A View from Section 139

Posts tagged ‘St. Louis’

How I came Face-to-Face with Oakland A’s Pitcher Ben Sheets

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Oakland A’s pitcher, Ben Sheets has been the target of harsh criticism in more than a few of my earlier posts. No other player on the Oakland 2010 roster has infuriated me so much.

Then on a cool and rainy Sunday night in Chicago, I came face-to-face with Oakland A’s Pitcher, Ben Sheets!

I was at the end of a very long and tiring day. What started out as a fun day at AT&T Park in San Francisco ended with the sting of a 3-game sweep at hands of the cross town rivals. It was now long past midnight and there I was waiting impatiently in baggage claim in Chicago’s O’Hare’. The airport had the emptiness of the Oakland Coliseum…  during a mid-week series with the Kansas City Royals. (more…)


Can’t Say I miss Matt Holliday in Oakland

More than a week has passed since Matt Holliday went to the Cardinals. I wasn’t disappointed to see him go. He is not a particularly good outfielder. Watching him from the left field bleachers at the Coliseum, he always seemed he wasn’t hustling enough. He drove me crazy. In his brief stint with the A’s he did nothing for the first three months. How many times he came to the plate with men on base and failed to get the runner in.

The only thing I am still upset about is the players he was traded for. Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and Greg Smith. Granted Greg Smith isn’t even on the major league roster, but he had a great pick-off move. Street has 29 saves and counting and seems to have found a home. While Carlos is the fourth outfielder, he has a fantastic arm and needs time to develop. I still hate that trade.

Matt Holliday goes to the Cardinals and he is suddenly red-hot. In 93 games with the A’s he got his average up to .286. Of course only in the last 4 weeks. In 11 games with the Cards he is at .488. For sure he’s not going to maintain that pace. As for making the Cards making the playoffs, I’m not sure. I don’t want to bet on it, but I think the Cubs might edge them out. The NL Wild Card team will probably come for the NL West with the Giants and Rockies looking to surpass the Dodgers.

I wish Matt Holliday good luck with his new team. But I wished he had a better showing in Oakland. I can’t speak for the fans, but I can’t say I miss Matt Holliday in Oakland.

How about you?

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2009 All Star Game – It does matter

I don’t know how you feel about the Baseball All-Star game. But I was very excited on Tuesday. I could not wait to get home to see first pitch.

• The pre-game festivities.
• The All Stars Among Us Tribute by all living Presidents.
• The AL and NL line up
• Stan Musial – King of St. Louis …until Albert J. Pujols came to town.

And of course POTUS, Barack Obama. The Prez took the time to greet each player in the clubhouse. I mean, what a thrill. I don’t think any player was more excited than Ichiro Suzuki was. Did you catch his reaction when POTUS autographed that ball? WOW.

I must admit, I was “pumped” to watch Tim Lincecum. OK, so he plays for the Giants, but he is a fantastic pitcher. He threw two complete games against the A’s in consecutive starts. Give credit, where credit is due!

I think too much adrenaline was rushing through that 5’11” frame; he just could not display his stuff. Too many pitches in that first inning. Giving up two runs. It happens. Dan Haren suffered a similar fate in his All-Star start. It’s baseball.

Can you imagine how Albert Pujols feels? No player in the game wanted to win more. The host of the All-Star festivities. The Face of St. Louis. And what happens? Error in the first. It was bad enough he “flamed out in the Home Run Derby Monday night. But the pressure of wanting to make that OUT.

Its baseball. That’s why we love the game.

So in 2009, the AL dominance continues.

The All-Star game does matter. The NL, vying to remove the stigma of not winning since 1996. Home field advantage to the winning league. It did matter.

Players were diving to catch balls. Bringing back homerun balls. Diving into third by legging out a triple. Come on, the game does matter. Why would Charlie Manuel walk Victor Martinez to get to Adam Jones?
Because winning the game did matter.

You can criticize Commissioner Selig and his insistence on making the game matter. But, guess what? Players now take the game seriously. They want to win. They understand playing hard and winning determine who gets to start the World Series at home. Moreover, they get paid extra for being named an All-Star.

So. Andrew Bailey, the A’s lone representative did not get in the game. That didn’t matter. I was still proud to see the Green and Gold in the dugout. Just imagine, AB getting a chance to be the teammate of the likes of Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Roy Halliday. Must have been a thrill.

It was a good game. Probably the best All-Star game I have seen. It was enjoyable to watch. I still find it hard to believe I sat and listened to Joe Buck and Time McCarver the entire game!

The 2009 All-Star game was good game. One that mattered. It mattered to the NL.

Just ask Orlando Hudson.

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