Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesI decided not to listen to today's game pitting the Oakland A's against the Texas Rangers, afraid "my" sometime team would lose. I am a fair weather fan. Years ago, when I was building my model amusement park rides, I'd listen to the games, glued to the radio, for they were decently in contention -- my only diversion into the world of pro sports, which on balance I (call me a snob) disdain. All those lying steroid fakes, bloated beyond humanity, pulling in millions and never enough.
Downstairs to pick up a UPS delivery, UPS guy was gazing at his smart phone, asking me with excitement if I was following the game. The score --- nine-to-five he said. I was swept up with hope.
I remember, years ago, in 1972, watching them play at the Oakland Coliseum under a clear blue fall sky. Those were world series years, and I was there courtesy of my employer. They played to perfection, as nimble and smooth as ballet dancers. They seemed to own the game so effortlessly. Catfish Hunter. Rollie Fingers. Vida Blue ... a string of legends.
Back up here, I turned on the radio, and those astonishing guys from no where came through in triumphal fashion. Most of all, I think I'm happy for Billy Beane, who himself failed to fulfill his early promise as a player and moved into management, and has stuck with this club.
The lowest team payroll in baseball beating out one of the highest paid. And I hardly know their names. Some are colorful, like Coco Crisp. Could a Hollywood agent have come up with a better name?
And now, they seem miraculously like a crushing brigade of unstoppable miracle hitters and pitchers.
I'm renting the movie Money Ball again. It's a great film.
A great day in Oakland. A great day for baseball.