Big League Stew

Sewage seeps into Athletics dugout at Oakland Coliseum

David Brown
Big League Stew

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(USA Today)

Anybody at the O.co Coliseum yelling "You guys stink!" at the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night wasn't referring to their play of late. The A's are on their way to another AL West title, and they beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 with a walkoff single by Josh Donaldson. So it's not that. It's something else. Maybe ... an odor of some kind?

Oh, look at that, raw sewage is seeping into the home dugout from an adjacent toilet! Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Players and other personnel not on the field in the seventh inning were flushed out, forced to flee the affected parts of the bench area — while workers cleaned up — for different vantages from which to watch the game. Gives an entirely new meaning to the baseball phrase, "stepping in the bucket." What a wonderful and unnecessary distraction in the pennant race.

It is — remarkably, in 2013 — the second time this season the A's have had to deal with a sewage problem. According to reporting done by Jose L. Ortiz of USA Today, this backup isn't related to what happened three months earlier, when the clubhouses on both sides needed to be abandoned for a day. Oh, well at least there's that.

UPDATE: Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that the problem persists Wednesday, just a short time before the A's are to play again:

Apparently, "a blue rag" was flushed down the toilet, and that's what started it. It's not Mrs. O'Leary's cow from the Chicago Fire, but it'll do.

A day earlier, A's players tried to look on the bright side:

"There's no carpet down there (in the dugout), so it's a little bit better, but it's still pretty gross,'' A's infielder Jed Lowrie said in comparing the two situations. "It's kind of repulsive, honestly.''

David Rinetti, the A's vice president of stadium operations, said Tuesday's blockage was isolated to one toilet, which will be unclogged with use of a "snake'' before Wednesday's 12:35 p.m. series finale.

Rinetti had no word on the reason for the blockage but said the problem was nowhere near on the same scale as the June fiasco.

"It doesn't seem to be related to that,'' Rinetti said. "This one wasn't even close to the other issue.''

More like the Oakland WA'sTE, am I right? What's the only thing that can stop them on the pennant trail? Dying of dysentery. The A's also announced they're rolling up the tarps in the upper deck at the Coliseum so they can sell more playoff tickets, so hopefully the plumbing can take it come the ALDS.

As for the handling the current sewage crisis, the players took personal cleanup precautions after the game:

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(USA Today)

The A's have been trying to build a new stadium somewhere, perhaps one where the clubhouses, dugouts and field aren't so far below sea level that accidents such as these happen so frequently.

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