Q&A with Andrea Mallis, Oakland A's Astrologer

As part of our continuing series on the remarkable people and clubs who make up the fabric of the Oakland A's fanbase, OaklandClubhouse.com's Rachel Afraimi catches up with Andrea Mallis, the Oakland A's official astrologer.

I remember vividly the first time I heard the "Astrology Minute" with Andrea Mallis on the "Extra Innings" Oakland A's post-game show with Robert Buan on KFRC radio. Her insightful comments about Arthur Rhodes' control problems were very poignant and insightful. Andrea has established herself as the official A's astrologer, writing for the Oakland A's magazine, appearing as a guest on Marty Laurie's "Right off the Bat" radio program and, of course, the "Astrology Minute" on "Extra Innings". I had the chance this week to sit down with Andrea and pick her brain about the upcoming season and some of the new faces we will see on the field this year.

When did you become a baseball fan and which was your favorite team?

I became a devoted baseball fan back in 1973. I'm a Queens, New York native who grew up near Shea Stadium. I caught baseball fever during the New York Mets "Ya Gotta Believe" magical season in 1973. The Mets were in the cellar all summer but managed to win the NL East, playing just over.500 ball. I was in the stands at Shea when the sign man held up the "Ya Gotta Believe" sign and Tug McGraw (the closer for the Mets) and the fans adopted the chant. It was such a hopeful, optimistic message, and it taught me never to give up on things in life and your team.

How ironic that I'm an A's fan now, as I was crushed when the A's beat the Mets in the 1973 World Series.

When did you start following the A's and what attracted you to the team?

I was out of baseball for awhile, focusing more on my path of women's spirituality. I became a certified astrologer in 1983 and started Virgo In Service Astrological Consulting. I got back into baseball during the summer of 2001, when I went to an A's game with some friends. I bought a copy of Athletics Magazine and read about Barry Zito's interest in yoga and meditation, and realized there was a whole new generation of baseball players that were open to spirituality. The A's seemed like a young, hip Bay Area team -- after all they arrived in Oakland in 1968, a very revolutionary time on the planet. They have that innovative zeitgeist, plus I'm always attracted to the underdog.

What inspired you to combine astrology and baseball and what fascinates you about their connection?

Since athletes are always looking for a competetive edge, I realized by blending my passions for astrology and baseball I could provide a useful, valuable map of optimum timing.

In baseball, as in astrology, timing is everything. Baseball and astrology both run in cycles. There are predictable planetary cycles that astrology ascertains, so athletes and regular folk can capitalize on certain cycles and minimize challenges.

Although astrology predicts energies, not necessarily events -- and I usually work without the benefit of accurate birth times -- I'm still able to flesh out the major planetary cycles players are currently experiencing. (Dominican Republic birth charts can be tricky.) By comparing and contrasting players birth charts (where the planets were when they were born) to where the planets are now -- known as forecasting -- I can determine what cycles players are currently experiencing.

I particularly focus on Mars, a crucial planet for an athlete, as it rules energy and aggression. Utilizing the metaphysical science of astrology, I created a whole new ballgame! I could uncover whose bat was heating up, whose injury prone, who may be heading into a slump, etc. As a revealing map for optimum timing, I can see whose star is on the rise.

Sports astrology can maximize investments, advantageous trades, draft choices, free agents, clubhouse chemistry, etc. It illuminates the mental, emotional and physical game, and untaps players potential in a more holistic way. It's the 21th century and it's time to step up to the plate and take a fresh look and be open to integrating more novel methods. I'm suggesting that sports astrology is a supplement for what baseball is already doing [in evaluating talent].

What is your favorite Oakland A's memory?

My favorite A's memory has to be the 20 game winning streak. I remember one summer game at the Coliseum in particular, when Miguel Tejada hit a walk off home run and I saw grown men cry in the stands. That streak was some of the most inspiring, magical baseball I have ever experienced.

When did you become "The A's Astrologer" and how did that come about?

I began calling in on Robert Buan's post-game radio show "Extra Innings" in the summer of 2001, sharing my unique blend of baseball and astrology. Robert, a curious Scorpio, bless his heart, was open-minded, and my "one of a kind" perspective was a hit. Currently in my 4th season, I present the "Astrology Minute" on his show on KFRC. I have also prognosticated on Marty Lurie's A's pre-game radio show "Right Off the Bat," KNBR Sports Talk Radio and ESPN Radio.

I began writing for the A's web site in the 2002 season and planetary profiles for half of the official major league baseball magazines. Shortly thereafter, ESPN contacted me for appearances on SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPN News, and Cold Pizza. I also appeared on the Bay Area's CBS Channel 5 Game Day show and KRON Channel 4's Sports Final and have written articles for ESPN.com's PAGE 2 and MLB.com. I most recently contributed to a forthcoming book on fantasy baseball, and attended the baseball winter meetings in Anaheim, CA. My various writings are located on my web site www.virgoinservice.com under "Baseball Articles".

In your opinion, what player possesses the most fascinating chart?

I would have to say Barry Zito; he's the most eccentric Taurus I know. While he possesses the Taurus work ethic and determination, he also has this whole other part of his personality that is off the beaten path and totally unconventional. He hears a different drum and embraces his non-conformity. Astrology can be a great permission giver. People are so much more complex than their sun signs, and Barry is a great example of that.

Were your surprised with the off-season trades of Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson?

