Sunday, December 29, 2013

Countdown to Baseball Season 2014: Let's Go Oakland!

For the Oakland Athletics:

Spring Training: Feb. 14, 2014
(other clubs report Feb. 12 and some later)




Regular Season: March 31, 2014
(Earliest Home Opener in Oakland History)




Let's Win Our 3rd Straight Division Title!
(and beyond!)

Go A's in 2014!



**Today marks the midpoint between the last out of the World Series and the first game of Spring Training! (via@danielday)**

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bartolo Colon's 2013 Cy Young Snub Will Benefit The Mets In 2014: Here's Why

Updated, Edited & now on Sports Unbiased ~ #TeamBartolo

I’ve been reading articles by others regarding the Mets and their two-year $20 million signing of veteran pitcher, Bartolo Colon.  All the reviews have been positive to a point but, in my mind, not positive enough. Colon is the 2005 CY Young Award winner and, just this past season, was the Oakland Athletics’ Ace. His critics don’t appear to fully understand how good Colon was last season. The Mets have signed a veteran pitcher who should have won the 2013 American League CY Young, not finished sixth. After all, Colon finished the season with the second most wins and the second best ERA in the AL.




Read the rest on Sports Unbiased ... your site for all Sports News, Polls and Predictions!

New to Tumblr - Oakland A's Socks Girl

Also: the Winter Solstice, Idol Features: Christmas Compilation and The Joys of Cleaning Out My Closet! 


So I took a leap and added yet another page to my many based on my "alter ego" which as you all know is Oakland A's Socks Girl! I really didn't want another page but I wanted to find out what all the Tumblr business was about!

At first I thought it would be just a place to post pictures like Yahoo's Flikr. But Tumblr seems to be so much more than that. It is a more like a combination of FacebookTwitter and Google+. Which while seems like a good idea and I do like it ... I think that trying to combine a FB/Twitter style feed with a blog and photo stream is a bit of an over load. It's cool though! No harm in testing the waters, right? I did find a lot of cool stuff on Tumblr about the Winter Solstice today which was a pleasant surprise! I shared a lot of them on my other pages. Being that I am an Atheist who believes in Science, Equality (for all people and animals) and of course the great Flying Spaghetti Monster, my winter celebration is the Winter Solstice, however going there right now would take this blog in a completely different direction and while I LOVE talking about peoples' different beliefs, organized religion, holidays etc .... I guess I will write a blog on it later but not at the moment..... So far my impression of Tumblr is that its main appeal is that you can find pics, quotes, articles, blogs etc all in one place. Personally I really do find it overwhelming but I would recommend checking it out!

So, anyway, I was in the middle of cleaning out my closet which was HELLA needed ... ended up making a bigger mess than was there before so I took a break for dinner, now here I am at 12:27am and I am on the computer and not cleaning up my mess! LOL! The good news is that I found a lot of clothes that I can give away as well as quite a few hardly worn ones from places like Ann Taylor, Nordstrom and The Limited that I can possibly get some money for .... Here I go again ... Off topic - but I am gonna put some of the clothes on Craigslist - so if you are a size 0-4, I may even have a size 6 mixed in - check out my ad! (will post a link to it when I am finally finished with the sorting and organizing stage! LOL) I have everything from jeans to dresses, jackets and shirts!  ....  I also found my "holiday outfit" that will be featured on +Chris CharlesIdol Features: Christmas Compilation. I did an interview for Chris in July, just click on my name to read the interview! 



Happy Winter Solstice! Enjoy The Holidays!
Love,
Oakland A's Socks Girl

PS. Feel free to follow me on Tumblr or of course any of my pages! Links are to the right! Thanks! Seasons Greetings!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Introducing DubStep Cat!



Hey fellow cat lovers! Yes, I know my blog is about baseball but here I am with another cat video! Am I becoming one of those cat people (yes I do LOVE cats and own 3!) who watches cat videos and looks for cute cat meme's??!! Eh, I probably am! LOL! But this cats is so darn cute! My cat Harry used to let me make his dance - my favorites and most often - Michael Jackson's Thriller and NSYNC's Bye, Bye, Bye .... but it wasn't anything like this cat ... introducing "DubStep Cat"!! LMAO! I'm such a dork but how great are cats, rights? :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The MLB, NPB Come To New Posting System Agreement

I never knew the details of the posting system until recently. I just understood that it was an agreement between Major League Baseball (MLB) and Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league having to do with players coming to the United States from the NPB. Simplistically,  it is a system for Japanese teams that want to make their players available to MLB teams.
Masahiro Tanaka might be the new agreement's first International free agent! Image courtesy of Getty Images

 To read the remainder of my article on MLB/NPB's "posting system" check out Sports Unbiased the place for all sports news, polls and predictions!! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bye, Bye Balfour Rage ....



We all knew it was coming. We all dreaded the thought but today it became official. Former Oakland Athletics' closer Grant Balfour is now a Baltimore Oriole. We took their closer, Jim Johnson, for infielder Jemile Weeks (yeah, big loss there ... *hopefully obvious sarcasm*) and catcher David Frietas. That's a pretty good deal in my opinion! Just a quick switcharoo!

But the question begs, why Johnson and not Balfour?
Johnson is set to make $11 million in 2014. Balfour signed with the Orioles for 2 years and $15 million. The A's could have afforded to keep Balfour. Rumor has it though the All-Star closer wanted a three year deal when in talks with Oakland. Being that Balfour is 35, that is a large contract to ask for and it's not likely that the A's were offering any more than a year. Even after coming off a career and All Star caliber year in which he surpassed Hall of Famer, Dennis Eckersley to become Oakland's consecutive save leader with 44 straight, it's not the Athletics' usual method of operation to offer guarentees. That is why they lost out to the San Francisco Giants in their attempt to acquire starting pitcher, Tim Hudson, they offered two years and $23 million just like the Giants but the Athletics' organization likes options and refused to grant Hudson the no trade clause that he wanted.

