A’s and Ka’aihue: Heartless move or just business?

June 9th, 2012

We got a reminder this week of how professional sports management often makes cold, hard business decisions that seem heartless.

This time it directly affected a Hawaii guy, A’s first baseman Kila Ka’aihue. The ‘Iolani product from Kailua was designated for minor league assignment just a few days before his wife is expected to deliver twins. Right now he’s in limbo, waiting to see if another team will pick him up before he’s sent to the minors.

Ka’aihue left without commenting, but teammates have spoken up on his behalf, anonymously criticizing the move. The move was a surprise, since Ka’aihue had become Oakland’s starting first baseman.

His production hasn’t been great (.234, 4 HRs, 14 RBI in 128 ABs this season). It’s not like he’s being replaced by Albert Pujols; Brandon Moss is 1 for 10 for the A’s this year, although he had been swinging a hot bat in Triple A.

8 Responses to “A’s and Ka’aihue: Heartless move or just business?”

  1. kev-1:

    I feel he got short changed. He was just growing into his first basemen role after being bumped up from DH. You would think he would have gotten a little more time to establish himself. I have a lot of negative opinions about MLB management. I didn’t comment on Almodova yesterday about his decision to leave, but he could learn from this. I don’t think getting drafted in the thousands is prime time to leave college. But hey, you got a dream, you chase it I guess.

  2. heluhelu:

    Don’t overlook the Billy Beane rule (cf. Moneyball): OBP. OBP. OBP. The As seem to be betting Moss’ ascent against Kila’s plateau/decline [ bit.ly/K9V0TD ]

    Similarly, the San Francisco Chron observed: “Both Moss and Ka’aihue are left-handed hitters, but Ka’aihue was batting .209 against right-handers and .297 against left-handers [while] Moss was hitting .311 with 12 homers against right-handed pitching at Sacramento. [As manager Bob Melvin also noted] Moss had an out clause in his contract on June 15. [And] given the rotating nature of the A’s first-base position, there is a definite possibility that Daric Barton could return when his 10-day stay in the minors is up.” [ bit.ly/NjzxbX ]

    Yet, it’s cold-blooded; yes, it’s a business; yes, Kila could be called up sooner than later and/or bounce btw minors/majors as long as he’s an A.

  3. sports for fun:

    Going by what heluhelu posted, unfortunately, it’s business.

  4. innocent observer:

    is it heartless or giving kila a chance to be claimed by another team; otherwise, they would just send him back to the minors and stay with an organization that does not feel that he fits in. I would think, the latter is better..

  5. bleedgreen:

    Just business.

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