Greetings from the BSMW West Coast headquarters located in Starbucks in lovely American Canyon, California – gateway to the Napa Valley.
We’ve had a mostly restful time out here, having taken a drive down to Monterey to check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Sunday and Monday, and come back through the Salinas Valley and Santa Cruz before settling in here in the East Bay.
But it’s been a brutal week here in the Bay Area for the Red Sox and their fans as the A’s have won the first three games of this four game set, and the Boston offense has been unable to muster much beyond a regular double play ball the last three nights.
Earlier in the week, I heard a host on KNBR proclaim that the A’s had the best starting rotation in baseball. I initially dismissed the notion as just hometown loyalty, (The same host said that the Giants had the best rotation in the NL.) but I’m beginning to rethink my view on the statement after the last three nights.
We’re going to change up the approach this morning, and rather than bring you the links from the Boston papers on the game, we’re going to look into the Bay Area papers and see what they have to say on the action.
First, a few notes about the game experience. We were in the crowd last night, eight of us, with only my wife and I rooting for the Sox. The rest of her friends and family are staunch A’s fans and were decked out in the green and gold.
Getting to the McAfee Coliseum was surprisingly easy, and with the parking right there, ($15) it was convenient as well. The tickets we got were club seats for $40 and were the most expensive tickets available. The view was terrific as we were right above the Red Sox dugout on the first base line. ( I have photos, but my laptop isn’t reading my SD card.) The $40 ticket included a free meal from the club restaurant right above our section. There were several choices for the meal, including a fried chicken meal with macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and a corn muffin with a soda, which is what I had to start with. A large selection of beers were available, as well as mixed drinks in the club. All in all, the $40 ticket got you a lot more than you would get at Fenway.
The crowd was filled with Red Sox hats and jerseys, but there wasn’t a lot to cheer for. When Kevin Youkilis drove in the first Boston run, a cascade of “Yooooouuuk” went up, just as at Fenway. Other than that, it was a rough night for Boston fans, who took abuse for their struggling club. Getting out of the park after the game was a little more of a struggle due to the bottleneck out of the stadium, but was still fairly easy.
Now onto the Bay Area links:
The Boston bats were once again silent for the most part as A’s starter Joe Kennedy gave up only two runs in seven innings last night and the Red Sox hit into three more double plays in the A’s 3-2 win at McAfee Coliseum last night. Chace Bryson in the Oakland Tribune notes that Kennedy, who has been a hard luck loser several times this season, got just enough run support to beat the Red Sox. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at this series as a signal that the A’s are beginning their customary summer surge. Nick Peters in the Sacramento Bee notes that the A’s suffered another lineup scratch, but managed to win once again.
And really…that’s IT for the coverage of the game. There’s a few other articles looking at what the A’s might be looking for in the MLB draft, but for the actual game…that’s about it. Now compare that to the coverage we get of each and every Red Sox game back in Boston, and you get an idea of just how fanatical Boston is about the Red Sox. The Bay Area is one of the bigger fan bases in the area, and the coverage here just can’t compare with back home.
Over the course of this week there have been a number of columns about the Red Sox, here’s a few of them:
The Bay Area takes notice of the plethora of Red Sox fans that flood the area whenever the team is in town. On Tuesday of this week, Bruce Jenkins in the Chronicle made the following observation:
Pro-Boston crowds have been a staple in Oakland since the A's moved west in 1968, just a year after Jim Lonborg and Carl Yastrzemski carried the Red Sox into the World Series, but this was radical. This might as well have been Fenway. There can't be another fan base in the country, at any level, where the sentiment shifts so thoroughly for an opposing team based some 3,000 miles away.
In the Tribune, Dave Del Grande names A’s/Red Sox as one of his 5 must-see sporting events in the Bay Area. He says he has a lot more respect for Red Sox fans than he does for Yankee fans who strut into the Coliseum.
Paul Gutierrez had a piece on Woodland native Dustin Pedroia, who has settled nicely into the starting lineup for the Red Sox after a slow start to his big league career.
Mark Purdy in the San Jose Mercury News looked at Daisuke Matsuzaka and where he fits on the best-or-bust scale. He says that his performance thus far will not get him an all star appearance, no matter how great a nickname he has.
If you need your fix on the Boston stories on the game, head over to the BSMW Red Sox News Mashup.
That’s all for now from here, we’re heading out to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in a little bit – my wife worked there as a teenager. Tomorrow, we’re going into Napa for a barbeque demonstration/lunch at Copia which promises to be interesting…and tasty.