Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Electric Coliseum

Last night's game at the Coliseum was quite an experience. Fans were on their feet the entire game and loud, loud, loud. Brett Anderson's superb pitching combined with flawless defense -- punctuated by critical catches by Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes -- gave the A's a chance to get back in this best of five series.

We'll do it all over again tonight! Should be a blast, or maybe a party as Sports Illustrated's Phil Taylor writes.

The Catches

Check out these mash-ups of the TBS and the A's radio broadcast of last night's defensive highlights by Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes. (For Crisp, even the Tigers radio announcers were excited.)

It May Get Loud

Here are a few snippets regarding the sold-out atmosphere at the Coliseum last night:

Detroit Free Press:

I’m not sure that there’s any other professional stadium (other than soccer venues in Europe) quite like Oakland, with its flag-waving, rhythmic cheering and sign after sign after sign.

Detroit Free Press:

Loudest crowd of the year? Anibal Sanchez was asked. 

“Definitely,” said the Tigers’ starter, whose first-inning control problems exacerbated the noise. He described it as fun, even if he could barely hear Gerald Laird when the catcher came out to the mound in the first to help calm him down.

 "We knew this was going to be tough,” Laird said. 

It was enough to make you wonder what might have been had the Tigers been forced to begin the series in Oakland. Every strike by a Tiger elicited a roar — and cowbells and drums and horns — from the fans, most of whom spent most of the night on their feet. A Tigers out was reason to cheer even louder. 

Just four months ago the Tigers played at Oakland in front of a crowds smaller than 10,000. That might as well have been a different season. Nearly 38,000 jammed the Coliseum, turning the joint into one of the most uniquely hostile parks in baseball.

The Detroit News

Tuesday night's crowd was the largest and loudest these Tigers ever have seen at Oakland Coliseum — there were very few Tigers fans there — and certainly it'll be no tamer tonight.

Mercury News

It was a reminder how, under certain circumstances, a sports venue can become a mystical force of some sort and sweep away the participants. Across the bay, tidy AT&T Park can be quite noisy for Giants' games but seldom if ever crosses the pandemonium bar. On Tuesday, the Coliseum did that about five times. In the first inning alone.

New York Times

Unlike some announced “sellouts” in other stadiums, almost every available seat appeared to be filled. And the crowd was exuberant. While the Tigers took batting practice, one fan repeatedly blew long blasts on a horn, making the place sound like the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge at rush hour. The commotion reached football-like proportions before the first pitch, with fans twirling gold A’s towels.

A Tale of Two Bloomberg Columns:

Here is Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Mahler yesterday before game three of the ALDS:

At this point, however, the argument for keeping the A’s in Oakland is purely sentimental. This year’s team came out of nowhere, reaching the postseason after a 37-42 start (and preseason odds of winning the division of 0.4 percent). It was a lot of fun to watch, but the team’s attendance barely budged -- up from last in 2011 to fourth-to-last this year. That says everything you need to know about the ability of the city of Oakland (population: about 390,000) to sustain a big-league team.

Here is he is today after last night's amped-up atmosphere at the Coliseum:

Is the A’s lack of fan support connected to discontent with the ownership of the team? No doubt. Still, since 2006, the A’s best showing, attendance-wise, was third to last in the American League.

If Oakland wants to keep the A's, its only option is for fans to get out and support the team. Protest outside the stadium until Wolff agrees to remove the tarp. Order your 2013 season tickets now. I would love to be proved wrong.

CBS News Piece on Billy Beane and the A's:

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