Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Big Red

If it's not one guy, it's another. That's what I fucking love about this team. On any given night, a new hero can emerge. And a case for team MVP could be made for about half a dozen guys right now.

That's what separates our mighty A's from those assholes in Anaheim: If Vlad sucks, they ALL suck. The Angels have now lost their last five games. In four of those, their offense has scored three or fewer runs. And as you might expect, Vladdy isn't really knocking the snot out of the ball over that span. He's four for his last 20.

In July, when Vlad hit .208 with a .640 OPS, no one was there to pick him up and the Angels played sub-.500 ball, going 13-14.

And in May, when the reigning AL MVP hit .224 with a .697 OPS, the Angels' hit .245 as a team with a .671 OPS. It was only because of the team's pitching (3.34 ERA for the month) that the Halos were able to avoid disaster.

That isn't the case with our club. There's so many guys that could carry the team for long stretches. Chavy, Crosby, Johnson, Payton. Maybe even Kotsay and Kielty, who have each hit over .320 for an entire month this season. And while I don't think Nick Swisher is at the point in his career where he can go on month-long hot streaks, he CAN end a game with one swing of his bat at any time.

This is why Macha's asinine line-ups continue to frustrate me. The guys who obviously CAN'T get ridiculously hot, Kendall and Hatteberg, continue to get significantly more ABs than the guys who can. Jason Kendall leads the team in ABs THIS month. More than Chavy. More than Johnson. More than Payton. Kendall and his .500 OPS have 25 more AB's than Mark Ellis and his .931 OPS. That's fucking ridiculous!

Imagine if one of Kendall's ABs each game was given to Ellis. How much would the complexion of the game change? If know if I was a pitcher, I'd much rather face a guy that can only hit singles (and not even hit them very often), than a guy that's hitting .300 with some pop. Ellis can make an opposing pitcher pay for a mistake. Take the recent Detroit game against Bonderman as an example. When's the last time Kendall led off a game with a homerun? Or even a double?

Keeping a pitcher on his toes from the get go can do wonders to set the tone of the game. And the tone Jason Kendall's been setting all year sounds like billy goat ass-raping a chimpanzee.

I wish our dumbass manager could see that. I wish he had the stones to finally make the move. Maybe he IS a puppet. I tend to think he's just stupid.


I don't know if any of you noticed, but our mighty A's can clinch the season series with the Angels if they win the next two games. So while a sweep in Anaheim would be sweet for a number of reasons, clinching the series could possibly be the most important . A four-game lead would basically turn into a five-game lead. And with a road-trip to Texas, Cleveland and Boston coming up, our guys could use all the breathing room they could get.

Hopefully our guys can to Lackey early and often and keep that possibility alive.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Keep Chewing that Juicy Fruit, Asshole

Apparently, Ken Macha's idea of a "line-up shuffle" is swapping Jason Kendall and Mark Kotsay at the top of the order. Hey asshole, let me fill you in on a little secret...JASON KENDALL ISN'T HITTING!

Now, I don't really fault Kendall for not hitting that well this season. Whenever a catcher switches leagues, I EXPECT for his offensive numbers to drop significantly. I believe that switching leagues for a catcher is the hardest move to make in all of baseball. And since, from all accounts, Kendall takes the catching/calling aspect of his game very seriously, it doesn't shock me that a career .300 hitter's average could drop 40 points from one season to the next.

I've accepted the fact that Kendall's going to have a sub-par year offensively. It doesn't bother me because what he's done behind the plate is pretty damn remarkable. I'd much rather have a catcher that hits .260, but leads a bunch of twenty-somethings to the lowest ERA in the league, than a guy that hits .300, but is catching a staff with an ERA of 4.50.

But here's the one thing that separates me from Ken Macha: I don't expect Kendall to hit.

Track record, schmack record. If there's one exception to the "hitters hit" theory, this is it.

