Grabbed some front rail seats for $25 a pop off Craigslist, brought my main squeeze and headed out to the ballgame last night, buoyed by the previous nights' victory. Loaded up on Blue Moon and fish and chips, then settled in for a great game.
Before the national anthem, I saw Blevins, who never met an autograph seeker he didn't like, signing away. I mean the guy is the nicest kid you'd ever want to meet. I have yet to go to a game that I did not see "Elbows and Knees" scurry over to the railing and sign till his arm falls off. I brought a clean baseball, that incidentally was tossed to me by Calero pregame before the 06' playoff game, in hopes of landing a Ziggy autograph. I want him on a ball by himself. I could have brought my A's ball, which includes autographs by such A's luminaries as Lon Simmons, Goose Gossage (on the sweet spot) Greg Luzinsky, Tony LaRussa, Scott Brosious, Eric Fox, Barry Zito, Curt Young, Huston Street and the Haas Family. But I figured Ziggy is something very special. Much like my Lou Brock, Dave Winfield, or Mickey Mantle autographs, this one needed to be on a ball by itself. And of course, here came Ziggy to sign as well, and I got it! What a perfect evening....until the game actually started.
Duke got hammered on the homer hit into the luxury boxes, and with another homer and uncharacteristic walks, it was evident that Duke is waning in the dog days of summer. It has been a long season and more innings than he is used to, but he found a way to get his control back and was his usual dominant self for a few innings in a row.
This game was ours to win. I don't mind getting spanked by a better team, but I do get overwhelmingly frustrated when we beat ourselves with bad baseball decisions. I feel that Geren made a non-decision that could have really affected the outcome of the game; a chess move that I would have thought any manager would make. First of all, I was shocked that Patterson came through with a single to score two. That was clutch! Perhaps a better first base man could have made a play on it, but it was sharply hit and Patterson deserved it. Now, one out, the young, speedy Patterson on first, WooHoo on third and what does Geren do? NOTHING. NOTHING! Hello? Is this thing on? Why in the HELL do you not send Patterson to avoid the double play? Am I wrong? I am open to public ridicule here if I am mistaken but is this not a fundamental decision? Worst case he gets thrown out, two outs. Best case he avoids the double play, the ground ball Ellis hits scores a run, or the catcher throws the steal attempt throw into center field. I will give him props for batting for Pennington, although having a guy batting .222 for a guy batting .000 is like having George Bush teach an english class.
Ok, so, Huston came on and looked pretty good, tickling 92-93 on the ever-so-generous stadium gun, but was still not pushing off the mound as much as normal. And Embree was great as usual when the game is not on the line. The ninth came and now we steal. Oh, wait, was that not the worst jump in the world? I called Davis out as soon as he left. It would have taken a throw to the center field bleachers to miss him. And quietly into the night our beloved A's slunk back into irrelevance.
Baseball game with my girlfriend A++
Fish and Chips B
Seats and surrounding fans A+
Free parking at Bart A
Game Overall D
Getting Ziggy to sign on a game used ball.....PRICELESS!!!!