ShareThis Page
Pirates

Notebook: A's already pleased with Kendall pickup

Joe Rutter
| Monday, Dec. 13, 2004

ANAHEIM, Calif. - In his first conversation with Jason Kendall, Oakland Athletics manager Ken Macha could tell his team had made a good trade with the Pirates.

"He was so excited," Macha said, "that his voice was jumping out of the phone."

The A's acquired Kendall from the Pirates on Nov. 27 for left-handed pitchers Mark Redman and Arthur Rhodes.

After enduring nine losing seasons with the Pirates, Kendall joins a team that has made the post-season four of the past five years. Macha is glad to have Kendall aboard.

"It's a good pick-up for us," he said Sunday during a scheduled media session at the winter meetings. "I know what type of player he is, and he'll fit in with the guys in the clubhouse. We don't have many marquee guys in there."

When the Pirates played a three-game series last year at Network Associates Coliseum, it wasn't the first time Macha had watched Kendall in action. The Pirates and A's also played a 2002 interleague series at PNC Park, and Macha was Kendall's manager for a three-week period in the 1995 Arizona Fall League.

"He choked up on the bat, fouled off pitches, worked the count and used the middle of the field to hit," Macha said, flashing back nine years. "He did all of the things he still does to this day. He hustles every ball out. He leaves it all out on the field. I'm not surprised that he's had as much success as he's had."

Kendall collected over 1,400 hits and made three All-Star teams during his tenure with the Pirates. His value was conveyed to Macha when he spoke with Pirates hitting instructor Gerald Perry shortly after the trade was completed.

"The first thing he said was, 'You took my best hitter. You're killing me,'" Macha said.

Kendall batted primarily leadoff for the Pirates last season, but he could drop to second or third in the Athletics lineup. Although Kendall will be leaving behind PNC Park and its cavernous left-center alley, the Athletics aren't sticking him lower in the order because they think he'll hit more home runs after totaling three last season.

"Our organization stresses on-base percentage, and the idea is to score runs, not necessarily hit home runs," Macha said. "The idea is to get on base, and that's what he brings to the table."

  • Mark Redman's 11-12 record and 4.71 ERA last year weren't eye-popping on an Athletics pitching staff that included the Big Three of Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito. Still, manager Ken Macha wasn't dissatisfied with Redman's performance in his lone season with the Athletics. "We viewed him more as a fifth starter," he said. "What you want to see out of a fifth starter is someone who pitches around .500. Overall, he did a good job for us."

  • Finalists for the assistant general manager position have been narrowed down to director of player development Brian Graham and special assistant to the GM Doug Strange. Graham has overseen the Pirates farm system for the past three years. Strange, a former Pirates player, was hired as a pro scout in 2002 and promoted to his current position after that season.

  • With a full complement of players on their 40-man roster, the Pirates won't be making any selections in the Rule 5 draft today. But they could lose several minor-league prospects, including pitchers Justin Reid and Jeremy Harts and outfielder Rich Thompson, who was taken in last year's draft.

  • After spending three seasons with the Pirates, right-handed reliever Brian Boehringer has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Colorado Rockies. Boehringer didn't pitch after June 1 because of a right shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery.

  • TribLIVE commenting policy

    You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

    We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

    While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

    We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

    We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

    We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

    We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

    We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

    click me