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4.03.2004

Elbo: A night at the Bell

It's the morning after an evening well-spent in section 139. A few observations:

*Leo Estrella: Bad introduction. You could hear Byrnes' helmet crack 380 feet away. Probably everyone in the park heard it. Thank goodness that wasn't worse.

*The fans harassed new A's left fielder Bobby Kielty, of course, but he greeted them as he arrived at his position in the bottom of the first too. First he flapped his fingers in a gesture that said, "Yeah, keep on running your mouth." Then he turned his back, placed the same hand just below his rump, and made the same gesture. Funny stuff. I think the regulars in the bleachers appreciated that one.

*Jerome looked pretty good, at least as much as we could see from the outfield. He didn't look like a man with an 8.53 ERA in spring training, that's for sure. He may have gotten tired after about 60 pitches though -- it seemed like he started to miss his spots and give up line drives. The homer to Chavez seemed like a good pitch -- sharp breaking ball in -- and although EC hit it high off the fair pole, it was no line drive.

*Barry Zito was nasty.

*I think Santos did the right thing on the dropped fly ball where he got thrown out at home. I can't say I had my eye on him the whole time, but it looked like he never stopped running, which is the right thing to do on a fly ball with two outs. You have to test the outfielder's reactions after he drops the ball, you have to gamble that the infielders will be bewildered and out of position for the cutoff. And, in fact, McMillon's throw went straight to second base.

*Marco Scutaro didn't have to dive for that ball in the ninth inning, but he did. Great play.

*Free Wi-Fi at the ballpark. How cool is THAT?

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