Archive for the ‘A’s’ Category

To Battle We Go Again My Friend

June 29, 2009
badelephant

That's the kind of fire we need!

That’s right, it’s time for Tigers – A’s tonight.  The A’s are riding the coattails of a 5 game losing streak and need to turn things around against TGC’s Tigers.  Detroit on the other hand is 8-2 in their last 10 and will have the luxury of Rick Porcello going against Josh Outman to start things off in Oakland tonight.

Game time is 10:05, who knows when a live blog might pop up.

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Friday Afternoon Questions: There They Go

June 19, 2009

questionsHere’s a quick peek at what APIAS writer’s are wondering this afternoon.  Step into their brains for a moment.

TGC wonders, “will Tiger make a come back at the Open?”  Well Mike Weir is eating Beth Page Black up with a 6 under 64 in his first round and Phil is one under.  Tiger’s opening round +4 leaves him a lot of work but we’ve all seen the guy catch fire before and the playing conditions for his first round were not ideal.  The magic eight ball says “outlook not likely” but we say don’t count that man out until Sunday comes and goes.

Smoothron ponders, “now that Kobe has finished off the Magic what will I do with my sports viewing time?”  Well Smooth you’ll just have to tune in to the Metros games a bit more often.  But with them sitting at 4-6 their last ten you might as well watch A’s games with myself because it’s going to be a long summer for us both if this continues.

eDay thinks to himself, “why are elephants scared of the National League?”  That’s simple, the A’s are 8-3 against the AL in the month of June and 1-5 against the NL.  The bats put up only 14 runs in 6 games on the NL road trip.  That will not win you ball games no matter how good your young pitching is (only given up 27 in that time frame).

2SL would like to know, “how sweet are the beaches in San Diego and is Iowa really that boring?”  Our fourth writer is about to hit the road for a couple weeks so you won’t be hearing from him much over that time.  But to answer his questions, the beach in San Diego is about as awesome as the California burritos and I had a brother that lived in Cedar Rapids so yes, Iowa is that boring.

FWP: The Moral Dilemma Edition

June 12, 2009

fwpFearless Weekend Predictions is a weekly column running on Friday afternoons where our resident soothsayer (or whoever we can get) locks down what will transpire in the coming 72 hours. It’s better to get these out before the 7-year is open.  The crystal ball gets cloudy.

Well, it has been a few weeks. Last time we met was before Memorial Day weekend. Lots of things have happened since then. I went to Block Island, Rhode Island (which is about as modern as its website) for my cousin’s wedding. My cousin is an Irish-Jew and he married a Jamaican girl. They were both in the minority fraternity/sorority in college. Let’s just say the single, white females were NOT out in full force. And, of course the hottest one there caused me to have a major moral dilemma. But, I’m from Kentucky… and we’re not blood related… so, whatever. Then, last weekend, Bru’s sister got married at Keeneland. Yeah, you can guess what that was like. The great thing was the reception was in the same room that my friend, Regis, and I once went to the 2003 Taste of the Bluegrass. It was $75/plate and by “went to,” I mean we snuck in. Oh well, we had a great time. (Smoothron note: I had this great opening typed up until the internet crapped out on me. I don’t have the effort to re-write. Let me say again, she is NOT blood related.) Let’s do this…