Johnson on the other hand is 30, coming off back to back 50 save seasons and is going to be a free agent in 2015. This gives the Athletics youth and flexibility. It's certainly no secret that the Athletics are all about flexibility. Just look at the bench and bullpen depth and Manager Bob Melvin's style of changing things up. It appears to be a good fit and the right choice for Oakland,

However the fan's adoration of Balfour could have been a reason to keep him. Absolutely a fan favorite Balfour inspired, fan Will MacNeil, of the infamous Oakland Right Field Bleacher Crew to create the "Balfour Rage"

The Rage truly took on a life of it's own when Balfour entered the game. It began in the bleachers and became contagious to the crowd. Fans began to follow MacNeil's lead, wearing gigantic "Hulk Fists" and thrashing and swinging their arms in the air! The bleachers alone turned into a mosh pit. 


The stadium would go dark the music would start, a video of Balfour, who was recently named "The Biggest Potty Mouth" in baseball by ESPN because of his crazy swearing fits on the mound, played on the screen. San Francisco Chronicle's beat writer and President of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA), Susan Slusser, tweeted Balfour's response:



@SusanSlusser on Twitter : I asked Grant Balfour how he feels about being named "The Biggest Potty Mouth" in baseball and he said, "I don't give a (bleep)."
 Everyone was metal for that moment where he confidently strolled to the mound with Metallica's "One" blasting across the O.Co Coliseum. All the fans raising and pumping their "Hulk Fists" like crazy kids at a rock concert, truly was a virtual mosh pit! I personally got to participate in the front row of the right field bleachers courtesy of Mr. MacNeil! It was exhilarating to say the least. To be honest it was pretty A-mAzing!! Wow! 

We also got our head banging on for set up man Sean Doolittle who's walk up song, "For whom the Bell Tolls," is also by Metallica. So I think that the fans need to take solace that while Blevins and Balfour are gone we can still rock our heads around for Doolittle. Known as "Doo" to most fans, he also inspired the phenomenon of "Doolittling" (see the pic below). 

"Doolitting" in my condo watching the ALDS!

So to all the A's fans out there ... well we are gonna have to figure out what to do with the Foo Fighter's "The Pretender" and welcome Johnson with open arms. There is always something special about a closer to find be it their potty mouth or walk up song, it's always something special. 


"The Sandman," icon Mariano Rivera will always be thought of when Metallica's "Enter Sandman" is played (even on his final day to play baseball the trending Twitter hashtag was #ExitSandman). 


Balfour and his Aussie Swear Jar should be a big hit in Baltimore. I hope Johnson has the personality to be an Oakland Athletic. As fans we look for that and embrace it. Until we get to know Johnson's personality, I am hoping that Doolitting and head banging as usual to Metallica will hold us over. But you never know.



Jim Johnson might just be able to capture our hearts they way guys like The Eck (Dennis Eckersley), Izzy (Jason Isringhausen), Grant Balfour and other closers of the past have.

Welcome to the "Pit" as our favorite baseball commissioner, Bud Selig called it or as fans like to think of it sometimes as the "Mosh Pit" .... Jim Johnson. Welcome to Oaktown. Now about getting a Metallica song for you ..... all good things happen in time and there are approximately 56 days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training ... you'll learn in time Jim and as of now we welcome you and say "Bye Bye Balfour Rage"! (very sadly apparently, as the lamentation continues on Twitter and Facebook) 


As A's fans are used to change, we and as much as I will miss Mr. Balfour, our Awesome Aussie, I'm keeping my head up that 2014 will be our year! Let's Go Oakland!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Why I am still Team Bartolo

Why the Mets should feel lucky to have him and why the I think he should have gotten more credit for his performance in 2013!

I've been reading articles by others regarding the Mets and their two year $20 million signing of veteran pitcher, 2005 CY Young Award winner and most recently former Oakland Athletic, Bartolo Colon. All the reviews have been positive to a point but in my mind not positive enough. They don't understand how good Colon was last season and what they are getting is a veteran who should have won the 2013 American League CY Young (yes, even over Max Scherzer!). But he finished 6th in the CY Young Voting not exactly where you would expect to find the guy who finished the season with the second most wins and the second best ERA in the AL.



Granted we know the REAL reason the Colon didn't even get a single first place vote, the positive testosterone test of 2012. These things are not easily forgiven especially by the members of the Baseball Writers Association of American (BWAA). Yet, Colon, stood up immediately and took responsibility for his actions. Then later took his punishment in a stand up and honest fashion, unlike many who are either fighting their suspensions or denying that they are guilty of any wrong doing. Colon issued a statement in 2012 saying,
"I apologize to the fans, to my teammates and to the Oakland A's," Colon said in a statement released by the players' association. "I accept responsibility for my actions and I will serve my suspension as required by the joint drug program."
Colon's reaction to, well, getting caught and the A's reaction by re-signing the then almost 40 year old for the 2013 season gave me reason to believe there was a little more there to Colon, a reason to keep him around. The A's took a one year $2 million gamble on a guy I think they knew from personality and attitude alone would be an asset to the club and an asset he was!

