Results tagged ‘ Brett Wallace ’


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            It’s never fair to heap
unfair expectations on a young athlete.  So the fact that the A’s newly-acquired outfielder
Michael Taylor can launch tape-measure home runs, steal bases and
play defense like a young
Dave Winfield is beside the point.  Suffice to say, I
think Billy is ecstatic that Taylor
was available.  Clearly, he paid a steep
price in shipping another blue-chipper, Brett Wallace, to the Blue Jays to consummate
the deal.  In return, however, I think we
acquired a legitimate five-tool player with huge upside.  From all reports, Taylor is the real deal.  Power, speed, rifle arm and amazing
athleticism for such a big man.  If you
don’t believe me, check out this clip on YouTube :


today, I coordinated a media conference call with Michael and our beat
writers.  If there were any doubts
whether Mr. Taylor attended Stanford
University, those doubts
were dispelled rather quickly on the call. 
There were no standard answers to the reporters’ questions.  One writer asked him whether he preferred
playing left or right field.  Most
guys would have merely said, “I’m happy to play either place as long as I’m in
the lineup.”  Not Michael.  He said something like, “Well, if you play
right field, a mistake will most likely cost you a base, while not necessarily
in left field.  Of course, it also
depends on the ballpark.  At Fenway,
right field is more challenging while you have the Green Monster in left.”  Talk about an articulate young man.  This kid oozed confidence and
intelligence.  I opened the proceedings
by asking him, tongue-in-cheek, “Michael, why don’t you share with these folks
the highlights of your long and storied career with Toronto.” 
He didn’t miss a beat.  “Yeah right. 
I think it lasted all of about 38
” he said with the hint of a giggle. 


many Stanford student-athletes, Michael seems to have that star mentality to go
along with his unique talent.  I have
seen where that can make the difference on whether someone actually reaches
true superstardom.  Obviously, it will
play out on the diamond this year and in years to come.  But if you’re an A’s fan, I think you should
be wearing a smile today.  Billy did
good.  And go ahead and allow yourself to
daydream about a time, hopefully real soon, when the middle of Oakland’s lineup
features a pair of 6-6, 250-pound bookends named Taylor & Carter, reminiscent
of an earlier era of A’s baseball.  Bash
Brothers II you say?  Since both of these
guys can hit with power and also steal bases, maybe a more appropriate moniker
would be The Mash & Dash Brothers!


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two months after I started my job as the new public relations director, I had
the pleasure of meeting
Billy Owens,
the A’s affable director of player personnel. 
It was August 2008, the White Sox were in town and Owens was parked next
to the batting cage at the Coliseum during BP. 
I asked him about a young prospect named
Chris Carter (right), the outfielder who came over in the Dan Haren trade
with Arizona
and had unleashed a 39-homer, 104-RBI season in his first year in the A’s farm
system at Single-A Stockton.  I
distinctly remember what “Billy O” said: 
“No one here in uniform tonight has more natural power than that kid,”
he said.  “He’s still raw but you can’t
teach that kind of power.”  Then I looked
around, and I saw
Ken Griffey, Jr., Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, Frank Thomas and Jack Cust,
all in uniform.  “Billy O” looks at me
again and just nods his head. 


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Could this guy be for real?  Add him to Carter and
two-time All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year
Brett Wallace (right), the prize piece in the Matt Holliday trade, and A’s fans may be seeing
the long ball return to Oakland sooner than we think.


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