One of the lesser told story lines during Yoenis Cespedes’ hit show on Monday in the Home Run Derby was that it was nothing new—at least to some people. He does this everyday in batting practice, those in the know attested.
“Those in the know,” however, only applies to a few individuals — players, coaches, reporters — tied together in this secret, esoteric bit of knowledge they share, like a group of people who witnessed a murder or were abducted by aliens with Baron Davis.
That means by the time the Coliseum gates open, the A’s are back in the clubhouse, relaxing, playing cards, snapping towels at each other’s rear ends, or whatever ball players do to kill time in the clubhouse before the game, and the fans get stuck with Jose Altuve taking hacks in the cage.
But the A’s, with the cat out of the bag that they’re hiding the Holy Grail of batting practices from the masses, have accordingly made some adjustments to their pregame schedule. From a team press release:
The Oakland Athletics announced today the team will open gates to O.co Coliseum one hour earlier for all remaining Friday home games this season, affording fans the rare opportunity to watch 2013 Home Run Derby champion Yoenis Céspedes take batting practice.
All gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 26 prior to the A’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, with Céspedes scheduled to hit at approximately 4:40 p.m. Gates will also open at 4:30 p.m., two hours and 35 minutes before first pitch, on subsequent Fridays when Oakland plays Texas (Aug. 2), Cleveland (Aug. 16), Tampa Bay (Aug. 30), Houston (Sept. 6) and Minnesota (Sept. 20).
In addition, A’s fans will be treated to an even earlier admission on Yoenis Céspedes Bobblehead Night Saturday, Aug. 17, with the Coliseum opening at 2:30 p.m., three hours and and 35 minutes before the Oakland-Cleveland game.
Yes, come early and enjoy the show. And don’t forget to stick around afterward and have your newly built-up expectations then completely shattered as Cespedes struggles to just reach first base safely in the segment of the night that actually matters.