Archive for the ‘A’s’ Category

Afternoon Wake Up Call: It’s Almost Over

March 31, 2009

wakeupKentucky basketball has been everywhere recently.  From the WWL to UK message boards and fan sites, the Interwebs have been abuzz with UK’s men’s basketball coaching search.  It all kicked off Friday afternoon when Billy Gillispie was officially shown the door by UK.  Since then the server for about every UK blog, fan site, and even many actual news outlets have been shitting all over themselves.

The big question remains: who will replace Gillispie at the helm?  Most reports have John Calipari of New Jersey Nets fame.  In fact, the ever-reliable Wikipedia already has him as the head coach (as of the time of this post).  ESPN still has Coach Cal as undecided so we’ll go with that today.

One thing that is absolutely true is that Cats fans are salivating at the idea of having Calipari on the sidelines next year.  A potential first ten of Wall, Meeks, Miller, Orton, Patterson, Hood, Harris, Stevenson, Galloway, and Cousins would make any fan smile.  That appears to be a strong possibility if Lee Todd and Mitch Barnhardt do indeed tap Calipari for the head man job.

There’s not much to say about this that hasn’t been discussed but let’s think for a moment what would occur if Calipari does get the job.  First, the UK-UL rivalry would ratchet up another notch as the old Memphis-UL rivalry was pretty heated when they were CUSA opponents (they’re even in a commercial together).  A second rivalry is the UK-UT showdown.  Bruce and John had turned the Memphis and Tennessee face-offs into serious games.  Just two years ago the teams were ranked #1 and #2 in the nation and playing on ESPN.  There appears to be no love loss between these two men either.  So UK’s main rivalries could be getting another shot in the arm with the addition of Calipari.

In other news (yes, there is other sports news) baseball kicks off in less than a week.  This particular blogger could not be more excited.  In fact, the old MLB.tv account will be paid up tonight to avoid any last second rush on Monday.  Can’t miss the A’s (and Tigers) first games now can we?

On the A’s front, young pitching is the name of the game.  It appears that all 5 members of the opening day starting rotation will be 25-years-old or younger.  That sure as Hell makes a guy feel old when his entire starting staff is younger than he is!  The off season acquisitions of some big name position players should give the youngsters some time to settle in, and even if they don’t there is a stable full of arms down in Sacramento just waiting for their opportunity.

The Tigers want to show everyone that 2008 was an anomaly.  With one of the best lineups in baseball again this year, and a heatly Sheffield, the Tigers will look to score in bunches again.  Offseason acquisitions of Jackson and Lyon will help push the pitching over the hump as well.  Don’t sleep on the Tigs in the AL Central this year as that race will be hotly contested again in 2009.

The Final Four also kicks off this weekend.  Give me UNC to hold off Jay Wright and his band of midgets.  Then give me Roy Boy to take down the sleigh dogs.  Just a hunch.

Our favorite thing today is going to be Pizza Hut.  This is only because it is about to be my dinner and absolutely no other reason.

That’s all for today folks.  Go out and enjoy the weather before the rain gets here.

NOTE:  While typing this ESPN has reported Calipari will take the UK job and Sheffield was released by the Tigers.  The sports world has gone nuts in the last 15 minutes.

Aftenoon Wake Up Call: From My Mini

March 10, 2009

wakeupAfternoon Wake Up Call is our way of recapping the day’s action.  This is for all the assholes (college kids) who get to sleep all day or for folks like us that are stuck at work all day and need some updates.  It likely won’t be daily (until Spring weather permits back porch posting on a daily basis), but someone will bring you the day’s recap in a way only APIAS can.

March has officially kicked off.  The 75 team conference tournament in the Big East has kicked off and 0-18 (in conference) Depaul has already started off by knocking off Cincinnati.  They’re the early Cinderalla team this spring.

Kentucky basketball continues to amaze as rumors of BCG asking Meeks not to shoot have flown around until Clyde himself said he wanted Meeks to shoot away.  Mitch continues to say nothing happened in his conversation with Patterson’s mom and today President Todd said they’ll evaluate the coach situation at the end of the week.  (Coverage of all of this is ongoing over at KSR).

Meeks was named District Player of Year but not SEC POY as Marcus Thornton down at LSU took home the honors.  Their coach also took COY honors.  Not bad choices as LSU dominated league play this year.

On the college recruting front Lance Kiffin continues to amaze.  He recently told a recruit if he went to South Carolia he’d end up pumping gas for the rest of his life.  I tend to agree with Kiffin here.  How much is a degree at South Carolina worth these days?  I’d say about three fiddy.  Or about how much a gallon of gas will be back up to in 4 years when that kid gradua…ahahaha.  Sorry, almost got that out.  We all know football players at SC aren’t graduating.