So if there's a guy on my team that I expect isn't going to hit much more than .250, and if he's proven over the course of the last five months that he ISN'T going to put up the numbers that he has in the past, I'm not going to bat him lead-off. Or second. I'm going to bat him ninth and be thankful for whatever offensive production that nets me. And batting him ninth would be just like having a "second lead-off hitter".

So who takes Kendall's spot in the line-up?

That's right, Mark Ellis. He's got the second highest OBP (behind Dan Johnson) on the team. And he's averaging 3.90 pitches per AB, which would rank 25th in the league (ahead of Mr. Patience, Scott Hatteberg) if he had enough PA's to qualify. These are numbers he's put up with a Kendall "protecting" him in the line-up for a large part of the season. And as a happy coincidence, Ellis just happens to be the hottest hitter on the team.

This would be the perfect time to make the move. And if it doesn't "work," would our mighty A's really be worse off for trying it? I don't think so. August has been Kendall's worst month of the season. Maybe even of his career. I'd have to check. He's hitting .204 this month. Ellis COULDN'T POSSIBLY do worse than that (usually that isn't a valid argument, but not in this case).

So what's keeping Macha from making the move? Kendall's contract? Billy Beane? Stupidity?

It's probably a combination of all three. But if Macha wants to prove to all the doubters (like me) that he isn't a moron, he'd sack up and make some moves. REAL MOVES.

When the team was struggling mightily in May, he just sat on his hands. The jackasses in the media will say that Macha "didn't panic." I say that he was too much of a spineless dope to shake things up. Even after some of the team's veterans went to him with their suggested line-up, he didn't do a damn thing.

I can totally picture him looking over that line-up with that stupid grin on his face. Looking up after about seven seconds, patting Jason Kendall on the back and saying, "That's nice, Jason. Now go outside and play." Kindda like what I do when my two-year-old niece draws me a picture of a horsey before I stick it on my fridge.

Spineless. Gutless. Weak. Going with the same damn line-up day after day doesn't take any balls. Bobby Crosby's average has dropped 50 points over the past two months. But there he is batting third day after day. And I LOVE Bobby Crosby. In my opinion, he's already one of the best shortstops in the league. But if he's struggling mightily over the course of two whole months and I'm managing the Oakland A's, I'm not going to continue batting him third. Not when Dan Johnson's hitting the cover off the ball. Not when Jay Payton's driving in a run per game. Only if Bobby Crosby and I were dating would I start worrying about hurting his feelings.

Same with Hatte. Greg's already covered most of this, but if this moron doesn't start DH-ing Melhuse instead of Hatte after the September call-ups, believe you me, he isn't going to hear the end of it.

Grow some balls, Ken. When you do, I'll be the first to give you props. And for all you gum-chewers out there: Stay away from the Juicy Fruit. It makes you stupid.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Hatte Time

2005 OPS: .688; 77th in the American League (out of 84)
August OPS: .394; 154th in the American League (out of 157)
Last 2 weeks: 2 for 27 (yes, they were both singles)

Adam Melhuse:
OPS last 2 months: 1.178 ( .405/.476/.702)
August OPS: 1.141; 2nd in the American League (out of 157)

Tonight's tough decision

The opposing pitcher has the following splits:
vs. left: .364/.436/.612
vs. right: .229/.286/.401
After perusing the numbers, the decision is pretty much made for you. Stack the lineup with lefties. With Nick Swisher both needing and getting a day off, the choice for Designated Hitter comes down to Scott Hatteberg and Adam Melhuse.

Tonight's brilliant thought process

Hmm....Adam Melhuse, Scott Hatteberg?.....Eleven-Seventy-Eight, Three-Ninety-Four?.........Second, One-Hundred-Fifty-Fourth?.... Good, Shitty?

