The magic number is at 4. Carney feels it…can you?
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that two weeks is a short time. Prior to today’s post, I was traveling in Costa Rica for two weeks (!) completely shut off from all things Athletics. With the exception of an occasional scoreboard check, I had no idea that the green and gold were catching Texas so fiercely and heating up just in time for the post season. After the Detroit series win which I predicted was the catalyst for the A’s getting on a roll, they haven’t looked back. But I certainly have. You see, after returning home I felt almost entirely out of touch with the A’s and readjusting to everyday Bay Area life has been a little tricky in the process which is why I’ve jotted down some observations in hopes that they will trigger some old memories as well as help me reconnect with the present state of A’s baseball and get me more fired up. So, submitted for your approval, here are my observations. My Str(A’s)y Observations…
- Sean Doolittle Esta Listo. Have you ever watched a baseball game in Spanish? It’s a trip if you only speak English and can only make out a few phrases here and there. While in Costa Rica I was able to catch some A’s ball in the form of the Astros visiting the O.Co on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Spanish announcers seem much more enthusiastic than their American counterparts and even though I had no clue as to what they were saying, I would still enjoy a Spanish broadcasted game than an American one anchored by the Buck/McCarver corporation. “Sean Doolittle esta Listo” means that Sean Doolittle is ready and he certainly was in that game as he closed the door for a six out save. Me gustan Los Athleticos only begins to describe how happy I was to find the green and gold thousands of miles from home under the watchful eye of La Fortuna’s active Arenal Volcano while sipping a nice, cool Imperial.
- Lew Wolff is still an Idiot. I could be gone for years and still come back to this incompetent owner mouthing off to the local media about poor attendance or his disappointment in A’s fans and it wouldn’t surprise me. This time Lew made the mistake of criticizing A’s fans for light attendance early this week during the Angels and Twins home stand given that this will be the last home stand of the season. This is interesting because about a day prior when A’s playoff tickets went on sale, the A’s sold out in 2 hours which forced Little Latin Lupe Lew to remove the tarps on the third deck of the O.Co which is something he refused to do last season during the playoff run against the Tigers despite their being more than enough demand for tickets. Wolff claimed to be befuddled by the light attendance on a Monday night against one of the worst teams in baseball. Am I the only person who is guessing that the reason why folks weren’t at the game was because they just bought playoff tickets and, you know, didn’t have a ton of money to spend on a Monday night game?! I also have this theory that Wolff is throwing fans under the bus (again) because his theory that the A’s can’t get enough fans out in order to remove the tarps was proven wrong and he’s bitter. It may seem farfetched but so is the reality that a real estate focused ownership group owns a major league baseball team.
- What’s going on With Balfour? I’m actually not super concerned about the recent woes of Balfour Rage. The closer role is so streaky that closers can really only be judged on their performance in their last 5 or 7 outings and yes, Balfour’s have been really bad but he only has 3 blown saves this whole season and I think any team would like those odds. He’s also 35 and has been the primary closer all season whereas last year he didn’t take the roll until after the second half so is there fatigue? Probably. But with Doolittle being so totally listo the last few games, this is a good problem for Bob Melvin to have. He can rest Balfour when he has to and let Doolittle take the ninth. Ryan Cook is also in a pretty big rut but the Ballad of Jesse Chavez is good for an inning and even Jerry Blevins has been showing signs of life lately so the A’s are in a good space to give Balfour a solid rest before the post season.
- And now the windup from the 50 yard line. Its football season now which is also pretty killer. I do have a very controversial Baseball and Football season interloping together theory though but I will not be afraid to share it. You see, the House of Thrills, also known as The O.Co Coliseum, is the last facility that houses both an MLB and NFL team which means that between late August through (possibly) October, there will be the outline of end zone and yard lines all over the field. When baseball or football ceases to be played at the Coli, and that will happen, then my theory is that there will be nostalgia for watching a running back breaking a tackle where the pitcher’s mound would normally be or a longing to see a wide receiver stretch out for a touchdown in the bullpen. I don’t think many will have a yearning to see a pitcher hurling away where the 50 yard line would be but mark my words, watching football in September will not be as fun without the dirt infield factor.
- A City Awaits (The Calm Before the Strom). You can almost feel it happening in Oakland right now. And that’s a vibe that transparent regardless of whatever stage of culture shock you’re in. As of this printing, the A’s magic number is a Coco 4 and as early as this weekend, we could even clinch the AL West for the second consecutive year. Oakland is quiet right now (well, quiet on the Oakland sports celebration front) but walk around town and you’ll start to see “Let’s Go A’s” and “Keep the A’s in Oakland” posters in storefronts. The amount of A’s gear on people’s heads and backs around town is at an all-time high. We just need one more piece to the puzzle before this city loses its head and we celebrate good times up and down Broadway! Wait, what was I saying when I said “…almost feel it? Ha! I’m fired up indeed!
Decorating Costa Rica with some Green and Gold
Posted on September 20, 2013, in 2013, Athletics, MLB and tagged Costa Rica, Grant Balfour, Imperial Beer, Lew Wolff, oakland athletics, Oakland Raiders, Sean Doolittle. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.