  • amymickelsonPhil Mickelson will play golf and that is awesome. Look, I know I usually (try to) be funny or whatever on here. But, Mickelson is playing golf during a time when his family is going through a terrible time. We’re all praying that Amy Mickelson gets better soon and keeps being a cougar for many years to come.
  • Yankee fans and Met fans will brawl all weekend. Both teams just lost big series to their biggest division rivals. The Yankees haven’t beaten the Red Sox all year. The Mets are starting to look like the ’08 A’s with all the guys they’re putting on the DL. The Yankees new stadium is giving up more HRs than a 2SL prom date. Met fans are born angry. The economy is bad. El Nino is back. Yeah, it’s going to be a sight to see in NY this weekend. I almost wish I would have gone, but… nah.
  • Pete Carroll will be invincible. One coach has a former player that is accused of receiving over $300k while playing college athletics. Another coach gives a guy a thousand bucks. Who would you think would be let go (Yeah, I’m sure he “resigned”) first? Well, Tim Floyd lost his job this week and Pete Carroll will continue to be the face of USC. Good job, Tim Floyd! I would like to announce my candidacy for the next Head Coach at USC. I will not cheat, I will let Carroll be the BMOC and will lose 30 40 lbs. for the USC coeds.
  • carrieprejeanCarrie Prejean will not have much to do. Oh, poor Carrie. She lost her Miss California crown this week, now what the hell is she supposed to do? I could think of a few things I would love to do with her. Anyways, let me ask one question. If you are gay (not that there’s anything wrong with it), do you really want Perez Hilton championing any cause you have? Seriously? That guy? Whatever, I will marry the former Miss California tomorrow.
  • Phish will rock at Bonnaroo. Yes, I love Phish. I really wanted to go to Bonnaroo, but there’s just something about not showering for four days that I can’t handle. I also really like my cell phone, my TV, my computer and my bed. I almost wish I would have gone, but… nah. (Also, don’t know if you like Phish or not, but this clip below is sick. Flat out nasty!)

  • The Nationwide Series will run in Kentucky. One would think that NASCAR and the Commonwealth of Kentucky would be a match made in heaven. Sadly, it isn’t so. I have a possible idea for why that is. Because I live in KY and haven’t heard anything about the race until today! Granted, I’m not the biggest NASCAR fan in the world, but you would think people would be abuzz talking about a race less than 90 minutes from my house. Nope, but everyone can sure tell you the two guys who are off the UK Basketball team as of yesterday (Matt Pilgrim and Kevin Galloway).
  • lakergirlThe Lakers won’t win the NBA Title. These predictions are just for the weekend, remember? Yes, the Magic will get one more win (even without Mickael Pietrus, the dirty Frenchy) on Sunday night. That will allow more money for ABC and the NBA and also allow the Lakers to celebrate their title in LA. We will then get to hear all the Kobe-lovers talk about how great he is. And he is great, but he’s still not (and never will be) Jordan. Let’s not forget, Kobe doesn’t have the signature shot in his career like MJ has about 15. Seriously, try and think of the greatest Kobe shot ever. Um… yeah. Now, think of the greatest MJ shot. Over Russell in ’98? Over Ehlo in ’89? Hell, you could even throw in the one from the ’82 NCAA Title game. Chew on that, Kobe-lovers.

There you go. I have been stealing money all day at work, so I better do something for the last hour or so that I’m here (yes, it’s 12:30PM as I type this). And, please remember, be better! (And, yes, I do realize that the ladies today are all blondes. I don’t discriminate. Especially to you… because, you know… we ARE NOT blood related. Thanks.)

FWP: I’ve Missed You All

May 15, 2009

fwpFearless Weekend Predictions is a weekly column running on Friday afternoons where our resident soothsayer (or whoever we can get) locks down what will transpire in the coming 72 hours. It’s better to get these out before the 7-year is open.  The crystal ball gets cloudy.

I guess it’s been a while since I did one of these bad boys (that’s what she said). I think I did FWP last in March, the month before April – the month that Keeneland is open. Keeneland was absolutely insane, 30,000+ people were there the last two Saturdays which makes the place almost not that fun. Of course, saying Keeneland isn’t fun would be like saying a date with Smoothron isn’t fun; and if I had been on a date in the last six months, I’m sure the nice, young, cougar would tell you I’m huge… I mean great. There has been a lot of stuff going on in the last month or so that we need to catch up on. The baseball season has gotten in full swing, a certain basketball coach has begun tweeting the day away, the NBA Playoffs are as good as they’ve been in my lifetime, the NHL Playoffs are trying to be relevant but can’t and we’re in the middle of the Triple Crown. To mark my return, this could be the longest FWP of all time. Fasten your safety belts, ladies. Yep…