Wrapping it up today, expect some APIAS road trip coverage this spring as TGC and FuzzyBuzz are taking an April trip to Comerica for Yanks-Tigers.  Come May I myself will be accompanying TGC for A’s and Tigers in the friendly confines of the Tigers stadium.  Good times will be had by all and perfect pours will flow like wine.

Also, starting today we’ll be debuting a new part of this segment called favorite thing of the day.  Today we’ll go with the device supplying you this post, my new Dell Mini9.  If you haven’t looked into getting an ultraportable laptop yet you should.  Dell’s offering is nice and ASUS and others have nice alternatives as well.  Check them out and pick one up for less than 3 Benjamins.

Thanks for tuning in today and keep an eye out for Italy in the WBC.  They could make some noise.

Afternoon Wake Up Call

March 2, 2009

wakeupAfternoon Wake Up Call is our way of recapping the day’s action.  This is for all the assholes (college kids) who get to sleep all day or for folks like us that are stuck at work all day and need some updates.  It likely won’t be daily (until Spring weather permits back porch posting on a daily basis), but someone will bring you the day’s recap in a way only APIAS can.

Well lots of things happening in the sports world.  First off, there’s the race for the SEC East, or race to see who can’t finish first, however you want to look at it.  If you didn’t see TGC’s recap of the Wild East, I suggest you look at it.  It’s as comprehensive as it gets for the scenarios.  From a Cats standpoint, anything less than taking care of Georgia at home and winning in Gainesville leaves them scrambling for an SEC tournament championship.  Tennessee can probably afford one more loss and a good tournament run and still make the NCAA tourney based on their solid strength of schedule and their amazing RPI. 

On the racing front, Dale Jr. got off the schnide with his first top ten of the year.  Vegas was good to Jr. as a few late breaks, culminating in Carl’s blown engine, allowed Dale to sneak in at number ten.  Hopefully that will change the guy’s luck going into the front stretch of the year.  He’s made some bad breaks for himself this year.  Here’s to hoping he races clean, well, and gets a few more breaks this season.

marlboromanBaseball is heating up.  Only 35 days ’til the Fightin’ Elephants kick off.  The A’s and Tigers are both looking to improve on last year’s records.  The Tigs were a bit of a dissapointment but I doubt the Marlboro Man will allow that to happen two years in a row.  Oakland was rebuilding last year and it showed in their second straight under .500 year.  Offseason acquistions of Matt Holliday and the homecoming of Jason Giambi has the Green and Gold primed to recover from a league worst offense in 2008.  A healthy Eric Chavez and a revamped set of mechanics for Bobby Crosby have the A’s set up to have possibly the best lineup in the AL West.

Well that’s about it for today’s recap.  Our maiden voyage was more of a statement of things to come.  In the future look forward to updates on SEC basketball, MLB baseball, NASCAR, boxing, and anything else we can slip in that day.  Also, arrested athletes will likely make an appearance.  You never know.

Dennis Ray Boyd would like 15 minutes of your time

February 17, 2009
Boyd keeping in shape with his training partner.

Boyd keeping in shape with his training partner.

If any of you are as big a baseball fan as I am, that name started spinning wheels in your head, and in a few moments, you realized who it is.  The Oil Can.   While Oil Can Boyd would be an interesting focus for a “Whatever happened to that guy?” column, he’s about to make it unneccessary.

The Can is shopping his 49 year old arm around to all MLB teams this spring training. 

Yes, the man who once uttered “That’s what they get for building a park on the ocean,” after having a game postponed at a foggy Cleveland Municipal Stadium, is looking for a new deal.

He’s claiming Satchel Paige as motivation for this endeavor.  I’m betting boredom and senility are somewhere in the top 5 though.

“I wasn’t on the field, started gaining weight. All of a sudden, my arm has healed. The arm strength is there and it’s there consistently. The more I throw, the better it feels.”

If there’s a GM out there willing to take a flier on this, and there may well be, I’m betting his name rhymes with Silly Dean.

Got any more room on the DL?

Oh dear.

[Fox]

FWP: No F*#%ing Football

January 23, 2009

Fearless 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.

