Welcome to The Show

Just had first pitch here at Tropicana Field, which still has the feel of a Costco more than a baseball stadium if you ask me. I’ve read a lot in the national media about how much the atmosphere has changed at Rays games, how much bigger and enthusiastic the crowds are (as well they should be, with how good this team is). But from talking to a couple regulars who cover the team, attendance is still an issue except for when the Red Sox or Yankees are in town or if there’s a special promotion. The Rays are big on Saturday postgame concerts. They brought M.C. Hammer in recently. Coming soon: L.L. Cool J!! (no joke).

Today’s A’s transaction: Infielder Brooks Conrad was called up, Donnie Murphy was designated for assignment (the A’s have 10 days to trade him, release him or send him to the minors if he clears waivers). Conrad is a switch hitter who had 21homers and 67 RBI at Triple-A, though he was hitting just .242. He’s in the lineup at third base, and Bob Geren likes the fact he can play all the infield positions and has some pop. Can it hurt with the way the A’s have swung the bat?

Conrad is 28 and this is his first trip to the big leagues after seven-plus seasons in the minors. You have to feel good for the guy. The A’s have had so many young players shuttle between Oakland and Sacramento in the past two seasons, it’s easy to lose track of who’s been where. But it’s really cool when a new player walks into the clubhouse before his first major league game. Congratulations all around … he has to ask where everything is, just like someone’s first day at the office. Just so happens this office looks a lot like Costco …


Joe Stiglich

  • Tony Hicks

    Nice to see you on the blog, Joe, though that doesn’t deminish my respect for all-around professional Rick Hurd. Are we to assume we’ll be seeing both of you in this space?

  • Derek

    Does Billy Beane know how to go out and find bats or what ? What’s the deal with all of these no hitting, strike taking scrubs currently on the roster.

    The A’s are loaded with slow footed, no hitting, mediocre to outright sorry white guys.

    There are no athletes on the team (except Gonzales). If not for the pitching the A’s would be one of the worse teams in baseball. The line-up is ridiculous

  • Bill

    Look at the bright side. At this rate Billy will have just enough time to cultivate the next generation of A’s superstars…and trade them all away just as the team moves into the new park in Fremont.

  • Ché

    I tend to agree with Derek, that Billy Beane needs to get some more guys that can hit! Pitching is the strength, but offense is how the A’s are gonna win games. Do everyone a favor and try to shop Mr. Strikeout, I mean Jack Cust! I’d much rather see someone who puts the ball in play.

  • Jan K Oski

    Che that has hilarious. Do you really think Mr. Strikeout is shopable? But, I agree with you, why is Mr. Strikeout/Mr. Bust still batting 3rd? It is time to put youth before bust.

  • Bee

    Monte Poole wrote a gloom and doom article about the A’s being B’s: Bland and Boring. Here’s what I wrote him in response:


    If “prodigious and name-brand offense” is all that you and the fans want, you’re not true fans of the game. It’s more than home runs—it’s terrific pitching, young kids playing their hearts out, stellar defensive feats, and rooting your team on even when they lose. True fans know this and they come to the games. The fair-weather fans show up when they think something flashy will happen—like when the Red Sox and the Yankees come to town. But they aren’t true A’s fans or true fans of the game.

    It really is a microcosm of what is happening in our culture with its cult-like fascination with celebrities behaving badly, and our mindless homage to the branding god. No one cares anymore about the essence of what made baseball or life in America great, and we are in danger of losing both. It’s all about flash, big names, and shock value—not about the purity of the game or the democratic dream. It saddens me to see this happening—on the baseball diamond and to our culture. We’ve lost our core values.

    That being said, I hope the “kids” can show why Billy traded for them and pull off a miracle to make all the naysayers as speechless as the Aflac duck in the Yogi Berra ad. Both would be something to see.

    Bee Hylinski
    Alamo, CA

  • Derek

    It seems as if A’s management is purposely driving down attendance numbers but dumping named players.

    I understand the need tfor young talent, however unless the A’s have not drafted well for the past 5 years or so they have to be killing off the team for a reason.

    No team dismantles itself when they are 6 games back in their division and 3 or 4 back in the wild card race.

    Barry Bonds is sitting at home while a bunch of punchless 240 hitting AAAA players are starting for the A’s.

    Call it what you want, but I believe A’s fans are being sold out by a greedy owner looking to relocate if and when his Fremont dream fails.

    Maybe the Bay Area Media could recruit Mark Cuban to buy the team and restore it to its prior glory.

  • Bee


    Mark Cuban and/or Barry Bonds would turn the A’s into the freak show that has been the Giants over the last couple of years. It wouldn’t be baseball. It would be a joke, which is what I hope you intended.

  • Derek

    At least the So-called joke of a team the Giants were finally good and entertaining with Barry Bonds.

    Look at them now and before Bonds. They were a joke of a franchise without Bonds and they are a now returned to their usually sorry form without him.

    50 plus years with no titles, yet he almost got them 2 single handedly. He was a one man team. A super star surrounded by scrubs.

    Cubans teams always win. I suppose you enjoy losing and watching boring teams.

  • carl

    what’s wrong with the a’s. it looks like they quit, that’s sad, they need to play with the same spirit they had before all the trades.

  • Derek

    Instead of adding a solid bat or two to strengthen the A’s for a stretch run after the all-star break.

    Beane continued unloading vets. That took the fire out of the team, now they are simply playing out the season.

    Again I question the motives of Beane and A’s management. It sure looks as if they are trying to kill attendance.