Bless you Twitter for giving us one of the best fights we never knew we needed: Oakland Athletics vs. Smash Mouth. On Friday night San Francisco Chronicle writer John Shea tweeted the following, relatively-innocuous statement about Coco Crisp’s journey from the A’s to the World Series.
Coco Crisp goes from accusing A's of benching him to prevent $13M option from vesting to hitting key RBI single for Indians in World Series.— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) October 29, 2016
Smash Mouth had things to say, because what else would Smash Mouth be doing on Friday night than letting their baseball feelings be known on Twitter?
The only problem: The A’s were watching, and they were upset.
This is a strong reply from the Athletics. They didn’t really talk baseball, but the GIF game was on point.
Smash Mouth: 0
The next tweet was critical from Smash Mouth to regain some ground. Let’s see how they did.
Oooh ... big whiff here. Not only did they fail to come back against the A’s brutal GIF, but they played it off like nothing was said and tried to keep this about baseball. This is an opening and the Athletics knew they had to go for the throat.
@smashmouth Up late desperately tweeting for relevancy? Hey now, that's not very All-Star of you.— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) October 29, 2016
Now, you might think that this is a solid punch from the Athletics, but it has some problems we need to discuss.
- Not sure tweeting about the Oakland Athletics on a Friday night is a move that makes you “relevant,” in fact it’s probably the opposite.
- Chance squandered on the pun game. Going with All-Star is entirely too predictable. The tweet would have been so much better if it was something like “Really going to pick a fight with us? You might as well be walking on the sun.”
Calling this an error by the A’s, but Smash Mouth tripped over their shoelaces and didn’t score.
Smash Mouth: 0
@Athletics You guys made ZERO key additions last off season. Same this off-season? You have great fans,come on give them something!— Smash Mouth (@smashmouth) October 29, 2016
The interesting thing about Smash Mouth’s technique is that they seem completely oblivious to the pun-storm raining down on them. The band just wanted to keep talking about baseball. It’s like they took a page out of the Michelle Obama “when they go low, we go high” playbook — except their “high” was still tweeting about the Athletics at 2:30 in the morning, and now it involved Sean Doolittle.
OH DAMN! Huge right hook from the A’s! They are having none of this “vaguely polite baseball chat” they went right for the jugular. The response from Smash Mouth is critical. The band is on the ropes — they need to fire back big to put some space between them and the team.
Swing and a miss by Smash Mouth. They didn’t get baited into getting into a fight even though they could have pointed out that while they haven’t had a hit since 1999 the A’s haven’t won an ALCS pennant since 1990.
Smash Mouth: 0
The next moments were going to be critical. Were the Athletics going to play it save, pick their punches and attempt to let it go to a decision, or try to knock out Smash Mouth?
Yeeeeeeesh. This took a turn we didn’t expect. Right when Smash Mouth started letting the foot off the pedal the Athletics were still in full-on knockout mode. Much like their pun tweet this has some issues.
- The “no fans” comment is a needless low-blow. Like it or not, Smash Mouth still has fans.
- Telling a band to “grow up” is problematic in a lot of ways. Firstly, bands WANT to keep that youthful exuberance to them — so this misses. Secondly, I’d say that arguing about baseball at 3 a.m. on Twitter is the definition of leaving college behind and become an adult. Becoming a dad, basically. Becoming a dad who hikes up his jeans at 8 a.m. and gets a second cup of coffee because he was up late arguing about baseball on Twitter and, dammit Jesse, that porch isn’t going to repair itself. Now get out of bed because we need to get to Home Depot.
The A’s got too aggressive and the judges are going to dock a point for sure.
Smash Mouth: 0
Now this is a strong play by Smash Mouth. The A’s invested everything into tearing them apart, but couldn’t — because Smash Mouth is Teflon. Smash Mouth is that fibrous wrap you put around the skeleton of a house to protect it from the elements until you put the walls up. You cannot come at Smash Mouth with simple means and defeat them, and now they were winning the public to their side.
Smash Mouth: 1
This is a fight where you need to look at everyone’s stance and what they brought to the table. Yes, Smash Mouth started this by subtweeting the A’s, but millions of people vent about their favorite sports teams all the time — and it’s clear these dudes were fans.
The Athletics could have had some fun and laughed at the grand peculiarity of being called out by Smash Mouth, but they got mean and stayed mean. There was no extending of the olive branch when this was over. They just tried to attack and attack and attack the band, while Smash Mouth stuck to baseball.
The only correct ending to this is how most Twitter wars finish ...
Except Sean Doolittle, who came off the top rope at the last second.
Smash Mouth and the Athletics made up! Now we’re going to see Smash Mouth throw a first pitch (probably) as part of a punitive damages agreement.