Friday, March 28, 2008

We now interrupt the A's regular season to present....exhibition season!

Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 6:14 PM

Some notes on Opening Week

* Here's how a two game set in Japan is like the World Series: when the A's and Giants were interrupted in 1989, both teams took advantage of the earthquake break to use their game 1 and 2 starters in game 3 and 4. Don't feel bad if you couldn't be in Tokyo, you'll still get your Matsuzaka-Blanton Opening Day. I know, that's not how the World Series usually works, but then this isn't like how Opening Day is supposed to work either


* Admit it. You were glad it was Alan Embree and not Huston Street closing out Wednesday's game.

* Score one for the retreads. It wasn't the baker's dozen of freshly caught prospects leading the A's charge, but rather Keith Foulke, Emil "The Surreal Deal" Brown and Mike Sweeney. Maybe the next exploitable Moneyball niche; old guys nobody else wanted.

* It's a little bit cool to wake up in the morning to a ball game.

* It's totally uncool to read about it as the morning paper as "news" 26 hours later.

* No moaning about Brown's baserunning snafu Tuesday night unless you can identify a game last season where an A's centerfielder actually had an RBI extra base hit in extra innings, then came back the next day to crash a 3-run homer.

* Good copy from the Chron's Susan Slusser throughout the Japan trip. Her notebook had colorful, revealing quotes, illuminating what it was like to be there. The upside of a beat-writer who's got the chops: a more intimate look, gleaned from earning the players' trust. The downside; withholding information to get on that good side to begin with. (See the firing of Ken Macha news whitewash at the end of the '06 season as an example). Good game side reportage as well, note the quotes from Blanton on opening night, punchy and capturing a voice. Hit-em-where-they-ain't Susan!

* It took announcers three years to ask Eric Chavez how he'd like his name pronounced, (then half of them go on pronouncing it as they'd choose) , I'm guessing third baseman of the moment, Jack Hannahan would rather not have "r's" being tossed in throughout his last name, ESPN.

* Three games this weekend against the horrible Giants to ready us for the regular season 2.0. Couldn't we just play our Triple-A team instead, so we could get some experience against some better competition? Or maybe we could play the Giants Triple A Fresno team, winners over Barry Zito and San Francisco earlier this week.

* So, let's root for nobody getting hurt this weekend, and then get ready once again, for the season opener. — Kibby Kleiman


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