I am so happy the Astros won the World Series

After the Yuli Gurriel drama, I was compelled to change my pick to the Dodgers. But I had chosen the Astros for three reasons.

  1. My American League loyalty
  2. My NorCal loyalty
  3. I like cheering for teams who need to end droughts

So based on that, I was sticking with the Astros. And even though Game 7 didn’t have a fantastic finish, this series as a whole was amazing. We had home runs and comebacks and epic finishes. It was exactly what we needed to see. It was the perfect series.

We witnessed an all-time great series and I am just relieved that I was able to be alive when  it all happened.

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Yuli Gurriel’s racists gesture and finding forgiveness among the immersion of two cultures

I’m angry. I’m upset. I want to punch Yuli Gurriel in the face. Mocking someone for their physical appearance because of a stereotype is not going to fly in this country.

But I know that my anger and desire to hurt him will not solve anything.

Last night, when Gurriel made a slanted eye gesture and called Yu Darvish (who is Japanese) a Chinito (little Chinese boy), it was clear to many that it was not acceptable. But that was many people, not all people, who found something wrong with it.

There are the people that think America is getting too PC and that it’s an overreaction to something minor. Others are contending that Latin culture features these kinds of remarks and actions all the time and it’s normalized. Using these terms and actions is so common and it’s pretty apparent that Gurriel is just doing what he was so used to growing up.

The problem is that he isn’t back home in Cuba. He is in America. And after all the problems with what we had with disrespect this season (two suspension for homophobic slurs, racist slurs thrown at O’s OF Adam Jones), the league has been on high alert on the way people and fans are being treated.

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Can you get any closer to a no-hitter than what Matt Moore did? I think you can

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Matt Moore was one out away from a no-hitter. He was so close but couldn’t get the job done. In response to this, Major League Baseball’s official Twitter account made this comment.

One out away from a no-hitter is pretty close. But can you get any closer? How do you quantify it? Does being one strike away from a no-hitter qualify as being closer? Or what about this guy?

I had a discussion with my friend about this and we were both on a different spectrum. I didn’t quite agree with the wording of this tweet. I believe that there have been people that have been closer. I brought up the example of Pedro Martinez when he was with the Expos. He was perfect through nine innings but because his team didn’t score, they had to go to extra innings. In the 10th, Martinez gave up a hit. But on paper, he went nine hitless innings. On paper, he matched the requirement to reach a no-hitter. His team didn’t deliver on offense.

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Trading away Josh Reddick stings

The A’s trading away Josh Reddick was not a surprise. He was a pending free agent, he had value to many other teams and the A’s weren’t contenders. But what he brought to the A’s will be missed.

He exceeded expectations upon his arrival in the Andrew Bailey trade. He was labeled as a “fourth outfielder” but eventually became the team’s starter since 2012. What made him endearing to the fans was that his defense was great (he got a Gold Glove) and he had the occasional power swing. Injuries and batting inconsistencies prevented him from being such a power force, but what he provided for the A’s was something amazing.

He was still one of the team’s most recognizable players, even in the recent down seasons. He liked having fun and that showed with his walk-up music to “Careless Whisper.” As a wrestling fanatic, that showed as well. Reddick was also pretty funny on Twitter when he had to be but was serious when he needed to be as well.

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I think the Dodgers’ new 3D-printed batting helmet logo could run into some trouble

Uni-Watch has information on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ new batting helmets. Like some teams in baseball, they have decided to go with a matte finish. But the other major change is that instead of a sticker for the logo, they are using a 3D-printed plastic sticker that will be used for the logo.

With all team logos on the caps being raised, it isn’t a crazy idea to see this on a batting helmet. But why now? Uni-Watch’s Paul Lukas raised the point that one of the challenges is whether or not these logos can withstand an entire full season of use. Players will throw their helmets around. The ball or bat may strike the helmet, knocking the logo off. What about players and their pine tar? These are the big hurdles for this new design.

These will be monitored throughout the season. I think that this design, which isn’t a bad idea, just doesn’t look great. Maybe I’m just used to the logo being more or less flat. Having it raised in this way might not be too noticeable. But if it starts peeling off throughout the season, then we know that it’s just something that we might not need to see ever again.

What do you think of this new helmet?

My favorite A’s player from my childhood retires: Thank you, Mark Ellis

Last night, my favorite Oakland A’s player from my childhood announced his retirement. Mark Ellis joined the A’s in 2002 and was so consistently amazing with the team until his trade to Colorado in 2011. Even though he wasn’t a big name like Miguel Tejada or Erich Chavez, he stuck through some tough years for the team but remained professional.

Drafted by the Royals in 1999, Ellis came to Oakland with Cory Lidle in a three-team trade in 2001 for Angel Berroa, A.J. Hinch, and Ben Grieve.

“It was definitely time,” Ellis told The Chronicle on last night about his retirement. “My kids are getting older and I kind of realized it was time to do something else.”

What made him so endearing for me was that he always seemed to be clutch at the plate. But his offensive stats aren’t what made him a player with so much longevity, rather it was his defense. His .991 career fielding percentage is fifth best all time among second basemen. He even set a then record .997 fielding percentage in 2006. It still shocks me that he never won a Gold Glove in his career.

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The Opening Series was a perfect cash grab opportunity

Anytime Major League Baseball goes overseas for meaningful games, there’s always a great opportunity to make money. Merchandise sales go through the roof because fans who may never get a chance to see these big league players will buy all kinds of souvenirs.

What was odd about this trip overseas was that it affected the uniforms the players wore.

The patches on the cap were a give and is standard, but the jerseys and pants also had to go through some changes as well .

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