Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has had a pretty good month and it’s not even halfway over. Entering Monday’s game against the Giants, Stanton had played in all 12 of his team’s games in August. He homered nine times, drove in 17 runs, and overall hit .356. Additoinally, Stanton came into Monday’s action having homered in each of his last four games.
Stanton made it five consecutive games with a homer on Monday, blasting a 2-0 Ty Blach fastball for a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. He’s the first Marlin to homer in five consecutive games. Stanton also took sole possession of the Marlins single-season record for homers in a season, passing Gary Sheffield’s 42 in 1996.
Along with the 43 round-trippers, Stanton has 92 RBI, 89 runs scored, and a .283/.373/.643 triple-slash line in 491 plate appearances. He’s now on pace for 60 home runs. The last player to hit 60-plus home runs in a season was Barry Bonds in 2001, when he slugged 73 of them.
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.