Baseball Toaster Catfish Stew
STOP CASTING POROSITY! An Oakland Athletics blog.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Catfish Stew

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  01 

12  09  08  01 

12  11  10  09  08 
Email Us

Ken: catfish AT zombia d.o.t. com
Ryan: rarmbrust AT gmail d.o.t. com
Philip: kingchimp AT alamedanet d.o.t net

Ken's Greatest Hits
28 Aug 2003
12 Jan 2004
31 May 2005
11 May 2005
29 Jun 2005
8 Jun 2005
19 Jul 2005
11 Aug 2005
7 Sep 2005
20 Sep 2005
22 Sep 2005
26 Sep 2005
28 Sep 2005
29 Sep 2005
18 Oct 2005
9 Nov 2005
15 Nov 2005
20 Nov 2005

13 Dec 2005
19 Jan 2006
28 Jan 2006
21 Feb 2006
10 Apr 2006
16 Apr 2006
22 Apr 2006
7 May 2006
25 May 2006
31 May 2006
18 Jun 2006
22 Jun 2006
6 Jul 2006
17 Jul 2006
13 Aug 2006
15 Aug 2006
16 Aug 2006
20 Aug 2006
11 Oct 2006
31 Oct 2006
29 Dec 2006
4 Jan 2006
12 Jan 2006
27 Jan 2007
17 Feb 2007
30 Apr 2007
27 Aug 2007
5 Sep 2007
19 Oct 2007
23 Nov 2007
5 Jan 2008
16 Jan 2008
4 Feb 2008
7 May 2008
20 Jun 2008
4 Feb 2008
Game Summary Interlude: Got To Be a Nation's
2007-04-25 10:22
by Philip Michaels

We had some guests over on Sunday for something my wife has dubbed Pie Fight Club. The idea is that we grab four similar pies -- strawberry, in this particular case -- from pie shops and diners from around the area, remove them from their boxes, and hold a blind tasting to determine whose pie reigns supreme. This is a very serious business, I might add, with millions of dollars in pie sales and the reputations of eateries across the Bay Area at stake.

Anyhow, the event was in full swing as the A's went about blowing Sunday's game to the Rangers. And, considering the fact that we had company, I think I held my emotions in check, except maybe for the moment when Nick Swisher struck out looking for the second out of the ninth, and I interrupted the conversations going on around me by shouting out, "Damnit, Nick, you've got to swing the [especially filthy expletive deleted] bat." You can imagine this was quite a shocking thing to hear for one of our guests, also named Nick, who is a lovely fellow who would never, ever strike out with the bat on his shoulder and the tying run in scoring position. I apologized profusely to Nick, explaining that my outburst was not aimed at him, but rather an entirely different Nick playing a game thousands of miles away from my living room, making him unable to hear me, even though my voice carries very well.

So that was kind of awkward, yeah.

But otherwise, Pie Fight Club was a success, with the strawberry pie from Nation's Giant Hamburgers taking top honors, just ahead of Marie Calendar's offering. (You can read the blow-by-blow account here.)

Nation's, as you may or may not know, is a radio sponsor of the A's. Indeed, in an especially appropriate twist, I heard a Nation's commercial on my way to the local Nation's to pick up what turned out to be the winning pie. Which is when I discovered that not only has Bob Geren replaced Ken Macha in the A's dugout, he's also usurped the silver-haired one's role as the Nation's spokesman. In fact the commercial I heard -- not the one linked to in the preceding sentence -- featured the exact same copy Ken Macha used to read in his clipped Western Pennsylvania staccato. ("People say I have a great rotation, but it's nothing like the rotation they've got at Nation's... and just when you think you've got them figured out, they throw you a curve.")

To me, this the cruelest twist of all to Macha's ouster. Yes, you can assail his bizarre pitching moves or his passivity on the bench or his frosty relationships with players. But there is one thing about Ken Macha's managerial career in Oakland that is beyond dispute -- he loved those Nation's hamburgers. In that one ad where he runs through the signs -- "A pat on the stomach means it's time to head to Nation's!" -- you could tell that this was not merely an act. In fact, I bet the A's did have a sign for a Nation's hamburger run when Ken Macha was manager, which would explain all those botched bunts.

It seems cruel to take that away from him now, just because he's not the A's manager. Surely some arrangement could have been made -- Geren gets the manager's gig, but Macha gets to keep the Nation's spots. Yes, you'd have to rewrite the ad copy somewhat ("Hi, I'm Ken Macha. When I'm not cursing Billy Beane's name, I'm biting into a delicious Nation's pie. The only taste sweeter will be my eventual revenge.") but I have confidence that the copywriters can rise to the challenge.

And I hope on the next A's broadcast I don't hear Bob Geren touting the merits of Comcast-on-Demand or Fitzpatrick Hummer -- otherwise, it will just be too humiliating for poor Macha if Geren winds up with every one of his old sponsorships.

And speaking of that Hummer ad... it's my considered opinion that particular radio spot was what fractured the relationship between the former A's manager and Mark Kotsay, who was among the most vocal critics of Macha's interpersonal skills. If you remember, the ad features Macha and Kotsay extolling the virtues of Fitzpatrick Hummer -- Macha notes that he was allowed to drive on the test track, which Kotsay reacts to with a mixture of incredulity and disdain. "They let you drive on the test track, Skip?"

I imagine that the director yelled cut, and, as everyone was congratulating each other on a job well done, Macha turned to his outfielder and demanded, "What the hell was that about?"

"What do you mean, Skip?"

"That business about me being allowed to drive on the test track. How dare you."

"Look, Skip, I'm just reading the script here..."

"You're dead to me, Kotsay!"

And, of course, the situation just deteriorated from there.

So my message to A's advertisers is this -- promote your product however you want, but please stop sowing discord among A's players and management. I sure don't want to be listening to a game in the next few days when an ad for Kaiser Permanente comes on featuring Brad Halsey and Bill Beane. "If you'd only have sent me here in early March, I'd be pitching for the big club by now," Halsey would say. "I sure hope Kaiser has facilities in Durham," Beane would retort. "Because I've just traded you to the Devil Rays." That would be too, too awkward for everyone.

2007-04-25 10:34:52
1.   dianagramr
Right about now, I would think the A's would be mighty interested in FELIX Pie ...
2007-04-25 10:43:20
2.   standuptriple
You should know the first rule about Pie Fight Club.
2007-04-25 13:11:12
3.   John Seal
Halsey straight up for that no goodnik, Elijah Dukes.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.