A group weblog for Oakland A's fans

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Curse is Over?

This is the headline of today's sports section of the Chronicle. There's a curse? What unlucky thing did we do to start the curse? They talked about the Red Sox being cursed from 1918. 86 years. Our curse was very short by comparison, only 6 years. And our curse was what? Failing to win the clinching game of the first round of the playoffs. Again much smaller in comparison than failing to win a World Series in 86 years. Our curse is so small and tricky to understand. We faced elination in 2000 in game 4, and Zito flattened the Yankee's asses that day. We didn't seem to cursed then. Only twice in those 4 years did we win the first 2 and lose the next 3. I think what really sucks is this 5 game format. For all we know, if any of those series were 7 games, the A's would have had a championship under their belts in the last 6 years. Maybe 5 is the curse. Ahhh the pentagram! Sign of the Beast. Or is that 666? I get my curses all mixed up. I guess the media needs something to talk about, and this was all they could think of today. I'm the one talking about the magic of the A's all the time, I guess I should expect this sort of BS from the media. I don't think it is curses that cause series to end a certain way, it is mistakes. The Twins obviously made WAAAYYYY more mistakes than the A's did in these 3 games. From the boot by Bartlett which caused Santana to get too tired to pitch the 9th game 1, to the bad play by Tori in game 2, to the E by Morneau in game 3 that allowed Scutaro's heroics, the Twins played worse defense. Mistakes are magnified in the playoffs because all the teams are good. Good teams capitalize on mistakes. The A's are a good team and they didn't make the costly errors. And so endeth the short, small and tricky to even understand how to define curse. If a curse can be only 6 years long, could it also be one year? Could it last one game? Could it last one inning? Could it last one pitch? I never hear the announcers say, "Thomas swung and missed on that pitch so badly, I think he was cursed for only that one pitch." No that's silly, everone knows it needs to go at least 4 years to be a legitimate curse.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Barry Zito Forever

It is the eve of perhaps the last start in Barry Zito's career for the A's. He is up against Johan Santana. Most of the experts pick the Twins in this series. I predict a big game from Barry tomorrow. And if there is a big game from Barry tomorrow, the whole complexion of the series changes. The A's really need just one of these first 2 games. Get us back to Oakland 1-1 and I feel like we have a great chance. I still think about that sunny day in the playoffs of October 2003 when Barry threw yellow hammer after yellow hammer to those Red Sox hitters. Watching them flail is forever etched in my mind. It was the day after the late night Ramon bunted. Is there anyone who thinks Barry is any less up to the challenge tomorrow? Is the challenge any greater? Is this A's team any less worthy? No, no and no. If our lot in life is to lose game 5's than let's get to winning 2 of these first 4. This game is designed to break your heart, and I have a heart ready for breaking. Only sometimes the other guy's heart breaks first and we spray eachother with Champaigne.

If tomorrow is Barry's last for the A's, I just hope I can enjoy every second of it, win or lose. Barry Zito is truly my favorite player of all time, and I don't expect to ever have another I love so much. My first favorite player was Rod Carew. My second favorite player was Tony Gwynn. I have gotten older and those guys have retired. My last ever most favorite player is Barry Zito. Other players will come and go but I am not going to have any more favorite players. This is the end of the line for me. Maybe the end of an era. My blog is not going to be called Rich Harden Forever next year. No offense to Rich, but it lowers the meaning of the name to do something like that. Forever is a mighty long time.

When the Loveline radio show was on, I knew Dr Drew and Adam were an amazing team, and I knew whatever happened after that was not going to be so amazing. I also knew that Adam would move on, that the nights left for the show were numbered. It is true for all of us, time is running out. Then one day Adam said he was leaving at the end of the week. I knew it was coming and I knew it had been coming for a long time, and I tried hard to not get bummed out by the whole thing. But I still am, I can't really listen to Adam's morning show and I can't really listen to Drew trying to make a go of it on Loveline without Adam. Same thing with Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy in Uncle Tupelo. You knew they couldn't stay together and you knew nothing would ever be as good again. Wilco and Son Volt are ok, but it just won't be the same.

As a baseball fan, if your team is out of the playoffs, today is a sad day. The day after the last day of the season. If your team is IN the playoffs, today is a great day of hope and excitement. My team is in the playoffs. My favorite player is pitching. I got tickets to game 4. I think they should schedule it for 10 pm west coast time, to give the Twins some jet lag. This 10 am Oakland time start is bullshit. Is MLB ONLY concerned about tv ratings? Does everything need to revolve around the Yankees? Whatever. Just one more reason to hate the Yankees, don't get me started. We take them down next.

But first we have to get past one of the best Twins teams ever. And who better to lead the charge tomorrow than Barry? Nobody better. Nobody does it better. Nobody does it half as good as you do. Baby you're the best.

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