The Truth Is Out There: A's Might Bring Back Mulder

A's could bring Mulder back

Jason Giambi may not be the only retro nostalgia star the A's bring back to help fill patches on their otherwise young and spotty roster. Mark Mulder, the powerful All-Star lefty pitching machine from their 2000-2003 playoff runs, has nearly completed rehabbibng his shoulder and will try out with the A's and other teams.

A's fans have mostly pleasant memories of old Mark "Agent" Mulder, he was one of the vaunted "Big Three" (with Tim Hudson and the pre-washed up Barry Zito). Mulder made the All-Star team twice as an Athletic and won a Wold Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. But shoulder injuries have had him throwing all over the place in recent years, and he's currenlty out of work.

Would the A's take a minor league contract chance that Mulder has more or less reacquired his old stuff? Right now they got one guy in their entire rotation who has pitched a full season in the major leagues. Yes, they would take a minor league contract chance.

This turn-back-the-clock business with the A's welcoming back their glory days guys does create positive media buzz. Alan Schwarz had a nice 1,300-word piece in yesterday's New York Times about Giambi and Ken Griffey, Jr. disregarding dollars and returning to their old teams, though this piece may be a little too Griffey-centric for most A's fans' tastes.

Mulder's workouts and auditions are private, so know-it-alls like you and me can only speculate on whether this guy's still got anything in the tank. But Giambi sure does -- he had 32 homers and 96 RBI just last season. And that was one of his "bad" seasons. All this "guys from back in the day" nostalgia isn't just a cynical gimmick to sell tickets (though it does work nicely in that capacity), it's another example of the A's shrewdly exploiting economic realities to build good rosters for pennies on the Yankees and Red Sox dollars.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who still thinks "X Files" jokes make sense to the public at large.

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