BBA Award: Willie Mays Award (Rookie of the Year)

As President of the Oakland A’s Chapter of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBA), here is our chapter’s ballot for the Willie Mays Award, which is analogous to the MLB Rookie of the Year Award:

1st PlaceMark Trumbo, 1B, the Los Angeles Angels.  This may be a somewhat controversial pick, and it was not unanimous among our chapter.  However, under the BBA point system, he edged out Michael Pineda by 1 point and Ivan Nova by 2.  No question that Trumbo was perhaps the most valuable player to his team, playing predominently 1st base, but also all three 3 outfield positions.  His 29 runs, 87 RBI’s, and 137 hits carried the Angels to a credible postseason bid, despite having a team that was short on talent.  On the negative side was his .291 On Base Percentage, but his fielding percentage at 1B was .993, and 1.000 in the outfield, both outstanding.

2nd Place:  Michael Pineda, RHP, Seattle Mariners.  Pineda gave a much needed lift to a foundering Seattle Mariners team.  His record of only 9-10 can be attributed in great part a team  that had trouble hitting and winning games.  He finished with 173 strikeouts, but gave up only 55 walks (over 3:1 ratio), and had a 1.099 WHIP (walks + hits/inning pitched).  His ERA was 3.74 and he was an All Star in 2011.

3rd Place:  Ivan Nova, RHP, New York Yankees.  This 24-year-old pitcher in his 1st full year in the majors, managed to thrive despite the New York media glare and finished with a record of 16-4, an ERA of 3.70, and a WHIP of 1.355, second only on the team to CC Sabathia in all 3 stats.  With the other Yankee starters not living up their high-priced potential, “Super Nova” was instrumental in getting the Yankees to the post season.

Next up:  the BBA Walter Johnson Award (top starting Pitcher)

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It’s Baseball Bloggers Alliance Awards Time Again: Connie Mack Award

It’s time to start thinking about year-end baseball awards, and first up is the BBA’s Connie Mack Award (Manager of the Year).  I am not the only BBA blogger following the A’s this year.  Jason Leary of Junkball/Swinging A’s joined last year but filed his own 2010 ballot, and we welcome David Wishinsky to the fold this year.

We decided to file a composite ballot this year, and Jason, David and I submitted ballots for all the awards this year.  1st place votes received 5 points each, 2nd place received 3 points, and 3rd place got 1 point each.  Having combined their scores with mine, our ballot is as follows:

1st PlaceJoe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays, a unanimous decision (15 points).  He lost a ton of talent during the off-season, but he made the best of what he had, like unsung heroes Matt Joyce, Sam Fuld, and the perennial energizer bunny Johnny Damon on offense, and James Shields, David Price and rookie Jeremy Hellickson excelling on the hill.  And who can forget the last day of the season when the Red Sox led 3-2 and the Orioles were down to their last strike?  Unfortunately for the Bosox , their vaunted closer Jonathon Papelbon blew the save, and the Red Sox lost the game.  3 minutes later, the Rays came from behind and beat the Yankees, pounding the nail on the coffin of the Red Sox massive collapse by knocking them out of the postseason. Especially amazing since Maddon  sent Dan Johnson (former A’s 1st baseman) to the plate (batting an unimpressive .109) when they were down to their last stike in the bottom of the ninth.  DJ hit a homer to tie the game!  Evan Longoria homered in the bottom of the 12th to win it.  Now that is inspired managing.

2nd PlaceJim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers (6 Points).  Jim didn’t have much of a turnover from last season and added Victor Martinez to the mix.  He bettered last year’s 81-81 record by finishing at 95-67, earning the team the Central Division title and a trip to the postseason.  He gets kudos for accomplishing all this despite having to keep a lid on the fallout from Miguel Cabrera’s DUI arrest during spring training.  He has won the MLB’s MOY award 3 times already, 2 in the NL in the 1990’s, and in 2006 in the AL with the Tigers.

3rd Place:  Manny Acta of the Cleveland Indians (4 Points).  This one surprised me as not many other writers have even mentioned him in the conversation around MOY.  But my two cohorts both voted for him and he gets the nod.  In his second season as the Tribe’s manager, he lead the team to a second-place finish in the AL Central with an 80-83 record.  He lead the team to an 11-game improvement over their 69-93 record in 2010, and accomplished this with the 3rd youngest roster in MLB, including 11 players who made their Major League debuts.  I guess he is pretty impressive.  BTW, I picked Joe Girardi for this spot.

