SACRAMENTO, Calif. — At 4:00 a.m., Sacramento International Airport’s Terminal B is sparsely populated, generally with people bewildered at why they thought it was a great idea to catch the 5:15 a.m. flight out of town. I am one of them. The automated announcements are just too perky. The airport Starbucks will open whenever. “Pretty open flight,” my Southwest gate agent to Las Vegas announces. I have boarding spot B-1.
Oakland’s upcoming three-city road trip against the AL East’s top teams is an early test of whether the Athletics can hang around with World Series contenders. The Yankees and Red Sox appear to be on their way to dividing the AL East and a Wild Card berth between them. The Blue Jays are, like the A’s, among the five or six teams that look like they’ll be in the hunt for the last postseason spot. Can they A’s hang on? Will they fall behind the peloton? Could they even—I hardly dare say it—jump out to the front?
I’ll soon be at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Rogers Centre to find out just that.
But first my journey begins with airplanes to Philadelphia, our franchise’s ancestral home. I’ll meet up with my road trip partner, Stephen Hesson, who writes at The Good Phight as T.G.K. and tweets as @TheGreyKing for tonight’s game at Citizens Bank Park between his Philadelphia Phillies and my most-disfavored San Francisco Giants.
My days in Philadelphia will include a stop at N 21st Street and W Lehigh Avenue before I hop on the Northeast Regional to Penn Station for Saturday’s A’s/Yankees contest in the Bronx. Stephen will pick me up Sunday in his 2016 Honda Civic and we’ll begin the road trip in earnest: Boston, Cooperstown, Toronto, and Pittsburgh between May 13 and 19.
But first this flight to Vegas to connect with my plane to Philadelphia. Wish me luck at the McCarran Airport slot machines.
Jeremy F. Koo is a fallen away blogger. Follow the journey on Twitter: @jfkooan.