You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Oakland A’s’ tag.

houston astrosLos Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Although it’s known as “the City of Angels,” Los Angeles has always had a seamier side, and even revelled in it. Those people who raged against the sin of the big city and its movie industry, and who mostly avoided both by living in LA’s sprawling suburbs, were disparagingly called “Angels,” and were accused of being hypocrites for benefitting from the wealth that Hollywood brought to the area, while publicly holding their noses at the scandals and deal-making that have always been a part of Tinseltown. They were LA wannabes, and none were worse than the California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels baseball team, who took screen legend Gene Autry’s money but cultivated a “real American” vibe as opposed to the glitz of the Dodgers, while moving closer and closer over the years to acknowledging their true LA heart through regular name changes. Now owned by Disney, the happy face of Hollywood, the Angels are still seen by many as holier-than-thou, although they and their parent company are just as sleazy as anyone in LA.

Texas Rangers – Sure, the Texas Rangers are renowned law men, the southern equivalent of the Mounties who always get their man. But what you might not know is that the baseball team were not named for the dispensers of frontier justice, but actually after the character of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings. The baseball team intended for the association to be with the Aragorn who was crowned king, but until the Rangers win a World Series, they are more likely to bring to mind the mysterious and untrustworthy Strider.

Oakland Athletics – An archaic term for nudists, “athletics” was bestowed upon the team in their original home of Philadelphia, when they were accused of practising in the buff. Although naked athletes were common in ancient Greece, it has never been commonly accepted in the United States, which helps explain why the team has changed cities more than once.

Houston Astros – the Astros were named in honour of the NASA astronauts, since the headquarters for the American space program is located in the city. Not everyone, however, was inspired by President Kennedy’s call to land a man on the moon; the USA has a higher preponderance of creationists, flat earthers, and other followers of discredited belief systems than any developed country in the world, and many Americans resented NASA for questioning their faith that there was nothing beyond the Earth. “Planet Earth not good enough for ya, Astro-Nut?” they’d say, and many still do.

Seattle Mariners – Few groups are as loathed as sailors and Mormons, and in Washington State, they’ve managed to combine their mistrust of both into a single slur: “mariner.” It combines the lawlessness and promiscuity of sailors with the lawfulness and bigamy of Mormons into one catch-all. Why anyone in the state would think of naming a baseball team “Mariners” is beyond me. What was wrong with “Pilots”?

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There is a tradition of certain matchups in baseball being given nicknames, e.g. when the Mets and Yankees met in the World Series in 2000 it was named “The Subway Series” (and not because it was sponsored by Subway sandwiches). When the A’s and Giants met in the 1989 series, it was deemed “The Bay Series” because both Oakland and San Francisco border on San Francisco Bay. Here are some potential matchups for the 2012 World Series and the obscure connections that might help in determining what to label them for posterity:

A’s vs Cardinals = I-70 Series (the A’s used to play in Kansas City, Missouri)

Orioles vs Cardinals = For the Birds or St. Louis Series (the Orioles used to play in St. Louis as the Browns)

Giants vs Yankees = Transcontinental Subway Series (the Giants used to play in New York)

Rangers vs Nationals = Battle for Washington (the Rangers moved from Washington and played there as the Senators)

Orioles vs Reds = Earth Tone Series (the Orioles were formerly the Browns)

A’s vs Giants = Earthquake Series (when they met each other in the 1989 World Series, there actually was an earthquake)

Giants vs Orioles = Big vs Small (the mascot of the Browns was a pixie, which are very small mythical creatures)

Rangers vs Braves = Cowboys ‘n Indians (The Texas Rangers enforced the law in the Wild West)

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