That’s it for the Connie Mack Award for 2011.  The Willie Mays Award (Rookie of the Year) is up next.

A Night to Remember!

It was quite a night at the Oakland Coliseum last night!!!  My friend Sandy and I left my house around 5:00 pm in the pouring rain, arrived at the Oakland Coliseum in a drizzle, and dodged raindrops on our way to the Westside Club inside the stadium to have dinner and wait out the rain.  It looked doubtful that the A’s and the Florida Marlins of the National League would be able to get the game in.

The Field Uncovered

Around 6:45 (scheduled game time was 7:05) the skies lightened and the ground crew (augmented by some people from the front office, Dave Rinnetti, for one) began to take off the tarp, squeegee up the standing water in the outfield, and put at least 50 bags of sand on the non-grass part of the infield and all around the warning track, except directly behind home plate for some reason as yet to be determined.

When the rain had completely stopped around 8:00, we decided to go down to our seats in the 2nd row by 3rd base. We were afraid it might rain again at some point, and we wanted to see at least 2 or 3 dry innings. I had the forethought to bring a towel to wipe off our seats.  We then settled in to watch however many innings of baseball we would be granted before the heavens opened again.  With my luck, that was a foregone onclusion.

The 1st pitch was finally thrown at 8:17, 1 hour and  minutes late.  There couldn’t have been more than 2000 people in the stands to witness one of the best pitched games I have ever seen. Javier Vasquez, the Marlin’s starting pitcher, has always owned the A’s. They’d never beaten him.  And he was definitely on last night, except for the 1 run he allowed in the 2ndinning.

Gio Pitching – That Looks Like It Hurts!

But Gio Gonzalez was on fire, allowing 1 hit and 3 walks over 8 innings, while striking out 9, against the team he grew up rooting for.  He could have pitched the 9th inning as his pitch count was no higher than the low 90’s.  But Manager Bob Melvin sent Andrew (“Boom Boom”) Bailey in to close it.

Unfortunately, the A’s 3rd baseman, Scott Sizemore, airmailed a throw over first-baseman Conor Jackson’s head to put the first batter of the 9th inning on 2nd base.    There he died, as Boom Boom mowed the next 3 guys down, striking them out with authority and fist pumps.  Everyone in the stands stood for the 9th inning. The place was electric.

Even though it was close to 11:00 pm, the crowd lingered to cheer the guys while they were celebrating on the field after the final out.  It was an amazing experience!  And miraculously we didn’t get wet.

I was particularly happy as last night was the first game I have attended this year that the A’s won.  And what a game it was!  I can’t wait to go to my next game on July 5th against the Mariners.

[N.B. There is something messed up with the program and the way the pictures are displayed.  My apologies.]

My Novel: Contract Year: A Baseball Love Story

Several people have asked me to post something about my novel.  So here is a teaser:

Larry Gordon leads a charmed life.  He’s is dating Gina Green, a beautiful pediatrician working at a local hospital, a five-tool player in baseball lingo. Larry is a successful major league pitcher for the Oakland Renegades.  He’ll earn big money in the free agency market at the end of the upcoming season if he plays well.  Larry isn’t worried.  He’s at the top of his game.

As the novel opens, Gina has just walked out on Larry.  After having making love, Gina brought up the subject of marriage.  He freaked out and inadvertently admitted he’d had sex with other women on the road while he’s been sleeping with her.  Angry and hurt, she walked out on him, ending their five-month relationship.

Determined to put Gina behind him, Larry goes off to spring training to prepare for his contract year and forget about her.  Unfortunately, things don’t go so well for him on the pitcher’s mound, and the one-night stands with the baseball groupies aren’t as satisfying as they once were,  largely because thoughts of Gina haunt him while he’s having sex.  Sometimes he can’t perform in bed, which rocks him to his core.

Once the season starts, Larry’s ups and downs on the mound continue, and his earned run average balloons to over 6.00.  Bob Jacobs, his agent, tells him in no uncertain terms that he’d better get his act together, or he won’t be able to get him a big-money contract in the fall.

Thus begins Larry’s journey to find himself on the mound and in life.  It’s a bumpy, at times hilarious, and poignant coming of age story of a gifted athlete trying to win his girlfriend back and take the Renegades to the postseason.

