Sunday, September 14, 2008

Deathtour~!: McAfee Colisuem, Oakland

It’s a good thing there’s a BART station that drops you off right behind the Oakland Coliseum. Otherwise, there’d be no reason to make the trip out here. Oakland is second only to Southern California in terms of worst locations for a ballpark, although that’s just so far. Miami, Tampa and Arlington are still to come.

The Colisuem is just a stone’s throw from home yet I feel as though it’s such a hassle to get to. But then I’m lazy. So lazy that I haven’t been here since sixth grade. To get an idea of how long that’s been compare how the ballpark looked then to how it looks now.



Oh, it’s hideous! Make it stop!

Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise as the A’s are in process of securing a brand new baseball only stadium in beautiful Freemont.

If you can ignore Mt. Davis (it’s tough to do), this is still a quality place to watch a game. The A’s have a small but vocal fan base, the weather is great, the seating is intimate (thanks to the tarping off of the upper deck) and prices reasonable, and the food might be second only to San Francisco.

There’s a lot that can be said about the upper deck tarp. Yes, it draws attention to the fact that Oakland can’t draw a big crowd but at least they don’t let the space go to waste. There are Championship markers and retired numbers lining the outfield tarp: The Eck, Jackson, Fingers and Catfish. I wonder if they’ll ever add McGuire to that list. He was just as important to those late eighties and early ninties teams as Eckersley.

On to the game. This is the second time I’ve watched Oakland and the fourth time I’ve watched the White Sox. It’s the second match-up of two teams I’ve watched previously. Oakland defeated the White Sox at US Cellular Field back in July 2-1 in an excellent pitching duel. The principle difference between then and now is the addition of Ken Griffey Jr. to the White Sox lineup. AJ Peirzynski is not in the lineup. This is very disappointing. I was really looking forward to heckling him.

We’re headed for another low scoring affair, although Danks and Smith are using a ton of pitches. The White Sox went up 2-0 in the second on a pair of doubles and a single. Oakland got one back in the third on a double and an error. Not much else in the way of runs. Nick Swisher has gotten a positive response from the fans of his former team.

Next time I’m sitting up there. $35, a seat behind home plate and all you can eat food.

Oakland also has a hand operated score board. And above that are the drummers you’ve heard at every Oakland home game. They’ve kept it up all game today.

Jenks, which sounds a lot like Danks, gets the save eventually and White Sox get their revenge for the game I went to in Chicago. On the season it’s the 16th road victory I’ve attended, which guarantees the home squad will have a collective losing record for the deathtour. Considering the winning percentage of the home team is 55% in baseball, this statistical anomaly is baffling to me.

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