Can the A’s comeback to win the A.L. West (again)?


It’s been 14 straight months of regular season baseball since the Oakland Athletics have had a losing record. That streak ended Saturday night as they lost their third straight game to the Los Angeles Angels. Even if they win Sunday on August’s final day the Athletics will finish the month with a 13-16 record.

However, the Oakland Athletics generally play better baseball when they are considered the underdogs.

2013 AL West Champions

On August 31, 2012 the A’s were four games back of the A.L. West leading Texas Rangers and on August 31, 2013 they Athletics were two games behind the Rangers. The A’s are the back-to-back A.L. Western Division Champions so being four games back on August 31 really isn’t an obstacle too big to overcome.

They have all the pieces but need to put them together, as well as stay healthy during the month of September, to be able to overtake the Angels and win the division. It’s definitely a possibility, so don’t count the Oakland Athletics out just yet. 

Read the full story here:

Oakland Athletics: Can they comeback from their August slide and win the West?

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A’s acquire slugger Adam Dunn from the White Sox

Joy R. Absalon/USA TODAY Sports

Joy R. Absalon/USA TODAY Sports

The A’s have acquired Adam Dunn plus cash considerations from the Chicago White Sox for minor league right-handed reliever Nolan Sanburn. 

Dunn hit 34 home runs last season and has hit 20 so far in 2014. Whether Dunn’s presence will help spark the A’s offense remains to be seen but it certainly couldn’t hurt! I’ll go into that later today but for now here’s my story on the A’s latest trade:

White Sox slugger Adam Dunn is headed to Oakland

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Why Tanaka needs Tommy John surgery now

Getty Images

Getty Images

If you have a minute – check out my article on why I think Tanaka needs to get the surgery and get it over with now … not that I want to help the Yankees! LOL! But I think they are making a HUGE mistake still even considering letting him return this season or even next without the surgical procedure. 

Tanaka suffers setback, why he should have surgery now

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* ICYMI: MLB Updates with Oakland A’s Socks Girl 8/30*

1937873_10154372807300026_269571575_nWelcome to ICYMI: MLB Updates with Oakland A’s Socks Girl! Here at Bullpen, Baseball & Sock Talk I’ve tried to keep my readers updated on what’s new in Major League Baseball in a couple of different ways, though mainly through daily updates that included highlights from my blog (here!, the newest articles from the FanSided Network’s flagship MLB site and the day’s scores. However, with the added duties to my position as Editor at Call to the Pen and as a Featured Columnist on FanSided Network’s main page, it has become increasingly difficult to keep you updated on a daily basis and continue to include all the new articles plus the scores from every single game.

So what I am now proposing is this: every week on Saturday!!! I will bring you a approximately a week’s worth of new articles from Call to the Pen, highlights of some of my favorite blog posts from the week here on Bullpen, Baseball & Sock Talk, any important/relevant posts from other MLBlogs or FanSided sites I may have noticed, plus the team standings in each MLB Division and the Wild Card.

If you like the new format or don’t like it, please leave a comment below! Constructive criticism is always welcome as I strive to continue to improve my blog with each post! It seems my readership has diminished a bit lately and any suggestions on whatever I can do to keep you coming back is appreciated! So hopefully you will enjoy the *New, (hopefully) Improved* edition of ICYMI: MLB Updates with Oakalnd A’s Socks Girl!

Highlights from Bullpen, Baseball & Sock 8/30/14

My Wednesday and Sunday August Columns from as of 8/30/14

*NEW: every Monday during the season on MLB Top Performances of the Week

This week’s latest news from Call to the Pen: as of 8/30/14

MLB Division and Wild Card Standings as of 8/30/14:


  1. Orioles 77-56
  2. Yankees 70-63
  3. Blue Jays 67-67
  4. Rays 65-70
  5. Red Sox 59-75


  1. Royals 74-60
  2. Tigers 73-60
  3. Indians 69-64
  4. White Sox 60-74
  5. Twins 59-75


  1. Angels 81-63
  2. Athletics 78-56
  3. Mariners 72-61
  4. Astros 57-79
  5. Rangers 53-81


  1. Nationals 73-54
  2. Braves 68-61
  3. Marlins 64-63
  4. Mets 60-69
  5. Phillies 57-71


  1. Brewers 73-61
  2. Cardinals 71-62
  3. Pirates 70-64
  4. Reds 65-70
  5. Cubs 60-74


  1. Dodgers 76-59
  2. Giants 72-62
  3. Padres 63-70
  4. Diamondbacks 56-78
  5. Rockies 53-81


A.L. Top 5 teams:

  1. Athletics
  2. Tigers
  3. Mariners
  4. Blue Jays
  5. Indians

NL Top 5 Teams:

  1. Giants
  2. Cardinals
  3. Braves
  4. Pirates
  5. Marlins



Stay classy Anaheim … Karma can be a bitch!

