Ray Ratto

A's prop comic Reddick faces challenge


A's prop comic Reddick faces challenge

We have reached the point in the As season when the question must be asked:Is Josh Reddick going to start feeling the pressure every prop comic does when the shows gone on longer than the scripts have allowed?The Oakland outfielder went to a Spiderman costume to double-pie Coco Crisp the other night, after Oaklands 13th game-winning hit of the year. That puts him dangerously close to Brian Wilson-Sasquatch territory, and in a place where Dennis Rodmans wedding dress photo shoot is not that far over the horizon.Now this isnt really Reddicks fault. His heart was in the right place he was trying to create some results-based camaraderie on a team that has far too little of both over the past half-decade and he could never have known that the As would be doing this every eight games.
RELATED: Giants and A's baseball pies -- 2009 to present
But now its an obligation, something the audience has come to expect, like the Rolling Stones in their mid-70s playing Start Me Up, or Gallagher sledgehammering the melon. If the As do walk one off and Reddick doesnt produce, the customers feel jobbed.Still, as Wilson is finding out, one can never go back when it comes to props. They have to get bigger and bigger all the time, which is how Wilson ended up with Sasquatch as his latest running gag, no doubt en route to a pterodactyl, Godzilla and finally the mother ship in War of the Worlds.So it is with Reddick. He is stuck between a sugary frosting and a hard place here, because while he did his best to hold off this day, he went to a costume in Episode 13, and so he cant really go back to his uniform.And frankly, he may also have to finally abandon the Cool Whip and expand his repertoire to include pies, cakes and other pastries. Maybe even the tried-and-true seltzer-down-the-pants.This places Reddick in an impossible situation maintaining his focus as a player while lining up equipment for Episodes 13 through Whenever. Apple tarts? Wedding cakes? Scones shot from an air gun in the second deck?And what to wear? Zatanna from the Justice League? Tuxedo-with-tails-and-top-hat like some crazed Fred Astaire-Meets-The-Penguin ensemble? Sumo suit?Can he change the approach? Lowered from a helicopter? Using children or small animals to distract the target? A catapult?Can he use surrogates? Bob Melvin? John Fisher in a rare white-elk sighting of the teams majority owner? A monkey on a unicycle?Or does he go all in and do the whole thing naked and shrieking while riding in the car that the horrifying Stomper uses to make hisherits entrance?And what happens if he has to go again after that? When does spontaneity die? When is the final frontier breached? When is the shark jumped?Herein lies the real problem for Reddick, as it is for Wilson, as it is for anyone who becomes a staple of entertainment with foreign objects. Retro doesnt work, and neither does micro. The spectacle has to grow, or it dies. And unless the As are either planning to start winning more conventionally, or Reddick sprains an ankle trying to maximize his teammates facial strike zones, the game that never ends is on.Put it this way: If we see Fisher, well know the end is near. And if we see the monkey, well know a circus is about to sue.

If eclipse ends life on Earth, it's bad news for fans of one Bay Area team


If eclipse ends life on Earth, it's bad news for fans of one Bay Area team

If the lunatic fringe of the lunatic fringe is right and the total eclipse of the sun is actually a harbinger of the end of life on earth . . .

- It’s good news for the Giants, who have been eliminated from the National League West race for less than 24 hours, or that they will not have to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers put their feet up on baseball for the first time in 28 years.

Besides, there won’t be any more years, so time becomes meaningless.

- It’s good news for the 49ers, who won’t have to endure a harsh week of practice from freshly irked head coach Kyle Shanahan, who finally saw exactly why the job came open for him in the first place.

- It’s good news for Raiders’ fans, who won’t see their team move to Las Vegas, and because they won't be soul-crushed if they can't beat the Patriots -- who will also die en masse despite Bill Belichick's entreaties to ignore the noise of seven billion terrorized shrieks.

- It’s bad news for A’s fans, who will never learn in what location their fabulous new franchise-saving stadium will not be built.

- It’s good news for the Warriors, who can say in their death throes that they were the last NBA champions ever, and that the Lakers will never get LeBron James.

