Welcome to the big leagues, Derek Norris

Derek Norris, the top catching prospect who was part of the Gio Gonzalez trade, made his major league debut this afternoon.

He threw out Dee Gordon in a key 9th inning situation helping put the A’s in position to win in the bottom of the ninth. But that isn’t why I am writing about him.

Look at this guy. He’s what a catcher is supposed to look like. Stocky. Tough. Grizzled. Possibly angry.

Just in terms of visual aesthetics, this bearded intimidating figure is what you want in a catcher.

And so far he has caught one game in the bigs and the A’s let up a single run and he threw out the go ahead run in the 9th inning trying to steal. So at least in his first game, he passed the catchers test.

The A’s were criticized for making so many deals this off season, sending young pitchers like Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey, reinforcing a cheapskate image without the heroic Scott Hatteberg Moneyball home run to redeem the team.

But Josh Reddick, brought over from Boston, already has 15 homers while Bailey has yet to pitch a game for the Red Sox.

Cahill has pitched well for Arizona. However Jarrod Parker, the main chip in the trade, is pitching to a lower ERA. And the A’s also got from the D-Backs Ryan Cook, who has been outstanding in the bullpen and Collin Cowgill, who has played well in the outfield.

And while Gio Gonzalez is a Cy Young contender in Washington, the A’s haul in that deal has been on display each of the last two games.

Pitcher Tommy Milone threw a complete game victory yesterday to raise his record to 7-5. And Derek Norris showed today that he is ready behind the plate.

In the end, the Athletics might very well have the last laugh on all of the trade. However it does not look like Norris will be laughing at anything any time soon.

So as the Athletics out together their latest playoff team for Oakland (or San Jose or Fremont or wherever they will end up), they appear to have a catcher straight out of central casting.

Maybe an actor will play Norris in Moneyball 2.
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Gio González Should Be the Cy Young Front Runner Now – My latest for Bleacher Report

The National League is filled with preseason Cy Young favorites. If you picked Cliff Lee, Tim Lincecum, Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke or Matt Cain before the season began, you would have probably felt good about your prediction.

Not a lot of people probably had Gio González of the Nationals as their pick.
But at the 30% mark of the season, I make the case that he should be in the lead on Bleacher Report.


You can read the whole article HERE.

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I’m Sully and I approve this off season for the Red Sox

The Red Sox had post season dreams that fell just short… like Carl Crawford’s diving attempt on the last play of the season.

The manager is gone. The closer is gone. The Captain may have played his final game.
A new GM is in charge but undermined by the owners.

It’s time to make tons of changes to the Sox, right?

NO!!!!

I have been advocating that the Red Sox take a step back and heaven forbid REBUILD FROM WITHIN.

Let the Angels cough up years and picks for Albert Pujols. And 5 years for C. J. Wilson? Gee whiz I wonder if they will regret that.
Let the Marlins pony up cash for Jose Reyes and a closer like Heath Bell.
Let the Rangers pay Yu Darvish’s posting fee.

Jimmy Rollins? He belongs in Philadelphia.
Carlos Beltran? It’s amazing that he syncs up his best season in years with a free agency stint. Have fun in St. Louis.

Aramis Ramirez? Mark Buehrle? Grady Sizemore? Jim Thome? Jason Marquis?

Who in that group is a good long term answer for the Red Sox?

And who is left in the free agent market? Prince Fielder? Roy Oswalt? Edwin Jackson?

And forget the trade market.

Yeah the Red Sox could have had Trevor Cahill or Gio Gonzalez.

But Cahill cost Arizona some of their top prospects including Jarrod Parker, their phenom pitcher who made a cameo in the post season.

And Gio Gonzalez cost Washington some of their best young players.

The Red Sox don’t need to empty their farm!
They need to try out as many PawSox as they can.
The Red Sox need to fill in holes and they don’t need to do it with high priced free agents, blockbuster trades that send the future packing and surrendering draft picks.

The Sox are making smart moves.
Mark Melancon? Not sexy but talented and can help in the pen.
Nick Punto? Won’t make many headlines but gives the Sox some infield depth,
Kelly Shoppach? OK, he can’t hit. But how can his bat be worse than Varitek’s now?

Don’t be worried about making noise for December 2011.
Focus on turning the page and seeing what the team needs.
Pile up draft picks and see what gems are hidden in the system.

Let the Marlins, Angels and Nats make the splash now.
I’m thinking about 2013 and beyond.

Keep up the good work of not doing anything big.

It’s not going unnoticed by THIS Sox fan.

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