OAKLAND, Calif. — Tampa Bay starter David Price is certainly regretting his choice to take a taxi to the Oakland Coliseum on Friday.
With the Bay Bridge closed all weekend, the alternate route ran him a whopping $202 — and he posted live updates of his frustrating adventure on Twitter during the long journey.
“Hour ride from our hotel in San Fran to Oakland coliseum since the bay bridge is closed…nice timing!! Expensive ride…” Price said, then added, “ha $202 dollar ride today.”
On the day he was scheduled to pitch against the A’s, too.
Manager Joe Maddon took the team bus, leaving at 2 p.m. and arriving at the ballpark at 3:45. But Maddon had bargained on a one-hour trip and left his headphones behind. While he had a fully charged cellphone and iPad, he opted to use the time planning a cross-country offseason RV trip.
The Rays headed south on Highway 101, then crossed the San Mateo Bridge instead, with a short trip up 880 North after that. With it being Friday, it took even longer.
“Then we went to Salinas, headed over toward Hollister and came back up somewhere,” joked Maddon. “It was pretty severe. People complain about Southern California, but at least there’s more freeway options down there. There’s very few freeway options here.”
The Rays were prepared for the traffic jams — yet still opted to stay in San Francisco with a three-game weekend series in Oakland.
“We definitely knew,” Maddon said. “Listen, I had no problem with it. I kind of enjoyed it. It was very nostalgic.”
Yet Maddon wished he had planned a little bit better and brought his headphones along for the ride.
“I had Anchorman loaded up for the trip and I should have done it,” Maddon said. “I was counting on an hour, so I actually could have watched an entire movie had I been smart enough.”
Maddon says he will ride BART public transit before Saturday night’s game with the Athletics.
Price’s plan? He said on Twitter: “Don’t worry I have a helicopter rented for tomorrow!! I’ll get to the field in an estimated time of 8 minutes 24 seconds.”
Suspended Cruz back in Texas
ARLINGTON, Texas — Suspended slugger Nelson Cruz hit several batting practice pitches over the left-field fence in the general direction of the temperature sign showing an even 100 degrees.
The Texas Rangers right fielder is headed to the Arizona instructional league with the idea of being ready if his AL West-leading team is in the playoffs when his 50-game suspension ends on the final day of the regular season.
Cruz wants to play in the postseason, and said so Friday in his first public appearance since he was among 13 players banned by Major League Baseball over their connection to Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs.
“It’s been a really rough few weeks,” Cruz told reporters in a brief appearance without taking questions. “But I have good friends and good family. They’re behind me.”
Cruz took batting practice and caught up with manager Ron Washington and some of his teammates. He returned to Texas this week while the Rangers were finishing a road trip in Seattle. He had gone home to the Dominican Republic soon after he was suspended Aug. 5.
Wearing a red workout shirt in the Rangers’ interview room, Cruz apologized to the organization and its fans “for the mistake that I make.” He spoke evenly and repeated most of what he said for Spanish-speaking media.
Washington said Cruz “looked troubled” nearly four weeks ago when he was waiting for word of the suspension to come down. Not anymore.
“Spirit’s high,” Washington said. “He don’t look troubled now.”