 Personally I was skeptical of Colon at first he let down the entire club and the fans but after developing a fondness for his happy personality I decided to give the guy a chance. This all was difficult since I wasn't his biggest fan in 2012. Too many seasons with the Angels had left a bitter taste in my mouth. Yet from then on I was all about being #TeamBartolo and took on a "show me a positive test from 2013 and until you do I will support him 100% " attitude. Of course there were no positive tests for Colon last season who went on to have one of the best in his career finishing 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA in 2013. He succeeded in establishing himself as the team's Ace, again helping to lead Oakland to a second straight American League Western Division Title. He's a happy guy all around, always smiling and wishing he could pitch everyday! . He also believes, and I agree, that he may just have a few more years of baseball in him.

Apparently the Mets concurred with this assesment signing the free agent to a two year $20 million deal. The reviews of this trade have been positive but not all have believed in the idea that Colon will be the Mets' Ace in 2014 even with starter Matt Harvey out for the season having a torn UCL in his elbow. If Colon pitches like he did in both seasons with the A's it is certainly possible that he could be the Mets new Ace. They are lucky to have him!

Back to my original thought when I began this post. It is that Colon finishing 6th in the CY Young voting is just not right in my mind. He had MANY more wins that Sanchez who finished first in ERA and while he had fewer wins than Max Scherzer who obviously was the AL wins leader! I think that those two second place finishes should trump Sanchez's fifth place finish in wins and Scherzers third place finish in ERA. Just my opinion of course but to not even get any first place votes just makes me cringe - he was clean this season, he took his punishment and didn't weasel his way out of it the way Milwaukee Brewers 2012 NL MVP Ryan Braun did. Colon made a mistake, apologized and payed for it. Give the guy a break. He pitched brilliantly in 2013 without the use of performance enhancing drugs. Given the chance he could have easily won as many games as Scherzer having missed a start due to his suspension and two or three starts during a brief stint on the disabled list in late July. Not to mention that he out pitched Scherzer when they faced off in the final game of a four game series against Detroit, he got a no decision in that game when closer Grant Balfour blew his second save of the season, giving up a walk off homer to Torii Hunter, taking the loss.

I'm not saying that the taking of PEDs is ever ok. It is not of course and there are many athletes over the years I wish were not tainted with the stigma. But Colon is not a Barry Bonds or a Mark McGwire (although I do LOVE McGwire!) he took responsibility and is a good influence for the most part to the teams he plays for. At least he was one in Oakland! The fans grew to love the big guy and he was good to the fans and the club in 2013. So he made a mistake and that leads to him finishing sixth in the voting? Just seems harsh. Of course what I think is of no real matter, but I've been wanting to write this blog for a long time! Since before the end of the season I've had all this just sitting there in my head ... finally I found a moment here to talk about it! 


Finally, I will ALWAYS be #TeamBartolo, unless of course you show me a current positive test, but I just don't see that happening in this case. I wish him all the best in New York and I look forward to hopefully seeing him pitch and pitch well in Oakland .... I mean the Athletics' can't possibly win EVERY single game in 2014? .... He's a guy I would take one loss from. (However if it were really possible for a Major League Baseball team to go undefeated I'd have to have the Athletics shut him down! LOL!) #Team Bartolo! 

Find a Revised Version of this post on Sports Unbiased - your site to all Sports News, Polls and Predictions!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Video: Diary of a Sad Cat - Hysterical!!



This was so funny I had to post it here so I'd be able to watch it whenever I feel like it ... it IS exactly what goes on inside a cat's head. Although I think if the cat was a little more on the evil side it and it had more diary entries it would eventually plot the murder of "the authorities." The cat would have to be slightly evil to begin with though because I am sure Harry would never plot my murder or Hermione either! But Littles, on the other hand ... that cat has been and still is plotting my death since I brought her home ... like seriously! LMAO! This is too good tho so ENJOY!

I don't always take the time to watch every video I'm sent online but this one hella nails it! If you aren't a cat person you will still laugh and if you love cats then it's even better ... Have a lovely Saturday everyone! :-D

(Here's the link to the video ... just because ...)

Billy Beane Trading Machine ....

MLB's Winter Meetings, The A's and the End of The Hot Stove Season

Major League Baseball's Annual Winter Meetings are held for four days every December. This years' meetings were held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida beginning on Monday December 9th and concluding with the Rule Five Draft on Thursday December 12th. The last day of the meetings is usually considered the end of what is called MLB's "Hot Stove Season."  Transactions between teams can be and are still often made after this extravaganza that is attended by general managers and representatives from all 30 MLB organizations, more than 160 minor league teams, international players and of course the media.
In the week before the meetings Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics were on the move completing six transactions in nine days. Beginning with the signing of free agent and starting pitcher Scott Kazmir and continuing with five trades that brought the likes of closer Jim Johnson from the Baltimore Orioles, OF Craig Gentry from the Texas Rangers and RHP Luke Gregerson from the San Diego Padres to the Oakland Athletics. Through those trades the A's did not send any big names to their opposition instead trading away some of their top minor league prospects like OF Michael Choice, catcher David Frietas and second baseman Jemile Weeks.
With all that activity leading up to the winter meetings it seemed that the Athletics might have a nice quiet four days ahead of them as has been their method of operation in recent years. Billy Beane, having just been voted MLB Executive of the Year by Baseball America for the second time (the first coming in 2002), is not known for enjoying the busy, chaotic, fast paced atmosphere of the winter meetings. Usually preferring to come late, leave early and keep as low a profile as possible for such a big name general manager. The 2013 winter meetings went a little differently for Beane who while still arriving late and leaving early managed to conduct two big trades in two days.
The first trade involved starting pitcher, southpaw Brett Anderson. The A's have quite a bit of depth to their starting rotation already with six guys competing for the coveted five spots. Anderson, 25, has been brilliant with the A's in the past and was even their opening day starter last season. Unfortunately the young pitcher has been sidelined much of his career with injuries ranging from requiring Tommy John Surgery to last season breaking a bone in his left foot while warming up for a game. He would be commanding $8 million from the A's this season. With an already packed pitching staff of mainly rookies on much lower salaries, Anderson seemed the most likely to go.
During the meetings talks about Anderson between the Athletics and the Colorado Rockies intensified quickly. Anderson was traded to Colorado along with cash considerations for left-hander Drew Pomeranz, 25 and Class A right-hander Chris Jensen, 23.
Lenny Ignelzi, Associated Press
Lenny Ignelzi, Associated Press
Pomeranz, also a big lefty similar to Anderson, went 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA with the Rockies last season though he spent more time in the minors with Class AAA Colorado Springs. He was a top prospect for the Indians, drafted in the fifth round in 2010 but has yet to take his strong potential and convert it to major league production. Still the A's believe he has time to come into that production as and the A's with the depth of their rotation have time to spare. Beane said,

