Odds & Ends-Volume 214

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After a week away, Odds & Ends is back and we begin with the blasphemous story of the Oakland A’s showing off their bad customer service skills deciding to price gouge another team’s fan base when they come to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. In what is probably one of the most childish,bush league moves a major league sports franchise has ever done, the A’s have chosen to charge any San Francisco Giants fan $50 to park at their sorry excuse for a baseball stadium.ColiseumParking.png

Team president Dave Kaval said any Giants fan who wants to pay $30 needs only to yell “Go A’s” at the parking gates. The A’s hosted the Giants in an exhibition game Sunday and will do so in a three-game series July 20-22. The gimmick,known by many as price gouging, is designed to extort more money for parking overall.

As you can tell by the tone of this portion of the column I think this is a terrible idea and something that should be beneath them. It’s bad enough this sorry,no account team can’t even fill that sewage treatment plant they call a major league baseball stadium to fucking begin with, now they’re charging opposing fans extra because they’re simply a fan of a different team? Fuck that shit!

And by the way if this was the A’s doing this to Angels fans or Yankees fans or Red Sox fans I would be just as upset,but since they have some sort of stupid vendetta with the Giants it makes this idea even stupider. It’s little brother syndrome and penis envy rolled into one decision that clearly wasn’t thought through properly.

Maybe if the A’s decided to stop acting like a minor league franchise at the major league level and kept their players longer than a season and a half and actually went out and got players to come play there they wouldn’t have to resort to stupid stunts like raising parking rates for a certain section of baseball fans or trying to get those fans to trade in their team’s hats for yours.

Giants fans, if you’re reading this and you’re planning on attending this series in July, here’s what you need to do: Don’t put your gear on until you’ve paid for parking and parked your car. They don’t need to be seeing you in your black and orange when you arrive and what they’re attempting to do to you is egregious and unfair. Keep doing this until they lift this asinine policy.

All I can say to Kaval and his cheapskate operation is to wish them the best of luck in getting Giants fans to help fill your stadium for three games out of this year. It’s bad enough that nobody wants to come see your team now (you were 29th in attendance last season), that you failed miserably on getting a stadium site that was impossible in the first place (Peralta over Howard Terminal? Fuck outta here!), and that your team isn’t taken seriously as a major league team because of the insane way you operate your ballclub, now you’re doing this kind of bullshit. It’s going too far and should be thought over and done away with. Shame on you!

BumgarnerSamardzijaSpeaking of the Giants, they were dealt a blow with their ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner going on the shelf to start the season with a broken pitching hand. The injury occurred when he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield in a spring training game. Bumgarner had surgery on his hand on Saturday,which was a success. He is slated to return in June at the very earliest.

Ty Blach,who filled in for Bumgarner when he was injured last season,will do so again as he is now the team’s opening day starter when the team opens in Los Angeles against the National League champion Dodgers for a four game series.

Bumgarner isn’t the only San Francisco starter beginning the season on the shelf,Jeff Samardzija,the team’s third starter in the rotation,has a strained pectoral muscle. The good news,however,is that he may be available to return after Apr. 10.

Johnny Cueto, Derek Holland,and Chris Stratton will likely be the remaining starters while Samardzija and Bumgarner rehab.

“We’re having to call an audible on a couple things, one with Samardzija, but of course now with Bumgarner,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We have a good idea, but we’re just checking off all the boxes.”

This is a big blow to the Giants who are trying very hard to make last year’s 64-98 mark a distant memory. They made a lot of good moves in the offseason to shore up the team’s offense and even got better in the bullpen, but right now it’s not looking great for the starting rotation. Now, I think if the team can get hot at the plate and score early and often,they can be somewhat okay. But with Bumgarner on the shelf, it won’t be easy.

It’s been a Cinderella roller coaster ride for the Ramblers of Loyola University-Chicago as LoyolaChicagothey ramble on to the Final Four by beating Kansas State in the Elite Eight. They will face Michigan on Saturday. The 11th seeded Ramblers are hoping to get their first national championship in 55 years after netting their first tournament appearance in 33 years this season.

Their journey started with a win over sixth seeded Miami (FL), then they shocked everyone by beating third seeded Tennessee in the second round. The Sweet Sixteen saw the Ramblers beat another underdog, though slightly-higher seeded, in seventh seeded Nevada.

The Ramblers’ remarkable run has had a great effect on the school as well as the city of Chicago itself. Coach Porter Moser explains what’s it has been like for him and his team.

“I’m soaking this in,” said Moser, who is in his seventh season as head coach. “I remember not too long ago where I was passing out hot dogs trying to get people to come to games, (putting) flyers in the dorms. You name it, I did it with the students trying to get them to come.”

“I’ve had alumni in tears come up to me and bear hug me. That means so much to me,” Moser said. “I’ve had students jumping around just excited. The video of Damen Student Center, of the bars around the neighborhood with the students going nuts. That’s what it should be. That’s what college basketball should be.”

Junior guard Clayton Custer has been enjoying the moments,too!

“When I got here a couple years ago, nobody was coming to our games, no media outlets were coming to interview us or anything like that,” he said. “The fact that we created this buzz around the campus is unbelievable. We don’t take it for granted.”

It’s been a crazy ride for the Ramblers and it would be neat to see them in the title game to nab their one shining moment,even though they’ve had a lot of them just in this tournament alone.

Finally this week the Edmonton Oilers may not be a playoff team this year,but one of their players has something left to play for.

McDavidHome.jpgConnor McDavid has taken over the league lead in points this past week, with 99 as of press time over Nikita Kucherov of Tampa Bay,who has 95. McDavid,in his third season in the NHL, is primed to have his second consecutive 100-point season and is likely on his way to winning his second straight Art Ross trophy.

McDavid has scored 24 goals in his last 27 games and more than 12 points in the last seven.

“I’m just going to put repeat on,” said McDavid, who added he would be lying if he said he hasn’t kept on eye where he sat in the race for the Art Ross Trophy.

“We pay attention to it. Guys that are in the race, I’m sure they are paying attention to it. We are so far along in the year and everyone has come so far that you might as well put your best foot forward and go for it.”

In what is and has been a disappointing year for Edmonton,I hope this can be a big positive going forward. While the team has been playing better despite being eliminated from playoff contention, I think they need to get better guys around McDavid, guys who can score and guys who are fast like him should be on this roster. This isn’t a bad team at all in Edmonton,but they aren’t very good,either. With the right moves in the offseason I think they can bounce back. With players like McDavid,Leon Draisaitl,and Ethan Bear on this team it’s difficult for me to believe that things will be this bad for any long amount of time. They just can’t.

That will do it for Odds & Ends this week,we’ll catch you next time!

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