Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Understaffing Before Closure

So, here's a brief bit of topical depression from your local Jersey resident: I found out earlier today that one of our local diners just closed suddenly, out of the blue. This is the third or fourth diner in the last year or so to close down, one's been made into a dispensary. And this one was still standing but now it's suddenly gone. And there was no run-up to it, or signs that it might be on the way out. Nah, beginning of the week the doors were shut, the website was offline and the business was kaput. Thankfully there's a good diner still local, probably one or two others a bit further off, but this specific diner just skidding to a halt like this feels like the ultimate insult. 

It's not that the customers stopped showing up, it's that nobody really wanted to put in the work to keep it open.

Oh yeah and there's an Oakland A at the top of the post, I wonder how that anecdote is related...

Look, the A's were a decent enough team when there were healthy and viable starting options. That at least kept them in the race, and they actually had 5 guys starting all their games for a while. Then Paul Blackburn, Alex Wood, Ross Stripling and Joe Boyle all got hurt, and the replacements were people like Aaron Brooks, Luis Medina and Hogan Harris, who were left out of the picture for a reason. And then suddenly it makes sense that the A's aren't winning games. Nobody's really around to make the first 5 innings suspenseful in any way.

It's really just J.P. Sears right now, as he's the only one who's stayed healthy this time. And it's a good time for ex-Yankee pitching prospects in other markets. Michael King had an amazing day for the Padres [against uh...oh dear this is awkward], and just last night Drew Thorpe had a stunning debut for the White Sox. Sears has been relatively sharp since coming over in the Frankie Montas deal, he's just never particularly had the best teams to defend. This year does seem to be an improvement, as he's 4-5 with a 4.02 ERA in 13 games. Sears isn't an overpowering pitcher, but he's gained some control, and is the best asset the A's have right now. Having Joey Estes and Mitch Spence helps somewhat, but there's still a 'let's throw 'em out there' quality to most of the starters not named Sears, and it's at least nice that he can be reliable for them in a time when everything is failing them.

And now it's getting even more ridiculous than just simply 'no starters showing up'. One of the team's best relievers, Michael Kelly, is facing a long-term league ban due to sports-betting. The plan to get Brandon Bielak over and fix his issues didn't work because the A's aren't the Dodgers. There's three crucial hitters with sub-.200 averages, including one that has been linked to trade rumors due to his, uh, hitting. And two guys who looked like the future of the team last year, Ryan Noda and Lawrence Butler, are back in the minors. Even if people like Tyler Soderstrom, Kyle McCann and Max Schuemann are actually coming into their own, too many parts that were working have been knocked back off for there to be any progress. 

The hope at this point is that things don't get any worse. But seeing as the Twins and Royals are up next...I'm not all that sure...

Coming Tomorrow- A career power hitter having one of his best pure contact seasons yet.

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