Oakland A's Soothsayer | Post-season predictions from sports astrologer Andrea Mallis.
In spite of their late-season slump, the A's appear poised to make a post-season appearance. It has been quite a year for the home nine. How far will the A's go if they do make it? If anybody has a clue, it's the team's official astrologer, Andrea Mallis. A longtime spiritual guide for the team, as well as for three other Major League teams, Mallis uses astrological charts to advise on the performance of both current and possibly future players. If the Giants had consulted her on the signing of former A's Cy Young award–winning pitching ace Barry Zito, they very well might have passed on his huge contract. According to Mallis, it's important to keep in mind that this month Mercury is in retrograde—according to her, a time to redo, rethink, regroup, reflect, and review. With that in mind, I called her recently to see if my stars were properly aligned, or needed rotation.
Paul Kilduff: What do you think the A's playoff chances are?
Andrea Mallis: I am liking the A's chances a lot. I really think that someone could pick up the offense. We didn't want to see [Yoenis] Cespedes go—obviously he was a slugger and he added a lot to the team—but I think pitching is more important. You can eke out a run here and there.
PK: Do you think Billy Beane just said to himself, "It's now or never. I'm going to go for it this year."
AM: Yes, perfect Paul. You captured the quintessential Aries energy [of Beane]. I was just looking at Billy's chart the last couple of days. Aries is a fire sign, so it's sort of pioneering. It's innovative, it's impulsive, and it goes for it. It's headstrong, it's exuberant, it's courageous, it jumps, and if it doesn't make the right jump, it can jump again. So that's sort of Aries. It's not like a Virgo that worries itself to death that has a paralysis of analysis—"Well, I don't know; then, again." Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac. It's fresh, it's spring, it's new beginnings. So that's his basic personality. I always make this joke: He'd trade his own mother. I mean he is really shrewd.
PK: The thing about the A's that makes them so fascinating is that they're this bargain basement team. They can't afford to keep any of their stars, and yet they're often one step ahead of everybody. It seems like Beane is able to work with that set of circumstances and still have the best team in baseball. How does he do that?
AM: There's an adage, "You play for the name on the front of the jersey, not on the back." And with Beane there's not a lot sentimentality. If I may contrast him to [Brian] Sabean [GM of the Giants] who's a Cancer, Sabean is much more sentimental toward players. He doesn't like to let go as much; has this maternal energy almost. Which is really very sweet, and Beane doesn't have any of that.
PK: What is he really like? I mean you're sort of painting him as a little bit ruthless. He doesn't seem like he would be that way.
AM: Oh, he's beyond charming. Every time I've met him, he's remembered me. He's introduced me to his wife. Just very, very gracious. But in the boardroom, he's a different animal. Which on some level, I actually respect him for.
PK: My understanding is that baseball players tend to be more superstitious than other athletes. Do you think that makes them more open to astrology?
AM: Absolutely, Paul. I've worked with coaches, players, and family members, and it gives them comfort. Whether it's a certain way you're always driving to the ballpark. [Giants pitcher] Tim Lincecum wears the same baseball cap for each outing.
PK: Same pair of socks.
AM: Same cup.
PK: Same underpants.
AM: Rally enchiladas. That was Ryan Vogelsong from the Giants during the playoffs and World Series. So they got a hashtag going, #rallyenchiladas. Filling out the lineup in pencil. I remember I gave a former pitching coach some pastilles that have a natural stress release in them. And he put it on one side of his mouth for half the inning, the other side on the other half. And I said how were the pastilles? Did they help? He goes, "No, I put one in my mouth, and then the pitcher gave up a hit." I said, "Well, the causality, that's not it. The pastilles can take tension off if something happens during the game. They're not going to cause something to happen or not." We went through the whole superstitious chain of how they were just a resource to help through a game, not to make something happen or not. Depends on how much you want to imbue. I always tell my clients I'm like a cosmic umpire. I get most of the calls right.
PK: How could anybody expect you to be 100 percent right? But, just for the record, you have a pretty good track record.
AM: Excellent track record. I go to the winter [baseball] meetings and meet with different teams with my laptop. They kind of kick the tires. See what was what. And I thought that they thought, "Wow, there's a lot more to it than I thought." Because I think part of the challenge is describing what astrology is and what it isn't.
PK: OK, you've stumped me. What is it?
AM: It's a resource of optimum timing. People like to use that for weddings, rituals, home and car-buying, store openings, travel, contract signings, surgery dates. So why shouldn't athletes use it to see when their optimum cycle is? The thing is, players are rewarded on past performance. The gist of sports astrology is to also look at future performance. We don't want to throw out scouting reports. I just want to be a tool to enhance what scouts and front office people are already using.
PK: I think you should be managing the A's, Andrea.
AM: It's interesting you said that because the rally possum [a possum that scurried through the outfield during a game at the Coliseum earlier this year that some believe sparked an A's rally to win a game] happened a couple of nights ago. And that blew up on Twitter. He had 1,000 Twitter followers in a day. And I was like, that's their spirit animal. They're a scrappy, underdog team.
PK: Maybe he could replace the elephant as the A's mascot?
AM: Because he's scrappy.
AM: He came furtively out and darted across the field, and they said he lives on Coliseum sewage. He's not like a cute little mascot you want to get warm and fuzzy with. He's like a night owl. Where'd he go? Where'd he come from? He's weird, like us. We're weird.
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Birthplace: New York City
Astrological Sign: Virgo
Book on Nightstand: Astrology, Karma & Transformation
Motto: "Timing is everything."
Twitter Handle: @virgoinservice