A's Fans had Warm Welcome Planned for Astros
Tonight was supposed to be the first appearance of the Houston Astros in the Coliseum since the Astros were fined $5 million and lost their manager and general manager over the 2017 sign-stealing scam.
Mike Fiers, then an Astros pitcher and now the ace of the A’s rotation, outted that 2017 squad. He probably wouldn’t have pitched until Tuesday or Wednesday in what was supposed to be a three-game set.
With baseball shut down and on hold due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, none of those games will be played.
And what that means for certain Oakland A’s fans is that the big greeting they had in mind for the Astros will have to remain under wraps for the time being.
“It’s kind of sad, because we had all this stuff planned for the Astros series,” Bryan Johansen, an A’s loyalist who is a regular habitué of the left-center field bleachers at the Coliseum.
What the Astros would have run into was in direct reaction to the trash-can banging, sign-stealing scheme that didn’t cost any of the Astros players employment, but did lead to manager A.J. Hinch, a former A’s catcher, and general manager Jeff Luhnow being fired.
James Sanos, who is a regular in the right field bleachers, says he makes signs from time to time when inspired. He was inspired for this series.
“I was trying to make something kind of funny, just waiting for when the Astros got here,” he said.
Johansen and two of his cohorts, who refer to themselves as the “propaganda team,” commissioned six banners for the series, including on with a trash can wearing an Astros cap. He said that the crew in right field had a scandal banner that he wasn’t willing to describe, but which he said was long enough to stretch most of the way across the right field bleachers.
“We had a huge lineup of stuff,” Johansen said. “We had custom made cheer cards that we were going to pass out that said `Hey Astros: Try to Steal This Sign.’ We had some inflatable trash cans. We had costumes. It was going to be fun.
“One banner was going to be called `The Battle of the Bang.’ It’s going to show a trashcan battling a drum. We had so much stuff planned; it was unbelievable.”
And now it’s on hold with baseball seemingly to ready to resume until perhaps early June.
“Well, this gives us more time to prepare, I guess,” Johansen said.