Tag Archives: Oakland A’s

Celebrating Pride and Baseball

During this month of June over a third of MLB teams have or will be hosting an LGBT community night in celebration of Pride Month. LGBT Pride Nights have taken place at MLB ballparks for close to two decades. 

Recently, the Dodgers sold close to 8,000 tickets for their LGBT night, a record for any team. As the 2nd largest city in the United States with all it’s diversity, it is no surprise that the Dodgers attract so many fans from the gay and lesbian community. It’s more than just a one-night celebration that brings out not just the LGBT community but several other communities as well

Dodgers Executive Vice-President & Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen told Cyd Zeigler of Outsports his aim is to create a genuine and reciprocal affection between the community and the team. “At the end of the day though, the real reason the attendance grows every year is because of the fan experience”, Rosen told Outsports. The sentiment of the fan experience is also echoed to me by Bay Area radio host Greg Sherrell (Q&A with Greg later in this post…)

The fan experience, and undoubtedly the Dodgers outstanding play on the field which has given the fans 4 straight NL West Titles, certainly plays a huge role in the growth of the attendance.

Of all the major professional sports, baseball has a growing interest among the LGBT community. During a recent road trip to Oakland, I had a chance to attend an LGBT night hosted by the A’s. During a pregame reception I came across the promotional tent for local radio station KVMQ, 99.7 Now. I recently had a Q&A with Greg Sherrell of Fernando & Greg , a Bay Area weekday morning talk show featuring the gay tandem. A huge fan of The University of Texas, his alma mater, as well as a diehard Cowboys, Mavericks and Rangers fan, Greg is a native Texan, having grown up in Watauga, Texas a suburb of Fort Worth.

Andrei- Almost half the league is scheduled to host LGBT Night this month and throughout the season. What is it about baseball that brings the LGBT community to the yard ?

Greg- First of all I think the baseball has been the most proactive in reaching out to LGBTQ fans because of the amount of home games that each team plays.  Baseball more than any other sport needs to fill seats and I think they are always looking for a way to do that.  In that way, I think they need to be the most inclusive and welcoming.  As far as why I think the LGBTQ community embraces baseball, I think it’s like any community.  There’s just something about being at a baseball game.  It’s the least intense and most social of the games.  There are lots of opportunities to be social, spend time with family and friends, even meet new people, walk around the park and enjoy the weather.  At a football game it’s all about what’s happening on the field.  At a baseball game it’s really about the entire experience.  

Andrei- Does Pride Month taking place in June during the season play a factor?

Greg- Well I think obviously June being Pride month sets up the natural tie in with baseball that the other sports might not have.  

Andrei- Greg, growing up a fan of all Dallas teams, who was your favorite Ranger?

Greg- My favorite Ranger when I was a kid was Bump Wills.  Nolan Ryan was certainly a hero in the Metroplex while I was in junior high and high school.  The Rangers were always horrible when I was a kid and when they signed Ryan it gave the team instant legitimacy and a national presence for the first time.  I actually interned for the Rangers right after college which was a great experience.  I worked directly with Pudge Rodriguez executing his foundation’s mission to bring kids from the local children’t hospital’s to the ballpark for game.  Juan Gonzales was probably my biggest crush.  Darren Oliver was the nicest to me.  As far as now, I love Rougned Odor!  He plays with such passion.  You can tell he loves the game and I have never seen anyone play harder.  Plus he landed one of the all time great punches when he hit Jose Bautista.  

Andrei-  With the Astros off to a hot start what do the Rangers need in order to stay in contention for a post-season berth (Assuming they don’t catch Houston)

Greg- The Rangers had a rough start to the season but manager Jeff Banister really is a steady hand.  He has the team back at .500 when it looked like they were toast.  They will be getting the ace of their pitching staff back in the next month or so so I think they will be okay.  I don’t think they are going to catch Houston, but they are in the hunt for a wildcard.  

Andrei- The Astros have been highly competitive the last 3 seasons and are a threat to run away with the AL West. The Rangers have made the post season six times this decade with 4 division titles under their belt. Last season, the Rangers had the Astros number, this season to this point the Astros have returned the favor. Is the in-state rivalry finally reaching it’s peak? 

Greg- The two teams have been more contentious this year than in years past.  There’s definitely no love lost between the two.  The Astros haven’t reached their full potential the last two to three years but now seem to be gelling.  It’s interesting because like with any rivalry between Houston and DFW, it’s seems like Houston is much more invested.  Dallas is pretty indifferent to Houston in pretty much everything where Houston hates Dallas.  

