What’s a guy gonna do? I went with my normal routine of a quick-paced afternoon walk before stopping at the local rec. center to shoot some hoops. (My follow-through is a bit rusty, but coming along nicely) I knew I only had about 30 minutes to goof around before proceeding to walk the 6 blocks home. Today was Opening Day, and as Jerry Seinfeld so astutely said, “You’re not rooting for players, you’re rooting for laundry.”
And in the end–I’m not convinced that this is a baseball team rather than a Ponzi scheme. A stock portfolio. The “suits” have seemingly crystallized everything I despise about hyper-capitalism and formulated a shabby squad that epitomizes unchecked greed before the inevitable crash. Of course, the fanbase gives a collective yawn, indicating that they’ve been through this routine before.
So, what the hell…let’s put my slavish devotion to the test. You know, sometimes disaster porn can be fun. Is your temperature rising too? Well, buddy–pop a few Xanax, have a drink, and let’s get angry!
I couldn’t look away. I had to indulge and examine how this bunch of ragtag misfits (I am not going to say lovable quite yet) were going to fare against a “pretender” like the Phillies. If I have to be pragmatic with myself, I felt like it was going to take a 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey-like effort to win one of the games in this series–no doubt the only historical reminder of most of these guys’ benign, hardball careers will be represented on a single baseball card that no collector will bother to safeguard in one of those plastic pages, inevitably ending up battered and pissed on by vagrants in a random 7-11 parking lot. Bush leaguers perpetually in flux. Alas! The Phillies come out of the gate with a 4- run lead which felt insurmountable, even in this cheesesteak bloated, Santa-Claus-hating, bandbox.
The human equivalent of a facepalm, Elvis Andrus attempts to pull everything, and I usually just scratch 6-3 on my scorecard before the facade is over. When he finally grounds out to the opposite field, (4-3) A’s fans rejoice. This front office should have known something was amiss when the Rangers implored, “PLEASE take him off our hands….we’ll even pay half his salary!” The second half of that sentence predictably made owner John Fisher’s nipples rock hard as he undoubtedly daydreams about 100-foot yachts and “ladyboys” in stale-sheet-smelling Thai bedrooms amongst other slimy antisocial transgressions only the insanely wealthy seem to enjoy. (Did someone say modern art tax-write-off?)
It’s all about the little things, right? Who am I kidding? There just isn’t anything to be optimistic about unless you’re the owner’s accountant or a naive homer. The only saving grace/mental resolve is knowing that this team (or the league for that matter) isn’t going to pry one filthy nickel from my grubby hands this year or anytime in the foreseeable future.
Are you bored yet? My apologies for being one of those fussy saps that love to shoehorn their unparalleled virtue into any scenario–it appears that this affliction was satisfied (once again, as this primal scream seems to exemplify) by howling into the abstract abyss known as the internet, composing even more agonizing and just plain stupid first-world problems in these supposed apocalyptic times. Sigh…who needs a beer?
So, the return of the A’s to their ancestral home had all the charm of some drunken tourist jumping up and down while pumping his fist in front of the Rocky statue.
Your post made me curious about the last game the hometown A’s played in Philadelphia before relocating to Kansas City. Turns out it was Sept. 19, 1954. Played on a Sunday afternoon before 1,715 loyalists at Connie Mack Stadium, the A’s nursed a 2-0 lead against the Yankees until Moe Burtschy relieved and gave up 4 runs in the 8th, including 3 on a Gil McDougald homer. Yankees won, 4-2. Elvis Andrus would be proud: https://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/1954/B09190PHA1954.htm
I wish i had thought of that first line. Great stuff! Honestly, Mark there is so much hatred and cynicism for ownership in Oakland these days, (especially after RAISING ticket prices for this garbage) I would not be shocked if they drew 1, 715 for a home game.
I have to say that this latest lock out sucked the life out of my rooting interest as well. They can all go to hell as far as I’m concerned and like you, they’re not getting another nickel out of me…
Forget the beer. Start hitting Cuervo shots straight off the threads.
I had to quit the tequila, J. Dub. I got tired of my life resembling a scene from “Roadhouse.” Hahaha.
Poverty franchise. I said after they dealt Olson I would cancel my MLBTV and I did. Not because the trade was surprising or because they got a bad haul, but because this ownership is so rancid, it’s impossible to believe they care at all about winning. And if they don’t care, why the hell should anybody support this nonsense? I’ll still track them, because once a fan, always a fan, but they won’t get a dime from me. Call me when Fisher sells.
I don’t really follow US baseball but I like your insider comments and journalistic style, keep up the good work