Friday, November 17, 2006

Am I Pissed? Yeah, I'm Pissed

.... Nice going, Billy Beane. After letting fan favorite and unanimous choice-for-manager, third base coach Ron Washington, slip to a division rival, he either puts up the world's most lackluster pursuit of Frank Thomas or had already decided to let him walk. Either that or the Big Hurt, despite all his words about loving Oakland and wanting to come back however possible, is just like the rest of the greedy money-sniffers that constitute the participants in professional sports. Either way, the result is the same. He signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and booked out of Oakland after only one season. Adios, cleanup hitter, 39 HR/114 RBI. Adios, ace (Zito; 16 wins, 3.83 ERA).

Beane does this every offseason before pulling some crazy scheme out of his ass to save the ship, so as an A's fan I should be used to this, but it never ceases to feel like a gut punch. I was devastated when Hudson and Mulder went, and that worked out, but at the time, man, was I upset. The A's lost a popular coach, an ace, a cleanup hitter, a home, and a manager, and what have they gained? Bench coach Bob Geren, to nobody's surprise, is the latest dull white guy to be named skipper. Also, they get to have a name as ridiculous as that belonging to their SoCal rival, the LAAAAA, which I will continue to call them until I'd be a hypocrite if I did. If we're the Oakland A's of Fremont (''of Fremont" has to be included, but I'll kill myself if it's the Silicon Valley A's of Fremont) the acronym is the OAFs. Wheeeee. What exemplary civic planning.

The idea behind the stadium is that the A's will finally make enough money to retain their high-profile players, instead of letting the rest of MLB pick and choose as they like. It had better work out... oh yeah, and to put the bitter cherry on a really, really frustrating offseason sundae, they're seriously considering signing Barry "Steroid Head" Bonds to fill the vacancy left by Thomas.

I'll take all this moving/renaming/losing crap, but I can't root for Bonds in the green and gold. I just can't. He's a liar and a cheater and a despicable human being, unlike A-Rod, whose only crimes are excessive egomanism and lack of good sense and/or "clutch" hitting. Bonds really is a grade-A asshole. And it's one of the cases when the name on the front of the uniform would not take precedence over the one on the back.

We've already made ourselves laughingstocks for the LAAAA fans, who you can bet will be giving back every drop of grief they received from A's Nation over their name; why not make ourselves universally unpopular and sign the most hated player in MLB? Go for the full monty. Get booed relentlessly on the road and be sniggered at as the team dumb enough to take on Bonds' traveling circus and chemically enhanced skills. You go right ahead and do that, A's management, but remember, you exist in a different stratosphere from the fans, who pay for merchandise and ticketing and keep fattening your pockets, which are still apparently too small to shell out enough to keep Frank Thomas in Oakland.

As a totally unrelated note, Danny Haren is getting married today. Congrats, boy. Let's see if it'll work out for you. Long-distance relationships can be hard.

One very bitter A's fan signing out.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sometimes I Dislike Baseball

... I know, hard to believe. But bear with me. I have a bitching session to execute.

As much as I adore the sport itself, and will always do so come hell and high water, the business/managerial/capitalist aspects sometimes leave me cold. (Wow, don't I sound like your typical SLC liberal raver here. I suppose I am, to some extent, but only because I voted for the first time in my life yesterday and punched a straight Democratic ticket, with lovely results. Adios, GOP. I think it's awesome that a woman is Speaker of the House. But yes, we're getting distracted).

I know that baseball is a business, but all this wheeling and dealing and glossy commercialism is like a pill coated in sugar - tastes and looks sweet, but leaves a bad taste in your mouth afterwards. The A's are the latest team to give into the lure of a new stadium (although the Coliseum is admittedly a granite bowl in a lousy section of Oakland that the Raiders chop to pieces every fall, it does have its history) and have reached a deal with managing partners to move the team 20 miles down the road to Fremont.

The move probably won't take effect for 3 or 4 years while they build a new ballpark (reportedly "Cisco Field," heeurgh) and they haven't decided whether or not to change the team's name. "Fremont A's of Oakland" or any such permutation is craziness; there's no way they should give them the same cumbrous moniker as is bestowed upon the LAAAAAA. "Fremont A's" is okay, if they absolutely must, but I want them to keep "Oakland" and "Silicon Valley A's" makes me want to blow chunks. :( I swear, I am not buying a single scrap of A's merchandise if it has either of those two names on it. I'm an Oakland girl, thank you very much.

I'm a little depressed with the A's management this offseason - letting popular third-base coach Ron Washington sign with the Rangers as their new manager, when I thought (and certainly hoped) that he was ticketed for the same vacancy in the A's organization. Now this... must see how this will play out, and not even a token effort to keep Barry Zito... his agent is Scott Boras, so there's no way they could actually have re-signed him, but maybe something besides a meek "Bye, Barry, go get a nice paycheck?"

Just, dear God, don't let them hire another boring, insipid white guy. I really wish that they'd hired Wash, who was after all within their own organization, before letting him slide. I don't know what Wolff has on the table, but I must hope that it is good for the OAKLAND A's and their signature green and gold colors, along with Stomper, their mascot. There's no way I can ever stop loving them, honestly, but I have to admit that I'm a little disillusioned with the uppity-ups now. Probably happens to every baseball fan, and at least I haven't been screwed over as badly as fans of some other organizations have been.

Hopefully Beane, Wolff, et al do something really good to make up for all this. :) Go A's! (wherever they may play) and Cards (your World Champions, baby!)

