Category: clayton kershaw

6/21/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

For this game, my friend Ryan would be joining my dad and I. You might remember Ryan from this game. Or this game. I picked Ryan up from his house around 9:20 and from there, we headed to the Coliseum.

Today was a throwback Thursday, so every fan got a fee bag of peanuts and a scorecard. The A’s are amazing! (Sarcasm maybe?) We got to the Coliseum at got in line at gate C. My dad stayed in line while Ryan and I walked over to gate D to see how long the line was there. There was nobody there! We got in line and waited for my dad.

The gates opened at 11:05 and Ryan and I ran for the Dodgers bullpen, where the some players were warming up. I changed into my Dodgers gear and headed down. I had many interesting experiences there. I was told by 4 Dodgers pitchers that they are not allowed to give out balls from the bullpen, and all 4 of them tossed someone else a ball within 5 minutes of me asking.

It started with Aaron Harang, who was signing autographs. I got him to sign my ticket and after, I asked him if he would be able to toss me one of the cool commemorative balls. He said he would love to, but the bullpen balls have to stay in the bullpen. I got to talking to him about commemorative balls while everyone was screaming for his autograph.

Then he eventually walked away and said he would try to get one from the dugout from me. Then Tony Gwynn Jr. came over and I asked him for a Dodgers 50th anniversary ball, which I saw under the bullpen roof. I figured that since he was a position player, he wouldn’t know. But he said he wasn’t allowed to “hand them out.” I didn’t even get his autograph.

Then Chris Capuano came along and I asked him for a ball and with a laugh said “What is thrown in the bullpen stays in the bullpen.” So I asked him for the softball in his hand. I guess not.

My last hope was their catching coach Steve Yeager. He had the same answer as everyone else. Great.

With almost no chance of getting a commemorative ball, we headed over to our seats behind the A’s bullpen. While we had been gone, my dad had taken some great pictures of A’s players warming up.

Jerry Blevins:

Ryan Cook:

Brian Fuentes:

And when we got back, some more great pictures

Derek Norris:

Travis Blackley:

I was unable to get a ball from any player warming up, so I settled in my seat to see Derek Norris making his MLB debut. He joins Andrew Carigan, Bret Anderson, and Aaron Cunningham as the only players I have seen make their MLB debut in person.

Travis Blackley was dealing in this game, only allowing one run and three hits over eight innings- arguably the best start of his Major League career.

The A’s scored their first run when Jonny Gomes scored on a sac fly from Brandon Inge in the 2nd inning. The Dodgers scored their lone run in the 5th on a single from Juan Rivera. In the 6th inning, I went and got an ice cream helmet, which I finished in ten minutes.

We had a great view of Ryan Cook warming up in the 8th inning to go in the game in the 9th

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Coco Crisp walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. Jemile Weeks went to bunt Coco to third, but got to first on a miscommunication by Juan Uribe and Josh Lindblom.

Kurt Suzuki and Casey Chavez watched on from the bullpen

Now there were runners on first

And third

And Yoenis Cespedes came to the plate

He was still without a walk off hit in his career and before the start of his at bat, I predicted a walk-off home run down the LF line. Hmmmm…

Boom!

Had I been standing in the cross aisle and sprinted to my left on the crack of the bat, I would have had it. Whatever. Celebration! I was happy!

I saw a ball in the bullpen and I was trying to find someone to toss it to me, but the usher lady kicked us out. I was shutout.

As I walked up the steps, I turned around to see the security guard on the field pick up the ball and toss it into the seats. I raced down to grab the ball, but someone grabbed it before me. Dangit! The A’s still won!

Keep scrolling for pictures of Cespedes’ Walk-off celebration
BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 5 Major League games this season = 0.8 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 8 baseball games this season = 0.875 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total balls

Home Run Trot:

Celebration at home plate:

On way to Dugout:

My next game is tomorrow (Sunday) at the Coliseum against the Giants… wish me luck!

Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

6/20/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

I had been looking forward to this game for a long time. It was an interleague game, Root Beer (Or Orange Crush) Float Day and the Dodgers were using commemorative balls. And because of root beer float day, the gates would open 2 hours early, instead of the usual weekday 1 1/2 hours. early. My plan was to leave for the BART Station around 1 and get to the Coliseum sometime between 1:30 and 2pm. I would ask around to find the best gate to enter and head to that gate.

