Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bobby Crosby's dad should calm down

Ed Crosby, a former major league scout and father of A's infielder Bobby Crosby, recently gave his thoughts on A's GM Billy Beane and his unfair treatment of Bobby:

"My feelings are that he has been messed around with, and that Billy Beane (A's general manager) has done a number on him. Right now Bobby's on the disabled list, and he's not even hurt. He had a twinge in his left calf, but it wasn't serious enough to put him on the DL. But they were just looking for an excuse. Bobby's not hurt, period.

. . . He was healthy last season, and played in 145 games. He had to spend the off-season having to hear how the A's were bidding for (Rafael) Furcal (Dodgers' shortstop). He never said a thing, and came to spring training higher than a kite. And then the A's acquire Orlando Cabrera, and turn Bobby into a utility player. He's a shortstop, and a darned good one if they would just leave him alone. Baseball is a tough mental game, and it's hard to play it when a team is messing with your psyche."

Yes, Crosby was healthy last season and played in 145 games, but he also hit .237/.296/.349 with seven home runs and 61 runs batted in. He also is a decent shortstop, posting a 2.8 UZR and a 3.0 UZR/150 in 2008. In fact, his defense at shortstop is where he gets most of his value, which accounted for his $4.9 million worth of value last year according to FanGraphs.

But because of injuries, lack of offensive abilities, or something else, Crosby hasn't improved on his back-to-back strong seasons in 2004 (AL Rookie of the Year) and 2005. He hasn't posted on on-base percentage higher than .300 since 2005, and he hasn't hit more than nine home runs since 2006. So why exactly was it so surprising that Beane went out and signed Orlando Cabrera, who had been very good the last few seasons and was worth much more than Crosby? Granted, Cabrera hasn't been all that good this year, but Crosby has still been worse.

Crosby probably deserves a chance with another team, but his father wasn't publicly complaining about Beane and the A's hitting philosophies when his son was putting up promising numbers earlier in his career. Unless Crosby can stay healthy and get on base more consistently, he may actually not be much better than a utility player/backup middle infielder for the rest of his career. And that's not Beane's fault.

("Father Crosby scorches Beane's handling of son")

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