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MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics

Last stop in Oakland: Phillies vs. Athletics series preview

This might be the last time the Phillies ever play the A’s in Oakland. They’d better take advantage

The Phillies shouldn’t expect much crowd noise this weekend
| Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After taking three of four from the previously red-hot Diamondbacks, the Phillies are officially on a roll. They’ll have a great opportunity to continue their winning ways as they head to Oakland to face a struggling team whose top priority seems to be losing as much as possible before they leave town.

Oakland Athletics

Record: 19-52, Fifth place in American League West (24.5 games back)

The manager

Mark Kotsay took over as manager before the 2022 season, and the talentless A’s lost 102 games. The 2023 edition might be even worse as they’re already more than halfway to that loss total. I don’t know how well you can measure a manager’s talent when he’s given a no-chance squad, other than to say he’s not a miracle worker.

The last time they met

These teams opened the 2022 with a three-game set in Philadelphia. The Phillies took the first two games, but A’s starter Daulton Jefferies (Named after the two greatest Phillies of all time) shut them down in game three, dashing the Phillies’ hopes of an undefeated season.

What’s the deal with the A’s?

Owner John Fisher is apparently a big fan of the movie Major League, because he’s basically recreating the first half of the movie. He’s drained the club of talent, and because the city of Oakland won’t spend a ton of money to further line his pockets, he’s planning to move them to a city that will (apparently Las Vegas).

The A’s roster isn’t filled with recognizable names. Their best player this season has been DH Brent Rooker, who is excelling given his first bit of extended playing time in his career.

The rest of the roster consists of journeymen and young players who may or may not have a bright future. The only pitcher on their roster that I’ve ever heard of before is reliever Trevor May, and that’s because he was once a Phillies’ prospect. The lack of talent shows up on the scorecard. The A’s are 13th in the AL in runs scored and 15th in team ERA.

They were hot there for a second

You think the Phillies have had problems with losing streaks this season? The A’s have endured separate losing streaks of six, seven, and eleven games.

But remember my earlier comparison to Major League? Last week, the A’s looked like they might have the spirit of that Indians team, ripping off seven wins in a row, including two in a row against the Rays.

However, the Rays restored order the past two days, winning the final two games of the series.

Adios, Oakland

It seems like the A’s are all but guaranteed to move to Las Vegas in the near future. You might think that uprooting a team would be something that the MLB Commissioner might be opposed to, but then you remember that he’s a feckless loser who only cares about enriching the team owners.

The fans recently held a “reverse boycott” night where they came out to the stadium and supported the team despite the owner being a piece of garbage. It was their way of showing that the fans will support a team in Oakland if Fisher would sell the team to an owner who was interested in actually winning.

Still seeking a fifth starter

The Phillies’ currently vacant fifth starter spot will come up again this series. Perhaps they can get away with another Dylan Covey appearance against the A’s unimpressive lineup. Personally, I’d go back to Cristopher Sanchez who has pitched well in his last few starts at AAA. While he’s never shown he can consistently get out major league hitters, neither has Covey, and Matt Strahm has been pretty bad himself lately.


Last series’ answer: Cole Hamels had an excellent 2010 season, but his April 23 start against the Diamondbacks was rough: Four home runs allowed rough. Jabbanatic 44 was right.

This series’ question: In his 17-year playing career, how many home runs did Mark Kotsay hit against the Phillies?

The Athletics as an MCU villain


In the Ms. Marvel show, the Clandestines are a group of beings from another dimension who wish to return to their home, and they don’t care who they have to hurt or kill to get their way. Similarly, A’s owner John Fisher wants to get to his new home and doesn’t care how many fans he has to hurt to get his way.

Congrats to Topper

With Thursday’s win, Rob Thomson has now won 100 games as a major league manager. I think we can stop with the irrational calls for his firing that we were hearing a few weeks ago.

Closing thought

Having won four series in a row, including against good teams in the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, the Phillies definitely appear to be on the right track. Now that the level of competition had dropped, hopefully the Phillies continue to play well, and take care of business against a bad team.

Rise and Phight: 9/29/2023

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