"He's only 25 and a lot of people still think very highly of his abilities, and we felt it was a good time to acquire him. Guys like this aren't that easy to acquire -- this young with this kind of upside."
Rumors of moving Anderson had been heard a lot since the end of the 2013 MLB season but suddenly in a surprise move Beane traded famed Twitter extraordinaire and fan favorite left handed reliever Jerry Blevins to the Washington Nationals for their Minor League Player of the Year, speedy out fielder Billy Burns.
Blevins would seemingly be a huge loss for the Athletics' being one of the few left handers in their bullpen, their longest tenured player and the team's player representative. Yet since the A's acquired Pomeranz who can be a bullpen option and fellow southpaw Fernando Abad from an earlier trade with the Nationals their bullpen should still be one of the best in baseball. When asked about the trade Blevins, who made his MLB debut with the A's in 2007,  took the news in stride saying,
"I'm kind of sad to say goodbye to Oakland but It's exciting to try National League baseball. Still the Oakland organization will always have a piece of my heart. It's bittersweet."
He even posted a photo on his Twitter account of him making what he called a "seamless transition" to the Nationals.
@JerryBlevins_13 on Twitter
@JerryBlevins_13 on Twitter
The picture was of him in a homemade Nationals uniform, a gray shirt and red had with the Nationals' logo pinned on. His close friend, fellow reliever and well know Twitter comedian, Sean Doolittle talked seriously of Blevins saying,
"You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who had more of an impact on my career than Jerry. Any questions, I went to him first. He was my throwing partner, the guy I learned how to prepare from, the guy I'd go over scouting reports with. We drove to the field together. There was definitely a bond there. ... For all intents and purposes, Jerry was like the dad in the bullpen, the leader."
Besides the loss of a fan and player favorite in Blevins the A's came out of the winter meetings stronger than when they went in. With most of the work apparently done in the nine days leading up to the meetings no one expected Beane to make two more trades and to do so in such quick fashion. Beane told reporters that the trades were made to strengthen the Athletics' farm system after having traded away a few of their highly touted top prospects like Michael Choice.
The A's are known for their stellar farm system and Beane apparently wanted it to stay that way. Burns should start the season at AAA Sacramento and could be a likely replacement for CF Coco Crisp after the 2014 season.Though the A's did not participate in the Major League phase of the Rule Five Draft, they did pick up RHP Tim Atherton from Minnesota in the Triple A Phase to help bolster their farm system,
There was talk from both fans and critics that Beane should have gone after a big bat that would help the A's get past the American League Division Series woes that have plagued them for over the last decade. But many forget that RF Josh Reddick played with an injured wrist most of last season. If he were to return to his 2012 form the A's should be just fine. In 2012 the Gold Glove winner finished the season with 32 home runs and 85 RBI.
Overall the Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics have come out of the last two weeks looking more than ready to win their third straight American League Western Division title in 2014.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What is the Rule 5 Draft?

A lot of even the most die hard baseball fans haven't even heard of the Rule Five draft or if they have they don't know a lot about it or the impact it can possibly have on their favorite team. Honestly, I learned a lot about it last season because of one ballplayer who did make a difference on the A's,  a tall guy named Nate Freiman.

But let's first look at what the Rule 5 Draft is and how it works. As stated by MLB.com a team can select any player who is not already on a 40 man roster who has played at least four years of professional baseball since signing at age 19 or who has played at least five years of professional baseball since signing at the age of 18. 

There are three phases of the draft Double-A, Triple-A and Major League. If a player is selected from the minors then the money does not exchange hands between the player's existing organization and their new one. This changes however in the Major league phase of the Rule Five draft.  A team must pay $50,000 to the team they choose a player from.  The selected player must be kept on their new team's 25-man roster for the entire season. The player may not be not be optioned or designated for assignment. 


If a selecting team feels the need they have the option to waive Rule Five player and if the player clears waivers but does not sign with another MLB team he must be optioned back to his original team for $25,000.


A Rule Five player must be active for 90 days which stops teams from placing a Rule Five draftee on the disabled list for the majority of the season. Even if the draftee is placed the DL for a number of days the remainder of the 90 days carries over to the next season. Once a Rule Five player has spent a full 90 days on a MLB team their status reverts to normal and they may be optioned or designated for assignment. 


Yes, this all sounds clinical and confusing at first. Now let's look at Nate Freiman. Freiman who was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2009, spent the first four years of his professional career making waves but was kept in the minors due to Padres regular first baseman Yonder Alonso. Now eligiable for the Rule Five draft he was selected in the second round by the Houston Astros but by March the Astros had to waive Freiman due to the signing of first basema/designated hitter Carlos Pena, the acquisition of 1B/DH Chris Cater from Oakland and their already everyday 1B Brett Wallace. There was just no room left for Freiman who cleared waivers and was picked up by the Oakland Athletics. 


