Category: Colon

8/18/12 at the Oakland Coliseum

This was probably going to be one of my favorite baseball games ever.

There was a Scott Hatteberg bobblehead giveaway. And after the game, for extra $10 or something like that, we got to go on the field after the game and watch Moneyball. Awesome!

I invited my friend Sal to this game, because I knew he would want to come and I hadn’t been to a game with him in a few years. I went to 1 with him in ’09 and 2 in 2010.

I expected the lines to be very, very long.

My plan was to pick him up at 1:15 and catch the 1:40 BART train with him and my mom to the Coliseum, getting there a little after 2.

We picked up Sal at 1:15 and after being stuck in traffic, we got to BART at 1:35. My dad dropped the 3 of us off and we caught the 1:40 BART train, getting to the Coliseum a little after 2.

The line at Gate LL was long, so I headed to Gate C, because I assumed B would be closed. They were expected long lines, because they had caution tape set up for the line to double back 3-4 times. When we got to Gate C, there were maybe 20 people in line, so I jumped in there.

At this point, it was 2:30ish. Sal and I played Monopoly on our phones for a bit, before I decided that I wanted to get up and walk around.

Sal had talked about wanting a new A’s hat, so after seeing that the C Gate team store was closed, we kept walking. The season ticket holder line was getting long, and when we got to D Gate, the line had already doubled back once and was getting very long quickly. We headed into the team store there, which happened to be open, where Sal got a new A’s hat.

Line MM was long too, and when we got back C Gate, the line hadn’t changed much. We took some pictures and just talked and waited until about 45 minutes before the gates opened, before I declared that I wanted to walk around 1 more time. Keep in mind that there were only 50 or so people in line. We first stopped in at the C Gate Team store, where I got this picture of the boxes of bobbleheads beyond the ticket scanners.

After spending 5 or so minutes in there, we kept walking, and outside D Gate, which had tripled since were were last there, saw the 95.7 The GAME booth set up, where they were broadcasting live.

As we walked along the line that was very, very long, I noticed the daily RF Bleacher Section 149 tailgate

Once we had walked to the end of the line, where it started to double back, at Gate A, which along with Gate B wasn’t being used, I notice that the stairs up to gate AA, which are usually closed were opened. Sal and I headed up to see what we could see.

I looked inside and the cages were all set up, which was a very good thing. I also saw some Indians pitchers warming up.

By this time, after spending a few minutes here, I realized we had already been gone for 20 minutes, so after 4 failed attempts to call my mother, we headed to get back in line. Gate LL and MM had tripled as well since we had last been there, and at this point, I guessed there were at least 5,000 people already in line.

When we got to the end of the LL line, I saw the line at Gate C and it had gotten larger by at least 5x. It was crazy. And like 30 new people were in front of us. Whatever. I got this picture of a lady holding a sign to show where the end of the line was.

And then my mom snapped a quick photo of Sal and I that neither of us wanted.

My sister joined us a few minutes before the Gates opened, and my dad decided it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to join us, so he got in the end of the line.

I was pumped and ready to go, so at 4:05, I ran to get in the shortest bag check line, and after getting my ticket scanned and grabbing my bobblehead, I sprinted for the bleachers. I was hoping for a particular 1st row seat, but it was occupied. I adjusted by setting my stuff down in aisle seats of rows 2 and 3 to reserve them for my group.

Indians BP was in full swing and I figured I should start looking for easter eggs.

I saw a ball a few rows back, and picked it up for ball #1 on the day.

Some guy started heckling the Indians closer Chris Perez to the point where he got security to kick the guy out of the Coliseum. No joke. The guy was cussing Perez out and using words that I will refrain from repeating, but I think you get the point.

Chris had told the guy to meet him over by the bullpen, and that is exactly what happened, I found this video on YouTube of the confirmation. CAUTION- CONTINUAL USE OF FOUL LANGUAGE

BP was very frustrating. The Indians were not hitting the ball out and players were tossing a lot up. But they ignored me. There was an unknown player who threw a ball over everyone’s heads, so I ran after it, but someone pushed me into the side of the wall and ended up with the ball. Nice going.

That was the closest I came to a ball in the bleachers after my 1st ball.

After that, I decided that it was time to move somewhere else, as the bleachers were getting overcrowded and I was getting agitated.