Oh, it’s that dreaded week with no football.  The NFL, for some ridiculous reason, has a bye week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl.  Why in the hell?  I don’t think there is a good reason.  Oh!  But next year there will the Pro Bowl to fill our football needs!  Whatever, the Pro Bowl won’t help the void then and nothing helps fill it now… not even the NHL All-Star game, which is Sunday for those who didn’t know.  Oh, you don’t care?  Yeah, neither does the rest of America.  Hopefully a slate of college hoops, the dumbest discussion ever and the scent of baseball in the air will keep you occupied.  Yeah, let’s do this.

  • anaivanovicAna Ivanovic will not play tennis… and no one will be better for that.  How pissed are you if you flew all the way to Australia to see this hot Serbian babe play tennis and then she gets ousted early?  I wouldn’t be happy either.  Let’s be honest, the only reason Ana is being mentioned (let alone tennis for that matter) here is because she is smoking hot.  Take a look at the picture of the sexy Serb and then keep reading.
  • China will issue some crazy edict against its people.  Remember when Yao used to blow the rest of the NBAers out of the water in all-star voting?  It was never even close.  Now, Dwight Howard is the leading vote getting receiving all-star of all time and Yao finished 6th on the ballot.  This won’t go over well in the communist nation.  And, hey, Yi Jianlian didn’t even get voted in!!  There will be hell to pay, Chinese people!
  • The And1 tour will be broadcast on national television.  Yes, Memphis is playing at Tennessee on CBS!  Ooooh snap!  See what I did there?  They are both streetball teams, get it?   More seriously, there will be a lot of athletes on the court for this one.  More importantly though, is the matchup of Big Brian Williams and Pierre Henderson-Niles.  There will be about 600 lbs. of man throwing itself around when those two get together.  Memphis tries to play the revenge factor, but they just aren’t very good.  Vols win another close one, 81-76.
  • marisatomeiYou will probably go see The Wrestler.  I won’t, but you probably will.  I don’t like to let things like movies get in the way of my drinking, but apparently movies are what Americans do on weekend nights.  Who would have known?  Have they ever tried to drink 25 beers in a night?  You can’t go see a movie and drink 25 beers!  In other words, Marisa Tomei is in it and I have heard she has trouble keeping her clothes on in movies anymore.  Hell, maybe I’ll go see it on Recovery Sunday.
  • The dumbest sports debate of the year will rage on.  Waaaaaaaah!!!  We got beat 100-0, please feel sorry for us!  Please talk about us incessantly on sports talk radio.  Please rip the coach of a winning team for letting his girls play when… that’s what they’re supposed to do.  Take the quote of a mom on the LOSING team and publish it for the entire country to see, not that she would be biased or anything.  Whatever, get the fuck over it.  You suck at basketball.
  • Pitchers and catchers will start loosening up the arms.  Watch out, baseball is just around the corner.  You can see our cool counter to the right that tells you just how quick it’s coming.  I’m going out on a limb and predicting a Tigers/A’s ALCS and a Mets/Cubs NLCS.  The Mets will win the NL, of course, and whoever drinks more tonight between EDay and TGC can pick the winner of the AL.  BASEBALL!!!
  • alabamagirlsBilly Gillispie will come to your college town, beat your college basketball team, then sleep with your college girlfriend.  The Cats play in Tuscaloosa and Oxford back-to-back, so you better turn up the brightness on your television sets.  In other news, Ronald Steele has opted out of finishing his senior year at Alabama.  His AARP benefits kicked in, so he figured he could go ahead and start seeing the world.  Jodie gets 37, PatPat gets 22 and the Cats get 76.  Sadly (if you are a Tide fan), Bama will only get 65.  Also, I’m sure you’re really proud of that blonde girl you started dating last semester and it’s lasted all the way through second semester, but BCG is coming to town.  I wouldn’t let her out of sight.

Hell yeah!  Weekend!  Beer!  Exclamation points!

APIAS Interviews The Rickey

January 13, 2009

Little Rickey Is Happy

Little Rickey Is Happy

Talk about hitting the jackpot.  APIAS scored the biggest interview of the day when Rickey Henderson decided to talk to us on a strictly first name basis.  We drew straws to see who would interview The Man and lo and behold resident A’s fan eDayStat lucked out and got the chance to talk with Mr. Henderson.  Here’s the transcript from their discussion.

 

eDay: Mr. Henderson…

Rickey: Please, call Rickey Rickey son.

eDay: Yes, sir…er, Rickey I mean.  Rickey, how do you feel about being elected to the baseball Hall of Fame.

Rickey: First things first, you tell Selig and the GM’s of every MLB team that Rickey is still ready to play.  Rickey wants to be the first player to be in the Hall of Fame and play in the Majors at the same time.  If Bud doesn’t like it, Rickey doesn’t care.  Rickey can still play and you tell Bud he can stick it.

eDay: Whoa!  Easy Rickey, we don’t want to get you thrown out of the Hall before you get there.

