at a loss, again

"The first step to recovery is admitting there's a problem."
- Dr. Gregory House

"He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at."
- Epictetus

"Damn you, Paul Francis Sullivan."



The stat-heads will tell you that you don't judge a pitcher solely on the basis of his won-loss record.  Does that theory apply to fans as well?

I have been to six A's games this year, and they have lost them all.  To demonstrate my consistency for suckness, three of those defeats have come during the day; three at night.

The last time I started a season 0-for-6 was, let's see, um, nineteen-ninety-never.  Not even in the late 70's.  For those that say what happens in March doesn't necessarily carry over into April, I curse you.  In Arizona, three games, three victories.  Since then, goose eggs.

In the six regular season contests that I've attended, the A's have been outscored 31-17.  Two by one run, two by two runs, one by three runs, and another- the only real stinker of the six- by five runs.


After starting the 1989 World Series with zero hits in his first half-dozen at-bats, Dave Henderson had this to say:

"As hitters, we know we're going to get hits.  We know we're going to make outs.  You call it a slump? I call it oh-for-six."

It was an attitude that served him well, as he doubled home two runs in the first inning, and homered twice in the A's 13-7 rout of the Giants in Game 3.


The next game I have tickets to is June 6.  6/6 with an 0-6 record.  Oh goody, that's not ominous at all.


I have tried pretty much everything.  I've gone to games with my best friend, my son, my associate, my niece, myself.  I even tried to bring some AN mojo to the ballpark, and that failed as well.

You can start to over think a slump.  Last night, I switched from peanuts to Mom's popcorn.  How could Mom's popcorn lose?  I even stayed out of my usual beer line.  Sorry Grace; gotta shake things up a bit.   

When Matt Holiday led off the second inning with a drive into the left-field bleachers- momentarily interrupting my niece Carrin's disgust over a girl with rainbow-colored hair- I thought it might be my night.  But the D-Backs quickly tied things up in the third, and forged ahead in the fifth.

I tried to shrug it off.  As fans we know we're going to see them win.  We know we're going to see them lose.  Sure Hendu; easy for you to say.  In the sixth, Carrin bought nachos.  Desperate times, I guess. As I bit into a cheese-drenched chip, I warned my 17-year old niece that come the stretch I was going to stand and sing.  She replied, "No wonder they lose when you come here."  Such love.

The A's threatened in the eighth, putting a man on second with two outs and sending Jack Cust to the plate.  One swing of the bat would swing my mood from glum to giddy. Cust flied out.  "That inning made me sad", sighed Carrin.  "But then I saw a hot guy a few rows down and I got happy again."  Teens.

Came the ninth, and I tried to convince myself it wasn't me.  It's not like this is a team of world-beaters when I'm not there; the A's are only 8-5 when I don't show.  Well, ok, maybe it is me.  Had I not gone to any games, and they came away with just a split, they'd be 18-21, and still in the AL West conversation. As it is now, they are the third worst team in all of baseball, and are off to their ugliest start since 1979.

I got into my comeback mode for the bottom of the ninth.  Lean closer, no talking, focus, pray.  Holliday flied out to right, Giambi popped up to left.  Two quick outs.  Carrin asked if I was ok.  Why wouldn't I be ok?  It's just a silly game.  It's not like I have emotions invested in this team.  Nomar singled, Kennedy worked a walk.  I breathed for a second just to tell my niece, "This is the part where they tease me."  She nodded knowingly, in between text messages.

Ryan Sweeney stepped up.  "Hey, it's walking sex", noted Carrin, and I immediately regretted sharing that piece of AN info with her.  Some uncle. 

I tried a little mental telepathy.  "Just a base hit, Ryan.  A flare, a gork, a ground ball with eyes.  Or a homerun.  Yeah, I'll take a homerun.  No, don't get greedy.  Just a knock." 

Too late.  Ground ball with no eyes.  Right to the second baseman.  Ball game.

"I'm sorry", said Carrin.  "It's my fault, isn't it?"

Well hell, it can't be mine, can it?