AN Day: The Sequel, Blez is Back!

At 10:30 this morning, I found myself in the very back of line MM. About half an hour later, I found myself jogging up the concourse, watching the Large sign get torn down, the X-Large sign ... I arrived at the top just in time to get one of the last half dozen or so mediums - my very own Eck jersey. After being turned away by a less than generous security guard, who demanded that I either walk around the entire stadium, or figure out that I could just enter the Plaza Bleachers at the opposite end from where I was sitting.

After a long walk, I was greeted by BaseballGirl's smiling face - given a name tag, and only mildly shunned for our disagreements on how funny my quotes are. After Kenny and my {number suppressed} trip to the buffet, Blez invited us all in to hear our special guests.

Ken Korach, because of his need to actually go "work" went first. I've got to say, it was a little odd hearing the kind of voice that I thought could only be produced by a radio talking to me in real life.

Displaying his professionalism and inability to every be Hawk "the Homer", Ken talked about how any broadcaster who didn't get excited by an incredible act - no matter the colors that perpetrated it, doesn't belong in baseball. He did add, however, that a number of teams demand that their announcers treat their teams like home town heroes.

Having to run off and interview Kenny Macha, Korach left us in the hands of Mychael Urban and Susan Slusser, our excellent beat writers for and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here is Urban attempting to grope Slusser

Urban led off with a peace offering to the ladies of Athletics Nation and sharing with us that Huston Street has a "great ass".

After agreeing that the 2001 was the most talented A's team in recent years, they also said that this current version achieved a level of chemistry that they had not previously witnessed.

They went on to describe the differences in their jobs as well as those of guys like Ray Ratto - who Slusser said does at least have the professionalism to go to the games that he writes about. They invited him to come over from the press box ... but he couldn't make it.

Afterwards, greenngoldgirl (Cathy), the future Susan Slusser, chatted with Slusser, who gave her this very sage advice, "you'll have to figure out how to keep your hands off Zito, Crosby, Swisher, and Street if you want them to let you in the clubhouse."

I'd like to offer a humble and gracious thanks to all three of our guests on behalf of all of Athletics Nation. We are truly blessed with the best beat writers around and a world-class broadcasting team. They are not only some of the most talented communicators around, they are true professionals and gracious people. Thank you all.

Anyone who was an 8 year old A's fan in 1989 can tell you that Eck was really, really cool. I've got to say, he was really, really cool when he was riding around the field in his yellow Corvette convertible.

The next Rollie Fingers? the next Dennis Eckersley? the first Huston Street then trotted out to the mound, representing the current A's club, and giving the Eck a gift. He would later say, on Extra Innings, that meeting Eck was the most exciting experience of his young career. That as they chatted, he just shut his mouth and gratefully accepted any wisdom that Eck could impart.

And with that, the #43 was no more - or eternal, depending on how you'd like to look at it.

And Eck told us, as someone who grew up in Fremont, he considers Oakland home. Kenny and Melody agree ... I wonder how other Fremonters feel about that ...

The High Socks crew was well represented ... for a couple of innings, anyway, until the wind forced us to take it down.  Cathy's poster did make it onto Diamond Vision, though.

Yes, there was a baseball game - one that was looking very good for the A's after a Jay Payton homerun.

And the previously unphotographed Melody did a little dance.

Ohad, Robb and XbhaskarX watching the game.

And just like any game that Dennis Eckersley stepped onto the field, on this day, the A's were winners.

We all were, though. Thanks Blez, for the site, for the day, for everything! I'm off to Vegas!

Sorry for the delay in getting this up - someone kicked out the cable connection at my place, causing me to lose all of my work when I went to preview.

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