Brad Penny

My baseball weakend

Yeah, that’s right. “Weakend.” I did a Giants vs. A’s taste test, and I’m still looking for a third choice.

Bad luck, to be sure. Saturday we went to the Coliseum and witnessed a 6-1 Cleveland Indians win with about 5,000 season ticket holders and the Indians’ friends and family. Then yesterday, we saw the Giants do whatever they did against the Cardinals in a 2-0 loss. Thank God for beer.

You guys all know what happened in these two games, the only losses for the A’s and Giants in their 3-game series over the weekend. So let’s delve into a few things the beat writers probably didn’t mention.

— I’ve always enjoyed the accessibility of A’s games: you can take BART, the tickets are cheaper and more plentiful than across the Bay and there’s always dollar hot dog day. Saturday’s scene in Oakland was the first time some feelings of depression creeped in. First, there were two sections in the lower boxes that were completely empty, and we were surrounded by more Indians fans behind the Tribe’s dugout than A’s backers. Second, the scoreboard next to the TVs broke in the fourth inning, and never came back. Was that an error? Who knows. How many hits does Cleveland have? Beats me. How many RBIs does Jake Fox have? OK, maybe the scoreboard breaking was a positive in some ways.

— You know a promotion is a dud when you show up in the second inning and find the prize they’re giving away to the first 20,000 under your seat in the bleachers. Reusable shopping bags aren’t as popular as snuggies and bobbleheads? You don’t say…

— Still have never gone to AT&T and not heard the phrase, “The credit card machines aren’t working. There’s an ATM over there.” I guess it’s a San Francisco thing, since in The City nearly every non-chain establishment is cash only (to avoid the crazy taxes levied on small businesses around here, I assume).

— OK, just one more thing on the offenses. Both teams have feeble lineups compared to other MLB squads, but the A’s have a real Sacramento feel to them. Whether it’s the incredibly shrunken Eric Chavez and his mullet or a bottom of the order consisting of Fox/Rosales/Patterson/Pennington, the A’s seem like they’re more like four bats away from contention, not one or two.

— Bummer Brett Anderson left after the sixth with elbow tightness (which explains why he was pulled after 80 pitches before the bullpen let the game get out of hand). Anderson had a nice little battle going with the resurgent Fausto Carmona. If this injury isn’t the precursor to Tommy John surgery or any other such madness, he’s going to win a Cy Young award within three years.

— Matt Cain seems to be regressing, on the other hand. Remember when everybody couldn’t wait to proclaim he’d have multiple no-hitters in his career? He seems twice as hittable now as he was back when he walked people all the time.

— No wonder Brad Penny decided against coming back to the Bay. Which lineup would you rather face?

— Somebody needs to give John Bowker a hug. I’m afraid he’s going to end up in some support group with Dan Ortmeier, Todd Linden, Damon Minor and J.R. Phillips.

— There’s room in that group for Travis Ishikawa, too.

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