OAKLAND, Calif. -- Terrence Long is fed up that he didn't play more this season, and the Oakland outfielder is considering asking the Athletics for a trade if they can't guarantee him a greater role for 2004.
Long believes first-year manager Ken Macha didn't respect him
and many other players.
"I'm pretty sure you're going to have a reason to call (my
agent)," Long said Tuesday while packing up his locker. "I
understand my year wasn't the best. I think there's more to it than
that. I just want to find out. ... It comes to the point I've been
around and I'm going to speak my mind when I'm not happy."
His agent, Casey Close, said Tuesday he hadn't yet spoken to
Long, but planned to soon.
The 27-year-old Long isn't sure why he clashed with Macha, but
claimed the manager shook everyone's hand but his in the clubhouse
Monday night after the A's were eliminated in Game 5 of their AL
Division Series with the Boston Red Sox.
Long struck out looking to end the game, leaving the bases
loaded as the A's lost 4-3.
He claims Macha spoke to him maybe 10 times all season -- though
earlier Tuesday the manager had predicted good things from Long
Long, who just completed the second year of a four-year contract
that takes him through 2005, batted .245 with 14 home runs and 61
RBI and struck out 67 times.
"After last night, it showed me I don't think I need to be here
anymore," Long said. "To go around and shake everybody's hand,
but go right past me? I wanted to get it done and I didn't.
Wherever I go, I'm going to win and I'm going to help teams win.
"I know what to expect here, and it's not much. There's nothing
he can say to me. I respect him because he's my manager."
Long said he might have had his hopes too high this season. He
didn't play regularly because the roster was loaded with
Macha said all year that his players wrote themselves into the
lineup with their performances, and Long was inconsistent.
When asked whether being at the plate as a pinch-hitter with the
decisive game on the line Monday night was a show of confidence in
his ability, Long struggled to answer the question.
"I guess it evens out a little bit," he said. "I guess
there's some faith there. But you look around and there's no other
choice. It's the last guy off the bench."
Had the game gone into extra innings, Macha said his defense
would have looked like this: Long at first base, backup catcher
Adam Melhuse at third, shortstop Miguel Tejada at second and Gold
Glove third baseman Eric Chavez at shortstop.
"A lot of guys aren't happy," Long said. "A first-year
manager has a lot of pressure. But you've got to show guys respect
and a lot of guys didn't feel they got that this year."