Tonight's Brilliant Decision

Scott Hatteberg. Definitely Scott Hatteberg

Tonight's results:

o for 4
Outs recorded by either first or second baseman: 4
Balls hit hard by Hatteberg: 0
Ken Macha's IQ: 0

Tonight's Conclusion:

Well played, Ken. Well played indeed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Captain Genius strikes again

If you had opened up the sports page this morning, here is what you would have read:

A healthy Hatteberg is key, according to Macha. "I think it's very important to have a veteran (batter) in the middle of the lineup," Macha said. "He meant so much to us in the middle of the hot streak and we want to get him back in there healthy."

Here's what I think. I think you're a fucking assclown. It's not important to have a veteran hitter in the middle of the lineup, it's important to have a good hitter in the middle of the lineup. Preferably, more than one. Hatte wouldn't even be the best hitter if he were in the middle of a god damn police lineup. Especially if he were in a lineup with rapists. Rapists are great at "hitting" things, like solitary joggers and elderly housewives.

Scott Hatteberg currently has a .698 OPS. That ranks him 77th out of 84 qualified batters in the American League. And Macha wants this guy hitting in the middle of the lineup?

"But what about Macha's claim that Hatte meant so much to this team in the middle of the hot streak?"
-Guy who is arguing for arguing's sake

We'll define the hot streak as all games played between May 30 and August 11th, during which point the A's went 49-16. I'm pretty sure you guys all know what's coming here. During those 65 games, Hatte posted the following line.

.279/.344/.370. in 154 AB's.

Yeah, that's a .714 OPS that he managed to put up while the team was winning. I'd be extremely interested in hearing just exactly what Macha thinks the phrase "meant so much" means. Seriously. I will pay $500 dollars to anybody that gets Macha to answer that question. Does he seriously think we couldn't have lived without an OPS that last year would have been more than 10% below league average? And that's for ALL players, not just first-baseman and DH's, who tyoically hit much better than league average. Just for fun, I decided to look up what other first baseman and DH's are doing in comparison.

Among qualified 1st baseman:
Hatte ranks dead last

Among qualified DH's:
Hatte ranks dead last

Get well soon, Scott. I can't wait until you're back hitting cleanup again.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Just Please Go Away, Ken

There is a great Albert Einstein quote that accurately captures the moment for the A's. I don't know if Roman has used this in an earlier post; I can't even remember if I've used it. I don't care either way, really. I'll use it again, because it's too perfect.

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

I can't even pretend to make this post funny. Because there is nothing funny about how poor a manager Ken Macha truly is. Unlike my other posts, this won't be a derivative of something you'd find on Dodger Blues. This won't be a tribute to it, either. I simply cannot vouchsafed the kind of emotional detachment you need to interject humor. If you want funny, go check out the picture they used on the August 10th entry at Dodger Blues. If you want to hear the emotional ramblings of a tired and melancholy fan, read on. I'm tired of Macha costing us games. I'm tired of Macha, period. I just want him gone.

At the end of the 2002 season, it was pretty clear that Art Howe wasn't coming back as manager. He was a calm presence for the young players in the late 90s, but when the team was a winner, a contender, he didn't possess the kind of tactical brilliance necessary to manage in the postseason, or otherwise big games. Despite the 3 playoff losses, he was too much a slave to matchups. The L-R-L-R of a batting order, regardless if said alternations meant Dave Justice was hitting 3rd. Insisting that a lefty reliever, even one as bad as Mike Magnante or Mike Venafro, come in to face the other team's lefties. Removing a then-completely on fire Scott Hatteberg in favor of a not so good Adam Piatt in the late innings of a playoff loss to the Twins. He managed by the book, and other managers knew it. He never made a gut decision. It was always by the book. At the end of the 7 years, I was just sick of the damn book. Have a spine, Art. He wasn't a bad manager, he just wasn't the guy to take them deep into the playoffs. In 1998 and 1999, there were few other men I'd rather have managing the team. He was good with young kids. Not so much with winning. That's ok. We all have our skills. Some of us are cut out to be elementary teachers. Others are meant to lecture at colleges.

