Results tagged ‘ coco crisp ’

The nightmare that was the 2002 World Series

Here I am “appreciating” the Angels WS trophy that Barry Bonds was 9 outs away from winning.

In 2002 I was living in Los Angeles, being young, doing dumb things, and hanging out with pompous art school kids in my spare time. I was, for the most part, puking in their studios and stealing their beer when I wasn’t attending a gallery opening. I once wandered into a walk-in closet stacked with cardboard boxes and immediately walked out thinking I had made a mistake.

“This is someone’s artwork.” a friend told me.

I’m not sure to this day if he was pulling my chain. Such is life in Los Angeles.

***

October came rolling around and the Angels and Giants were playing for the WS title…2 teams I just hated with a passion. Whom to root for?

It was gay rights icon Harvey Milk who described Orange County best, in response to California State Senator John Briggs describing San Francisco as “the moral garbage dump of homosexuality in this country.”

“Nobody likes garbage ’cause it smells,” Milk told reporters. “Yet eight million tourists visited San Francisco last year. I wonder how many visited Fullerton.”

–The Angels had the Rally Monkey, thundersticks, (basically inflated plastic) douche-bag and mouth-breather John Lackey, the most boring fans in the league, and they played in a white-power wasteland famous for birthing Richard Nixon: Orange County.

–The Giants had territorial rights over the A’s, were kind of dull, and had 2 cantankerous schmucks in their own right (who hated each other) in Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent.

In the end we all know what happens. The Giants blow a 5-0 lead in game 6, Dusty Baker makes some half-baked managerial decisions, Scott Spezio becomes a legend in Anaheim, and the Angels win their first World Series title essentially denying Barry Bonds his one and only shot and leaving him crying in the locker room.

The only saving grace? At least it wasn’t the Yankees.

The incomparable Coco Crisp

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Joe from the Shlabotnik Report made this custom “baseball card” just for The Fro! Thanks, Joe. You can check out his site here…http://shlabotnikreport.wordpress.com/

In some ways, the home run is like the bright colors in a modern painting. They immediately attract attention, and for those not schooled in viewing modern art, they may overshadow other more subtle tones that are of equal or greater interest. But for those who appreciate the variety of baseball strategies and skills, the home run is not required. And importantly, the walk is not inherently disappointing. The walk opens up new tensions, new aesthetic possibilities, new kinds of drama, new story lines.   — R. Scott Kretchmar

Coco Crisp was the singular player that made my mother fall in love with baseball. What makes it an interesting, even head-scratching affair was that she was in her 50’s when this happened. (A testament to his likability and edge of your seat playing style.) Perhaps it was his strange batting stance– bat held high and chin resting firmly on shoulder in an almost exaggerated motion. Or maybe it was simply because he always had a smile on his face and looked like he was actually having fun out there. (Hello, Mark Ellis!) She loved the tension in the ballpark when he was on the bag and eagerly awaited the eventual stolen base attempt. (surprisingly, he has only led the league once, with 49 swipes in 2011.) “He’s like a little flea!” she would exclaim.

As much as I love home runs, for me the most exciting plays in baseball are the triple, the stolen base and the bench clearing brawl. And as Coco could conceivably achieve 2 of these 3 in any game, he became one of my favorite players as well. (I digress– Crisp did actually charge the mound as a member of the Red Sox. James Shields had come up too far and inside buzzing Coco’s “junk.” Crisp ran at Shields at full speed, side-stepping a wild, girly haymaker before throwing one of his own. He was eventually tackled which gave current teammate Jonny Gomes the opportunity to pummel the now incapacitated Crisp. After the fracas Crisp had a smile on his face whereas Shields looked like he was going to cry.)

Daric Barton selling churros at the Oakland Swap Meet.