Rickey: Thrown out?  Those punk ass catchers never threw Rickey out; no punk ass Commissioner is gonna throw Rickey out!

eDay: Moving on…How do you feel about getting 94.8 percent of the available vote?  That’s a heck of a number considering the second highest vote count this year was 76.4 percent for Jim Rice.

Rickey: 94.8 percent is a joke!  Those 27 fools who didn’t vote for Rickey, they can go *@(! their mommas!

eDay: Rickey!  This is a familiy site!  Pft…Pffffft…Ahahahaha!  Who the fuck are we kidding here?  Say what you want brother.  Stick it to Selig all you want.

Rickey: Rickey’s over that.  Rickey loves him some Rickey.  Rickey doesn’t need to have to any hate for anybody right now.  Even those 27 cock suck…

eDay: Easy Rickey, that word got you thrown from 32 games in your career.  It could get you tossed from the Hall too.

Rickey: Listen, Rickey calls cock suckers as he sees ’em.  You cock sucker…

eDay: Easy Woo.  Let’s steer this thing back on track.  What will you say at your inaguration.

Rickey: Rickey’s gonna lay it on real thick and heavy like.  Rickey’s gonna tell about when he was 7 and got smacked around by his Poppa.  Rickey’s gonna talk about when he was 13 and this chick touched Little Rickey.  Rickey’s gonna talk about when he made pro ball at 18 and when he made it again at 81. 

eDay: So you’re going to let things come full circle.

Rickey: Full circle, like a Dunkin’ Doughnuts Hooker.  You seen the things they can do?

eDay:  And we’re done…

Vegas Winter Meetings Recap

December 12, 2008

Bear with me as I try to recap the MLB Winter Meetings in Vegas without succumbing to the use of terrible casino puns.

las-vegas

This year’s baseball winter meetings didn’t have the spark and flair of 2007’s when the blockbuster Willis/Cabrera Tigers trade finally launched the Rock City Cats over the hump and to a world championship… what’s that?  Oh… really… last place huh? Willis threw 6 innings all year?  Single A?!  Well, shit.

Okay, so no front page news this year, but there were some clear winners and clear losers.  And some not so clear situations.  Let’s take a look.

Winners

The Metropolitans.  Oman Minaya, fresh off a contract extension, did nothing but make his team better without giving up any talent.  In two days he fixed the bullpen that cost him the NL East the last 2 years.  He signed single-season save record holder Francisco Rodriguez as well as traded for JJ Putz, who himself has notched 91 saves over the past 3 seasons.

More recapitulations after the jump. (more…)

Pickem Scramble Week 13 – It’s Thankstaking! You’re welcome!

November 21, 2008

 

It is almost that time of year.  And around here, it means that it IS that time of year…

The APIAS.net crew will be celebrating a epic tradition this weekend, Thankstaking.  Starting with Friday night’s Thankstaking feast, which has all the charm of your normal Thanksgiving feast–turkey,  ham, devilled eggs, booze, fistfights, blood, cops–you know, the usual, with one charming exception.

We’re not thankful. You are. 

Today is the day when we reflect on all the good and great things we’ve given the world this year.

Here’s a brief list from your neighborhood cowboy.  More during the official carving of the beast.

Tennessee football, you’re welcome.  You’re welcome for my purchase of ESPN Gameplan to watch 7 (and counting) losses. 

Tigers baseball (and mlb.tv) you’re welcome for the $20 a month eDay and I dropped to watch the Tigs and A’s lose a collective 174 games (and yes, this includes the play-in game).  

Blogfrica, you’re welcome for all the ADD wit and charm we supply you with on a semi-regular basis.   Oh and for the completely and semi-ridiculous live-blogs.

Eday, 2SL, and Smooth, you’re welcome for all my failed attempts to teach you how to use Excel and Paint.  Seriously guys?!? 

SPS Field, you’re welcome for my giving you plenty of time to get your ten (10!) picks and a few witty comments in and for not reaching through the internet’s tubes at you for causing me to have to throw it together late, and without complete graphics, almost every week.  You’re all welcome.

To anyone I’ve forgotten:  You’re welcome.  And do a better job of getting me to notice you next year.

I’m taking this week off from calculating totals and whatnot, but I think E is still rolling the field.  Whatever.

On to this week’s games.  And you’re welcome.

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Billy Beane Up To His Old Tricks?

November 10, 2008
Evil genius in the works.

