For the second time this season, the Oakland Athletics' home ballpark has provided a literal demonstration of the team's stadium situation and its fanbase's perception toward ownership. It's crappy. (Substitute a far stronger adjective, if you prefer. I would've loved to use one myself.)
Tuesday night at O.co Coliseum, A's players once again had to dodge sewage as a pipe backed up in the bathroom near the home dugout, causing seepage into the Oakland bench area. Athletes, coaches and executives often talk about wanting to avoid distractions that could interfere with a team focusing on the task at hand. What could be more distracting than trying to avoid standing water (and accompanying filth) on the sideline during an actual game?
Amazingly, the A's overcame this obstacle to win Tuesday's game over the Los Angeles Angels, 2-1. But Oakland players could very well have been preoccupied with the fear of yet another pipe stoppage the following night (and throughout the daytime hours leading up to the game). Under such circumstances, is it it that difficult to imagine that the A's lost to the Angels on Wednesday, 5-4?
You could argue that the possibility of another bathroom breakdown had no affect on reliever Grant Balfour — who served up a two-run homer in the ninth to Josh Hamilton — since the bullpen isn't connected to the dugout. OK, yes — fear of flushing and its further repercussions likely didn't cause Balfour to leave a fastball up and out over the plate for Hamilton to crush. But seriously, how many other teams have to deal with the threat of a plumbing malfunction in their home dugout while trying to play a ballgame?no comments