Oakland A’s FanFest 2015

I awoke to watch CBS Sunday Morning and segments about LL Cool J and Xerox machines. I went over to the coffee shop for hot chocolate. I took my plastic bag and an umbrella and walked to the BART station. The rain was discouraging, but A’s fans did turn out for FanFest. I stopped at an entrance just a few minutes before they opened up the stadium. The field looked like a monster truck show had taken place on it. I hurried to the memorabilia sale. There was a long line for it, and I had to wait for an hour just to get in the store. The jerseys were too big for me, and so I bought just two caps and a Bill King pin. By the time I got that done, it was 10:43. I discovered that I lost my umbrella, but fortunately I had also brought along a plastic poncho. Also, the umbrella wasn’t the one that my mother bought me two years ago. I was one that I found in a classroom years ago. I headed across the way to the Oracle Arena. I missed the player introductions, but I made it there in time to catch the first Question and Answer session with Billy Beane, Bob Melvin, and Mike Aldrete. Billy sounded rather defensive about the trades of Cespedes and Donaldson. His jokes were rather weak, too. I didn’t hear Kara Tsuboi say whether she was pregnant. Aldrete said that he thought the A’s were headed for a championship last year when they traded for Jon Lester. Billy insisted that the A’s were trying to win every single game. Melvin tried to sound positive. I thought the worst question from the audience was about the Philadelphia sports history transferring to Oakland, and how inspiring it was supposed to be. After a fifteen minute break, the next group, which included Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook, Jesse Chavez, and Dan Otero. There was a disturbing moment when they admitted to not good at schoolwork. Otero said that what he remembered about Jeff Samardzija was that he arrived early for his first game with the A’s and had a lot of pent-up energy. Cook said that Cespedes was a good friend of his. Two little kids dressed up as Doolittle hogged a lot of the time and attention with baseball cards. One of them made the mistake of saying that his father made him dress like Doolittle. I was rather hungry at this point, but I didn’t want to buy Oracle Arena food. At one o’clock, Ray Fosse, Glen Kuiper, and Vince Cotroneo were the next group. They took questions from fans who said their dream job was to become A’s broadcasters. There are way too many people who are hoping to cover sports for the media. The advice they got was to find a way to get behind a microphone to gain experience, even if only for high school baseball games. You have to do more than be able to call plays. You’ve got to fill air time by being engaging and entertaining in some way. It was past 1:45 by this time, and so I went upstairs for an autograph session for season ticket holders. We didn’t know who was going to turn up, but we saw that it was Josh Reddick. He didn’t seem like some big and imposing athlete, but he was quite friendly. I got his signature on one of the caps I’d bought earlier. I noticed that he signed it with the number 22 instead of 16. I had to use the restroom afterwards. I made it back to the Question and Answer session with Curt Young, R.J Alvarez, Chris Bassitt, and Scott Emerson. Young claimed that the team had great depth with their pitching. They have some hard throwers and a switch pitcher. I took a seat closer to the front for that last session, with Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, Billy Butler, and Marcus Semien. Coco made a comment about flushing the toilets in the stadium. The crowd didn’t like his mention of the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2007, and his childhood desire to play shortstop for the Yankees. Reddick said that he gave up his jersey number 16 to Butler. Butler said that the drive home from the stadium was enough to get his mind off tough losses. He also liked country music and was from Georgia, like Reddick. Marcus Semien said that he used to attend A’s games by taking BART to the Coliseum in his youth. He was a Playstation 4 player. One young girl asked the player if a woman could possibly play in the Major Leagues someday. I didn’t hear anyone ask a question about a move to San Jose. And so ended another FanFest. I was satisfied that I got my money’s worth and headed move. As I got to the BART ramp, I saw a golf cart taking Coco Crisp somewhere. He smiled and waved to me. When I looked through the team roster, I found that he was the only A’s player who was born in the 1970s. I got home and ate chicken salad sandwiches before listening to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN. He played songs of The Kinks after the “Lola” period. Some of the songs were “Skin and Bone,” “Have a Cuppa Tea,” “Celluloid Heroes,” “I’m in Disgrace,” and “Come Dancing.” I didn’t not want to watch the Grammys. I saw that Rosanne Cash had won. I took a shower. I had a good weekend and wondered how many games I could get to at the Coliseum this season. I would like to get the fleece blanket and the Stephen Vogt bobblehead. I’m looking forward to Opening Day. I was too tired to try watching “The Bridges of Madison County.” What was Clint Eastwood doing directing this movie. “Walking Tall” was on television, but I didn’t want to see it. It had sequels that I couldn’t stand seeing. There was also an American Experience with Cab Calloway. Some of the people who died on February 9 include Eddy Duchin (1951), Sophie Tucker (1966), Bill Haley (1981), David Wayne (1995), and Ian Richardson (2007). Today is a birthday for Mia Farrow (70), Alice Walker (71), Joe Pesci (72), and Carole King (73). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 9, The Beatles made their first appearance at the Cavern Club with their new name in 1961. In 1965, “Ten Little Indians” premiered in New York. In 1969, Gabby Hayes died of heart disease at age 83.

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