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.
Yu Darvish: the Dodgers’ answer, but was there really a question?
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→
Jeff Samardzija: contenders must beware swimming with this Shark
First, as noted in this space just last week, the Kansas City Royals were the best bet to be active in the wheeling and dealing–and they already have been. In addition to picking up Trevor Cahill in a deal last week, the Royals have now also gone out and gotten Melky Cabrera from the White Sox. That means they’ve acquired both an arm and a bat–exactly the prescription written for them in last week’s piece. KC is the team most likely to benefit from adding parts to the roster in my analysis, so expect them to be playing in October, especially if they complete a deal for another arm for the rotation, as is being rumored (Francisco Liriano is on the block in Toronto, and Kansas City might be the buyers). Continue reading Caveat Emptor, Baseball Edition→
NOTE: At last! Here’s the long-delayed second in a series of Features describing the author’s first visits to various MLB ballparks around the country. In this post, the author visits Anaheim’s Angel Stadium, just a couple of days after the first in this series, a visit to San Diego’s Petco Park. Further posts in the series will come during and after a major road trip planned for June of this year. Keep watching this space for further updates from the road.
Angel Stadium, the longtime home of the not-so-longtime named Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, stands only about a mile away from the hotel where I was staying after my quick sojourn in San Diego. I decided to avoid the parking and/or transit fee and walk my way over to the park for a Tuesday night game between the Oakland A’s and the homestanding Angels.
As with my visit to Petco Park two days prior, this was my first time seeing a game in Anaheim’s stadium, so the whole experience was new to me…except that, in certain ways, it seemed strangely familiar–and not necessarily in a good way.