  • vanessabryantKobe Bryant will come out with an epic performance in Game 7. After last night’s stinkbomb, isn’t another thrashing in the cards for the Lakers? The Rockets can’t play well two games in a row, no matter how much we all want to see a team that has lost Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming beat the best team in the Western Conference. Also, can you imagine how pissed the NBA would be if Houston played Denver in the Conference Finals? Goodbye ratings! Oh well, Lakers win big. Vanessa Bryant approves almost as much as we approve of her… and her forgiving heart.
  • TGC and EDay will come to fisticuffs. Oakland and Detroit only play twice during the regular season and the MLB chose the weekend that EDay and TGC would be out of town with big internet questions. MLBTV may not be in the cards for one of the biggest weekends of the season for my two compadres and that makes me said… until I remember they’re playing 72 holes of golf this weekend. Then, I want to vomit.
  • Kasey Kahne will win the All-Star NASCAR dealio Saturday night. I opened up the NASCAR website and he was the first person I saw. I have no reason to believe he will do anything well this weekend, mainly because NASCAR has regressed more than any sport in these tough economic times. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I haven’t heard anything about car racing this spring. Come on, rednecks, show your support and give NASCAR some more cash! Also, I don’t think Kahne has a hot significant other, no picture.
  • MariaVerchenovaaria Verchenova will begin her reign to rule the world. How to rule the world in three easy steps: 1) Be born attractive. 2) Be good enough at golf to move the hell out of Russia. 3) Date Smoothron. Check, check and… almost check. Apparently, everyone just found out about Maria and we should expect nothing less than the Kournikova/Sharapova/Williams Sisters  treatment. You’ll probably all be sick of her soon enough, as Mrs. Smoothron and I grow old together.
  • The Celtics will win their second Game 7 of the 2009 Playoffs. It’s absolutely remarkable that the Celtics will end up playing 28 games in two rounds in two years of playoffs. I’m almost sure that last sentence made sense too. The Magic are just losers, plain and simple. No player on that team has ever won anything memorable in their entire career. Hell, their coach won an NBA Title and then was run off by his players. Good effort, Orlando, now go back to being irrelevant. Please.
  • Brett Favre, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Michael Phelps. I don’t have anything to say here, but I bet you every dollar I have ever made you hear at least two of these names this weekend.
  • The New York Mets will not give Johan Santana any run support. The guy has lost two games this year. He has given up zero (0) (that looks like a boob, haha) earned runs in those two losses. You’ve got to be kidding me. I understand batters seeing their starting pitcher throwing darts and not going their hardest, but my gosh, the guy has lost two games and done nothing wrong! Be better, hitters.
  • JT will win Survivor. What? No one watches this show anymore? Well, it still sucks me in every f*#&ing time. This season was actually pretty good, oh who am I kidding, no one cares.
  • Friesan Fire will win the Preakness. He may have run 18th (out of 19) in the Derby, but this is still a champion horse. My buddy, Ludt, wouldn’t run him if it weren’t a real possibility that he could win. That’s at least what I will tell myself when I’m with all the other scum bastards at the Drive-Thru Betting line tomorrow.
  • ukcheerleaderJohn Calipari will tweet you, but not sleep with your girlfriend. Wow, I didn’t think I’d say that last part about a UK Basketball coach so soon. But, Calipari has come to Lexington and absolutely taken over the city and state. He’s on Twitter giving people motivation, he’s recruiting the #1 class in America, he’s getting Patrick Patterson to come back to school and he’s trying to take over China. He’s a hell of a guy in my book. It also helps me feel better that if I ever date again, the coach of my favorite basketball team won’t try and rail my special lady.

Enjoy your weekend, people. Whether you’re playing golf, coaching basketball or killing your liver… make it the best it can be. Sorry, all of Calipari’s motivational tweets must have gotten into me there.

2009 A’s Update: How’d We Every Win 11?

May 11, 2009

suzuki_sunWith the Elephants earning a day off for their recent terrific play it’s about time we looked in on the young season.  Almost thirty games into the season everyone expected to be writing about a revitalized lineup in Oakland that just hasn’t had solid enough pitching to win close ball games.  My how the times haven’t changed.

Going into game 30 tonight against the hapless ridiculous Royals the A’s sit dead last in team average (not a big surprise) and runs scored (a bit miffed at that one).  Also, all those offseason power bat additions have earned us a staggering one HR per loss for the season.  That’s not a good statistic no matter how you look at it.

