Special to The Express
My love affair with the Oakland A’s started on a warm July night at the Coliseum when I was 10 years old. In some ways, part of me has been frozen in the moment I first saw that giant patch of green grass. It looked like it went on forever.
When I go to a game now, I can still feel the tingle of the pure joy I felt when I first saw it. But I can see the end of it now.
Recently, as much as I still love the Coliseum, after seeing the baseball cathedrals that have been built in San Francisco and San Diego I’ve realized fully that the A’s can’t exist in it forever. That joy has been become shaded with jealousy.
And at the same time there is no end in sight to the pursuit of a new stadium for the team. As a fan, it feels like I’m running on a hamster wheel — constantly moving and going nowhere.
Recent developments haven’t improved my mood much.
The urination match occurring between the Oakland Athletics and the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) of Alameda County is really a drag.
As a matter of fact, the entire quest to build a new stadium for the Oakland A’s, now a decade old, is soul suckingly depressing.
At the time of this writing, for two consecutive nights, both the A’s and the JPA have played the proverbial “Dueling Banjos” except in this case it’s “Dueling Press Releases.” At issue is the lease the team has for the use of the Oakland Coliseum.
The A’s have made it known they want to move to San Jose but due to territorial rights granted to the San Francisco Giants by Major League Baseball, that scenario looks less and less likely.
The team has recently made some overtures that a solution could be found in the city of Oakland at their current site but the Oakland Raiders want the land and by all indications they don’t feel like sharing.
That’s just a brief synopsis of one of the biggest cluster fudges in the current business of American professional sports.
I love the A’s. You can see that by the “Super Liberal” picture I have attached to all these articles. I love them more than almost anything. Given the choice between food and a ticket to a game — well, I can always ask the person next to me for a few garlic fries.
But the more this limbo carries on, the harder it is to focus on my love for the team because of the uncertainty of their future.
One of my biggest fears in life (not exaggerating) is the possibility of the Oakland A’s relocating outside of the Bay Area. Cities like Portland, Montreal or San Antonio have angled for teams in the past and if a big “moving sale” sign goes up in the A’s front yard,
you could bet those cities would line up quickly.
I’ve been on board with any and all proposals for A’s parks in the Bay Area. That includes Oakland, Fremont and San Jose. But the problem is they all have been problematic. This saga has carried on for a decade and it seems even further from a conclusion than it did when it started.
Lately, I’ve come to a conclusion.
The Coliseum used to be a beautiful place to watch a baseball game. Then the Raiders came slithering back from LA and built a giant wall in the outfield that basically just blotted out the sun. The sweeping view of the Oakland Hills and its majestic sunsets are gone.
The only solution I see is to get the Raiders the heck back to the traffic-choked hellhole known as Los Angeles, build a new stadium on the Coliseum parking lot in the image of the old one and wake up from this existential nightmare.
The 10-year-old me needs to see that giant patch of grass again. One that can go on forever.