Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Meet Your Unknown Oakland A's at 2008 Fan Fest

By Kibby Kleiman
Wed, Jan 23, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Remember those parties from when you were a kid, when the guest of honor didn't really have any real friends? Maybe your Mom made you go, maybe you were collecting karma points early, or maybe you knew that you were pretty much a mortal lock to score a big piece of birthday cake?

You can relive those childhood memories this Saturday, as the Oakland A's host their ninth- annual Fan Fest at the Coliseum from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If ever the local rooters had any doubt that we've been left playing with the plastic pieces, get a load of the sponsors: Ross Dress for Less, and Central Garden and Pet. It's surprising that the Auto-wash car people decided to opt out.

Fans will be able to meet a number of current Athletic players, the A's announced. For instance, Chris Denorfia, who was injured when acquired in a trade last year and was one of the more consistent Athletics, staying injured for the entire 2007 season. If you get a chance to shake his hand be gentle; the A's are counting on him to be our opening day center fielder. Maybe just wave instead.

The band of brothers wearing the home colors will be like a classroom full of kids nobody knows: Jerry Blevins, Andrew Brown, Kevin Melillo. And those are the ones they put in the tease figuring that they might boost attendance.

It looks like a rare opportunity to see the A's before they go to spring training and return with pulled hamstrings and the knowledge that the American League is no place for newbies.

Perhaps cruelest of all is the small caveat at the end of the pitch: "Please note that players are subject to change without notice." Unless Dallas Braden morphs into Johann Santana somewhere along the way, this cold winter may stretch well into Spring.

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