Yankee Stadium a monument of greed


Yankee Stadium a monument of greed

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

Report: A's bringing back former slugger first baseman


Report: A's bringing back former slugger first baseman

The A's hit a lot of home runs and they appear to be bringing back a player that hits a lot of home runs.

Chris Carter, who played for the A's from 2010 through 2012, is reportedly signing a minor league contract to return to the organization.

News of the deal was first reported by FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman.

Carter was released by the Yankees on July 10. In 62 games for New York, Carter hit .201/.284/.370 with five doubles, eight home runs and 26 RBI.

Over the previous four seasons between Houston and Milwaukee, Carter hit 131 home runs and drove in 328 runs.

Carter's high-water mark with the A's came in 2012 when he hit 16 home runs in 67 games.

Sonny Gray keeps dealing, A's avoid sweep with win over Rays


Sonny Gray keeps dealing, A's avoid sweep with win over Rays


OAKLAND — Sonny Gray struck out six pitching into the seventh in what might have been his final home start in Oakland if the club tries to deal him before the trade deadline, and the Athletics rallied in the fifth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 on Wednesday.

Matt Joyce hit a towering homer to the right-field seats in the eighth for Oakland.

Rajai Davis doubled home Oakland's first run in the fifth then Joyce followed with a tying sacrifice fly before Davis scurried home with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Gray (6-4) won his third straight start and fourth in five. When speculation arose from the White Sox side before his Friday outing that the right-hander had been scratched because of a possible deal, the A's quickly announced that he was indeed taking the mound for his scheduled outing.

After a pair of one-run defeats to begin this series, the A's avoided being swept by the Rays in Oakland for the first time. This already marked just their third lost series at home to Tampa Bay.

Gray allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings with two walks.

The Rays got three straight singles off Gray to start the fourth inning, including an RBI single by Wilson Ramos. Brad Miller also drove in a run on a groundout.

But Oakland finally got to Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Faria (4-1) in the fifth. With seven straight quality starts to begin his career, Faria took his first big league loss.

A's All-Star Yonder Alonso hit an RBI single in the inning, when Faria had two of his four walks. He allowed six hits and four runs in five innings, striking out four.

Alonso was thrown out at home in the first when he tried to go from first on Khris Davis' double to right. The throw beat him so handily Alonso didn't even try to slide and instead ran behind the plate before turning for the dugout.


Rays: RF Steven Souza Jr. exited the game in the first after straining his left hip trying to steal second after drawing a leadoff walk to start the game. Shane Peterson replaced him. X-rays were negative and he will be re-evaluated once the team arrives home. ... Manager Kevin Cash said LHP Blake Snell would make his next turn in the rotation despite still being winless at 0-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 11 starts. "He's going to pitch well," Cash said.

Athletics: The A's hope to have Chad Pinder back from the DL and a strained left hamstring when they return home from an upcoming seven-game trip to the New York Mets and Toronto. Manager Bob Melvin plans to use him as a utilityman. ... RHP Kendall Graveman allowed five hits and four runs with one strikeout and a walk on 46 pitches in 2 1/3 innings with Triple-A Nashville rehabbing his strained pitching shoulder. RHP Jharel Cotton (blister on his right thumb) also pitched in the game, striking out six in 3 1/3 innings, while Pinder was 0 for 2 with a walk and strikeout for the Sounds.


Rays: With the Rays back home, RHP Alex Cobb (8-6, 3.59 ERA) takes the ball in Friday's series opener against Yu Darvish and Texas having not faced the Rangers since April 6, 2014.

Athletics: After Thursday's day off following a cross-country flight, RHP Paul Blackburn (1-0, 1.83 ERA) pitches the series opener at the Mets in his fourth career start.