Peanut / Crackerjack schedule
May 14, 2008 11:31 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy tickets to a Yankee's / A's game in Oakland, but only if Chien Ming Wang is pitching. How/when can I find out when he's pitching, and how far ahead should I buy tickets?

I'm trying to buy tickets for some friends visiting town who are fans of Chien Ming. How can I make sure to get tickets for them?

Possible follow up - any good ticket brokers in the SF/Oakland area who could do this for me?
posted by bargex to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
You can sort of guess whether a pitcher is going to pitch on a certain day based on the pitching rotation, but it could change at any time based on injuries, rain-outs, poor performance of other pitchers, etc. I'd try to get tickets, say, a week or two in advance to be reasonably sure nothing affects the rotation, but there are no guarantees.

I'm not from the Bay Area though so I can't help you with the rest of your question . . . good luck!
posted by melvinwang at 11:45 PM on May 14, 2008

*where I said "nothing affects the rotation", I meant "nothing affects the rotation between the time you buy the tickets and the game", of course.
posted by melvinwang at 11:46 PM on May 14, 2008

Well, it sorta sucks that you want to see the Yankee's play because that's the only time A's games ever come close to selling out. That said, with enough advance notice you should be able to snag some seats sans scalpers.

As far as getting your pitcher of choice this guy, who seems to be up on his shit, does not seem to think that there's much of a chance of predictability in the Yankees' rotation, at least in the near future.

That said, even when the Yankees are playing you can still, usually, get upper deck seats. And, if you're willing to play a little fast and loose with the rules you can get first or second deck seats by showing up the day of the game and patronizing many of the entrepreneurs who peddle their wares on the bridge between the BART station and the stadium. AND, what's more, you can still sneak down to some better seats after the 3rd, 4th, or 5th innings because the Coliseum is a small market joint and security is easily duped.

Pay attention to what the papers are saying and be ready to fly by the seat of your pants and I can assure you that you'll have a hell of a time. Oakland sports are an absolute blast. (Just keep your affinity for the opposing team to yourself)
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:49 PM on May 14, 2008

Predicting baseball rotations is a bit like the weather: you can know who's pitching now, you can have a good idea of who's pitching tomorrow and the next day, but after about a week there's no guarantees. ESPN keeps a pretty reliable schedule that predicts out a week:

You can try to game it out beyond that, but beware that, because the Yankees rotation is kind of up in the air, any off days might put a kink in the rotation -- in the case of an off day, they might be able to skip their 5th starter and pitch everybody else on regular rest. Or there might be a rain day, or a rain day and a doubleheader, etc. etc. Notice that if the rotation holds with each pitcher going every 5th game, Wang isn't scheduled to pitch in Oakland.

Anyway, yeah, a week ahead of time is a good bet for knowing what day he'll pitch. But as everybody has said, it's rare that the Coliseum sells out, so you'll probably be able to walk up day-of-game, especially mid-week.
posted by one_bean at 12:55 AM on May 15, 2008

There's no certain way to do this, because nobody (not even the Yankees) knows who will be pitching more than a week or two from now. Even then, they may change their minds or adjust to circumstances like injury.

Wang is the most (only) reliable pitcher the Yankees have right now, so he's a safe bet to stay active all year, as long as he's not injured.

Pitchers generally start every fifth game. The Yankees are in Oakland June 10-11-12, and that's it for this year. So that means it's possible Wang will not pitch at all, though the odds are slightly in your favor that he will.

Advice: I think you need to buy all three game tickets and then sell/return the ones you don't need once you know which game he's starting... which should be VERY EASY to do since these are the Yankees, and those games always sell out. You might even make money reselling the rejects.

Pitching starts are much more predictable when they are a week or less away. So buy them all, and then a few days before they start, check a "Probable Pitchers" page like this one or this one, and see when Wang is expected to play.

Good luck.
posted by rokusan at 1:24 AM on May 15, 2008

FWIW, if there are no changes in the Yanks rotation between now and then, Wang will not pitch in Oakland.
posted by mkultra at 6:20 AM on May 15, 2008

which should be VERY EASY to do since these are the Yankees, and those games always sell out

...says the guy living in Manhattan. Mid-week games at the Coliseum do not always sell out, even for the 4th place Yankees. If you want really good seats, maybe you should buy way in advance and then plan on heading down to the two (or three) games Wang isn't pitching and scalp them. Or you could just wait until a few days before the game and buy for the day it looks like he's going to pitch. Trust me, they are not going to sell out a month in advance.

You can go to the A's website and preview what tickets are available -- just select "best available" when you're purchasing. You can then see what's available without purchasing them. Right now, you can buy 10 tickets together in field level seating. I.e. these games are a long way from selling out.
posted by one_bean at 12:45 PM on May 15, 2008

Wang pitched, and won. Attendance: 26,402 (77% capacity). OP in attendance?
posted by one_bean at 8:47 AM on June 15, 2008

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