July 2010

From Big to Small, They All Had a Ball

Dog Day 2010 #7

The A’s wrapped up a fantastic homestand yesterday, beating the Sox off the boys from both Boston and Chicago. We began both series with losses and then came from behind twice to win the next two consecutive games. Great pitching and awesome bursts of hitting!

Sadly, one of the losses had to come vs. Chicago on Friday night, Dog Day with the A’s. With a final score of 1-5, the action on the field wasn’t nearly as interesting as the fans we had sitting in the Plaza Reserved section of the outfield.

If you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Facebook and Twitter, you know that I had very much been looking forward to this event for the entire season and that it ranks up there in my Top 5 games of the season. Despite the loss, I can happily say that the 2010 Dog Day didn’t disappoint!!

Dog Day 2010 #5Dog Day 2010 #2Dog Day 2010 #6The event began in the Northeast parking lot with a costume contest and mingling session (basically, a chance for the pups — all 600 of them! — to meet each other and get a feel for the craziness ahead). As a judge for the contest, I helped award Enzo, the “Poochador” (above left) win for “Best Overall Dog.” Very deserved.

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The pre-game festivities also gave the dogs a chance to sniff out the biggest animal in attendance: Stomper. I’d say it was 50-50 for dogs who responded well to him and those who didn’t. Luckily, my parents’ dog, Lucy, was mellow enough to pose for a family photo with the big fellow! I can only imagine what was running through her mind…

Dog Day 2010 #1After the pre-game contest, dogs and their owners got the chance to parade around the Coliseum field. This photo to the left is one of my favorite of the night as it represents such unbridled doggie instinct to roll around on that pristine field! Such a happy time!

Dog Day 2010 #17

From a dog’s perspective, the only good thing about a low-scoring game and a loss meant the nine innings flew by so fast on Friday night. Those 54 outs officially clocked in at 2 hours, 16 minutes. For me and my Diamond Vision crew, that meant we had to run around in warp speed, trying to capture all the dogs and their costumes on camera.

Dog Day 2010 #11

Most of the fans I spoke with agreed that Dog Day could be held every month during the season and no one would tire of it. I couldn’t agree more. The event is so novel, so entertaining and such a fantastic combination of people’s passions: baseball and their pets. What do you think, Avoderm Natural? Want to sponsor another one?!?

Dog Day 2010 #8Dog Day 2010 #13Dog Day 2010 #9Thank you to all the fans and their four-legged friends who helped make another Dog Day with the A’s so memorable. When you get your schedule for the 2011 Oakland Athletics season and start planning your summer, be sure to save Dog Day on your calendar. Win or lose, it’s going to be another not-to-be-missed game!

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Photo credit (for just about all of the photos I’m in): My mother and o
wner of Lucy Tsuboi, the cutest and sweetest Springer Spaniel around. She didn’t seem to mind wearing the A’s shirt, but the cap was another story… Fans, if you’ve got Dog Day photos to share, send then to me and maybe I’ll use them in my blog post next year! Email: kara@oaklandathletics.com

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Dog Days of Summer

Dog Day 2009 #1

Get ready A’s fans for one of the most entertaining games of the year: Dog Day at the Coliseum. This Friday, July 23, the A’s welcome their fans of the four-legged variety to enjoy an evening of pre-game fun, the chance to socialize with their fellow canines and of course, great baseball on the field.

But fans, don’t delay buying your tickets!! You have until Monday to purchase your seats for you and your pet. Click this link to be redirected to the A’s ticketing page.

As an animal lover, Dog Day is easily one of my favorite games of the year. The event kicks off with a pre-game costume contest that is beyond adorable. One of the most memorable from last year was a pup dressed in fishing gear, pretending to be his version of a “Catfish Hunter.” Cute, clever and A’s related.

Dog Day 2009 #5After the contest, it’s on to the pup parade, where dogs and their owners get to circle the warning track. So many smells! So many new friends in meet! Once the game starts, I spend every inning break with the dogs in the Plaza Reserved section (the second deck in the outfield, above the bleachers). It’s endlessly entertaining to visit with the dogs of all breeds and sizes, trying to find the most unusual or the best tricks to show on camera. It also puts a smile on my face to hear the bark of the dogs in a quiet lull during the game; definitely a different noise in the typical soundtrack of a baseball game!

Here’s a schedule of events for the not-to-be-missed 2010 Dog Day, Friday, July 23:

5:30 – 6:15   Pre-Game “Pup Rally”
6:20 – 6:35   Pup Parade on the field
7:05             Dogs take their seats, A’s take the field

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Oh — and to answer a question I get a lot, YES, the Coliseum does hire extra help on Dog Day to keep the stands and field pristine…if you know what I mean.

