Last season I put a lot of stock in Oakland choking on a late summer road trip thru Concrete Hell. They had 6 games - three in Tampa Bay, three in Minnesota. I was hoping that the turf would taunt them and the wear would become wear and tear and that they would fall apart and we would gain ground. Well, they didn't and we didn't and that is all in the past, but the SAME Concrete Hell Road Trip is about to be in our present.
And so my 2006 hope of negativity becomes a 2007 worry of positivity. Since my bad karma yearnings went so unrewarded last season, perhaps the universe finds us that broom we were supposed to use Sunday and we use it on the road!
Despite the lack of broomage on Sunday, we won the series against Texas, have a day off to travel, have more than 24 hours of rest between Thursday's early (9:30 a.m. start Pacific time) game and Friday's evening game in the HomerDome. We've already taken a series 2-1 from the Twins and crushed the Devil Rays, so the confidence - beyond the aches of the road - should all be there.
Tuesday will bring us Tampa Bay's only good pitcher, James Shields followed by a subpar Scott Kazmir and a new no-name Andy Sonnanstine. Minnesota will be immersed in a fight with division rival Detroit early this week, and the Tigers have drawn Johann Santana, leaving us with Carlos Silva, Boof Bonser and phenom Matt Garza.
The best news is that both the TBD-Rays and the TC-Twinkies have to play on the concrete, too. And any player would take the AC accommodations of the domes in place of, say, summer muggy sunshine along the eastern seaboard and blazing heat deep in the heart of Texas.