The seventh inning stretch turned into a seventh inning stench at an Oakland A s game Tuesday night. The baseball team and its fans dealt with yet another sewage spill late in the A's 2-1 walk-off win against the Los Angeles Angels at the O.co Coliseum. The foul smells and water seeping out of the bathroom end of the dugout sparked renewed calls for the team to leave or modernize its aging, 45-year-old stadium. Christie Smith reports.
The seventh inning stretch turned into a seventh inning stench at an Oakland A’s game Tuesday night.
The baseball team dealt with yet another sewage spill late in the A's 2-1 walk-off win against the Los Angeles Angels at the O.co Coliseum. And the foul smells and water seeping out of the bathroom end of the dugout sparked renewed calls for the team to leave or modernize its aging, 45-year-old stadium.
On Wednesday morning, two plumbers were in the bathroom, snaking out runoff water that overflowed from a toilet because the automatic sensors were on the blink, said Dave Rinetti, the vice president of stadium operations.
Even though the spillage was easily cleaned up, the story was getting so much buzz in the media that someone started a new Twitter handle - @ColiseumSewage - whose motto was "overflowing with love for the Oakland A's."
Going with the flow...
— Coliseum Sewage (@ColiseumSewage) September 18, 2013
"Get it together Bud Selig," tweeted Eitan Cramer, in reference to the commissioner of Major League Baseball, which was sued by the city of San Jose for barring the A's to move south to Silicon Valley. "This team needs a new stadium."
Players thought it was pretty embarrassing, too.
“Another O.co Coliseum flub there,” reliever Jerry Blevins told CSN Bay Area, who described a “pretty good coating” of sewage on the dugout floor when he returned after pitching the top of the seventh.
This sewage snafu comes after an embarrassing ballpark stink in June, which broke out when a massive sewage backup spilled into both clubhouses, the umpires' room and the managers' offices, as well as all the bathrooms on the clubhouse level.
That leak sent the Seattle Mariners and A's running around in towels and seeking higher ground at the nearby Oakland Raiders' locker room. A hazmat crew had to come in and inspect the area for E-coli and crews had to install new carpeting.
Before the sewage saga erupted on Tuesday, the team announced it would remove the tarps from the top level of the grandstand for its first round of the playoffs, making more seats available to fans. The fan reaction was immediate. Tickets sold out in two hours. Now, the Coliseum's capacity for the division series games will increase from a regular-season maximum of 35,067 to 48,146.
That news was heartening to owner Lew Wolff, who was upset that on a regular game night, the stands were nearly empty. The A’s average for September is just under 18,000 fans per game compared to the average MLB attendance of roughly 31,000.
There is no evidence that the stink has impacted attendance levels - especially since the sewage problems are cropping up away from the bleachers - but even players say they're turned off by the ongoing odor issues.
MORE: A's Walk-Off Win
After Tuesday's game, infielder Jed Lowrie told CSN Bay Area he came down after the win to find four maintenance workers mopping up the dugout.
"It was kind of repulsive, honestly," he said.