October 18, 2012
Three Nights in October, Part Two
Ian wrote Wednesday about covering his first postseason game, in Oakland. Today: his second game, Game Four of the A's-Tigers ALDS.
I’d been nursing a nasty cold for a week or so. It started in my head, but had migrated to my chest. I don’t like to take drugs—I’m a teetotaller, truth be told—but I’d resorted to DayQuil and cough syrup just to be able to get out of bed. It makes the walk across the footbridge from BART to the Coliseum something of an adventure—my steps unreliable, I felt like I was gliding rather than walking.
There was nothing doing in the interview room when I arrived, so I popped my head into the hitting cage, which is literally next door. If you ever heard any thwocking during the pregame pressers, now you know why.
Yoenis Cespedes was in the cage when I arrived. All three days. Hitting instructor Chili Davis fed balls to Cespedes, underhand, then ducked behind the pitching screen. He offered a constant stream of instruction and encouragement in Spanish. Later I asked Davis if this was Cespedes’ regular routine.
“Every day,” he told me. “It’s not as bad since Suzuki left. He used to have me here at 11:30 in the morning. It used to be him, Rosales, Cespedes, and Cowgill. But since ‘Zuk left, it’s more like 12, 12:30.”
I asked Davis what adjustments Cespedes had made since coming to the A’s.