Mutts Sweep the Pathetics

I spent most of my weekend in a hoppy, sudsy, comatose state on the couch watching the Mutts of Queens take out their brooms and sweep away the proverbial trash. The comedy/capitulation of the situation hit an apex when a recent call-up, “Hulk” Hogan Harris (who had a sparkling 6.23 ERA in the minors) was inserted into the game and gave up 5 walks, 6 earned runs and was promptly put back on the bus to the desert with a benign pat on the ass and a denigrating 162.00 ERA. To make matters worse, Hogan Harris was heard grumbling under his breath, “I guess this means I’m not getting my signing bonus!” 

A friend called me to discuss the matter and the conversation turned to Terry Steinbach.

“Greatest A’s catcher of all time,” he said, noting that he was a three-time All-Star and won the 1988 All-Star Game MVP Award.

“Well, probably the Oakland era,” I interjected. We often contradict each other–mostly politically–but the details aren’t of importance, and I’ve forgotten most of the arguments. I’m just convinced my ideas are more fundamentally beneficial to the general public and to the historical truths of the game. Our conversations are often like a friendly game of chess; we move pieces around, discussing and debating our opinions, but at the end of the day, we still remain friends, no matter the outcome. (and the correct answer would be Mickey Cochrane)

Strangely, I had watched an A’s/Red Sox game from 1992 a few days prior and they were interviewing Steinbach concerning pitcher Dave Stewart’s slow start and he mentioned something about not having control of his forkball (who was taught the pitch by none other than Sandy Koufax) in that delightful, thick Minnesota drawl.  He explained that the forkball is a difficult pitch to control and that Dave was struggling to keep it in the strike zone. This was likely the cause of his slow start.

Back to the present….There was a moment where the ball broke a gnat’s ass off the plate, and the inept umpire (according to StatCast) called it a ball, infuriating the Coliseum crowd who chanted in unison “Bullshit!” Bullshit! Bullshit!” The crowd’s reaction was similar to an erupting volcano, with rage and frustration spewing out in various directions–mostly towards the perpetually unoccupied owner’s box in a moment of glorious ennui fraternization. Suddenly, a brave soul from the stands yelled out, “Hey ump, you suuuck!” and the crowd roared with laughter. They were, alas, still conscious of their own reality (whether real or imagined) and breathing oxygen on this beautiful, sunny day under a cornflower-blue sky, and that’s all that really mattered.

The Oakland Pathetics are now a mind-bending 3-13.

24 thoughts on “Mutts Sweep the Pathetics

  1. cheaphill44

    Nice read, Gary. Wow! 10 games under .500 at this point in the season. Not to add to your misery, but I saw a graphic on Twitter this morning showing that three of the top eight hitters in OPS are former A’s (Chapman, Murphy, Olson). And you are correct; it’s Mickey Cochrane.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Hugh. I’ve never been a huge fan of your Braves but I’ve been watching them quite a lot lately. Matt Olson was my favorite player and Sean Murphy is such a solid reciever. I enjoyed them very much when they were with the A’s.

  2. retrosimba

    I like the picture you posted of the A’s fan giving the finger. Guy looks a little like Johny Damon, Could it be?

    I’m thinking that by June the A’s can use Hulk Hogan Harris in a series of promotional pro wrestling cage matches staged near the pitcher’s mound. Maybe Jose Canseco can come back and referee? Come to think of it, a different former A’s player can be the referee for each match. I think Rickey might be up for it.

    One silver lining about this A’s season: they are going to give plenty of blogging fodder for a sharp wit like yourself.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Hahahaha… your last comment may be true considering this blog is more like a tabloid rag rather than Sports Illustrated, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

  3. Steve Myers

    I was looking forward to seeing Esteury Ruiz in the Brewers outfield. We got him in the Hader trade and holy crap were Brewer fans and players pissed about that. I figured there must be something good about Ruiz, but then he was part of some 3 team deal and wound up with the A’s and we got one of the Contreras catchers. I haven’t seen the A’s play yet, but based on stats, it looks like Ruiz is having a good start.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      You’d be right, Steve. He’s been one of the few bright spots and the fans have fallen in love with him quickly. I’m not the only one saying he should be our lead off hitter. (which he finally did yesterday) I had no idea he was a Brewers guy and Baseball Reference tells me it was a 3 team trade with the Braves being the third team. The Brewers got some dudes Joel Payamps (?) and William Contreras (?)

      1. Steve Myers

        We’re pretty excited about catcher William Contreras. He had a nice offensive season with the Braves last season. Made the all-star team, but the Braves, as I understand it, wanted to upgrade their defense at catcher so they got Sean Murphy from you guys. Nice twist to the trade so far is that Contreras is getting recognized as an excellent pitch framer and apparently the crew has had some success recently working with catchers to improve their defense. William’s brother Wilson is the new catcher in St. Louis. It’s kind of cool that they’re in the same division, but it sucks that we hardly ever play division rivals anymore because of the new schedule which I don’t like.

      2. Gary Trujillo Post author

        It’s definitely odd. The A’s play the Mets, Cubs and Reds in the first month and I’m beyond confused.

        Good to hear that trade worked out. Those young players you mentioned on your blog are going to be good. Garrett Mitchell in particular has been raking.

  4. Ken Dowell

    The first game of that series was pretty shocking. Watching the Mets telecast, Ron Darling commented more than once, “This is not major league pitching.” The cameramen, no doubt bored with the onfield proceedings that no pitch clock could speed up, did a nice job entertaining us by finding the most eccentric A’s fans.

