By Shannon Drayer
One of the stranger scenes I have ever witnessed following a game took place in Oakland Sunday.
We were told that the manager interview would not take place in the visiting manager’s office because there was “an issue” in the clubhouse. Thoughts, of course, jumped to some sort of situation with a player. Perhaps the spread had been turned over – all sorts of things could be going on. Turns out the truth was worse than the imagined scenarios.
Raw sewage in the clubhouse. Not just on the visitors’ side, but the home clubhouse and umpires’ dressing room as well. Pipes were backing up and on the Mariners’ side, the showers, manager’s office and training room were flooded. Now that’s what I call hospitality.
The trainers were trying to attend to players in the middle of the clubhouse while the traveling secretary was shouting to the players to hurry up and get out as the water, and stuff, was rising. Players from both teams were forced to run upstairs in towels and shower shoes to the Raiders locker room to shower and dress for their getaways.
Hisashi Iwakuma lost for the first time since April 23 Sunday and allowed an earned run for the first time in 31 2/3 innings, ending the second-longest streak in club history. (AP)
A’s reporter Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that A’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich, who has been with the team for 46 years, said he had never seen anything like this before. Unfortunately, according to multiple people at the stadium, while not on the same scale as what we saw Sunday, there have been other incidents as well. Not surprising for the facility that I for years have jokingly referred to as “the jewel of the American League.”
On a serious note, I have also said for years that A’s fans deserve better. This is a stadium situation that needs to get figured out. That is their problem, however. The Mariners have problems of their own to worry about.
Sunday’s loss was perhaps a bit more disappointing than most in that you thought they had a good shot at sweeping their first series of the season. Unfortunately, Hisashi Iwakuma was off, the offense wasn’t able to capitalize on some early hits off Bartolo Colon and some of the bullpen’s weaknesses were exposed late. The 10-2 score added a bit of insult to injury as well. Interestingly enough, the Mariners have yet to win a Sunday road game this year.
Still, they took the series and they need to take the next one as well. This one looks to be tougher with less than ideal matchups early, but Aaron Harang, Jeremy Bonderman and Joe Saunders are all coming off good outings so we shall see if they can carry that over.
Perhaps there will be help for the offense as well. Justin Smoak very well could be back Monday and Kendrys Morales is looking like a guy who could use a break with just two hits in his last 26 at-bats. His back may be bothering him more than he is admitting to right now.
The team would like to get Franklin Gutierrez back soon as well with Michael Saunders struggling horrifically. Gutierrez, however, was not in the lineup for Tacoma Sunday so that would seem to indicate that he is still further off. Could Dustin Ackley be a possibility? Left field was short lived. He’s been in center the last four days. There is little doubt we will see one move in the next couple of days. It will be interesting to see if there are more.