SO THERE YOU ARE, AN Oakland A's fan lolling about between innings in the upper deck at a night game, weary of dot racing and gazing up into the starry heavens, likely musing, "I wonder. Does Barry Zito's awesome curve come from a wicked wrist snap, or is it actually because his Mars is conjuncting his sun in Taurus and he's got a Jupiter transit and three planets in Leo?" Only your official A's astrologer knows for sure.
That would be
Berkeley astrologer Andrea Mallis, 42, who has been dubbed the
"official" celestial guide for the Oakland A's on KFRC radio's
post-game show at 610-AM. She also writes a monthly piece for
the A's Web site, and for the past year has been running players'
charts and crunching numbers and coming up with some stellar stats.
Could this be the dawning of the age of astrology in baseball?
"The two actually have a lot in common," Mallis said, her enthusiasm
throwing her words into high velocity. "They're both all about
cycles and timing. Numbers and statistics. And as professional
athletes, the players are always looking for an extra edge. So
this just gives them some guideposts. Another tool to improve
And hey, not that ballplayers are ever superstitious, but if they're
going to rely on something "extra," at least this sounds a little
more civilized than leaping like a gazelle to avoid the foul line,
or not changing their underwear during a hitting streak. No bodies
that subscribe to the latter could be considered anything close
Anyway, Mallis stepped up as the Athletics' starting astrologer
last season after she'd gone to an A's game and read in the team
magazine how pitcher Barry "Planet" Zito is a
big fan of yoga and meditation.
"I thought, wow, a whole new generation of baseball players has
arrived," she said. "That night, the A's won -- which was great
-- then I went home and I ran the entire team roster's chart.
I discovered most of the roster is in the Neptune-in-Sagittarius
generation, born from 1970 to 1984, which means they're very philosophical
and instinctively spiritual."
Inspired by this new view of ball players, Mallis started phoning
in on the post-game show called "Extra Innings" on KFRC, hosted
by Robert Buan. She was a hit, and soon was signed up for an "astrology
minute" on the show, Buan said.
"She talks about what happened that game and how the stars affected
it," he said. "She loses me on half the stuff, with moons and
houses in certain planets or whatever. But it's different -- a
novelty. Some people love it. Some don't. Sometimes I'll get e-mail
saying how astrology is the tool of the devil. But at least they're
This union of stars and sports is perfect for Mallis, who is an
A's fan of astral proportions. "I love astrology and I love baseball,
they're my two absolute passions on the planet," Mallis said.
"So this is a gift for me for these to come together."
Her apartment-office south of the University of California, Berkeley
campus is jammed (in an organized way, of course -- she's a Virgo)
with astrological charts, plus anything with a star-moon-sun motif,
dozens of books on astrology and quite an admirable Oakland A's
memorabilia collection involving pennants, jackets, photos, beach
towels and, most notably, bobble-heads.
"Even my lava lamp is green and gold," she said.
She has been as astrologer for about 12 years, with a private
practice in Berkeley. But she's been a baseball fan even longer.
She grew up about a mile away from Shea Stadium in Queens, N.Y.,
and was a big New York Mets fan. She still loves the Mets, but
when she moved to the Bay Area in 1983, she fell for the A's.
And this woman knows baseball. Mallis can rattle off player stats
from here to Pluto, and she says she "eats, sleeps and breathes"
Mychael Urban, who puts together the A's Web page on the Major
League Baseball site, said he enjoys Mallis' contributions. "Some
of the newspaper sports writers make fun of us running her predictions,
but when you're online you have to do something different," he
said. "And the thing is, she's often right.
"For June, she was dead-on," Urban said. "It was really kind of
eerie. The players who she said would turn around, did. She said
Mark Mulder would come out of a slump right then, and he did and
he ended up pitcher of the month for the American League."
That's of course because Mulder was going through a very difficult
and intense Saturn transit, which is nothing to do with the car,
Mallis said the stars were favorable a couple of weeks ago
when the A's new five-year lease agreement was completed. "That
day it was signed, the new moon was in Cancer," she said. "Cancer,
of course, has to do with a sense of home, family, roots. And
the new moon, that signifies new beginnings. So the fact that
the A's got their new lease that day was very auspicious."
The Oakland A's -- as a team -- have not officially endorsed Mallis
and her planetary proficiency, but she's hoping someday they will.
"They have team psychologists. Team masseurs. Team doctors," she
said. "They probably wouldn't go for the title of 'team astrologer,'
but I'm hoping to be Director of Intuitive Arts."
A lot of the players seem to get a kick out of all this. "You
get players like Eric Chavez who say they don't believe in it,"
Urban said. "But then you get the free spirits like Barry Zito,
and he reads it and really likes it."
Mallis says she has held individual consultations with certain
players, but for client confidentiality reasons can't say who.
Mallis says her work is not about making predictions. She's
no Jimmy the Greek. Astrology helps "foresee energies, not events,"
she said. But she still might want to expect calls from some Vegas
So Andrea, what does the A's energy look like in October?
"As an A's fan, I'd love to see them win the World Series,"
she said. "And as an astrologer, I think they have a pretty good
One of Mallis' favorite movies is the 1970s flick, "The Fish
That Saved Pittsburgh." In it, Stockard Channing is the astrologer
for a basketball team. After doing all the astrology charts, for
team chemistry, she renames the team the Pittsburgh Pisces. They
subsequently go on a huge winning streak.
"I guess she's the closest thing I have to a role model," Mallis
(c) 2002 The
Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission
of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.
D. Ross Cameron ANG Newspapers