There is a lesson in the sudden caverning of Yankee Stadium. Well, there are lots, actually, but the first is this.A ballpark is not architecture, or sight lines, or concession stands. A ballpark is the people and the show inside it.When Detroit Tigers left fielder Quentin Berry dismissed the new Yankee Stadium as a an excellent place for quiet contemplation, he made sure to compare it to the crowds in Oakland, which he described as rowdier.And he meant it as a compliment. The gray old dowager with the dirty green frock, a cooler place to play than Yankee Stadium perfect.Now the Coliseum didnt change. The fans did. They finally overcame their revulsion at years of being told their team, their stadium and their very presence was unfashionable, and went to see what all the fuss was about. And they had a hell of a time, so much so that they even celebrated Justin Verlander dry-cleaner-bagging them in Game 5 of the AL Division Series.And it isnt their fault that they didnt come before the end of the season. It is never the customers job to support the entrepreneur, and never has been. It is the job of the entrepreneur to attract the customer. It has always been so, and anyone who believes the inverse is, well, an idiot.Or a real estate hustler.Or both.By the way, we would be remiss if we didnt mention that losing Derek Jeter would buzzkill any crowd, so were not savaging Yankee fans here. Theyre entitled to make their noise when they feel like it, too.The fact is, the fans in Oakland made Oakland a cool place to play the last few weeks, not out of obligation, but because the players taught them how to overcome their annoyance at the people who run the franchise. And it certainly wasnt out of anticipation for a new stadium somewhere, either.It was the moment that made the ballpark, and the comparisons with Yankee Stadium have never been more apt.Yankee Stadium has been a monument to the outer limits of greed from the moment it was imagined. Its parking company is going broke because people discovered that its easier to take the train. The deafening noise that once poured down upon visiting players in the old park flies off into the stratosphere in the new one.This brings up one other thing which typically gets forgotten in all the talk of ballparks and land deals and moving things to different placed. When you change location and you change pricing, you change your fan base. The Giants fan base now is radically different than the one they had in 1999, and they did it by design. Thats another part of the As San Jose plan. They know moving will be changing their fan base, decided it is worth it to do so, and the fan base they have now knows it and rightfully resents it.But they came out down the stretch anyway, helped in a small but growing way to overwhelm the Angels and Mariners and Rangers down the stretch, and nearly swallowed the Tigers with their fervor. They arent as strong as Verlander, true, but no fan base is. When hes dealing, everyone is at the table, and everyone goes home broke.Thats the baseline lesson here the fans come to see the games, and the games are made by the players. The players create the atmosphere, the fans stir it, and before you know it, you get left fielders from other teams comparing the allegedly downtrodden As fan with the swells in New York, and doing it favorably.You can have all the pretty colonnades and displays and 40 beer kiosks and platinum-inlaid urinals and waiters for every seat to take your grub order and the tax breaks up the nostrils to make it all a windfall for the owners. But a ballpark is a useless waste of public space if not for the show on the field, because a ballpark is still ABOUT THE BASEBALL.Which, in his own way, was what Quentin Berry was saying all along. Atmosphere is not dictated from the board room, and never has been. Building plans may excite the kids down at the union hall, but they mean nothing if what youre putting on inside the building is not consistent with its mission, which, in the case of a ballpark, is ball.So thats one more thing to keep As fans warm this winter. They throw a cooler party than the people at Yankee Stadium, just because theyre there to make it happen. So never mind your spread sheets and land deals and architectural niceties. The people throwing the party is really how this works in the end.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com
ANAHEIM — Sean Manaea is hopeful his left shoulder injury isn’t serious, but the A’s likely won’t have a full read on the starter’s condition for a couple days.
As of Wednesday night, no MRI was scheduled after Manaea left after just two innings of an eventual 8-5 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels with tightness in his shoulder.
“I felt it a little bit in the bullpen,” Manaea said. “I thought it was just one of those days where it took me longer to warm up, and that just wasn’t the case. It’s just really unfortunate.”
Just as the A’s are about to welcome Kendall Graveman back to the active roster Thursday, when he starts the series finale at Angel Stadium, and just as it appears Sonny Gray might be ready to come off the disabled list following one more rehab start, the A’s are hoping they don’t see Manaea subtracted from their rotation for any period of time.
Manager Bob Melvin said it was the top of Manaea’s shoulder that was bothering him.
