T-shirt fads come and go in baseball clubhouses, and another one may have arrived in the Coliseum Friday.
As they came off the field after batting practice, A’s sluggers Brandon Moss, Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes each were presented with a green shirt with the letters “RUN DMC’’ stacked. Above “RUN’’ in smaller type was the word “Home’’ and under “DMC’’ were the letters 20 37 and 52.
Those are the jersey numbers of, in order, Donaldson, Moss and Cespedes, the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters in the A’s lineup most nights and to whom the “DMC’’ refers in the local spinoff of the 1980s hip-hop legends.
None of the three went deep Friday – indeed, none of them reached base as the A’s were shut out 7-0 by David Phelps and the Yankees’ bullpen – but Cespedes wore his newest T-shirt under his game jersey.
Whoever the designer of the “Home RUN DMC 20 37 52’’ jersey is, he/she has a point. Donaldson has 17 homers, Moss 16 and Cespedes 12, a total of 45 homers between the three of them through 67 games. No other American League team can match that three-man muscle, and only the Blue Jays and the Orioles have three batters in double figures with homers.
There are six teams in the AL who don’t have anyone with as many as a dozen homers, four teams who don’t have anyone in double digits.
Numbers are one thing, but the A’s have to be a little concerned that their production hasn’t peaked. After hitting 28 homers in April and 37 in May, Oakland has just a dozen homers in the first 11 games of June. In the last four games, there’s been just one long ball, that from Stephen Vogt Sunday.
The last time any of the DMC had a long ball was June 8 when Moss did it.
It only stands to reason that the A’s will get back on their home run stride, because the homers the club hit in April and May – Oakland ranks second only to Toronto in home runs hit – were not flukes.
But a team designed around maximizing home run potential works best when the home run potential is realized.