Giants may be ready to call up Pat Burrell already

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Pat Burrell is 5-for-12 with a homer in four games at Triple-A after signing a minor-league contract with the Giants last week and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle speculates that he could be called up as soon as this weekend.
San Francisco’s offense ranks 13th in OPS and 14th in runs scored, but with Buster Posey taking over at first base and Aubrey Huff making room for him by moving to left field the Giants seemingly don’t have a place in the lineup for Burrell unless they’re willing to sacrifice a ton of defense.
And given that Burrell earned his release from the Rays by hitting .218 with a .311 on-base percentage and .361 slugging percentage over the past two seasons a nice stretch at Triple-A is hardly reason to hand him starts anyway. More likely is that Burrell would serve as a bench bat initially–Schulman notes a specific situation from last night’s game when he would have come in handy as a pinch-hitter–and perhaps get some spot starts against left-handed pitching.

Giants fans will have to pay a surcharge to park at Athletics games

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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.