First Pitch: 8:05. Vegas Line: Oakland -160/+145
Weather: In The 60s, In July, It's The Bay Area
TV: FSN. Radio: Did Wolfman Jack Stay Up This Late?
So I had this A's history thing cued up, and realized yesterday it was about the old Philadelphia Phillies, not Philadelphia A's. GIANT OOPS. Here's some easy-reading notes on Kurt Suzuki instead. (It's too late at night for a long history thing, anyhoo!)
Kurt Suzuki enjoys free-diving off the coast of Maui to spearfish octopus. The Target Field JumboTron told me this last week, and I believe it.
Suzuki was born in Hawaii (or Kenya?), long a melting pot of Hawaiian, American, and Japanese heritages. (A friend of mine lived there as a child and spoke a mixture of all three until he was five.) The different cultures have their own histories and conflicts, but live together in perhaps a more successful fashion than anyplace else in America.
Apparently there's a Hawaiian word, "ohana," meaning home/family/togetherness, and it seems to mean a great deal for Suzuki. He played college ball at Cal State-Fullerton, and kept in touch with his teammates there, raising money for medical expenses when one was badly injured in a 2009 crash that killed Angels prospect Nick Adenhart.
Suzuki was surprised when the A's traded him to Washington after five+ years, and Oakland's players were sorry to see him go. Suzuki happily did a short reunion stint the next year but enjoyed his time in DC, saying after one playoff win that "I screamed so loud I almost threw up."
He seems to have been just as solid a teammate for the Twins. Here he explains to a Kansas City reporter how he learned to work with pitchers (and learned Phil Hughes's changeup is Not. Very. Good.) And you can always count on Kurt to rub those sore muscles in an 100% not-gay way:
Suzuki does interviews with hometown Hawaii media. In this one, he simply explained why his family didn't move to Minnesota: weather. That article also describes Suzuki's infamous inside-the-park HR, which is written up hilariously by FanGraphs' August Fagerstrom here. (That's the best link I've got today, it's really amusing.)
You can be a cool player in my eyes without hitting or fielding much. Suzuki may not be the most talented Twin, but he's definitely one of the coolest. Spearfishing octopus, folks.
Totally hurling tonight are veterans Phil Hughes and Scott Kazmir (no, the Zep song is spelled differently.) Kazmir does the fastball/sinker/slider thing and is having himself a nice year. Digits:
|Guy||ERA||H/9||K/9||BB/9||HR/9||OPS v L/R||BAbIp||FIP|
History-wise, Kazmir picks on Suzuki, Mauer, and Dozier, while Plouffe picks on him. No current A's really rock Hughes; he's been best (luckiest? No, best, dammit!) against Ben Zobrist and Eric Sogard.
Lineups, if I wake up (I had to get up early and take a nap later):
|Lew Fords||Jose Cansecos|
|Brian Dozier, 2B||Billy Burns, CF|
|Ain't Nothin' But A #, RF||Stephen Vogt, C|
|Joseph Mauer, 1B||Ben Zobrist, 2B|
|Miguel Sano, DH||Josh Reddick, RF|
|Plouuuuuffe, 3B||Billy Butler Did It, DH|
|Eddie Rosario, LF||Ike Davis, 1B|
|Aaron Hicks, CF||Brett Lawrie, 3B|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||Mark Canha, LF|
|Eduardo Escobar, SS||Marcus Semien, SS|