Local sportswriters are abandoning the A's bandwagon this season like it was, well, a sinking ship. In February, Ray Ratto predicted a 60-win season on ESPNews (later, he amended that to 65. Thanks, Ray). Then, Bruce Jenkins rhapsodized about intelligent baseball, threw up his hands and conceded the AL West. We can never tell what the hell Scott Ostler is talking about, but we're pretty sure this, which includes the season's first lazy connection of Zito to Zen, wasn't optimistic. SFWeekly, so right about other important matters, named the 2006 A's the Bay's best baseball team. Finally, SFist itself (ourselves?) had the nerve to call the A's "questionably GM'd," as though that weren't heretical.

The national media aren't being any nicer: Peter Gammons counts the A's, as only he can, among "holes dug that makes [sic.] one wonder when and if they can be filled in." (See: Scott Ostler.) The Hardball Times has a graph that puts the A's way outside of a two-team race for the AL West crown. Even Baseball Prospectus calls them "The Un-Athletics" (registration and your credit card # required). Finally, asked for the season's biggest disappointment on Baseball Tonight, John Kruk (who is a big fat idiot) named Cleveland's Victor Martinez, and not the giant sucking sound that plays third base for the A's. At this point in the season, Chavvy can't even lead the league in disappointment.

When Susan Slusser, Mychael Urban and Mr. Tabitha Soren jump overboard, A's Brand Baseball is going to throw a hissy fit. Until then, we're just glad our ballcap came with green and gold blinders.