My dad caught some good shots during BP like these

Sal and I headed down to the RF line, where I had been for this game in hopes of me getting a ball. A screaming line drive was hit in my direction, but 10 rows behind me, and knowing nobody would catch it, I ran to try to get the ball trickling down. I was pushed OVER A ROW OF SEATS trying to get the ball and had to do some fancy parkour to stay on my feat. I got a glove on the ball, but someone pushed it off and ended up throwing the ball onto the field and getting kicked out.

So that makes 2 people kicked out and 2 rag doll Nicks on the day.

I expected only a few more minutes of BP, and there were a several balls hit near me during that period. The first few were grounders down the line that I asked Indians players for and ended up being ignored. There were also 2 that ended up under the Indians’ bullpen bench.

The one other ball caused quite a commotion. A line drive was hit, just like the previous one, and as the ball trickled down the steps, I grabbed it with my glove, and a 300+ pound man pushed me over, rolled on TOP of me, and grabbed the ball. At this point, I was laying on the stairs on my side with a 30 year old man that weighed over 300 pounds on top of me. His knee was bleeding and my entire left hand was hurting (he had sharp elbows and knees) and people were trying to help him off.

At this point, BP was coming to an end. I literally rolled out from under him, and sprinted off towards the dugout, leaving Sal behind.

I was yelled at my 5 ushers to slow down, and after slowing down, I got to the dugout, where I called out for a ball, to be met with odd stares.

I decided to head back, in hopes of asking Mark, the awesome security guard by the visitor bullpen for one of the balls that I hoped was under the bullpen bench still.

I was only my way over when Sal approached me and said Mark had a ball for me. I guess there had been a family that had seen the whole incident and asked him to give me a ball. I told him he didn’t need to give me a ball, but he insisted. In the hindsight, he raised my spirits and showed his awesomeness. I then chatted up the family and told them about my blog, ballhawking, and offered them the ball, which they refused.

After this, I dropped my stuff off in the bleachers with my dad and sister and headed with my mom and Sal to Deli 215, which is the Sandwich bar in the Westside Club, which I mentioned in my last entry.

When we got there, it was just after 5:00, so I was a little concerned about getting back to our seats in time for the pre-game ceremony. We purchased 4 sandwiches plus fruit cups for my sister and me. It was 5:20 when we headed back to our seats. When we got there, I snapped this picture of my sister’s bobblehead.

A few minutes prior to the ceremony, they adjusted the red carpet a little

And extended it to the infield

I then randomly noticed many birds flying over the field

This is what was on the horizontal scoreboards up until the ceremony got underway

When the ceremony got underway, they had people walk out boards with the number of each game of the win streak, first 3 at a time, then 2 and eventually 1. After every set of boards, members of the 2002 team would be introduced by the legendary former voice of the Athletics, Roy Steele, back at the Coliseum again. It was amazing to hear his voice. It gave me goosebumps.

I think one of the 3 loudest rounds of applause went to then-bench coach and former manager Ken Macha

The whole ceremony lasted about 20 minutes, and I got video of 18 of those minutes.

Chants of T-LONG! echoed throughout the Coliseum as Terrance Long walked down the red carpet

The 2nd loudest round-of-applause of the night went to manager Art Howe, who considered not participating because of the uncomplimentary portrayal of him in the movie Moneyball.

But the loudest the Coliseum got was when Scott Hatteberg walked onto the field.

Here are all of the boards lined up along the infield with all of the members of the ’02 squad that attended in the middle of the infield

There were many, many video tributes throughout the ceremony, including one for each game of the streak

In all, there were 10 members of the 2002 team that participated in the pre-game festivities

Sal and I watched it all from the first row, in the aisle.

One thing, that I think was great on the A’s part was to get videos of a few players from the team apologizing that they couldn’t make it; guys like Eric Chavez, Barry Zito, and David Justice.

There was also a fantastic tribute to the late, great Cory Lidle, a part of the 2002 team who tragically died in a plane crash in 2006. The A’s raised $10,000 for the Cory Lidle foundation over the course of the weekend.

All of the people with the number signs exited via the red carpet as the ceremony ended.