But it was time for Howe to go. It is not necessary to recap the events (Moneyball does a great job of that), but Ken Macha was named the manager for the 2003 season. At that time, I don't think there was an A's fan in existence who honestly conceived that after Howe's departure, things would actually get worse. But they were about to. During the 1st game of the season against the Mariners, Tejada and Chavez pulled off a double steal. That was something we never saw in the Howe regime. I didn't want us to start playing small ball, but we should at least be more cognizant of what the opponent is going to give us. I was ecstatic after I saw that. Would we finally be a smart team? A fundamentally sound team? Throw the book out the window, because Ken Macha's in town. Sure, he'll study the numbers, but making the tough decisions are what make heroes. Using the book is what makes a babysitter. Ken Macha is a fucking hero. It was one game, but I was in love. The next morning, the sports pages informed me that Tejada and Chavez did that on their own. My enthusiasm for Macha was tempered. Over the next 6 months, as Macha displayed a surprising inability to react and adapt to situations, it was dwindling. The 2003 offense suffered a horrible slump, but he refused to change the lineup. Man, what a portend that would be. When he refused to allow the RedSox to put Jermaine Dye on base during the playoffs, a move that ended up costing us the season, it was gone. Since then, a deep, intense hatred of the man has festered inside me. And festered. And grown. And grown. Is there anything Ken Macha can't screw up?

Baseball players go through slumps. It happens. In a game that relies so heavily on hand-eye coordination and muscle memory, when either skill leaves, slumps enter. Such is life when it comes to baseball. Macha's job is minimize the detrimental effects of those slumps. Currently, our lineup is slumping. Bigtime. With the exception of a select few, these guys couldn't hit their way out of a wet paper bag right now. And it's been this way since the All-Star break. Has Macha even considered changing the lineup? Has he even considered removing the weakest link of that lineup in favor of a guy who is actually hitting? Does he not realize that Scott Hatteberg is completely done as a player, and that his constant insertion into the lineup is absolutely killing us? I don't think I have to tell you the answer. When our 4 best hitters currently occupy the 5th, 8th, and 9th spots of the lineup, and the remaining guy rots on the bench, something is wrong. The top 3 spots are killing us. Do something about that. Mark Ellis has the 6th highest OBP in baseball since the All-star break. Perhaps he should hit leadoff? And why is Swisher, our team leader in OPS, batting 8th? There are 362,880 permutations of a 9 man lineup. Is Macha really using the best possible combination? At what point does our failure to execute, ever, become a reflection on Macha? Yeah, these guys are professionals, but it is always their fault? Do you work on them in Spring Training? During off-day workouts? Ever? Should it really have taken your normally quiet 3rd baseman to tell the guys to stop drinking and partying at night? That perhaps being tired and hungover might contribute negatively to a team winning? How about being a leader, Ken?

A few days ago, a very poor umpiring call ended up costing us a run. Before all was said and done, on what would have been the third out, instead 3 more runs scored before we got out of the inning. When Macha went out of the dugout to argue (honestly, I was surprised he even did that), was he aware that this was the same crew that not weeks earlier had reversed (correctly) a similar call at first base? Did he ask the umpire to ask for help? Did he get thrown out to inspire his team? Or did he casually chew his gum as he strolled back to the dugout after exchaing quiche recipes with Chris Guccione?

But that's neither here nor there. It is not any great revelation to point out that our lineup is constructed suboptimally, or that Macha is a robotic manager. I'm not interested in rehashing anything here. If you didn't already know that Macha is stupid, you wouldn't be visiting this site.

It just all seems like a bad dream. That for the last 3 years, the A's have just been playing a cruel joke on us. Haha, they say. Ken Macha was never really managing this team. You just took the blue pill. And then a real manager, a cross between Vince Lombardi and John Mcgraw and John Wooden would come out of the woods, out of the fog, out of the blue, a fictional savior from Brigadoon, to lead us to the promised land. Into our hearts, into our lives. Fans know that we'll never lose again because we've got Vince McWooden, and you don't. But it never happens. Invariably, your thoughts end up back somewhere near reality, and Ken Macha is giving a press conference saying that he's worried about Hatteberg, that he probably needs to go on the DL, but in the meantime, he'll be damned if he takes him out of the lineup. It's not just a bad dream. It's a god damn nightmare.

