Fuentes ("Yeah, I've never met anyone here") and a funny dis on "Angel" star David Boreanaz. It's since been fixed, but Chen's original piece pilloried Boreanaz for calling Mariano Rivera "Mariano Riviera," yet misspelled his name "Boreanz." I don't know, it was funny to me.

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