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Athletics will offer free admission on April 17

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Just saw this via the Los Angeles Times. Seems that the Oakland Athletics will offer free admission for their April 17 game against the White Sox. And it’s not just tickets that are free. Parking is free too. All you gotta pony up for is the beer and the nachos.

The promotion is in honor of the A’s 50th anniversary in Oakland. They played their first game there, following a move from Kansas City, on April 17, 1968. They A’s improved by 20 wins that year and, within a couple of seasons, went on a run of five straight playoff appearances, in the middle of which were three straight World Series championships.

Which is to say that the move to Oakland, on balance, was good for the franchise. Even if the stadium and payroll and, you know, winning situation has been rough in recent years.

Maybe the A’s can’t give you a playoff team this year, but they can give you a free game.

Manny Machado, batting second, playing shortstop in his Dodgers debut

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The biggest news of the All-Star break — even bigger than the All-Star Game itself — was the trade of Manny Machado to the Dodgers. We talked about it for days, but now the talking is done: Machado is playing shortstop and is batting second in his Dodgers debut this evening against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Machado is expected to play a little third base for the Dodgers, too, but with Justin Turner still out with a bum hop, Machado will play his preferred position. It’s not the one he plays as well, but that’s another topic altogether and is, eventually, going to be Dave Roberts’ problem.

Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 with 24 homers and 65 RBI on the year. Those numbers all get set back to zero now that he’s in the National League, however. Tonight he begins compiling new numbers.