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Daric Barton is the player every Athletics fan loves to hate. He was put on waivers TWICE in one week and not ONE team claimed him! (not even the Mets) Welcome to the first installment of Daric Barton, churro vendor:

I pull into the parking lot, pay my 1.50 for parking, and proceed to fill my large cup with some vodka and orange juice. I finally park after 15 minutes of driving around and about 15 minutes of arguing with complete strangers. Welcome to the West Wind Coliseum Swap Meet in Oakland, Ca. Everyone loves the swap meet, yet I don’t know whether to love or hate this place. It’s dirty, many of the vendors are lacking in English language skills, and I haven’t really found anything useful here. It’s an interesting cultural experience, to say the least. If you want cheap slutty clothes, funky gaudy jewelry, electronics that may or may not have “fallen off the truck” or strange kitsch from south of the border, junkyou may find yourself in heaven here. Personally, I go there for the vintage video games and baseball memorabilia (and the big booty mannequins). When it comes to selling junk (or clutter if you prefer) most of the stuff here looked like leftovers from a dumpster.  This place was reminding me of a Daric Barton at bat on a sunny day: the only thing you’re going to leave with is a sunburn and a little less dignity than you had before.

On the positive note, they also have multiple booths throughout, selling beer or micheladas at reasonable prices. I’m done with the vodka and purchase a Dos Equis from a vendor. The day is reasonably cool and I’m getting a slight buzz on. After a couple of puffs from my vape pen, I’m feeling rough and ready. I’m stumbling around at a slow pace and trying to ignore the constant yammering from the vendors. It sort of reminded me of “the alleys” in downtown Los Angeles. This conversation between a kid and her grandma had me snickering all the way back to my car:

Abuela: Do you want it? I’ll buy it for you. I had one in my room when I was your age.
Kid: Uh…who is it?
Abuela: Whaddya mean, who is it? Don’t you know who the Virgin is?
Kid: Oh sure. I know who she is.
Abuela: (Turns to vendor to pay for portrait)
Kid: (Turns to me shrugs her shoulders and mouths ‘Who is that?)

 

Daric Barton, churro seller season stats: 48 AB’s, 0 HR’s, .146 average.

 

2014 Topps….Coco style

2014-Topps-Coco-Crisp-213x300 Last night my girlfriend and I were doing some shopping when I decided to buy my first pack of 2014 Topps. After opening the pack I was impressed by the photo quality and design of the product, even scoring a Tom Milone. I instantly threw it in an envelope and sent it out with the rest of my spring training autograph requests. (hint:players are MUCH more willing to sign during spring training.) The card to my left came to my attention after reading the blog “Jim’s baseball cards.” They thought I should pay homage…so here is my chance, and also a chance to give a shout out to a fellow blogger whose work I enjoy.

My first actual post about Coco

covelliI woke up this morning and found a Vietnamese style chicken wrap in the refrigerator.  I highly recommend ANYTHING Vietnamese food oriented, but this wrap was killing it. The ginger lime dipping sauce was excellent, and gave my taste buds something to believe in again. My brain: “Holy shit! You are actually giving your body the nutrients it needs after drinking about 10 bloody mary’s last night!? You soul-less bastard.” I know, I know, you come to this site for BASEBALL, I get it, so I have done some research on Coco Crisp’s season last year, and it comes down to this:

Chili Davis: “Teams don’t want to walk him, so when he gets ahead in the count, he likes to get in front of those fastballs.”

I’m sure I could give you a breakdown, charts, or his left handed hitting percentage against a right hander at night, while pinch hitting, while the weather is 50 degrees or lower,while his wife is bitching him out, while he’s in Jacobs Field…but I honestly don’t give a shit. More power to those people, but baseball loses all aesthetic meaning to me when it becomes a bunch of charts and other assorted rigamarole. Looking at a bunch of charts is NEVER as fun as being one with the universe and connecting on a pitch PERFECTLY and sending that fucker soaring deep, deep, deep. I’ve heard every term to explain this beautiful game from “universal truths” and “just too fucked up to analyze.”

I accept both.

 Isn’t it strange that there is a blog named after a baseball player that doesn’t have a SINGLE post about said player? That’s what I thought, so I thought I’d share with you the lyrical stylings of Covelli “Coco” Crisp.

Why can’t we be friends? Opening day with the A’s.

funny a's fan!       Since I couldn’t be there, I got my guys to scope out the scene on Opening Day. Joshua Ploeg wrote this piece. He’s a Mariners fan, a vegan chef, and currently in a few punk bands. He lives in the Los Angeles area. Mitch Ferrer isn’t in any bands, but he is one rad dude who has contributed to the ‘Fro in the past, and has a crazy archival memory on the history of the Oakland Athletics. He lives in Sacramento with his sweet wife Tammy and their two doggies. Enjoy!

