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Brandon Moss's wife Allie Moss is a stay-at-home mom of two and young Athletics enthusiast. Playing for the Athletics now represents success to the couple, as they were once regular folks like you and me. He's talked a lot to Sports Illustrated about how he was labelled too hastily as one thing or another and was never given an actual chance to prove himself.
Brandon has played for a few teams in his career and had bouts of self-doubt, thinking he was going to have to move to Japan and play professional baseball there in order to support his family, but he's definitely found his niche in Oakland. He had a nice hot streak that ignited him as a starter for Oakland. Moss says it was the assistant manager, Farhan Zaidi, that stuck up for him and gave him the shot. He hit 30 home runs last year, and he's at 19 this year. That's certainly big-league numbers, and a batting average of .269 this year is good enough to stick around in the lineup if you're pulling in RBI's.
Based on the way Moss talks about his good fortune, it seems likely that he would have had to have moved to Japan had he not had his hot streak for Oakland back in 2011. Moving to Japan is not an easy thing to do for anybody that's not Japanese. The culture is nothing like American culture, and Japanese is one of the hardest languages to learn. Imagine having a 4 year-old and 2 year-old having to move to Tokyo. That would be kind of a bizarre schism in a kid's learning environment and development. All of a sudden you've got to learn Japanese. Even the great Tom Selleck had a rough go of it in the film "Mr. Baseball." There's a new rumor floating around (started by me just now) that Brandon actually wanted to go to Japan because he'd been watching "Mr. Baseball" way, way too much.
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For those of you looking for one of our typical posts about Yoenis Cespedes' wife or Yoenis Cespedes' girlfriend, we regret that we don't have much to talk about on that front. In our quick divergence from normally scheduled programming, we thought we'd learn more about his family.... And man oh man, this Yoenis Cespedes' family had a rough go of it. A recent article by Ctpost.com details the serious struggles of getting the hell out of Cuba for Yoenis and his family, which included 10 people and plenty of uncomfortable situations. Yoenis, on the other hand, had an easier time cashing into a $36 million contract, but while he was in Cuba about to leave for Haiti, he accidentally hit a bicyclist, and the guy had a heart attack and died a few hours later. Bummer.
It's really weird how we treat Cuba and its inhabitants. We've set up this game where we won't trade and let our citizens go there from the States, but if a Cuban manages to make their way to our soil, they can instantly become a resident. Yoenis Cespedes' mother Estela Milanes, grew up as a softball star in Cuba and gives Yoenis batting tips, but she and the rest of the Cespedes crew had to battle through miserable circumstances in order to arrive at their final destination in Florida. First, they ended up stranded on an islet about the size of a baseball infield for three days. They caught and cooked an iguana and seagull, but no one could keep them down. A cooked iguana does sound pretty nasty, but I didn't realize a cooked seagull would be so tough and gross. The things you learn when you're fleeing your country.
They were next saved by a yacht and taken to a tropical paradise called Turks and Caicos, but they were soon thrown in a detention center without any amenities of any kind. Then, the UN got involved and said they could chill out on the island until they figured out what to do with them, but as soon as they got a chance, they jumped on a nice fella's yacht and sailed in style to Florida, where a worried-sick Yoenis flew out to meet them. So now Yoenis is an all-star playing for one of the coolest teams in the Majors. To be honest, I'm not so impressed by the season he's been having. Batting .259 with 14 homers is definitely valuable, but it's not all-star material to me. His onbase percentage is only .312. Anyway, I'm not trying to cut him short. He's the man and he's liable to prove it again as he defends his 2013 Home Run Derby crown. Will we see his family in the crowd? We shall see soon enough
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Jeff Samardzija's girlfriend has been on the net and in the news recently, but we still don't know what her name is. It's a weird little case for the tall pitcher with the difficultly spelt last name. Basically, Jeff told general manager Theo Epstein that he was willing to get rid of all the "distractions" in his life in order to become a good starting pitcher. That included, of course, his now ex-girlfriend.
The excellent Joe Posnanski started all of this. He's a writer and entertaining blogger who follows sports like a hawk, and he first reported that Samardzija told Epstein: "I'm eliminating everything in my life that gets in the way. I'm dumping my girlfriend. I'm moving to Arizona. I just want the chance to show you that I'm a starting pitcher." The problem here is the quote leaves the idea that he dumped his girlfriend to focus on baseball open to interpretation. According to Samardzija, that's sort of not the case. He actually dumped her 7 months prior to their meeting then happened to include the dumping, seemingly as corroboration that he's up to the task of being a solid Cubs starter. He then basically told reporters whatever you want to go with is fine. Pulling a Marshall Mathers, there.
Jeff's been pretty solid this season, but he won't be pitching in the all-star game, as we've just found out. The Athletics have got about a bajillion guys going to the game, and Jeff's not gonna' be one of them. He was 2-7 for the Cubs with 103 K's, and now he's 1-0 for the Athletics. For me, you've kinda got to have a winning record in order to be considered a good starting pitcher. Now, I understand why that rule may not always work out with some guys, but it just doesn't really fly with me seeing a guy's statline start with a negative 2-7 and end with a positive 103 strikeouts. Yes, I get that his team might've blown a lot of wins for the guy, but 2-7 come on.