Evil genius in the works.

As reported by several sources lately, Billy Beane may be up to his old tricks again.  This time it appears the object of BB’s desire is Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday.  Supposedly on the block for the A’s are closer Huston Street, future star Carlos Gonzalez, and recent rookie Greg Smith.  It wouldn’t be APIAS if we didn’t weight in on this matter.

First off, the Oakland A’s do need a decent bat in the lineup for 2009.  This year’s output in the power categories was abysmal.  Eleventh in the league in home runs with 125 (nearly 1/2 of the league leading White Sox), dead last in RBI, and dead last in both doubles and slugging percentage, the futility of the 2008 Oakland power bats is no secret.  Also, the A’s have several young stars and decent veterans who swing from the left side of the plate.  Holliday would address both of these concerns as he swings a bat with pretty good pop from the right side.

Now, about these players getting shipped out.  Street should have been gone last year.  Two weeks into the second half he should have been dumped for anyone who would take him.  Yes, that’s easy to say with hindsight into what he did in the second half, but you could tell in his first half that he wasn’t all there.  His stats weren’t bad, but if you watched the games (as TGC and I watched about 90% of them in the first half this year) you could tell Street just wasn’t sharp and didn’t seem mentally into the games he pitched.  It doesn’t break anyone’s heart to see him go.

Second, we’ve got Greg Smith.  A rookie in ’08, Smith pitched extremely well for being in the situations he found himself in.  He pitched more innings than any other Oakland pitcher on the staff at the end of the year with 190.  That’s a pretty good workload for a rookie and one has to believe he could go over 200 in the coming year.  He also pitched two complete games and had a 4.16 ERA.  In the American League I’ll take that out of my 3 hole all year long, possibly even my 2 hole.  The strikeout to walk ratio (111/87) wasn’t phenomenal but it also wasn’t bad for a rookie.  The home run total is worrisome (21 allowed) but again, you had a rookie pitcher throwing for nearly 200 innings.  He’s going to give up the long ball.  In short, losing Smith without a strong crop of proven starters could be a bad, bad thing for the ’09 club.

Finally, we’ve got Carlos Gonzalez.  C Go is a star waiting to happen in the MLB.  C Go (dibs on that nickname) slammed 22 doubles in ’08 and kept his OPS over .630.  That’s not bad from a guy who only came to the plate 300 times last year.  He’s can also run the bases, field and throw the ball, and basically anything else you ask of a guy on a baseball field.  The kid is flat out talented.  The walks are very low (only 13 in 302 at bats) and the strikeouts high (81 in a half season).  That usually means you’re on the block for Billy Beane.

But this guy came up in the Oakland system.  They knew what kind of player he was before he ever stepped foot onto the field in McAfee.  You can’t tell me Beane couldn’t have gotten top dollar out of him when he was hitting the shit out of the ball in AAA.  So why now?  Maybe Billy knowns something we don’t (as is usually the case), but Gonzalez is the type of young guy that needs to stick around and show the club what he can do over 3-4 full years in the Bigs.

Again, it’s all just speculation at this point.  This also won’t be the only move Billy makes in the offseason.  Who knows, Oakland could just be a stop for Holliday if Billy can turn him around to a playoff contender that wants to dump a lot more minor league talent.  You never know what that crazy bastard is thinking.  The only thing we can all believe in is that the ’09 season will be similar to the ’08 season.  You’d damned well better have your program out for every game because you’ll see a lot of new faces.

2008 Oakland A’s Season Blog, Into The Sunset (75-86)

September 29, 2008

Tonight, with the Tigers battling the playoff hopes of the Chicago White Sox, we wind down the Major League Baseball season.  Oh, what a season it was.  Or wasn’t, depending upon your favorite team.  For the home crew here, only 2SL’s Cubbies will be playing after tonight.  SmoothRon’s Mets folded down the stretch, TGC’s Tigers fell off from their top form of the last couple of years, and my A’s had the season everyone expected (although I maintain they outperformed in every facet of the game).  Every one of those teams have the reasons they ended up where they did, but this last entry in The Exodus will concentrate on the ball club from out West.

March/April:  The season started off even further West (or East, depending on your perspective) than usual this year as the A’s battled the Red Sox in a two game set overseas.  Splitting that opening series was great for the young guys in the organization and it showed as the boys were 16-11 for April.  Good pitching and timely hitting got the A’s through April with a solid record.  The hits weren’t big, but everyone was stringing hits together and putting up plenty of runs to cover the 3.5 runs per game the defense was allowing.  It wasn’t a sign of things to come in May though.

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