Andrei- The two of you have been on the air in The Bay Area for over 10 years, your morning show continues to run strong. Even with podcasts easily accessible to anyone, have you two ever considered taking your show to a national level?

Greg- We have talked to some people about taking the show nationally and I am hoping that it will happen in the future.  

Andrei- On a personal note, as a huge fan of Jose Bautista, what are your feelings toward him? Is he public enemy number one to all Rangers fans?

Greg- As far as Bautista, the Jays and Rangers HATE each other.  The ugly scene in the playoffs a few years ago when Toronto fans threw beer bottles on the field really cemented it.  I would say the hate for Toronto is much greater than Houston.  I LOVE when he got smashed in the face by Odor, which kind of started the whole thing.  It showed if you are gonna bow up in Texas you better be ready to go.  Despite it all though, I have to admit, he’s pretty HOT!  🙂  But he’s definitely public enemy number one in Texas!!!  

As Greg stated, the LGBTQ community is like any other community. Baseball really is about the entire experience. Of all the sports baseball does allow for more social time among friends and family to relax and take in the entire experience surrounding the game. Speed up the game? What’s the hurry? You’re with great company of all backgrounds. 

A's_Pride Night Logo LGBT Night in Oakland, 6/6/2017, Toronto Blue Jays vs Oakland Athletics

Drei_Love Not Hate Love not Hate (Photo Courtesy of KVMQ 99.7 Now)

Stadium Journey Update…

Our Stadium Journey site is still currently under construction. We are hopeful that our revamped site will be back up and running as early as August 1st. We will continue to keep you posted. 

Stadium Journey

 

 

 

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Your Journey To The Summer of Love, Peace and Baseball

Summer of Love_Haight and Masonic MuralThis month marks the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love. Should your Stadium Journey guide you on a magical trip toward peace, love and baseball, then you’ll want to take a journey toward The Bay Area. 

June 19-22, Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics

Oakland Coliseum

Baseball’s hottest team will be making their way toward the East Bay as they take on the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum for a four game series. The Oakland Coliseum remains the only venue to house both a MLB and NFL team, with the Raiders all but certain to leave and the A’s looking for new digs. Earlier this season the A’s dedicated their field in honor of the all-time stolen base king and former Athletic Rickey Henderson by naming the field in his honor, Rickey Henderson Field. First pitch for the first three games are 7:05, and the finale at 12:35PM. Parking for the Tuesday evening and all Tuesday games at Oakland is free. 

Rooted In Oakland Mural Rooted In Oakland

With the Raiders all but certain to head for Sin City and the Warriors looking to move across The Bay, the Oakland A’s have launched a new campaign this season, #RootedInOakland in an effort to strengthen fan support. Earlier this season this 8 story mural of the A’s elephant mascot Stomper was unveiled in Downtown Oakland. This massive mural, commissioned by the Oakland Athletics is located about 15 from the Coliseum on 19th and Webster, about a 5 minute walk east from the 19th Street BART Station. 

Stomper Mural_Drei.jpg

June 23-25, New York Mets at San Francisco Giants

The New York Mets pay the City By the Bay a weekend visit as they take on the San Francisco Giants for a 3 game set at AT&T Park. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love, on Sunday the 25th, the Giants will be giving away 50th Anniversary Summer of Love Blankets to the first 20,000 fans. 

20170425_102907A Celebration of Love

Looking to celebrate your Summer of Love inspired Stadium Journey on the cheap? This Jimi Hendrix inspired walk  through The Haight is one way to celebrate that whimsical summer of 50 years ago. The walk also takes you through the famed Red House where he once took up residency, as well as The Panhandle, where he, along with Jefferson Airplane, The Greatful Dead and other artists performed free concerts. You’ll also want to venture toward Golden Gate Park, especially Hippie Hill. 

The de Young Museum , also located in Golden Gate Park, is featuring The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, featuring iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films. If the walk through The Haight does not inspire you, perhaps this digital story might. Or maybe this “trip” inside the light show may further inspire, or for some of you, take you back in time… 

These are some of the activities happening toward this journey to Peace, Love and Baseball, as you cruise through The City  or both sides of The Bay. 

