Flame-maned A's outfielder Bobby Kielty, with an assist from catcher Jason Kendall and rookie outfielder Nick Swisher, showed up dressed and made up as Ronald McDonald, complete with big red floppy shoes, to the delight of everyone from first-base coach Brad Fischer to shortstop Bobby Crosby to general manager Billy Beane.
"Billy was losing it," Swisher said. "He thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen."
So convincing was Kielty, whose getup was bought by Kendall, that team photographer Michael Zagaris initially thought he was in the presence of the international icon himself.
"I was like, 'What the [heck] kind of promotion is this, man?'" Zagaris said, wide-eyed. "I thought it was really Ronald McDonald."
"That thing took forever to find," Kendall said of the outfit, noting that visiting clubhouse manager Mikey Thalblum eventually got the job done.
Likening Kendall's purchase to the airplane banner poking fun at bullpen catcher Brandon Buckley that someone on the team paid to have flown around the stadium in Oakland a few years ago, manager Ken Macha said, "Players make too much money."
Two members of Macha's staff were considerably more impressed. Asked to describe Kielty's look with one word, Fischer said, "Proud. He's proud that he looks like this. And he should be."
Said pitching coach Curt Young: "Legit. That's the real deal, right there. He should be working for McDonald's.
Kielty, whose face paint was a co-production by Swisher and Kendall, is open to the idea. He's already a customer.
"I've been known to crush [at] McDonald's on occasion," he said. "Definitely."
"I told him, 'dude, you should get free Big Macs for life'," Kendall said.
As funny as Kielty was by himself, it got better when Crosby got involved. When a camera crew asked for an interview with "Ronald," Crosby played interpreter. After being asked each question, Kielty would look at Crosby and answer in high-pitched gibberish. Crosby, with a straight face, would then answer in English.
TV reporter: "So Ronald, we've never see you and Kielty at the same time. Why are you here?"
Crosby: "He says, 'Bobby wants to meet me, and vice-versa.'"
TV reporter: "Kielty and the A's are having a great year. What do you think of all this?"
Crosby: "He says, 'I'm just happy to be here.'"
Ronald's interpreter said later, "I speak fluent clown, it's not easy."
When the lineup card was first posted in the A's clubhouse, Kotsay, who is bothered by back spasms, was on it as Oakland's designated hitter. But after a discussion between Kotsay, Macha and the athletic trainers, Macha said, "We'll use discretion." ... Before batting practice, Macha said he didn't expect Hatteberg, who has a strained oblique muscle, to play on Thursday or Friday, even mentioning the disabled list as a possibility. Hatteberg looked pretty encouraged during BP, though. "It's a lot better today. A lot
better." ... Utilityman Marco Scutaro is Oakland's fifth outfielder, but Macha is reluctant to start him. "He's my super sub," Macha said. "He's too valuable [in other areas] to put out there."
A's righty Joe Blanton (9-7, 4.10 ERA) takes on Angels righty Paul Byrd (9-7, 4.04 ERA) on Thursday in the series finale. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. PT.b n