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Open Thread - Game 28: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays

I'm going to be honest with you. It feels really weird to be rooting for Bartolo Colon.

Throughout Colon's career, he's been something of an enemy. For years, he was the ace of the Cleveland juggernaut, which made him easy to root against. Then, he was the ace of the Angels' staff, right around the time that slegnA was replacing Oakland as the cream of the AL West. He even stole a Cy Young Award which should have unquestionably gone to Johan Santana. Then, just when you thought his career was over, he suddenly made a ridiculous, unexpected comeback...for the Yankees. Because, you know, the Yankees totally needed a break after all that adversity they usually face. They were finally supposed to have a weak rotation, and Colon ruined everything by eating a bunch of stem cells and becoming good again. He even threw a complete game shutout in the Coliseum. What a douche.

And then, suddenly, he was an Oakland Athletic. Then, he was a GOOD Oakland Athletic. And now, I'm not really having much trouble cheering for him, even if it does still feel weird. Love you, Bart!

Playing against the Tampa Bay Rays is always a little bit extra fun for me. If we win, then it's awesome because we beat a good team. If we lose, it sucks, but there is at least the silver lining that the Rays are one win closer to winning the AL East over New York and Boston. It's all about perspective.

Starting for the Rays is 2011 AL Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson. He is off to an impressive start, despite the fact that he still walks too many hitters and doesn't strike out enough of them. He has also been giving up more hits than last year, and way too many homers, and yet his ERA is 2.51 because MLB rules state that all Rays pitchers must be awesome. Hellickson isn't one to break the rules, apparently.

Can the A's muster some offense off of a tough starter? Can Colon cool off a Tampa Bay lineup which is consistently better than the sum of its parts? Can Jemile Weeks get his average back up above the Mendoza Line? Can Michael Taylor do something good today? (Answer: No, because he's not in the lineup) It's time to find out!

¡Happy Cinco De Mayo!