Oakland A’s infielder Jace Peterson (6) tosses bubble gum out of the A’s dugout in Hohokam Stadium in Mesa AZ during an A’s photo shoot at spring training (Oakland A’s Facebook photos)
The Clock is Ticking toward New Baseball Season
That’s Amaury News and Commentary
By Amaury Pi-González
OAKLAND–2023 is The Year of the Clock, and the clock is ticking towards a new baseball season as the Oakland A’s will punch the clock and go to work on Thursday March 30 at 7:07 at the Oakland Coliseum against the Los Angeles Angels. It will be the 55th season for the A’s at their historic Oakland Coliseum.
The same place where the A’s hoisted four World Championship flags. This place had survived many great and not-so-great moments, crazy games and one of the four World Series championships played in the middle of an earthquake in 1989, but for some of us who were there, it didn’t get any crazier than that.
This 2023 Oakland A’s team has players that you have seen like Tony Kemp, Nick Allen, Seth Brown, Christian Pache, and Ramón Laureano (among others), and many that you have seen but with another team, like Jesús Aguilar, Aledmys Díaz, Esteury Ruíz, or never seen at all, like the most interesting addition to this ball club, Japanese pitcher Shintaro Fujinami, who although he pitched for 10 years in Japan, will be a rookie in the majors.
An assortment of players will keep manager Mark Kotsay and his staff busy all summer long, looking for that ‘winning combination’ and will try to play as a unit and bring some positive results and fun moments to the A’s fans. One young A’s player that will become a star this year and take charge is catcher Shea Langeliers.
A’s No.1 prospect (# 39 MLB) Tyler Soderstrom, catcher, and first baseman survived the last cut and is still in Spring Training with two weeks until Opening Day. Will he make the roster? There is always a surprise or two in Spring Training.
To predict how the A’s will do this year is not that difficult, because nobody is expecting them to contend. Even the staunchest A’s fan will tell you that to play .500 all year will be the biggest goal for a team with these many moving pieces, but even that is unrealistic.
Any A’s fan should be happy to see the 2023 A’s version ending with 81 wins, which can also be said of many other teams that are not considered contenders. I know this 2023 year will be key for one A’s player; Ramón Laureano, trying to capture that 2019 season magic, his best for the A’s when he hit .288 with 24 home runs and 67 runs batted in.
His defense has always been there and owns one of the best arms from the outfield in the game. During the off-season rumors had Ramón leaving for the Yankees, the Phillies, and even the Marlins.
Ramón needs to stay healthy for the A’s. The team lost 102 games last season, positive minds believe 2023 should be a better year. Among my own survey, I ended with an average of a season for the A’s, this 2023 with a 76-86 record.
In 2022 (among all 30 teams) A’s last in combined average .216, #28 in home runs with 137, and #29 in RBI with 537. Their pitching had a 4.52 era which ranks #23 in all MLB. The Coliseum holds the distinction of containing the largest foul territory of any ballpark in the Major Leagues and this always helps their pitchers.
2023 is another rebuilding year for the A’s but could be also a year where this franchise announces a change of “geographic” direction to another State or maybe a change of address from the Oakland Ring Central to just six miles north on highway 1-80 by the Port of Oakland, a place called Howard Terminal.
I have friends on both sides, those that believe the A’s can’t leave Oakland but that they need a miracle for that to happen, and others who are gamblers and you know what they are thinking.
The disparity in baseball. Are you kidding? In 2022 there were four 100-win teams and four 100-lost teams, both tying the all-time record.
Famous winner and great baseball philosopher catcher Yogi Berra holds the MLB record for the most World Series rings, with ten, and was quoted as saying when it came to baseball knowledge; “In baseball, you don’t know nothing”.
Happy Weekend everybody!
Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for all the play by play of Oakland A’s baseball on the A’s Spanish radio network 1010 KIQI San Francisco and 990 KATD Pittsburg and News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com