Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
Tuesday was a pretty slow (and bad) news day for A’s baseball, so I’m going to make you a banana:
OK, you’re a banana!
If you’re a fellow Gen-X-er that grew up on Schoolhouse Rock, you know what I’m talking about.
Bad jokes aside, yesterday I stumbled upon this fantastic profile by Margaret Fuhrer at The New York Times of a collegiate summer league baseball team from Georgia, the Savannah Bananas. The team was founded with theatrics in mind from the start, adding a heavy dose of frivolity and showmanship to competitive team sports.
The Bananas do play some “serious” baseball. In fact, they won the 2021 Coastal Plain League championship. But they also play in staged exhibition “Banana Ball” games that feature the team’s calling card, lively dance routines, as well as other shenanigans (bananagans?) like wearing stilts and crowd surfing to the plate. The team has a supporting cast of 120 entertainers that includes a “dad bod cheerleading squad.”
Your first base coach could never. pic.twitter.com/dvrj0MFQhK— Savannah Bananas (@TheSavBananas) September 18, 2021
Bananas owner Jesse Cole founded the team in 2016, and his circus-like approach drew interest from spectators—many who aren’t fans of the traditional game—right off the bat. The Bananas have sold out every home game they’ve played at Savannah’s 4,000-seat Grayson Stadium.
A strong social media presence has helped the Bananas cultivate a nationwide fanbase. The team’s TikTok account, @thesavbananas, has 2.5 million followers. This summer, ESPN+ will air a series about how the team created “the greatest show in sports.”
The all new series, Bananaland. Coming to @ESPNPlus this summer pic.twitter.com/aQyl0ZAWuE— Savannah Bananas (@TheSavBananas) May 20, 2022
As a “serious” baseball fan, I’m firmly against putting Frankie Montas on stilts for his next start, but Major League Baseball and its players could stand to learn a bit more about showmanship from the Savannah Bananas.
Maybe they already are!
Starting a collection pic.twitter.com/nxqPgqhmdZ— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) June 1, 2022
Go check out the full article at The Times for a little bump in your hump day! It’s a pay site, but they allow non-subscribers to read ten monthly articles for free.
- Ashford: Game #52: A’s waste Montas’ performance, fall 3-1 to Houston
- Kawahara: Frankie Montas a hard-luck loser as A’s fall 3-1 to Astros ($)
- Kawahara: A’s Brent Honeywell Jr. set to throw for first time since elbow injury ($)
- Franco: Nationals Select Jordan Weems, Designate Austin Voth
MLB News & Interest:
- Fuhrer: ‘Baseball Players Don’t Dance’? The Savannah Bananas Beg to Differ. ($)
- Rosenthal: Phillies’ Joe Girardi is under scrutiny, but firing the manager doesn’t fix their problems ($)
- Buchanan: This Week in Minor League Baseball: Kerry Carpenter rakes, Kyle Harrison hits Double A ($)
- Franco: Dallas Keuchel Clears Waivers, Reaches Free Agency
- Polishuk: Twins Place Carlos Correa On Covid IL
- Rosecrans: Why Reds’ Tommy Pham says Mike Trout shares some responsibility for Joc Pederson slap ($)
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
BCDC public hearing tomorrow!
Join the Commission meeting this Thurs, June 2 at 9AM for a public hearing on BPA 2-19, the Oakland Athletics’ proposal to remove the port priority use designation from Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland. No vote will be held at this meeting. For info: https://t.co/isJYNYAX1a pic.twitter.com/STfLwwb1Ln— SFBay Conservation & Development Commission (BCDC) (@sfbcdc) May 31, 2022
Reasons to hope Cristian Pache’s offensive numbers will progress upward.
Here’s a look at Cristian Pache’s BA, SLG and WOBA vs his expected numbers. Quite the dramatic discrepancies. pic.twitter.com/u8jQYrXwAf— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) June 1, 2022
Soderstrom putting it together at the plate.
May a much better month for top prospect Tyler Soderstrom at Lansing, .274 8 hr 22 rbi and .920 OPS after a .159 April….remember he plays entire season at age 20— Vince Cotroneo (@vincebaseball) June 1, 2022
Baker on Ray.
Dusty Baker shares his thoughts on the late Ray Fosse pic.twitter.com/N1l1FyKzaO— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 1, 2022
Those are some lucky kids.
Bring your kid to work day. Elvis Andrus and Jed Lowrie are joined by their sons for pregame workouts. pic.twitter.com/1h4uewmTKI— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) May 31, 2022
A’s backing science.
Our Nonprofit Partner of the Game is Community Resources for Science!@crscience empowers teachers and STEM professionals in marginalized communities to activate students’ curiosity, foster critical thinking, & inspire children to imagine future careers: https://t.co/Pi0CK5PGhI pic.twitter.com/HvIrMwIm1m— Oakland A's (@Athletics) June 1, 2022