A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Friday, April 23, 2004

Going to the Game Tonight

It's April 23rd and I am going to my first A's game tonight. Maybe tomorrow I'll post something about the game that isn't obvious on TV. Barry Zito is pitching. I have all my warm clothes and ski hat in the car. I've been to about 10 games a year for the past 4 years. I'd go to more but those late night drives home to Mountain View are tough. There is talk of moving the A's to San Jose. Does that change anything? It's much closer for me, but I wouldn't mind them keeping the name "Oakland A's". This area is super territorial though, there would be a lot of people spending time correcting eachother if the A's played in San Jose and kept the Oakland name. Someone on another blog sent a post saying, "has there ever been a team move that has been so small?" When I was a kid in Minnesota, the Twins moved from Met Stadium in Bloomington to the Metrodome in Minneapolis, maybe 15 miles. The team name was "Minnesota" so there was no talk of whether to change the team name, and there is SO much more Solidarity in Minnesota. The division between towns and counties in MN is not discussed that much. The Green Bay Packers played half their home games in Milwaukee for a few years and I never heard anyone call them the Milwaukee Packers.

It is almost laughable that the Giants don't want the A's in Santa Clara County. They would be FURTHER from SF. I think the real reason is that the Giants know they have about 4 possible reasons why anyone would go to a Giants game over an A's game:

1) The Giants have Barry Bonds
2) The Giants stadium is nicer
3) Some people like NL baseball better than AL baseball
4) If people grew up rooting for the Giants, they might keep rooting for them out of habbit

None of the above reasons are very compelling, and there are about a million reasons to root for the A's. If the A's are better than the Giants AND closer, which they would be for a lot of the South Bay, sure, the Giants will lose attendance to the A's if the A's were in Santa Clara. The A's are ultra competitive on a low budget, and the Giants need to copy that model, or risk losing attendence at their jewel of a ballpark that some coporate idiots thought needed a new name. That's true whether the A's move or not.

Thursday, April 22, 2004


For the first week of the season I got the baseball package for free from Comcast. Then they invited me to pay $139 to watch all the games in baseball all season. So I said, "yeah!". Last night I could not find the A's on any channel. But I did have the Angels/Texas game on 3 different channels with 3 different sets of announcers, the ESPN guys, the Texas guys and the Angels guys. Thanks Comcast. And what happened to my free World Series DVD as a gift? I'd have the dish already but they tried to put it in and my backyard has too many trees to the south to get the signal. The Giants were on Fox Sports Net, and about the only thing I can even watch in their games is Bonds at bats. When both the Giants and A's are on, I watch the A's and flip over on the commercials to see if Bonds is batting and when he'll be coming up. That dude is off the hook, and the rest of the team is a dead fish.

So I read my golf magazine and listened to the last 3 innings of the A's game on the radio. Bill King is great and sometimes I forget how good he is. He got excited when Dye (MVP) hit the ball down the line, talking fast and louder as the play unfolded. Huddy got a win on a game he almost blew, Rhodes got a save against his old team, German got a hit. Pretty good stuff.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Rich Harden Forever

Monday's game was fun, Tuesday I felt ripped off, like I was watching a rerun. After 8 and a half innings the score was again 1-1 and again both runs were solo homers. Rich Harden pitched 7 great innings. He threw 97 mph effortlessly. The only knock I have, if he can throw 97, why throw a hanging 86 mph curveball to Ibanez? Make him hit the heat. In addition to the guitar company, Ibanez has hit 3 bombs in 2 nights off the A's. The rest of the team has needed a balk to score a single run in 23 innings. Maybe we oughta walk this guy tonight. Our pitchers are better than their pitchers, we gotta get some runs.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

A Moral Victory?

The A's lost in 14, but it was a fun game. Great starting pitching, and Jermaine Dye, MVP, hit a homer in the 9th to send it into extra innings. There was an AB I thought was very exciting. In the 11th Rincon got to 3-1 on Spiezio with the bases loaded. I have often seen pitchers in the bottom half of an extra inning walk in the winning run. This is the most pathetic thing a pitcher can do, in this situation a walk is just as bad as a grand slam, either way you lose. Make the batter beat you by doing something besides standing there. So Rincon got tough and threw about 4 pitches over the plate, and after Spiezio fouled a couple off, he hit a fly out. That was great pitching by Rincon, he tried to nibble and when that didn't work, said, "here, hit it" and still got out of the inning. Then in the 12th, they put in Duke. When they had a choice between Duchserer or Harville the A's decided they needed a long man. In an extra inning game that appears to have no end in sight, what a perfect time to use a long man. So he lost, but he got work in and he looked pretty good out there with some of those slow curveballs. It was a good game, the whole pitching staff did a good job pitching around Edgar and Booney. Let's see what they can do tonight.

What a weird game

The A's lost to Seattle tonight on a 14th-inning "balk-off" by Justin Duchscherer, which scored Quinton McCracken with the winning run. Oakland had forced extra innings on a solo homer by Jermaine Dye (his league-leading 7th) off of Mariners closer Eddie Guardado to lead off the 9th; subsequently, both teams left the bases loaded at least once without scoring until the bizarre balk in the 14th, which occurred on a fake-to-third, look-at-first move. A total of 33 runners were left on base during the contest; both Seattle starter Freddy Garcia and the A's Mark Redman were on the top of their game, but obviously neither figured in the decision.

Hopefully Harden can go out and throw 7 or 8 innings tomorrow, because the bullpen could certainly use the rest.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Barry Zito Shuts Them Down
We'd be remiss as a blog if we didn't write something about Barry Zito's game last night. Some think he is the best pitcher in baseball, some think he's the 3rd best on the A's. There is no doubt he had a fine performance last night. 6 IP 4 h 4 k's 1 er. It's funny how sometimes I read stories about how certain pitcher may have lost it, or is ready for a decline, then when he does well, you hear crickets from the skeptics. I have read stories about how any one of the big 3 are due for a down year, or a fall off. Where are all the guys who said Rhodes couldn't close? I guess if you write "they've been dominant, and we expect dominance for years to come" maybe it doesn't sell. Kinda how they always tell you about the wind chill factor in Minnesota (where I grew up) and heat index in New Orleans (where I used to live) but never wind chill in New Orleans or heat index in Minnesota. I never saw a report in New Orleans that said, "the high today will be 95, but with the wind chill, it will drop down to 92."

Here is the weather report from one person at Barry Zito Forever: "Pitching dominance throughout the year with a high probability of postseason dominance, followed by a chance of Champaigne showers in late October."

Cinderella Story, Outta Nowhere

There was a graphic on TV listing the top 5 in league BA on some game I was watching over the weekend. The list was filled with today's great players, and on the AL list was Marco Scutaro. What a story this guy is!Cinderella Story, Outta Nowhere, the guy gets a chance and does the job. Here is the list of things Marco Scutaro had to have happen to get to start for the A's this year:
1) Ellis injury
2) Menechino injury
3) German didn't hit great in spring training
4) Scutaro impressed the team with his bat and his D

Scutaro must be the most unlikely starter in baseball. And as of yesterday, he was in the top 5 in league batting average. I don't really expect him to stay up there, but I can't help but root for the guy.

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