Mike Gallego’s Late Stop Sign

I watched the NUMB3RS episode “Robin Hood” before I watched the morning news about the Amtrak accident. I went over to the coffee shop to have a mango smoothie and attempt to log into an account to see how rich I am. I wasn’t able to do it, and I had to listen to a woman complain that she’d lost a bag in the place the night before. The passwords and number codes worked as a security measure, because nobody was able to get into my account. However, I couldn’t get into my account, either. After I got home, I watched the Partridge Family episode “Whatever Happened to Moby Dick?” It featured the song “The Whale Song,” which had a rare lead vocal from Shirley. Howard Cosell was a guest star. I browsed through the record store and bought an old copy of the “Let It Be” single and the Beatles’ “Love Songs” album. I took the BART train to the Coliseum. One of the security guard commented that she hadn’t seen me for a while. I took my seat and watched the end of the A’s batting practice. Jesse Hahn had a poor start to his game, and it looked as though he wouldn’t make it out of the first inning. The first batter of the game doubled. Hahn then gave up a walk and a single to load the bases with no outs. He walked the next batter on a 3-2 count to give the White Sox their first run. Brett Lawrie fielded a ground ball and threw to home plate for the first out of the game. Hahn allowed another single which somehow produced only one more run. Hahn fielded a grounded ball and threw to home plate for the second out. Neither he nor Josh Phegley could handle the baseball cleanly, so there was no double play. However, Hahn struck out the next batter to finally end the inning. After the last hit of the inning, Hahn pulled himself together and got 17 out of 19 Chicago batters out through the sixth inning. He hit a batter with a pitch in the third inning and gave up a one-out hit in the fourth inning. The A’s got runners to second base in each of the first three innings but didn’t score. They broke through in the fourth inning when Phegley hit a home run, making the score 2-1. After Mark Canha made it out, Billy Burns, Eric Sogard, and Coco Crisp each walked to load the bases. Marcus Semien struck out, but Josh Reddick tripled to score three runs. Billy Butler lined out to end the inning. In the fifth inning, walks from Lawrie and Phegley and a single from Sogard produced one more run. In the sixth inning, Reddick doubled, and Butler singled to make the score 6-2, although the scoring play was reviewed before the game continued. Throughout the game, we got updates on the Warriors game in Memphis. Before the seventh inning, we saw a Big Head race in which Rickey Henderson went past Dennis Eckersley to win. I questioned Rollie Fingers’ effort. The problems for the A’s started with one out in the inning with Lawrie’s error on a ground ball. He backed up and couldn’t handle the bounce. After giving up a single, Hahn was out of the game, and Bob Melvin brought in Fernando Rodriguez. A force play put runners at first and third with two outs, but then allowed a single and hit a batter with a pitch. Melvin brought in Fernando Abad, who went to a 2-0 count before giving up a double. Melvin went with another change, sending Evan Scribner to the mound. He also allowed a double, which meant another two runs for the White Sox, and a 7-6 lead. He got a strikeout one batter too late to end the inning. The fans were unhappy. The long innings and the pitching changes were making this game a long one, which wasn’t too pleasant with the cold night. I was reluctant to stand up during the seventh inning stretch. We heard the Miracles’ “Love Machine” during the break. Scribner struck out the three batters he faced in the top of the eighth inning. In the bottom of the inning, Butler and Lawrie both singled with two outs, but Phegley wasn’t able to get another big hit. Edward Mujica pitched the top of the ninth. He allowed a single to the first batter, but the runner was caught stealing. Coco Crisp caught two balls hit his way for the other outs. In the bottom of the inning, Mark Canha struck out. Billy Burns grounded out to first. Stephen Vogt pinch-hit for Sogard and got to a 3-2 out before drawing a walk. Coco Crisp took a good swing and doubled, but Vogt was somehow caught in a rundown between third and home and eventually tagged out to end the game. The play went 8-6-3-5-2. The fans were discouraged at this ending. Third base coach Mike Gallego would later say that he gave Vogt the stop sign too late. The A’s record in one-run games is now 1-12. The game began at 7:08 and ended at 10:42. Attendance was 21,464. We saw a costly error leading to unearned runs, and some bad pitches from the relief pitchers. Those were familiar sights during this season. It sure didn’t seem like the right way to spend three and a half hours on a Friday night. I had to wonder what kinds of changes Billy Beane and Bob Melvin would have in mind to improve this team. Besides the Warriors, the only good news was that the Rangers had lost. Today’s game will be at six o’clock, so I have the time to do some chores and perhaps take a nap before going back out to the stadium. I rushed home to catch the Letterman show. Oprah Winfrey was the first guest, and I was surprised to see her weight gain. She talked to Dave about what his retirement would be like. He’ll have to get used to not having a schedule every day, and also having to do things for himself. It looked like Norm MacDonald got a bit teary-eyed at the end of his segment. I didn’t feel like staying up to see James Corden. Some of the people who died on May 16 include Django Reinhardt (1953), Eliot Ness (1957), Irwin Shaw (1984), Margaret Hamilton (1985), Sammy Davis, Jr. (1990), and Jim Henson (1990). Today is a birthday for Olga Korbut (60), Pierce Brosnan (62), and Danny Trejo (71). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 16, “Annie Get Your Gun” with Ethel Merman had its Broadway premiere in 1946. In 1960, Elvis Presley’s “Stuck on You” was the Number One single. In 1985, Margaret Hamilton, known as the Wicked West of the West in “The Wizard of Oz,” died in her sleep at age 82 following a heart attack in Salisbury, Connecticut. In 1990, Sammy Davis, Jr. died of throat cancer in Beverly Hills at age 64. Also in 1990, Jim Henson died at age 53.

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