Stadium Journey Update…

Stadium Journey

As you may know by now, the Stadium Journey site recently suffered a site crash. There is some good news though. The old site is back up and running and many of the stadium reviews dating back to January 2015, particularly the baseball stadium reviews are still available. A revamp to the site is currently in progress and we hope to have the new site up and running by early August. In the meantime, any news items on my end I will feature here on my blog. Stay tuned for more updates…

Extra Innings…

Stomper_Drei

That’s quite a mural they made for you Stomper…

 

 

 

 

Drei’s 2016 A.L. Forecast

Looking Back…

What Drei said last year…

” If there was ever a case for parity ( a word we’ll be hearing throughout the season ) in one division, the AL East makes a case…. Parity. Did I say we’d be using that word A LOT this season ?…Somebody in the Junior Circuit has to win 90 games, right ? The AL’s two best teams could very well be here in the west, setting up a potential ALDS showdown between these two. The Mariners and Angels are among the vast favorites to represent the AL in The Fall Classic.”

If there was one thing I nearly got right last year, I felt the AL would only have one team winning 90 plus games. Turns out two teams ended up winning over 90 games. Appropriately enough, both those teams ended up in the ALCS, one would eventually win the World Series.  Heading into 2016, I still do feel there will be a lot of parity in the Junior Circuit…

A.L East

From top to bottom, anyone is capable of winning this division. Dating back to 2011, each team has had their share of the division crown. Much of the offensive firepower the Blue Jays produced en route to their first post-season appearance in 22 years will be returning this season, including 2nd half pick up Troy Tulowitzki. Having a full season of Tulo should produce more lofty numbers. The loss of David Price from the rotation to the Red Sox may slow them down.

Boston has a good mix of veterans along with some up and comers in Mookie Betts and Xander Bogarts and the addition of David Price to their rotation should help them contend in the east.

The Yankees rotation has too many question marks. Will the off-season acquisition of Aroldis Chapman make much of a difference. Tampa may have the best rotation in the league and should they get any offensive help, could also challenge for the division. On the other side of the ledger, the Orioles, 2 years removed from a division crown, will not be lacking for offense if they can come close to their 217 dingers from last season. Pitching still remains a question. 

A.L. Central

After back to back playoff appearances and a World Series title, the Royals still can’t convince the so-called experts that they are the class of the division. This is another division where there seems to be no clear cut favorite as even Minnesota with it’s young roster remained in contention last season until the final weekend.

Defense, speed and relief pitching carried KC all the way to their first title in 30 years. Having Alex Gordon back should help. The rotation needs for Yordano Ventura to step as and assume the roll of the ace. A third consecutive post-season appearance is certainly attainable for KC.

Cleveland has a pretty formidable rotation of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Will off-season additions Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis, Juan Uribe and Marlon Byrd, players not exactly in their prime make a difference ? Having said that, I still feel Cleveland is ready to challenge for the division.

The White Sox and Tigers, disappointments from last season, look to bounce back. Detroit may be the division’s most improved team  but their biggest question will be their bullpen, which ranked among the worst last season. The Twins are the division’s most intriguing team, with a roster full of youth that started fast out the gate at 30-19. Expectation’s may be unfairly high for them, but last season’s experience in a pennant race should only help this group.

A.L. West

After a last place finish in 2014, the Texas Rangers bounced back nicely to return to the post season for the 4th time in 6 seasons. With Cole Hamels coming back and a healthy Yu Darvish along with along with a lineup that boasts big offensive numbers, the Rangers may be the most balanced team in the division. Their bullpen still has some holes to fill entering the season. 

The Astros, last season’s biggest surprise, is ready to make more noise this season. A full season with Carlos Gomez certainly can’t hurt the lineup. The Mariners, picked by many last season to represent the Junior Circuit in The Fall Classic after an 87 win campaign in 2014, regressed last season, something that could be of concern in Houston with expectations being higher. The M’s strength is still pitching, led by Felix Hernandez. I expect the Mariners to bounce back and be the sleeper in this division.

The Angels, even with the presence of Mike Trout, suffered a decline in offensive numbers last season. Their rotation is still solid and should keep them in contention. The A’s are the one team no one expects to do much. Offensive additions Yonder Alonso and Jed Lowrie should help the offense. Their rotation still has too many holes for Oakland to seriously pose a challenge for the division.

