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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As we enter the second half the 2012 MLB season, I want to revisit, in my (correct) opinion, the most amazing play of the year thus far. It is a play that should be repeating on every sports highlight reel in existence, but one that, like most things do in Oakland, has evaporated into east bay obscurity.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers and Mom, I give you the ASTONISHING, the ASTOUNDING, the AMAZING Covelli Loyce “Coco” Crisp:
Hang a star on that one, baby, ‘cuz that ain’t somethin’ you see every day… or EVER!
So why no love from the worldwide leader in campy schtick? Why did MLB Network not make this THE top play of June? Do they have something against Coco? Something against Oakland?
I understand that this wasn’t a DeWayne Wise “The Catch” type of play — that there was little at stake in this otherwise tame regular season baseball game. But come on. Dude made a sliding catch, then, FROM HIS BUTT rocketed the ball to second to double-up Nelson Cruz, no slouch in his own right.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe my love for Coco’s crazy is overriding my rationality, causing me to overvalue such Houdinian moves.
Or, maybe the rest of the world is WRONG.
Pretty sure it’s the latter.
We all know people who are absolutely inscrutable. You study the face but you have no idea what’s going on behind the eyes, what gears are turning inside the head. It’s maddening.
That’s why I like Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner. There is absolutely no doubt what either one of them are thinking:
Pelosi – “Oh my god, I’m so happy I think I might cry!”
Boehner – “I will wait until they become tears of sorrow then lick the salt from your face.”
Maybe that’s why I like baseball as well. Guys get emotional and even when they’re wearing a game face like “Bulldog” Hershiser, it’s not hard to imagine what they’re thinking. Kind of like these guys:
Napoli – “C’mon, let’s get this guy…..oh my god, we’re all gonna die!”
Doumit – “Die? I don’t wanna die! Wait a minute, where are you going!?”
Oswalt – “Not gonna lie, my balls are tinglin’ a little.”
No inscrutability there.
Is pitching so good because guys aren’t juicing anymore or are pitchers just better than they were ten years ago?
Downers Grove, IL
It may not have been Strasmas, but according to the lunar calendar (and millions of Japanese people) April 9th proved to be an equally auspicious day, no matter what, because it was the very first Major League appearance by the highly touted (and valiantly unashamed to be naked) Yu Darvish.
Like you would expect, I made an evening of it. Here’s a play-by-play:
Still at work. I have looked at the clock every minute for the last thirty minutes, and will continue to do so for thirty more. I finish up the last of my TPS reports, turn them in to my boss and shriek when he yells “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS???”
At the gym. Working on my… nah, who am I kidding, every time I look at a hot chick working out next to me she has Yu Darvish’s face, which I find as distracting as I do disgusting. Going home now.
Dinner (sushi, of course) has been eaten. Feet are up. Beer is in hand. Let’s DO THIS! *Belch*
FSSW misses Darvish’s first pitch. Nice work, dingleberries. The biggest pitch of the year so far and you miss it. They come back from commercial break and the count is already 1-0 to Chone Figgins. AGGGHH!!! Then Darvish quickly walks him. Um… this is not how it’s supposed to go, guys.
After striking out Ackley on a NAAASTY breaking ball, Ichiro steps in. Japan loses its mind. Then Ichiro singles on a blooper to left and, already, I’m realizing Yu ain’t Strasburg (yet).
Now Justin Smoak is on first, bases are loaded with one out for Kyle Seager. Bases loaded? I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR NO BASES LOADED!!!
Two-run gapper to right and now I’m pissed. I could have been out on a date tonight! With a real, live woman! And I passed it up for this crap???!!! WTF are YU DOING!?!?!
Darvish makes Miguel Olivo look like Johnny Bench and I’m bored. More Daisuke, less Nomo. Not even close to Strasburg. He doesn’t even have a weird hitch in his delivery like all the Japanese greats do!
He just walked in a run. It’s 4-0. EFF THIS.
Seriously, I know this is a small sample size, but I ain’t impressed and I’m changing the channel… to watch Freese and Holliday and Molina (they all homer)… CHAMPIONS.
