The total extent of Lance Berkman’s knee injury was unclear until he underwent surgery this morning and now the verdict is in, as the Cardinals announced that he’ll miss “approximately 8-10 weeks.”
According to the team the surgery repaired Berkman’s torn meniscus, but there was no mention of his ACL after the veteran switch-hitter and the Cardinals disagreed about whether or not it was torn as well.
All in all the result qualifies as positive news because 8-10 weeks on the sidelines means Berkman could potentially be back in the lineup around mid-August. That’s a best-case scenario, of course, and at age 36 it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if any setbacks put his status for the entire season in question. A torn ACL, however, would have ended his season and possibly his career.
Matt Adams will get an extended opportunity at first base in Berkman’s absence and the 23-year-old prospect has the potential to make an impact after consistently hitting for big-time power in the minors. Prior to being called up last week Adams played a total of 152 games between Double-A and Triple-A since the beginning of last season, hitting .310 with 41 homers and 33 doubles. He doesn’t walk much, but the guy can mash.
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.