At this point Freiman had not yet started to fulfill his 90 active days so the A's had to keep him on their roster those 90 days. Freiman stayed on the A's the entire year making some important contributions at first base and at the plate. On April 3, he had two hits in three at-bats in his major league debut and it seemed the A's had found the right handed hitting first baseman they had been looking for to complement their current staple at first base, left handed hitting Brandon Moss. Freiman was also named Rookie of the Month for the month of May after going 13-37 with a .351 batting average. 


The most notable moment of 2013 for Freiman and his real introduction to the rest of the major leagues was a walk off single against New York Yankees' iconic closer Mariano Rivera. Rivera, pitching in his final season and final game at Oakland's O.Co Coliseum, came in during the 18th inning of a marathon game to pitch to Freiman. Freiman hit a walk off single to left field scoring catcher John Jaso thus ending what was becoming (I can tell you because I was there) an almost unbearably hot July day that was beginning to turning into evening! Now Freiman has a job with the Athletics platooning regularly with Moss at first base. 


Find the rest of this article on Sports Unbiased your site for all Sports News, Polls and Predictions (and stuff written by yours truly! lol) ..... 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mark Mulder Staging a Comeback!!

Mark Mulder was once one of the elite pitchers in the game. He was drafted number two by the Oakland Athletics in 1998 and thus began his stellar career yet short career. As part of Oakland's "Big Three" along with Barry Zito and Tim Hudson, he helped lead the Athletics to four straight playoff appearances from 2000 to 2004. And in 2001 at the young age of 23 he finished second to Roger Clemens in the CY Young balloting, going 21-8 with a 3.45 ERA.
In 2004 the Athletics moved Mulder to the St. Louis Cardinals in a four player trade that brought pitcher Dan Haren to Oakland. 2005, Mulder's first year in St Louis was almost as good as his 2001 season. He finished the year 16-8 with a 3.64 ERA.  But then things slowly began to fall apart for the southpaw. He under went surgeries on his left shoulder in both 2006 and 2007. Unfortunately Mulder reportedly said that his throwing arm "never worked right" after the surgeries.
With his hopes of continuing in the majors seemingly dashed, Mulder officially retired from baseball in 2009. In 2011 he became an analyst at ESPN and spent his spare time traveling with his wife and three children. Then in October of this year, just a few months ago everything changed.
Mulder, now 36, was watching the MLB playoffs from the comfort of his home near Scottsdale, AZ when he saw something in the delivery of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, Paco Rodriguez. It was something he was able to imitate without irritating his throwing arm and shoulder that had been an issue throughout his entire career with both Oakland and St. Louis.
To read the remainder of my article go to Sports Unbiased, your site for all Sports News, Polls and Predictions! (& my articles! lol)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why I'll always be a La Russa fan!

(and why I don't care if he goes in to the HOF as an Athletic or a Cardinal)

La Russa and Two Others Voted into Major League Baseball's Hall Of Fame on Monday!

It was announced Monday, on the first day of Major League Baseball's winter meetings, that legendary baseball managers Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre were unanimously voted into MLB's Hall Of Fame. Who votes on this? No, not the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA) who as we know get the privilege of electing players to the Hall (The players elected by the BWAA will be announced on January 8, 2014). Managers are elected to the HOF by the 16 members of the Expansion Era Comittee and each of the were elected by a unanimous vote. 

Of course you should be able to guess who my favorite is  of the three, even though I do have mad respect for each of them.... come on it's the obvious choice of any A's fan - Tony La Russa. As the manager of the A's he led us to what is considered by many of my generation (three in a row in the 70's is obviously insanely HUGE) the most important World Series Title of all, 1989 where we defeated our arch rivals the lame ass gnats! Woohoo! Anyways, I digress because really that's all that matters to me! Well, not exactly because don't get me wrong I was as a young child happy to see my team succeed for many years, winning three American League Pennants under La Russa.  He was basically the inventor of the "closer" role that we know so well today. He took my personal fave baseball player of all time, starting pitcher and fellow Hall Of Famer Dennis Eckersley and turned him into a one inning shut down machine. **side note: I understand that yes, this is a true statement except for most notably game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Gibson, etc, etc. Yes! We all remember and still hate Kirk Gibson, however I personally (and I think ppl should follow suit) do NOT hate the Dodgers - they are the other mortal enemy of the gnats and they hate the Angels ... we have some things in common! Just saying** He is the only manager besides Sparky Anderson to have World Series Titles in both the AL and NL and has more managerial wins than any other manager save for Connie Mack and John McGraw. And he is one of few who have taken three different teams (A's, White Sox, Cardinals) to the postseason. The guy knows his stuff.

Recently there has been conversation on facebook, etc as to how much La Russa knew about the use of PED's during his tenure with well, mainly the A's but it applies to his other teams as well. Whether or not La Russa had knowledge of their usage during the time doesn't matter to me, he was an icon of my childhood who helped my team do what's most important and that's to win! It's the best gift a life long baseball fan can ask for especially at an impressionable age.

He also started the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) whose head quarters are in my home town of Walnut Creek, CA and where I used to volunteer! The people at ARF are amazing, its shelters are no-kill and there are greAt programs for children to learn about animal rights, raising their pets, etc. He has done a greAt deal for the East Bay Area and that I appreciate! It will always be my own .... So I don't really care if he chooses to go into the Hall Of Fame wearing a Cardinals hat instead of an A's hat. He DID win two of his three World Series in Saint Louis but I would also not be surprised to see him wearing an A's uniform at his induction because of his ties and work in the Bay Area along with his managerial career with the Athletics .... either way, I'll always be a La Russa fan!




