UPDATE: Rosenthal says the Dodgers have “zero intention” of trading Ethier, but will listen. He says two teams have inquired.
October: The Dodgers are interested in trading Andre Ethier!
November: No, the Dodgers are not interested in trading Andre Ethier.
December: The Dodgers are interested in trading Andre Ethier:
I don’t doubt that the Dodgers would actually like to trade Ethier, but he’s got an ugly contract, even by late 2012’s increasingly crazy standards. L.A. owes him $85 million between now and 2017. This for a guy who turns 31 next season. If anyone wanted Ethier, they’d be better off just signing Nick Swisher themselves.
Which doesn’t mean he’s untradable. For one thing — as one of my Tweeps notes — a free agent like Swisher may nit wish to go to a place like, say, Seattle, so if the M’s wanted his like, they could do a deal for Ethier. And of course, L.A. could kick in a lot of money in any Ethier deal.
Still seems pretty unlikely anyone would bite, but stranger things have happened.
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.