My dad, once again took some fantastic pictures throughout the game of guys like Brandon Moss

And Yoenis Cespedes

He also got photos of the 149 RF bleacher crew

And the RF Drummer

Here is Yoenis Cespedes scoring on his home run in the 3rd

Along with Josh Reddick

Coco Crisp is starting his handshake with Yoesnis

Overall, I think we all really enjoyed the game

Evan Scribner and Jerry Blevins combined to allow 4 runs in the 9th

After Blevins allowed another hit, Melvin came out and brought in Grant Balfour

Balfour into game means 3 words: Metalica and RAGEFEST!

Once Balfour nailed down the save, it was an A’s win!

Now it was time to watch Moneyball!

We left our seats, and went and got in line, and we were about in the middle of it. This is what was in front of us.

And behind us.

We walked down the steps and settled down on the field

I got out my A’s sluggie (A giveaway at an A’s game I went to with Sal in 2010)

I think my entire family was excited

They pulled down a screen in centerfield for the movie

And before it started, Hatteberg answered a few questions and introduced the movie

There were less people than I expected at the movie

Overall, the movie was a lot of fun

And when it was all over, the sprinklers turned on

Right before the movie ended, I took another 360 degree panoramic picture

It was pretty cool to see the entire Coliseum empty

It was a great day. 2 balls, 1 bobblehead, and an amazing experience!

BALLHAWKING STATS:
• 2 balls at this game
• 11 balls in 10 Major League games this season = 1.1 ball per game.
• 20 balls in 14 baseball games this season = 1.429 balls per game.
• 16 Lifetime Major League baseballs
• 25 total balls
• 4 consecutive games in Oakland with at least 1 ball
• 5 consecutive games with at least 1 ball

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.

A’s Split Series with Rangers!

The A’s are for real.

On Monday, I was asked by many people if the A’s are for real. Now, the answer is yes!

They started the series on Tuesday, with a matchup of Bartolo Colon and Roy Oswalt. Both pitchers threw 2 scoreless innings to start the game. In the 3rd, Elvis Andrus had an RBI Single to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Adrian Beltre led off the 4th with a solo shot, followed by a 1-out RBI single from Mike Napoli. Craig Gentry followed with a run-scoring bunt, giving Texas a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the 7th, Josh Reddick led off, blasting his 21st home run of the year, a solo home run to right field. That would end up being the only run the A’s scored in this game.

The Rangers scored 2 more runs, when Josh Hamilton homered in the 8th inning, and when he hit a sac fly in the 9th to make the final score 6-1.

The A’s looked for a series split in game two, with Travis Blackley on the mound, opposing former Athletic Colby Lewis.

The first four innings of the game were scoreless, but Craig Gentry doubled in Brandon Snyder ti make the score 1-0. It wouldn’t stay like that for long, as Brandon Inge led off the A’s half of the 5th with a line-drive home run to center field.

The whole game then started to fall apart for the A’s in the top of the 6th. Elvis Andrus singled to open up the 6th. He then advanced to 2nd base on a bad balk, called on Travis Blackley by the first base umpire, Paul Nauert. Blackley has used the same move all year. Sigh. Micheal Young then singled to left, making the score 2-1 A’s. Blackley was then pulled for Grant Balfour, who allowed a Nelson Cruz single to make the score 3-1.

In the bottom of the 7th, Brandon Inge doubled to lead off, followed by a Chris Carter pinch-hit walk, who was then pinch-run for with Brandon Hicks. After 2 quick outs, Josh Reddick stepped to the plate. He launched a deep, deep drive to right field, which I was positive would leave the yard. It bounced off the top of the wall, about a foot above Nelson Cruz’s glove to tie the game at 3.

In the top of the 9th, Ryan Cook came in to pitch, and got out of a jam. Brandon Hicks lead off the bottom of the 9th inning. Right when Hicks was called up in June, he almost had a walk-off grand slam against the Giants, but the ball bounced over the wall. He has had multiple hits that have almost gone out, and was still without a major league home run.

He launched a solo home run to the deep part of right-center, his first career home run to win the game for the A’s 4-3!

So, the A’s have lost 2 games in July. They are 10-2 in July, and have 4 walk-off wins in their last 7 games and 9 walk-off wins this year!

Now, the Bronx Bombers come to town, for a four-game series. I hope of be at the game on Saturday. Now, the Yankees are 5-1 in their last 6 games, but so are the A’s. The A’s have a 10-2 record in July. The Yankees are 10-4. I expect this series to be evenly matched, power for power, strikeout for strikeout, and win for win. I expect them to split the 4 game series.

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.

