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Today's Game: The First Pitch Is As Good As It Gets

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Speaking of "as good as it gets," last night's game was a rarity in 2009: The team I root for playing real baseball, worth watching, making a fan proud. Crosby's 3-run HR was key, but Friday night belonged to Rajai Davis, whose alert steal of third on a throw back to the pitcher gave the league a rare glimpse of what it looks like for the A's to be alert, aggressive, resourceful, to dictate the tempo instead of frantically trying to figure out what the tempo is while the conductor stares into space looking lost. It's no coincidence, IMO, that Saunders (who, granted, wasn't sharp all night) made a mistake to Crosby soonafter -- give Crosby due credit, but with an assist to Rajai.

And then Rajai's 270 foot sprint home on an errant pickoff throw serves as a useful reminder that even after Mark McGwire has completely messed up your best hitter's swing and even after Giambi has pulled his 12th consecutive ground ball into the shift, speed never goes into a slump. But this post isn't about last night's game; it's about the fact that no matter how good today's game is, it won't get any better than the very first pitch.

Today's "ceremonial first pitch" will be thrown out by a guy who has little business being alive and even less business being able to throw a baseball: Jon Wilhite. Wilhite's recovery from an "internal decapitation," following the car crash that took three lives (including that of Angels' pitcher Nick Adenhart) has been faster, and has yielded more progress, than is usually case for those who even survive this gruesome injury.

Unexpectedly, I received another donation last week, this one for $200.00, to AN's efforts on behalf of Wilhite's long and expensive recovery process. That donation brought us to $2,417.00 raised from 69 big-hearted members of the AN community. Just awesome. And if you think a Crosby 3-run bomb, or a mad dash to third between pitches, is unlikely, you should check out today's first toss from the mound -- it just doesn't get any better than this.