The World According to Keitho

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Crankee in Oakland

Posted by keithosaunders on June 3, 2011

During my many years living in New York City I went to dozens of Yankees games.  I was a Mets fan, so I ended up going to Shea Stadium more often than Yankee Stadium.  Around about 2000, when the Yankees, or as a fellow Mets fan friend of mine refers to them — the Crankees —  current dynasty was in full swing and it became an event to attend a game, I pretty much stopped going.   Every once in a while I would go with my best friend Jeff, who is a lifelong, and a true blue Yankee fan, but for the most part I couldn’t take the touristy atmosphere, and I hated the forced patriotism of being subjected to God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.

I almost never saw the Yankees lose.  Even when they were bad, in the late ’80s through the early ’90s, they almost always won when I was in attendance.  I wish I had kept track of the games — I would bet I have a lifetime .800 Yankee winning percentage.

If that stat is true, then my percentage currently stands at .802.  On Wednesday I made my 2011 debut at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, taking in an Athletics – Crankees game with a drummer friend if mine.  We sat in the upper deck behind home plate, right next to the big green tarp which covers up the seats that they cannot sell.  I’m enclosing a photo of it so that you can experience the joy that is the A’s tarp.

Somehow we were sold seats right in the middle of a kids section.  We were sitting amongst hundreds of high school students who were enjoying a field trip.  They were nice enough, but as you can imagine, they spent most of the game shuttling back and forth between their seats and the snack bar.  And here’s something:  None of them are baseball fans.  They paid little or no attention to the game.  Often times, after a key out, or good defensive play, my friend and I would be the only people in the entire section clapping.  This does not bode well for the future of the game, at least fan-wise.

I was so looking forward to finally getting to be in the majority of the Yankee haters, but being in the kids section more or less negated that factor.  I was thrilled when the A’s, on the strength of a Josh Willingham home run, took a 2-1 lead in the 2nd inning.  It was not to hold up, however.  And who should ruin my afternoon but Nick f**ing Swisher, an ex-A, who hit a three run dinger off of A’s starter, Gio Gonzalez. 

At some point I looked down into the lower level to see hundreds, who knows, maybe thousands of Yankee fans.  What the hell are they doing here, 3,000 miles from the Bronx?  People really do like to root for a winner, don’t they?  Witness the legion of newly minted Heat fans. 

As for the game, that was all she wrote.  The A’s offense, punchless as it is, could only muster a two out Coco Crisp triple.  Then I was subjected to that fat blowhard, Joba Chamberlin in the 8th, and the artistry of Mariano Rivera in the 9th.  Blinc, blank, blunk.  



7 Responses to “Crankee in Oakland”

  1. Beautiful tarp (sigh). The A’s need to move (again).

    • No! I want them to stay here where I can buy $2.00 tickets for Wednesday afternoon games, or go to free parking Tuesday night games. The last thing we need is one of those boutique ballparks like in New York. Hey, that’s an idea…maybe the Yankees should put a tarp over their premium seats behind home plate.

  2. bkivey said

    Sorry to hear you got stuck in the non-fan section. I know how frustrating that can be. I went to a sporting event a couple of years ago where the three people in front of me spent the entire game talking amongst themselves. I don’t think they watched 2 minutes of the game, which made me wonder why they’d spent good money to go to a game they had no interest in.

    I’ve noticed the Yankees fan phenomenon at Safeco Field. When the Bronx Bombers are in town, there’ll be hundreds of Yankees jerseys in the stands. They can’t all be from New York.

  3. zapple100 said

    That Oakland stadium has to be one of the worst stadiums I ever seen on TV. How high up are the bleachers? How can anybody see anything from up there? It seems like you sitting as high as low flying planes.

    • Actually, the upper deck seats that I was in had good sightlines. I was halfway up the section directly behind home plate. They cost $15.00. If my memeroy is right the upper decks in both Shea, and old Yankee Stadium were both higher. Dodger stadium also has a higher upper deck.

      It’s a bad stadium but, hey, I’ll take it. I can go to games anytime I want — they have $2.00 tickets on Wednesday, free parking on Tuesdays. Hell, I hope they never get good. The last thing I would want is one of those boutique stadiums like they built in New York, where the average fan can’t afford to go to a game.

      • zapple100 said

        I went to see The Mets last year and it cost 20 dollars to park.
        I went with my cousin and two friends to the game. My cousin was driving and I was in the back behind him. I figured since he drove, I’d pay for the ticket. We pull into the parking lot and I go to hand him the money and it flys out the window. I yell, “Stop.” He stops the car and I’m running down the road for the 20 dollar bill. Everybody’s honking the horn at him. I finally track down the bill and go back to the car.

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