I have queried 5 agents, but haven’t heard from 4 of them (not uncommon as the new rejection is now silence).  The rejection I did get was very nice and encouraging.  I will also query some smaller publishers, but if I don’t have any serious interest in the next few months, I’m going to publish it online (Smashwords and Amazon) and market it aggressively.  Let me know what you think and I’ll keep you all posted on my progress.  And thanks for your interest in my magnum opus.

Bee

Relief! Geren is Out – Melvin In

A quick post to let you all know that Bob Geren was “relieved of his duties” today.  That doesn’t sound like “fired” to me so he may not in fact be gone from the organization.  He is Billy Beane’s BFF after all.  Anyway I wanted to share the good news with all of you.  Yahoo!!!!!

Almost any warm body would have been an improvement over Geren, but Melvin’s record is not the stuff of legends.  His overall record as a manager is just under .500 (493 wins to 508 losses), but he has had 3 winning seasons since 2002:  Seattle in 2003 and the Diamond Backs in 2007 and 2008.  Let’s hope that he can turn the morale in the clubhouse around and the players can start playing up to their potential.

Compared to Geren, however, Melvin looks good.  Geren managed 711 games with the A’s from the 2003 season through yesterday.  He compiled 334 wins and 376 losses for a winning percentage of .469.  But Tony LaRussa who managed the A’s from 1986-1995 and had a .572 winning percentage, so there is lots of room for improvement for Melvin.

Let’s not forget that Melvin is the interim manager.  The team will engage in a manager search later this year, which may produce someone other than Bob Melvin.  In the meantime, he’s what we’ve got and let’s keep our fingers crossed and  this long-overdue event with a familiar song that hasn’t been heard much of late:

Here is part of the press release:

Athletics’ Manager Bob Geren Relieved of His Duties

Former Major League Manager Bob Melvin to Serve as Interim Replacement

 

OAKLAND, Calif.—Oakland Athletics’ Vice President & General Manager Billy Beane announced today that Bob Geren has been relieved of his duties as manager and former Major League manager Bob Melvin has been named interim manager for the remainder of the 2011 season.

Geren, 49, was named the A’s manager on Nov. 17, 2006.  He registered a 334-376 (.470) record in four-plus seasons with Oakland, including a 27-36 mark and last-place standing in the American League West this year.

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ all-time winningest manager, Melvin arrives in Chicago today and will assume his managerial duties tonight when the A’s open a four-game series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.  The 49-year-old Palo Alto, Calif. native has compiled an overall record of
493-508 in seven previous seasons as a Major League manager from 2003-09 with the Seattle Mariners (156-168, 2003-04) and Diamondbacks (337-340, 2005-09).

In his rookie managerial season, he directed the Mariners to a 93-69 record in 2003.  Four years later, he won National League Manager of the Year honors after piloting Arizona to a league-best 90-72 mark and the NL West Division title in 2007.  Melvin also served as the Diamondbacks’ bench coach on Bob Brenly’s coaching staff from 2001-02, when Arizona won the World Series in 2001 and the NL West Division championship in 2002.

In addition, he held positions as Phil Garner’s bench coach for Milwaukee in 1999 and Detroit in 2000.  Prior to those bench coach roles, he spent three seasons with Milwaukee in various capacities, serving as a scout in 1996, roving instructor in 1997 and as assistant to General Manager Sal Bando in 1998.  Most recently, Melvin had rejoined the Diamondbacks as a special baseball advisor to President & CEO Derrick Hall last month, assisting the baseball operations department and other business divisions of the organization.

Melvin graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School in Menlo Park, Calif. in 1979 and later attended and played baseball at the University of California in Berkeley.  Detroit selected him as its first choice in the secondary phase of the 1981 January draft and the former catcher posted a .233 batting average with 35 home runs and 212 RBI while playing in 692 games during his 10-year Major League career with the Tigers (1985), San Francisco Giants (1986-88), Baltimore Orioles (1989-91), Kansas City Royals (1992), Boston Red Sox (1993), New York Yankees (1994) and Chicago White Sox (1994).

