The Athletics have fallen way off the front page of even the sports section and now just pop up when there is some statistical oddity or personnel glitch to report. We have both! As of this weekend, the Oakland A's have become the first team ever in the sesquicentennial anniversary of the game's birth to go with a five-man starting rotation featuring only Left-handed pitchers. They should sell it like some sort of side-show freak thing: Marvel at a team that will soon be passed by the pathetic Giants! Gasp at a squad that hasn't won a series since Flag Day! Wince at the collection of has-beens, never-weres and never-will-be's that make up our daily line-up. And now--nothin' but lefties!
You will certainly not know them better as Smith, Eveland, Meyer, Gonzalez and Braden. And if you do, then all I have to offer you is a wish for a more fulfilling hobby. Last week I went to the Coliseum (cruelly) on Dog day, where patrons brought their pooches all dressed up in Green and gold gear. The mood was festive, and portsider Braden immediately got himself in a 3-0 hole after five batters, but remarkably weathered the storm and the A's came back to win. Perhaps we can fill the stands with pets throughout September, if only to give fans something to look out while we evade the parade of baserunners (theirs) and strikeouts (ours) happening on the field.
The southpaw thing is a curio for sure. Trivia questions are built on much less, and with a month left in the '08 campaign it's hard to know where else to go with our Let's Go Oakland chants. The A's are the Visiting Team virtually the whole rest of the way so tryouts for the Washington Generals are pretty much closed.
Let's go all the way though, purge the bullpen of all righthanded pitchers for the next five weeks. Offer a weirdo promotion for fans afflicted with right-brain dominance. Make the manager sign the lineup card in a hook-handed fashion. This season absolutely has not turned out right. The A's are just playing along.— Kibby Kleiman