The Long Winter Months

In the long winter months where I long for the smell of a hot dog and fresh-cut grass I try to find a baseball fix any way I can. I will sit and pour over the tiny transaction records in the sports page while my mother looks at me as if I am crazy.  Like many true blue fan’s I have tried everything I can to fill the void left by the end of the post season. I watched the MLS Cup but found it hard to root for David Beckham. I watched every Oakland Raiders NFL game, as well as every UFL Mountain Lions game. However try as I might nothing fills the void left by baseball. It will continue to be my first love and first loves are extremely hard to forget or replace. In fact I cannot even say that I have had a real life love but I can tell you that I have been in love with the Oakland A’s since the age of 5. The A’s and music will always be my passions in life. For people looking for the feeling of A’s baseball in the summer here is a music video by  local artist Brett Dennen that was filmed partially in the Coliseum.

 

Minor Leagues in the Media

Lately I have inadvertently been seeing Minor League Logos in various media outlets. I know that not many of my friends would know them when they saw them, and some times I cannot believe I spot them.  Recently while watching T.V. I have randomly spotted several minor league logos in odd places.

While watching the show Melissa and Joey on ABC Family this week I noticed the Toledo Mudhens logo in the background of a scene. The characters were in their garage and on the door behind them I realized was the Mudhen logo! The show never says where it takes place, but I have a feeling the Minor League Logo says enough.

Toledo Mudhen Logo On the Garage Door in M & J

While I actually watch the show Melissa and Joey, I was randomly flipping through the channels when I saw the next logo. Randomly I flipped past the show The Voice which I never watch and I flipped back because I thought I noticed the New Mexico Isotopes logo on one of the producers hats.  It turns out it was. I found another blog that also mentioned it and posted this picture below:

Producer wearing Isotopes Hat

 

It is always fun to see Minor League Logos in the media! Huffingtonpost has also been posting sports articles lately related to Minor League teams which are always fun to read. Wacky things happen in the Minor Leagues all the time so it is great to se it reported on.

Field of Dreams 2

2 Runs and a Shutout

Sadly the A’s game today was not televised because Moscoso turned in a brilliant performance worthy of a starter in the Majors.  Moscoso only gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out five over seven innings of work. Moscoso’s position  when Tyson Ross is eligible to be called up after the All-Star break  should not be questioned. His 2.16 ERA is a good case of why he should stay on the major league squad. No win is complete without runs which the A’s actually scored today. I was shocked!  Scott Sizemore with one out in the first hit a home run deep to left. It was Sizemore’s third homer of the season, and he drove in the A’s only other run with an RBI Single in the fifth. It wasn’t a sizable lead but thanks to standout pitching it was enough to secure a win. The final score was the Mariners 0 – A’s 2 with the M’s taking the series.

 

Both Jemile Weeks and Gio Gonzalez  received big honors this week so congratulations must go out to them.   Named the American League Co-Rookie of the Month for June was Jemile Weeks with Ben Revere of the  Minnesota Twins.  Since being called up June 7th Weeks has provided much-needed spark to the A’s and has hit .309 with 6 stolen bases.  It is always great to see former River Cats doing well in the Majors!

Gio Gonzalez also received co-honors this week.  Named the American League Co-Player of the week with Jose Bautista,  Gio posted a 2-0 record, while allowing one  run and striking out sixteen through fifteen innings. All of this the same week he got named to the All-Star Team? I can only imagine what he is feeling now.  Must be the week of his life!  Always fantastic when good things happen to nice people.

 

*Wordpress keeps trying to respell Moscoso’s name as Moscow. Funny, but not his name.

 

** The River Cats just lost their 9th game in a row, and Daric Barton has been with them for 10 days. Barton holds the lowest average on the team, but possess stellar defense. I have to wonder how long the A’s are going to be patient with him. Hopefully not much longer, but I cannot imagine he is worth much at this point in the season.

Ejected Autograph

After being ejected for arguing a close call at first base the Manager of the Lancaster Barnstormers behaved a little unorthodox.   Unlike any other routine ejection he did not just walk back to the dugout and into the clubhouse.  Instead the manager went and grabbed first base, autographed it, and gave it to a fan in the crowd.  Not something you see every day at a ball park that’s for sure. So click on over to Huffingtonpost to see this amazing video.

The 4th

What does July 4th mean to me? To me it means Baseball. I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years so Barbecues are not my thing. I have never been into drinking so the 4th to me represents the start of Summer Baseball. It has finally started to reach the 100’s and the All-Star game is only one week away.   This is the most exciting time of year.  So 4th of July 2011 what am I doing? Watching Bull Durham for the 100th time! There is nothing more sacred or perfect to do on a hot day. Happy 4th to Baseball fans everywhere!

Daric Finally Did it and the A’s have an All-Star

“It’s awesome, I am so happy for Gio. He’s been flashing signs of brilliance, and now the rest of the country can see it. They’re in for a real treat.”- Dallas Braden on Gio Gonzalez to the SF Chronicle

The River Cats may have lost last night against the Tucson Padres 6-4, but Daric Barton collected his first Minor League hit of the season with a double.  Barton’s double came with one out in the first inning, and Jai Miller followed suit with a two-run home run.  The first baseman was finally able to break his .000 batting average and recorded two hits on the night. The sky exploded with fireworks above the Tower Bridge skyline to cap off the evening, and a near sell out crowd was on hand to watch the game.