Geren first joined the A’s organization as a minor league manager in 1999, serving one season at Single-A Modesto before being promoted to Triple-A Sacramento in 2000.  After three years with the River Cats, he was named to the major league coaching staff, where he was bullpen coach from 2003-05 and bench coach in 2006.  His best season as Oakland’s manager came last year, when he guided the A’s to an 81-81 record and second-place finish in the AL West.  He led the team to finishes of 76-86 in 2007, 75-86 in 2008 and 75-87 in 2009.

Melvin becomes the 29th manager in franchise history and 18th in Oakland annals.

Hats and Bats: Are Safety Measures for Pitchers Coming?

Perhaps you will recall that on March 11, 2010, in a scrimmage game between Marin Catholic High School (Kentfield, CA) and visiting De La Salle High School (Concord, CA), a 16-year-old pitcher named Gunnar Sandberg was hit in the side of the head by a line drive off the aluminum bat of Zac Byers.

Gunnar Sandberg at age 16.jpgThe ball was traveling at 100+ miles per hour when it slammed into Gunnar’s head.  He was rushed to the hospital, a portion of his skull was removed to give the brain room to swell (decompressive craniectomy, for the medically minded among you), and he was placed into a medically induced coma to try to keep the swelling at a minimum. He spent months in the hospital and a rehabilitation facility while recovering from this life-threatening injury.

The previous month, University of San Francisco pitcher Matt Hiseman swung on a 3-1 scrimmage fastball sending a screaming comebacker that hit teammate Pete Lavin in the same part of the head as Sandberg.  Lavin suffered only a severe concussion and a fracture of the temporal bone, but not the baseball-sized depression of the
skull that Sandberg received.

Both pitchers were luckier than 18-year-old pitcher Brandon Patch, who was killed in Miles City, Montana, in July of 2003, when he was drilled by a batted ball in an American Legion game.  His family sued the bat manufacturer Louisville Slugger and was awarded $850,000.  These and similar injuries have raised concerns about the safety of pitchers at all levels of baseball from little league through the majors.

A Pitcher’s Helmet Prototype:  In March, with Gunnar Sandberg and his parents in attendance, Easton-Bell unveiled a prototype pitcher’s head protection device that fits over a standard baseball hat (ballplayers don’t refer to their headgear as “caps”).

pitcher-helmet in Calcaterra blog.jpgIt looks and feels like a bicycle helmet with the top removed, and weighs only 5½ ounces. It combines an outer shell of energy-absorbing plastic (expanded polystyrene) like that found in bike helmets, a wide  adjustable elastic strap across the back like that on ski goggles, and an absorbent mesh liner such as that found inside football helmets.

At the announcement event at the company’s Scotts Valley Helmet Technology Center (which insiders call “the Dome”), Gunnar Sandberg slipped the device over his Marin Catholic baseball hat and pronounced it “comfortable,” later adding, “Wouldn’t you rather wear this than be in the
hospital for two months?”  Anticipating criticism that it might not look cool, Bjorn Sandberg, Gunnar’s father, said, “Any excuse not to wear it is a weak excuse.”  In my humble opinion, it looks like something from a sci-fi movie and is really cool.

Easton-Bell is to be commended for developing this device, which was in part motivated by Sandberg’s injury.  “One injury is too many,” said CEO Paul Harrington.  The designers in the Dome studied film of more than 5,000 pitchers from delivery through follow-through to determine which parts of the head were most vulnerable to injury.  They wanted to create something that was light weight, wouldn’t interfere with the pitcher’s windup and delivery, and wouldn’t be uncomfortably hot under the summer sun, hence the open top.

StephenKeener - Thumbnail.jpgAlso present that day was Stephen Keener, President and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball, Inc.  “This type of product needs to be introduced at the youngest level of youth baseball,” Keener said.  “That’s not going to happen overnight.  It’s going to take some time.  What we’re talking about is saving kids’ lives.  These injuries are rare.  When they do happen, they are very traumatic, catastrophic.”

Marie Ishida, the Executive Director of the California Interscholastic Federation was also in attendance, says “I would suspect within a five-year period we’re going to see safety equipment [like this] mandated.”

Easton-Bell wouldn’t give a price range for the new pitcher’s helmet. Ongoing testing needs to be completed before a price can be finalized.   It is anticipated that the helmets will become available to the public this fall.

