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The Oakland Athletics were trying to do a nice thing for their All-Star pitcher. But even the best intentions can go horribly wrong.
Liam Hendriks’ performance took a sharp turn up this season in his ninth year. The righty, who was DFA’d by the team last summer, has an overall ERA of 1.24 ERA, less than half of his previous career low (2.92 with the Blue Jays in ’15). He won AL reliever of the month for June and led all MLB relievers going into the All-Star break with a 0.92 ERA.
It was a big deal for the 30-year-old and his organization when Hendriks was added to the All-Star Game roster as a replacement last week. The A’s chose to honor him by taking out an ad in the The Australian since the pitcher is a native of Perth, Australia.
— John Stensholt (@JohnStensholt) July 9, 2019
That’s a classy move by the organization. Except they didn’t bother to check local custom and slang. And that mistake turned it from classy to crass when translated back again.
The A’s included the hashtag #RootedInOakland, their advertising campaign showcasing the commitment to building a new ballpark in Oakland rather than move cities. That’s all fine and well except “Rooted in Oakland” does not mean anything like “We have a long history in Oakland” when used in Australia.
Aussie Liam Hendriks confirmed to me that the A's slogan "Rooted in Oakland" has been a source of some hilarity for him. "Rooted" is a very, very naughty word in Australia.
— Phil Barber (@Skinny_Post) April 20, 2019
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