What has been good about the season is the same old story.  Good, effective pitching.  The A’s are third in the AL in ERA (just 0.04 behind TGC’s Tigs) and continue to get solid starts from the young guys everyone was so worried about in the preseason.

Where have the A’s gone wrong this year?  Again, same song, different verse as we see the DL trips and nagging injuries mounting by the week.  All the fans hopes of a healthy Eric Chavez have been dashed again.  The one guy Oakland locks up on a long term contract can’t stay in the lineup, and that’s just too bad.

It’s not all bad news though.  The pitchers will continue to get in their innings and continue to grow.  Kurt Suzuki is swinging a good bat out of the catcher position and Ryan Sweeney’s glove has been even better than his swing this year.  Given time, the bats will come around and the A’s just have to put it all together.  It’s still early and no one has separated themselves in the West yet.  I don’t anticipate anyone doing so either.  After all, we’re not even 30 games in, anything can happen folks.

FWP: I’ll Take A Crack At This

May 1, 2009

fwpFearless Weekend Predictions is a weekly column running on Friday afternoons where our resident soothsayer (or whoever we can get) locks down what will transpire in the coming 72 hours. It’s better to get these out before the 7-year is open.  The crystal ball gets cloudy.

Well it’s been about a month since the last FWP.  Keeneland has come and gone, baseball has started, and the Pudge Cup is off to a rousing start (unless you shot over 110 the first two weeks).  It’s about time we looked into the magic ball and gave you fine folks some visions.  Pudge will assist on this one.

hueThe Derby will come and go and no animals will be harmed during the filming. That’s right, no horses are going down this year.  With all the bad press following horse racing the last couple of years by the animal activist people expect trainers and event staff to play it safe this year.  No horses will be running with a bum leg and I don’t think the jockeys will push as hard.  Then again, who am I to predict that, it’s Derby time and all Hell is likely to break loose.  If you venture into that wretched mess this weekend enjoy the scenery and take your umbrella.

The A’s will be back near .500 at the end of the weekend. Hey, it’s just a hunch but I think they’ll take at least two from the Mariners on the road.  Dana Eveland will take his bearded self in tonight and throw a good game to start off the series.  After that, it’ll be a war but the division leading Mariners are due to flub one up.  Plus the A’s need some good news some time this week.

Ricky Hatton will own a small Phillipino in the ring. We don’t blog about boxing nearly as much as we wish we could on this site but this is the biggest fight of the year.  Pacquiao has been good in the past but he just doesn’t seem as hungry as he was in the past.  Hatton will throw with anyone and I’m predicting Hatton will lay the lumber on Mah-Mah-Manny on Saturday.

The Celtics will win game 7 in 4 overtimes at home. Are you serious with this series?  I stop by TGC’s last night after softball thinking I can watch 7 minutes of basketball and go home.  Wrong!  This series has seen about 93 overtimes in 6 games and game 7 shouldn’t disappoint.  Give me the Celtics in the Garden in a big game 7 any day.  That is unless Salmons goes off again.  In that case give me the Celts in 6 overtimes.

billyglastBilly Gillispie will hang around Lexington long after his time is over and still attempt to sleep with your girlfriend. Rumors of Billy sightings are almost more rampant than when he was initially hired around Lexington right now.  People see him at Two Keys for God’s sake!  Where next Billy?  Perhaps you’ll stop in at McArthy’s for a Guiness?  Maybe a little trip to the Tin Roof?  The man may be on stage at the Penguin this weekend, who knows?  All you do know is that Coach Cal better keep his daughter far away from this man.

That’s all this week folks.  SmoothRon is gearing up for Keeneland tomorrow for Derby, TGC is on the road to K-Town for a celebration, and 2SL is celebrating life as usual.  You should do the same and have a fantastic Derby weekend.

One Poor (?) Bastard’s Day at the Draft

April 27, 2009

BurgessWell the San Francisco 49ers lucked out a bit in the draft and picked up Michael Crabtree at tenth.  It was a big surprise to all involved as Crabs (that is his nickname right?) was expected to go in the top 5.  Reports range all over the map from saying he was a prima donna to he’s hopelessly injured with a foot stress fracture.  My guess is that if the injury part were true he’d be playing down in Oakland.  For the Athletics.

