Good evening, Athletics Nation! We're about to spend six months together, living and dying on every pitch by the A's and arguing over Daric Barton until he gets bored with the debate and retires. We're not just a message board, we are a community, as evidenced by last year's AN Day that drew over 50 "strangers" to a tailgate. Therefore, it only makes sense that we get to know each other a little bit better.
Some of us are regulars who already know a thing or two about each other, some of us are newcomers who are still getting to know the group, and some of us are lurkers who have never posted a comment. Whoever you may be, I encourage you to join in and tell us a little bit about yourselves!
Here's a list of questions which are just the right level of revealing without getting personal or identity-stealy. Just post a comment answering these questions, or whichever ones you feel like answering! Or, if instead you'd like to just post your life story or your A's-fan-origin story, then go crazy.
1. What is your name? (first name only is fine)
2. What is your quest? (wait, no.)
2. Where do you live?
3. What do you do for a living, and/or how old are you?
4. How/when did you become an A's fan?
5. How/when did you discover AN?
6. Who is your favorite current Athletic?
7. Who is your favorite all-time Athletic?
8. What Athletic, past or present, do you irrationally dislike? (can't say Geren cause that's rational)
9. Who is your favorite current non-Athletic?
10. Who is your Holy Grail, the non-superstar player you are dying for the A's to acquire?
11. What non-A's team would you most like to see win the 2014 World Series?
12. What team would you least like to see win the 2014 World Series?
13. What's your favorite baseball movie? (other than Moneyball)
14. If you met Sean Doolittle on the street, what would you say and/or do?
15. What is scarier: one elephant-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized elephants?
16. What is your Social Security Number? (worth a try...)
1. Alex, duh.
2. Walnut Creek, CA. Raised in Danville.
3. 29 years young. Write about baseball, host pub trivia events.
4. Birthright -- my mother was born and raised in Oakland and still has her ticket stub from the 1973 World Series. My father is from England, so he had no competing baseball interest (he's now an A's fan and his blood boils every time an A's pitcher issues a walk, which is apparently where I get that trait from.) The first A's season I specifically remember is 1991, which is just cruel. I went to my folks' house to watch Opening Day, and when I said to my mom that I wished Nick Punto had bunted in the 8th, her response was, "But his name is Punto, not Bunto." Nailed it, Mom.
5. Just after the 2011 season, I became aware of SB Nation when Rob Neyer moved over here. When I realized how awesome this place was, I knew I had to switch over from ESPN (I only really read Rob over there anyway). It didn't take long to realize that I should also get involved with AN.
6. Coco Crisp. Tell that to early-2012 Alex and he'll laugh in your face. Doolittle is a close second.
7. My head says Rickey, Eck and McGwire (in that order) because I grew up watching them and they are (or should be) Hall of Famers. But Tim Hudson will always hold a special place in my heart. To me, he was the catalyst that led to the first A's dynasty of my conscious life. When he came up, that was when it seemed like things changed. Bulldog.
8. Jason Kendall. I respect the hell out of him and I think he's one of the toughest guys to ever play the game. He also should have been a borderline superstar, if not for suffering a horrific fluke injury early in his career. But on the A's, all I remember is a guy who couldn't hit it more than 300 feet and who would lead off every game with a groundout to short (not his fault that they insisted on batting him leadoff so much, and he actually had a decent OBP in '06). I don't have any ill will toward him at all, but I couldn't stand it when he was in the lineup. That game-winning steal of home against K-Rod will always earn him props, though.
9. Cliff Lee. I can pinpoint the exact moment when this became the case, as well:
Don't know why, that just tickled me. I already liked him. But to do that, in the World Series, against the Yankees, was just epic. I didn't put a whole lot of thought into this one, so I reserve the right to change my answer if someone else pops to mind.
10. Well, this winter, it may have been Scott Kazmir, so that worked out. The winter before that, Jed Lowrie was on my list. Man, I'm freaking smart. I was also on BWH's Jason Castro train this winter, but I'm happy to see how Jaso/Norris/Vogt plays out at this point.
This is a bad time of year to answer this question; give me a month to figure out which second baseman I want to steal. UPDATE: I've thought about it, and I want second baseman Nick Franklin from the Mariners (just lying around in the basement, not being used). And to a lesser extent, first baseman Ike Davis from the Mets.
11. The Cubs. Then the Pirates. Then the Rays. And that will be the permanent list until any of those teams drops off of it by winning a title. I'd like to see the Nats win one as well, but they come in a distant fourth.
12. I should say the Giants. But at least I'd have friends who would be happy. It's the Angels. Don't hate me.
13. Although Bull Durham is objectively the best, Field of Dreams is my favorite. Full disclosure (and spoiler alert): I've cried during the scene at the end when he plays catch with his dad.
14. Grab a handful of his beard and yell, "I GOT YER LUCKY CHARMS!" Then let go and run away cackling like a leprechaun.
15. Tiny elephant stampede? Terrifying.
16. 469...wait, never mind.
Can't wait to meet you all!