Do you believe in the A’s?
Do I believe in the A’s? Do I believe that a team called the A’s plays in Oakland, CA? Yes, I believe that. Do I believe that despite a limited budget and a small market, a team called the A’s not only contended in the early 2000’s but also outperformed most of the American League? Yes, I believe that, too. Do I believe that the 2012 Oakland Athletics, a team currently in 3rd place in its division behind a much improved Angels franchise and a Rangers club that when hitting on all cylinders can torch the rest of baseball, will make the playoffs? Unfortunately I’m going to have go another direction with that one, Rick.
No, in that case I don’t believe in the A’s.
Let’s look at the facts. The A’s pitching staff is 4th overall in ERA, 5th in WHIP and 5th in opponent batting average. Those are all pretty good. But, to win baseball games, you also have to score runs. On that side, the A’s are 28th in runs, 27th in on-base percentage and 25th in slugging. Pitching may win you championships but if you can’t back up that pitching, you’re never going to make it to the championship. Add in that half of the rest of the A’s schedule is made up of the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Angels, the Rangers and the Tigers, well, that doesn’t bode so well. Even the easier part of the schedule involves the Rays, the Orioles and the White Sox. About the only break the A’s get are series against the Mariners, Twins and Royals. That’s not exactly promising.
I like the A’s. I always have. One of the fondest memories of my childhood was seeing the Tony LaRussa managed A’s at Tiger stadium. But this team is light years away from being at the same level as the team that featured Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Dennis Eckersley.
So, do I believe in the A’s? I guess on that one, you’d have to consider me an atheist. If they keep winning games, though, check back in and maybe I’ll have gone agnostic.
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I want to hate Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. Maybe if they played for the Tigers I’d love them but two guys that young, that talented and that successful who aren’t on my team? Honestly, I really want to dislike them.
With Trout it’s a little harder because somehow he comes across as a good guy and great teammate despite only being 20 years old. Harper, it’s a little easier because he’s even younger, bro’ed out and he knows he’s good. That kind of self-assuredness often comes off as cockiness and that makes it easier to hate someone.
Yeah, I really want to hate these guys, especially Harper, and I feel like I made an honest effort at it. Sadly, it kind of went like this:[youtube http://youtu.be/NY4xE9rAY8k]
I can’t help it. I’m hooked.
Any predictions for the All-Star Game?
Whose side are you on? Team Dusty or Team Derek?
That’s right. Davey Johnson speaks for me.
In this case, we (Davey and I) are talkin’ about my surly and oft dour colleague, Mr. Allen Krause. Surely these words sting, almost as much as watching Mr. Krause’s beloved Tigers defeat my WORLD CHAMPION ST. LOUIS CARDINALS in their recent 3-game series.
Indeed, Verlander is a beast. But the following inequality is true:
Westbrook + Lohse > Verlander
Unfortunately, the following is also true:
Santiago + Peralta + Jackson + Berry > Marte
I’m sending my representation to handle the press conference:
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Bizarro baseball. You know what it looks like. No, not that bizarro baseball. Nor this one, though I do like the idea of a batless batsman. The bizarro baseball I’m talkin’ about is the kind I was forced to watch Tuesday through Thursday of this week.
My DirectTV Extra Innings and MLB.TV packages both blackout my home team St. Louis Cardinals’ television broadcast streams when they are playing in my home market (I happen to live on the south side of Chicago). And while I have become quite used to watching the Cubs’ broadcasts whenever they play the Cardinals, for the first time since I moved to the Chi, I had to endure the cliched, logorrheic tomfoolery of one Hawk Harrelson whilst watching my favorite ballclub play.
Of course, as a longtime neighborhood White Sox supporter, I have withstood many a Hawk-infested baseball game; so this was nothing new to me. But in the past I’ve always been able to leave the game knowing “whew, at least that guy isn’t callin’ my teams’ games!”
Plus, his shenanigans don’t seem quite as cute when YOUR team is the “bad guys”.
But that’s why we have the mute button. And M.O.P.
Apparently, we’ve been going at the problem all wrong. No, I’m not talking about the Tigers’ inability to hit baseballs to the spaces where opposing teams’ fielders are not. I’m talking about the quag… quagmi…. quagmi…. really bad situation that is Afghanistan.
See, while we’ve been pushing education for women, community policing and other counter-insurgency tactics, the guys we’re trying to turn them against do stuff like this. Sure, we do attack with drones and stuff like that but we don’t poison little girls…which would make you think that the rest of the people would run straight into the wide-open arms of Uncle Sam. But, not so much.
However, there may be another option. It turns out that maybe we just need to offer more reward money. I just wish we would have known earlier. We could have stopped up bin Laden’s finances and then just waited until he turned himself in to collect the award.