Nice and Easy

Dear Oakland Athletics:

Goodbye for the year.  It’s been an erratic affair.  It started, as it always does, with so much hope.  We all dreamed that Giambi, with his slump-busting golden thong, might re-kindle the magic he used to conjure on a regular basis.  Maybe Nosemar with his illustrious past and shins of glass would stay healthy enough to swat a legion of first pitch fastballs into the gap.  Or perhaps Matt Holliday and his boxy alpha male jaw would take the whole team on his back and hike us to the top of the mountain.

Giambi fizzled, Nomar was whatever, Holliday was flung to the Red Birds.  So instead of those nonfunctional famous guys, we got to watch the emergence of a few young ragamuffins.  Like Rajai Davis and his track and field build, taking adventurous, blazing routes through the alleys.  Rajai the team barber, wearing a pencil mustache, making sure everyone looks good.  Andrew Bailey sawed off a tall pile of bats, representing for South Jersey.  Cliff Pennington defined scrappy with heart.

Oh, and what about the young starters.  Brett Anderson!  What a cold blooded young aryan, 21 years old with the chipmunk cheeks and steely gaze.  Throwin’ back foot sliders and makin you miss.  Painting 96 on the corners, inside and out, up and down.

Trevor Cahill, the Pterodactyl, looking more like a juvenile weasel, but oh how he made the ball dance.  Sparkling sinkers, wobbling changeups.  How do you harness so much movement?  That is your task, my friend.

And Gio Gonzalez, my primo, keep letting Rajai line up your beard cause it looks good.  Gio it’s almost like you care too much.  Like way way too much, enough for three young Brett Andersons.  And sometimes it works, when your curveball corkscrews and your fastball zings erratic, but sometimes you try too hard to throw your most perfect pitch every time, which makes you fall behind and nibble and then the walks.  And then you grab too much of the plate and witness the three run homer and watch your world collapse.  It’s a mind game for you–this winter I expect you to start bending spoons.

Jack Cust, you bambino lumberjack, you only barely hit your 30th percentile projection, but still provided enough majestic shots to left to keep me interested.  Thank you.  Kurt Suzuki wore his puka shells every day and kept things positive.  Michael Wurtz threw enough sliders to make his arm fall off, to good effect.  Well done Michael.  See you later Bobby Crosby.

It was an erratic season, but they always are.  It was a few different seasons in one.  We saw week long trainwrecks sandwiched around flashes of brilliance.  It was ugly and unreliable, but through it all I can’t help it, I love it.  I love the trainwreck known as Oakland A’s baseball.  Never enough money, never filled with stars, but always a compelling group of miscreants, re-treads and youth.

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April 5th, 2010

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