Thursday, August 27, 2009

Slap Hitter: A's Ball Sucks, Watch Baseball instead

Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 3:44 PM

The Oakland A's might have made September mildly interesting. They could have chased down the Seattle Mariners and captured third place. After getting swept, that tepid dream is now over too. But anybody in the 510 who claims to love hardball and isn't following the Giants needs to be gently nudged to the Dark Side with a Landon Powell bat.

There is no love for the Ignats here. We hate their ubiquity, their marketing and their preciousness. The next best thing to an A's winning streak is a Giant's losing one. And yet...The past week is about as good as it gets for August, and it's going to get better before its over.

The Giants are locked into a race for the Wild Card (three games back) and arguably the NL West as well (didn't feel like looking it up). They are playing long, tense games night after night, scoreboard watching multiple teams, and they all seem to get decided late.

The weekend past they got edged by Colorado, making a mockery of the football like scores, by falling a Field Goal to a Safety. Then the next night, they lit up Coors Field like a pinball game, cutting a 14-8 defecit in half before the night was over. Monday's game was the best yet. A 1-1 tie into the 13th and the boys in black put it all out there, pinch-running Lincecum, bunting with closer Brian Wilson, scoring three in the top of the 14th, and then astonishingly giving back five in the bottom frame. A superlative game, no matter who's ox got gored.

Then they come home, thunderstruck with basebally grief, and win two nail-biters in a row. I still hate them, but wow, what a race! This weekend, the Westsiders host the Rockies, and after seven contests in ten days with their nearest competitor, having now played each other to death, it's going to get loud.

Even if you don't want them to win, you'd be foolish to not want them in it til the end. In fact, let's agree, we'll enjoy the stretch drive, its drama, twists and turns, and then have an off-season watching the Giants explain how they're one-big-player from winning it all next year, so that when they get left at the gate next season, it will be that much more painful.

For those who cannot or will not appreciate a pennant race on in your sports consciousness every day; you deserve the A's vs. Cleveland.— Kibby Kleiman

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