The Athletics may be without the Big Three, but as Kendall can attest, they still tower over the Pirates when it comes to winning. --T.V.
Bobby Crosby's 22 home runs in 2004 tied the second most ever by a rookie shortstop. Only Boston's Nomar Garciaparra (30 in 1997) had more in his first season.
An opposing team's scout sizes up the A's
IT'S GOING to be a challenge for them to win like they have in the past because Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder covered up a lot of their liabilities.... Eric Byrnes is a great guy off the bench, but he concerns me as an every-day player. Teams are going to figure out how to pitch him, and he's going to struggle.... Jason Kendall doesn't throw very well. He's more of an offensive player.... Barry Zito has looked good this spring. He's tightened up his curveball, and he's grown up.... Rich Harden has been impressive as well. He throws 97 mph, and it looks like he's lobbing it. He's got great, deceptive stuff.... Danny Haren is a good athlete who throws hard and has a good splitter.... Dan Meyer has been shaky; he may be in over his head.... In the bullpen Juan Cruz has a terrific arm and throws 95, 96 mph with a good changeup. I'd start him and take some of the pressure off Meyer.... Octavio Dotel has not been good at all. He's having trouble throwing strikes and doesn't look comfortable. Rookie Huston Street hasn't been intimidated. Right now I'd trust Street to close more than I would Dotel.
projected roster with 2004 statistics
2nd in AL West
third season with Oakland