I had tweeted the A’s earlier and they recommended LL or MM. After entering, I would head straight to the Eastside Club to get my Orange Crush Float in a autographed Cliff Pennington mug and head out to the bleachers and ballhawk.

Well the only one problem was that my sister had nature camp that lasted until 4. The game started at 7. The gates opened at 5. I wanted to get there between 1:30 and 2. Problem achieved. My parents picked her up around 2, because that was all that was the only time the camp would let us get her. They came home, my sister put on her A’s gear and we headed out to BART. This game was only going to be me, my mom, and sister, so my dad just dropped us off at the BART station and we were off.

The ride on BART lasted half an hour, like it always does. I killed some time my studying up on the Dodgers roster.

We got to the Coliseum ar 3:30 and from there, we got in line at gate LL.

I walked around the stadium a few times and noticed some interesting things. As I walked past C and D gates, the 2 that are open for entrance every game had moveable fences around them. But nobody was in line. NOBODY at all!

I also 2 the CBS 5 news trucks by Oracle Arena.

When I got back to line, I still had time to kill before 5:05. I saw the, loading the root beer inside.

And the set up in process.

I also ate lunch and talked with some lady that was nice. When it was time to go in, I had my bag checked and ticket scanned, and I ran to the table straight ahead, where the special mugs could be purchased. My sister and I both purchased a Cliff Pennington autographed mug, and it was actually hand-autographed, not just stamped or printed on.

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(That picture along with the next 3 were taken on my phone at home)

As I entered the East Side club, I got my bearings and considered my options. Should I get my float from somebody right away and risk a great opportunity, or go farther and see what else there was? I decided to go all the way to the end, and on a certain level, it payed off. There was a table that said “Everything $5” I looked closer and there were past giveaways there. All ones that I had wanted. I ended up getting a Justin Duchscherer bobblehead…
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a Ryan Sweeney Jersey…
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and an Athletics yoga mat…
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Pretty legit. I decided to get a float from Stomper, the A’s mascot, and Splash, the Ports mascot.

Yes, I would have rathered gotten a float served from the Warrior Girls, Raiderettes, Mrs. McCarthy (You may recognize her from ESPN) or Jonny Gomes, but I decided to get my float quick and get to ballhawking. Right when I got to the RF bleachers, the A’s were just ending BP… I waited a few minutes, and right after my mom and sister arrived, the Dodgers started hitting.

I have no words to describe the frustrations. There was a ball hit a little ways over my head, and as I chased to get it, it bounced around and I couldn’t get to it in time. It was a commemorative ball. Great. And of course, on the next pitch, before I could get back to the front, a ball was hit right where I had been standing. And the guy tried to barehand it and it landed on the out-of-town scoreboard. Commemorative ball. Great. There were many other stories like this, including one where some guy pushed me out of the way to get a ball, and he didn’t even catch it. And it was commemorative too… WHAT THE HECK??? There was a ball that rolled up onto the warning track and Todd Coffey went to go get it. I yelled out “Hey Todd! Is there any chance that you could please throw me that ball?” That prompted everyone to start yelling things like “Todd!” “Coffey” “T-Cod!” “Ball!” and “Throw it here!” He then asked “Who said please?” Everyone in the section pointed to me, and I told him that I had, but some guy yelled out “I DID!” and Todd threw it to him. Ugh! It was commemorative too! He was the only Dodger who threw a ball up during ALL OF BP! They were being very, very stingy about balls. Just like in San Diego. At 6:20, when batting practice was over, I had 0 balls. Yay!

