Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thankfully, the Angels Lost, Too

So, ...

I don't know about the Oakland players, but I, for one A, am happy to have today off from a game. This is an intense race for the American League West Division pennant, and a grizzled (literally, in my case) veteran like me needs more rest than does, say, one of our babe-in-the-woods brothers-in-arms such as Billy Burns.

I found it amazing to learn the other day that Billy Burns, 24-year-old from Marietta, Ga., is the first rookie to play for the A's all this fantastic season. He debuted earlier this week in the Houston series (which didn't go that great; Oakland lost two of three and had to rally from 4-1 down in the ninth to win one). 

Billy Burns was born Aug. 30, 1989. On Aug. 30, 1989, I had just turned 21 years old, had just finished a summer internship at The Courier-Journal and was just getting back to WKU for my senior year as editor of the College Heights Herald. Let me tell you; I thought I was a big shot. I'm sure Billy Burns feels like a big shot now. Of course, he feels like a big shot--he's a freaking Major League Baseball player with the freaking Oakland A's, battling for the freaking American League West pennant. Billy Burns is a big shot. I don't know what else I want to say about that--other than that I hope he enjoys it, that I hope he receives it gracefully (more gracefully than did 21-year-old I, when I was only feeling like a big shot) and that I hope he receives it gracefully, too, whenever, inevitably, his plans are changed.

At the time his picture was snapped for this 1969 baseball card, Hank Bauer would have been 46, the age I am getting ready to turn this weekend. And here's Joe Rudi, who was 22.


  1. Sonny Gray ‏@SonnyGray2
    Well I am awake.
    9:31 AM - 31 Jul 2014

  2. Trade-deadline day ... wow ... lots of giant names moving around. A's get Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes and Sam Fuld and give up Yoenis Cespedes and Tommy Milone. David Price goes to the Tigers, and Austin Jackson moves to Seattle. John Lackey goes from Boston to St. Louis for Allen Craig. MLB Network's Harold Reynolds says, "This was my baseball card for your baseball card." I agree. Exciting stuff.

  3. Jane Lee ‏@JaneMLB
    Lester, Gray, Kazmir, Samardzija or Scherzer, Price, Verlander, Sanchez? Woof.
    2:52 PM - 31 Jul 2014

  4. Larry Bowa is texting Harold Reynolds on the set of MLB Network with an opinion about an 18-year-old shortstop the Rays picked up as part of the trade for David Price.

  5. Angels beat Orioles in 13th. Urgh.