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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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April 17, 2008 12:31 PM

Take a tour of McAfee Coliseum

Posted by Geoff Baker

As promised, here's the video tour of McAfee Coliseum in Oakland. See it from ground level, including the short wall Miguel Batista was alleged to have hopped over when ejected during last summer's "brawl'' between the Mariners and Oakland A's. We all know he didn't do it. That manager John McLaren gave a story to the umpires so they didn't toss Ichiro instead. Afterwards, follow me through the concessions area over to "Mount Davis'' -- the massive center field bleacher area that Oakland Raiders boss Al Davis had built by the county when he moved his team back here from Los Angeles in the 1980s. We'll get a view from possibly the worst seats in baseball and talk to some A's fans as well.

If that doesn't satisfy you, and, in case you missed it last night, the video below is of the road trip it took to get here from Seattle. Includes the (one-way) clip of me doing my Talkin' Baseball segment on the Mitch in the Morning show on KJR 950 AM prior to departure (where Mitch asks who I think the Mariners will call up in Erik Bedard's spot), the flight here, the cab ride to downtown Oakland and the commuter train to the ballpark. Between the two videos, you should have a feel of what it's like to be here.

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Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

12:56 PM, Apr 17, 2008


How do the high school and the A's determine which team gets to play in the stadium when? Is it just the high school boy's team that plays there, or does the girl's softball team play there also?

That team needs to move to Portland, Salt Lake City, or Vegas. I bet people would actually be happy to go to games there.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

12:56 PM, Apr 17, 2008

But Geoff, we do appreciate the videos. Keep up the good work!

Posted by scrapiron

12:58 PM, Apr 17, 2008

News today is that the new stadium for the A's won't be done until 2012. It looks like they'll be in massive McAfee stadium for a while.

Posted by joe

1:01 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Anyone else worried about Big Ritchie? I keep hearing the announcers praise him for his walks and say he is having a rebound year.
Yeah he has a few more walks, other than that he is doing exactly what he did last year. No hits, no power. Am I supposed to get excited because he walks more? A bunch of those walks came with the bases loaded. Where as in the past he would rip a single or jack a Salami, now he is walking. All the walks would be great, for a leadoff man.
And this really stinks because Ritchie is one of my favorite players. It is hard for me to say, but maybe the M's need to look for other options, more productive options at 1B.
Who knows, maybe Ritchie will jack two homers and knock in 5 ribbies tonight. I hope so.

Posted by dc

1:05 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Man. That place is a dump. I don't know if I can think of a worse venue in baseball. Maybe the two Florida parks are on the same page, but I don't think they're near as run down and shabby. The drawings online of the new A's park look really nice. Hopefully they'll be able to get that done.

Posted by tylerv

1:05 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Great tour, thanks! (better not disparage Shea like that this year. I love Shea!)

Posted by oregongal

1:07 PM, Apr 17, 2008

I remember reading that Ichiro likes playing in Oakland because it's one of the places that boos him the most. Hard to believe, given the sheer lack of numbers. On the other hand, Oaklandites (Oaklandians?) aren't really known for their restraint.

Posted by Everett fan

1:12 PM, Apr 17, 2008

One comment on Sexson - his walks are due, in part, at less swinging at sliders in the dirt. He still strikes out on those on occasion, just less than last year. He may hit a hr with the bases loaded, but only if a pitcher grooves it. Mostly, the pitchers know they can throw a slider in the dirt, and he chase it- at least he did that constantly last year. Can he learn? TBD.

Posted by Adam

1:13 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Scrap - can you imagine Billy Beane with some good revenue?? Yikes.

I have a feeling the A's are going to be good for a long time.

Posted by ricofoy

1:14 PM, Apr 17, 2008

I see Miggy Tejada decided to fess up and add a couple of years to his age. I wonder if Beltre is next. I remember when he came up with the Dodgers in 98 and way in hell this guy is 19

Posted by Everett fan

1:16 PM, Apr 17, 2008

One comment on Sexson - his walks are due, in part, at less swinging at sliders in the dirt. He still strikes out on those on occasion, just less than last year. He may hit a hr with the bases loaded, but only if a pitcher grooves it. Mostly, the pitchers know they can throw a slider in the dirt, and he chase it- at least he did that constantly last year. Can he learn? TBD.

Posted by Maui Mariner

1:20 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Mahalo for the next installment in the 'Tour de Stadium" series. Good stuff.

