Travis Blackley，站上投手丘讓人第一眼注意到的是他的刺青，五月中旬來到 A's，從牛棚拉上先發後，意外地收到不錯的效果，也就這樣定在輪值當中。A's主場球評曾於某場轉播當中，點出 Blackley暫居聯盟牽制王的紀錄。查了一下，Blackley與藍鳥隊的 Ricky Romero、道奇的 Clayton Kershaw、紅人的 Johnny Cueto以6次牽制成功並列聯盟牽制王 (其中，Blackley投球局數不到60局，其餘三人皆破百)
六月，Blackley取得將近八年以來的首場勝利，上一次獲勝是2004年7月1日，MLB Debut那天 (當時水手總教練是 Bob Melvin)。Blackley以未經選秀的 FA身分在2000年10月與水手隊簽約，2003年於2A取得德州聯盟最多的17勝，當年成為 All-Star Futures Game的一員，也被選為水手農場年度最佳投手。2004開季前被 BA排在同隊的 King Felix以及 Clint Nageotte後面，為百大新秀的第63位。之後，歷經手術、遊走各隊、遠赴韓國再回到大聯盟。以下透過翻譯 Susan Slusser在明星賽前所寫的文章來近一步認識 Blackley
Travis Blackley #54 OAK 2012 二度回鍋 (Photo By Elaine Thompson / AP Photo)
A's Travis Blackley finally taps his potential
by Susan Slusser
Travis Blackley is no longer with the Giants - they waived him in mid-May - but he is trying to follow the same international path to success as one of his former teammates.
Travis Blackley不再是巨人隊的成員，他們五月中把他 waive掉，但他嘗試著追隨他前隊友國外走一圈而成功的軌跡
Blackley hopes to turn the experience he gained pitching in South Korea last year into sustained prosperity with the A's, much as Ryan Vogelsong turned a season in Japan into a rotation spot with San Francisco.
Blackley希望他能用他去年在韓國投球 (起亞老虎)所獲得的經驗同樣地在A's成功，如同 Ryan Vogelsong從日本到舊金山巨人隊的輪值一樣 ('07-'08 阪神虎，'09 歐力士猛牛)
"Vogey is a friend of mine and I really admire what he's done," Blackley said. "That's something I said to myself this year: 'If I have an opportunity to do what Vogey has done, I'm going to take it.' "
"Vogey (Vogelsong)是我朋友，我欣賞他所完成的" Blackley說 "今年我也告訴自己: 如果我有機會完成 Vogey所做的，我會把握機會"
So far, it's working, and on a team of surprises, Blackley, 29, is one of the biggest. The A's signed the left-hander envisioning him as a long reliever, and now he's in the rotation. He has made seven starts and is 2-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 10 appearances overall. His 1.01 WHIP is best among A's starters.
Vogelsong was on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno this year when Blackley was there, and he said the two of them hit it off, "obviously the paths being kind of similar."
Vogelsong had a chance to catch up with Blackley recently when the A's played the Giants.
"When you leave the country to go play overseas, it's pretty tough to get back," Vogelsong said. "People kind of forget about you. They just assume that you're going to re-sign there and go back there again. To come back and get into an organization is pretty tough. I'm happy for him.
"當你離開家鄉到海外打球，很難再回來" Vogelsong說 "人們在某種程度上會忘了你。他們總認為你會在那續簽，又回到那。回來並重回大聯盟的系統內，相當困難。我為他感到開心。"
"He's really in tune with himself on the mound right now. Sometimes that makes the biggest difference in the world, having confidence and being comfortable on the mound. It allows you to achieve what you're capable of doing."
Vogelsong's name is mentioned a lot in conversations about Blackley. Left-hander Dallas Braden, whose locker is next to Blackley, mentioned the Vogelsong comparison, as did A's general manager Billy Beane. Beane said it's tough for career Triple-A players to get real opportunities, naming outfielder Matt Stairs and reliever Billy Taylor as two such men who fared well with the A's.
"Sometimes guys just get it," Beane said. "Look at Vogelsong: He went to Japan and came back a totally different guy. Sometimes, signing guys like that doesn't work out, and sometimes you get lucky and get a very, very valuable guy, which Travis has been to this point."
"有時候人們總能把握住 (機會)" 豆爺說 "Vogelsong曾去過日本，回來時是個完全不同的傢伙。有時簽下這類的球員並未能收到成效，有時你會很幸運地獲得非常非常寶貴的球員，像目前的 Blackley"
Those who know Blackley well do believe the Australian's off-speed stuff improved during his travels - which included two stints in Mexico - but the biggest change came between his ears. Earlier in Blackley's career, by his admission, he was a bit of a knucklehead, something of a challenge for a manager. He came to the majors with Seattle at age 21, highly hyped and buying into it. His work ethic was, Blackley said, nonexistent.
