A's Loss to Angels Not Defined by Missed Fan Interference Call

OAKLAND -- I want to take judicial notice of the fact that the Oakland A's lost their game Tuesday night because after months of wishing they had more fans they found out they actually had one too many of them. I really, really do.
And that's even after acknowledging that the Internet coined "Bartwoman" even before I had a chance to think of it myself.
But fairness is my watchword, and the fact is the A's worked very hard before and after the poor unfortunate woman had her 15 seconds of shame/fame to lose to the Los Angeles Angels, which they eventually did, 9-7. Thus her moment, such as it is, falls short of official A's "lore" in this otherwise glorious season.
Not that she didn't give it a good go, "Bartwoman"-wise. She did reach over the into the field of play to catch a foul fly by Andrelton Simmons that A's right fielder Steven Piscotty had staked out as his own. The umpiring crew led by Marvin Hudson ruled it was not fan interference, two pitches later Simmons unloaded the bases with a two-run single that cut Oakland's brief lead from 4-1 to 4-3, and two hitters later Kaleb Cowart emptied out on a fastball from Lou Trivino for a grand slam that put the Angels ahead to stay.
By any definition, that's pretty damned Bartmanic. She even got ejected from the grounds even though, according to the umpires and review people in New York, she hadn't technically interfered at all.
"I don't know how you don't call it an out there," manager Bob Melvin said afterward. "He was gonna catch it. I asked Steve later and he said he'd have caught it. Maybe the umpires weren't sure where to place the runners, but it's an out."
And maybe the Angels get a run out of the play and cut the lead to 4-2. And maybe Trivino doesn't hit Taylor Ward and reload the bases. And maybe Cowart doesn't get that fastball up and turn on it...
... but now we've all entered a parallel universe where we get to pick and choose our circumstances, and that isn't the world we currently inhabit. Oakland has been able to manufacture its own fortune for the past three months, and it wasn't like they didn't put enough runners on base, or use enough relievers to try to stanch the blood flow.
They just didn't do enough, enough times. They had chances to take the poor lady off the hook, just like Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez did in 2003. If he had only caught Miguel Cabrera's ground ball, we'd have had no reason to remember Steve Bartman at all.
Or to weld the nickname onto Tuesday's intrepid woman, frankly.
Instead, they lost a chance to at least nip one unit off its various magic numbers. Houston beat Seattle to widen their lead over Oakland in the AL West to five games. New York beat Boston to stretch the advantage over the A's to 2½ games. And Tampa Bay, which never loses, didn't lose again, shutting out Texas out and moving to 5½ games behind the A's for the second Wild Card spot.
To his credit, Piscotty did not have a Moises Alou Hissy Moment in the aftermath of the play, as Alou did in the 2003 National League playoffs. He handled the immediate aftermath with equanimity and was just as calm and reasoned after the game.
"It's a tough play going into the wall but I felt like I was there in enough time," he said. "It definitely changes how that inning goes but nothing we can do about it now. I never understand when they're going to overturn stuff. I had a feeling they wouldn't.
"It's an interesting spot there. If I catch that ball the runner scores and the guy goes to third potentially tagging up. We've got Lou on the mound, he's been so dominant. I was almost thinking maybe that was a little blessing. He strikes everyone out it seems and maybe we could escape there with nothing."
Instead ... well, you know.
Indeed, Piscotty took a kinder view of the woman as well.
"Obviously we don't want folks to interfere but 95 percent of people are going to do that. I don't fault the fan or anything. I know that person was getting booed pretty heavily but everyone else in the stadium probably would do the same thing."
Yes they would. They have. They do. Frankly, if team president Dave Kaval was on the case, he might have sought her and her friend out and given them tickets for another game in this final homestand, just to show that bygones are bygones, and that Oakland is a Bartwoman-shaming-free zone.
And mostly he could make the gesture because the A's still need every fan they can attract between now and season's end. Just maybe in a less conspicuous and potentially game-altering part of the grounds.

Copyright CSNBY - CSN BAY
Contact Us