Sunday, July 31, 2005


I've been very busy for the last few days and this is a big reason why I haven't posted this weekend.

The Seventh Inning Stretch has moved. I was recently offered to blog for, I've also been offered to write monthly columns about my beloved A's.

Apparently, somebody out there likes my writing style.

For my loyal readership of, what, twenty people my new address is Here's a link. It's the same blog, with the same spirit, just a different location and for now, new colors.

This site will remain active as my archives.

So please, make the jump and I'll try my best to act like nothing has happened.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Arthur Rhodes haterism

Hot and fresh from this morning's Chronicle:
Rhodes reacts: Indians reliever Arthur Rhodes, who opened the 2004 season as the A's closer, but lost the job in June, was booed loudly when he entered Wednesday's game.

"Do you think I care what they think?" Rhodes told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "I came (to the A's) and struggled. But I went out there and did my job today. I know I can pitch."

Rhodes pumped his fist after completing a scoreless inning.

"Yes, I was pumped," Rhodes said. "These fans don't bother me. They're not like the fans in Cleveland, who appreciate the game. These fans don't know much about the game. They boo you one day and cheer you the next."
Hmm...I don't know much about the game says Rhodes. Let's take a look at your stats from last year...
Arthur Lee Rhodes, RP, OAK
W-L: 3-3 ERA: 5.12 Opp.: 14 SV: 9
Rhodes lost the closer job in early to mid-June. In roughly two and a half months Rhodes blew five saves. How many games did Oakland miss the playoffs by last year? One game.

Mr. Rhodes, if you performed as advertised, the A's wouldn't have missed the playoffs, you would still be closing in Oakland and we wouldn't boo you. We boo you because we know the game and after an asinine comment like that, I've lose even more respect for you.

Arthur Rhodes was ineffective, he hated on Oakland fans even during his tenure in Oakland, and was not an ideal clubhouse type. I was not sad to see him go.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

What I did yesterday

After the game ended, I went to Kirby's Sports Bar, not too far from one of my friend's house in the Irvington District of Fremont. Kirby's is not a place I frequent because it serves an older crowd. Kirby's is very good sports bar but it's also a very much of a older person/blue collar bar due to the fact that many people who work at the NUMMI plant usually congregate there after their shifts. Me and my friends usually end up at Coach's up the street from Kirby's because a much younger crowd drinks there.

Anyways, I walked up to the bar and found out they were selling Coronas for two dollars a bottle. Now, I don't like Corona but in my frugal nature I decided to drink some Coronas.

At around 5:30 PM Nick Swisher arrived at the bar, many were expecting Bobby Crosby and brough their Crosby bobbleheads. But Crosby cancelled and Swisher took his place. Corona in hand I joined some friends in line and waited to get our items autographed by Swisher. Problem was, I didn't bring anything for him to sign. So instead, at the last moment, I gave him my hat to sign. And he obliged, he did seem tired and a but nonplussed but that's OK because a) he was tired from playing an extra inning game and b) I'm not a hot chick.

I took many photos of the event and only one of them ended up OK. Look below:

Look at the lady on the lower left hand corner. She walked up to me and said, "Are you a Corona drinker?" I said, "Uhhh....Yes." And then she handed me two vouchers for free tickets to any non-Yankees/BoSox/Giants game not in September or October. I looked at the vouchers and saw that they were for the Plaza Outfield, or layman's terms, the second deck. I got two free eighteen dollar tickets. I thought they were handing out free tickets to the cheap seats.

Now why was I so lucky to get free tickets because I was drinking Corona? This appearance by Nick Swisher was made possible by some promotion by Corona. It turns out that Kirby's was the highest seller of Corona in Alameda County at some period of time, by volume. With Coronas at two bucks, I could see why.

Well anyways, here's a picture of my new autographed A's hat. I still have no clue how the signature stands for "Nick Swisher." I mean my signature is a bunch of squiggly lines but you can make out a "K" and a "L."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

sigh (of relief)

CLE 4, OAK 5 10 innings

And Marco Scutaro hits his third walk-off of the season. He sure is clutch unlike Chavez who had a chance to put the game away without going into extra frames in the ninth. Chavez struck out with the bases loaded and that ended the ninth.

Since the game wasn't televised I was listening to "KGOD" 610AM. Chavez has been striking out way too much lately. I think the outside pitch is bothering him again. Is he lengthing his swing again? I can't tell, because I didn't watch the game.