Check this out … it pretty much speaks for itself … SMH. (below the pic is an actual tweet from the Angels)


Actual Tweet from the @Angels Official Twitter account:

Way to keep it classy Angels!! Didn’t learn from Manny Machado that KARMA IS A BITCH?! Oh, you hadn’t heard he’s out for the season?? You can ask him about it in 2015 then. 

A’s finish game under protest, lose to Angels in 10th (video)

A play in the ninth inning changed not just the momentum of the game but also how the A’s had to play their game against the Angels on Thursday night. That they would have used their pitchers differently is just one example of why this the A’s protest of this game should be upheld and the game should be resumed in the bottom of the ninth inning. If the A’s were still to lose to the Angels then at least it would have been a fair game. You can read the story along with the observations of those who were there and my analysis (and the observations of others) of the play on Call to the Pen by clicking the link below:

A’s finish game under protest, lose to Angels (video)

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But first you can watch the video and decide for yourself what happened: Was there obstruction by Otero or Moss? Did Otero have the ball before being hit by Aybar? Did Aybar even hit Moss? Did Aybar veer to the left and barrel into Otero? Did Aybar leave the base path? All these question and more should figure into your decision …. Have fun! :)

New on Call to the Pen!

Just thought I would share a few new posts from Call to the Pen! Check back later on CttP for a post on the Cubs call-ups and how the Braves’ Jonny Venters is now facing his THIRD Tommy John surgery! Also don’t forget to look for my columns on every Mon/Wed/Sun

We are in the process of making some improvements at Call to the Pen. So get ready for it to be better than ever! Look to us for all your breaking MLB news, highlights, analysis and opinions – then share yours! We are FanSided!

Top 5 A.L. Cy Young Award candidates 2014 (Wed. column)


Christian Petersen/Getty Images

“King” Felix Hernandez. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Cy Young Award goes to the best overall pitching performance of the season. This was more difficult to decipher than initially anticipated. Does one look at wins? ERA? Innings pitched? Number of strikeouts? It isn’t easy and I do not necessarily envy the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) who are the lucky few who are afforded the right to make this extremely tough decision.

It goes beyond those statistics mentioned, however. Does one include relief pitchers or number of saves? Should there ERAs factor in when they have pitched far fewer innings? Were there any records set?

In some circumstances I’d say yes, at first, because Dennis Eckersley won the Cy Young Award in 1992 as a closer and Mariano Rivera certainly should have at won one at one  point in his career, although he never actually did win.

Yet there have always been awards for relievers and especially now due to the announcement of the new awards for relievers, the American League Mariano Rivera Award and the National League Trevor Hoffman Award, I think that the Cy Young Award should be limited to starting pitchers in the majority of situations.

There are always exceptions to the rule like Eckersley, Rivera and Hoffman but for the sake of this season and this article this selection will be solely based on starting pitching. and their numbers as of Tuesday, August 26, 2014.I will be looking at certain statistics: wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts.

Without further ado here are my top five picks (and an honorable mention)  for the 2014 American League Cy Young Award.

To find out who I think the top 5 American League candidates are (one or two might surprise you!) check out the link below:

MLB: Top 5 A.L. Cy Young Award candidates

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Cuddyer, complete games and the top MLB performances of the week

Top Performances of the Week is my latest project on It will come out on the site EVERY Monday during the season!

Up this week Michael Cuddyer goes cycling for history, 3 complete games and more!  Take a look at the video of the Colorado Rockies’ Michael Cuddyer become just the third player in history to hit for the cycle in both the American and National Leagues!


Also in this week’s top performances: David Price, Rick Porcello, Drew Smyly, the Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates and more! Check it out by using the link below:

Top MLB performances of the week: Michael Cuddyer goes for the Cycle

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7 minor league players to look for in September

Getty Images

Getty Images

It’s almost that time of the year when Major League Baseball teams’ active rosters grow from 25 players to 40 players. Each teams’ roster expands on September 1 every year. Minor league players and top prospects are called up to gain experience and to add depth to the teams as they make their final pushes towards the postseason.

This is especially helpful for contending  teams who have had significant injuries or just need some extra depth. The Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics are a good examples of these types of teams. Tied for the best record in all of Major League Baseball, the Angels just lost starter Garrett Richards to a season ending knee injury and for the A’s, who use a platoon system, could use the extra players to put depth into those platoons.

For teams not in contention for the postseason it is a time in which they can get their top prospects valuable big league experience and get them ready to be the future of the team. A perfect example would be the Chicago Cubs who have quite a few of baseball’s top prospects and are looking forward to possible future success.

Whatever the team’s reason, roster expansion is helpful all around. Coming up is a list of ten minor league players you can expect to see this season in September. 

To check out my slide show and learn about these seven soon to be well-known names click the link below:

7 minor league players to look for in September

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