Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I Love to Hate You

Sorry for the day delay, but it turns out that I REALLY hate this fucker. Two full days worth of hate.

"Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining."

--Fletcher, from "The Outlaw Josey Wales"
I don't particularly like being deceived. Deceive me and you go on my "list". Right now it's not a very long list. Hell, not even Ken Macha is on the list. So you know you're a genuine a-hole if you manage to make it on there.

Roman's Shit List
Jason Giambi
Keith Foulke
George W. Bush

I used to like Jason Giambi. I used to like him A LOT. Man-love? Definitely. Unhealthy man-love? Probably. The guy was awesome. He could flat-out rake. He was the kind of guy that you built your entire team around. And that's just what Billy Beane did.

I can honestly say that I've been a life-long fan of the Oakland A's. How and why a nine-year-old kid from Texas with absolutely no ties to the Bay Area became an A's fan is another story for a different day, but for as long as I've been a baseball fan, the Oakland Athletics have been my team. In that time, there isn't a team that I've felt as strongly about at the 2001 version of the A's. That's my favorite. It will always be my favorite.

The 1999 team raised some eyebrows when, after six years of absolute crap, it didn't suck and made a half-assed push at the Wild Card. No one expected that team to finish 12 games above .500. No one. That just wasn't a team that was built to win. It was composed of two very distinct groups: the wiley veterans (including Tony Phillips, John Jaha, Matt Stairs, Kenny Rogers, Dr. Gil Heredia and Kevin Appier) and the unpolished kids (including reigning Rookie of the Year Ben Grieve, Eric Chavez, Miguel Tejada and Tim Hudson). There was one exception. Jason Giambi. The slugging first baseman was just entering the prime of his career. He would soon become the face of the franchise.

There WERE expectations on the 2000 team. They did not disappoint, clinching their first division championship in eight years with a dramatic win on the season's final regular season game. Giving the hated Yankees all they could handle in an ALDS that went all five games made me extremely proud of my team. Even though we lost, I wasn't disappointed. I knew damn well that this team was only going to get better. The youth movement was well underway with Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Ramon Hernandez and Terrence Long entering the mix.
"We think this is our worst club over the next five years."

--Billy Beane
I was a firm believer. No need to fret. With the kids getting another year of experience under their belts and with Jason Giambi establishing himself as one of the game's premier hitters and heart and soul of the club, things were only looking up.

More tomorrow.


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