The 2021 Oakland A’s have been a lot of fun to watch so far.
They’re 43-27, their best start to a season since 1990, putting them in first place in their division. The lineup hits a bunch of dingers, and lately they’ve also learned to string together old-fashioned rallies. They play highlight defense every night, and their pitching staff has shut out the opponent seven times already.
But the entertainment doesn’t end once they leave the field. The A’s keep it rolling everywhere, from post-game interviews, to the clubhouse, and beyond.
For example, allow us to introduce Tony Kemp. Eventually.
The A’s also have the most polite player in the majors, Jesús Luzardo.
Sometimes you don’t even have to say anything special, just show up wearing a SpongeBob SquarePants shirt like Chris Bassitt did. That’s the kind of down-to-earth relatability that has given this club an extra charm over the years.
Just when you think you couldn’t possibly like Chris Bassitt any more pic.twitter.com/YtFVYbKEDG— Ben Ross (@BenRossTweets) May 6, 2021
Of course, the above isn’t the most memorable Bassitt moment of the year. That distinction belongs to the time he threw a shutout and then showed up to his post-game interview holding a full-sized golden trident.
Bassitt explained the origin of the team’s new trophy, inspired by their Ride The Wave slogan.
The ancient fishing spear was purchased by Sean Manaea for $400, which is precisely on-brand for the perpetually joyful and goofy southpaw. However, when Manaea threw his own shutout this month, it happened on the road and the trident hadn’t traveled on the trip. The A’s worked out a solution.
Manaea started cracking up when someone handed him the paper trident pic.twitter.com/ZgOnQDy5is— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) June 3, 2021
All of this is before even mentioning that Elvis Andrus is in Oakland now. He’s on fire at the plate lately but he’s still searching for his first homer, and he has no problem enjoying a laugh at himself.
lol Elvis jokes he needs to hit the weights after barely missing out on his first dinger of the year ️♂️ pic.twitter.com/p9HBOQ9vuJ— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) June 16, 2021
The life of a starting pitcher includes a lot of waiting, as you only play once every five days, but this rotation has Thumb Game to keep them focused.
Baseball players doing baseball player things. pic.twitter.com/rE79quE59m— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) May 9, 2021
But wait! There’s more to this team than just the players. The A’s also have top-notch broadcasting crews, on both radio and TV. The television duo of Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper has been good for years, but the recent addition of Dallas Braden alongside them has elevated the commentary to another level.
Braden brings all kinds of knowledge and enthusiasm and humor, and Fosse and Kuiper have incorporated him in and played off him brilliantly. Everybody in the TV booth is having a career year.
Glen Kuiper:— Alex Hall (@AlexHallAN) April 18, 2021
"Let's see, I've got Baddoo, hmm, 0-for-8 with 7 STRIIIiiiIIIKEouts"
"It's all in the diet. If you eat lots of pizza you'll live a long time."
"Last time I was in Stockton, I went in a restaurant, mentioned Dallas Braden's name and they charged me double."
The 2021 A’s are doing great on the field and in the standings, but the fun doesn’t stop there with this crew. Before the game you can see Reba the Head Groundsdog playing in the grass. During the action they have commentators you actually want to listen to on two different mediums, or if you’re at the stadium, then even the hot dog vendor is funny. And make sure to keep watching after it’s over because even the post-game interviews are often worth watching instead of being the typical cliches.