Ken Macha has failed on almost every fundamental level of being a manager. Dumb lineups? Check. Leaving in starting pitchers too long? Check. Failing to recognize matchup advantages? Check. Failure to earn the respect of his players? Check. Despite what you read in the papers, I have it on very good authority (my own), that, at least when it comes to a certain shortstop from Southern California and a pitcher from Canada, the players don't respect Ken's managing abilities. It's not that they don't like him, for he seems like a nice guy. But he's overmatched as a big league manager. Fans know it. Players know it. And you better believe that opposing managers know it. And exploit it.

The A's were terrible for the first 1/3 of the season. Just terrible. But they came out of that slump, just as they will come out of this one. And when they did, people were quick to credit Ken's steady hand. He didn't panic as the team frittered away over 30% of its season. He didn't need to make any changes. After 8 short weeks of sucking, Macha finally changed the lineup, and the team got hot. Now that the team is playing terribly again, is it going to be another 8 weeks before something happens? Because in 8 weeks, if this keeps up, these guys will be playing golf, and not baseball.

I once read a story about Vietnam that was centered entirely around a yo-yo that a particular soldier carried around during the War. The yo-yo saw it all; death, destruction, mayhem. But it also saw beauty. Soldiers killing soldiers, and a god damn yo-yo was telling me how beautiful war was. And at the end of the story, you know what? That war was beautiful. It was the god damn most beautiful thing I'd ever read. M-16's and booby traps, and all I saw was the poignancy in all of it. Through the eyes of a yo-yo. Fucking incredible, huh? Point is, some things aren't meant to be poignant, but they are. Baseball shouldn't be this poignant, shouldn't be this important. The A's could never win a never another game, and the rest of my life would likely never change. I'm currently testing that hypothesis with the San Francisco 49ers, funnily enough. But it is important. I've invested more of my life into the A's than Ken Macha could ever possibly invest, possibly dream of investing. He's some stupid asshole from Pittsburgh, a god damn Pirates fan, a borderline imbecile with serious mental limitations, and he's in charge of my A's. He doesn't care about the A's like I care about the A's. He'll never care about the A's like I care about the A's. This is a job for him, a job he's screwing up royally. He's ruining the beauty of baseball for me. What would the yo-yo say about that?

There is a dark energy pemeating from the A's right now. Much like the dark energy of the universe, it's pushing the A's out. Out of first place, out of the wild card lead, and out of playoff contention. Albert Einstein, in an effort to make his equations work, once postulated a cosmological constant. Once Edwin Hubble confirmed the expansion of the universe, Einstein concluded that inventing said constant was the biggest blunder of his career. But it turns out he was right about that after all. You don't need me to tell you that Einstein was a smart fellow. So when he has a position on what insanity is, perhaps we should stand up and take notice. Perhaps we should listen.

Are you listening, Ken?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Weekend Re-cap

Friday, 07:30 pm: Arrive at Steak & Ale for my birthday 'celebration'. Why Steak & Ale? 'Cause I like steak and I like ale. And I'm not very creative. We're half an hour late.

Friday, 07:42 pm: With two kids under the age of one joining us for dinner, "So when are YOU going to start having kids?" is asked for the 297th time of the evening.

Friday, 08:04 pm: I've decided that I'm not going to drink tonight. I'm going to cash in on my birthday sex after dinner and I don't want any problems with my equipment.

Friday, 08:20 pm: Dinner conversations are pretty boring when I'm not drinking. Talk is about a man that thought he was a bear. Turns out that in a fight between a man that thinks he is a bear and a real bear, the bear wins. Who'd of thunk it?

Friday, 08:35 pm: Gift time.

---Flashback to Monday---

The Wife: Your parents and your sister want to know what you want for your birthday. I already told them that you don't want gift cards or cash.

