The line, of course, is "you can't go home again" and it's literally been beaten to death in baseball by those "littery men"....but today, Gio Gonzalez, formerly A's ace, currently star southpaw for the Washington Nationals, discovered that the man who wrote on top of his fridge was not someone to dismiss out of hand.
In Oakland this afternoon, Gonzalez found himself in one of those mirror-image confrontations that baseball throws up with more gusto than a trail of hairballs from a sociopathic feline. Gio, who can get a bit wild, was struggling with his control in the first inning; with a couple of men on, he fell behind 3-0 to Derek Norris, one of the right-handed members of the A's "shock platoon" (recall that we told you how Billy/Bob--that's Beane and Melvin--rediscovered the idea of the platoon advantage in 2012 and extended it last year).
Norris, by the way, just happens to be one of the players that the A's got from Washington, though he's taken to sporting a look that suggests he should be playing for the Red Sox (though we suspect that his hair length might be a bit too, er, twee for the Sox, who really favor the Amish look).
Anyway...3-0 to Norris, Gio delivers, and--a lightning bolt to left.
At least it didn't take long.
But...a deja-vu moment in the very next inning. Gio puts two more on base, falls behind 3-0 to Norris.
Up in the air goes the ball again, soaring, pulled a bit more than the first one, sailing...it does a kind of infinitesimal cha-cha-cha in front of the 360' sign, then drops placidly into the bleachers.
7-0 A's. Six RBI for the bearded Behemoth. (The A's would eventually win, 9-1.)
Gio looked like Thomas Wolfe's fridge had fallen on him. Someone clearly neglected to tell him that Norris has been having a heckuva run against all comers this year--he's even hitting righties this year. The A's still seem to have their "shock platoon" in something akin to precision lockstep, and somewhere the Oakland brain trust must have been loving the way this one played out.
All we can say to Gio, of course, is: "Look Homeward, Angel." Even if he is a Nat....