A's Unwanted Step Kid Steps It Up

The sports blogs are all having a few laughs at the Oakland A's expense, seeing the Athletics'  troubles at finding a new stadium site and calling them "unwanted".

But if you want to know what "unwanted" really feels like, talk to A's shortstop (for now, at least) Bobby Crosby.

The team tried to unload him in in December and put Crosby on waivers -- but nobody else would take him. Plan B was for the A's to offer Rafael Furcal $40 million to take Crosby's place, but Furcal blew them off and signed with the Dodgers -- for less money. Next up for the Athletics was their pursuit of the Red Sox shortstop Orlando Cabrera, but that's been going nowhere for weeks. Now they're trying to bring in Nomar Garciaparra to play short, assuring us this would not affect their pursuit of Orlando Cabrera -- but making no such claims about Crosby's job security.

Yes, this is the same Bobby Croby who a couple years back was AL Rookie of the Year.

Undaunted by the perpetual disrespect, Crosby has stepped up to become one of the A's best stories in Spring Training. He took up private batting practice with Mark McGwire in the off-season, changing his stance and swing style. Then in yesterday's Spring Training opener, Crosby crushed a solo homer off Jeff Suppan.

That was no scrub minor leaguer Crosby hit that homer off of -- that was Jeff freaking Suppan! A World Series winner, and MVP of the 2006 NLCS!

"I feel really bad for Bobby," teammate Mark Ellis told MLB.com. "You hate to see anyone go through something like he's been through, but that's all part of the business. Everyone goes through something like this at some point in their career, although maybe not this bad."

The "maybe not this bad" part is what makes Crosby's case unique. The team is desperately trying to replace him, and every day he gives them more reasons to not do so. If A's fans ever hear discouraging news about the pursuit of Orlando Cabrera or Nomar Garciparra, they can find easy some consolation -- like it or not, the A's may have already found their guy.

 Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who has written some bad articles, although maybe not this bad.

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