"How do you solve a problem like a pitching rotation? How do you catch a clown and see if it can pitch out of the bullpen?"
Thought I would start this preview mixing in the story line in which I am watching this spring with a Sound of Music Song lyric that has crawled in my brain as if Rogers or Hammerstein personally shoved it town my flimsy, sort of over sized ear. I could have started with some poetic description of spring and baseball, or how our Oakland Athletics seem to always be hanging around in our lives, but instead I bring you a bad parody. There are many questions to ask in Spring Training- "Will Coco Crisp handle is position switch?" "Why is Michigan’s coach out there on the field?" "Who will finish our roster, which to some might look like the cast of some newly released obscure indie film?" but I will be asking "Who the hell will we be watching pitch every 5th day?" This is why I anticipate the starts of AAAA pitchers who might spurt their way into the bosom of major league success. Who will toil away below a new fan base and an old state capitol in Nashville, and who will shine in our home? This is what I eagerly wait to find out.
Apparently today is the first televised A’s game of the year. The first time of the year where television shall rob us of our imagination by giving up sweet, reassuring reality. I am sure Ray Fosse will be along as well. I wouldn’t know because I’m 1,500 miles away from the "market" and thus can only watch home broadcasts from illegal websites out of some Banana Republic’s servers.
This match up will feature two of the three original AL teams who have not changed their nickname, as most of you know. The first two times there two squared off might have been on another planet, for box scores or newspaper clippings are nonexistent. Trust me because I live in microfiche. Every Chicago fan in attendance, every umpire laboring the count, and every hurler is in gravestones scattered across the world. Maybe they have reached a higher plane of existence. Or maybe they just sit and year to travel back to idyllic May’s where the home club faces off with the Athletics. The first game saw the White Sox losing 5-9. Wouldn't it be baseball if our score were the same?
The gods of fate- I mean scheduled starts- have us facing off against our former pitcher. To think, the last time he was in an Oakland uniform was just a few drugging months ago, where I sat in the third deck of the Mistake by the Parking lot in Arlington. I had a morose feeling that recording his 200 K would be the last milestone Shark would ever receive on our ball club. Therefore, I did the most logical thing I could do- record a crummy video from an odd angle where Shark seemed to stagger on and off the mound and consume Rangers as if he was Pancho Villa.
Drew "Pom Z" Pomeranz goes off to start for our club. I feel that most of the people in AN and reddit have a favorable opinion on PomZ, if not one ripe of hype and expectations. Well just remember folks, this is just the black box. The main stage lies in wait.
566 Miles and 1399 days separate these two pitchers at birth. One near Memphis and one in the heart of Hosier Country. One in the spiraling, thrilling clutches of December and one in the similar conditions of November. In fact, Pomeranz was born on Nov. 22, an important day in my life (and the lives of Huxley/Kennedy/CS Lewis). One studied at the college of Notre Dame, one at the campus of Ole Miss. These two colleges have played each other before in football, but long before either of these pitchers were alive- in 1977 where Montana rode the bench. Yet I digress.
Like snowmen in 40-degree weather on green lawns, our hopes of future glory perished. However, we are already several games into a new season. Thankfully, this is a new year, and with it brings new catchy phrases to express our fears and joys about our mostly new team.
We all know how these games go. Our stars promenade through the bridge, then retire to their unseen quarters and send out the red shirts. Then the red shirts give us reason to remember their names. What was the strongest impression a player ever gave you during Spring Training? Yes, I am sure at least one person will say Marcus. Not that I’m not covered in love for Semien as well- but still search through your memory banks to find a player whose name might as well have been the moniker of a foot soldier in a foreign war before.
Did you find my writing to useless or rambling? Well alas, I am sorry then. My prior experience centers around my school newspaper and writing features on /r/baseball about how American history relates to baseball’s. If I am chosen to be a front-page writer then I will disclose random facts about my interests, any dank memes I have and how I became a baseball fan (the short answer: Adolph Hitler and Monte Moore) and so on.
I go back to the Sound of Music. It is, after all, the fiftieth Anniversary. And a clown was once the unofficial White Sox mascot. Whatever your views are on semi-lame Julie Andrews musicals, we can all agree that we need to find some arms to carry us into the brilliant, unyielding summer nights. And seeing as how this is just callbacks, let’s see what they can do. Go A’s.