Athletics

What Glen Kuiper misses most about sports amid coronavirus hiatus

What Glen Kuiper misses most about sports amid coronavirus hiatus

Editor's note: Like you, Bay Area athletes and NBC Sports Bay Area insiders, reporters and analysts are feeling the sports void during the coronavirus stoppage. They'll share their thoughts twice a week in "What I Miss About Sports." Next up in the series: A's play-by-play broadcast Glen Kuiper.

The 2020 Major League Baseball season was scheduled to open March 26, getting underway with our Oakland A’s hosting the Minnesota Twins.

It could still be the year the A’s make a deep playoff run, maybe even bringing home to Oakland a fifth World Series Trophy. And while that might very well happen, we will have to wait on these hopes as together we all fight a bigger opponent.

Exercising our patience is difficult as the anticipation for a brand new season was upon us. But with so much uncertainty, one thing is certain: I already miss baseball. I know we all do.

Baseball has been central to my life since I was very young, and so this unexpected turn leaves me missing the many big and little things that come with the baseball season in the Kuiper home, and life.
I miss:

-Waking up and looking at every box score from the previous night’s games.
-My wife, Amanda, asking me how the day/evening’s game went.
-My kids, Jack and Annie, asking me over breakfast if the A’s won.
-Studying the starting pitching for the next game.
-Pulling into parking lot at the Coliseum and feeling the excitement in air, and in my heart for the upcoming game.
-Sitting in the dugout, talking baseball with players, coaches, and staff.
-Quietly sitting in my chair in our broadcast booth filling out my lineup card.
-Pregame dinner with my colleagues (who are my great friends) in the press lounge.
-Pregame laughs, and there are a lot of them, in the booth before we go on the air.
-The sense of pride I have when I call the A’s games for the awesome Oakland fans, and making sure I give them the very best I have so that they might enjoy the game as much as I do.
-Our fans. The wacky, crazy, devoted, diehard Oakland fans.
-Reminding fans that “when its time for a change, think Speedy Oil Change and Tune Up."
-Calling out the “Chapman Dive” and the “Olson Scoop” and the "Laureano Throw” and, of course, “That baby is gone!!”
-Hearing Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” after an A’s win.
-Ray Fosse’s mustache.
-Dallas Braden’s beard.
-Driving home after the game knowing I get to do it all over again the next day.
-The full days of being immersed in baseball.

We will be back together soon, better than ever, but until then, be safe, be kind to each other, and I will see you at the Coliseum, A’s fans!

More from "What I Miss About Sports"

Cleveland Indians follow Washington, could change controversial name

Cleveland Indians follow Washington, could change controversial name

Have we seen the last game between the A's and the Cleveland Indians as they're known today? Just hours after the NFL team in Washington announced it would consider changing its racist nickname, Cleveland's MLB franchise released a statement indicating that the team was open to discussions on changing the "Indians" nickname.

The franchise has used the "Indians" moniker for over a century, switching over from the Cleveland Naps back in 1915. Broncos, Bluebirds, Lake Shores and Bustlers all also are nicknames the franchise has had in its lengthy history.

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Cleveland's management clearly has understood how the nickname could be considered offensive, as it removed the controversial "Chief Wahoo" alternate logo from the team's uniforms and most apparel at the end of the 2018 season.

Public pressure has mounted in the wake of sweeping support across the nation for reform to fight systemic racism and police brutality in the United States. 

It won't be a surprise if we see not one, but two major American sports franchises completely rebrand with a new nickname and mascot before 2020 wraps up.

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

A's still deciding on alternate training site due to coronavirus issue

A's still deciding on alternate training site due to coronavirus issue

The A’s activated a 60-man player pool to start training for the upcoming 2020 baseball season. Most of those players will work out of Oakland Coliseum during a three-week camp to prepare for games that count. The rest will go to an alternate site that the A’s have yet to determine.

“That has not been easy,” A’s general manager David Forst said Friday. “We’re working on that. We have a lot of players and staff members waiting by the phone anxious to hear when they’re leaving and when they’re going. I’m spending a lot of time working on that, as are a lot of other people.”

Stockton was the most obvious location. The A's Single-A affiliate resides there, so it seemed natural the Ports would host members of the player pool not training in Oakland and, eventually, those not part of the 30-man roster.

The A’s didn’t cement that site due to increased concerns over spikes in coronavirus cases and the heightened restrictions that followed.

[RELATED: A's have no opt-outs, injury issues entering training camp]

Stockton remains a possibility, though the A’s have explored other options in relatively close proximity to their home base. The ongoing public health crisis that delayed the MLB season, canceled the minor league baseball campaign and created a need for a reserve squad capable of filling in for the MLB players injured or infected, plays a part in the ultimate selection.

“Stockton is in the mix,” Forst said. “Anywhere we’ve looked around here, the situation with the virus is a factor. San Joaquin County, Stanislaus County -- we’ve looked around Alameda County -- how each county is handling things and their particular orders come into play when we’re looking into alternate sites.”

The A’s obviously need a quality baseball complex and housing around it for their players to temporarily reside, making options somewhat limited. Finding the right spot, and soon, will be important as players start to prepare in earnest for the season ahead.