Tim Hudson's a tenacious Cancer (July 14 1975), so no, I was not surprised about Hudson being traded. He's going through his Saturn Return, an auspicious astrological rite of passage that occurs at age 29. A career turning point, it's a cycle of increased ambition and responsibility. A four year, $47 million deal close to home makes security minded Cancers happy. A lot of significant changes, especially career changes, happen during our Saturn return. Life may feel like an endurance test, yet he is building for future goals. However, Saturn also rules the bones, knees teeth and joints, and Huddy is has already experienced challenges with his hip and may be more injury prone during this karmic phase.

On Mark Mulder (August 5 1977): I was surprised about Mulder being traded. A prideful Leo who never liked to admit a weakness, he was caught in an exhausting low energy cycle the second half of the year, losing all of his starts in September and October with a bloated ERA of over 6. Dispirited and discouraged, nebulous Neptune, the planet of confusion, unraveled his strength, yet they kept running him out there. This season, his meltdown is a distant memory, as Jupiter makes positive aspects to his Mars (a very important planet for an athlete). Physical vitality returns and there is an abundance of energy to achieve goals, and he'll make the most of those opportunities. Health is strong and he's eager to achieve, confident and highly effective. Dynamic and inspiring, he should be back to the Leo glory days he knew so well.

Will Barry Zito have a Cy Young like season this year?

Barry Zito (May 13, 1978) should be rounding back into Cy Young form, as his enervating and dispiriting Neptune (planet of nebulousness) oppose Mars (energy) cycle is now officially over, which cast a pall during his past two sub-par seasons. Confidence was at an all-time low, and this cycle lasted for two full years. There was no way out but through with planetary cycles, and now in 2005 the true Zito returns. Now experiencing a strong Mars cycle in 2005, he should be more purposeful and steady, with renewed vigor and intensity. Zito can tap back into enthusiasm, optimism and abundance, and should rise to the challenge of the ace role with flying colors.

What new player may have a break-out year?

I like Joe Blanton's astrology forecast for the 2005 season.

Joe Blanton's an ambitious Sagittarius (Dec. 11, 1980) and a breakout year is possible as he embraces his responsibilities, bringing heightened concentration and discipline. As a result, his stature and reputation may rise.

What are your own personal predictions for this year?

Fearless Aries General Manager Billy Beane, who also has several planets in visionary Pisces, is an imaginative strategist thriving on challenge. He's made some bold moves and I think they can work in the A's favor in the long run.

A big question on A's fans minds seems to be how will the re-tooled A's make up the 40 some odd game they may have won with Hudson and Mulder?

Some of the players that look promising to help the A's overcome those losses for 2005 (based on the information at my disposal) are:

Scott Hatteberg, (Dec. 14, 1969) Optimistic Sagittarius, should still be plugging away, thanks to some positive Jupiter (planet of expansion) aspects, he has not yet maxed out.

Nick Swisher, (Nov. 25, 1980) another athletic Sagittarius, is in a positive Jupiter (expansion) cycle with increased ambition.

Rich Harden, aspiring Sagittarius (Dec. 30, 1981) obsessed with winning, is ready to step up thanks a powerful Pluto (power) aspect to his Mars (energy).

Dan Haren, hard-working Virgo (Sept. 17, 1980), more confident and sure of himself and blossom in 2005.

Chad Bradford, dutiful Virgo (Sept. 14, 1974), should fare better in 2005.

Kiko Calero (Dec 9, 1975) quite driven and determined in 2005.

Juan Cruz (Oct. 15, 1978) a big year for Libras, thanks to a fortuitous Jupiter (planet of good fortune) cycle

Seth Etherton (Oct. 17, 1976) this is a huge year for Libras and Seth is at the right place at the right time.

I'm concerned about the following players:

Mark Ellis, dexterous Gemini (June 6, 1977) the best made plans can go awry in August, as Saturn (limitation) makes a difficult aspect to his Mars (physical energy). His power may be thwarted, he should be mindful of reinjuring himself, unbalanced energy, mishaps and acrimonious ego disputes. Platooning with Ginter may work, as it looks like Ginter will be stronger after the All-Star Break, and vice versa for Mark.

Tim Harikkala, instinctive Cancer (July 15, 1971) looks like he's off to a slow start as Saturn (planet of limitation) makes a challenging aspect to his Sun; energy and vitality can be low.

Jeremy Brown, intense Scorpio (Oct. 25, 1979) and "Moneyball" catcher, Neptune (planet of nebulousness) oppose Mars (physical energy). Can have trouble fulfilling his desires, may become more frail and tired. His energy is low, and his health is more delicate than usual.

Bobby Crosby, serious Capricorn (Jan. 12, 1980), may be off to a very slow start in 2005. Not quite the dreaded sophomore slump, after wining the Rookie of the Year award, but, nonetheless, Bobby starts the season slow due to a Saturn (planet of limitation) cycle. Confidence energy and vitality may be low; he feels a lot of internal pressure. Since Saturn also rules the skeletal system, it would be wise to be extra cautious in those areas.

Keith Ginter, determined Taurus (May 5 1976), should have more success after the All-Star Break, as Saturn (planet of limitation) makes a challenging aspect to his Mars (planet of energy) May and June. His assertiveness and desires are put to the test, actins meet with resistance. A frustrating cycle, also problems with bones, knees are probable.

Dan Johnson (Aug. 10, 1979) Neptune (confusion) to Sun (basic personality) may be more moody or confused now, because he is so idealistic and impressionable, he is subject to serious disappointment. He may feel a general lack of power, authority and control.

OaklandClubhouse.com thanks Andrea Mallis for taking the time to speak with us. To learn about Andrea and the work she does, please visit her website at www.virgoinservice.com

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