|ESPN.com: Buster Olney||[Print without images]|
|Sunday's sewage debacle could be just what the A's need to move forward on a new park.|
The sewage system at the 46-year-old stadium was overwhelmed from too much use over the A's six-game stay at home, which drew more than 100,000 fans. That backup caused all the drains in the A's clubhouse, the visiting clubhouse and the umpires' locker room to start pumping raw sewage into the showers. The flow was so great, it came out of the showers and bathrooms, into the coach's offices and the visiting clubhouse's training room.
Baseball clubhouses are far from aromatically pleasing after day games in the sun, but the new smell was something far worse.
"Unbelievable," Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan was heard muttering.
The flooding started during the game, and sewage still was coming out of the drains afterward. The sound of pumps and Shop-Vacs echoed throughout the lower level of O.co.
Many of the Seattle coaches skipped showering, choosing to wait until after their one-hour flight to Anaheim.
"I'm sure my wife will be impressed," Mariners manager Eric Wedge joked.
Asked about his team's need for a new stadium, team president Michael Crowley said, "It's clear, right? This isn't the first time this has happened."
The Angels filed a complaint about unsanitary conditions several years ago over the same problem, voicing concerns about E. coli in the training room.
The Coliseum is owned jointly by the city of Oakland and Alameda County, and it is run by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority. The A's have a lease, which expires after this season.
"We will deal with the facility to evaluate it," Rinetti said. "We will replace all carpeting in affected areas to make sure it's safe for players and staff of all teams and for our own employees to work down there. That is a very high priority."
Reliever Sean Doolittle just tweeted: "After I checked out the new swimming pool in our locker room I got to see the Raiders clubhouse! Pretty cool! #CommitmentToExcellence."
This is a major wakeup call for the city of Oakland and Alameda County as well. If it wants to keep the A's, it needs to act – now. Major League Baseball needs to act — now.
A's pitcher A.J. Griffin threw the obvious against the wall in surveying the disgusting evidence: "Make sure everybody finds out about this sewage thing. We need to get a new stadium."
Getting the news out won't be a problem. It was spreading faster than the leak itself -- and around the country -- within hours of its discovery. Count on Wolff using the development, as he should, to force some long-needed action. If any more evidence was needed, the Coliseum just got flushed as a major sports venue Sunday, at least for baseball anyway.
In his postgame news conference Sunday, Leyland was asked if Benoit, the eighth-inning setup man, will continue to be an option for the ninth.
Leyland said: "He'll be an option, but I'm not going to get into all that stuff about the closer. I explained why I did it today. If there had been three right-handed hitters coming up (in the ninth), it might have been totally different."
"To be honest, I have no clue what happened," he said of the second misplay. "I feel terrible. Tomorrow, I'll try to do my thing. You don't feel good, you know? You're trying to help, but you're human and you make mistakes. We're going to have good days and bad days. It's tough, but you have to move on."