The Aluminum Bat Controversy:  Head protection isn’t the only issue troubling parents and those who coach ballplayers, especially young ones.  Aluminum bats allow players to hit the ball farther and with greater speed than the wooden bats that professional baseball uses. (The latter have their own issues, such as the splintering of the popular maple bats, but that’s a topic for another article.)

It is said that balls hit with aluminum bats can travel at a speed in excess of 130 mph when they reach the pitcher’s mound, especially in the hands of high school and college players.  This increased bat speed, and resulting ball speed, is due to the lightness of the bats, the larger “sweet spot,” and the “trampoline effect” of the aluminum material, all of which place pitchers in greater peril.

California has now mandated the use of deadened aluminum bats for high school and college baseball.  They perform much like wooden bats, but are much more durable, eliminating the cost of replacing splintered bats.  The Marin County Athletic League, in which Gunnar Sandberg plays, went to wooden bats right after his injury and they have continued to use them this season.

The NCAA has also mandated the use of  the less-lively aluminum bats.  The Southeastern Conference (SEC) noted a power outage after their players were required to use the deadened bats.  Home runs are down by 50%, number of runs scored per game are down 20%, batting averages are lower, the average pitcher’s ERA has dropped from 4.04 to 3.17, and shutouts are way up.

Coach Mainieri NCAA-SEC on deadened bats.jpgLSU Coach Paul Mainieri said recently, “The bats have made an enormous difference.  It’s changed the way you play.  There’s more hit and runs, more stealing and more moving runners any way you can.  The days of swinging for the fences on every pitch are finished.”

Miraculously, Gunnar Sandberg is back playing baseball for the Marin Catholic baseball team, using the prototype helmet that Easton-Bell designed in large part for him (see photo below).

Pitchers Helmet on Gunnar Sandberg - Thumbnail.jpgHe’s been restricted to playing first base or DH, but not because of his head injury.  He has a torn right labrum in his throwing shoulder, which he sustained while sliding head first into second base in a winter league game in
December.  (Sliding head first is also a topic for another article.)  This injury will likely require surgery after the
baseball season.  His only residual effects of the brain injury are problems with short-term memory and difficulty
concentrating in school, but he is expected to graduate with his class this spring.

Gunnar’s mother, Lisa Sandberg, perhaps summed up her son’s brush with death best.  “Gunnar’s skull fracture was exactly in the shape of a baseball.  Had it hit him [an inch or so further forward] in the temple, he would have been dead.”

Photo Credits:  Tanya Koenker, nbcsports.com, http://www.internationalsport.com, sports.espn.go.com, AP Photo.

A’s Grab Bag – 2011 Style

It’s been a while since I posted an article on this blog.  Before I get kicked out of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I thought I’d give you an article about this-and-that about the A’s during the last couple of months, in no particular order.

Where I’ve Been:  First, let me explain my absence from these pages.  I needed to get my 120,000 word novel into final form with the help of my free-lance editor, Rick Hurd.  Once that was done (Is it ever done?), I began last week the unenviable task of trying to find an agent to represent my novel Contract Year: A Story about Love and Baseball.  I had to do a lot of research trying to find agents who like baseball, which is not easy to do.  That’s not something they usually share in their agent profiles.  So far, I have queried 3 agents and I have identified another who likes sports.  So that’s why I have not posted an article in almost 2 months.

So on to News of the A’s:

A’s New Radio Station:  During the off season, the A’s attempted to buy their flagship radio station KTRB, which had filed bankruptcy.  A deal couldn’t be accomplished, so March 31st the A’s announced that they have a new flagship station, KBWF FM 95.7 “The Wolf,” a country and western station with perhaps the strongest FM signal in the Bay Area.  Given the problems with reception in various places in the East Bay and elsewhere that we fans experienced in the last few years, this is very good news. 

KBWF Logo 2x1 jpeg.jpgApparently AM radio popularity is waning and FM is gaining in popularity rapidly, and is expected to take over the sports broadcasting market in the near future.  The A’s are currently the only MLB team whose sole flagship station is in FM format, and the broadcast quality is vastly superior to AM.  Several other teams have both AM and FM stations carrying the same braodcast.

On April 15th, only 2 weeks later, KBWF rebranded itself as Sports Radio 95.7, changing it’s format to full-time sports talk radio.  This allows the A’s pregame show to expand to a full hour and Chris Townsend’s post-game call-in show to last at least an hour and sometimes longer.  In short, this is a really good situation for the A’s and their fans and will continue through the 2014 season under the current contract.  FYI, KBWF is also the flagship radio station for the San Jose Sharks.

