(NOTE: The tone of this piece would have been drastically different had it gone up on Saturday night rather than Monday morning. For that matter, its tone would likely have been drastically different had the Baltimore Orioles not all turned into Silly McJelloArms at the sight of a sacrifice bunt. This shouldn’t affect your reading of this post overmuch, but I felt I should remind you to be grateful to read the following rather than a haphazard smattering of curse words and threats against unnamed public officials.)
I’ve spent the last two weeks of my baseball life inching in and out of varying levels of panic. The upside of the small sample size is that things can go very, very well in a very small amount of time. The downside of the small sample size is that things can go very, very bad in a correspondingly small amount of time. All of this would make a shortened baseball season very exciting, much like a thrilling roller coaster ride, were it not for the damage to one’s blood pressure and fractured psyche that would make it much more similar to sitting at a bus stop next to a large bipolar man holding a knife and muttering softly to himself. So there’s a reason the baseball season lasts longer than a month, beyond the sheer impossibility of fitting that many bobblehead giveaways into a four-week period.
The constant flux of the small sample size nevertheless makes it imperative for the A’s fan’s physical and psychological well-being to know whether the 2013 Oakland Athletics are the 12-4 world beaters that they were halfway through April, or the 14-12 fringe contenders they became over the next two weeks. Finding out which will be simple enough – all it will take is to sit back, relax, and watch the team play baseball games for the next five months.
Or you could just rely on my simplistic, systematic break-down that is almost guaranteed to be wrong and make you feel like an idiot for ever trusting me. Your call.
World Beaters – Past performance and pure talent make it impossible that Brett Anderson and Jarrod Parker continue to be as bad as they’ve been this season.
Fringe Contenders – The ravages of time and human physiology make it impossible that Bartolo Colon continues to be as good as he’s been this season.
World Beaters – Come what may of the pitching, the River Cats have Dan Straily and Sonny Gray ready to go at a moment’s notice. This level of depth, far more than any individual pitching talent, is the strength of Oakland pitching.
Fringe Contenders – Sonny Gray wears glasses now. Nerd.
Anyone got a picture of me wearing those glasses last night during the game?
— Sonny Gray(@SonnyGray2) April 27, 2013