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It's So Cute When They're Nervous

This throw did not go 462 feet.
This throw did not go 462 feet.

I guess part of being David to the league's Goliath is that you get the team with too little swag and too much try-too-hard. It's kind of endearing until it costs you run after run.

The A's were not flat last night. On the contrary, they were too eager to succeed and that's not how success is actually earned. How often have you seen back-to-back fly balls dropped in the simple transfer to the bare hand? Kila Ka'aihue ranged so far out of position so often I'm surprised he didn't catch Yoenis Cespedes' HR (and then drop it in the transfer to his bare hand). Josh Reddick tried to double off a runner at 1B with a throw that looked like Charlie Brown's "I'm gonna kick this football so hard..." and produced about the results of Charlie Brown's typical efforts.

Less is more and the A's were hardly calm, cool and collected last night; more like amped to the point where they couldn't just play the game right. I can live with that a lot more than I can live with a flat, "we put in our time" effort, though you would think that at the major league level these guys would be a bit more seasoned for the rigors of Opening Night. But they're humans, and they're "kids" and boy was that evident last night.

Also evident was how disruptive the Japan trip is in the routine for a starting pitcher like Brandon McCarthy, who looked every bit like a pitcher throwing on 8.5 days' rest, or whatever it had been since 3am on a Wednesday.

My only real complaint was Kurt Suzuki, with all the time he wanted to set up at the plate, electing to take Cespedes' throw home so far behind the plate that a vendor accidentally served him a complementary plate of nachos. That's not jitters, that's just poor fundamental baseball by a veteran player. Memo to Kurt: Scott Cousins is nowhere near and what happened to Buster Posey was a fluke. If you're not going to block the plate, at least set up right next to it. The A's have enough challenges without giving away runs because "plays at the plate are harrrrrd."

So...Make it 0-10 in the past 10 home openers at the stadium that has undergone about 10 name changes during that time. Beat Felix tonight and Opening Night will be a distant memory -- just a blur of overeager underachieving by a group of fresh-faced boys who need to remember that less is more. Especially if you happen to be named Les Moore.