*Joe Torre long time player and manager of the Yankees, Dodgers, Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers ranks 5th on the all time wins list and is one of only five managers to win the World Series at least four times.

*Bobby Cox managed the Braves for a total of 25 seasons (in two stints besides 4 years with the Blue Jays), won 3 NL Manager of the Year Awards and one AL Manager of the Year title and is ranks fourth on the all time wins list .... 

Monday, December 9, 2013

MLB Hot Stove: A's Busy In Week Leading Up To Winter Meetings

The Oakland Athletics were having a quiet Major League Baseball Hot Stove Season up until early last week. Last Monday they signed free-agent pitcher Scott Kazmir to a two year, $22 million deal thus ending their pursuit of veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon.
They also traded minor league infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named later, for the Orioles’ closer Jim Johnson who will replace free agent closer Grant Balfour. Balfour is in talks with a handful of teams, including the New York Yankees. After coming off a career year in 2013, Balfour will command more money than the Athletics would be willing to spend. Coming off an All Star year in 2012, Johnson, the American League saves leader, went 3-8 with a 2.95 ERA and 50 saves with Baltimore last season.
Finally it seemed like general manager Billy Beane and the A’s were making some big deals this off season, yet Oakland’s movement did not end with the signing of one key player and the trade for another; the organization made quite a few other changes and decisions as well.
The A’s decided to tender contracts to each of their nine arbitration eligible players: outfielders Josh Reddick and Seth Smith, infielders Brandon Moss and Jed Lowrie, relievers Jesse Chavez, Jerry Blevins, and Fernando Rodriguez, catcher John Jaso, and to the surprise of many, their longest tendered player, backup first baseman, Daric Barton. The A’s then turned around and traded Smith to the San Diego Padres for set up man, Luke Greggerson.
Image courtesy of Getty Images
Image courtesy of Getty Images
In keeping Barton the A’s kept with their strategy of recent years emphasizing a focus on team depth and player on base percentage. Barton will likely back up the A’s usual platoon duo Brandon Moss and Nate Freiman.







Read the rest of my article on Sports Unbiased, your website for all Sports News, Polls and Predictions! (and my articles! lol)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A's Sign Free Agent Lefty Scott Kazmir to 2 Year Deal

In a surprise move the Oakland Athletics signed free-agent LHP Scott Kazmir to a two year $22 million deal Monday.  This is a gutsy move for Oakland but it is the type of acquisition Billy Beane is almost expected to make. In Kazmir, Beane found a potential star player who's market value is low. Once a promising All -Star starting pitcher, Kazmir was released by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2011 seemingly ending his baseball career.
Kazmir had a promising career debuting in 2004 at the age of 20 with the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now Tampa Bay Rays), making the All Star team in 2006 and again in 2008. After a string of injuries and a drop in velocity he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in August 2009. After a decent showing for the Angels in 2009 and part of 2010 his production dropped and he was released in 2011. Not picked up by any other teams he was thus out of the major leagues at the young age of 27.
During 2012 Kazmir still clenched tightly and diligently to his major league dreams. He played independent ball that year and moved on to play in the Puerto Rican League that winter. In December 2012 he signed a minor-league deal with the Cleveland Indians, giving him an outside opportunity to make Cleveland's starting rotation.
Surprisingly, Kazmir made Cleveland's 2013 roster as their number five starter. Kazmir was 10-9 in 2013 with a 4.04 ERA, not stand out numbers but it did make him an intriguing free-agent this off season and one that the A's could afford. Not only that in 2010 Kazmir's velocity had dropped from the mid 90's to barely being able to hit the 90 mph mark. But with Cleveland in 2013 his velocity was back up to 95-96 mph, the same form as when he led the American League in strikeouts in 2007 with 239. At only 29, he is young but with two All-Star games under his belt he could be the, albeit young, veteran that they Athletics' have been seeking to lead their young rotation. The A's rotation consists now of Kazmir (29), Jarrod Parker (25), A.J. Griffin (25), Dan Straily (25) and Sonny Gray (24) with Tommy Milone (26) also in the mix for the fifth rotation spot
This of course changes a lot for the Athletics and the many predictions of what they were planning this off season. It was as recently as this week still rumored that Oakland was going to try and re-sign 40 year old Bartolo Colon who despite his age and being suspended 50 games for PED use in 2012 had two good years for the A's ending 2013 second in the American League in both wins(18) and ERA (2.65). Colon, however, was asking more than the Athletics were able to pay and it was looking as though they would lose out to other interested clubs like the Angels. The acquisition also answers the questions surrounding trading starting pitcher Brett Anderson to another team in need of good pitching who is also willing to gamble on a player with a long history of injuries. Hopefully for the Athletics that team in need will have a strong bat that they will be willing to part with.
Signing Kazmir seems like the perfect Billy Beane move. If Kazmir remains healthy and consistently reaches his optimum velocity the Athletics may just have found a young veteran and key southpaw starter to lead their young rookie rotation at a price that Oakland can afford.




Read the rest of my article on Sports Unbiased, your website for all Sports News, Polls and Predictions! (and my articles! lol)


Saturday, November 30, 2013

MLB Hot Stove: Oakland Athletics Update

The Major League Baseball Hot Stove season has been quiet for the Oakland Athletics, not to be unexpected for a small market team competing in a market where their free agent outfielder, Chris Young, who's numbers were dismal after his move to the American League last season, can command a one year $7.25 million dollar deal with the New York Mets. A signing like that is an indicator that player values on the market are very high this season.
Last season Chris Young was the highest paid player on the Athletics in 2013 making right around eight million dollars. To put this in comparison the highest paid player on the Yankess, Alex Rodriguez made $29 million last season. Having one of the lowest payrolls in the league the Athletics have little chance of signing what they need to make a run at what would be their third straight American League Western Division title: a little help in the bullpen, a veteran starting pitcher, and a big bat.
Read the rest of my article on Sports Unbiased, your website for all Sports News, Polls and Predictions! (and my articles! lol)



Friday, November 22, 2013

New Mini Video "blog" on my YouTube Channel!