Wild Card

Astros over Boston

ALDS

Toronto over Houston

Seattle over Cleveland

ALCS

Toronto over Seattle. If this holds true to form…IF…this could be a matchup of teams with opposite strengths. Toronto came within 2 games last season, Seattle was expected by many, including your’s here, to challenge last season. Seattle is my choice for the AL darkhorse, which may not be saying much considering the league wide parity.

So based on my projections, the Junior Circuit is pretty much open for anyone to take, maybe even Oakland. Am I going against the pundits ? For the most part, yes. If the JC is this competitive this year, activity around the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline could be very minimal. I would not be surprised if there was a 3 way tie for either a division title or the wild card.

9th Inning…Drei’s Tale…Featuring Kid Marley Marlz and The Mariner Moose

MarlzMoose1 ” Yo Moose !  What it be…What it do ?..Are we gonna see YOU…In October ? “

MarlzMoose4 Hey Marlz, be nice ! You don’t want The Moose to bite back… ” Is that right ? “

MarlzMoose3 Awe, Kid Marley Marlz is sharing his milkshake with The Moose… ‘Til the next episode…

 

Magic Number Fun Fact…5

In spite of a strong start powered by 2 Adrian Gonzalez home runs driving in 5 runs, the Dodgers were unable to hold onto a 7-2 lead at Wrigley Field, falling late to the Cubs 8-7. In spite of the loss, the Giants would also lose as well, dropping the magic number to clinch the NL West to 5.

Earliest Possible Clinch Date, Tuesday , 9/23 against the Giants…

Magic Number Fun Fact …5

image Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall would play with the Dodgers from 1981-1988 mostly in right field. Though he would always be remembered for never reaching his full potential, once missing a game due to ” general soreness ” , Mike Marshall would have one of his finest seasons in 1988, leading the team in RBI’s with 82 ( Kirk Gibson finished behind Marshall ), also driving in 8 during the 1988 playoffs, including a huge 3 run home run in Game 2 of the World Series , as the Dodgers behind another masterful performance behind Orel Hershiser would shut out the heavily favored Oakland A’s, 6-0 , to take a commanding 2 games to none lead up to Oakland.

Other Dodgers to Wear Number 5

Jim LeFebvre
Dave Hansen
Hee-Drop Choi
Omar Garciaparra
and…
image Juan Uribe

Extra Innings

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Its Minion Dave !!!  Dave is a big Dodger fan !  Dave is really excited that his favorite baseball team is coming back home, stsrting with a huge 3 game series with the Giants !!!

When Minion Dave is not causing mischief at a theatre near you or some theme park on a hill, Dave can be seen catching his favorite baseball team at Chavez Ravine with his favorite Boys of Summer.

image

Its Dave and Da Boyz, JJ and Kid Marly Marlz !!!  You know what, Drei here is just gonna call you guys, Da Boyz of Summer .  Except this time its JJ on the left and our favorite pet minion Dave who will put up with the mischievous nature of Kid Marly Marlz… ( Hey Kid, your mischivious nature has sure made a lot of headlines in Drei’s blogs this summer… ) .

Wait.  Did I just say that Kid Marly Marlz is mischivious ?  Why he and Dave would make really good friends at least in this tale…

image

Why these two could not be so much alike if they even tried. Do you miss your Boyz, Dave ? They’ll be back home tomorrow night .
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Kid Marlz will be happy to see you too, Dave. ( So thats where Drei’s old doo-rag went …) . What’s that Dave, you want The Kid to be decked out in all his blue ? Well…

image Our boys are calling for a Dodger Blue Out ! It sure would be quite a sight to see all of Chavez Ravine decked in blue with the hated ones coming in this week… One Team….One City…One Color…BLUE…DODGER BLUE !!!

Dre’s Baseball Themed Filled Birthday

Yesterday was a special day for me as Dre here has turned the Big 4-0 ! To celebrate, of course my big day would have to have a Dodger Blue theme, right ? To start off the day, the lil’ bro and I did the Dodger Stadium tour , which starts off in the Top Deck. TopDeck View from the Top Deck before the tour. Gotta love that view !

The tour would take us through the Vin Scully Press Box, a luxury suite, the Lexus dugout club, where the World Series trophy’s as well as other individual Dodger awards are on display.

ScullyPressBox

PressBoxView

PressBoxView2 Press Box Views .

