Sunday, August 5, 2007
Day 43: McAfee Coliseum
All photos of McAfee Coliseum available on Flickr.
We had a great time in the Pacific Northwest and the three cities we visited there were awesome, and we were sad to leave. But alas, we had one last horrible drive to complete last night. We arrived at a rest stop just north of Sacramento around 6:30 AM, slept about 3 hours, and then finished the drive into Oakland for our first day of 15 in California. It was quite warm at the rest stop, but 60 miles away in Oakland it was about 55 and misting. Despite the gloomy day, we pressed on and set up our box for fundraising at the BART stop and made over $40.
McAfee Coliseum is a dump. Like RFK and Dolphin Stadium, it is intended for football, which means that the outfield wall is shaped weird, lots of foul territory, poor viewing angles, and lots of crummy seats, two of which we had in the 2nd deck of center field. Football stadiums also inherently have more seats, so many go unused - the Athletics' solution was to cover the 3rd deck with green tarp that read "Home of the Oakland Athletics." The concourses were the strangest we've encountered thus far as well. As you are circumnavigating the stadium on the upper floor, you actually walk through three private suite areas that are used during football games. It would be like if you were to cut across a block, but you were to go in and out of houses instead of between them - it was very strange. Also, there were only like three vendors on the whole floor. It was pretty ridiculous.
The game was one of the closer ones we've seen in awhile, and was another great pitching matchup, which pitted 13-game winners Danny Haren and John Lackey against each other, who are also #1 and #5 in the league in ERA, respectively. Haren and Lackey both ended up pitching 6 innings and it was 3-2 A's when both starters exited. However, the Angels got 2 in the 7th off of Kiki Calero, and Francisco Rodriguez closed the door in the 9th despite two walks in the inning for his 27th save. We have now seen 4 of the Angels' 5 starters on the tour and hope to see Bartolo Colon in action in Anaheim on Wednesday to complete the rotation.
After the game, we drove over the bay on I-880 to our awesome complimentary hotel in downtown San Francisco. This was the only response we got from the hotels we wrote in each city requesting a free room, and it is a pretty sweet pad - Courtyard Marriott, 4 blocks from the stadium and next door to the convention center. We plan on taking it easy in the hotel tonight with a few brews and some Sunday Night Baseball, as we are both pretty exhausted. Tomorrow it's off to explore San Fran before our chance to witness history at AT&T Park as Barry Bonds goes for the homerun record.
park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 2
views from park - 1 (can't see out)
view to field - 3 (can't see all of field from upper deck)
surrounding area - 2 (it's Oakland...)
food variety - 3
nachos - 5
beer - 5
vendor price - 7
ticket price - 4 ($9 for where we sat is ridiculous)
atmosphere - 4
walk to park - 1
parking price/proximity - 7 (right next door but its $15. Take the BART)
concourses - 3
team shop - 6
best food - garlic fries
most unique stadium feature - upper deck covered by baggies
best jumbotron feature - elephant mascot Stomper says "Go Nuts"
best between-inning feature - dot race
field dimensions - 330/400/330
starters - John Lackey (LAA) v. Danny Haren (OAK)
opponent - Los Angeles Angels
time of game - 2:58
attendance - 26780
score - 4-3 L
Brewers score that day - 8-6 L