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Choakland Reduced to Joakland

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Let us neither panic nor grow complacement...

Right now, our only rival is the Mariners, losers of 9 straight, rudderless with a ball-less manager who has no concept of leveraging a game's most critical situation with his best pitching. If they come back to take the division, we are the chokers, they still suck and as rivals are a withered, distant vision of the Kingdome's artificial turf circa 1995.

And that leaves the rivalry with which we have been obsessed for six seasons rendered meaningless. The former Philadelphia franchise has had an involuntary enema performed on it this season. A statistically unbalanced number of injuries leaves one to wonder just how hard the A's party. Another Jack Daniels and Red Bull at closing time doesn't help one during the day game the next afternoon, does it? It goes beyond the laws of chance to have the heaping helpin' of this physical unhospitality that has befallen the former Kansas City franchise. At some point, the A's fixation on stats has been at the expense of character, and the motley crew they have assembled has done a lot of its own disassembling.

But if the players are an irresponsible lot, management's failure to at least receive value from its bigger contracts at the trade deadline will, for years to come, be celebrated in Los Angeles of Anaheim as a failure to exercise a nuclear option Angel fans had come to fear about such a sub-par year from the Beaned one. Has Lew Wolff tarped over his scouting department to such a degree that there is not a prospect that could have come to Joakland for Piazza? For Loaiza?

Of course, if the hard-partying Disabled List's reputation precedes itself, is it any wonder Army Brat Beane let go of D.U.I.-steban without anything back in the DFA? Everyone laughs at Spicolli, but nobody wants to work with him every day, let alone pay him millions of dollars to only try hard when the next round is on the line.

This is a franchise that is slouching toward its Fremont condo development with a listless apathy that is as pathetic as it is laughable. And to make it even better, since Mariner fans at least have a sense of humor instead of that post-Moneyball Green-n-Gold sense of entitlement permeating the Choakosphere, maybe our new rivalry will be funner than watching the future liver transplants look sexy to the calculator-stroking stat crowd.

Well, the slouch is in L.A. of Anaheim for a few games, let's roll out the rolling papers and happy hours for a bunch of guys in their 20s who truly have their priorities as straight as staggering gets. Let's end any Magic Number complacency, bench Shields and mop the ratshit up with `em...