Coco Crisp of the Cleveland Indians originally became a professional baseball player in 1999, the same year that American rock band Smash Mouth released arguably its most famous song, "All Star."
Although Crisp has never been an All-Star, his RBI single was the difference in Cleveland's 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night at Wrigley Field. The soft liner he deposited into right field was also the impetus for a highly unlikely Twitter exchange between Northern California-based Smash Mouth and Crisp's former team, the Oakland Athletics.
It began during the game when San Francisco Chronicle columnist John Shea tweetedabout Crisp's journey this season. The Indians acquired Crisp at the trade deadline from the A's after the veteran accused Oakland of reducing his playing time so that his $13 million player option for next season would not vest.
Half an hour later, Smash Mouth chimed in and it was off to the races.
The A's caught wind of Smash Mouth's feelings two hours later and responded in kind. But that was just the beginning. Oakland relief pitcher Sean Doolittle even joined the fun with not-so-subtle references to Smash Mouth's 2001 song "I'm a Believer" and its 1998 cover of "Why Can't We Be Friends."
That's when the A's account laid the first defensive smackdown of the feud, insinuating that it has been nearly two decades since Smash Mouth dropped its most popular song. The band seemed to take the insult in stride and maintained its stance about improving team culture on behalf of Oakland fans.
The A's then turned around Smash Mouth's comment about fans and retorted at midnight Pacific time with what seemed to be a deliberate attempt to shame the five-man band, which again brushed aside the slight. Doolittle, meanwhile, opted to remove himself from the odd situation just before 1 a.m.
The following morning, Oakland deleted the tweets and issued an apology to Smash Mouth.
What a bizarre world the Internet can be sometimes. As for Crisp and the Indians, they return to Wrigley Field for Game 4 on Saturday seeking a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
-- Nick Ostiller