Hate me. I understand. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Once the game was over, it was evident he battled back and settled down. The offense helped him out and he recovered well, and even fooled some hitters. But the hoopla was a bit much for me for him not to deliver with jazz hands. Or maybe I’ve just been spoiled by so much great pitching the last couple years that I expect greatness every game. Either way, I’ll check in again next time. I just ain’t makin’ a night of it.
In an election year, it should be no surprise that we US Americans are being bombarded with a barrage of twisty little lies. Whether it’s the Obama camp’s magical math making unemployment numbers “plummet” or Rick Santorum and his imaginary friend pretending that the whole American Revolution and subsequent Constitution thingy isn’t really what it seems, we cannot escape the onslaught of fibbery.
But such fibbery is expected from the political lot. It is when such vitriol enters the baseball universe that I get extremely pissy.
“We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”
— Ryan Braun
Um… no. You were able to get through this ‘cuz you’re a multi-millionaire with legit counsel and a Mark Fuhrman wannabe handling your bodily fluids under the direction of King Bud. Exoneration in this case does not equal innocence, Mr. Braun. It merely suggests there is reasonable doubt. You still got more testosterone in you than Kim Kardashian at the NBA All-Star Game. And it seems just as… icky.
“My loyalty is here (Texas). This is where I’ve been, this is where my family has been. I would love to be here.”
— Josh Hamilton
Now I don’t want to go picking on Josh Hamilton because he’s not very bright, but I do want to pick on him for spittin’ the same stupid lie as every other potential free agent baseballer lookin’ to get paid: ENOUGH ALREADY. “My loyalty is here”… pshh. PLEASE. Your loyalty is wherever they pay you the most. That’s how it works and we all know it. Your family is not going to have too much of a problem moving to a different city to chase that pay-puh. Determine who will give you the most money with the most years and that’s where you’ll go. To say anything different is a slap in the face of cold, hard fact. I’m an adult. I can handle the truth. Maybe.
“The guy (Alfonso Soriano) works his butt off all the time.”
— Dale Sveum, Cubs Manager
Okay, Dale. I’m gonna help you out with this one. YOU NEED SOME NEW GLASSES, BRO. See, I’ve been following Sori’s career since he was a young pup. And from New York to Texas to D.C. to the Chi, Alfonso Soriano is THE LAST PERSON ON THE PLANET I would say “works his butt off all the time.” ESPECIALLY while in Chicago. In fact, there is an entire faction of Cubs fans who want him crucified! They wouldn’t flinch an inch if Sori ceased manning left field tomorrow. Forever. For good. Why, Mr. Sveum? Because Alfonso Soriano is the absolute KING of lollygagging. His defense is atrocious and he is NOTORIOUS for gazing at might-be homeruns that are actually doubles that drop in for long singles because he doesn’t hustle out of the box.
If you’re here to fix the Cubs, Mr. Sveum, you might want to know what they’ve been used to the last 103 years: PAIN. SUFFERING. AGONIZING PAIN AND SUFFFFFFFFEEEEERRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING.
Hate me. Fine. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
With the Japaranian sensation Yu Darvish making his Big League career official by signing with the Texas Rangers, I thought it appropriate to lay down some ground rules for the inevitable onslaught of awful puns that are certain to tattoo newspapers and interwebs around the world.
*Note: All italicized examples come from Lone Star Ball’s Yu! Darvish Pun Sweepstakes, and commenter credit appears parenthetically.
Yu can’t Yuse Yu as in “You” unless Yu’re clever about it. The proceeding sentence may or may not constitute “cleverness”. But I can assure Yu old, crotchety sports columnists (ahem, Phil Rogers) are going to think they’re so cool by substituting “Yu” for “You” and slapping it on a headline. It’s like pornography, Yu know it when Yu see it (rooster).
Flip the script. Surprise us with just how clever Yu can be. Don’t settle for the easy route. Dravish highlights are ridiculous. Yu should YuTube them (Gay for Feliz).
The most important rule when Yutilizing Yu puns… MAKE US LAUGH. Even if Yu have to pull a Hollywood and recycle old gags, just make sure they work.
So, Who’s on first, What’s on second and I don’t know’s on third – I get that.
And the pitcher is . . .?
That’s what I said, Me!
No Me is catching.
Proper grammar is I am catching.
No I’s the manager, the catcher is me, and the pitcher is Yu!
I can’t pitch!
Exactly, and Yu will pitch to me. Now you’ve got it.