Last A’s home game of the season

It's always a little depressing going to the last home game of the season for the A's, even in a down year.  As a lot of friends, and even my wife, like to point out I drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago when it comes to the A's and I love going to a ballgame no matter how bad they are.

The next chance I'll have to attend an A's game will be on April 10, 2009 against the Mariners.

Fortunately, the A's ended on a winning note on Sunday, rallying to beat the pathetic Mariners 5-3.

The worst thing I saw at the game is pictured above. The low quality of my camera phone combined with the fact that I couldn't stop laughing as I took the shot equals one low-quality image.

But pale, flabby ass crack on a scary looking woman wearing a "Shut up and drink your beer!" T-shirt deserves to be saved and savored in 2.0 megapixel glory.

Other observations from the final A's home game of the season:

* WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: The A's honored the 40th anniversary team before the game and while it was great to remember the glory days it was a little sad to see that there were only five former players at the ballpark.

Rickey Henderson, Dave Stewart, Terry Steinbach, Joe Rudi and Campy Campaneris participated in the pre-game ceremony but no one else from the 40th anniversary roster (http://oakland.athletics.mlb.com/oak/fan_forum/anniversary.jsp) showed up.

So where were the no-shows?

1B, Mark McGwire: Still hiding in shame from the steroid scandal.  Personally, I think the man should just come clean and get some love from the fans.

2B, Mark Ellis: Rehabbing from shoulder surgery, but he did send a nice letter thanking the fans for voting him onto the team.  It'll be a shame to see him play in another uniform next year.  I'm used to that by now but I'll still miss Ellis.

3B, Carney Lansford: OK, he had a good excuse … or a bad excuse depending on how you feel about the Giants.  Lansford was busy working as the Giants' hitting coach but he did have a taped message to the fans played on the scoreboard.

OF, Reggie Jackson: Busy sucking the teet of George Steinbrenner.

SP, Vida Blue: I think Vida also collects a paycheck from the Giants as some sort of community representative, so he didn't show up.  But he did have a taped message played on the scoreboard.

SP, Catfish Hunter: He's dead which is the best, and saddest, excuse not to attend.

RP, Dennis Eckersley: Eck's working for TBS as a studio analyst so he was too busy to come to the ballpark.  Cue up another taped message for the fans.

DH, Dave Kingman: Another no-show but with no taped message to the fans.  It didn't seem like anyone cared.  I'll freely admit that I was too lazy to go online and vote but I'm surprised Dave Parker or Harold Baines didn't come in ahead of Kingman.  I'd even take John Jaha ahead of Kingman.

Manager, Tony La Russa:  He's managing the Cardinals, so he had a great excuse not to be in Oakland. Tony sent a taped message to the fans.

I'm a little surprised Campy beat out Miggy at shortstop but that's just because I assumed old-school fans wouldn't be as Web-savvy as the newer generation of A's fans.  I was also surprised to see that former A's broadcaster Monte Moore was awakened from his cryogenic slumber to MC the pre-game ceremony.

It was nice to see the A's take a moment between innings to give stadium announcer Roy Steele some love.

* SHOPPING SEASON IS OVER TOO:  It's taken a while for me to figure this out (almost 35 years) but the best time to buy A's stuff is at the end of the season when everything is half off.

I've grimaced too many times when the hat or T-shirt I bought in April for $20 is flying off the shelf in September for $10.

Not this year.

All I bought this year was a jacket and a three-pack of baby onesies and that happened on Sunday at a fraction of the cost I would have had to eat just a month or two ago.

* IT'S JUST CUST BEING CUST:
It seems like just yesterday that Jack Cust became the American League's all-time single-season strikeout leader … probably because it was just yesterday that Jack Cust became the American League's all-time single-season strikeout leader.

Well, Cust continued to be Cust on Sunday by doing what he does best: Walk, strike out and homer.

The homer helped win the game and the strikeout brought him one step closer to the MLB strikeout record of 199 set by the Phillies' Ryan Howard last season.

Cust only needs 12 more stikeouts to set a new record.  Right now he averages about 1.3 strikouts per game and is on pace to strike out about eight more times if he plays in all of Oakland's final six games.

The D'back's Mark Reynolds and Howard, who both entered Sunday with 194 strikeouts, will give Cust a run for his money.

Good luck Jack, we're pulling for you.

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