Josh Reddick’s Root Beer Float Day Walk-Off Single

Donald Trump’s wife’s speech reminded me of how meaningless most political speeches are.  In the office, I looked at some ukulele charts.  I didn’t know why the strings are arranged the way they are.  I was too late to go out to the Jack London Stadium 9 for “Ghostbusters,” and I needed to take a nap, anyway.  I got to the Coliseum early and stood in line for more than an hour before the gates opened.  Robin Winston of KRON walked past us, and the guy in front of me yelled out to her that she was beautiful, and that he watched her on Channel 4.  It was Root Beer Float Day.  I bought two autographed mugs with Bob Melvin’s signature and took a quick look around before getting Carney Lansford’s autograph.  I bought a ticket to get Rickey Henderson’s autograph, and then I got my first root beer float from the A’s wives table.  I didn’t catch the name of the wife who scooped the ice cream for me, but she seemed like the friendliest one.  I got an autograph from Terrence Long and headed for the Rickey Line.  I had the option of a photo or a signed photo card.  I chose the card because my phone camera was crappy.  Rickey looked like he was in great shape for 58 years old, and he was pleasant enough.  Rickey didn’t say that Rickey was glad to shake my hand, but he did.  I was done with the autographs, so I walked past some of the tables.  I saw Kenny Choi, Michelle Griego, and Roberta Gonzales.  I saw Mark Canha.  I thought of getting into Kara Tsuboi’s line, but too many people were there.  I moved over to Vince Cotroneo’s line.  He gave me a lot of ice cream.  I was getting thoroughly sick of both ice cream and root beer, but I gradually finished it as I made my way out of the crowded room and over to my seat.  Terrence Long threw out the first pitch.  Teana Boston sang the national anthem, and I saw Sean Manaea applaud her.  He was originally set to pitch this game, but Bob Melvin used him in Sunday’s game after Rich Hill left with his blister problem.  Dillon Overton was the A’s starting pitcher on this night against the Astros.  He pitched better than the last time I saw him.  He gave up two singles in the first inning, and a double in the second inning, but kept the Astros from scoring until the third inning.  After one out in that inning, he allowed a single and a double, then made a good play shoveling the ball to McBride at home plate to get the runner out.  Overton gave up a single for a Houston run on the next pitch, which felt a bit deflating, but he did get the next batter out.  Overton had a clean inning in the fourth.  One of the Astros batters lost his grip on his bat, which went flying my way.  Someone wearing a Craig Biggio jersey managed to grab it.  I saw Lew Wolff turn his around to see if anyone was hurt.  Overton ran into problems in the fifth inning.  He gave up a home run, giving the Astros a 2-0 lead.  After an out, he allowed a triple and a sacrifice fly for another run.  After we saw The Robot Cam, Overton got through the sixth inning.  He allowed a two-out single but picked off the runner.  In the Big Head race, we saw the short Rickey Henderson narrowly win over the short Rollie Fingers and the short Dennis Eckersley.  With Rickey in the building, it was fitting that Rickey should win. Overton got one out in the seventh inning, and then Daniel Coulombe came in and threw four pitches in giving the next two outs.  During the seventh inning stretch, we heard “Shake It Off.”  In the bottom of the inning, the A’s finally scored.  With one out, Billy Butler singled and Jake Smolinski doubled.  Ryon Healy doubled to score two runs, and he looked really excited with his hit standing out there on second base.  He had been denied an RBI in the second inning when Semien was thrown out at home plate.  Coco Crisp got a single with two outs, but the A’s were unable to tie the game.  Coulombe got two outs in the top of the eighth inning, giving up a walk with one out.  Liam Hendriks got the third out with one pitch.  In the bottom of the inning, Marcus Semien walked with two outs.  He made it to third base.  Yonder Alonso and Josh Reddick were sent to pinch hit, but Semien was still on third base after the last out.  Hendriks had a clean ninth inning.  We saw the John Belushi Animal House video clip.  In the bottom of the ninth inning, Ryon Healy struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch.  Stephen Vogt also got to a 3-2 count, but he doubled.  Coco Crisp hit the ball to the right field wall for a double that tied the score at 3-3, but he thought he was a home run and was trotting around the bases when the Astros caught him between second and third for a 9-5-6 out.  I thought that this blunder was going to cost the A’s the game.  He could have been on third base with only one out.  Jed Lowrie struck out, and so we went to a tenth inning.  Hendricks got two outs before allowing a single.  He got a ground ball that looked like a routine out, but Semien fumbled the ball for an error.  Marc Rezcepzynski came in and walked the next batter to load the bases, but he got the ground ball to end the inning.  In the bottom of the inning, Valencia and Davis both made outs, so we were looking at an eleventh inning.  However, Semien singled and stole second base.  Alonso walked, bringing Reddick up to bat.  The count was at 1-2 when he swung and hit a slow ground ball to the left side.  Semien ran for home as the shortstop got to the ball and threw to the catcher too late.  It was the fourth walk-off win for the season.  Overton lowered his ERA from 11.42 to 8.40.  I was glad to head home after a night of too much ice cream, too much root beer, and too much spending.  The game began at 7:07 with a game time temperature of 65 degrees, and it ended at 10:48.  I listened to Chris Townsend on the postgame radio show.  He said that he gave the fans a lot of ice cream when they came to him for root beer floats.  I didn’t see him.  He said that Root Beer Float Day was one of only two times during the year that fans get to rub elbows with the players.  The other is FanFest.  I hurried home and caught the end of the James Garner interview from 1986 on The Dick Cavett Show.  He talked about the pranks he pulled on the set of “Health.”  One involved Lauren Bacall’s diary.  Some of the people who died on July 20 include Bernhard Riemann (1866), Bruce Lee (1973), Frank Reynolds (1983), and James Doohan (2005).  Today is a birthday for Carlos Santana (69), Kim Carnes (71), and Diana Rigg (78).

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