The following is written by David Kamoe, a life-long sports fan whose sister is a close friend. David is an avid A's fan, wen to to high school with Drew Gooden and can't believe that Giants commentator Mike Krukow used to refer to the right-centerfield expanse at Pac Bell Park as "Finley Alley," referring to Steve Finley who remarkably wore a Giants uniform for a season. David will likely be stopping by these parts a few times a month, so treat him right. And no sister jokes.
Note: The title of this blurb should be read using a semi-decent Bostonian accent a la the movie, "Beautiful Girls.".
On the Sixth day of the Seventh month of the year 2009, the Oakland Athletics prepared to play the Boston Red Sox. The pitching match-up featured A’s youngster Brett Anderson against life-long Atlanta Brave John Smoltz, now of the Red Sox. The subplot to the story was the return of two former Red Sox who happened to have been traded for each other five years prior.
First to the bat was Orlando Cabrera who received a nice cheer from “Red Sox Nation.” They cheered because he was a part of what Kevin Millar dubbed “the Idiots” who won it all in 2004 after 86 years of “almost.” The next ovation went beyond my general dislike of both the East Coast complex of “We’re #1!” and the leitmotif of Boston fans for feeling as though the world’s owed them. When Nomar Garciaparra was announced over the Fenway public address system, “Red Sox Nation” rose up in a lengthy amount of applause. I am not sure that “Red Sox Nation” wanted to see “Nomah” hit a homer as I did, but that he grounded out in his first AB was probably just fine with them.
What was not fine -- or should not have been fine -- was a beach ball in the crowd. This is something I count on seeing at Dodger Stadium or Angels Stadium. Certainly not at Fenway Park with its 97 years of history. Yet there were A's broadcasters Ray Fosse and Glen Kuiper noting a beach ball on the field at Fenway.
This would have been bad enough if it wasn’t for something else that cameras could not shield. As I watched the A’s feed of the game, I saw the crowd at Fenway Park doing the wave. Had I been drinking water, I would have done a Danny Thomas spit take. (Ask your parents. Better yet, Google it.) There can be only one even slightly plausible explanation for this: the Oakland A’s aren’t the same draw they used to be and those that filled Fenway on this Monday evening were members of the extended “Red Sox Nation” and not Bostonians. Were they, however, actual residents of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine: what is wrong with you? “Red Sox Nation” is considered a “hardcore fan” with extensive knowledge of all things Sox. See Bill Simmons, Ben Affleck, Steven King, et al.I would offer the story of the late Bill King, legendary broadcaster of Raiders, Warriors, and A’s games and his general dislike of the wave. I could point out the wave is subject to a variety of origins. Instead, I would simply note that the wave is a device used by fans who are bored. If you’re bored, why are you there? People always offer that baseball is too slow. Go watch a football game live and watch the game be completely controlled by a man wearing orange gloves to the elbow.