If photos are to be believed, pitchers, catchers, Eric Chavez and a sandal have reported to Phoenix and spirits are high, as hope Springs eternal in the pre-season. From my home in Berkeley, I had a chance to sit down face-to-face with several players in Phoenix and flex my interviewing muscles.
Nico: So Dana, how great does it feel to go into Spring Training virtually assured of a spot in the rotation?
Eveland: Just great, Nico. Really, really great.
Nico: That's terrific, Dana. Dallas, are you looking forward to a successful season in 2009?
Braden: You know, Neekster, I really am. I just want to throw the ball well this year and give my team a chance to win every time I take the mound.
Nico: Well Dallas, I think you know that despite my standing as a journalist, I'll be blatantly rooting for you on and off the blog. Kurt, you had a solid 2008 season. On a scale from, say, platypus to magenta, how good do you feel about your hitting going into 2009?
Kurt: Boy, Neeker Beeker, that's a tough one. I don't want to be unrealistic but I'm feeling so great right now that I'm going to go out on a limb and say "cauliflower."
Nico: You know what, Kurt, just between you and me, I think you're probably right. Here's one for "Forsty": For fans thinking about coming out to a game this year, David, will the A's be entertaining for people who enjoy puns about fish?
Forst: As a matter of fact, Neek-Knack, just for the halibut I'm going to say "yes." Cod willing, we should be trouting out some great deals to the tuna "1/2 price tickets" for individuals, and from what ahi-ear our packages should be especially appealing to small groupers. Beyond that, we're also trying to exsalmon how we can make the fan experience batter and batter on Friedays.
Nico: Outstanding, Forsty, thanks. Hey, anyone wanna see pictures of my do--
I thought that went well.
So here we are: Pitchers and catchers have reported, the offense figures to be much improved, the radio coverage is stronger and 145 games will be televised this season. How great is that? Excellent question!
JOIN US ON SATURDAY, APRIL 4TH FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE & BASEBALL!
Regarding AN's first Community Service Event, with an A's-Giants chaser, let's make this thread "last call" (for now) to sign up and join us for a morning of volunteering followed by the A's-Giants game, on Saturday, April 4th. Here's who we have so far:
67MARQUEZ, Dogfather and DogMa, EnglishMajor, gigglingone, Higher Pie, LibrariAN, LongTimeFan, lynnzgal (morning only), Nico, pam5981, prana160, sslinger and wifethereof, Wes7, total 15 confirmed volunteers for a total of 18-19 available slots (15 to the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, and 3-4 to Newman Center in Berkeley). A couple others are not mentioned because they are still only "definite maybes" as of this writing.
If you can make it, and want to be a part of the magic, comment in this thread to let me know! I'll be sending out "confirmation emails" privately later this week to confirm where people are volunteering and to confirm how many tickets I should buy for the game.
OBLIGATORY "NEW SS, PLEASE!" PARAGRAPH
Perhaps one organization worth looking at is Boston, who with Jed Lowrie already thriving in the big leagues, has two solid SS prospects in 22-year old Yamaico Navarro and 20-year old Oscar Tejeda (recently recovered from that pesky injury: a hole in his heart). Are the Red Sox worried enough about finishing third behind the Yankees and Rays that they might trade, say, Navarro for an important major league piece in 2009? If so, what would it be and do the A's have it?