Thursday night, Chris Bassitt threw the first shutout of his professional career, a two-hit masterpiece against the Los Angeles Angels.
After the game, the NBC Sports broadcast cut to the studio for a few moments, and then post-game host Brodie Brazil kicked it back to the field for Dallas Braden’s post-game interview with Bassitt, all of which is the usual routine. But this time Brazil made an extra note in his introduction of the next segment.
“Bassitt is with Dallas Braden, and I’m told there’s a prop.”
Given the cast of characters involved, that was an exciting prospect to consider. The famously unbridled enthusiasm of Braden, with his huge beard and his Poundtown home run call. A quirky, fun-loving pitcher in Bassitt, who is often seen clowning around with teammates in the dugout, and who recently wore a SpongeBob SquarePants T-shirt for a post-game press conference. With a million directions this situation might go, what prop was about to appear on our screen?
When the video feed switched back to the field, the answer did not disappoint.
A trident. Bassitt brought a damn full-sized trident to his interview. Nailed it.
Other than a quick Aquaman reference at the start, Braden somehow made it nearly two minutes into the interview before asking the only question anybody cared about at that moment. You will not be surprised to learn that it involves fellow goofball Sean Manaea.
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if we didn’t address the elephant in the room. Can you talk to me about the trident in your right hand please?”
Bassitt’s explanation began with the A’s 13-game winning streak in April, during which time the slogan Ride The Wave began and quickly became a rallying mantra for the team. He and Manaea bought the ancient fishing spear as a nautical-themed inside joke, despite it being “about 40 pounds and ... not cheap,” and they decided tonight was the time to bring it out to show the world.
How not cheap is a full-scale golden trident fit for Poseidon himself, or at least fit for Brick Tamland? Our old friend Torrey Hart (now working with NBC on the Tokyo Olympics!) did some research.
My only concern is whether this counts as cultural appropriation from the Seattle Mariners. After all, they’re named after sailors, and in the 1970s their hat logo actually included a golden trident. But if they want that symbol back then they can just come into the Coliseum and take it. (Wait the Mariners did what earlier this week? Oh dear.)
Sometimes the A’s are good at baseball, and sometimes they’re not. But they’re never boring. And now they have a massive golden trident. Ride the wave, Athletics Nation.