Starring You: the A’s Number One Fan

Moneyball CoverSince we’re taking a small break from baseball, I’m going to use this time to chat up my latest baseball-related obsession: Moneyball, the movie.

Yes, that’s the book about how Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane built a winning team in the early 2000s based on numbers…the statistics kind, not the dollar sign kind.

And yes, that’s the movie based on Michael Lewis’ book that will start filming at the Oakland Coliseum later this month. The best part? You can play…yourself!! The A’s number one fan!

The easiest way to sign up to be a “Moneyball” extra is to go through this website: www.beinamovie.com. You can also try calling their hotline from 10AM – 4PM PST for more information: (818) 985-8811. Since the movie is trying to recreate the A’s 20-game win streak in 2002, shooting times are late at night. Really late. For example, 10:30PM to 5:30AM. Hopefully the free snacks and hopes of Brad Pitt sightings will make a long night go faster.

Moneyball, the movieSo about that Mr. Pitt… He’s slated to play Billy Beane and rumor has it, has attended several A’s games over the last month to do research on the team, the stadium and the overall vibe of the organization. No word on Angelina sightings… Also cast is Philip Seymour Hoffman to play manager Art Howe and Jonah Hill to play Paul DePodesta, Billy Beane’s assistant.

The castings that really took me by surprise, however, are Scott Hatteberg (photo below left) and David Justice (photo below right) playing themselves. And why shouldn’t they?! Both were definitely stars of that 2002 team.

Scott HattebergDavid Justice in Moneyball

In my opinion, all of the raw elements are here for a great movie: a great book for inspiration, talented actors, and just an overall, feel-good story about an under-appreciated team. Come on out and join the fun…and let’s hope the experience adds up to a positive public relations campaign for the A’s. See you there!

If They’re Going to Beat the Pants Off Us…

…they might as well be A’s pants

Kara and Carrie and A's jeansA's jeans pocket detail

Yeah, yeah, we got our butts kicked by the team in pinstripes. A sweep, no less. It stinks.

But hey, if they’re going to beat the pants off us, we might as well be wearing some cute pants…and let that be a segue for promoting the coolest jeans in baseball: the A’s jeans. I wear mine every homestand because they are so comfortable and so awesome. And every time I do, fans ask where I got them…

Well, here’s the scoop:

Alyssa Milano (of “Who’s the Boss” fame) designed these jeans for the A’s and other MLB teams (she had a thing for ballplayers, if you’re not up to date on who’s who of players’ girlfriends). Anyway, she did a great job. They’re comfortable, durable and have the A’s insignia on both rear pockets and on the mini fifth pocket on the front right.

Here’s the best part: they’re still for sale and they only cost $30. I know, amazing deal!!! You can find them at the team’s “Value Stand” behind the Left Field Bleachers. And while you’re there, be sure to check out all the other great A’s merchandise on deep discount.

A's Value Stand #3A's Value Stand #1

Top left photo credit: Francis, a long-time, diehard fan and husband to
Carrie, the gal in the photo with me. She’s the one who found the jeans
first and tipped me off to them last season. Thanks again, Carrie!

Goodbye Bronx Bombers

Tonight’s game marks the last visit the Yankees will make to the Coliseum during the 2010 season, and I think most A’s fans will agree with me when I say that I’m not sad to see them (and their fans) leave. In the five games played in Oakland so far this season, we’re 1-4. A win tonight from Gio Gonzalez and the rest of the boys will help the team avoid the sweep and put us in a better position to face our division rivals, the Angels, this weekend.

"Stick it A-Rod" signThe A’s fan presence in the Coliseum over the last two nights has been a bit bleak. It’s common knowledge that when the Yanks (or BoSox) come to town, their West Coast fans come out in droves. This season has been no different. Here and there, however, you will find some examples of Oakland A’s fan awesomeness. Case in point, Jeff and Kris channeling Grandma Braden and their homemade A-Rod sign above. And below, some diehard fans and their elephant ears and Quintona (aka “Wiggi”) showing off her true green and gold love.

Elephant EarsQuintona "Wiggy" the super fan

I wish the boys on the field the best of luck tonight. Please, please, please, let’s not give the (occasionally obnoxious) Yankee fans the satisfaction of a sweep. And A’s fans, I want to feel your presence tonight. Get loud and let’s show our team some support! And thank goodness the two teams don’t meet again until the end of the summer…