"He was the jewel of the organization and he won his first time out and was kind of like, 'This is going to be easy,' " said A's manager Bob Melvin, who was the Mariners' manager when Blackley made his debut in 2004. "The baseball gods will humble you."
"他曾是球團的珍寶，當他第一次上來時有一點認為"什麼都很簡單的感覺" A's總教練 Bob Melvin說，他也是 Blackley 04年 debut時的水兵總教練。"棒球之神會使你謙遜"
"Bob saw me at my most immature," Blackley said. "Everyone saw it. You could see it on the mound. Worse, and Bob can attest to this, I was making the bullpen wear it every five days; they always had to eat up four or five innings."
"Bob看過尚未成熟的我" Blackley說 "每個人都看過，你也能在投手丘上看到。更糟的，Bob可證明這一點，我讓牛棚每五天就要耗損一次，他們必須吃4到5局" (還真是如此)
Blackley put up a 10.04 ERA in six starts, and he missed the following year after shoulder surgery. He began bouncing around after the 2006 season, with stops that included two games with the Giants in 2007. Minor-league stints in the Phillies', Diamondbacks', Mets' and A's systems followed, and the Mets even tried to turn him into a sidearmer. No one ever was quite sure what to do with Blackley, though his ability was evident.
"I kind of grew out of the prospect tag and turned into Triple-A filler," Blackley said, then added, pointing to his head, "I got sick of being told I had the stuff to do it and that I had to figure it out upstairs."
"我被貼著新秀的標籤養著，但轉變成填補3A陣容的球員"Blackley說，接著補充，指著他的頭 "一直被說我有 stuff去完成，我都有點病了，我必須弄清楚"
He wasn't daunted to go to South Korea last year; as a member of the Australian national team, he has played all over the world. He did find that he was isolated by the language barrier, to the point that his brother, Adam, came to live with him for a time.
Because Blackley likes to talk.
"And talk and talk and talk," Australian national coach Jon Deeble said.
"不斷地聊天、聊天、再聊天"" 澳洲國家隊教練 Jon Deeble說
"It's like he swallowed a freaking See 'n Say," said Braden, who isn't exactly quiet himself. "Talk, talk, talk, and everything is hilarious in that accent."
Blackley believes his big mouth and his intimidating look - the heavy-metal fan has tattoos covering both arms and he used to have some facial piercings - have created some misconceptions about him and might have cost him jobs.
Blackley相信他的大嘴巴，以及嚇人的外表 -- 這位重金屬迷在雙臂有數個刺青，臉上穿了幾個環 -- 使人產生對他的誤解，也可能影響到他的工作
"Absolutely, no doubt about it," Deeble said. "But when you get past that, Travis is a funny kid. Likable. Lovable, really. The look doesn't match the personality at all."
"顯然地，毫無疑問" Deeble說 "但當你經歷過那些，Travis是個有趣的孩子" 可愛的，惹人愛的，真的。外表與個性並不全然一致
Deeble, Boston's scouting coordinator for the Pacific Rim, has known Blackley since he arrived at a baseball camp at the age of 10, little brother Adam in tow.
Deeble，紅襪負責泛太平洋地區的球探，在 Blackley 10歲參加棒球夏令營就認識他了
"Travis was a little pudgy left-hander with a big smile," Deeble said. "He didn't have the tattoos yet, though."
"Travis是個又矮又胖的左手球員，有著大大的笑容" Deeble說 "那時他還沒有刺青"
Travis Blackley #90 NYM 2010 右臂有澳洲國旗 (Photo by Doug Benc / Getty Images)
Blackley is a favorite of Australian baseball fans, much like A's reliever Grant Balfour. Blackley doesn't say no when asked to pitch for to the national team, he returns in the offseason, and he gives back, according to Melbourne Aces and national team coach Phil Dale.
Blackley是澳洲棒球迷的最愛之一，如同 A's的 RP Grant Balfour。他被要求為國家隊投球時不會說no，休季回到家鄉，然後再回到美國，Melbourne Aces以及國家隊教練 Phil Dale表示
"The guy is passionate about Australian baseball," Dale said. "Whenever he can, Travis will come back and talk to kids, he comes back to help grass roots. He has played in every country, and he's not afraid to go anywhere for the game of baseball - and I think he always will."
"這傢伙對澳洲棒球充滿熱情" Dale說 "無論何時，只要他可以的話，他會回到澳洲，與孩子們聊天，協助基層棒球。他在很多國家打過球，為了棒球比賽，他不會害怕去到任何一個地方，我認為他總有意願"
For now, though, he has a home in Oakland.
"He's had a harder, longer road," Melvin said. "I don't know if I've been prouder of a guy and the way he's toughened up and learned to handle himself."
"他一路走來，辛苦且漫長" Melvin說 "我不知道我是否曾為其他人感到更為驕傲，Blackley變得堅韌，也學會將自身處理好"