By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The Oakland A’s are averaging fewer than 19,000 in paid attendance numbers this year, keeping in line with last season, when they drew the second-fewest fans in baseball. To help combat sagging interest in the team that is currently 2-3 and is coming off a 75-87 season, the A’s social media and marketing team decided to take a break from fighting with Smash Mouth in order to stir up some … controversy? About footballs? Or something?

You can look at the promotional tweet below and decide for yourself:

It’s, umm … it’s certainly a unique way to try to inject some bad blood into a series that is sure to be wholly forgettable for all involved. I guess.

For those who don’t follow what the A’s are doing, you’re not alone. But here’s an attempt to explain what the A’s are getting at.

In January 2015, the Colts accused the Patriots of deflating footballs. If you’ve never heard of these baseball teams, that’s because they’re actually football teams.

The Boston Red Sox are a baseball team, and believe it or not, they’re not the New England Patriots. They’re the Boston Red Sox. They play at Fenway Park, about 25 miles from the Patriots’ home of Gillette Stadium. Sometimes a few members of the Patriots might walk to the mound at Fenway to throw out a first pitch, and the Red Sox might make a trip to Foxboro to show off their World Series trophy every so often, but they are actually different entities. Different owners. Different headquarters. Players. Coaches. Equipment.

Different sports.

Nevertheless, the A’s created “DeflateGate 2.0,” and used Dustin Pedroia (who is on the DL and might be there through May, after undergoing offseason knee surgery) and Marcus Semien as the poster boys for this marquee event. A guy who won’t be playing and a guy who hits .250. Whooey. Talk about putting butts in the seats.

One thing is certain: This is no way to treat Tom Brady, a good Bay Area boy who handled the NFL’s overzealous assault quite well from 2015-17. But maybe the A’s are just sore that Brady’s baseball allegiance lies with the Giants.

(The A’s have gone 214-277 since DeflateGate 1.0, also, in case you were keeping track. The Raiders, who share a stadium with the A’s and play the sport of football, have gone 25-23 in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs since DeflateGate 1.0. They also had nothing to do with anything involving DeflateGate 1.0.)

Anyways. Yeah. DeflateGate 2.0 is coming up when the Red Sox visit the A’s from April 20-22. Pretty cool. Plenty of good seats are available.


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