As if leading the league in RBIs and making his third All-Star team wasn’t enough, Jason Bay is good at blogging too. He wrote about his All-Star experience for WEEI.com, including this amusing moment with Ichiro Suzuki:
Workout day. I run back in from the field to get sunglasses. Locker
room completely empty except Ichiro stretching on the floor and his
translator sitting on the chair beside him. So we make small talk, and
I ask him where he lives in Seattle because I lived in the suburbs.
Well, I had barely got the last word out when Ichiro says something
in Japanese. Then his translator turns to me, deadpanned and
straight-faced and says, “I’m going to mess with your house.” The way
he said it was malicious, and Ichiro is on the floor dying laughing
like it was the funniest thing ever. I was just like, “OK, I’ll see you
guys out there.” I didn’t know what to say. It was weird.
I’m convinced that Ichiro is the most awkwardly entertaining person in baseball, because just about everyone who meets him seems to have a similar story.
If most of his public interactions weren’t conducted through an
interpreter, he’d be thought of as either a comedic genius or insane.
Bay also wrote about playing the game while snipers were perched
atop the ballpark in St. Louis, meeting the president one week after
becoming an American citizen, volunteering to sing “Oh Canada” with
fellow Canuck Justin Morneau, and why “there’s no Moneyballing” in an
Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.
This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well, a little south for all involved.
Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.