A Loose 5-0 to Bronx Bombers…

Bartolo Colon

Perfect weather on memorial day in front of a sell-out crowd of 35,067 at the Overtock.com coliseum in Oakland. There was just one thing missing. The A’s bats completely disapeared as they were shut out by Bartolo Colon and the Yankees 5-0.

Trevor Cahill only allowed four hits, inculding a home run my Mark Teixeria, but allowed 4 runs and tied his season high with 5 walks. Colon never strayed from a steady supply of strikes — 71 out of 103 pitches — that consistently found the mid-90s zone on the radar gun all the way through the last pitch in his first complete game since July 5, 2006, at Seattle. The beating followed a healthy stretch of offensive production, as the A’s entered the contest batting .286 over their last eight games, five of which resulted in victory. Aside from doubles off the bats of Josh Willingham and Cliff Pennington, the A’s couldn’t manage much in the hit column. And the walks were missing, too, as Colon refused to offer up a free pass. Cahill’s location was just as good, but only in innings not named the first. The young hurler admitted to losing sense of his mechanics a touch, as he did in his last outing, and noted that adjusting his arm slot when necessarily has presented the biggest problem. Previously, Cahill had allowed just one first-inning run for a 0.82 ERA and .139 opponents average in the first frame this year, and he had surrendered just six total in 41 first innings in his career.

One possible bright spot for the A’s was to see Mark Ellis contiue is fantastic defense as he made a brillinat play in the fourth, snagging a Brett Gardner line drive to end a Yankees threat.

Josh Willingham doubled in the second, but the A’s just couldn’t bring him home to score a run.In the bottom of the 6th inning, Kevin Kouzmanoff singled to start the inning, but was thrown out at second on a Coco crsip ground out. The A’s failed to score Coco, as Daric Barton grounded out to Robinson Cano. Kurt Suzuki singled to lead off the eight, but was erased on a double play grounded into by Mark Ellis. Cliff Pennington doubled to lead off the bottom of the ninth, with the A’s hoping to aviod being shut out. Coco crisp grounded out to second base and advanced Cliff to thrid. The A’s had a runner on third with one out, but Daric Barton popped out to Alex Rodriguez in foul territory. They had two outs and a runner on third, but David DeJesus flied out to Brett Gardner to seal the shut out for Bartolo Colon.

This could have been a winnable game for the A’s only if they had been able to score some runs…

Preview for 5/30/11 A’s Game

Monday 5/30, 1:05 PM PT at Overstock.com Coliseum
Radio: SportsRadio 95.7 FM
TV: CSNCA

Athletics:
Trevor Cahill: Cahill wasn’t at his best in his last start, giving up back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning to the Angels. He lasted six innings, scattered 10 hits and five walks while being tagged for four runs (three earned) and just his second loss.
2011 Season: 6-2, 2.02 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 56 K’s
vs. Yankees in last 5 years: 0-2, 12.60 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 6 K’s

Trevor Cahill

Athletics Lineup:
1. Crisp, CF
2. Barton, 1B
3. DeJesus, RF
4. Willingham, LF
5. Matsui, DH
6. Suzuki, C
7. Ellis, 2B
8. Kouzmanoff, 3B
9. Pennington, SS

Yankees:
Bartolo Colon- Against the Blue Jays, Colon pitched five strong innings but faltered in the sixth. A five-run explosion, fueled by three walks — two intentional — led to his third loss of the season. He struck out eight in defeat but walked four overall.
2011 Season: 2-3, 3.77 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 56 K’s
vs. Athletics in last 5 years: 0-2, 7.36 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, 7 K’s

Bartolo Colon

Yankees Lineup:
1. Jeter, SS
2. Granderson, CF
3. Teixeira, 1B
4. Rodriguez, 3B
5. Cano, 2B
6. Martin, C
7. Posada, DH
8. Swisher, RF
9. Gardner, LF
-The A’s are looking to continue their four game winning streak
-The A’s are 20-4 when they score four or more runs in a game, 7-23 when they score less than 4 runs, lets score 4 runs!
-Cahill is looking for his 7th win today
-Don’t leave the ball up in the zone for the Yankees, or they will have a field day on A” pitchers
-The A’s have the best starter’s ERA in the majors
-The A’s are great in day baseball- let’s win!
– Memorial Day= Awesome Hats:

-Let’s welcome back Swish!Yankees vs Athletics