10/22/2003 12:20 PM ET
A's decline option on Singleton
By Kent Schacht / MLB.com WorldSeries.com
The Oakland outfield got a little less crowded on Tuesday when the A's declined to exercise their contract option on Chris Singleton for next season and released him.
Singleton, who signed with the A's last December, opened the season as Oakland's starting center fielder but ended up playing in only 120 games. The emergence of Eric Byrnes in center and manager Ken Macha's rotation of six players in the outfield limited his time.
Singletom hit .245 in 306 at-bats -- both career lows. Those numbers often left him frustrated with his role, and he said after the season that he didn't plan on being in green in gold in 2004.
"Basically, I have no plans of coming back, even though I love the guys and the team," Singleton said earlier this month. "I don't think it's the right situation for me."
Singleton started 37 of Oakland's first 53 games in center field and then just 49 of the A's final 109 contests. He was used mostly against right-handed pitching, going 67-for-258 (.260) against right-handers and 8-for-48 (.167) against left-handers.
The rotating outfield situation, in which Opening Day starters like Terrence Long and Singleton were on the bench much of the second half, was enough for Long to lash out at Macha and demand a trade after the season was over.
Although Singleton, who reportedly made $1.2 million in 2003, knew he wouldn't likely be back, he said Macha did a fine job dealing with the situation.
"It was good. He got us back to the playoffs. You could say this team could have cruise controlled its way to the playoffs, but with all we had to go through, it wasn't easy," Singleton said. "Somebody has to run the ship. I think he did a good of a job as anyone could have."
Singleton, who played for the White Sox for three seasons and Baltimore for one before coming to Oakland, is a career .273 hitter in 676 games over five Major League seasons.
We either make ourselves happy or miserable.
The amount of work is the same.