In Major League Baseball, youth–like Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Braves–is always served
Nor did this space bother to comment on the charges, even in the heat of the grumbling back during spring training. Because none of it ever made a lick of sense, and anyone who knows anything about the history of baseball since the advent of free agency–or even what happened in the last couple of years with the Houston Astros–already knew that.
Good is good, and better is better. And then there’s the best–as in “the best seat in the house.”
At your local ballpark, the best seat in the house is usually right behind home plate, perhaps just a row or two behind the backstop. At the nearby Oakland Coliseum, those seats are known as the “Diamond Level”; the name may change at your local stadium, but these days almost all parks are equipped with seating that’s right down on the field and right next to the action.
Shohei Ohtani takes a pitch during an extra-inning at bat during the season opening game between the Angels and the A’s at the Coliseum–as viewed for the Diamond Level. (Author’s photo)
I had a chance to sit in those seats on Opening Day at the Coliseum last month. A friend was going with her son-in-law and there was one extra ticket, so I got a call the day before the opener asking me if I’d like to join in the fun–for free. On Opening Day. In the warm California sun.
NOTE: Here is the seventh in an occasional series of Features describing the author’s visits to various MLB ballparks around the country. After finishing his cross-country trip at the end of June, the author went back to the most familiar baseball ground of all: the Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics and the closest major league park to your correspondent’s home.
How bad has it gotten for baseball in Oakland? After completing my transcontinental trip at the end of June, I made a point of going out to the local team’s digs, with the full intent of writing up a review of the Oakland Coliseum soon thereafter.
That was over a month ago. Let’s just say, interest in East Bay baseball has fallen off a bit in recent years.
It is probably fitting that the game I saw, an Athletics contest versus the Tampa Bay Rays on the night of Monday, July 17th, was the worst attended game at the Coliseum in several years. But all things come to pass eventually, and here, at last, is that long-delayed review of the Oakland ballpark experience.
Most of the talking heads said they needed to make that move. One wonders what season those babblers have been watching lately, because they’re quite wrong. The Dodgers didn’t need to pick up Darvish–they just did it because they could, and as likely as not, they did it to keep him away from the rest of the competition.
They’re not likely to regret the move, but there may be one small downside to the trade: a boost to expectations that were already sky high…which could upset their balance and lead to major disappointment down the road. Continue reading Gilding The Chrysanthemum→
Baseball fans, you can be forgiven if a wave of nostalgia swept over you Monday afternoon.
It used to be that the New York Yankees always plucked up the best talent via a trade with lesser, poorer teams around the league. Their dynasties of the past were built on such transactions. In particular, the Athletics franchise–in Philly or KC–often served as an unofficial farm team for the Bronx Bombers; that’s how they got Roger Maris, for instance, to keep the good times rolling out of the ’50s and into the ’60s.
Apparently, the good old days have returned to Gotham. With the Yanks acquiring Sonny Gray in a fleecing trade with the Oakland A’s, not only has the team set itself up to get better and make a run this year, but they’ll almost certainly have Gray to anchor the top of their rotation for many years to come. Continue reading It’s Now Very Sonny in Yankee Stadium→