Darting here and there ...

Û The A's have traded in their old philosophy of walking for one that encourages light trotting around the bases. Good philosophical upgrade, we say.

Û A couple more Brandons added to the four they already have (Hicks, Moss, McCarthy and Inge) and the A's could be downright unstoppable.

Û The way Brandon Belt has been hitting of late -- which is not -- Oakland could probably get him pretty cheaply from the Giants right now.

Û Two words that should tell the Giants to be extra patient with that Brandon: Chris Carter.

Û The A's have become such a compelling story, rumor has it Bud Selig's blue-ribbon panel actually turned out for a game.

Û Just give Bob Melvin American League manager of the year right now. Bet Bo-Mel makes a mean chicken salad, too.

Û About the only thing that's gone awry for the A's the past couple weeks is Coco Vandeweghe outperforming Coco Crisp.

Û Just a thought: Perhaps Santiago Casilla should grow a beard. If anything, it would insulate his neck yank.

Û The Dodgers are trying to pry Ryan Dempster away from the Cubs? Oooh, that has everyone in China Basin shaking in their cleats.

Û Melky Cabrera has had so many multihit efforts this year, it's almost an upset that he became the father of just one child this week.

Û At long last, anyway, there's a real need for the Melk Men with the new offspring.


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Û Chipper Jones says Melky's hot-dogging was the reason the Braves got rid of him. C'mon, Chips, if Cabrera had hit .350 for Atlanta two years ago, he'd still be there.

Û The man traded for Melky, Jonathan Sanchez, was designated for assignment by Kansas City and then traded to Colorado after a 1-6, 7.76 start to the season. The Rockies apparently don't have enough hideous pitchers.

Û Why the Royals stink might be summed up in this rather amazing comment from G.M. Dayton Moore about trades: "You want them all to work out, but most of the time they don't, unfortunately." In K.C., anyway.

Û It appears Jason Kidd went to Southampton for the wrong kind of doubles.

Û The way Kidd wrapped his vehicle around that pole, he must have been drinking triple-doubles.

Û Kidd and Marshawn Lynch were arrested on DUI charges in the same week, which has to be a sobering development for the Cal Alumni Association.

Û Experts seem to think Jeremy Lin made a good move going from New York to Houston. Sorry, can't agree. It's Houston. The only thing insane there is the humidity.

Û Drew Brees is getting $40 million in the first year of a $100 million, five-year deal? Now that's a bounty!

Û On the other side of the coin, Andrew Luck got a "measly" $22 mil and change for four years. Somewhere, JaMarcus Russell is chortling.

Û The 49ers' playoff win over New Orleans won the ESPY for "Game of the Year." Nice honor, and it was a great game, but it's still hard to believe it topped Game 6 of the World Series. Right, Tony?

Û We have Elias checking on it, but the Giants might have scored more runs for La Russa in the All-Star game than they did against him in the 1989 World Series.

Û Not Our Line But Worth Repeating Dept.: They shouldn't remove the Joe Paterno statue, they should just make it look the other way.

Û Since when did they move the British Open to Palm Springs? If the weather gets any nicer at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, they're going to have to bring in wind machines.

Û Great Britain is probably saving up all of its nasty summer squalls for the Olympics.

Û The only real raining in England this week was the USA basketball team's 118-78 pelting of the British hoops team, or as they call them across the pond, Manchester Not So United.

Û Our kind of controversy: Somebody threw tacks in the road at the Tour de France this week. Lance Armstrong, maybe?

Û Finally, wonder if Andris Biedrins has called Stephen Moskowitz yet?

Contact Carl Steward at csteward@bayareanewsgroup.com. More darting on Twitter: @stewardsfolly.