“The velo was down, and it didn’t make sense to have him keep pitching,” Melvin said. “But we won’t know anything probably for a day or two, how he feels.”
Once he started throwing in the game, Manaea said he felt “kind of a little sharp pain. I mean, it’s nothing serious. I’ve dealt with it before and it only took me a few days to get back on the mound. To me, I’m not really worried about it.”
The pitcher added that he experienced a similar situation with his shoulder while a minor leaguer in Kansas City’s organization, toward the end of spring training, and he missed minimal time.
Things didn’t get better for the A’s (10-11) after Manaea exited, as they struck out 13 times and played sloppy defensively in dropping their third in a row. Catcher Stephen Vogt couldn’t handle Ryan Dull’s glove flip to the plate on a seventh-inning squeeze play, ending a streak of six errorless games for Oakland, but Melvin can live with occasional physical misplays. More problematic were occasions when right fielder Matt Joyce and center fielder Jaff Decker both seemed caught by surprise to see Angels runners take off for an extra base. Whether it was a lack of communication from infielders or the outfielders themselves needing to be more aware, the A’s can’t afford those kinds of mistakes.
“As a group, we can’t let that happen,” Melvin said. “We talk about it in advance meetings the way these guys run the bases. It’s not something we can do and expect to beat this team.”
Added Vogt: “We were on our heels quite a bit. This was obviously not the prettiest baseball game we’ve played.”
ANAHEIM – The A’s endured one of those nights Wednesday when the scoreboard couldn’t convey the extent of their blues.
The tone of an 8-5 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels was set early, when starting pitcher Sean Manaea left after two innings with what was announced as tightness in his throwing shoulder.
From there, things gradually unraveled as the A’s lost their third in a row and took on what looks to be another injury to a key player. The seriousness of Manaea’s injury wasn’t immediately known, but his early exit added to the recent run of medical misfortune, as center fielder Rajai Davis, shortstop Marcus Semien and starter Kendall Graveman have all hit the disabled list over the past 12 days.
Graveman will be activated Thursday and start against the Angels, but Manaea’s condition will loom large as the 25-year-old lefty is considered a foundation piece for the A’s, now and for the future.
The A’s trailed 4-3 in the seventh when the Angels pulled away with four runs off Ryan Dull. Matt Joyce’s two-run homer in the eighth pulled them closer but they lost for the second night in a row at Angel Stadium and will have to win Thursday night to avoid a sweep. Wednesday’s loss dropped them back below .500 at 10-11.
Starting pitching report:
It was obvious early that something was bothering Manaea. His fastball, which usually sits in the low 90’s and gets into the mid-90’s, was hovering in the 88-89 range. The A’s led 2-0 before the Angels struck for three runs in the second. Danny Espinosa and Martin Maldonado each delivered RBI doubles that landed just past the diving reach of right fielder Matt Joyce and center fielder Jaff Decker, respectively. Another run scored on Cameron Maybin’s single.
Frankie Montas gave up a run over 2 1/3 innings after being called into early duty when Manaea got hurt. Dull, trying to keep it a 4-3 game, did not have his command in the seventh. He threw a wild pitch, hit Danny Espinosa with a 1-2 pitch and then allowed Maybin’s two-run single that keyed Los Angeles’ four-run seventh.
At the plate:
It was a big night for Yonder Alonso, who had a two-run single in the first and then homered in the sixth to pull Oakland within 4-3. Alonso already has four homers, putting more than halfway to his 2016 total of seven in the season’s first month. The A’s struck out 13 times, giving them 24 strikeouts over the first two games of this series.
In the field:
It took until the seventh inning for the A’s to be charged with an error that snapped their streak of six consecutive errorless games. Stephen Vogt couldn’t hold on to Dull’s glove flip on Martin Maldonado’s squeeze bunt. But even before then, this wasn’t a sharp defensive effort. Joyce got caught off guard in the fourth when Maybin tagged up and made it to second on a fly to right. Joyce’s gesturing afterward seemed to suggest nobody was letting him now the runner was tagging. An inning later, Decker seemed stunned as the lumbering Albert Pujols went first to third on Andrelton Simmons’ single.
The announced crowd was 30,248.
Kendall Graveman (2-0, 2.00) is set to come off the D.L. on Thursday and make his first start since April 14, when he was lost to a strained right shoulder. He’ll be opposed by Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76), who took the Opening Night loss against the A’s at the Coliseum when he allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.