In what’s becoming a yearly ritual, the A’s are having a hard time with the M’s two games into the four-game set. On Opening Night, they were stymied by M’s ace Felix Hernandez, a scenario that has developed into something of an annoyance among A’s fans desirous of an Opening Day victory.
All this to say: Major League Baseball, please bless Oakland with a different Opening Series opponent next season. For whatever reason, no matter where each team ends up in the standings, the A’s always seem to sputter out of the gate against Hernandez, pesky shortstop Brendan Ryan and newcomers like Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse.
But why? Why does MLB schedule these two teams every single year (and for the past three consecutive years)? Why do the Los Angeles Angels get to open the season with intriguing interleague match ups with the Cincinnati Reds? Can’t there be a little more variety for the A’s too?
This is a light-hearted article, to be certain, and MLB’s schedule-making process is obviously more complicated than this argument might make it seem, but it’s worth discussion. It definitely makes Opening Day rather anticlimactic to expect the A’s to crumble against Felix and then watch as they flail, on cue, against his nasty change-ups, sliders, and pinpoint fastballs.
It’s already hard enough to beat Hernandez any other time — so it’s even more of a tall order right after he signed that massive seven-year, $175 million contract in the off-season. He came out focused and determined, and the A’s had no chance. The A’s found that out on Opening Night, and it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t have dominated someone else instead.
So MLB — when you’re assembling next year’s schedule, can you please match the A’s up against someone — anyone — else? Thanks in advance.