By Joe Speaker
Los Angeles, CA
After beating the shit out of the Mariners at home last Sunday, the A's retired to their locker room for a long, soothing shower before boarding a plane to Texas for a four game series against the Rangers. They had hardly begun to lather, however, when the plumbing at aging O.Co Coliseum balked at the repeated flushes of 37,000 beer-addled fans and spewed shit up from the drains, causing both A's and M's to flee screaming into the "safe" confines of the Raiders locker room to finish giving their undercarriages a bit of the 'how's your father.'
This is big news to some, but A's employees basically shrugged their shoulders. While rivers of sewage is not the norm, the decrepit Coliseum has battled plumbing issues for years. "Today this is national news, but it happens here all the time," said A's GM Billy Beane.
So there's one to add to the list. The Coliseum is:
1. The only facility in the country that houses both professional baseball and football teams
2. Forty-seven years old, third-oldest stadium in baseball behind Fenway and Wrigley
3. Located in an industrial part of Oakland without any amenities (nightclubs restaurants) nearby
4. The site of many a stolen car sterero
5. The first place I smelled marijuana
And now, a facility that is always one flush away from becoming a Haz Mat site.
The A's, of course, have long coveted a new stadium. The idea, however, has been stuck in a Bud Selig-induced form of limbo for quite some time now. The Commish's vaunted Blue Ribbon Committee, which is (allegedly) studying ways for the A's to move or get a new park, has been in a state of suspended constipation for more than four years. Four years! In the last four years, I've acquired a wife, a kid, a dog and a cat. I had to find a new place to live in a different city. And I paid for it myself! It wasn't that hard! Yet, this panel somehow can't figure out the dollar amount A's owners John Fisher and Lew Wolff will hand over the the Robber Barons..er...Giants so they can commence building a feces-free stadium in San Jose.
In the 48 hours since this incident, some San Jose politicos have decided they're not going to take Selig's shit any longer. The city filed an antitrust lawsuit against MLB today. While this angle of attack has obviously been in the works for a while, perhaps the city is banking on riding a brown wave of support due to the Coliseum overflowing its banks. The suit accuses MLB of unlawful and "blatant conspiracy" to control the movement of the A's. The odds of the suit succeeding (ie ending baseball's long-treasured antitrust exemption) are zero, but that's probably not the goal here. The suit will look to shine a harsher light on MLB's foot-dragging on the issue and force Selig's hand. If there's one thing Selig hates more than a modern haircut, it's bad publicity. San Jose wants to force an expedited decision, one way or another.
Hopefully, before the bowels of the Coliseum overflow with crap again.