A’s Organizational Changes:

Sacramento River Cats:The A’s extended their contract with the Sacramento River Cats, the A’s Triple-A affiliate since 2000, through the 2014 season. 
River Cats Logo.jpgIn 2010, the Rivercats won their 9th Pacific Coast League Division title in 11 years, and the team has won 4 PCL Championships since they joined the A’s organization.  They also led Minor League Baseball in attendance during 9 of the last 11 years.

A’s Shuffle Minor League AffiliatesThe Burlington Bees of the Midwest League is now the Single-A affiliate of the A’s in the Midwest League, replacing the  Kane County Cougars. 
Burlington Bees Logo.gifThe Bees were the Single-A affiliate of the Kansas City A’s from 1963-1967 and continued as the A’s Single-A affiliate for 6 more years after the A’s moved to Oakland.  FYI,  this season so far, the Bees are 8-2, leading the Western Division with the league’s best W-L record.  Kane county is in last place.

The Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Penn League has replaced Vancouver Canadiens of the Short Season Northwest League, as the A’s short season Single-A affiliate.  Of the new teams, A’s GM Billy Beane said, “Both areas are steeped in rich baseball history and offer very supportive communities.  It should be an exciting and mutually beneficial partnership for all parties involved.”

A’s Coaching Changes: Curt Young, who was the A’s pitching coach for the last 7 years, is now the pitching coach for the Red Sox.  We are all sad to see him go but wish him the best of luck. 
Ray Romanick.jpgRon Romanick, at left, the A’s bullpen coach for the last 3 seasons, was promoted to fill Curt Young’s shoes with the A’s.  Before becoming the bullpen coach, Romanick spent 9 years as the A’s minor league roving pitching instructor, and was instrumental in developing pitchers Trevor Cahill and Dallas Braden and others. The bullpen duties are now handled by Rick Rodriguez, who has been the pitching coach for the Sacramento River Cats for most of the last 10 years.

Also, Gerald Perry is back as A’s hitting coach, replacing Jim Skaalen, who held the position during the last two seasons.  This is Perry’s second stint as A’s hitting coach (2006).  In addition, Joel Skinner, who came over from the Cleveland Indians, has replaced Tye Waller as A’s bench coach, with Waller sliding over to first base coaching duties.

Trainers and Other Medical ChangesSteve Sayles is no longer the A’s head trainer.  Nick Paparesta, who was the assistant trainer for the Tampa Bay Rays for the past three seasons, has assumed the reins.  Walt Horn remains an assistant trainer along with Brian Schulman, who was a trainer at Cal Berkeley for the last 7 years. 

In October of 2010, the A’s parted company with the Webster Orthopedic Group, shortly after Dallas Braden filed a medical malpractice suit against the group,
Dallas Celebrating his Perfecto - resized.jpgfor the permanent nerve damage when they nicked a nerve during a cyst removal from his foot.  He has no feeling in part of his foot, which affects his pitching delivery, his perfect game notwithstanding.

Ticket Sales up: A’s season ticket sales are up 50% this year.  It validates the moves that Billy Beane made this offseason.  (See previous post on this blog here.)  The presence of Hideki Matsui probably accounts for much of the rise.  Also, inspite of playing in a bad ballpark, threats of moving the team elsewhere, and some anti-fan moves (like the tarps and cancelling the annual FanFest), people still like the A’s a lot and remain loyal.

Facebook Study:  The social media giant conducted a study of members who “like” their teams. 
facebook logo - jpg.jpgPhillies fans were found to be “most loyal”, St. Louis Cardinals are most beloved by women, but the Oakland A’s fans are the “most social,”  meaning they have the most friends on Facebook.  A’s fans are the only team-based community that averages over 500 “friends” per member.  A’s fans are also the “most scattered around the country”, are “among the youngest”, “most likely to be single”, and “most male-centric in the major leagues.”  You can read the report here

Now to Leave Lou With Something Musical.  One of my favorite baseball songs is entitled, “Somewhere between Old and New York” by Dave Grusin, Randy Goodrum and Dave Loggins, and sung by Phoebe Snow.  Enjoy it here.  Listen carefully to the lyrics.  They are pure poetry.

Go A’s!!!