Roman: Just tell them to put some thought into it. As long as it's not cash or gift cards, I don't care.

The Wife: Are you sure?

Roman: Yeah. OH! WAIT! Tell them I want Madden '06.

---End Flashback---

Friday, 08:36 pm: Open the gift from the sister and brother-in-law. It's a gift card to Sears.

Friday, 08:37 pm: Open the gift from the folks. It's a shirt that looks like a tablecloth and some cash.

"I put the receipt in there in case you don't like it."

In case??? You know you're not the favorite child when your mom finds a gift that she knows you aren't going to like and gives it to you anyway.

Friday, 08:39 pm: Open the gift from my lady. Napolean Dynamite and a gift card to Sears.

Friday, 08:40 pm: Open the gift from my best friend and his wife. It's a gift card to Lowe's.

Talk about a twist. Before, they used to just get me crappy gifts. Now they're going out of their way to give me exactly want I DON'T want. Now THAT'S funny.

You might be wondering "Sears? Who the fuck shops at Sears?"

Not me, but let me explain. You see, the wife got me this workbench and a some kind of saw and drill (from Sears) for Christmas. Eight months later, the workbench is still in it's ridiculously large and heavy box in my living room. So I figure my loving wife told everyone to get me gift cards there so that I'd buy more tools and start using all that crap. What a peach.

Do they sell Madden at Sears?

Friday, 08:45 pm: My parents open their anniversary gift from me and the wife. It's nice bottle of tequila. They love sitting outside and sipping on Margaritas. Even my dad, which I think is kind of queer, but whatev. As summer comes to a close, a bottle of Don Julio is the perfect gift.

Friday, 08:46 pm: My sister informs the folks that she'll be giving them their gift "later." And she's their favorite. Good times.

Friday, 09:20 pm: Someone gets carrot cake for dessert. Which leads to talk of carrots. Which leads to talk of rabbits. Which leads to talk of, you guessed it, this damn bear-man. If you ever get in a fight with a bear, you might want to shoot him with a gun because apparently hitting him with a frying pan just makes him angry.

Friday, 10:07 pm: I get home just in time to catch the end of the game.

Friday, 10:08 pm: Spoke too soon. A two hour game? Wow. Sounds like Johan brought his "A Game". Haren too. I didn't expect for us to win this game, so I'm not too pissed. I'll catch the end of the Angels' game instead.

Friday, 10:10 pm: Willie Bloomquist sucks. I'm fairly certain the A's are kissing sole possession of first place goodbye.

Friday, 10:15 pm: JJ Putz sucks too. Bye-bye first place. Now I'm a little pissed.

Friday, 10:40 pm: I catch a Costas Now segment on Dock Ellis before retiring for the night. I thought I had heard it all. That might be the greatest baseball story ever.

Saturday, 09:00 am: Game time. My eight-year-old nephew has his first football scrimmage. In his short life, he's done Kung Fu, swimming, tennis and now football. I think he starts his guitar lessons next week. No baseball because it's "boring." What a dick.

Saturday, 09:15 am: It's apparent that the other team isn't showing up, so I'm in for a morning of drills. Even though my nephew has demonstrated over the past month that he's the fastest kid (by a long shot) on the team, it's been decided by his coaches that he's going to play linebacker. Outside linebacker. Guess who's playing tailback? That's right, the coach's son. He's the smallest kid on the team. Morons.

Saturday, 09:35 am: I'm convinced that my nephew can't tackle.

Saturday, 09:50 am: Now we're talking. One of these stupid drills has my boy playing tailback. Three carries, three touchdowns. He made some pretty sweet cuts too. And I'm not just saying that. Take note of number 63, you douchebags.

Saturday, 09:55 am: Now he's an offensive lineman.

Saturday, 10:00 am: Now he's a defensive lineman. This is a really stupid drill.

Saturday, 10:04 am: Now he's playing linebacker. He still can't tackle.

