Lew Wolff, Billy Beane on A’s sewage back-up: It’s happened before

A day removed from the O.Co Coliseum’s team clubhouse level turned into a scene from “Slumdog Millionaire,” higher-ups with the A’s are speaking out on the catastrophe, and the recurring theme: We’ve been to this poo-stained rodeo before.

Here’s owner Lew Wolff, via Carl Steward:

Wolff said this was just the latest issue of many the A’s have encountered with the Coliseum’s aging drainage system, noting, “It’s not a rare occasion for us, maybe not this extensively, but it’s happened several times.”

And Billy Beane:

“Today this is national news, but it happens here all the time,” Beane said. “Our employees are impacted by this. I was the first to see the manager’s office (Sunday), but we see it all the time, and this is not unusual. I don’t blame them (the Mariners) for reacting, but we have to live with it on a semi-regular basis.

“If we say anything, we’re told we’re being opportunist,” Beane added. “I wish these were working conditions we didn’t have to work with. When it affects somebody other than us, it becomes a story. I’m used to it. I deal with it.”

What’s one previous instance of sewage backing up at the Coliseum? Well, how about just last Wednesday in one of the stadium’s kitchens:

Wolff also said that when he tried to have dinner in the Coliseum’s West Side Club on Wednesday, food service had been halted due to a sewage leak in the kitchen.

“It was just a small thing up there, but it’s just aggravating,” he said.

Oh, yeah. Just a small thing. I always like my brats with grilled onions and bits of used toilet paper. Mmmmm delicious!

Almost immediately on Sunday, a healthy portion of the backlash from the incident had much to do with the A’s still not having a new, modern ballpark. Some, including yours truly, also did their due diligence to berate Bud Selig for his continued apathy on the A’s stadium situation.

If you’re late to the program, it’s been four years since MLB convened a panel to look into the A’s stadium options. It has been so ineffective it may as well be a panel of Amanda Bynes, Kim Kardashian’s baby and that Teen Mom who made a porno. The team wants to build a new park in downtown San Jose. The Giants, who own the territorial rights to San Jose, won’t let that happen. Selig, probably because the A’s aren’t the Yankees or the Dodgers, is like, “GRRRRRRR DO AS YOU’RE TOLD.” And Wolff, who in a weird sub-plot line is a former fraternity of Selig’s, has been like, “Yes, sir.

So, that’s why you shouldn’t start thinking Wolff is going to use puddles of excrement to gain leverage over Selig and MLB regarding his team’s years-long venue drama:

“What it says basically is that it’s a deteriorating facility,” he said. “I think everybody is aware of that, even the people who run it. We’re sort of all in this together, so it isn’t something I would use … we just have to solve it right now.”

For what it’s worth, MLB on Monday issued a statement on Sunday’s fecal matter that doesn’t say very much:

“As we have stated many times, the Oakland A’s need a new ballpark. Sunday’s unfortunate incident is a stark illustration that they need a long-term solution. This industry has a long record of navigating challenging circumstances and finding solutions. The situation in Oakland is particularly complicated, evident through the years of work it has required, yet we remain hopeful that a resolution can be reached so that the A’s can secure the 21st Century venue that the franchise and its fans deserve.”

Pretty much the same noncommittal mumbo jumbo MLB has been spewing for the last four years. A piece of paper with doodles by monkeys would have been just as effective, aside from obviously being more amusing.


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