With Bedar....................d taking a little time off here at the start of the season we are setting him up to pitch into October a la Rocket Rodger starting the season late. He will be well able to extend his season by being rested now. Maybe this is all an intricate plan? When he does become available this will be quite a rotation and bodes well for the M's

Let's wrap this series up and jump up even with the 1st place teams,
Go M's

Posted by NateDawgUS

1:26 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Hey great videos Geoff!

Posted by JP

1:50 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Wow! Couple of Oakland's finest right there.

Posted by good guy fan

1:50 PM, Apr 17, 2008

I liked the tour - thanks!

I wish the M's would give out blankets- does it even get cold in Oakland ? those people were wearing short sleeves and it's gonna snow this weekend here!

Posted by micke

1:54 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Why do some twerps seem to use every single thread to knock the players, even a thread on travel and on stadiums, can't they even read?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

2:04 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Wow - some of that footage from the middle of the first video looks like watching a ballgame while waiting for a bus. Depressing little concourse. That and the 10000-yards-from-home-plate vantage at the end makes me appreciate SafeCo Field even more.

Posted by scrapiron

2:25 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Adam - Actually I'm real surprised that some large market team hasn't made an offer to Beane to lure him away. However, I'd think a large market team would be dissapointed he WOULDN'T spend money.

How about a mid-market team like St.Louis? Partner him with LaRussa and you have an interesting tandem.

Posted by oregongal

2:36 PM, Apr 17, 2008

scrapiron-- Beane's not going anywhere. He owns a small part of the team now.

Posted by Steve D.

2:43 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Those poor Oakland fans up there in the cheap seats. You can definitely see in the video how the altitude must be killing their brains. I hope they will be okay.

Posted by Magwhich

2:49 PM, Apr 17, 2008

this reminds me of the old Oilers stadium, with the dugouts. THey didnt last long because of the football revolution in '78

Posted by Rob

2:50 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Beane was offered the Red Sox GM job before Epstein was hired but he turned it down because he likes the challenge of a small payroll.

Posted by Chuck

3:03 PM, Apr 17, 2008

OK, I won't knock players today. that has to be a crappy stadium in a crappy town---Ugh, Oakland!

Posted by Chuck

3:05 PM, Apr 17, 2008

OK, I won't knock players today. that has to be a crappy stadium in a crappy town---Ugh, Oakland!

Posted by Grandson

3:15 PM, Apr 17, 2008

OK someone tell Armstrong that he needs to work on his bicep curls. haha lol

Posted by scottM

3:42 PM, Apr 17, 2008

from AKM'sFan: "He's (Silva's) a back of rotation guy getting front of the rotation money. His good fortune will not last.

Your glass is half empty assessment strikes again. Silva is a legitimate #3 starter. That puts him right at the exact dipping point where the glass is half full and half-empty. Let me do the math: 1-2-3-4-5. See, three is smack in the middle.

Again, the number one off-season objective for the M's was to acquire TWO solid Starting Pitchers. Carlos Silva is delivering as advertised (and a good bit better thus far). He's an innings eater, a workhorse, a reliable #3, a positive member in the clubhouse, a groundball pitcher who needs his defense to perform behind him. What's not to like? That he MIGHT revert back to his solid #3 form, instead of the #2 level of performance that he has shown thus far.

As for the 4 years and $48 million, I understand the M's logic. Here is a veteran, proven, yet young (29 year old), who we could lock up for the best years of his career at a price that, in two or three years, will look very reasonable.

Felix shows awesome ability now. I think that Bedard will deliver the goods, too, although there is legitimate reason for concern. However, if the M's are going to be a strong contender for the next few years, it's a guy like Silva who solidifies the team. With JJ out and Bedard out, he is more than earning his keep right now. He's the blue-collar lunch-pail workhorse of the staff keeping the company producing our favorite product: wins.

We'll see how Silva, our Seņor Obrero, does tonight.

Posted by ethan

4:26 PM, Apr 17, 2008

i lived in the east bay on and off from 89 til 05. some good memories..Brian Holmans near no-hitter, "The Throw," the bleachers before Mount Davis and yelling "Chris" every time Carl Everett came up to bat.

i sure hope Felix doesnt start stressing that he has to throw 9 innings every start.

Posted by Bucs59

5:45 PM, Apr 17, 2008

Let's see if Duke Silva can continue to pitch stellar baseball tonight. We need this win.

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