Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An Oakland Athletics "Preview"

Since Rogo of Tigersnark has truly become the Brett Favre of bloggers:  "I retire.  I'm back.  I need a break. Back again.  I'm not sure if I want to permanently quit this thing.  Blogging is hard and I can't deal with it and live life too.  Boo hoo, whine, sob," I have taken it upon myself to write a "preview" of the Oakland As.   I was waiting for Rogo to post his, and when it became apparent that he had no intention of doing so, I decided to write a pale imitation of his series preview.

The Oakland As are the Tigers current competition for best record in the American League.  The club is good, and though the Tigers have booted them from the playoffs in consecutive years, don't take that for granted in 2014.

2014 record so far:  31-20

2013 record:  96-66

2013 record vs Tigers:  4-3 (regular season)

Notable Players

Ricky Henderson - 1406 carrer steals in 25 seasons, first all time, HOF.  No more needs to be said here.

Dave Stewart - I am old, so I remember seeing Dave Stewart pitch.  I was petrified by Dave Stewart's intimidating stare.  I thought that batters must quake facing him.   Then some years later, I heard him talk.  All that fear vanished.

Rollie Fingers - Not quite old enough to have seen him pitch.  Or at least, I wasn't a baseball fan yet.  Handle-bar mustache.  He was only the second reliever elected to the HOF.

Dennis Eckersley - Gave up the famous 1988 playoff home run to Kirk Gibson.  I love him for that.  Still has the same hairstyle.  HOFer.  Now appears as an analyst on NESN.

Many others, but those are the ones I felt like talking about.


Bob Melvin has been managing the Athletics since 2011.  Before that, he managed the Diamondbacks and Mariners.  In 11 years, he has a record of 761-714, for a .516 overall winning percentage.

Top Three Current Players

Josh Donaldson - notably snubbed from ASG last year.  Won't happen again this year.

Yoenis Cespedes - caterpillar eyebrows.

Sonny Gray - tonight's starting pitcher.  Currently boasting 1.99 ERA and 1.088 WHIP.  It may take more than a Zubaz bonfire to get the W tonight, folks.

How Is This Guy a Major Leaguer?

Nick Punto.  KIDDING.  I just remember all the stuff Punto did to the Tigers while in Minnesota, and wanted to dis him.

Easiest Way to Anger Athletics Fans

Remind them that the Tigers ousted them from the playoffs in 2006, 2012, 2013.  Remind them that they lost Frank Thomas to free agency.

Three Reasons to Hate the Athletics

1.  Josh Reddick.  He whined incessantly during the playoffs, and I hated him a lot.  Then I followed him on twitter to troll him, but realized I can't hate him.  He's funny and a big goofball.  Sorry.

2.  Their Ballpark.  O. Co Coliseum?  It's a dump and that name is ridiculous.  Don't bring up to me that the Tigers play at Comerica Park.  That's a fabulous name compared to O. Co.

3.  Nick Swisher once played there.

Fun Fact

During the 2006 playoffs, Jim Leyland, during a post-game interview said, and I quote: "my wife thinks Mark Kotsay is the hottest thing going."  That made me laugh.  A lot.

Season Outlook

If we ever break out of the current pattern of our starting pitchers getting hammered each night, we may see the Athletics again in the playoffs.

Let's all hope Rogo returns from his most recent hiatus to write the next series preview.  Then I won't have to subject you to this swill again.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What Evil Lurks Within

I have a theory about this pre-season.  The Milwaukee Brewers have used voodoo and other dark arts to attempt to buy a World Series title.  Hear me out, and you'll stop thinking I should be committed to Bedlam.

Surely you've heard about the adorable stray dog Hank, nick-named after Henry Aaron, that showed up at the Brewers' camp, and became the feel good story of Spring.  I have no beef with Hank.  It's great he's being made much of, loved and spoiled.  But the Brewers are trying to use Hank to appease the baseball gods, and thereby curry favor for this year's post-season.  I simply cannot allow them to get away with this plan.  I will expose their deeds for what they are:  a desperate grab at a championship.

Oh, they adopted a stray dog, and put him into the sausage race, and brought him north with the club, and the vice president and general counsel for the team adopted him, and hundreds of people waited hours at the airport to greet him?  The Brewers have already come out with a line of Hank gear--t-shirts, pennants, you name it.  They say some of the proceeds are going to a Wisconsin Humane Society.  Apparently they take the world for fools.  Good grief, any idiot can see that the Brewers are soulless vipers, perverting the good will of innocent fans into cosmic World Series karma.

In addition, the Brewers have placed a curse upon the Tigers, causing player after player to drop like flies from various afflictions. The list of casualties grows longer every day, and each dawn reveals a new victim.  Doesn't it all make sense to you now?  Soon, the entire starting roster will be laid up in a hospital ward, and the Tigers' uniform attendant will be scrambling to stitch the names of the boys from Erie onto the jerseys.

My advice is that fans unite to prevent the success of this wicked plan.   The Brewers are loathsome, but I never dreamed they would resort to black magic.  Turnabout is fair play.  I have constructed a Bernie Brewer voodoo doll, and will be torturing it to no small degree.  I may need your help.  Someone should be plotting to sabotage the sausage race, for a start.  Don't make me spell it all out.  Get to work.  The Brewers must be stopped before it is too late.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Winter of Comerica's Discontent

Tuesday evening, thanks to the desperation thoughtful generosity of Scott from TigerSnark, I got to attend an event at Comerica Park.  Scott wrote a fictional account of the evening here, so I figured I'd better counter with a realistic look at what went down.

Scott texted me Tuesday begging that I accompany him to the park, promising that I'd get a personal tour of Comerica from Magglio Ordoñez himself.  How could I refuse an opportunity to meet one of my all time Tigers?  I could put up with Scott's odious presence for a couple hours if it meant meeting the great Magglio.  I've always wanted to thank him for the baseball memories that are forever imprinted on my otherwise grinchy heart.

Scott did get one thing right.  Comerica is a shambles.  The field, while scraped of snow, looks like the frozen Siberian tundra.  How is sod going to go down on St. Paddy's day?????  Just look at it.  Heather Nabozny has probably suffered a nervous breakdown and is now muttering incoherently to herself in the dark recesses of the park's bowels.

This is the view from the broadcast booth.  Notice that I had no trouble getting a decent shot.  There were no drunken idiots knocking Scott's elbow.  He just sucks at taking pictures.  Anyway, I swear, you could hear Ernie reciting the Voice of the Turtle.  It was mighty dusty in there.  Strange.

That personal tour from Magglio Ordoñez?  No.  No Magglio.  No 2007 batting champion.  No 2006 ALCS hero.  Please give me a moment.  Sniff.

However,  1984 World Series team member Dave Rozema was there, and he was friendly, not fresh (no, he did not grab my derriere), making jokes with everyone, taking time for all comers, signing 20,000 photos of himself, and generally being the life of the party.  Um, I am not 4'6".  Dave is at least 6'5".  Really.  There is no photo of Scott with Dave, because Scott is a ghost, and his image does not show up in photographs.

Paws really did sit down next to me at the Blackjack table and I froze up until he left, because MASCOTS ARE CREEPY AND I WAS TERRIFIED.  Mascots need to be abolished from the sporting world.  From all worlds really.  A lot of problems could be solved if mascots were no more.

Now, could we please just fast forward through the rest of this scourge of a winter and get to what will certainly be a sub-30 degree Opening Day?  Play Ball!