So here we go.
I had a dream last night that Eric Sogard hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 6th that broke a 0-0 tie and ultimately gave the A’s a 1-0 win in game one of the 2013 ALDS vs. the Motor City Kitties. In the dream this was a day game instead of night and the third deck at The House of Thrills (the name I’m now applying to the O.Co Coliseum) still had the tarps on but those are just small subconscious details. The larger point is that I’m dreaming about the A’s playing in October and the dream of the A’s making it to the postseason is now a reality for a city and it’s fan base that really needs some good news and something to believe in.
As I write this week’s piece, I’m sitting here at work as the gentle keyboard tapping and mouse clicking from coworkers fills the office with a rhythmic beat that desk jockey’s know all too well. There is one guy who wants to know if anyone wants to go and get a breakfast burrito with him (his fourth burrito, breakfast or otherwise, this week mind you) but folks are either not paying attention or are distracted by something else so nobody really answers and he goes off into the early morning San Francisco Financial District jungle in search of food alone. Someone else complains about their commute and receives polite sympathy and consideration. Off in the corner, another co-worker loudly sips her coffee and eats some yogurt as a familiar blue Facebook banner on her computer screen sneaks into view for all to see. I’m looking at my calendar for the day and notice that I have to take a client out to lunch, Thai food as it is, and meet with him to talk about how my company can better improve his. But on a day like today, I’m a wreck of anxieties and emotions. How can I spend two hours talking to this man over Pad Thai about how we can better improve his online brand awareness or his attribution models or how to better track his long-term conversion funnel when all I can think about is how Yoenis Cespedes’ left shoulder feels after that cortisone shot and whether or not Josh Reddick’s long swing will be an issue against Max Scherzer? I mean I hope when they take my order I don’t order Panaeng with a side of Jed Lowrie.
So while all is calm on a Friday in this office, I’m anxious and nervous. So jittery and impatient about tonight’s game, that this morning before leaving for work I asked my fiancé who is taking the day off because she’s sick yet still refusing to miss the game tonight, if she had the tickets and knew exactly how to get to the BART parking lot and what time she was going to get there. I asked her this several times while she was quietly trying to heal herself amidst my frantic green and gold energy. I apparently care nothing of others today but I’m consumed with the notion that bench coach Chip Hale may not have enough sunflower seeds tonight.
On my way to work this morning I was of course wearing my A’s gear in preparation for tonight. I was approached twice by strangers with high fives and when I crossed the bridge to the other side of the bay, I was immediately greeted by a man offering his handshake with the words I desperately needed hear: “Hey, man. So, let’s go Oakland…Right?!” A brother in arms in the city by the bay.
Today is my good friend and battery mate, Brew’s birthday. I’m sure he will be celebrating the occasion in Oakland somewhere with the game on TV and a jumping crowd with him. He’s a diehard and we’re going to Game 2 together but the atmosphere at wherever he ends up will only reflect what else is going on in Oakland. When the A’s are doing well like now, Oakland comes to life and is ready for the national stage. There is a bar down the street from my house that painted its entire outside wall green with the golden A’s logo front and center. When I went for a walk to the store late last night to get some supplies for my sick lady, I saw people emerging from the shadows in green and gold apparel; A’s duds as far as the eye could see. City Hall is lit up with green lights at night and there will be 50,000 fans in attendance tonight losing our minds over the A’s and what this team and city mean to us.
I’m filled with distractions today. I really don’t know what insight I can contribute to Baseball Revival this week or with this piece either. When the blog needs me the most for insightful coverage into the A’s I could go into the pitching match-ups and talk about how Alberto Callaspo potentially coming off the bench could prove to be a brilliant move if the A’s get into the Kitties bullpen, or how carrying three catchers is something only Bob Melvin can pull off but I don’t think I have it in me. I think right now when we have beautiful fall days like today where anticipation for tonight pulsates in the air it’s more interesting to talk about strangers wanting to shake your hand or give you a high five. Or Brew, wherever he may be, screaming at the T.V., Fuller’s London Pride in hand, demanding the A’s offense get some more runs. Or all the bars and small businesses in Oakland today with their A’s flags and signs in the windows and all of the people jogging or walking around Lake Merritt sporting their Kelly Green and Wedding Gown White A’s gear.
Just like the A’s, Oakland is a tough town and nothing comes easy for it. It has to scrape and claw and scratch just to get by and even when it does it sometimes comes up far short of the finish line – just like the A’s. But Oakland and its people, like the A’s, are also very proud and never quit. People can riot downtown and try and destroy all the good in the city but Oakland always comes back the next day and starts rebuilding. Just like the A’s. The House of Thrills’ plumbing can clog over and over but there will be no place louder or more filled with excitement and pride on the planet tonight and I can’t wait to be a part of it.
That’s Oakland and this is Oaktober.