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Game #107: A’s Get Sweet Revenge on Adrian Sampson

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Me being the Saturday guy here at A’s Nation, this ain’t my first Adrian Sampson rodeo. This guy is close to being one of the most hated players among the A’s fanbase.

In his first career start against the A’s way back on June 8th — when the Texas Rangers were still considered contenders — Sampson shut the A’s down with a 1-run, 7-strikeout complete game. However, the reason he became an enemy of A’s Nation was not his performance; it was his reaction to a Mark Canha home run that he decided to admire for a second. “RUN,” Sampson shouted as he pointed angrily towards first base. Considering Canha’s the guy who literally printed out shirts that said “Bat Flippin’ Season”, he handled it pretty well, barked back a little, kept running, and everybody moved on. Sampson went on to dominate, the A’s lost the game, and A’s fans only mildly judged Sampson’s uptightness.

But after today, we know for sure that this is the Sampson M.O., and god is it insufferable. Before we get to the incident, let us admire the poetry of Canha once again scoring the A’s first run against Sampson on, what else, a solo home run. This one more of a borderline hook shot, so Canha didn’t have the certainty to watch this one, but 100%, if it were deeper, he would have.

A Semien solo shot and a Champan twofer later, Ramon Laureano, one of the hottest hitters in baseball, joined the homer party and launched one into left field. This one was plenty deep enough to admire, and that’s exactly what Laureano did. Stand, stare, and strut. That’s exactly the way a moonshot should be appreciated. But, to no one’s surprise, Sampson didn’t like it one bit.

Even more aggressive than last time, Sampson woke himself up out of his disappointment-ridden, hands-on-knees state just to yell at Laureano to run. You better get ya boy, Logan Forsythe, because The Laser ain’t taking that. Laureano, bless his soul, glared right back at Sampson and said something along the lines of “You didn’t like that? Well, watch this.” Then, he dropped his bat right on the ground (see photo for evidence). Cold!

Congratulations, Adrian Sampson. You are officially a baby.

But the drama didn’t stop there. No, not in baseball, where every act outside of the norm deserves retaliation. Just two innings later, Laureano, already in pain after fouling a pitch off his foot, got plunked by reliever Rafael Montero in the upper left arm. Laureano, understandably sick of it, threw his bat and yelled directly at Montero. The benches cleared, Montero was thrown out, and Laureano took his free base. All this hoopla over an artist just trying to admire his work.

Do we still need to talk about the Rangers’ near-comeback in the 7th or Homer Bailey quietly being great for 6 innings? Nah. That was just background noise to the god-awful Adrian Sampson show. Here’s hoping that we face him for years and years to come.