The 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup went 0 for 14 with a walk today, just think about it.

Before the game Marty Lurie in the pre-game warmup show kept on mentioning that Scott Elarton is known as a fly-ball pitcher ad nauseaum. Guess who didn't get any ground outs? Well it sure wasn't Elarton because I think Lurie kinda jinxed the A's. Haren was not sharp but he did a great job keeping the game close getting outs in key situations. I don't know how this guy could pitch 5.1 innings and not get a groundout. He did K seven though.

The A's pulled this one out and remiain on top of the Wild Card standings.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

O me of little faith

CLE 2, OAK 0

Over at Athletics Nation, there's a "guess the outcome" game in which I'm a regular participant. The point of the game is to guess the outcome of the series as far as the questions offered are concerned.

I guessed the A's would win the series two games out of three. Personally, I knew the A's would drop this game. What I didn't guess correctly was how the A's would lose. I thought Blanton would allow just enough runs for the A's to lost and I was thinking of a final score of more like 5-3 Cleveland.

I did not expect a pitchers' duel and I didn't expect Blanton going seven innings of one run ball. I also didn't expect a shutout.

Yes, I didn't belive Blanton can pitch this well. I thought the league has figured him out again. I doubted Blanton.

Although it was a loss, it was a good an exciting game. Listening in on the radio the crowd seemed much larger than the 18,000 that was reported, it was loud. The game was exiting until the very end when a Chavez pop-up ended the game anti-climactically with two runners left on base.

It seems that the A's forgot to save some runs for today when they were tearing apart the Indians' pitching. Tomorrow is a new day and we'll see if making Root Beer Floats pre-game will have an adverse affect on the players.

Monday, July 25, 2005

State of Disbelief

CLE 4, OAK 13

If this score is hard to believe, let me state a few things I thought would be impossible a few short weeks ago. As of right now the A's are:
  • in sole possession of the top spot of the Wild Card standings
  • have three everyday starters in the lineup with an AVG of over .300
  • have the third best record in the American League
  • only five games back of the division leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Is this for real? Can the A's remain playing at this level? Is the AL West still in reach? In May I knew the A's weren't as bad as they are playing. But after watching a month of some of the most wretched baseball I have ever seen, I find this really hard to believe. It is said that what goes up must come down. In the inverse also true? After watching the A's I guess I would have to say, yes.

It is reported that the walk up crowd for tonight's game was 9,000+. The locals are noticing this. There's just a certain amount of excitement around in A's fandom. This is feeling reminiscent of "The Streak," something special is happening in Oakland right now.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

What? Wild Card?

OAK 8, TEX 3

When the A's began their resurgence at the beginning of June I wrote many comments on this blog to the effects of, "Look, let's slow down, don't think playoffs until the A's are back in second place." Soon after the A's have reclaimed second place, the playoffs are a distinct possibility. Today, after the victory against Texas the A's are tied with the Twins for the AL Wild Card.

Before the game today over at EiO Zachary Manprin said:
The A's go for the rare 4 game sweep with Rich Harden taking the mound.

Just don't expect a shutout.
You know, allowing three runs in Texas is like a shutout. Having a second left handed option in the bullpen besides Rincon has been gret for the A's and it's fans. My rate of hair loss has slowed down considerably now that Rincon is not put in in all of the wrong situations by Macha. Not that I'm saying Rincon's garbage, I think he's an excellent pitcher, as long as he's not overused and not used against righties. I might yet still have a full head of hair when I turn 30.

I used to listen to Extra Innings with Robert Buan on a regular basis after games, and I used to call in from time to time. But I don't do that anymore, sometimes the opinions expressed on that show are just slightly misinformed. There's people calling in to advocate a trade for Mike Sweeney as DH.

That's not cool, although Sweeney is a talented player, he is a big injury risk and unless if the Royals wan to send alot of cash with him to Oakland, he's going to be too expensive. Look, if it ain't broke, then don't try to fix it. The A's, with a few minor tweaks, have gone on an insane tear. Payton and the bullpen acquisitions are enough, we don't need to make trades for the sake of making trades. That's just bad baseball practice and that's why some teams are mired in mediocrity.

I don't like to make bold predictions but here goes; if the A's make it to the playoffs, then this will be the year. You know, the year the A's finally make it past the ALDS.