Two substantial problems for the Oakland A's 2009 campaign thus far are their inability stay healthy and their inability to sell tickets.
One substantial solution may be to bring back Miguel Tejada.
In Houston, where they also call their newspaper The Chronicle, their Chronicle is speculating today that Astros Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Jose Valverde, and our own beloved ex-Athletics shortstop Miguel Tejada are likely to find themselves on the trading block in the very near future. "Unless the Astros turn things around dramatically before the trading deadline," writes the Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice, "Miguel Tejada, Jose Valverde, Pudge Rodriguez, etc., likely will be shopped."
Justice goes on to clarify that "etc." refers to any Houston Astro not named Lance Berkman or Roy Oswalt.
If the lure of a reliably healthy infielder and a spike in ticket sales isn't enough, the consider that Tejada currently has a red hot .350 batting average. Consider also that the A's batting line-up currently just flat out stinks.
The drawbacks of bringing in Tejada are his $13 million 2009 salary, and the fact that the A's already have an expensive and capable shortstop in Orlando Cabrera. Tejada would likely have to transfer to third base, where Eric Chavez, Jack Hannahan, Bobby Crosby and Nomar Garciaparra are all taking turns having slumps and injuries. Tejada did, in fact, play some third base when he was with the Baltimore Orioles.
And as Jason Giambi has proven, this market is willing to say "All is forgiven" when welcoming back it's steroid-tainted stars of yesteryear.
Or at least, "All is forgiven as long as you keep hitting .350 and maintain an OBP near .400".
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is not really a solid option at third base.