The dumpster fire known as the 2015 season.

The 'Fro agrees with this fans assessment of the "split caps."

The ‘Fro agrees with this fans assessment of the “split caps.”

Baseball doesn’t always follow a Hollywood script and neither do baseball seasons. This past season, for me, conjures up the old baseball adage: we came, we saw, we went home. It was a quandary from the beginning that lent itself to flaccid penis. We as Oakland fans simply knew we weren’t going to be contenders a month deep, and it can be tough watching games day after day, month after month with no hope for the immediate future and a bullpen that resembles something my dog leaves on the ground after a brisk walk. The A’s pitching has been at its worst since the mid 1990s and it makes me cringe at how they would look without Sonny Gray and half a year of Scott Kazmir. This team reminds me of the crummy baseball team on the Twilight Zone episode “The Mighty Casey.” Perhaps the Oakland ball-club should sign a robot as well or maybe Kelly Leak from the Bad News Bears. Hell, the alcoholic manager of the Bears (played by the late, great Walter Matthau) could probably hit as well as Sam Fuld. The rest of the team (except for a few players) left me cold– like a disease but with a prescription that includes strychnine along with the penicillin.
This past Saturday gave Bay Area baseball fans something to talk about (besides provincial animosities) as the A’s and Giants faced off with 2 of Oakland’s “Big 3” facing off in Barry Zito’s first ML appearance since 2013 and perhaps the final appearance of his career. (obviously my local A’s radio affiliate couldn’t care less as they decided to carry a Division 2 football game instead.) The game echoed the year to date: much to do about nothing as Zito and Tim Hudson were knocked around and each left before the 3rd inning. The fans gave each a heartwarming standing ovation as they skulked off the field in perhaps the most ultimate display of nostalgia and a desperate attempt to cheer about ANYTHING in a season of despair, disappointment and the worst record in the A.L. Is there any way to smirk on paper? Fans were actually excited about a dumpster fire… but at least this one had an explosion at the end compared to the many others we’ve experienced that were just slow burning tire fires. I just refused to bring out the marshmallows.

16 Comments

As an Atlanta Braves fan, I feel your pain. You know you’ve had a bad season when you’re rooting for your team to win one more game to avoid the big 100.

I don’t believe in curses. (I’m lying. I do.) And, so, welcome to the Curse of Jim Johnson. This season’s Orioles, A’s, Tigers, Braves? That’s no coincidence. It’s Jim. I just know it. Let’s see how far that 10.50 ERA gets the Dodgers.

Hey, at least you have Sonny Gray (even with a bad hip). The Orioles just have a bunch of free agents we can no longer afford.

Well, I guess one man’s dumpster fire is another man’s Fourth of July fireworks. As a Mets fan, my youngest son, who is now in third grade, was born the year the Mets last made the playoffs. When I told him they made the playoffs this year, his response was, “What are the playoffs again?,” which should be any lifelong Mets fan’s motto.
Sorry about your team, man. I know how much it sucks.
-Bill

Hey Gary…I do feel for ya’ buddy. We are obnoxious Red Sox fans, but our team was in the toilet this year, too. We went many a year without a whisper of a chance of tasting the playoffs. Hang in there, things are bound to change eventually. What is it that they say every April…Hope springs eternal!

I give you the old Dodgers mantra “Wait ’til next year!”
My sympathies
v

Kershaw pitched a gem last night against the Giants, and you can be sure I am rooting for the Dodgers to win the World Series.

Gary –

Well here we are. The end of the season. I can’t count the hours I’ve watched the A’s and Giants on the TV or listened to the games on the radio this summer. We are so fortunate in the Bay Area to have two teams. I watch and pull for both of them and have done so for years.

I’m ready for the season to end. I love the game, but it’s time to move on and get things done. In addition to the A’s and Giants, there’s MLB. com and MLB TV. Because I’m hooked on those also, I’m way too familiar with the other 28 teams’ rosters. (The baseball season almost becomes a part-time job.)

I scoffed at one of the pre-season predictions by the “experts” that the A’s would end the season in last place. I thought that they had enough to get started and would figure out the gaps as necessary. As I recall, you expressed some concern about their pitching and I responded that everything would be okay. Well, we know how that went. I think Ray Fosse said that Barry Zito was the 30th starting pitcher of the season.

Baseball has paid big dividends to me over the last five decades. I’ve seen a few of these “final laps” and other events over the years and never regret it. Nolan Ryan’s last start in the Bay Area comes to mind. Ron Santo day at Wrigley when I was a kid. Jon Smotlz at the end of his career on the mound in SF is another.

I was out of town when Zito and Tim Hudson pitched last weekend. I really wanted to be there, but could not change my plans. Zito and Hudson are both two of the “good guys” in baseball. It goes without saying that they aren’t as good as they once were. (None of us are.) However, while they have always been just as competitive and serious about their routines and commitments as anyone else in the game, but with always with grace. I’ll take them on our rosters over guys like Papelbon every time.

