There are more dogs in the Coliseum right now than people. That’s no joke … It’s A’s Dog Day At The Park, and there are dog owners circling the field right now in parade fashion. I can’t say it does much to stoke the intensity of this A’s-Yankees series, but you all know what an important weekend this is for the A’s. And while I blogged last night about how Oakland’s rookie starters need to deliver over the first three games of this series, consider that tonight’s Yankees starter, Freddy Garcia, has a 5.22 career ERA against the A’s. That’s the fourth-highest ERA among pitchers who have ever faced Oakland (minimum 100 IP). So Garcia needs to take care of business too.
–The pregame news was a little sparse with the A’s. Brandon McCarthy appears to have come out of Wednesday’s bullpen session well, so he’ll throw another one Saturday. Dallas Braden is also throwing off the mound Saturday.
–Pretty cool scene during batting practice tonight: Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson holding a conversation behind the batting cage. Henderson is in uniform with the A’s right now — he’s a minor league roving instructor — and he’s with the big club right now dispensing outfield knowledge to Yoenis Cespedes, among other duties. Jackson is a Yankees special assistant — he was in New York’s road grays, which must irk an A’s fan! …
Tonight’s lineups, with former Athletic Eric Chavez starting at third base for the Yankees:
A’s: Crisp CF, Weeks 2B, Reddick RF, Cespedes LF, Smith DH, Moss 1B, Inge 3B, Norris C, Pennington SS; Griffin RHP.
Yankees: Jeter SS, Granderson CF, Rodriguez DH, Cano 2B, Teixeira 1B, Swisher RF, Ibanez LF, Chavez 3B, Stewart C; Garcia RHP.