A cool thing happened in the bottom of the tenth inning of last night's extra-innings tilt between the Rays and Athletics. Grant Balfour, who spent three seasons becoming an Oakland fan favorite as the A's hard-throwing bullpen goon, came on to pitch for the Rays against his old squad. Even with the score tied 2-2 in the tenth and the A's needing every win they can get to secure a playoff spot, Oakland fans seized the opportunity to give Balfour a warm welcome.
When Balfour came into the game, his old music played over the PA system, and the fans in right field did the Balfour Rage, a kind of metal-concert thrashing that they used to do every time he entered a game for the A's.
They also did an "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!" chant for the Australian:
A good closer's entrance is always one of the more exciting parts of a baseball game, so it was cool to see the Oakland fans give Balfour, who has struggled this season and been unable to keep his job as closer, one last bad-ass entrance.
Before the game, Balfour even hung out with the inventor of the Balfour Rage for a bit:
He also signed the Balfour Rage banner with his name and a fitting command: "Fucking rage." And then he did A's fans one last solid by coughing up a game-winning single to Derek Norris in the bottom of the tenth. It was a good night all around for Oakland.