It has been a hellish week for the Rockies, losers of seven of their last eight games. They lost starter Roy Oswalt to a hamstring injury in the second inning this afternoon, then lost outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to a right hand injury in the ninth inning just as they were ready to escape the Arizona heat.
With one out in the ninth inning, Gonzalez swung at and fouled off the first pitch he saw from Diamondbacks reliever Josh Collmenter, an 88 MPH cut fastball. He grimaced on the backswing, then immediately dropped the bat and paced around the home plate area, shaking his hand. Manager Walt Weiss and a trainer came out to find out more about Gonzalez’s pain. After a couple minutes of deliberation, Gonzalez walked off the field and was pinch-hit for with Todd Helton, who eventually struck out for the second out. Michael Cuddyer then struck out to end the game, a 6-1 victory for the first-place Diamondbacks.
Troy Renck reports that Gonzalez sprained the middle finger on his right hand. Fortunately for the Rockies, x-rays came up negative and the outfielder is listed as day-to-day.
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.