This weekend the Brewers were in St. Louis to play the Cardinals, so the local writers asked Prince Fielder what he thinks about fellow impending free agent first baseman Albert Pujols.
Fielder naturally is in favor of Pujols breaking the bank, telling Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he “should command it all” in his next deal because “it’s not crazy if someone decides to pay it.”
Obviously he’s not alone in thinking Pujols’s next contract should be a massive one, but aside from Pujols and his agent Fielder might be in position to benefit most from the Cardinals first baseman signing a massive deal.
Fielder isn’t Pujols, but he’s still awfully good and he could emerge as a very expensive fallback plan for teams that fail to land their No. 1 target, at which point he can point to Pujols’ gigantic contract and say, “I’ll take 75 percent of what he got.” Or so Fielder and his agent are probably hoping.
Fielder told Goold that, unlike Pujols, he’s not completely against the idea of in-season contract talks with the Brewers before he hits the open market, but he doesn’t expect that to happen and indicated that he’ll be looking for a seven-year deal as a free agent.
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.