Two Dolla Wednesday kicked off this week in Oakland, at the newly-intimate McAfee Coliseum. To reduce seating capacity and increase demand for tickets, the A's have covered the entire third deck in large green tarpaulins. It looks ridiculous. It certainly didn't seem to boost attendance for this game. The two-dollar section was packed, whereas most of the lower deck was empty. Guess the Attendance claimed there were 18,309 people at the game, which was nothing but a filthy lie. (For more, check out Baseball's War on the Cheap Seats, from Slate.) All I can say is, the Giants would have also sold ad space on the tarps.
As predicted by me, Kenny Rogers dominated the A's on the mound, and batted balls dominated Oakland third baseman Antonio Perez. It ended up being 11-4, and even that score is deceptively close. The A's didn't have a hit between the second and eighth innings. They committed four errors, and with a less generous official scorer, it could have been six. Carlos Guillen of the Tigers did his best to even things up, committing two throwing errors of his own, but it wasn't enough to keep the game competitive. A seven-run loss, seven combined errors for the team, and prominent roles for Brad Halsey, Kirk Saarloos, and Alexis Gomez mean this was far from a classic baseball contest. Still, when the game lets you down, you make your own highlights.
We had a bunch of extra tickets for this game, so I tried to sell the extras before we went in. I didn't care about turning a profit; I just wanted to make the two dollars back. However, it is strange to sell tickets for face-value in an area full of scalpers, and even stranger when that face value is only two bucks. People were instantly suspicious of such a low price, eyeing me like a wary Woody Harrelson wondering why Robert Redford invited him to play poker.
I found one motley group that bought five of my tickets, though they did not trust me at all, and only one of them spoke. I sold the last one to a lone guy, who paid me with a $50 bill. Luckily, I had $47 in change, and he was cool with that. That will be important later.
"You should sell the extra seats to hot guys," suggested Cassie.
"I did...the opposite of that," I said.
Jason Kendall's Talents
Catcher Jason Kendall led off for Oakland. I told everyone he was really good at taking pitches and grounding to short (to be fair, he hit a double later). Based on his Jumbotron photo, Meli posited that he was also good at stalking. Jason Kendall has crazy eyes.
The World Baseball Classic
Mike B. attended the final round of the World Baseball Classic, and scored every game. Which game was the toughest to score? Korea-Japan, because Korea has five Lees and three Kims. In other scorecard news, the guy in front of us, who was painstakingly scoring the game, got frustrated and left in the top of the eighth, presumably crumpling his scorecard in rage as he walked out.
The A's have a new right fielder, former Dodger Milton Bradley. Bradley has one of the silliest names in sports, but it is deceptively difficult for wisecracks. That is because it requires a dorkish level of attention to the board game industry order so as not to make a mistake, and say he's got a Monopoly on craziness, or that he's among the league leaders in several important offensive Scattergories. Because those are Parker Brothers games, and even though they're both owned by Mattel, screwing this up is a sign of lazy, lazy wisecracking.
Many Two Dolla enthusiasts are big fans of Oakland outfielder Bobby Kielty. He's especially popular among Ginger Kids, because of his pale skin and bright orange hair. Meli thinks he looks like Matt. After Kielty's throw from shallow left field didn't even reach the infield dirt, Meli concluded that Kielty also throws like Matt, which I feel is a little unfair to Matt.
John Olerud's Favorite Ballpark Snacks
Cassie: Hey, they serve ice cream in helmets here.
Sean: Yup. Those mini batting helemts are great.
Cassie: At Dodger Stadium, they serve french fries in the batting helmets, and so after you're done they're all salty and greasy.
Sean: That sucks. Because then it's gross, and you don't even want to bring it home. And then you can't balance the mini-helmet on top of your head and pretend to be a giant.
Sean: Um, not that I ever did that...
Hoisted By My Own Petard
As always, the scoreboard games at Two Dolla Wednesday were marked by heavy One Dolla gambling. I lost at the Cap Dance (we bet on left/center/right before it even starts, so we don't have to bother following the ball), and that was fine. Then, the worthless, lazy Red Dot completely choked down the stretch, and I lost another dollar. I reached into my wallet to pay off the winner, and had a horrible realization.
"Sorry, I don't have a dollar," I said. "All I have is a fifty."
Immediately, everyone turned on me, reciting my own stand-up material back to me:
"Oh, all I have is a fifty? Anyone have $49 in change?"
"Sean, did you bring any gold doubloons to the game?"
"Maybe we can bet a sack of emeralds on 'Guess the Attendance', huh, Sean?"
I was hoisted by my own, hilarious petard. And then Antonio Perez threw the ball into right field.