Back from Oakland, Barely – Part 1

First, let me thank Doug Hill for his yeoman-like care and feeding of the Daily Fungo beast on Wednesday. I didn’t want to leave a gaping void of commentary of Game 2 and knew that Doug would provide provocative insights and musings.

Now, about my trip to Oakland. My brother-in-law Andy and his friend Bob picked me up at the Oakland airport around 2 p.m. and we stopped at a greasy spoon for a sandwich. Next it was off to the Fairfield Inn (a.k.a. StubHub HQ) to pick up our tickets. We saw two Tigers fans crossing the main street (Hegenberger) both wearing an official Pudge jersey.

When we got to the hotel it was a madhouse. Mad, I tell you. And, to make things all the more delicious, it was predominately Tigers fans. I met a guy who lived in St. Clair Shores for a while as a kid before moving to Huntington Woods. He now lives in the Bay Area.

Most of the people standing in line were talking about the Cory Lidle story or saying nothing and watching it on the lobby TV. Very sad.

Tickets in hand, we drove the short distance to Anti-Virus Coliseum. When we pulled into the lot Andy asked one of the attendants if we would be able to exit the lot after the game through the entrance we just used. He said, ÒHmm, I don’t know, man. You should ask the guy at the entrance.Ó As if we were going to turn around and drive against traffic to ask the Òguy at the entrance.Ó

I can’t imagine a parking lot attendant gets a lot of questions in a typical shift but I’d think ones about the literal ins-and-outs of the lot would be question number one on the FAQ.

So we parked the car near another clearly marked exit and hoofed it to the ballpark. (Right next to it is the arena in which Latrell Sprewell choked P.J. Carlesimo.)

When we entered the park we were handed one of the white towels you likely saw being wave on TV. Media storage maker SanDisk was the sponsor, if that means anything to you.

Of course, I had to go into the A’s souvenir shop and resist the urge to buy something. There was a very cool ALCS tee with both team logos on it and I thought about plunking down the $28 for it. Then I realized it would be much better from both karma and lugability perspectives to buy it Ñ and the $10 game program ÑÊat Comerica Park on Saturday.

Watching batting practice was a blast. I took a collection of perhaps the most blurry digital photos in the history of JPEGs and will post them here. It was fun watching Gene Lamont toss BP and to watch Craig Monroe swing at every pitch then too. No wonder he’s such a free swinger.

I lingered around the A’s dugout for a few seconds and took two fuzzy shots of Joe Morgan then realized all the action was rightfully taking place by the Tigers dugout. We walked over to it and loitered for about 30 minutes. During that time I saw:

  • A veritable who’s-who of Detroit media including Vartan Kupelian and Bob Wojnowski of the News, Jim Price and Dan Dickerson of WXYT, Don Shane of Channel 7 (I shouted out to him and he pointed at me and gave me a thumbs up. If I was quicker on the draw I would’ve asked him about Frank Turner.)
  • Willie Horton talk to just about anyone who walked by.
  • Jeremy Bonderman talking to a former high school team mate
  • Pedro Gomez of ESPN run back and forth between the press box and the team dugouts
  • Dave Dombrowski wearing a sport coat that could very easily be worn by ushers at Kansas City Royals games. It was that blue.
  • Neifi Perez lay down in a John Deere cart behind the batting cage. No doubt resting for his 0-for-4 night to come.
  • Chris Myers of Fox Sports interview someone in the Tigers dugout
  • Kenny Rogers throw in the bullpen

After that we headed up to our seats in section 229. Talk about a circus.

More in Part 2.

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