Day game at the Coliseum.

The ‘Fro agrees with this fan’s assessment of the “split caps.”

We unload off of the BART train like a herd of cattle and enter the dingy station with a mixture of part excitement and part bovine expression. The afternoon glaze was the perfect California day in the mind’s eye of a dreamer from Detroit during a December snowstorm. Shorts and tank top weather. We cross the bridge en masse and in the distance a towering block of cement surrounded by barbed wire looms. This place doesn’t look like anything the Romans would build and is more akin to the prison Tim Robbin’s innocent and charmingly rebellious accountant had to face in the Shawshank Redemption. There are musicians trying to make a quick buck, and “vendors” wearing dashikis hawking unlicensed merchandise for both the working class parents who can’t afford the “real” thing and the renegade who has a predilection for quirky hand-screened memorabilia; both the former and latter seeming to be a Oakland tradition harking back to the radical, working class pamphlets of the late 1960’s. This is the embroidery of the Oakland Coliseum.

The conversations that rise above the herd can be astounding.
“Elvis didn’t steal black music, man. Music belongs to everybody.”
“Drinking decaf is like being shot by a government death squad.”
“What did people do before the internet?”
“I’m not sure why he didn’t come to work today. I had a low-grade hangover and I showed up.”
Marijuana smoke fills the air and an older couple complains loudly. Obviously the signals between the generations are irrevocably jammed and covered with goo. It makes me feel good, however, when I curl up to read a book at night knowing that people have some sort of right to use a substance that has been worshiped, degraded and used as racist propaganda,”media poisoned” and finally seen as medicinal and taxed throughout its modern existence in the social structure.

We have come here to see the flawed product known as the Oakland A’s: a team with a menagerie of flawed cast-offs, miscreants, and starry-eyed, fresh-faced youngsters.
When the June heat swooned and the losses mounted we were more hypersensitive to the terrible ownership than ever before and perhaps even felt ill about our place as fans. 11,000 and change entered the turnstiles this afternoon, perhaps echoing that disconcerting mood. On this day, however, baby-faced rookie Jharel Cotton dazzled the Halos by pitching a two hit gem through 6–the only blemish being a home run by C.J. Cron, one of those modern-day, perpetually uninspiring and average hitting first baseman. Cotton left to a standing ovation, walking along the freshly painted football lines and doffing his cap. Sure, this was a lineup with the notable absences of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, but it was also a feather in the cap of the downtrodden, a feast in a month of famine for the homeless and forgotten.

5 Comments

Probably too late, now, but this piece reminds me that I could be going to a baseball game, without a lot of hassle and expense, just to be going to a baseball game. The Giants are breaking my heart, causing me to wonder if the universe is actually a reasonable place. It would be good to go to a game at which I really didn’t care, too much, who won, as long as there is some good ball played. Might just see if I can do that, before the end. Thanks.

I’m embarrassed to say that this will probably be my first year since moving to the Bay Area six years ago that I will not have visited the Coliseum. If I get a break in my gigging schedule I will try to make a late season game.

Cotton, Nunez, Olson, Healy, Mengden, Pinder, Maxwell, all played well in Nashville this year. Jaycob Brugman (CF) and Matt Chapman (3B) are not far away, either. Oakland definitely has a stable of fine, young talent.

You know your stuff! Thanks for the comment. Our lineup has looked like Nashville’s at times this year and I think that is sort of exciting.

It’s just another season come and gone for the green and gold. I guess they were supposed to have a poor record, but the fan in me didn’t think it would be as rough as it has been. The fan in me also feels good about 2017. I don’t know enough about the details of the market and the current state of the contracts, so don’t know what’s on the winter agenda for the business people. But I feel good about the guys listed by cheaphill44.

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