Yes, I’m using this “shelter in place” time to finally learn Spanish. Leave to an A’s fan to remember words using tricks like this: “Mi carro es caro pero mi Barreto es barato.” (My car is expensive but my Barreto is cheap.) Not sure what I’ll do when Barreto hits arbitration, but it looks like we have a while...
Before turning to baseball, I feel the need to shine a spotlight on one of my favorite sports figures, period, and he happens to be a basketball player: Steph Curry. Here’s a multi-gazillionaire who is doing what he always seems to do: use his fame and fortune for good. This week’s scorecard had Steph putting on his ‘talk show host’ hat to interview Dr. Fauci in the name of spreading actual good information about the coronavirus pandemic, and remembering he is still “rooted in Oakland” by donating meals to students in the Oakland Unified School District. Pretty good basketball player, too.
As for baseball, we now know how players will get paid and how they will accrue service time, but still nothing about whether games will be played and if so when and how many. And it’s going to be a long time before any of this reveals itself.
I don’t know which would be more of a shame, if the season were to be canceled entirely: Marcus Semien having already played his last game with the A’s under his current contract, or Mike Fiers not throwing a single pitch after blowing the whistle on a historic scandal. OK, probably the first one because Semien is a great player, and an East Bay native at that, but both are sad thoughts.
If we do have a season it appears the rosters will open at 29 players, which makes the battle for second base a bit less riveting. “Kemp? Barreto? Mateo? Machin? Why not haz them alls?” It’s like a riveting game of musical chairs where the host puts out 9 chairs for 8 players and waits for hilarity to ensue. And then one of the players swings at a slider a foot outside and you’re like, “Really? Seriously?”
With regard to a funky 2020 season, where my mind keeps going is the prospect of an increase in injuries due to the abrupt halt of spring training, followed by a “shelter in place, try to stay fit and ready for the season, and by the way good luck with all that” break of a couple months, followed by some semblance of spring training over a 3-4 week period.
We can expect batters’ swings to be slower than usual to come around, but the bigger concner has to be the physical health of the pitchers. I desperately want (and by “want” I mean “need”) a 2020 baseball season, but at the expense of an otherwise avoidable injury to the precious left arm of Jesus Luzardo? You would just hate, hate, hate to see something like, that but while teams will undoubtedly be extra careful you also cannot fully anticipate how a funky season will play out on an athlete’s body. In other words, you can do everything right and an arm just might not like it anyway.
Perhaps it’s safest to stick right now with simulated baseball, where the A’s appear to be very much in their element. Slow start? Psssh. Oakland is 3-0 and looking strong for an undefeated season.
Nah, I need real baseball so let’s flatten that curve and get on with it. If we need expert counsel, perhaps we call on Ross Detwiler. I seem to recall him throwing quite a few flat curves.
Mantente segura, mis amigos!