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You can thank Major League Baseball for the sewage mess in the Oakland Coliseum

Jun 17, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

Still gobsmacked that a major league team is playing in a joint like the Oakland Coliseum, where the raw sewage flows more freely than the Bud Light. So too is A’s owner Lew Wolff, who tells Eric Fisher of SBJ that he is embarrassed by the mess but that it’s out of his control:


Major League Baseball, of course, has spent over four years pretending to be studying the viability of the A’s remaining in the Oakland Coliseum vs. moving to San Jose. In reality it’s merely been stalling, afraid to confront the Giants over its territorial claim to San Jose and unwilling to say anything which might suggest that a team petitioning for a new ballpark someplace is somehow the wrong thing to do. In those four-plus years nothing has been done to improve the Coliseum or the A’s situation.

Which now I suspect will give us the archetypal MLB problem-solving dynamic: (a) ignore a situation until it becomes a public relations problem; and (b) then go 100 m.p.h., quite possibly in the wrong direction to quickly fix it. Which is to say that I expect Major League Baseball to announce later today that the A’s will become a full-time road team, will relocate to Pluto, will stop eating so much fiber, or something else silly at some point today.

Because that’s way easier than having done the hard work necessary over the past several years to make sure that a major league baseball team wasn’t playing in a literal cesspool.

  1. crazylegs44 - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Any studies over the last couple years saying that a waterfront ballpark wouldn’t be possible for whatever reason are already outdated because of the vastly changed real estate market alone in the Bay Area (SF, Oakland specifically). And while some of you might disagree and fail to see it, I’m sure the recent Oakland accolades from the New York Times, Business Week, Forbes, etc., has made Mr. Wolff at least a little uncomfortable about his desire to abandon the O.

    Take a peek:

    I say that as a resident of Jack London Square. Property values are skyrocketing here (properties are going for at least over $100,000 more than they were this time last year) because of people coming from San Francisco, and we’re just at the beginning of these increases. 1.5 Billion from China was just approved to develop the Brooklyn Basin waterfront area (, which would put the waterfront ballpark directly in the middle of that development and Jack London Square. Measure DD will be completing the estuary to Lake Merritt kayak channel in 2016, which would be very close to this theoretical stadium as well. That’s not to mention all of the green tech $$ that is beginning to come in and set up shop here. Restaurants are opening here at a steady clip more and more. Transportation wise, nobody seems to realize just how close the Lake Merritt BART stop is from JLS, not to mention the SF-Bay ferry, and Amtrak.

    Does that mean it’s a more compelling option than San Jose? I’m sure that’s debatable from a business perspective. But to suggest that there’s absolutely no options to bother looking into on the Oakland estuary is absurd. The Athletics would be betting on the city of Oakland’s future, that is for sure, but so many already are and with finally some positive developments that are confirmed and tangible — why not?

    And for the record, I grew up a SF Giants & SF 49ers fan. Once I got older I started to really not care about baseball, but the energy that is building around the A’s over the last few years is pretty infectious and I’ve found myself going to more games than I ever have previously. Lots of residents would be a lock for season tickets for a new stadium here, and as we saw with AT&T Park, a new ballpark can change your attendance game overnight.

    • hcf95688 - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      Yeah many A’s fans have seen your amateur drawings in the past. Please take this to heart: THE BATTERS IN YOUR STUPID DRAWINGS FACE THE SETTING SUN. This has been pointed out to you many times on various sites around the internet.

  2. ermur22 - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Do what it takes to keep them in Oakland

  3. ramblingalb - Jun 17, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Actually, it has nothing to do with it. Even if they had found a place for a new ballpark a year or two ago, they’d still be playing there. Sounds like the county isn’t keeping up on routine maintenance that the Raiders and A’s need.

  4. critter69 - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    Everyone talking about the Oakland A’s going to court and saying they have an open and shut case are forgetting that a Federal law would have to first be changed to allow that – Congress has specifically given MLB monopoly rights over almost all business decisions, with certain very limited circumstances exempted.

    As the the A’s? They first were in Philadelphia, but then were moved to Kansas City in a search for the almighty dollar. Then, again in search for the almight dollar, they were moved to Oakland. Maybe if the moves were for reasons other than the almighty dollar, I might have some sympathy for them. Since the moves were entirely for that almighty dollar, bleh.

  5. vp19 - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Wolff needs to forget his San Jose dreams, however unfairly they may have been denied, and move on. Montreal would be a good relocation site with the right ballpark, but it would probably make more sense as a home for the relocated Rays.

    I wish Portland would build a MLB-ready ballpark, even a short-term temporary solution a la Colt Stadium or Jarry Park, to house the Athletics. Or this solution: Would Sacramento give up the Kings if it got the A’s?

    • badintent - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:20 AM

      Montreal will get another baseball team when hell freezes over.They had great players, poor fan support.Terrible digs, terrible weather,terrible income tax on salaries,etc.And the Mayor got charged TODAY WITH 14 CHARGES OF CORRUPTION. ZE FROGGIES HAVE GONE WILD

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