Spring Training Game #24: the Slegna come to Hohokam

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


It's all over but the squawking

I was awakened last night at 4:45am by a knock at the door and the subsequent histrionics of my dog. It was my neighbor. 'The chickens are squawking', he said. We both keep backyard chickens and, given our proximity to the East Bay Regional Parks system, deal with predator attacks regularly. In the backyard it became evident that the missus had neglected to fully close the roosting pen; a large raccoon was inside with one hen's head in its mouth. After some aggressive coaxing from the dog and a garden rake, the varmint dropped her and fled over the fence and up a tree. Alas: Winona was mortally maimed. I put her out of her misery and buried her under a lemon tree. She led a happy chicken life, though at only two years old she was in the prime of her egg laying years. She really loved the A's, as was evident by her head-cocking and musing clucks every time I listened to At Bat games on my phone, sitting near the chicken enclosure by the pond. She especially perked up when Billy Burns led off games, eager to hear the result of our opponent's first pitch. She had notable dislike for Billy Butler, however...there must have been something distasteful to her in his Country Breakfast nickname. Anyway, as I eulogize, I know she's with me. She really hated the Slegna; it is her final wish that I write this post with extreme vitriol.

Another kind of varmint

The Los Angeles Angles of Anaslime make their first and only trip to Hohokam today. Division rivals and generally stinky people, they will not be welcomed with hugs and kisses. If not viewed from an A's fan's vantage point, the Slegna might be pitied:

  • They've got the worst farm system in all of MLB: 0 points, tied with Marlins
  • Their starting pitcher for today's game, Jered Weaver, recently nudged radar guns with a consistent 78 mph 'fast'ball: full story on slowness here. I knew a kid in my Little League Juniors Division (13-14 year-olds) who threw that hard.
  • Several of their position players have completely lost their necks.
  • They play in Anaheim. Largest California chapter of the KKK, Mickey Rat's house, probably lots of other distasteful attributes.

Here's today's lineup for this sad sack of dead arm, no-neck, bigoted, and nauseatingly family-friendly fishodors:

  1. Yunel Escobar (R) 3B
  2. Kole Calhoun (L) RF
  3. Mike Trout (R) CF
  4. Albert Pujols (R) DH (that's pronounced poo holes)
  5. C.J. Cron (R) 1B
  6. Andrelton Simmons (R) SS
  7. Geovany Soto (R) C
  8. Rey Navarro (S) 2B
  9. Craig Gentry (R) LF

Several old friends, Gentry and Soto, have jumped ship and are now playing for the enemy. Do not empathize with them and hope they 'have a good game'. Hope they suck and cry; Winona would've wanted it this way. I hope to see this level of Fishodor frustration at least thrice today: trout.0.jpg

As an unabashed Burns fanboy, I'm disappointed to see him absent for the second straight game. I guess Coco needs his reps. Also missing from the expected MLB starting lineup is our catcher platoon of Vogt / Phegley. These guys have been having good springs, so it's okay to keep them rested. Canha gets the nod to start in left field and hit in the key 2nd spot. Hopefully he can catch up to Weaver's 'fastball'. I predict a lot of hard contact from him today. Also to watch: the A's infield defense. This group is one of our MLB starting arrangements. Let's see if they can shore up the sloppiness we've seen at times. I'm excited. Are you?

This gallant group will be led today by none other than Sean Manaea, the Throwin' Samoan. Manaea has shown us mostly dominance so far this spring, though some minor control issues and a horrendous pickoff move showed up as minor blemishes. Debate has been raging, here on as well as out there in the broader interwebs, over whether Manaea will start the season at AAA Nashville as planned or at the back of the shaky A's MLB rotation. It seems premature to bring him up for the season's start, but when he's pitching so well he's tough to ignore, especially given Doubront's performance last night. Some insight may be gleaned by the number of innings he's allowed to pitch today. If he gets up past four innings and over 60 pitches or so it could mean the A's are stretching him out in the same way they are with other starters. More likely, it could mean nothing, cuz Spring Training.

Watch this game live

This game will be broadcast live by the MLB network and by Fox Sports West, to my understanding, so I'm preparing to bike down to my local pub to watch. I'll be hosting the gamethread here (below) and attempting not to spill any beer on my keyboard. First pitch is at 1:05. Say a little blessing for Winona. Let's all snort and paw at the ground as we hate the Slegna, for her.