   Last night was another installment of going to see the M’s and the A’s on opening day in Oakland. With me being a Mariners fan and the ‘Fro unable to go, some time contributor to this blog Mitch “Put You in A Ditch” Ferrer acted as my “A’s beard”, which I needed because we sat in the bleachers haha! Now Mitch is badass… not least because of his black A’s hat with a Public Enemy patch on it (takes some nerve to throw Long Island shit up on your Oakland hat), but also because he can be seen with me “smurfing it up” with my old school trident cap in a sea of yellow and green and have a sense of humor about it. And say shit to me like “you’re still in a punk band? Isn’t punk 40 years old- that’s like if I would’ve listened to the Andrews Sisters back when I was in high school”- touche!
We began our now yearly tradition in Fruitvale at some burrito place that would have been more authentic without the “guaranteed hormone free beef and free range chicken” signs,  but hey Fruitvale ain’t what it used to be. We got to the counter and the kid pointed to my M’s jersey and said “how can you two be friends!?”. Yeah well, Seattle ain’t New York, Anaheim, Texas or San Francisco, that’s how. He then proceeded to serve up what we in the Northwest would refer to as a “gay-ass Seattle style burrito” with the corn and broccoli and shit in it (it’s okay I swing that way so I can say what the fuck I like). Shows we all have a little Seattle up in us, and if you want a little Seattle up in you the ‘Fro has my number.
     I love the Coliseum, they shouldn’t change a thing. It’s a beast, but it’s old and that makes it good. Too clean or no Mount Davis doesn’t work for you guys because that stadium has a story, it has character. Your players aren’t the same bunch of babies that some of us have to deal with, so they can hang in a place like that. The bleachers weren’t as hostile as I was expecting and people were pretty cool to me. One girl poked me in the chest and said “Are we friends? No we aren’t!! HAAAAA!” but then she gave me some snacks later. They tried to get me to do the “bernie lean” but ,nah- (u still doing that, why not the macarena too, that shit is olllllldd). Out of respect I had a green and white plaid shirt over my jersey. But that’s also cuz the one the ‘Fro bought me says “senior league” on the sleeve….haha asshole! Thrift store shit, insert Macklemore here…
Bob Melvin, now that fool gets a standing O from me. Mariners fans like to applaud the people who used to be with the team, with a few exceptions. Even though we never really took to the guy he came in to an impossible situation (I mean, come on… LOUUUUUUUUU!!!) and we’re proud he’s done a good job for you guys and deserved AL manager of the year. Respect.
John Jaso, I like and he’s a good fit for you. I’m not as hurt about the trade as I was in the beginning and now I’m over it, because Morse is pretty good.  I don’t feel too jealous. Coco is great, of course. I can’t hate the A’s, you put the A in MAriners.
       Felix on the mound- as an M’s fan that’s the only time with a little security. When there were a couple of guys on I wasn’t really worried, even though you guys got excited deep down you knew shit was not gonna get done. If he’s gonna fall apart you can usually tell much earlier. Even your boos against the King are a little trepidatious. The only big razzing I got on that was on the BART when some dude said “Felix is overrated, Verlander is better” and I was like,” yeah well, he’s not on the A’s either”. That kid needs to watch some reruns of Yo’Mama and get his shit up to speed, that was some weak heckling.
Of course, when they took the King out and later there are guys on, bases loaded. That there brings back bad memories, I know you all can relate to a bullpen falling apart. And in our case that was usually big stupid money wasted. Well, we don’t have that cash anymore, and it’s not like Furbush and Pryor are so lousy or anything because they’re not. It’s more the A’s are a tough team and you can’t take that shit for granted. 2 runs doesn’t mean much, that lead can be erased in mere seconds with some dumbshit pitches or false moves. Honestly without Brendan Ryan out there we probably would have lost even with our ace. A lot of sore booing when Felix left the mound.  When you guys boo us it does seem half-hearted, who do we threaten? I feel like we’re a humbled team, we had all this money and squandered it on fiascos like Chone Figgins and Brandon League, focused on Ichiro who couldn’t even be a team leader and we are owned by a faceless corporation that basically gets excited about any player they can sell at the Hello Kitty store. Big whoop. We’re looking alright now because a team like the A’s is there to show people how you do baseball on a budget and play a game with heart. And you have real baseball fans; gritty, fun-loving baseball fans!
       The bleachers were teeming with rowdy drunkeness, sort of good-natured heckling, pot smoke and “e-smoke”, strangers handing us hot links and chicken and pickle sandwiches and falling all over us (well, I do prefer my Safeco fruit kebabs and vegan sushi) and talking shit about South Sacramento (oh, I been there…go River Cats!). Kept getting yourselves kicked out and booing the staff every time they hauled off some poor fool that was passed out or slugging whiskey. Some guy nodded off and barfed three seats away. I was glad you’d rather have a good time, smoke, get drunk, dance and barf and get yourselves thrown out than pick on me. And really why waste your time on anything else- that’s some real shit right there. Beats the fucking Dodgers stands I can tell you this. Salt of the earth.
All in all I had a blast with y’all yet again, and on behalf of the Mariners Laptop and Coffee Klatch, (like Red Sox nation but better and more polite) I want to say thank you A’s for being the A’s- baseball wouldn’t be the same or right without you!
Cheers
PS- enjoy while it lasts, I may feel differently come September. Oh…. and Welcome Astros, thanks for ensuring we won’t be last in the West ever again!

