In the news: Donald Trump and his xenophobic rhetoric and unrealistic, infantile threats of massive bombing have been dominating the attention span of talking heads recently. I am a member of one of the most pessimistic and ironic generations that has ever roamed the earth–Generation X — so all of this is difficult to process as I can’t get past Trump’s silver-spoon-since-birth shitty bourgeoise attitude and makes me laugh/makes me want to kill someone psychedelic hairpiece. It’s also offensive that the man is using death, suffering and a public existential crisis to further his own political agenda; not caring a lick about working class struggles or fears. Truly a sickening individual with no ability to conceive the reality that average Americans face everyday. “Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance.” – Albert Einstein
MLB’s alcoholic circle jerk known as the Winter Meetings took place in Nashville and new Oakland G.M. David Forst harkened back to the early days when teams would try to find the drunkest guy in the room and then proceed to pilfer him for great players on the cheap. Forst recently lived up to that generalization when he traded Brett Lawrie to the White Sox and in exchange the South-Siders sent minor leaguers RHP J.B. Wendelken (AAA) and LHP Zack Erwin (A) to the A’s. Neither was on the Sox’s list of Top-30 prospects. This trade was a head-scratcher because of its insignificance.You would think that the Oakland ball-club would try to squeeze something more appetizing out of the Sox because of their desperate attempt to pick up ANYONE better than Mike Olt at third base. Let us take a pause… we’ve now traded Josh Donaldson for 3 minor league pitchers, 1 major league pitcher, and a very young (albeit in theory future superstar)short stop. Forst just pushed the button on the evaluation of the that ill-fated trade even further. Lawrie? who knows…he probably called out Beane for not stocking the vending machine with free sodas. (this may be an inside joke to the clueless, hello Dave Justice!) Joking aside, the trade may have been a desperate attempt at dumping “Tweaker” as there have been whispers about Lawrie being a clubhouse nuisance after not one teammate stepped up when was drilled early in the season by Kansas City.
Something tells me the A’s will be okay without Lawrie, and that moving on was the hard-boiled thing to do. Lawrie will always be seen by this blog as a hard-nosed player with a serious hitch in his swing, horrible plate approach and is partial to tattoos and copious amounts of energy drinks. With Lawrie you see the sweat, blood, tears, screams, anger, defeat, triumph, joy, sadness and a .299 OBP. (probably the real reason why he was traded.) You see every bit of it. But unfortunately individuals with freakish athleticism don’t always translate well to the baseball field. Just ask Michael Jordan.
I am typing this through the dense smell of cow shit on an Amtrak train hurtling at 80 mph through the California Central Valley from Sacramento to Los Angeles. What a strange, wild world we live in.
It looks like the Oakland Athletics’ lovable frat-boy, Brett Lawrie (pictured) found himself in a bit of trouble over the weekend–injuring Kansas City second baseman Alcides Escobar in an attempt to break up a double play. After seeing the replay, it seems to me if Lawrie manages to slide directly into the bag, he’s safe. Easily. Instead he takes out Escobar, cleats up, with his lead foot shin/calve, dragging his hand across the bag (and then past the bag). I’ve seen a talking head for MLBN state that it was a hard slide to break up Escobar receiving the ball and I agree. After a beaning in the back, a Twitter war between players and fans, a bench clearing “brawl” that consisted of players standing around and a few ejections; it looks like we have a good old-fashioned baseball rivalry on our hands. That’s just baseball. Obviously there is still bad blood between these teams due to last years playoffs, yet the season is still way too early for these kinds of things. It’s good to see that the Athletics have a lot of heart and competitive drive, but let’s get back to the summer marathon that we all enjoy shall we?
IN OTHER NEWS…I got a chance to see the (AAA) Sacramento Rivercats play the Las Vegas 51’s on Tuesday. Mind you, this was after swearing that I’d never step foot in their ballpark again after recently switching affiliation from the A’s to the Giants. Well, boredom and curiosity got the best of me. My mom was working that day and I needed something to do in a town that traditionally has nothing to do. I hadn’t stepped foot in Sacramento in over a year and wanted to see what the lions’ den would look like–what was once home would now be behind enemy lines complete with orange and black barbed wire.
The moment felt strange from the beginning. The sea of Giants caps and guilt made me feel a bit nauseous. “It’s OK, it’s baseball.” I kept telling myself. My positive emotions were soon turned to mush as I found out that the cheapest tickets were 12 DOLLARS! For a minor league game!!! Like always, I waited the unwritten baseball rule of 3 innings planted in a crap seat in the sun before finding a nice, shady seat right along the first base line. It was a typically fun day at the yard with a homer, a few great defensive plays, (even a bases loaded 1-2-3!) a few pitching changes and even a few great plays by the fans. I paid 6 bucks for a relatively fat hot dog (anything is better than the Dodger Dog, which are usually stale) that was quite tasty. The price was ridiculous but I came away happier and with a nice tan as I listened to the sea lions bark below the iconic Tower Bridge on the walk home.