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Copyright 2014 Charleston Newspapers
Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)

OAKLAND, Calif. - The Oakland A's ducked the rain, celebrated back-to-back division titles and started yet another promising season of baseball in the cold, dank, loud Coliseum on Monday.

Same as it ever was, with a slight twist.

Yes, this is when the A's tortured relationship with the Coliseum has to move from rage and depression to benign acquiescence.

This is the reality that even A's co-owners John Fisher and Lew Wolff have tacitly begun to accept:

The A's dream of moving to San Jose is all but barricaded, at least for the foreseeable future.

The votes aren't there. The lawsuit filed by the city of San Jose against Major League Baseball has gotten no traction and in fact has only inflamed the other owners against the idea.

So Major League Baseball is not willing to overturn the Giants' territorial rights.

The move to San Jose-as it stands now and probably for at least as long as Fisher and Wolff own the A's-is not happening.

Which means that Wolff and Fisher are now seeking a lease extension with the Coliseum through 2025 and offering to sink many millions into stadium improvements.

Basically, the A's are resetting their sights, and embracing their old site, yet again.

And that actually is happening, in subtle ways, including the wry way the players deal with the recent sewage backups in the clubhouse.

The most recent example: Just last Saturday, when rains caused a problem in the coaches' offices and several players joked about it on Twitter.

As the storm pounded the stadium on Monday afternoon, I asked manager Bob Melvin if there had been any sewage issues.

"I've seen none, Melvin said with a smile.

The crucial thing, Melvin said, is that he and his players don't obsess over the Coliseum creature uncomforts.

"Our guys have fun with it, Melvin said. "It's not like they complain about it. We do have issues here, and they deal with it, and they look at this place as our place "


April 2, 2014


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