The “Big A”

me and my buddy, josh (right) giving the thumbs down to the Angels 2002 World Series trophy. (note the old school Mariners cap…. he is forgiven)

I recently made a trip to Anaheim Stadium to catch the A’s play the Angels in a “must win”  game for both teams; a place I hadn’t been to since I was a young boy living in Buena Park with my grandparents….a span of 20 plus years. My grandfather and I were A’s fans, yet we enjoyed quite a few games at the “Big A” in the days of Wally Joyner, Lance Parrish and Mark Langston. The old cowboy and Hollywood legend Gene Autry still owned the team, and 80 something year old Jimmie Reese, who was the conditioning coach, was still roaming the field. The old man was called up to the Yankees in 1930 and was Babe Ruth’s roommate on the road, or as Reese explained, “I roomed with the Babe’s suitcase.” Reese coached the ball- club for 22 years until he died in 1994.
Times had changed. All three of the old men in the paragraphs above were long dead, and I was back in the ol’ ballpark not ready to re-live memories, but to watch the Elephants kick some ass and take no prisoners. (there’s a playoff spot at stake for fuck’s sake) The stadium was vastly “improved” since I had been there; from the large idiotic Disney-esque rock formation in center field to the gigantic Jack in the Box sign beyond that.  My girlfriend, (a Dodgers fan may I add) thought that the crass commercialism on the Jumbotron between innings was off-putting. “Even the hotdogs are better at Dodger Stadium,” she said. I agreed that this display of capitalism and homogenized commerce in the county known for its conservative Republican values was indeed off-putting. “Yes, but we hit more in this league,” I answered.

Yoenis Cespedes, the young Cuban who has one of the quickest bats I’ve ever seen hit a miraculous, long soaring jack to left center. The brilliance was confounded by super-rookie Mike Trout, and his attempt to rob him. Angels fans rose en masse, ready to see their new hero pull odd another amazing feat. He came up short. The wind went out of the stadium. The score was 1-0 and the desperation rose quickly. “How could a bunch of NOBODIES be doing this to us with our 126 million dollar payroll?” Angels fans seemed to be saying. By the time Brandon “The Boss” Moss hit a two run jack to left center in the 5th, we knew it was over. The fans were pleading for the man who had caught it to throw it back, but to no avail. Coco Crisp even added an inside the park job as creeky kneed, 35 year old, over- payed Torii Hunter couldn’t fish a ball out of the corner and it skipped passed him while Mr. Crisp jack-rabbited around the base paths to make it 6-2. Triple and E-9. Grant “The cardiac kid ” Balfour did his best to blow the game even yelling a few obscenities at the umpire on his way out with a 6-5 lead and a man on first and 3rd with no outs. I was yelling a few at Balfour myself and quickly felt vindicated as I had told a buddy of mine before the inning had started that Balfour was like a hooker at a truckstop… always getting rocked. The crowd stood the rest of the game as Jerry “Clutch” Blevins (as he will now be called) nailed  down the game by striking out Kendrys Morales and getting Howie Kendrick to ground out 5-4-3 for the victory. There was no joy in Mudville that night….. nobodies indeed.