Thursday, October 3, 2013

DiMaggio's Ghost is Back in Oakland - A's Play It Old School, Hard Nosed Baseball

Video of As 1st playoff vs Detroit shows strong fan contribution

 A’s Fall Short in First Playoff Game vs. Detroit Despite Fans’ ’10th Man Effort

The Scrappy Oakland A’s were the underdogs in the first American League playoff Game against Detroit  and   Cy Young  Pitcher Max Sherzer.  Their own ace, 40 year old wonder Bartolo Colon was, perhaps affected more by the five day  layoff  after the end of the season and gave up three runs in the first inning. But, after that, the A’s were the winners, scoring the only other runs of the game in the sixth inning  on Yeonis Cespedes’ two run homerun that  put them only one run down. With 48,000 screaming fan exhorting the A’s on almost every pitch one almost expected A’s Magic to happen again as it has so many times during the season. But the top pitcher in the American League and Detroit’s bullpen was just a little more than the A’s could handle; perhaps the layoff and first game jitters could account for part of their weak hitting performance ( only 3 hits on the night for a team with a .295 average against Sherzer; of course, the other side had to contend with the same layoff and jitters though it might have been harder for a 40 year old pitcher and an A’s team of younger players.  The second game on Saturday will truly show what the A’s have in them, if they can bounce back – but it won’t be easy with another top pitcher, Verlander , going against them.  
But, this game has to go down as one of the more exciting games for the home fans, despite the loss. As a   fan next to me said, the enthusiastic A’s fan base may have gotten Cespedes’ juices going to hit the big home run that brought the A’s back to within one run.  But one player’s performance a game does not make – Cepedes had two of the three hits – and the A’s needed fewer strikeouts and better performances from some other players this night. Our guess is that the A’s will show definite improvement in Game 2 with the first one under their belt.
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            OAKLAND A'S Official On-field Caps and Tshirts and Playoff Souvenirs  ON SALE NOW

Joe DiMaggio once worked with the Oakland A's and Charlie Finley in the 1970s/80s and would be proud of the current team,  which plays much in the style of the old Yankee Clipper....good old, hard-nosed, no nonsense , smart baseball. There are no big name stars, just a lot of eager, aggressive, intelligent fun-loving 'lower paid' players who are playing for the love of the game as much as anything. There is also a manager, Bob Melvin, who has upset GM Billy Beane's old theory that the manager doesn't make a difference, who took over a team that revolted against it's previous manager - and the coaching staff is second to none. They've gotten the most out of their young team.  No help from modern technology, ie PEDs, like the cross Bay team.  This is good old, real  Golden Era Baseball like when DiMaggio played.

FORGET MONEYBALL - WHAT MONEY? 'Low  Paid'  2013 A's The Real Hollywood Story
by Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News
OAKLAND -- The Hollywood producers blew it. Completely.
Perhaps you saw "Moneyball" a few years ago, the movie about the 2002 Oakland Athletics team supposedly composed of inferior players that shocked the baseball world with the killer combination of creative strategic thinking and Brad Pitt's extremely evocative close-ups.
Mundane stuff, compared with 2013.
The current A's team is the one that really deserves to have a film made about it. Maybe that will happen if the month of October becomes a rousing final reel. We'll see if that happens, beginning here Friday when the A's face the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
To be sure, the A's of 2002 were intriguing.

Oakland Athletics players and fans exult as the last out of the game is made against the Minnesota Twins, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, at Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. (D. ROSS CAMERON)
They had a 20-game win streak and did break ground when general manager Billy Beane (portrayed by Pitt in the film) started using statistical data to make personnel and lineup decisions.But come on. Those A's did not feature a stadium that leaked raw sewage; or an uncertain future in their home city; or a relief pitcher from Australia who screams a lot and grew up playing rugby; or a right fielder nicknamed "Hillbilly Jesus"; or a powerfully exotic slugger from Cuba who obliterated the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game. The A's of 2013 have given us all of the above. And then some.
"We do have some interesting guys," A's manager Bob Melvin conceded this week.
Not that many casual sports fans in the Bay Area would know.  MORE

                         OAKLAND A'S PLAYOFFS CENTRAL

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