Reached by APIAS for comment Crabtree said “San Fransisco?  Well, at least I’ll be the best receiver they’ve ever had.  They still run the West Coast offense right?”

In all seriousness, I feel bad for this guy.  He caught 231 passes the last two years in college and the 9ers won’t throw that many this year.  He may have a hard time adjusting, but then again, who else does San Fran have to throw to this year?  Maybe it’ll all work out.

Afternoon Wake Up Call: Rain Out Edition

April 20, 2009

wakeupWhen you’re baseball team plays in a small market on the West Coast you get a little fired up to watch them in prime time, HD coverage on ESPN.  It was not to be tonight as the Yanks-A’s game was postponed.  Boo the rain people.  Boo it!  Okay, the sports world goes on so we’ll tone it down a bit.

The state of Kentucky continues to watch the basketball recruting process closer than people watched the birth of a baby panda on the interwebs.  John Wall is living it up.  One day he’s going to UK, now he’s talking to Billy D, and the NBA still beckons.  He might even end up in Europe.  All I know is that this guy knows how to market the John Wall brand.  I love it.  I’ve pretty much stopped keeping up with it from day-to-day because the information changes on a daily basis, but it will be fun to see where he ends up.  UK fans are also closely following the recruitment of the Henry brothers.  They’re almost as much as an enigma as everyone knows they’re down to KU and UK but that changes constantly.  Will they visit Lexington?  Who’s knows at this point, but they’ll eventually be somewhere and that will be another fun signing for one of those universities.

Baseball is being played in a few places and a few of the web site’s teams are still going strong.  The Tigers are still first in a close Central.  The Reds aren’t playing too bad.  The A’s are in a bit of a lull offensively but the bats will wake up.  Hopefully the pitching holds out.

Golf has slowed a bit after the Masters but the Pudge Cup kicks off this week.  We might drop an update for you from time to time and let you know who’s playing adequately.  Let’s be honest, none of the guys in this league are shooting 70’s, but it’ll be fun.

The NBA playoffs are in full swing.  The Mavs and Spurs are fighting it out again tonight and I expect TGC’s boys down in Dallas to get the better of their Texas breathren before it’s over.  Duncan is hobbling and Sir-Flops-A-Lot is out for the Spurs as well.  Not looking good to pick up #5 this year for my boys in Silver and Black.  I just hope Lebron gets it from Kobe in the Finals.  I haven’t liked that guy since he stole J.R. Rider’s dunk in the Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star weekend.  Yes, the alleged rape, his general attitude, and everything else that comes with disliking Kobe does not bother me as much as him stealing the East Bay Funk Dunk to win a dunk contest.  I’ve never pretended to be sane or fair folks.  It’s just the way I am.

Our favorite thing today will be Tiger Woods 2008 on the Playstation.  TGC is fervently trying to play his way up to face off against the virtual eDayStat.  Who needs to pay 60 bones for a new game when you can play last year’s golf game for next to nothing?  The only standing rule is no one plays with Vijay Singh.  It’s get ugly if I had to tackle someone in the middle of a round.  Have a few drinks, enjoy some playoff basketball, and if you can find some baseball on TV then bless you.  Enjoy the night folks.

Opening Week: Best and Worst, episode 2

April 15, 2009

Best Math: Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan.  According to Passan, the Cleveland Indians have hit the “Panic Number.”  Which is 1-6.  Which is technically two numbers. 

See why we call 1-6 the Panic Number?

It gets uglier when looking at the full seasons of the wild-card era. Since 1996, only three teams have finished above .500 after starting 1-6: the ’04, ’06 and ’07 Phillies, who seem to have a knack for reversing ugly starts.

It’s an interesting read.  Check it out.

Worst season opening scheduling:  Detroit.  The Tigers are in the midst of a 6-game 1pm start time streak, to be followed by 10pm, 9pm, 4pm (Sunday) and then three more 10pm games.  What’s a guy got to do to watch the Tigers on the back porch after work and not be up til 3am?  Sheesh.

