(Photo Courtesy of Keith Allison)
If you see Brandon Moss coming your way with a hot iron, please run

by Will Begley

As the leaves start to change from green to gold (or in Northern California, as the grass starts to change from gold to basically the same shade of gold), the mind of every baseball changes from honest, objective measures of players—homers, OPS, and wOBA are basically it—to the metrics that really tell us something about their character. I refer, of course, to anagrams of their names.

In the words of A’s legend Reggie Jackson, “You can tell a lot about a ballplayer by [what you get when you’re bored one day and you rearrange the letters in his name]. I myself happen to be [JOE GINGERSACK].” Indeed, when Reggie was clubbing by the bay during the ‘70s, he used that very pseudonym to pick up women in numbers that make Wilt Chamberlain’s ghostwriter weep for shame. But the glorious three-peats of the seventies are past and gone, and a new Oakland club is taking its own run at eternal glory, leaving the question on every fan’s lips: what can you tell about the current A’s by their anagrams?

Brandon “BRANDS MOONS” Moss was evidently the cruelest pledge director in Phi Delta Theta history, and Sonny “NOSY, ANGRY” Gray is not as affable or detached as he seems in interviews. The pitcher who presents the least confidence in his abilities when addressing young autograph-seekers is Hideki Okajima (“HI KID! I AM A JOKE.”) The most supportive of the Balfour Rage dance is Ryan Cook (“AY, ROCK ON.”) The most unusual hobbies are those of Dan “ANT RODEO” Otero and Eric Sidney Sogard (“YES, I DIG RED ACORNS.”) Jose Canseco is never far from the gaze of his countryman Yoenis Cespedes (SEES P.E.D. ICON? YES.) No one better embodies the green-collar ethos of the Moneyball years in Oakland than Chris Young (NO RICH GUYS). Tommy “LINE TO MY MOM” Milone writes home most often.

Numerous A’s players have deeply held opinions of public transit in the Bay Area (Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART). Grant “FRUGAL ON BART” Balfour saves money with the monthly pass; authorities get the most concerned emails from Brett Anderson (“RE: DENTS ON BART”). Some of the newer members of the club aren’t exactly BART-savvy; Alberto Callaspo remains unclear about BART’s identity and nationality (BART’S A LOCAL POLE). Daric William Barton uses his commute to act out carnivorous childhood fantasies (“I’M A WILD BART CAR LION!”), but Bartolo Colon finds going to the park by public transport laughably plebeian (“O.CO ON BART? LOL”). One imagines he would also chuckle, however, at how Sean Doolittle gets to games (ON A TOILET SLED). You get a totally ludicrous name if you anagram Coco Crisp (COCO CRISP).

To conclude, best of luck to the 2013 Oakland Athletics, Western Champs. Or, as it says on Billy Beane’s desk, MATH PERCENTS LAW: I SACK A’S ON THE DL.

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