If I were Dan Haren…

I really feel bad for Dan Haren today.  Don’t get me wrong I realize that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes but I can’t help but wonder “if I were in his shoes would I be just a bit peeved with my teammates after last nights game?” I mean just a little? I’m sure he is grateful for a “W” just like the rest of us but how do handle that kind of frustration?  How do you have a pitcher with a 1.89 ERA, the best in the American League at the moment, and get results like he has?  His ERA is better than Josh Beckett’s and he is 7-0!  I wasn’t a huge fan of Haren’s last year, I have to admit.  Every time I saw that it was his turn in the rotation I’d get this sick feeling like I was gonna throw up in my mouth a little bit.  I have to give him some credit this year though.  He’s really surprised me and I’m thankful for him, especially in the wake of the injuries we have sustained (I thought I was going to cry when Swish started to limp!).  Speaking of the injury prone, where in the world is Rich Harden? I hate these new “medical waiver rules” ****! I want to know what is up with him and when he will come back?  …Although the pitching staff has done well without him-aside from Duchsherer aka Dookie.  I just don’t understand how we have a pitcher with a 1.89 ERA that’s 3-2 and a team capable of making 17 runs in 1 game but has like twelve 1-run games? I don’t know but if I were Dan Haren I don’t think I’d be a happy camper today.  I’d probably at least kick my dog…

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How it all began…

I am one of the most passionate and loyal A’s fan.  Female sports fans are rare and passionate ones are precious stones.  I became an A’s fan back in the 80’s when my dad used to pull me out of school so I could watch Jose Conseco and Mark Magwire belt homers from the "cheap seats".  I have fond memories of riding BART with my dad to the collosium and waiting for autographs along the gate during warm up.  I was lucky enough to get Tony LaRussa and Ron Hassey to pass by an autograph my glove.  One day was particularly special to me.  It was in 1989, I missed school to catch a game with my dad and my 4th grade teacher who was on maternity leave was going to come and visit the class and I bring the new baby!!  Of course, ALL the girls were excited for that day and were planning a shower and making baby gifts.  I desperately wanted to be there!!   My dad asked me what I wanted to do.  He said there will be other games, he said I didn’t have to go…but It was an A’s game!!  As much as I loved baseball my dad always seemed to get days off when the Giants were in town and the A’s were away.  I chose the game. Jose Conseco hit 2 homers that night and I got his autograph after the game.  I remember it so well because he used MY pen to sign everyone’s memorabilia!! I was stoked and forgot all about missing the shower!! I spent a lot of time that year trying to remember stats for all my favorite teams, I wasn’t very good with that part, I still struggle in that area.  That was the year the A’s went on to the World Series against the Giants… and guess who won tickets in a hardware store drawing??!!!  I saw the sign for a drawing and ran up to inform my dad while he was busy searching for parts to our old Citation.  I begged my dad to enter and all he said was "why, we won’t win".  I filled it out anyway, I put his name on it because the rules were you had to be 18! I asked him to sign it and we left.  He picked me up from school one day and told me the news!  We won the contest!  We were going to watch the A’s play the Giants in the 1989 World Series! I started to tell all my friends and they were not so happy for me.  In fact, it was Cathy’s birthday party the day of game 1, the game we were to attend and I was invited.  The girls in the class reminded me about how I missed the shower and now I wanted to go to a silly game instead of going bowling for Cathy’s birthday, after all her parents were getting the bumpers for the gutters!  On game day I cried as I told my dad I had to go to the party or all the girls would tease me for choosing to go to a silly baseball game instead.  He understood and took me to my very first sleepover/bowling party.  The game was on at the bowling alley and Roseanne Barr was in the audience, sporting a Giant’s jacket albeit, but she was there!  I cried all night. I remember being in that earthquake a few days later, the scariest moment of my life.  I worried about 2 things…where was my dad and were all the Oakland A’s ok?  The A’s were also present the day my dad told me he lost his job and we had to move away from the Bay Area to a country town just hundreds of miles south of the bay.  I stared at the A’s emblem on his shirt crying while he told me I would have to leave my friends, my school and in my eyes I would have to leave my A’s.  How was he going to pick me up from school to catch a game 5 hours away and be home by bedtime?  We moved and I didn’t get to go to the games anymore until I was older.  I have my own daughter now and I have yet to take her to her first Major League Baseball game. She is 5 years old, the perfect age to start She currently really likes the Red Sox because of that movie Fever Pitch, but I assure you this will tip the scale to the favor of the Oakland A’s.  I have such fond memories in Oakland Collosium.  I can’t wait to share that experience with her, especially there, on that field.  The field I missed the biggest game of my childhood on.  I went to several games last season including the April 1st and 2nd exhibition games, Tim Salmon’s last game with the Angles which happen to be against the A’s.  I was the only one cheering when he walked away from the field with 299 homers!  I got a few looks, even my dad who was sitting next to me thought it was distasteful.  I still have my autographed glove, I keep it on top of my TV with an Oakland A’s toy bat and an old tattered baseball tucked inside it.  Ron Hassey’s autograph has faded and now Jose Conseco’s is barely visible but it’s there.  Tony LaRussa signed it in a permanent marker which is still visible.  I look at it everyday when I sit down to watch the news after work while I pet my three dogs Brody (he was already named when I got him so we threw in a middle name) “Zito”, Swisher and Magwire.  Yes, even my dogs have A’s player names.  Baseball isn’t just a sport for men.  Women can have a true love and passion for a team that is felt just as deep.