The nice thing about opening up against King Felix for the millionth year in a row is that expectations are low on Opening Night. And the converse of that is that the early season opening euphoria is still alive and well.
The A's have an easier assignment this time, with Jarrod Parker facing Hisashi Iwakuma. Perhaps Iwakuma will be out for revenge against the A's, who paid a ridiculously high posting fee for him and then ultimately were unable to reach an agreement, to the chagrin of his former agent, Don Nomura.
At the time (December 2010), Nomura told the Associated Press that the A’s "never showed any respect" and "their offer was low and they weren’t sincere."
Oakland offered Iwakuma a four-year, $15.25 million deal (in addition to the $19.1 million posting fee) but Nomura was reportedly asking for a three-year deal worth at least $35 million. Iwakuma eventually signed with the Mariners the following year as a free agent for 1 year at $1.5 million. He then signed an extension after the season to receive $14 million guaranteed over the next two years, for a total $15.5 million over 3 years. Seems like the $15.25 million for 4 years for an unproven player was plenty sincere.
Regardless, he may have an irrational hatred of the A's, which we as sports fans could understand.
Greg Papa predicted less than 20,000 fans tonight for a day 2 letdown; prove 'em wrong, Oakland faithful!
The A's are going with the mega-platoon lineup, identical to yesterday, which in and of itself is unusual.
7:05pm Mariners (H. Iwakuma - R) @ Athletics (J. Parker - R)
Gametime Forecast: 61°F • Partly Cloudy • 0%PoP
Let's do this!