Well I posted about 5 mini Snap Chat videos on my YouTube Channel involving everything from the Warriors to Rally Monkeys to Bud Light so if you feel like a little nonsense in your life check 'em out!
Rambling about miscellaneous stuff ... enjoy!! LOL! I'm such a nerd! :-)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In Unexpected Blockbuster Trade Tigers send Fielder to Rangers for Kinsler!

The Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers agreed on this year's first and unexpected big blockbuster deal that will send Tigers first baseman, Prince Fielder to the Rangers for the Rangers' second baseman, Ian Kinsler. It's unexpected because Fielder would only be entering the third year of his nine year contract with the Tigers and Kinsler, considered one of the leagues elite second baseman, was still signed to four more years with the Rangers.
This is a done deal pending physicals and the approval of at least Fielder, who has a limited no trade clause in his nine year $214 million dollar deal with the Tigers and maybe the commissioner, Bud Selig. Kinsler makes considerably less and it was first reported by Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan that the Rangers will also recieve $30 million dollars in cash to compensate the marked difference in salary.
Read the rest of my article on Sports Unbiased, your website for all Sports News, Polls and Predictions! (and my articles! lol)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Huddy to the gnats?! I think I'm gonna be sick ....

... SO I'M DONE THINKING THAT THE MAN I THOUGHT I KNEW WAS A CLASS ACT ....



I don't care that he is a nice person with a great family, Kim and the kids were always sweethearts too! I don't care that he was nice enough to take time out of batting practice (of course he wasn't starting that day but still) when I was 22 (and working for KICU producing the live game broadcasts) to teach me about the different pitching grips. That was a great moment (and I still and probably will never be able to even hold the ball to throw a splitter! My hands are far too tiny! lol) for me and I still appreciate it ...

But to go to the "dark side" for $23M is NOT classy. I dont care what people say! What any of you may say. I HATE the gnats (always have and always will) and any player who WILLINGLY goes to play for them! Had he gone to ANY other team, he would still have my respect and support but not this. Black cleats? PLEASE! And orange? The world's ugliest color? Ewww ... Whatever. It's all about the GREEN AND GOLD and our WHITE CLEATS.  I've written SOOOO many comments and tweets and status updates on this horrible development that I am just gonna stop here ...

If you want anymore of my thoughts on this matter you can check My Facebook or My Twitter Account (Follow me @OakAsSocksGrl)! Because I just have no more energy to talk about this .... I think I am gonna go puke now!! (as one friend wrote me "they need to hand out green & yellow puke bags for situations like this" ... LMAO!)

RESPECT OAKLAND BASEBALL!


A's Sign LAD's Infielder Punto

The Oakland Athletics recently signed Los Angeles Dodgers back up short stop Nick Punto to a one year deal for $2.27M with an option for 2015. Depending on Punto's production and days on the disabled list in 2014 the A's have a buyout option for 2015 of $250K.
Image courtesy of Ron Gallegos http://www.flickr.com/photos/epicmemoriesbyron/
What does this mean for current A's short stop Jed Lowrie? Of course A's Assistant GM David Forst denies that Punto's signing has anything to do with Lowrie but with the quick progression of top prospect and short stop Addison Russell, who put up good numbers at AA Stockton (29 doubles, 10 triples, 17 homers and 21 stolen bases) during the MiLB regular season as well as in the Arizona Fall League where he finished with a .307 batting average in 18 games to help the Mesa Solar Sox to first place in the East Division of the six-team made-for-prospects league.
Image courtesy of Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports

Russell could easily be ready for the big leagues by the end of Spring Training in March. If this is the case Punto is a perfect addition for the Athletics. He could pick up slack for the rookie who while prepared for the majors might not be ready for an everyday assignment.
Punto is a 36 year old veteran who played in 116 games for the Dodgers last season posting a .255 average while providing strong defense in the infield. Lifetime, over 13 MLB seasons, Punto's batting average is .248 and he is a proven asset at second base, short stop and third base. So where is Lowrie's role in this picture? So how can the club justify saying that a Lowrie trade is not in the stars?
Rumors are that the Cardinals are needing to fill a gaping whole at short stop and a number of players have been mentioned as potential suitors. Names like the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki, Rangers' Jurickson Profar, Red Sox's Stephen Drew and potentially Oakland's Lowrie are on the list. Lowrie, 29, hit .290 in 662 plate appearances last season for the A's. Until the signing of Punto, Lowrie was looked at to be the two year bridge for Russell to adjust to the major leagues. However, there are other places for the A's to play Punto. As a utility infielder he could play backup for third baseman Josh Donaldson but Donaldson rarely missed a game for the A's in 2013 and finished fourth in the Most Valuable Player voting. He could also platoon at second base but the A's already have the 1-2 combination of Eric Sogard, a huge fan favorite, and mid season acquisition from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Alberto Callaspo.  If the A's are serious about putting Punto in the shortstop role that leaves Lowrie the odd man and with his numbers excellent trade bait.

Read this article in its entirety on Sports Unbiased, your website for all Sports News, Polls and Predictions!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

THROX Presents Christopher Moore's F*ckSox & F*ckStockings For MS Research!

...THROX Creator Edwin Heaven and Author Christopher Moore Team Up Again For Charity! 


