Why can’t we be friends? Opening day with the A’s.

funny a's fan!       Since I couldn’t be there, I got my guys to scope out the scene on Opening Day. Joshua Ploeg wrote this piece. He’s a Mariners fan, a vegan chef, and currently in a few punk bands. He lives in the Los Angeles area. Mitch Ferrer isn’t in any bands, but he is one rad dude who has contributed to the ‘Fro in the past, and has a crazy archival memory on the history of the Oakland Athletics. He lives in Sacramento with his sweet wife Tammy and their two doggies. Enjoy!

   Last night was another installment of going to see the M’s and the A’s on opening day in Oakland. With me being a Mariners fan and the ‘Fro unable to go, some time contributor to this blog Mitch “Put You in A Ditch” Ferrer acted as my “A’s beard”, which I needed because we sat in the bleachers haha! Now Mitch is badass… not least because of his black A’s hat with a Public Enemy patch on it (takes some nerve to throw Long Island shit up on your Oakland hat), but also because he can be seen with me “smurfing it up” with my old school trident cap in a sea of yellow and green and have a sense of humor about it. And say shit to me like “you’re still in a punk band? Isn’t punk 40 years old- that’s like if I would’ve listened to the Andrews Sisters back when I was in high school”- touche!
We began our now yearly tradition in Fruitvale at some burrito place that would have been more authentic without the “guaranteed hormone free beef and free range chicken” signs,  but hey Fruitvale ain’t what it used to be. We got to the counter and the kid pointed to my M’s jersey and said “how can you two be friends!?”. Yeah well, Seattle ain’t New York, Anaheim, Texas or San Francisco, that’s how. He then proceeded to serve up what we in the Northwest would refer to as a “gay-ass Seattle style burrito” with the corn and broccoli and shit in it (it’s okay I swing that way so I can say what the fuck I like). Shows we all have a little Seattle up in us, and if you want a little Seattle up in you the ‘Fro has my number.
     I love the Coliseum, they shouldn’t change a thing. It’s a beast, but it’s old and that makes it good. Too clean or no Mount Davis doesn’t work for you guys because that stadium has a story, it has character. Your players aren’t the same bunch of babies that some of us have to deal with, so they can hang in a place like that. The bleachers weren’t as hostile as I was expecting and people were pretty cool to me. One girl poked me in the chest and said “Are we friends? No we aren’t!! HAAAAA!” but then she gave me some snacks later. They tried to get me to do the “bernie lean” but ,nah- (u still doing that, why not the macarena too, that shit is olllllldd). Out of respect I had a green and white plaid shirt over my jersey. But that’s also cuz the one the ‘Fro bought me says “senior league” on the sleeve….haha asshole! Thrift store shit, insert Macklemore here…
Bob Melvin, now that fool gets a standing O from me. Mariners fans like to applaud the people who used to be with the team, with a few exceptions. Even though we never really took to the guy he came in to an impossible situation (I mean, come on… LOUUUUUUUUU!!!) and we’re proud he’s done a good job for you guys and deserved AL manager of the year. Respect.
John Jaso, I like and he’s a good fit for you. I’m not as hurt about the trade as I was in the beginning and now I’m over it, because Morse is pretty good.  I don’t feel too jealous. Coco is great, of course. I can’t hate the A’s, you put the A in MAriners.
       Felix on the mound- as an M’s fan that’s the only time with a little security. When there were a couple of guys on I wasn’t really worried, even though you guys got excited deep down you knew shit was not gonna get done. If he’s gonna fall apart you can usually tell much earlier. Even your boos against the King are a little trepidatious. The only big razzing I got on that was on the BART when some dude said “Felix is overrated, Verlander is better” and I was like,” yeah well, he’s not on the A’s either”. That kid needs to watch some reruns of Yo’Mama and get his shit up to speed, that was some weak heckling.
Of course, when they took the King out and later there are guys on, bases loaded. That there brings back bad memories, I know you all can relate to a bullpen falling apart. And in our case that was usually big stupid money wasted. Well, we don’t have that cash anymore, and it’s not like Furbush and Pryor are so lousy or anything because they’re not. It’s more the A’s are a tough team and you can’t take that shit for granted. 2 runs doesn’t mean much, that lead can be erased in mere seconds with some dumbshit pitches or false moves. Honestly without Brendan Ryan out there we probably would have lost even with our ace. A lot of sore booing when Felix left the mound.  When you guys boo us it does seem half-hearted, who do we threaten? I feel like we’re a humbled team, we had all this money and squandered it on fiascos like Chone Figgins and Brandon League, focused on Ichiro who couldn’t even be a team leader and we are owned by a faceless corporation that basically gets excited about any player they can sell at the Hello Kitty store. Big whoop. We’re looking alright now because a team like the A’s is there to show people how you do baseball on a budget and play a game with heart. And you have real baseball fans; gritty, fun-loving baseball fans!
       The bleachers were teeming with rowdy drunkeness, sort of good-natured heckling, pot smoke and “e-smoke”, strangers handing us hot links and chicken and pickle sandwiches and falling all over us (well, I do prefer my Safeco fruit kebabs and vegan sushi) and talking shit about South Sacramento (oh, I been there…go River Cats!). Kept getting yourselves kicked out and booing the staff every time they hauled off some poor fool that was passed out or slugging whiskey. Some guy nodded off and barfed three seats away. I was glad you’d rather have a good time, smoke, get drunk, dance and barf and get yourselves thrown out than pick on me. And really why waste your time on anything else- that’s some real shit right there. Beats the fucking Dodgers stands I can tell you this. Salt of the earth.
All in all I had a blast with y’all yet again, and on behalf of the Mariners Laptop and Coffee Klatch, (like Red Sox nation but better and more polite) I want to say thank you A’s for being the A’s- baseball wouldn’t be the same or right without you!
PS- enjoy while it lasts, I may feel differently come September. Oh…. and Welcome Astros, thanks for ensuring we won’t be last in the West ever again!

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