- It’s good news for the Lakers because they cannot be found guilty of tampering with Paul George. It’s also good news for Jimmy Kimmel because he can’t lose a draft choice (some faceless F-list actor as a guest) as a result.

- It’s good news for the Kings, because they’ll never have to have the difficult meeting about Zach Randolph.

- It’s good news for the Chargers, because they won’t have to answer any more questions about why only 21,000 people were announced as the crowd for their second practice game, or to confront the very real possibility that they could become the NFL’s Washington Generals.

- It’s good news for the Jets, Mets, Nets and Knicks because the end of the planet is the only just solution for them all.

- It’s good news for Cal because it can stick its middle finger to the sky and say, “Here’s your $400 million debt. Try to collect it while we’re all dying.”

- It’s good news for Kevin Durant because he doesn’t have to slalom through the Internet trolls any more.

- It’s bad news for Roger Goodell, because he sure left a boatload of money on the table as he was hurtled into space like the rest of us.

- It’s bad news for Nick Saban because he will have never seen it coming. On the other hand, it’s good news for the people who cover Alabama football because they’ve endured their last journalism lecture from Prof. Nick on why they do their jobs so poorly.

- It’s bad luck for Jim Harbaugh because he will feel like a complete nitwit as he learns just what “an enthusiasm unknown to mankind” really means – the end of mankind.

- It’s bad news for all the sixth graders in America who are being offered scholarships that they will never be used by college coaches they will never meet. Of course, that would have been true even  if the world doesn’t end.

- It’s bad news for the hackers who have been spoiling Game Of Thrones because this is Game Of Thrones, only the dragon is the sun incinerating us all.

- It’s bad news for Kyrie Irving, because he will have died a Cleveland Cavalier.

- It’s good news for America, for the obvious reason that the planet will expire before our current political class can murder it.

- And finally, it’s good news for dignity, because the Mayweather-McGregor “thing” will never happen, and that alone means that even as we are torn asunder, we will know that the deity loves us all because both McGrogor and Mayweather are being torn asunder too.

Of course, if you’re reading this Tuesday, you’ll know the world didn’t end, and we’re just as screwed as we ever were. Oh well. Try to find your happy place, and drink like there’s no Wednesday.

Phrase that Matt Joyce left out of his apology is key to talking the talk

Phrase that Matt Joyce left out of his apology is key to talking the talk

Matt Joyce said the word, he did the apology, he’ll do the time, and then we’ll see if he’ll get the forgiveness he asks.
Joyce’s two-game suspension by Major League Baseball for using a gay slur at a fan during Friday’s Athletics-Angels game in Anaheim is well within industry norms (though it might have been more tactically impressive if the club itself had issued the suspension), and his apology did not deflect blame or contain the always-insincere caveat “if I offended anyone.” He did offend people and he knew it, so he didn’t couch it in the phraseology of “I don’t think what I said was improper, but I’ll do the perp walk just to get this over with.”
He even offered to do work with PFLAG, the support group that supports the LGBTQ community, thereby putting his time (which is more meaningful than money) where his mouth was.
In other words, he seems to have taken his transgression properly to heart, which is all you can really hope for, and now we’ll see if he is granted the absolution he seeks.
You see, we’re a funny old country in that we talk forgiveness all the time but grant it only sparingly, and only after a full mental vetting of important things like “Do we like this guy?” and “Is he playing for my favorite team?” and “Do I feel like letting him up at all?”
In other words, forgiveness is very conditional indeed.
Joyce said what he said, but his apology seemed to be given freely and unreservedly rather than crafted to meet a minimal standard of corporate knee-taking/arse-covering. If he follows through on his offer to do face-to-face work with PFLAG or an associated group and absorbs the lesson of not using other people as a weapon for his own frustration, then he ought to be acknowledged for doing so. That’s what forgiveness is.
But if the principle you adhere to is “once guilty, forever doomed,” then you’ve succeeded at giving in to the mode of the day, which is jumping to a conclusion and never jumping back because it’s just easier and more convenient to do so.
It’s up to him. But it’s also up to you.