Eating My Words: It Tastes Like Victory!

I must bite my tongue. Hard. I must offer all apologies to the Oakland A’s and Bryce Harper. Separately, of course. Or is it too late to apologize?

Either way, it takes a real man to admit he was wrong. And I think I qualify. *Looks down.* Yup. Let’s go:

A long time ago, I made a couple of not-so-bold proclamations. First, I told the world via podcast that the A’s would lose 100 games. As of today, they sit just a game out of the second Wild Card position, three games over .500.

Luckily, I’m a fair weather A’s fan so the sting is taken out of this admission. But…*shudder*…I was so, so incorrect.

Don’t get me wrong; the Green and Gold are not a 2012 playoff team. But they are certainly going to play spoiler down the stretch. The young pitching has been incredible (cheers to Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin especially – if you’re even old enough to drink).

And the offense has really surprised me. After a decade of Billy Beane trading away top talent for high-potential minor league players and then flipping those players for other prospects of similar rank, we may finally be settled with a lineup he likes.

It became a revolving door in Oakland for a while, but it seems like Beane really struck gold by trading away Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill last season. From the Diamondbacks, the A’s received Parker, outfielder Collin Cowgill, and new All-Star closer Ryan Cook.

And Milone, catcher Derek Norris and two high-level pitching prospects came from the Nationals for Gonzalez. The A’s splurged to get Yoenis Cespedes from Cuba, then went out and snagged power hitters Seth Smith, Jonny Gomes and Josh Reddick through free agency and trades.

Just like that, the formerly punchless A’s had four batters capable of hitting 25 home runs. Add in long-time top prospect Chris Carter (who Beane would not trade away over the years) being recalled from Triple-A and absolutely mashing in his third big league stint, and you have the makings of a pretty solid lineup.

If Jemile Weeks, Coco Crisp and Norris can hit for decent numbers, the A’s actually might contend for a Wild Card spot. It seems that Beane has finally put together a team that could make a deep run into the playoffs again.

So I hereby formally apologize to the Oakland A’s. I know you’re all reading this, so please accept my sincerest mea culpa.

Now to part II of my apology extravaganza. Bryce Harper…I’m sorry. You really are a (very young) man among boys. And I’ve been impressed with your savvy, respectful presence thus far.

Forget the fact that you ripped your own helmet off rounding first base like a 10-year-old at recess. Or that you said your number “isn’t 34 – it’s 3+4=7 like Mickey Mantle.” Or even that you smashed a bat against a wall and injured yourself. 

Because all I was expecting out of your personality was prima donna whiny bull shit. Instead, we’ve gotten an immensely talented player on both sides of the ball who has handled nearly every road block with class. You made Ozzie Guillen look like an absolute fool last night for cussing at you, and you just stood there and took it with a smile.

Harper has continued to prove me wrong this season – not on the field, because I was sure he’d tear it up. But off the field. For example, when asked about which National League candidate he’d vote for in the Final Vote (he was up against Chipper Jones and three others), he told the reporter, “definitely Chipper. He’s a Hall of Famer.”

That poor journalist’s smear campaign story on Harper was probably ruined. Poor guy. And Harper even showed up all other rich athletes by adding a useful, awesome trunk accessory to his car, instead of a TV/xBox/turntable/nightclub-in-a-box get up.

So, Bryce. Keep mashing. Keep proving me wrong. Keep being a class act who is being way too good for his age at life in general. And if you could maybe give me the contact information of whoever installed the bat rack in your trunk? Thanks, buddy.

We are buddies now…right?

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One Response to “Eating My Words: It Tastes Like Victory!”

  1. mamadwc Says:

    Great blog! Smart, humble and entertaining!

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