I headed out of the bleachers and down to the Dodgers dugout to try and get a ball. Boy was it crowded! Wow! I put on my Dodgers hat and took off my Jersey and tried my luck, but within a few minutes, the usher kicked us all out. Cool. I then headed to the Dodgers bullpen, where I was for 20 minutes before the ushers started checking tickets. I stayed off to the side, until an usher headed my way, where I went to the section behind the cross aisle, where tickets were not being checked. I was hoping to get a ball from a player warming up, but I couldn’t get close enough… stupid ushers…

I changed back into my A’s gear and headed for my seat, where I told my sister of my frustrations. My only hope at this point was a Home Run ball, or a 3rd out toss up. In the top of the 8th, Josh Reddick missed a throw from Coco Crisp while warming up, so he grabbed the ball, I called out to him; he pointed to me, and threw the ball. Some old guy reached in front of me at the *very* last minute and got the ball. This was just not my night. But it would get worse. Josh Reddick caught the 3rd out of the inning, and he once against pointed to me. But this time, he chucked it 10 feet above my head. I sprinted back in hopes of getting it on a rebound, but right has I went to grab it, a 300 pound man pushed me/tackled me, and ended up with the ball. This was horrible!

In the bottom of the 8th inning, Brandon Moss stepped up to the plate and CRUSHED the ball to the RF bleachers, a section to my left. But because the bleachers were so packed and are hard to navigate, I wasn’t able to get there in time, and the ball bobbled around a little bit, before somebody grabbed it.

That was the closest I came again, and as a result, I got shut out again. Wonderful.

I got a great picture with my awesome sister.

And a picture with all of my loot, I guess you could say.

In clockwise order from the top, you have my french fry helmet, my Root Beer float mug, my bobblehead, my Jersey, and yoga mat.

Keep scrolling after the stats for a few more pictures…
BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 0 balls at this game
• 4 balls in 4 Major League games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 7 balls in 7 baseball games this season = 1 ball per game.
• 9 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 12 total balls

This is what it looks like from the BART train approaching the Coliseum

I took this picture of the sign that is Oakland’s equivalent of the Yankee Stadium subway sign thing

Nick Badders is a unofficial reporter for MLB.com. He writes the blog, 7000 Coliseum Way, and you can follow him on Twitter @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay. You can also LIKE his blog on Facebook or follow him @nickbatters or his blog @7000ColiseumWay on Instagram. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

2011 Predictions

Well, yeah, I am predicting. This is what I think the standing will look like com October:

American League
West:
1. Rangers
2. Angels
3. Athletics
4. Mariners

Central:
1. Indians
2. Tigers
3. White Sox
4. Twins
5. Royals

East:
1. Red Sox
2. Yankees*
3. Blue Jays
4. Rays
5. Orioles
* Wild Card

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez (BOS)
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander (DET)
AL ROY: Jemile Weeks (OAK)
AL Manager of the Year: Manny Acta (CLE)

National League
West:
1. Diamondbacks
2. Giants
3. Dodgers
4. Rockies
5. Padres

Central:
1. Brewers
2. Cardinals
3. Pirates
4. Cubs
5. Reds
6. Astros

East:
1. Phillies
2. Braves*
3. Nationals
4. Mets
5. Marlins
*Wild Card

NL MVP: Matt Kemp (LAD)
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
NL ROY: Craig Kimbrel (ATL)
NL Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson (AZ)

Playoffs:
ALDS:
In an ALCS rematch, the Rangers will take the series in 5 but the Rangers win due to the lack of a number 2 starter for the Yankees.
And in a 2007 ALCS rematch, the Red Sox will take the series in 4 games due to the stellar offense from the Red Sox.
NLDS:
In an NLCS rematch, the Phillies prove to be too strong for the Giants and take the series in 3 – sweeping the Giants.
And the Brewers continue their hot streak and amazing pitching to overtake the Brewers in 5 games.

ALCS:
The Rangers and Red Sox battle it out in a battle of power, the Red Sox take the series in 7, advancing to the fall classic.
NLCS:
The Pitching-strong Brewers will battle head-to-head with the Phillies, and in a surprise upset, Fielder, Braun, Weeks, and Grienke beat the Phillies in 7 games to advance to the fall classic.

WORLD SERIES!
The Red Sox and Brewers will battle hard, both teams with lots of power, but the Brewers pitching will beat Josh Beckett and the Red Sox in 6 games.

And there you have it, folks. Those are my predictions. Yeah, so, um. At the end of the playoffs, you people can comment on any of my posts and let me know how wrong I got everything.