The side benefits of having partial Oakland A's season tickets never cease. At the beginning of the season, I looked at the three-game home series against the Giants as only another option to see the green and gold defeat their Bay Area rival up close and personal. In fact, when a friend and Giants fan called at the beginning of the year to offer to attend all three of this weekend's games, I didn't hesitate. Sure! What could possibly make the game more interesting? It turns out, a lot more. Barry Bonds has managed to have such a slow start that his inevitable passing of Babe Ruth into second place on the all-time home run list has brought him to Oakland sitting on 713.
Tonight, we saw him thwarted by the A's, who kept him 0 for 3 with a walk, including a 2 outs in the 9th strike out against Huston Street to win the game by the final score of 1-0. In front a sellout crowd at the Coliseum of 35,000+, filled with partisan A's and Giants fans alike, the substory of Barry taking on the world was definitely there. Flashbulbs popped at every pitch with him at the plate, whether he swung or not, and everybody stood for the duration of his at bats, hoping to be there and see something for the record books, even if it was aligned with a man who has tainted his own story and the game as a whole, through evading the rules, lying and being a generally sultry character with occasional flashes of camaraderie.
As an A's fan, the story is the A's taking sole possession of first place, albeit a slight lead, over the Texas Rangers. But seeing a very well pitched game with stellar defense against the hated Giants and seeing Barry turn unhappily toward the visitors' dugout once again was a fantastic turn of events. One couldn't ask for much more - unless I really want to see him hit the home run... and I don't. Let's hope the guy goes 0 for 12 on the series and limps around the bases in someone else's park in the coming weeks instead.
It all begins anew Saturday at 1:05, and we'll be back there in our assigned seats.
Listening to ''Desire (Short Cut)'', by Blank & Jones (Play Count: 1)