  5. Bill Pike

    A good read from lots of angles. Clearly, I’m getting too old to follow baseball closely, but despite your team’s record, you’ve kept a heart for the game even thought the A’s are breaking it.

      1. Bill Pike

        Boo on this move, loyalty is gone, always chasing pennies these days. Sorry for your disappointment. Maybe you can work up some kind of curse on the team.

  6. rulesoflogic

    Once again, thanks for reading my blog and liking posts.

    Are you going to write a post about the A’s move? I grew up in Baltimore, a die-hard fan of the Colts and Orioles. I was working at the Colts’ flagship radio station that horrible night in March, 1984 when the team sneaked out of town under cover of darkness. I was one of the first people to see the Mayflower moving vans at the team complex.

    As seems to be the case with the A’s and their fans, the Colts’ owner had alienated much of the fanbase. It was only in hindsight that many of us realized how much we would miss the team. Sadly for Oakland A’s fans, it is highly unlikely MLB will ever put another team in the city. At least Baltimore was returned to its rightful place in the NFL, although only after filing lawsuits that the NFL did NOT want to fight for fear of showing its dirty laundry.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      I’m not really sure how I feel yet besides numb. I’ve trashed the ownership on this platform for years so there’s really not much more to say about the move besides….good bye and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  7. SeaGuy

    Call me “late to the party”, but I was recently on some random website and they made reference to last year’s display of oral sex in the sparsely populated outfield bleachers way up high at whatever they call the Coliseum/Mausoleum these days. Thankfully there was a link to a twitter video of the action… Might have been the best play on the home front in many years there.

    In other news, it has been 50 years since this gem was inspired:

    Maybe find reason to recall that part of the past and commemorate it in a way that tops how today’s green and gold are so doing?

    I am glad for the rumors that the “Athletics” name will remain with the franchise when they move to Vegas… and I thiiiiiiiiiiii-INK I will remain loyal (I.E. it’s too late in MY time to change at this point).

    What are the chances that in my only-ever visit to the (inside of the) Oakland Alameda County Stadium, I saw the 30th and final scored run of the on-field career of Billy Beane?

    Rickey was a Yankee that week… and he, while playing for the visiting team on that day, was caught stealing by a long-forgotten A’s catcher (but I know it wasn’t Cochrane)… wait, now maybe it WAS Steinbach!!

    And a week or two later Rickey was traded BACK to the then-mighty A’s, who put him back where he typically was, and then they ran roughshod over the AL West before sweeping the Giants in the “Rattle of the Bay”.

    IF ONLY I could go back in time to that one May evening at The Coliseum, I could repeat the should-have-been-ritualistic observation while sitting in the parking lot there that was to observe and count the number of CLEARLY INEBRIATED (far too much so to drive) humans who staggered to their driver’s seats, started up, and drove off into the East Bay night.

    I wonder IF EVER I will get to the stadium in Las Vegas to see the mighty A’s…

    ~ loyal since Vida

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      What a great comment….and a lot to unpack.

      The infamous “Colieum BJ” gained a little bit if steam last year, and the police were even doing an “investigation.” Alas, the horny/bored couple was never brought to justice.

      As far as Rickey being cut down on the base paths, I’m thinking it could have been Steinbach or perhaps Ron Hassey?

      Don’t know if I’ll ever make it to Vegas, but I can say I haven’t been paying attention much the past couple of days since my heart isn’t into it. The A’s don’t have that “good guy” appeal anymore and I hope it returns.

      Thank you for the comment. It’s nice to hear from a loyal and “old school” fan.

  8. SeaGuy

    Well, now the A’s are 10-40… officially “THE WORST ‘start’ { “continuation” would be a more choice word} anywhere in MLB since the 1930’s”.

    I was out meandering on Monday… and thought… somewhat seriously, about GOING to my first MLB game in a few years… but I juuuuuuust couldn’t envision a spectacle worth taking in.

    Heck, in this crappy day and age, there wouldn’t even have been a ticket stub to preserve as evidence that I had gone to see the Green and Gold one last time (while representing “Oakland”).

    Still possible later in the summer, especially if (road) game tickets are/were appropriately discounted befitting the A’s, who may by then be 20 and 80… (or 20 and 120)… (or 14 and 117).

    The only challenge that will remain for either team come September-ish, will be that legendary total of “653”.

    In fact, as I meandered far too near to the stadium on Monday, I spoke with a young man who has been working for the Mariners this year, on his way toward clocking-in… and it was first HE who informed me that the A’s were the visiting team for that night… so in return I told him of the “653” benchmark.

    One must remain loyal… at least to respect all of those glory years given to (some of) us who are old enough to have lived through them (at juuuuuuust the right ages, too).

    While perusing YouTube recently I chanced upon some semblance of an A’s broadcast… (oh, they were interviewing Vida a month or two ago)… and I was… ‘moved’, I guess, to see that no less than “Shooty Babbitt” was on-air there…

    It made me think of another YouTube recording of a Billy Martin interview from way back when, where Billy makes mention of “(a kid named Babbitt)” who was then a rookie. He only played MLB in 1981.

    Keep your loyalty, A’s fans… it’ll be OK (eventually).

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Thanks for another awesome comment, SeaGuy. I’m really over all this shit to be honest. It’s a fucking boring, tedious drag and a shit show. At this point they can move to fucking Mars as long as that spoiled brat trust fund pussy John Fisher dies in a horrible plane crash.


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