I know that fan’s hat well. It is a relic from the 1989 World Series. It’s the hat that I pulled from a box in the garage when I heard that Zito and Hudson were going to pitch. It just seemed right – like picking out an outfit for Mardi Gras or some other made up reason to revel. I had it laying on my desk the day before the game. I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I loaned it to someone who was going to the game. Yes, that hat in your photo is my hat. It’s now safe in a closet ready for the next special event. Maybe I can pull it out for Madison Bumgarner vs. Sonny Gray in the 2023 World Series.

Whoa Bruce! Well you can be sure I thought the photo would be a funny anecdote to the piece and wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. After all…baseball is supposed to be about good-natured heckling! Wow….small world.

Gary – How would you know? How could you know?

I was as surprised to see this photo on your blog as you were to learn that it is my hat. It is a small world. And in a losing season, the number of A’s fans gets even smaller. So, maybe that made it easier to cross paths out at the virtual yard.

Anyway, I’ll pull out the split cap again – hopefully before Sonny Gray and Madison Bumgarner face each other in the World Series towards the ends of their careers. We can feature the cap in a blog.

We got the green carpet rolled out here in Montreal, just in case that relocation thing pops up again.

No! You can have the Rays!!!!

Alas for the A’s, alas
but this always happens
this is what they do
Connie Mack did it….1915 and early 1930s
Finley did it…mid to late 1970s
sell off the stars, drop from first to worst
it’s what the A’s do
Billy Beane had to do it
it is in the Athletics’ DNA
it had to be done
and we had to watch it
every day
as the true sons and heirs of the Philadelphia fans
the ones who watched 36-117 and 36-104 and cetera
The team moved West
so did we
it is sunnier but the taxes are higher
the blue and white gave way to green and gold
and we grew our hair longer
but the paradigm came West with us
three AL championships
or 3 AL whatevers now in the age of half- and quarter- and sixteenth-pennants
and then selloff, crash and burn
maybe it will be 18 years before we see light again
maybe Billy Beane will be 85 before we see light again
but he showed Donaldson that rat bastard didn’t he?
and so wait
buy another beer
and wait

Gary, thanks for liking my article on The Mick. Can you please send an email to me at eric.baseballstories@gmail.com? Thanks, I hope to hear from you. – Eric

You know, I actually feel bad about this, but the fact is that, even though I live in Oakland, I don’t follow the A’s. For one thing, it’s really hard to care about a team who’s owner has expressed open contempt for Oakland and the team’s fans, and will move the team to anywhere the first chance he gets, as long as it triples his profits. I know it’s not the player’s fault, and they (mostly) play their best in spite of it, but how can I give my heart to a team with one foot out the door? It would be like being a Raiders fan- a phenomenon I cannot understand, either.
Too, it takes all the band width I’ve got to be a Giants fan. I pay attention to all the other teams; I’m up on the standings and such, but I CARE about the Giants, and I worry about Lincecum’s hip and Cain’s arm and when, oh WHEN will Pence be back, and on, and on. (I also gloat a little over Sandoval’s dismal season, but I never claimed to be a good person.)
Anyway, I’m hooking up with your blog, just because it will help me keep in touch, a little, with what is, after all, my “Home Team”- even though, frankly, I wish Lew Wolf would just take the A’s somewhere else, so we could have a minor league team that I could really get behind.
Thanks for your comment about my, sometime, blog. maybe I’ll become more regular, this year, though I can’t promise to write more about baseball. I think, maybe, I said what I have to say.

As much as I agree with your assessment concerning the Athletics. I have been a fan since I was a young boy when my grandpa would take me to games. The team has a special place in my heart that goes beyond multi-millionaires running around in pajamas and uber-capitalists playing with the emotion of fans. Besides, I have faith that they will stay in Oakland. Thanks for the comment John, you have a great blog and I am looking forward to more posts.

I used to go to a lot of A’s games, Gary. I loved to grab a dog and climb up to the top deck, right behind and above home plate. I think one of the best kept secrets in Bay Area Baseball was that those seats- at eight bucks apiece- were among the best in any stadium, anywhere. Then, they tarped them off. Just like that. All the upper deck, where the working class sat to watch the games. They said (you should pardon my French) “Fuck you” to us all. Too many people were sitting in the cheap seats, so they eliminated them. No problem, thank you very much for supporting your team. That act severely pissed me off, as you might be gathering, and I’m not forgetting or forgiving, any time soon. As I said, Wolff can’t take his team out of here soon enough for me. Hopefully, we could then have a minor league team that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to watch, and that might stay around awhile. That’s how I feel about it. I guess I took it personally.

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