The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. We know this much. But, tell me, whatever happened to Locale A.M.?
Life is a holiday, but only if you view it as such. So, go ahead and celebrate. Let loose. Take it in now. Seize the day, because you never know when it’s going to end.
Finally, there are songs that bear different names, but essentially say the same thing.
Do you follow? Are we all on the same page?
From 1914 – 1935, George Herman Ruth was the face of MLB. In 2018, Shohei Ohtani made his major league debut.
I say we, but I must disclose that I don’t actually play on the team. I am only a spectator. I have no control over the outcome of these matches.
However, we (i.e. my friends and I) did go to Chicago this summer. We made it to Wrigley. The Cubbies squared off with the Nats. Chicago got obliterated.
We also took in a game on the South Side at Guaranteed Rate Field. We watched the Sox battle the Tribe. Chicago won on a walk-off homer. Fireworks ensued.
Then, we ran into Bill Murray at Pequod’s. Finally, we ate deep dish at Lou Malnati’s, but not in that order.
Upon returning to The Bay, a banner ad for Lou Malnati’s appeared on my computer screen. I was viewing the Oakland Athletics’ website. Seriously.
Later that day, I conversed with my colleague at work. He told me about a new restaurant in his neighborhood. An hour later, Yelp sent me a push alert re: the new restaurant in his neighborhood. I kid you not.
Last week, I used Orbitz to search for a roundtrip ticket to paradise. Soon thereafter, a Hawaiian Airlines ad preceded my video on YouTube. No joke.
“My goodness,” I thought to myself. “These ad op specialists are relentless.”
Let’s get one thing clear: I do this for me, not for you.
I make an effort to listen to the facts. I pay attention to the numbers. I pose thought-provoking questions. I (have been trying to) make better decisions for the long term.
That’s right, folks. Strategy is everything. The proverbial “breaks” come and go. Timing is important, too. But, at the end of the day, missing a home run by inches means absolutely nothing. It’s just a long strike.
Ultimately, the team that executes on any given day will win the contest. Meanwhile, the teams that claim a greater number of series will be successful over the long haul.
For every three games, you want to win two. For every four, you want to win three (but will settle for the split). For every five-game set, you need to win three. For every seven-game series, you must win four. That’s as high as it goes.
Over the course of six months, the ten teams with the highest winning percentages will punch a ticket to the Big Dance. The team that can navigate October will win it all.
Keep in mind the team with the best regular season winning percentage is not necessarily the best team. The best team is the crew that gets hot at just the right moment. The best team is capable of carrying this momentum into the playoffs. The best team usually boasts an effective starting staff; they display a knack for timely hitting; and they have unprecedented depth in the back end of the bullpen.
While this is a team game, certain individuals have the ability to carry his squad on his respective shoulders. The individual that wins the most decisions in either league will typically earn the Cy Young award; however, this is not always true. Sometimes, a flamethrower with a sub-1 E.R.A. will claim the prize.
In theory, the best player at each position, from each league, will be presented with a Gold Glove to acknowledge his defensive efforts. However, offensive statistics tend to skew the vote. It doesn’t make sense, but that’s just the way it is.
Aside from these observations, we don’t know anything. We can only speculate. Things will take shape once October is here. The results could be positive or negative. Nothing is guaranteed. So, please don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
By Halloween, the team that can string together the most series victories will win the trophy.
“Every game matters. Every pitch counts,” says the play-by-play analyst. It’s nerve-racking, but I can assure that everything is going to be fine. These are the times, my friends. This one is called “The Stretch Run.” The MLB postseason is right around the corner.
This story chronicles the past six weeks of my life. It begins and ends on Whiskey Wednesday. Or maybe it’s Whisky Wednesday. Have it any way you’d like.
On August 1, I had mine with Coca Cola and garnished it with a wedge of lime. I asked the barkeep for an extra plastic cup to act as a spittoon for my ranch-flavored sunflower seeds.
I stood on the ledge at the Treehouse, and I watched the A’s take care of business. They beat Toronto 8-3. In doing so, they completed a seven-games-to-none, season-series sweep of the Blue Jays.
On August 7, the Dodgers bested the A’s at the Coliseum. It was Taco Tuesday at the Treehouse. Don Julio margaritas were half off, but it was much too crowded at the concessions. I didn’t want to waste my time, so I opted for beer and empanadas.
