January 05, 2007

Milledge and the A's

Vlae Kershner at the SF Gate, writes about Lastings Milledge and how he has been tagged with the A's over the past year:

Last summer, it was Barry Zito for outfielder Lastings Milledge -- a Dickensian name (Uriah Heep, meet Lastings Milledge, a player of great expectations). Didn't happen. This winter, Rich Harden, Dan Haren and Joe Blanton have all been mentioned as Milledge bait, with various prospects going in either direction, depending on which starter is involved. But the New York Post quotes Mets sources as saying there's nothing to the reports of a likely Blanton-for-Milledge trade.

Why all this chatter? Seems like people figure that the A's, having fit Milton Bradley into the clubhouse, are the perfect team for the young, cheap, talented, somewhat controversial Milledge, who doesn't have much chance of making the Mets lineup.

Not sure this makes any sense, though. The A's don't have any surplus starters right now; if they want to contend in 2007 they need Harden to come back, Haren to continue his maturation and Blanton to, uh, allow three runs in six innings and turn it over to the bullpen.

As for Milledge, he started a blog war in NYC last season when a writer suggested he was a "thug" who nearly ran over the writer in a Hummer. The Mets were furious with that report, and other writers defended Milledge as just a cocky middle-class African American kid unfairly painted by racial stereotyping. Then there's the whole high-five thing.Billy Beane probably would do better by not turning this debate into a tale of two cities.

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