Sickness and life have conspired to make today the Apricot clan's first live game. This is a little report on our visit to the game today, followed by some win expectancy numbers and pictures.
(huh? what is this? and what are these pictures?)
- Hopey had lots of fun smiling at A's fans and Dodger fans alike and eventually napped from the 7th inning on.
- No one told me they put comfy cushions on all the seats. Big improvement.
- They closed Our Black Muslim Bakery too!! Darn it!!
- No one told me that Sundays after games kids 14 and under could run the bases! If Hopey weren't asleep we would have gone for it. If anything, Mrs Apricot was way more excited than any kid at the chance to run the bases. I didn't understand why none of the kids were sliding into bases; there must have been a rule against it.
- They dumbed down the "item under the cap" game so that even I could follow it without my brain exploding. Seriously, the level of difficulty was absurd the last few years... in the past, I had to avert my gaze to stay sane.
- The atmosphere was actually very festive and excellent. The food crowds were significant but there were none of the five-innings-on-line-for-a-hot-dog lines. And there were a lot more vendors coming by the seats (Sec 220). If the tarping of the holy third deck was supposed to improve the vending experience, it worked.
- The announcer was okay, but I miss Roy Steele. One of my favorite ballpark pleasures (which I've never heard anyone else appreciating publicly) was Roy Steele narrating the Dot Racing. Imagine James Earl Jones or Pat Summerall narrating a Benny Hill chase, completely deadpan. I hope he's well.
- I loved the Bill King tribute where they (presumably) play a new great radio call, though it was a little funny to have the hero of the clip be Saenz. Grady should have sent Saenz up to pinch-hit immediately. I'd love to have a whole DVD of those, synched with video.
- Despite being a father, I received no free Father's Day Tie because we couldn't arrive hours early. It is a source of irritation to me that it is such a trial to get a giveaway at the Coliseum. But once I saw the actual tie (gold with little A letters), I got over it.
- 7th Inning stretch was "God Bless America", which, sorry, I think is a lousy song. I prefer "America the Beautiful".
- Generally speaking, the park looked more spiffy with exhibits around and flat screen ads. There was the clever (new?) idea of giving kids little wristbands with the seat numbers of their parents. There were several giveaways ($50-$100) throughout.
- All in all, it was just a great day at the park... sun, the A's in control with the requisite dollop of anxiety at the end, Cupcakes getting DPs seemingly at will. Next time we'll hit the bases and get Hopey to harass Stomper.
Okay, here are the win expectancy contributions of MLB players and A's players to date.
MLB To Date WXC Events A's To Date WXC Events
STL Albert_Pujols 4.605 239 Nick_Swisher 1.778 306
NYY Derek_Jeter 3.541 298 Dan_Haren* 1.418 405
ARI Brandon_Webb* 2.859 420 Barry_Zito* 1.158 410
BOS David_Ortiz 2.644 291 Bobby_Crosby 1.044 252
NYM David_Wright 2.582 308 Brad_Halsey* 0.942 290
NYY Jorge_Posada 2.383 223 Eric_Chavez 0.903 265
CHW Jermaine_Dye 2.372 239 Joe_Kennedy* 0.635 61
HOU Lance_Berkman 2.371 271 Mark_Kotsay 0.598 277
TEX G_Matthews_Jr. 2.359 274 Huston_Street* 0.585 139
DET Cur_Granderson 2.250 310 Kiko_Calero* 0.541 115
PHI Ryan_Howard 2.235 278 Dan_Johnson 0.393 212
STL Chr_Carpenter* 2.224 360 Frank_Thomas 0.257 218
BOS Jona_Papelbon* 2.200 135 J_Duchscherer* 0.224 74
PHI Chase_Utley 2.178 311 Steve_Karsay* 0.199 53
BOS Kevin_Youkilis 2.176 287 Rich_Harden* 0.124 143
BOS Manny_Ramirez 2.146 270 Joe_Blanton* 0.117 386
COL Matt_Holliday 2.114 283 Milton_Bradley 0.089 113
TOR B.J. Ryan* 2.099 123 Chad_Gaudin* 0.014 103
MIL Bill_E. Hall 2.088 243 Santi_Casilla* -0.020 11
MIN Joe_Nathan* 1.989 97 Jay_Witasick* -0.022 29
MIN Joe_Mauer 1.970 258 Mike_Rouse -0.093 16
NYM Duaner_Sanchez* 1.962 172 Kirk_Saarloos* -0.257 321
MIN Johan_Santana* 1.939 410 Marco_Scutaro -0.268 153
CHC Carl_Zambrano* 1.938 422 Randy_Keisler* -0.269 42
ANA Orlando_Cabrera 1.926 299 Ron_J. Flores* -0.354 34
TB Ty_Wigginton 1.922 256 Matt_Roney* -0.390 19
PHI Pat_Burrell 1.918 253 Esteban_Loaiza* -0.547 120
STL Scott_Rolen 1.852 246 Jay_Payton -0.643 217
CHW JA. Contreras* 1.794 353 Bobby_Kielty -0.715 112
MIL Carlos_N. Lee 1.791 297 Antonio_Perez -0.720 50
COL Todd_Helton 1.788 241 Mark_Ellis -1.143 187
CHW Paul_Konerko 1.781 292 Jason_Kendall -1.492 237
CIN Ken_Griffey_Jr. 1.780 183 Adam_Melhuse -1.661 90
Before one gets too excited about Crosby and Ballsy Brad Halsey's rise, their big jumps are almost entirely due to the 17-inning marathon game. Maybe next time we'll have some pictures of how their seasons have been going.