The following day, I watched the game at home. I had an early flight the next morning. Fiers pitched. He was dominant. The A’s were victorious by a count of 3-2. They split the two-game, interleague set. In the process, they evened the season series at two games apiece. From the get-go, it felt like a playoff game.
I got back from Chicago on August 14. On August 15, I returned to the Treehouse. I had a cocktail meeting at 12:35pm. This time around, I had Bulleit with ginger ale. It cost me six and a quarter.
The M’s outlasted the A’s 2-0 in 12 innings after Dee Gordon’s two-run bomb in the top of the frame. Still, I thought, “Hey, we got free baseball, and the A’s keep winning series. Everything is going to be A-OK.”
I requested another day off on August 22. After all, this is my summer vacation, so I might as well enjoy it while it lasts.
Right off the bat, Shin-Soo Choo hit a solo shot to left. It was Edwin Jackson’s first pitch of the game. The Rangers led 1-0. When I arrived at the standing-room-only area situated in the left field upper concourse, I opted to calm my nerves with a mixed drink.
It was a beautiful day at the park. You couldn’t ask for better weather. Not too hot, and there was a light breeze at play. However, Texas prevailed 4-2. Once again, the visitors salvaged the last game of the series, but the A’s remained in good shape.
After taking three of four in the Twin Cities, the Athletics landed in H-Town for a pivotal three-game set with the Astros. On Monday night, the home team clobbered the away team. The visitors bounced back the next evening, notching a 4-3 W.
The rubber match was set for August 29. The deficit was 1.5 games. It was Cahill versus Keuchel. I viewed the game at a local watering hole. I sat next to a handful of other die-hards. I ordered some refreshments.
It was a seesaw battle. It was a back-and-forth affair. Again, it felt like I was watching a playoff game. The Astros stormed out of the gates with two runs in the first. The A’s took the lead in the third on Piscotty’s double. The ‘Stros reclaimed the lead in the fourth. That was until the A’s tied it in the seventh. It was a standstill until the ninth.
Familia was in.
Jeurys Familia matters, but this day was not his day. With one out, Tyler White lifted a lazy fly ball to left field. Somehow, it landed in the Crawford Boxes. “Huh,” I muttered to myself as I left the bar. “That would’ve been a routine flyout in East Oakland.”
So it goes.
Back home, the A’s and M’s clashed over the course of four days. When the series started, the Athletics held a 5.5 game cushion for the second wild card spot. When the series ended, the Athletics held a 5.5 game cushion for the second wild card spot.
On Labor Day, the Evil Empire arrived in The Town. The home team cruised to a 6-3 victory in front of 40,546. On September 4, J.A. Happ stifled Oakland’s attack. The Yanks came out on top, 5-1.
On September 5, Fiers faced Severino. It was just another Whiskey Wednesday. After attending eleven games this summer, I decided to sit this one out. I wanted to watch every pitch closely. I didn’t want to stand in line at the bar. Frankly, I’m tired of standing in line.
After a rocky top of the first, Fiers settled down and hurled 99 pitches over 6+ innings. The fact of the matter is that Fiers can wiggle his way out of jams. Meanwhile, on any given day, the A’s offense has the potential to erupt.
The A’s won the battle 8-2. The starting pitching was good enough. The offense showed up. The bullpen finished the job. The A’s took the series two games to one.
On September 6, I wrote this piece. It was an off day. The A’s had played a grueling streak of twenty games in twenty days, posting a 12-8 mark. The A’s are 50-21 since June 16. They are 6-0 in games that Mike Fiers has started. They are 60-0 when leading after seven innings. They have lost two series since mid-June.
Look, I’m not going to get ahead of myself. Freakish elements can accompany the national pastime. You aim to win the majority of the games played. It takes a lot of skill and endurance, coupled with a little bit of luck every now and then. In the end, the better team finds a way to take advantage of the opposing team’s miscues.
P.S. This is Locale A.M.
June 7, 2003 @ iMusicast (Oakland, California)
“She’s So Lo-Fi”
“Autumn F. Ides”
“Get Out of L.A.” (?)
“A Note to Your Ghost”
“Possibility and Prosperity”
“The Brand New Action Hairdo”
“Laugh Six Times”
“Precision and Finesse”
P.P.S Here are the drink specials at the Treehouse.
P.P.P.S Let’s Go Oakland.