Notes: Geren talks Gold Glove
A's manager could call other coaches to lobby for Ellis
OAKLAND -- As manager of the 2006 A's, Ken Macha frequently used his pregame media scrums late in the season to lobby for Mark Ellis as the top candidate to win the American League's Gold Glove Award at second base.
Yet Ellis, who set the all-time record for fielding percentage in a single season, was beaten out for the award by Kansas City's Mark Grudzielanek.
Why? Theories abound, from Ellis being at a disadvantage because he plays on the West Coast, to Grudzielanek being recognized as a better all-around second baseman because he batted .297 to Ellis' .249.
Here's another theory: Macha was lobbying the wrong people. Select members of the media in each baseball city determine each league's Most Valuable Player, Cy Young Award winner, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year, but they have no say on who wins Gold Gloves.
The managers themselves -- and their coaches -- vote on Gold Gloves. So if a manager thinks he has a deserving player, wouldn't it behoove him to place a phone call to each of his colleagues and make sure each opposing coaching staff was aware of said player's credentials?
"I've never thought about that," new A's manager Bob Geren said Friday before the second game of a four-game series against the visiting Rangers at McAfee Coliseum. "That's something I'd have to think about."
When it was suggested to Macha last year, he waved it off, suggesting his colleagues had seen enough of Ellis to make the right decision without his input. Geren, however, at least sounded open to the idea.
"I just don't know if that's the right approach," he said. "I mean, nobody's called me [about their players]."
The topic surfaced Friday because Geren had mentioned that he'd just received his Gold Glove ballot. Managers and coaches aren't allowed to vote for their own players, and after reiterating that he thinks Ellis deserves the award, Geren said he'd voted for his second choice at the position, though he wouldn't say who it was.
When asked if he might have been wiser to vote for someone who doesn't figure to get many notes, thereby decreasing the number of votes Ellis' closest competitors might get, Geren suggested that such an approach would border on unethical.
"If they ask me who's the best second baseman and I can't vote for my guy, I'm going to vote for the second-best," he explained. "That's the right thing to do."
A few minutes later, while discussing another topic, Geren interrupted himself.
"You've got me thinking about [calling the other managers] now," he said.
Lucky seven: Righty reliever Ruddy Lugo has been up with the A's three times this season, and his most recent stint has been his best by a long shot.
In his first two stints, June 14-18 and June 25-29, Lugo pitched in a combined three games and posted a 21.00 ERA. Heading into Friday's game, since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on Aug. 4, he'd pitched in 16 games with a 2.13 ERA.
"You pitch in three games and have one bad one, your numbers are going to be ugly," said Lugo, whose brother, Julio, plays shortstop for the Red Sox. "I'm pitching a lot more now than I did when I was up before."
He's also winning a lot. Lugo, who got two wins in 11 games with the Devil Rays early in the season before he was waived and claimed by the A's on June 14, improved to 6-0 on the year when he was credited with the victory Tuesday night in Seattle.
"I told [pitching coach] Curt [Young], when I had five, that I wanted to get two more, and now I only need one," Lugo said with a smile. "I just like the way 7-0 sounds. Seven's a good number, you know?"
Dribblers: Third baseman Eric Chavez, who is out for the season and was limited to 90 games this year, might see his streak of six consecutive Gold Gloves come to an end, but Geren doesn't think it should. "Eric, by far, is the Gold Glove third baseman in the league," he said. ... Injured outfielder Mark Kotsay, who did not accompany the team to Texas or Seattle last week, was sporting a Travis Buck giveaway T-shirt in the clubhouse, doctored up with red crosses and the names of Oakland's many disabled players. ... Oakland's sandwich pick in June's First-Year Player Draft, outfielder Greg Desme, was in uniform and took batting practice with the team. Desme, considered one of the best college position players in the Draft, saw his junior season at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo cut short by a wrist injury and, after signing with the A's, played in 12 games for Class A Vancouver, batting .261 (12-for-46) with a .358 on-base percentage.
Up next: A's righty Joe Blanton (13-9, 3.77 ERA) takes on Rangers righty Brandon McCarthy (5-9, 5.04) in the third game of the series Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT.
Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.