Saturday, 12:02 pm: I start cleaning out the garage so that I can put this workbench together. Guess the wife's plan worked.

Saturday, 02:00 pm: Game time. I have to listen (thanks, FOX). Actually watching isn't an option since I'm still cleaning this damn garage.

Saturday, 03:25 pm: Still cleaning. CD's I have found so far that I had forgotten that I even owned: Radiohead - Hail to the Thief, 40 Below Summer - Invitation to the Dance. I also found a dishwasher hidden in one of the back corners. An EFFING DISHWASHER! This garage is a fucking mess.

Saturday, 03:35 pm: I quit. The garage actually looks a little worse now than it did when I started. Looks like the toolbench ain't getting put together today.

Saturday, 03:40 pm: Since I'm not doing anything, the wife asks if I can "help her" wash the dog (the Rottweiler, not the Bassett Hound). Here's a little secret for all you single guys out there: When your wife asks you for help, she really wants you to do it yourself while she stands there and tells you how you're doing it all wrong. This can get particularly frustrating when your wife "needs help" moving furniture.

Saturday, 03:50 pm: It's raining now. And the dog still "needs another lathering". God is a pretty funny character.

Saturday, 04:15 pm: Time to get ready. My wife is trying to set up one of her friends with one of my dad's friends. There's only...oh...12 years separating these two love birds. The girl just graduated from college in May. The guy's been a lawyer for at least 10 years. I'm sure they're going to have tons in common. I'm getting dragged along to dinner and a concert on this little triple date.

Saturday, 05:30 pm: Arrive at dinner. The wife's friend isn't a bad looking girl, she's just a little chubby. She'd probably be pretty hot if she dropped about 30 pounds. Her juggs are enormous.

Saturday, 06:00 pm: My dad's friend arrives half an hour late. His juggs are enormous.

Saturday, 06:15 pm: It's pretty obvious that these two are completely incompatible. But the night is still young. Let's see what happens.

Saturday, 06:25 pm: Talk turns to the concert that we're about to go to. It's a Beatles tribute band that plays nothing but songs released in 1964. My dad's buddy is a pretty accomplished guitar player and could probably play every Beatles song ever. My wife's friend can't even name all four Beatles. She didn't know George, of course.

This is a disaster.

Saturday, 06:45 pm: "Did you hear about that guy that lived with the bears?"

Saturday, 07:23 pm: I've decided that our waiter is the best waiter in the history of restaurants. His name is Scott and he's obviously a gay. I bet he could bag my wife's friend before man-juggs over there.

Saturday, 08:05 pm: The concert is under way. The love birds are sitting next to each other and some jackass right behind me keeps yelling, "I LOVE YOU, JOHN!!!"

John's dead, asswipe.

Saturday, 08:10 pm: My wife leans over and asks, "Which one is supposed to be Ringo?"

Saturday, 08:27 pm: These guys REALLY look and sound like the Beatles. But I guess that's the point.

Saturday, 09:00 pm: Intermission and this recording keeps reminding people that "CDs of this performance are available in the lobby." Now why would I buy a CD of these jackasses when I could just buy a CD of the REAL Beatles?

Saturday, 09:15 pm: Concert's back on and "Paul" wants us to get on our feet. Good grief.

Saturday, 09:37 pm: I'm still standing. Paul is now officially my least favorite Beatle.

Saturday, 10:18 pm: Concert's finally over and we're off to get some drinks.

Saturday, 10:25 pm: Guess the wife's friend wants to send the message that she's not interested. She sits between my wife and my dad. Ouch.

Saturday, 10:43 pm: I think I just fell a sleep for a little bit. Guess the Red Bull didn't work. I wonder if the vodka cancels out the liquid Speed.

Saturday, 10:55 pm: This waiter sucks. He's gay too. My drink's been empty for like 15 minutes. Scott would have been all over this.

Saturday, 11:25 pm: No bear talk so far. We're all about insects tonight. Did you know that if a brown recluse spider bites your penis and it goes untreated for four days, that they have to cut off half of your penis (length-wise)? Yeah, me neither.

