Pitching is such a vital part of the game, as far as winning is concerned.

On most teams the set up man has become more valuable, on others not so valuable.

Something to keep in mind — it’s raining lightly. The infield could be very wet on ground balls.

What is a drop and drive pitcher? He is a guy who drops and drives. Very simple.

So by guessing right you might have guessed wrong.

Giambi walks too much. He’s always clogging up the bases with all that walking.

As a new day begins in New York, the sun sets in Hawaii.

If football is a game of inches then baseball is a game of inch.

If that ball had more elevation, it would have been a home run.

If the double play is a pitcher’s best friend, what is a fielder’s choice? An acquaintance?

It’s better to have a fast runner on base than a slow one.

One thing about ground balls. They don’t go out of the ball park.

The reason we call that pitch up and in is because the arms are attached to the shoulder.

He wears his hat like a left hander!

Any ball that goes down is much heavier than any ball that stays on the same plane.

The blood on his sock looks exactly like Oklahoma!

You don't want to use too many statistics. The ones that apply to a July or August game won't be relevant on Saturday.

American McCarver

The Unbearable Lightness of Oakland

It has been an encouraging thing, seeing the not always forward-thinking world of baseball involve itself, however cautiously, in the It Gets Better campaign aimed at bringing hope to LGBT teens. The San Francisco Giants were the first to jump in, recording and posting their anti-bullying video, but they've been followed by others --most notably, the Cubs and the Red Sox, with the Mariners following suit. The other day, my colleague Mike Monteiro was directing people to an online petition urging the Phillies to cut their own It Gets Better Video.

I have little hope or expectation that my team, the Oakland Athletics, will participate in the project (though there is a petition calling on them to do so). It's not that the anti-homophobia campaign isn't an important cause or that the Athletics organization and its players are necessarily opposed to the idea. It's just that after watching the way the A's conduct their business on and off the field, I don't imagine they're capable of envisioning a future where anything improves ever.

Instead, look for the A's to participate in the decidedly less important and worthwhile It Pretty Much Stays the Same Until We Are All Gripped By Madness campaign. My understanding is that the video will feature owner Lew Wolff talking about how maybe the A's could jump start things once they get to move to San Jose before his voice trails off and he stares off into the middle distance for 30 uncomfortable seconds. Former A's player Eric Chavez is even expected to return to participate in the video. He'll swing diffidently at a batting practice fastball before turning to the camera, shrugging his shoulders, and saying, "Meh."

While shrugging, Chavez will dislocate his shoulder and wind up on the 60-day disabled list.

[Photo by the author during some desultory regular season game.]


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