Gwen Knapp has a good story up at Sports on Earth about the scene in Oakland. Where, if all you’ve seen about it in the past couple of regular seasons, you may be surprised to learn can really rock when the A’s are playing well.
And the fans are passionate too. Maybe too passionate. Like, when Josh Reddick is involved:
“He threw wads of his bubble gum up into the stands tonight,” said Mike Liedtke, 51 and a longtime right-field denizen. “These two guys caught them, and without hesitation, they put them right into their mouth. That’s a real bond.”
So, yeah, that’s … special.
We can look past it, though. It’s just cool to see Atheltics fans, who have been jerked around like nobody’s business these past few years, enjoying themselves.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.