Saturday, 11:40 pm: I'm going home. The wife's friend goes home with us. No night cap for the two love birds. The wife asks what she thought.

"He's perfect... for my aunt."

Good times.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Two Outta Three Ain't Bad

Nice birthday dinner - Check.
A's avoiding another ass-raping - Check.
A little birthday sex - Oh well, there's always next year.

It was actually me that passed on the birthday sex in order to watch the end of Wednesday's game. By the time the game was over, the wife said it was "too late."
"I'm too late? Can't you bump your eleven o'clock to eleven fifteen?"

She didn't think that was very funny. And since it was decided that I wasn't going to get my gifts until today, I'll cash in tonight...unless the game runs long.

Sacrificing sex for baseball isn't gay, is it?

Anyway, it sure was nice to steal those last two games from the Angels. Not that our mighty A's didn't do their part to win those games, but Anaheim sure made their fair share of fuck-ups.

Though a lot of good things came out of this series (the most important being the results, of course), I've still got my concerns about the team. When's Kotsay going get healthy? Why the hell isn't Hatte on the DL yet? What's wrong with Crosby? Why can't we hit crap pitchers like Paul Byrd? When did Joe Kennedy start blowing Ken Macha? Why does Macha insist on batting Kielty ahead of Swisher versus righties? Is Harden a big game pitcher? Why is Ginter still on this team?

With all those questions up in the air, this series could very easily have been a sweep. A demoralizing sweep. At home. Fortunately, it wasn't and now our A's have sole possession of first place.

For me, the REAL test begins tonight. I've always been more comfortable when we were the chasers instead of the chasees. If our guys were to fall out of the playoff picture after coming back from so far down, I might just have to hunt down and murder Ken Macha.

Which, now that I think of it, might not be such a bad thing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Birthday Wish

Dear Birthday Claus,

As you well know, it's my birthday. Just like Dan Johnson, I'm turning 26 today. As I've been reminded numerous times already today, I'm now closer to 30 than I am to 20. That really doesn't put me in the celebrating mood. So I'm not going to ask for much this year. Maybe a nice dinner and a little sex with the wife (not necessarily in that order). Perhaps a case of beer. Nothing special. I don't even need a cake.

But there IS one thing I would like to request of you on my "special" day: That you'd not subject my mighty Oakland A's to another ass raping like the one I witnessed yesterday. Talk about a beat down. For the first time in a long time, I had to turn off the game. Don't ask me what happened after the fourth inning yesterday, 'cause I don't know. Well, I know I kicked one of my dogs (the Rottweiler, not the Bassett Hound) in frustration. And I know I said some pretty nasty things to my wife, but I have no idea what happened in the game. Vlad could have hit for two cycles. Macha could have been chewing his Juicy Fruit extra angrily. Beats me. I was watching Laguna Beach (The one where LC got drunk in Mexico and rode Stephen like a gaucho).

Our "ace" is going tonight. If he were to get shellacked the way Harden did yesterday, there's no way I could enjoy my day. I only get one of these a year. And since it's also my parents' anniversary today, I have to share my day. So if you would do me that favor, I'd greatly appreciate. And if you want to get me Madden '06 while you're at it, I won't stop you.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Inspired by AJ

JoeSpeaker's son turns four today. The family's been pressuring me and the wife to start cranking 'em out, but I'm way too irresponsible to be having kids. When my dog shits on my lawn, I just throw it into my neighbor's yard. Waking up with morning wood still cracks the hell out of me. When my wife's not home, my meals consist of cereal and beer. I still pee in the shower. I asked for a PS2 game last Christmas. And will ask for another one this Christmas. When I have to iron my own shirts, I only iron the front ('cause the back's going to get wrinkled anyway). I watch Laguna Beach. I call a woman's vagina her "coochie poochie". I fart on my wife when she's sleeping.

And these people want me to change diapers and read bedtime stories? Yeah, right.