NancyBea'sOrgan Where our stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley tickle’s the ivory’s. Every now and then she can come up with something clever, especially if a San Francisco Giant pitcher is being taken out and she serenades him with Do You Know The Way to San Jose …

fansanddisplays

OldVisitorsClubhouse Inside the former visiting teams clubhouse.

View_VisitorsDugout View from the visiting team dugout on the 1st base side

BehindLALogo

Daniel_dugout The little bro Daniel haming it up in the Dodger dugout…

LookingOutFromTheDugout

CallingTheBullpen Making a call to the bullpen…
2013KershawCyYoung A fourth straight Cy Young should be here at season’s end for Clayton Kershaw…

GoldGloves_DreBison Gold Gloves for Dre and The Bison

Dre_88trophy Posing next to the 1988 World Series trophy. 26 years. Is this the year we end the drought ?

DanielandDre_Logo Me and the lil’ bro

Overall this was a very informative and thorough tour from our tour guide Ralph, who did a great job sharing not only information about Dodger Stadium, he also shared with us numerous historical moments and well and was very much involved with the fan experience. So if you should have a significant other ,a loved one or another dear friend or relative who is a huge baseball fan, this is a highly recommended gift. ( It is not often I use the words Highly Recommeneded )

Also…

If you get a chance, Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game is on display at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo on 100 Central Avenue, across the street from the Little Tokyo Gold Line Station .

Jackie

Nomo

Other exhibits from the Japanese American National Museum …

JANM

JANM2

Oh Yeah, you all know the day would not be complete without taking in the game…

sibs Chilling with the sibs and a future brother in law. With the Dodgers and Angels battling it out last night and both teams in playoff contention, the crowd certainly was electric, with our Boys In Blue coming out on top . Every baseball fan should have at least one baseball themed day of celebration for their birthday at least once in their lifetime, right ?

Series Shifts Down I-5

HAREN After splitting the first two at Chavez Ravine, the series shifts down to Angel Stadium. Dan Haren, who has been struggling, will take the mound for The Blue. With Kershaw and Greinke having gone 7 innings the last two nights, the bullpen should be well rested and could be needed for another long stretch. The Dodgers currently hold a 2.5 game lead on the Giants in the NL West while the Halos are currently 2 back of the A’s for the AL West.

World Series Preview ?

After losing 2 of 3 to the Cubbies this past weekend, the Dodgers begin the start of a home and home series with our neighbors down I-5 in what could be a possible World Series preview. The first two against the Angels will be here at Dodger Stadium tonight and tomorrow with games 3 and 4 moving to Angel Stadium. Zack Greinke takes the hill for The Blue tonight in his attempt to get The Blue back on the winning track. The Angels currently have the 2nd best record in baseball but also sport the 2nd best record in their division behind the Oakland A’s. It is a strong possibility that baseball’s 2nd best team could very well end up playing in the 1 game American League Wild Card playoff so yes, this is a big series for both teams as every game from this point on is huge with each team battling for the Western Division title against their Bay Area rivals. I expect a playoff type atmosphere these next 4 games. This also marks the latest in the season that both teams will be playing each other and with both teams in must win situations from here on out, this series should make for some pretty good drama.

Greinke_0804

Congratulations Matt

KeMVP

Let the numbers speak for themselves. He’s BAAAAAAAACK !!! Hopefully he’s here to stay . As i’ve said all along, this is still your team Matt. As Matt goes, so goes The Blue.

And The Awards Keep On Coming…

Kershaw07mvp What more can be said about Mr Cy K ?

Dre’s POV

The two losses over the weekend to the Cubbies, games in which Haren and Beckett pitched, only confirmed our worst fears. Haren, well, we all know the obvious with him. Beckett, as good as he was during the 1st half, my fear for him even prior to the all-star break was that he would not be able to survive the entire season. Not so much because of his current hip situation, which is not helping either, but let’s face it. When was the last time Beckett has pitched an entire season ? Beckett has admitted himself he is no longer an 8 inning pitcher. At this point, the feeling here is that Beckett is running on fumes. The bullpen pitched 15 innings this weekend, 10 of those coming from the 5th inning on in games that , yup, Haren and Beckett pitched. That, my friends, is an average of 5 innings a game from the bullpen. We can’t be having that on a regular basis if they are to make a serious run deep into October. Yes, the back end of our rotation needs some help folks.

Oh Yeah I, Tell You Something…

With Sir Paul McCartney coming to the Ravine this Sunday evening, I leave you with this Beatles concert clip from 1964…