Know when you’ve had a really bad season? When you don’t play and still lose.
That’s the sad saga of the 2017 Athletics, girls and boys.
While the Friggin’ A’s waited to play out the string in Boston on Wednesday afternoon, the Cleveland Indians won their American League record 21st game in a row. That erased the previous mark that the A’s had set in the 2002 season, their greatest achievement in the Billy Beane era, not that the list was a long one.
The Indians didn’t just smash the old record, either. They pretty much obliterated it.
While the A’s magical run packed some drama — remember Scott Hatteberg’s pinch-hit, walk-off homer for No. 20? — the Indians have practically taken the luck factor out of it. You want cold-blooded dominance? They have trailed at the end of only four innings since Aug. 24, when the streak began. Their plus-104 runs differential is just plain nuts.
Get this — the Indians’ most versatile if not valuable player hasn’t throw a single pitch that counted in that span. That’s reliever Andrew Miller, who’s scheduled to come off the disabled list shortly.
The A’s streak is more impressive in that almost all of it took place before rosters could be expanded in the final month of the season. They faced major league players for the most part, not a handful of suspects who had been called up for a cup of decaf.
Still, there’s no way to minimize what the Indians have done lately. Twenty-one consecutive W’s are 21 consecutive W’s.
Now here’s the craziest thing of all about one of the craziest streaks in pro sports history — it won’t mean bupkis if the Indians fail to win their first World Seres in 69 long and sometimes torturous years.
SAFE AT HOME: The Indians are five wins short of the 1916 Giants and their MLB record, and if Balls were the great Christy Mathewson, he would like his team’s chances to keep it.
AND ANOTHER THING: The A’s announced that fans would be admitted free to their game against the Chicago White Sox on April 17 next year, the 50th anniversary of their debut at the Coliseum.
Be patient, girls and boys. After one more 90-somethin’-loss season, the A’s will pay you to show up for games.
Meanwhile, the A’s will open the season on March 29, the earliest start in MLB history, also known as Let’s Get This The Hell Over With Day.
BEANE COUNTER: It has been 3,997 days since the Moneyball A’s won a postseason series.
Waiting. Still waiting …
DODGERS BLUES: Then there are the Los Angeles Dodgers, who finally beat the Giants to stop a 11-game free-fall on Tuesday.
The Dodgers have all but clinched the No. 1 playoff seed, but the 5-3 victory was a biggie and here’s why — Clayton Kershaw pitched effectively for six innings. It marked his second solid start in three tries since he returned from the disabled list.
Because if Kershaw is less than his best in the postseason again, the Dodgers got almost zero chance.
JUST SAYIN’: Kevin Durant has sworn off the White House, trashed teammate Stephen Curry’s sneaker brand, mimicked his critics on his new shoe … If he doesn’t save some material for the NBA regular season, it will be really borrr-iiiiing.
The status of Santa Clara first-rounder Reuben Foster has been downgraded to year-to-year because of a high ankle sprain, one of many owies to come.
The NHL hired retired goon George Parros to head its Department of Player Safety. The Hanson Brothers weren’t available, apparently.
YOUR TURN: “I certainly think Santa Clara will be better than last year’s team. That said, I really don’t care nearly as much as I did before they abandoned SF. Go Kansas City and Alex Smith, who really got a raw deal. In my opinion, the Silicons would have had a great shot at two more Super Bowl wins if Alex had been starting.” — Geno Connor, North Beach
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