                                         


THROX are the "cure for the missing sock" ... they come in threes in case that one sock escapes you in the dryer or one randomly gets a hole (I have found that rotating the socks is the best way to prevent loss and the usual wear and tear socks get on a daily basis) ... I LOVE THROX!! Created by San Francisco's own Edwin Heaven, they come in all colors, patterns, sizes and my personal fave lengths! It's difficult to find good or even decent thigh high socks ANYWHERE! They elude me at socks stores all the time and if you know me you'd better believe I search long and hard for the perfect thigh highs! These socks have been the inspiration for me to start a line of socks that include thigh highs! Granted I'm not there yet, haven't gotten beyond some preliminary designs but there need to be more thigh high socks in this world .... I'm just sayin'! LOL!



Once again THROX is teaming up with the amazing author Mr. Christopher Moore to raise money for MS Research and Awarness! Everytime you buy a "pair" of Moore and Heaven's "F*cksox" or "F*ckstockings" you will be donating to help find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis! These make great gifts and are just great socks to wear! Be brave, be bold, be different, be fun AND help raise for MS by purchasing Chris Moore's "F*ckStockings" for you, your friends and your family! I definitely recommend them and I know my socks!! These are some serious Sock Swag!

Arizona Fall League Championship!

For those of you who don't know the Arizona Fall League is a show case of the of the most promising prospects from each Major League Baseball team. Each team is allowed to send seven of their best and brightest prospects to play in the AFL which is composed of six teams: the Mesa Solar Sox, the Glendale Desert Dogs, the Surprise Saguaros, the Scottsdale Scorpions, the Salt River Rafters and the Peoria Javelinas. Divided into Eastern (Mesa, Salt River and Scottsdale) and Western (Surprise, Glendale and Peoria) Divisions, the six teams, each made up of five MLB teams working collectively, play 30 games during the months of October and November culminating with the AFLChampionship Game. Today the league leading  Eastern Division Mesa Solar Sox (19-11) take on the Western Division Surprise Saguaros (18-12) for the AFL Title!




Here you see the Mesa Solar Sox including A's prospects Seth Frankoff, a right handed reliever and Oakland's number one prospect short stop Addison Russell, who is leading off in the game today! (Photo courtesy of Jessica Fyfe)


Read the rest of the article along with more information on the AFL is available on Sports Unbiased, your site for all latest sports news, polls and predictions! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

#SFBatKid

This story is AmAzing and it really doesn't involve the A's even though I must start out with an A's fan making a joke about the gnats! Not to make light of #SFBatKid .... that kid's wish coming true gave us all (I hope) a little bit more faith in humanity!!!! THAT I completely have faith in and believe from all that I have read on Twitter and FB and watched on TV and the Web! Truly it's the coolest, most heart warming story I've heard in a VERY long time so thank you to the The City of SF aka Gotham City to give us all something to root for as one!!! Now onto my joke ... yeah there were better ones out there but this was mine! LOL!

"Breaking News: Thanks to #SFBatKid many unassuming giants fans are suddenly made aware that their team's mascot is indeed a seal (not a panda or a giraffe)" .... 

The only sad part about my joke is that a lot of so-called gnats "fans" also known as "extreme bandwagon bitches" really didn't know that Lou Seal (officially named by my good friend, Edwin) was actually the gnats mascot! - Ya know they thought it was a panda or a giraffe (OMG! Those masks are just pathetic attempts to be even half as cool as us Oaktown fans are) ... but they are all just posers and I do know a handful of gnats fans who would certainly know who Lou Seal is and has been for a long time! So, yes, I believe there are real gnats fans but I find them to be few and far between .... 


Anyways, I'm off topic! Last night the bat signal called SF Bat Kid to come and save Lou Seal from the evil Penguin and a young boy fighting Leukemia did just that! It was one of the most kick ass events The City has ever seen/been a part of and the out pouring of support AROUND THE GLOBE was unbelievable! Thankfully the young boy's cancer is in remission and I wish him all the best and hope it remains that way! Thank you for saving our "Gotham City" SF Bat Kid! We owe you one, for real!! 




Monday, November 4, 2013

A's Playing at AT&T? Not Gonna Happen!

AND ALSO OAKLAND A's SOCKS GIRL IN THE NEWS (kinda!) 

So I'm in a bit of a hurry but here goes: the purpose of this blog is to address 1. the remote possibility of the A's playing at AT&T Park next season and 2. to point out that the pic that goes along with the article is a pick of me (Oakland A's Socks Girl), DMock, CocoFingers and OaklandGreenMan ... so I obviously found that to be pretty cool! Check it out by clicking the link below:

Possibility of A's having to play at AT&T next Season & OaklandAsSocksGirl's Pic in the article on ABC news

Well there's all this talk about the A's possibly playing at AT&T Park next season ... my first response is basically I just threw up a little bit (again just thinking about it!)! My other response it that it's not gonna happen. The A's will make a deal and be at the Coliseum for the next couple years and probably until a new stadium is built in Oakland - and it will be! - They've been talking about San Jose for over a decade and nothing's happened? Really? Something really gonna change? What will is Oakland and local investors (who are ready to buy the team - JUST SELL LEW!) will pick a site and we will have a new stadium ... there's too much more to go into for me to go into detail on my thoughts on the A's/SJ/AT&T/Oak ... which I may do at one point someday but that day isn't today! 

Also it's cool that they feature A's fans photo's on the article ... First one? One of my friends and me! Not a bad tweet to wake up to in the morning! LOL! (I included a pic of Oakland Vader bc he should have been represented too!)


 Melvin's Misfits and Oakland A's Socks Girl
(I'm kinda an honorary member of the Misfits!)