Game 2013.10: Tigers at A’s
Yes, the game post picture is a mite creepy. But then again, it is a 10:00 pm EST game, and creepiness is thematically apt.
Whenever the Tigers play at Oakland, there are three unavoidable questions that come to mind:
- Will anyone stay up late enough to watch?
- Who named O.co Coliseum, and how much would it cost to rename it? And what civil or criminal remedies are available? and
- The team name. I mean, Athletics is easy to work with, but A’s? It seem so…possessive. And what would the possessive of A’s be? A’s's? As in the A’s's record so far is best in the American League?
And it is. Against all odds, the A’s seem to be doing it again.
The Tigers just played the anti-A’s, and came within a bullpen meltdown from a series sweep. The Blue Jays spent the offseason stalking the Marlins and others like some crazed Ebay mavens, and gobbled up half a team’s worth of star players: Jose Reyes. Josh Johnson. Mark Buehrle. Melky Cabrera. R.A. Dickey. It was like a fantasy league draft. And yet currently the Blue Jays sit at a glum 3-6, and just claimed Tiger (and Mariner!) castoff Casper “The Ghost” Wells.
The A’s, on the other hand, after surprising everyone with their unexpected run into the playoffs last season, bolstered their team for 2013 by…well, what, exactly? After making a big fuss about how important the clubhouse presence of Brandon Inge was, they flicked him aside without much ado. They lost Dallas Braden, Brandon McCarthy and Stephen Drew, and added…umm, Chris Resop? And yet there they sit at 8-2, with the best record in the American League, having just swept the “juggernaut” California Angels.
It’s still early, but still impressive.
Tonight they send out the Reanimated, Rehabilitated Bartolo Colon to face Mad Max Scherzer. Bartolo has no business being in a Major League Baseball uniform, which means he will probably shut out Detroit.
By the way, one of the best value tickets in all of Major League Baseball: the tickets behind the bullpens in Oakland, which are on the field between 1st/3rd and the outfield. I had the pleasure of watching Brayan Villarreal, Al Alburquerque, and Daniel Schlereth warm up there from about 20 feet away, and it was most informative.
Stat of the Day: Teams who rest two .400 hitters on a West Coast trip opener win 66.6% of the games on the road trip.
Really Weird, Check-It-Out-Yourself, No-Really, Stat of the Day: This is the ONLY West Coast road trip. All season.
Player of the Pre-game: Don Kelly. With the fearsome Ramon Santiago hitting behind him finally Kelly will get some good pitches to hit. And having Kelly on base in front of him will clearly get Santiago “going.”
Today’s Clearly-Hunter-And-Infante-Need-A-Rest-From-The-Long-Plane-Trip Lineup:
- Jackson, CF
- Dirks, LF
- Cabrera, 3B
- Fielder, 1B
- Martinez, DH
- Avila, C
- Peralta, SS
- Kelly, RF
- Santiago, 2B