Monday, November 06, 2006

As The Dust Settles

... my life returns to daily, normal, college-kid routine; i.e. not waking up before noon if not strictly necessary for a class. But I'm not bitching too much, because I just had a truly awesome weekend with my family, who flew all the way out from Colorado to take advantage of SLC Family Weekend, coincidentally enough. We met up on Friday afternoon, moved my little sister into the dorms, hung out, ate dinner, explored Bronxville, got coffee, went to the library and all my other haunts, and on Sunday, took the train into the BIG APPLE. It was the second time I'd been to the city, and the first time I was there while it was actually a) light out, and b) not raining.

We had a fantastic time. From Grand Central Station we walked to the NYC Public Library, went up between the lions, then walked down Fifth Avenue with the eventual destination of the Museum of Modern Art halfway in mind. We stopped and looked at all the extremely pricey shops, and my frugal Scottish sensibilities were bombarded and overloaded in Saks Fifth Avenue. People pay $1500 for a handbag? As in, half of my bank account? As in, it wasn't even that great a handbag? Welcome to the lifestyles of the rich and famous. For a girl who's grown up on thrift-store clothes - not because she has to, but because her mom is also cheap - it was quite a shock. I think it speaks volumes about me that I was short-circuiting, and not in a good way, in Saks, and then I saw a guy with an MLB Official Clubhouse Shop bag and went, "OOOH, where did he get that?!"

We also saw St. Patrick's Cathedral, more Fifth Avenue, made a brief stop at MoMA, fortified ourselves with a Starbucks, and then went to Central Park, which was very pretty, just as the last remnants of the NY Marathon were hauling ass through. We walked down by the Zoo, then back up onto Fifth Avenue, made a stop at American Girl Place on the way back, and then eventually got back to Grand Central and were surprised to learn that there was a train leaving for Bronxville in three minutes, so we eschewed the planned bathroom stop and rode back home (well, at least home for me). We ate at a Mexican place called Blue Moon Cafe, and then my sister and I got to spend one last night talking.

We told three straight nights of great stories without having to write them, and now that's my task. We've gotten so used to writing our stories down, and archiving them in a file on my computer, that we can't have a gap in the chronology now. And they're so good that I definitely want them preserved so I can re-read them. I'm doing my best to recreate them, but we tell a lot - I'm only 3/4 of the way through the first day, and have two more long editions to go. I should do some homework, but I don't have that much and can take care of the pertinent business this evening before class tomorrow.

I saw them off this morning, got a little teary, but I'm okay now. I'll next see them at Christmas, which will be nice for a number of reasons, namingly that I won't have to sweat over homework. I've started my writing conference project, but need to get cracking on the actual papers for philosophy and history. I have a detailed outline for phil. and a sketchy one for hist., so I need to flesh those out and get my rear in gear.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Content Must Change

So I was thinking about starting a second blog, so I could keep the baseball and ordinary stuff separate, but then I realized that I am a loser and do not have much of a life aside from my constant obsessions over baseball. So, I guess it has to stay the same, or otherwise I'd fall into that typical diary trap: "This morning I woke up before my alarm and did not want to get up, as usual," lose interest, and eventually drift out of the blogosphere, which may not be a great loss seeing as it has no idea that I exist. To some part and purpose, this is all right with me, because I'm one of those sensitive types that worry about what people are thinking of them and if they're secretly thinking, "Good grief that person is so DULL!" So, yeah. If you've found your way here, feel free to stick around. If you haven't, then I want your powers, so I can also read random content out on the 'Net without actually having it on my screen. Rapid informational osmosis and overload.

Well. Now that baseball season is over (SOB! SOB!) the only thing I can post about in regards to it is periodic updates on hot stove wheeling and dealing and which free agents end up with which new teams. There's a good class this year, including some of my favorites, and it'll be interesting to see which ones end up with a change of address.

Otherwise I may (horrors!) have to start writing about my ordinary life, which is far from fascinating. Or I could use the time that I spend online (which is an ungodly amount) to actually do some conference work. I have three big-time papers due at the end of semester, and although that isn't here yet, I definitely need to up the ante. I started working on my fiction project, because that's something that I can do for fun and doesn't feel like homework. Speaking of homework, I should be reading a chapter now before class at 3:30, but I've got time. I'm such a lazy ass.

When I get all my conference projects finished, glory be the day, I'll post .PDFs of them here, if you're really interested in learning about what I was studying all semester. They'll be a history paper about the island of Iona, a philosophy paper about the ontological proof and its dissenters, and a fiction work consisting of four novellas. Read if thou desirest.

My sister and parents are going to be here on Friday through Sunday for SLC's Family Weekend. We're going to rendezvous and go out to dinner on Friday, I'll take them to my new hometown Bronxville on Saturday, and we're going to take the train into the city and go to the Museum of Modern Art and the NYC Public Library on Sunday. To say that I am excited would be to understate it massively.

My sister is going to be sleeping in my dorm and I haven't seen her for 10 weeks, which is 8 weeks longer than we've ever been apart before. I know that she's chomping at the bit to see me and my parents just want to know where I am and how I've situated myself in my new life away from home. Wow. Feels weird to think that, but after all, I am at college and no longer living with them except for a month at winter break and three months over the summer.

Speaking of which, next summer is going to rock so much. Harry Potter book #7, movie #5, Pirates of the Caribbean #3, and baseball, baseball, baseball. Gaah. Must keep focus. Surprisingly enough, I am actually eager to get home and work, if only because money is a highly desired commodity for a college student with a coffee addiction and susceptible to purchasing assorted celebratory T-shirts for her beloved Cardinals online, not to mention a new iPod for the one that broke, and an iPod for her sister's that broke, and assorted other things... yeah. I didn't exactly think that my boss at the coffee shop where I used to and probably will work again was wonderful - he kinda pissed me off on certain occasions - but I will gladly put up with him over break for $8 an hour.

Nothing else to say for the moment. <3 days until I see my sister/mom/dad. EEEEE...!