Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hounding Report: Rangers vs. A's, September 28 and a TTM

Fan Appreciation Day? More like Money Appreciation Day.

You'd think Fan Appreciation Day would be the one day a year almost every player would sign autographs for the fans either before or after the game.  That certainly wasn't the case in Arlington.  While it's true they had giveaways via random drawings of seat numbers, the team did little aside from that.  I was busy getting the A's, but another collector told me a whole three Rangers signed, with Robbie Ross being the "big name" of the three.  When Robbie Ross is a big anything (aside from a big stinker of a starting pitcher), that's a problem.

The Six Shooters went around tossing a few autographed balls into the stands as well.  From what I could tell, they were used balls, signed in black pen, and not even on the sweet spot.  To add insult to injury, the reports I heard were that the balls were signed by guys like Jon Edwards, who pitched a whole eight innings with the Rangers this year. And the balls pretty much only went to fans in the expensive seats-- lower deck, first ten rows near the dugouts.  Newsflash Rangers: some of your most loyal, dedicated fans sit elsewhere.  Oh that's right-- you rewarded your Upper Reserved Season Ticket Holders with more than doubled prices (from $324 to over $700) this season and then spent six months trying not to lose 100 games.  Nice job.  Over the years, the bonus perks for being a STH have dwindled.  Thanks to back to back World Series appearances and losses, the organization has started taking fans for granted.  It didn't seem to bite them too badly this year, but we'll see what happens down the line.  Sure if they get healthy they should be fine, but that's a big IF.

Rangers lost 4-0 in one of the most uninspired displays of baseball I've ever watched. The dressing atop this heaping shit salad was that not a single player signed a single autograph on the way out of the park.

Even before the game at the tunnel, it was almost entirely the young guys who signed: guys I had nothing for (and in the case of Ryan Rua, guys I was unaware went to college right next to my old elementary/middle school in Painesville, OH-- the college now owns the old school building for classrooms and offices) and guys I had gotten a ton already.  J.P. Arencibia signed the lone card I had left of him, while Matt Harrison signed my last two as well.

Inside on the A's side, I wasn't expecting much due to a crappy haul the last time they came in and since they didn't have batting practice.  I was right: I got Scott Kazmir and Sean Doolittle on a card each.  Even the pressbox was worthless.  Never saw Grieve, Gil wasn't there, Fosse was too busy, and I only saw Busby for about half a second.  I could have gotten three more Jose Guzmans, but I've already gotten him a ton this year.

Postgame, I missed Grieve and Rua, but it didn't really matter.  No one seemed to want to stop anyway.  I'll be stuck hauling this Grieve 11x14 everywhere for who knows how long.

I did manage to get a TTM in after a three month wait-- former Miami Dolphin Manny Fernandez signed four cards, adding 17-0 to each.

This year's baseball burnout seems a lot stronger than last year's. Frankly, I'm glad I can turn my attention to hockey and hopefully more TTMing now. I planned to send out a lot this year. Obviously I didn't.

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