A little over an hour away the Athletics also celebrated the holiday weekend with fireworks. They may have lost Saturday’s game, but Sunday the A’s bats exploded.  Both Conor Jackson and Scott Sizemore hit two-run home runs in the 6th inning! It was the first time all season the Athletics have had two home runs in the same inning. David DeJesus hit a 2-run single to give the A’s a lead in the fourth and overall it was a very exciting game to watch! Everything worked well, and the game gives die-hard fans hope for the second half of the season.

Entering Sunday’s game Gio Gonzalez had the 4th lowest ERA in the American League at 2.38.  Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks Gio struck out seven, walked three, and allowed five hits. So it is no surprise the Athletics lone All-Star this year is Gio.  There is no player on the team more deserving than Gio at this point in the season.  A fantastic pitcher and genuinely nice guy.

In order to make room for Brandon McCarthy after a rehab stint in the Minors the A’s have sent out pitcher Josh Outman. This would put Gio’s next start around Friday, which places him in a prime position to pitch during the All-Star Game. He would be pitching on three days rest, so theoretically could go two innings in the game. Very exciting for Oakland and Gio both.

This lineup brought to you by the Oakland A’s

“It’s hard. I’ve had so many good memories at this ballpark with this organization. I had three children here. At the same time, I still see myself an everyday second baseman. Hopefully (Weeks) does a great job for this organization for a long time. I hope he has the same opportunity I had in the organization.” -Mark Ellis on being traded to the SF Chronicle

 Composed of mostly former or current Athletics’s the River Cat’s lineup looked something like this last night:  Eric Sogard SS, Daric Barton 1B, Josh Willingham DH, Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B, Michael Taylor LF, Andy LaRoche 2B, Anthony Recker C, Matt Carson RF, Jai Miller CF, Tyson Ross P.  Can you spot the A’s in this lineup? There are so many with Kouzmanoff being optioned, and several others rehabbing.  The final score of the game was 12-7 so it is safe to say Ross is not ready to rejoin the Athletics in the near future. This means good things for Guillermo Moscoso who has been pitching well, with a 2.68 ERA in Tyson Ross’s absence.
The River Cats scored 7 runs in the loss to the Tucson Padres, which the A’s would be lucky to score in a week’s time.  The Stockton Ports Class A Advanced Affiliate of the A’s just won their 16th game in a row 4-3 over the Cincinnati Red’s Class A Advanced team the Blaze last night.  The Oakland Athletics’s Minor League System seems capable of not only hitting but winning at all levels so what is their major league problem? It is time to make the September call-ups a little early.

There is no question that Jemile Weeks has been a spark plug since his call up to the Athletics’s and is the future of the team.  He has been making spectacular defensive plays, and is one of the few on the team that is hitting consistently.  It is bittersweet that Mark Ellis has been traded to the Rockies this week however it makes sense given Weeks performance of late.   Ellis was with the A’s for his entire career, but now is going to a hitter’s park where he can hopefully boost his numbers.  Hopefully it will work out for all parties involved.  I wish Ellis nothing but the best and he will always hold a special place in my heart. I have watched  him play since I was 15 and he will always represent Green and Gold Baseball to me.

Among the Pacific League All-Stars will be 3 players from the Sacramento River Cats. Catcher Anthony Recker, Short Stop Eric Sogard, and Pitcher Willie Eyre all made the cut. These Future A’s will be representing the River Cats in the 2011 Triple-A All Star Game on July 13th.  The Pacific League will be facing off against the International League in similar fashion to the MLB All-Star game. The game will be broadcast on the MLB Network at 6:00 p.m. PDT, so don’t forget to tune in to see Future Athletics play.  I know I will be watching the game.

Equality at Raley Field

I have written several posts previously on Equality and Baseball.  It has always been my stance that more needs to be done for LGBT individuals within sports both on the field and behind the scenes.  The time for change is never convenient or easy but the time is now.  The flood gates of change are about to break open with recent events in New York  a perfect example. The Military is easing out Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and we have a President that embraces change.  It is time for Baseball to catch up with the times and be the leader when it comes to inclusion.

Yesterday when the Sacramento River Cats in their pre-game ceremony went to bat for equality I was overjoyed.  7,598 were on hand to watch the on Field Recognition for Sacramento LGBT magazine Outword, and to see Bob Moore throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch representing the Sacramento Valley Gay & Lesbian Softball League.  Singing the National Anthem was the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus to round out the festivities. There was no special pomp and circumstance or special theme, it was just a pre-game ceremony like every other at Raley Field.  That in itself spoke volumes.  The fight for equality is not about special rights, it is about the right to be treated just like everyone else.

The overall culture of Professional Sports is still not one of inclusion, however yesterday the River Cats spoke volumes about where they stand. The LGBT population of the greater Sacramento area now has a Professional Sports team that is not afraid to represent them.  The River Cats will give them the same courtesy they give to every other pre-game event.  That is all any group could ask for. To be treated equally.

Summer Reading

My Baseball Summer Reading List

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