Best Relief Pitcher-Hitter:  Nick Swisher.  In the throws of a 15-5 rout by the Rays, Swish pitched a scoreless 8th inning for the Yanks (oh, and homered).  He’s also hitting .458 with 4 dingers so far on the year.  And Eday had a beer with his dad in 2006.  What a guy!

Worst Relief Pitcher Hitter: Gabe Kapler.  Struck out against the first non-pitcher to throw in a game since Wade Boggs did it in 1997 (also for the Yankees).

Best APIAS homers surprise:  BobWicket’s Reds.  They’ve looked good and they are above .500.  Those two things haven’t been said in the same season since 2005.  I love the makeup of this team, now if only Dusty B would play more small ball.

Worst APIAS disappointment:  TIE Smooth’s Metropolitans and 2SL’s Cubbies.  The Mets have struggled in the close ones (3-4 overall), but the pitching is coming around and Johan is going to be fantastic.  The Cubs didn’t go undefeated.

Best Week Ever Ever:  Patrick Schuster. All Schuster did last week was throw 3 no-hitters.  No shit.  THREE NO HITTERS!  And his coach couldn’t be less enthused.  “He’s on a roll and he’s got confidence in every pitch he’s throwing right now,” Mitchell head coach Scot Wilcox said of his ace. “That’s why we’re seeing so much success out of him.”  Yeah, and I guess Scarlett Johanssen isn’t the ugliest girl in the bar tonight.  Schuster is a University of Florida signee, but something tells me he might not make it to Gainesville.

NOTE:  MLB has forced the takedown of all Youtube video of Nick Swisher pitching.  I’m thinking Steinbrenner had something to do with that…

Afternoon Wake Up Call: Opening Day Edition

April 7, 2009

wakeupAll kinds of things are happening in the sports world friends.  Some good basketball was played last night, some basketball odds went up, and lots of baseball was played.  Let’s get with it.

The NCAA Men’s Championship Game last night was a joke.  I watched approximately 5 minutes of both the first and second half and neither small window of viewing could keep me from flipping the old LCD back over to Component 1 and getting my Tiger Woods 08 on.  There was only one exciting play in the entire duration of my viewing last night and that was when Raymar got smacked in his broken nose.  I literally cringed when that happened, watched the aftermath, and promptly flicked it back to the Playstation.

With the laugher of a title game a distant memory, everyone can now turn their attention to next year’s NCAA season.  I heard on the radio today that UNC and UK lead the early props betting lines in Vegas at 12:1 odss for making the Final Four.  No one else is even 20:1 right now.  That says a lot about Roy’s ability to keep UNC stocked (they could lose 5 guys to the NBA) and Coach Cal’s abilities to bring in talent and coach.  I doubt he can turn UK around that fast, but I do appreciate the thought.

Baseball started yesterday and APIAS went 2-2.  Our National League teams both won while the American League teams lost.  The Tigers fought off the Toronto crowd (damned near literally) en route to a loss.  Oakland’s new-look offense didn’t bother to leave Spring Training as the A’s were swept by the Angels.  The Mets won a close one and the Cubs started their march to the 2009 World Series Championship behind a 4-2 win over Houston.

The only game I caught much of was the A’s game.  It looked like the pitching emphasis from the spring as Dallas Braden hammered the strike zone early and often with a strike percentage around 70% and only one walk in Wuertz and Bailey both pitched perfect innings in relief but it wasn’t enough as the A’s were shut out.

That’ll wrap up Opening Day as frigid weather throughout the Midwest and East make talking about baseball almost strange.  It feels like NFL season in these parts.  Our favorite thing for today is pretty obvious: baseball Ray.  As TGC likes to say it is the perfect game.  You’re never out of the game until the final out is recorded and there’s nothing quite like a night or, even better, a day at the park.  We’ll definitely be covering a lot of bat and ball sports this summer so stick around for road trips, live blogs that spring from the nether regions of a back porch, and plenty of bitching and complaining depending on how long it takes the Tigs and A’s to win a game.  Until next time, stay warm and watch baseball.  It’ll only be here for another 7 months folks.