Jose Canseco imparts wisdom on an Oakland A’s broadcast
By: Matt Ellis
Lots of memories at the Oakland alameda county coliseum. pic.twitter.com/vqCDtoZGJe
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) July 19, 2014
KUIPER: CSN California is brought to you by T-Mobile. Remember, T-Mobile has the nation’s fastest 4G LTE network: Don’t settle for low speeds! Well, it’s three nothing Marlins as we head into the bottom of the fourth here in beautiful sunny Oakland for this second game of an interleague matchup, and let’s take another look at that last at bat from Giancarlo Stanton that sailed over the centerfield bleachers to put Miami on the board. Joining me is CSN analyst Jose Canseco to break it all down for the viewers at home. Jose–what can you tell me about what we just saw?
CANSECO: Glen well you see he is squared up in the box like this, here, see and then, look listen look, he's the robot man of baseball. The robot threat is being taken to lightly we need to–
(STANTON’S bat makes contact with a 2-1 pitch at the edge of the plate, the camera immediately cuts to the sky.)
CANSECO: –no listen to ME all humans we need to wake the f%$* up–look listen Glen, in my day I could hit them far but I am and will always be just simply a baseball player,my tomb stone will just say. Baseball. Stanton too. He’s a robot man. The best in the game.
KUPIER: Talk a little bit about his approach at the plate here: he watches two breaking balls fall away from the plate to get into a good count, and then he takes one at the edge for a strike. Now, what is going through Stanton’s mind as Graveman winds up for the fourth pitch of the at-bat?
CANSECO: Glen, I am so glad you asked this question. My theory is that the universal circle is twisted into a continuous Möbius strip supporting a bi-directional multiverse on each side. One one side is me, and I am hitting the baseballs, they are going very far, and Mark is there, Mark and me and we are playing the game.
On the other is the robot man, Stanton, he hits them nearly as far as I did. Look, he’s almost as good as I was but for 60 years Robots have been systematically destroying us in clandestine economy based war started when eniac was turned on. It’s science, and I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do about it. But don’t be scared I will see most of you in hell.welcome to my domain.
KUPIER: What kind of adjustments does Graveman need to make to get through this lineup one more time in the top of the fifth?
KUPIER (chuckling indistinctly): One last thing before I let you go, Jose: the Raiders will soon be moving to Vegas, and now they are saying the A’s could be next. If you had one message for Rob Manfred and rest of the league, what would it be?
KUPIER: Jose, I think I can speak on behalf of all of Oakland when I say we don’t deserve you. And now, stepping up to the plate is…
By: Emma Baccellieri
The less you know about a player, generally, the easier it is to love him. There is something counterintuitive to this, but there is also the fact that loving a blank slate onto which you can project whatever images you desire is much simpler than loving an actual person. (This applies to people writ large, not just baseball players, but that’s a far longer essay.) The necessary distance here isn’t too hard to maintain when it’s just a matter of watching a guy play and listening to the filtered version of him through post-game interviews and walk-up music choices.Now, there’s social media.
This helps to set up the self-expression trap that Meg Rowley wrote about last winter; we think we want to know more, and yet more only makes us happy if it aligns with what we’d individually already imagined. There’s Twitter, which gives unfettered access to a player’s stream of consciousness and often reveals him as simply boring at best or somewhat awful at worst. There’s Snapchat, which is typically a delightful but empty cycle of ballpark pictures and selfies. There’s LinkedIn, which is something else altogether. And there’s Instagram, which is often full of promoted posts or posed photoshoots or screencaps of generic inspirational quotes.
There are notable exceptions in each medium—players who care enough to share themselves but don’t care enough to actively cultivate the dreaded personal brand—but there is no exception I love so much as Carlos Carrasco on Instagram. He isn’t “good” at Instagram in the technical sense (he doesn’t seem to know how tagging works, he rarely if ever uses filters), but he is earnest. He joined in October, but he has posted more than 350 times since then. He doesn’t care about making sure that he has everyone smiling or that the picture is straight or about posting the same thing twice in a row. Sometimes he posts in English, sometimes in Spanish. He mostly takes pictures of his family and his charity work, in a way that could arguably be tedious in how wholesome it is, but instead feels delightful in its obvious sincerity. He filmed his daughter practicing the drums after her first lesson and after her second and after her third. He shared three versions of his pregnant wife’s ultrasound and one picture of her checking into the hospital and one proud video of him delicately swaddling the newborn baby.
There are no filters and no advertisements and no evidence of careful work in constructing captions or choosing shots. This makes it easy to feel as if it’s actually him, but there is always a filtration layer in social media, even if not a conscious one—a filtered version of ourselves in the decisions of what we choose to post and not to post and when and how and why. But there’s something lovely about a layer that feels thin enough that we know them and maybe even love them, too.
By: Kate Preusser
I get my best ideas in the in-betweens. The hypnopompic state–that transition between sleep and wakefulness–is rich ground for idea-making, so much so that I’ve learned to keep a notebook and pen handy, or I forget everything by the time I’ve brushed my teeth. The other place I get ideas? The shower. Something about being able to assign my monkey-mind the basic tasks of hygiene frees up those other neurons to cook up ideas; in fact, I thought up this column idea in the shower. It seems to me some GMs in the league could use some fresh ideas. Instead of hiring an expensive “disruption expert,” which is apparently a thing you can get paid for, here’s who should hit the showers, and how:
Dan Duquette, Orioles: Dan-o got into some hot water this past week for his comments on “villainous” Jose Bautista, but more importantly he: 1) has been impressed with Seth Smith’s outfield defense; 2) apparently thinks Mark Trumbo would be not an incredible insurance liability on a construction site. This shows a powerful disconnect from reality. Dan, his nice suit, and his expensive yet ineffective haircut should wade into the Inner Harbor and get in touch with what really makes Baltimore Charm City.
Dick Williams, Reds. Water purifies. Water washes away the past as surely as the waves beat against the shore. Water heals… what’s this now? DeSclafani’s elbow you say? Forget water, forget ice, Dick. For you, hold with those who favor fire.
Brian Cashman, Yankees. This one isn’t on Cashman so much as it’s on team prez Randy Levine, who got into a highly publicized pissing contest with the club’s 6’8” closer this offseason, for no other reason than…because he wanted to make sure everyone knew he was right? Clearly the pernicious influence of the big city is getting to these gentlemen, who need to do like the Black Mountain poets: retreat to nature, peer into the glassy surface of a remote lake, and examine the man staring back. Maybe they’ll even come back with a more enlightened facial hair policy after going mountain man for a few days.
Jerry Dipoto, Mariners. Jerry makes this list not because he needs more ideas, but so many less of them. Someone take his phone and just lock him in the bathroom with a bag of lavender bath salts, already.
A.J. Preller, Padres: When I lived in Philadelphia, I enjoyed making occasional trips to the Russian spa, where for a nominal fee you could take a shower, and then retire to a steamy room to be beaten with eucalyptus branches by a large man with a one-syllable name. I am sure the good people of Southern California would pay to keep the eucalyptus switches coming.