The ups and downs of Oakland

The best news of the day just arrived. The elevator that goes (sometimes) from the press box to the clubhouse level at the Coliseum is working again.

It was out of commission last Saturday, when the Giants played the Athletics in an exhbition game, and crashed again last night just before the National Anthem — and it remained out of order for the remainder of the night.

Luckily, a couple of the local reporters here showed me how to get downstairs after the game. We had to go up to go down, and then around, and down.

Writers facing deadlines (like my friend Larry LaRue of the News Tribune) had no shot to hike, talk and write. So he stayed upstairs. A wise move.

Of all the stadiums in the Majors, this has to rank 30th. It would be lower, but there are only 30 teams, you know.

So far, the early-season bugs include 1) the faulty elevator and 2) an Internet system that is about as reliable as the Mariners offense.

Radio producer Kevin Cremin, who hauls about 1,000 pounds of equipment with him from city to city has his fingers crossed that the elevator keeps working through tomorrow afternoon. He would not be a happy man, otherwise.

The pitchers, along with Mike Sweeney, are getting their running in by catching footballs in right field. Quarterback Al Wirtala is throwing some tight spirals and Jason Vargas just made a one-handed, behind-the-back catch.

I was watching the sports news on TV today and noticed that David “Big Papi” Ortiz had a Major League snap last night when reporters reminded him that he’s hitless so far this season in seven official at-bats. He reacted the way you might expect, with an expletive-laced tirade.

Wonder if I should remind Milton Bradley that he’s 0-for-7 with four strikeouts. Nah.

Better save that one for a rainy day.

I was reminded via email today that Ken Griffey Jr. is the 27th player in MLB history to play in four decades. The record is five, held by Minnie Minoso, and the list includes Hall of Famers Jim O’Rourke, Dan Brouthers, Eddie Collins, Early Wynn,Ted Williams, Willie McCovey, Nolan Ryan, Carlton Fisk and Rickey Henderson.

Former Mariners pitcher Mike Morgan also is on the list, and he has the added distinction of playing for 12 organizations during his 23-year career, including three with Seattle in 1985-86-87.

And now for tonight’s lineup:

1. Ichiro, RF
2. Chone Figgins, 2B
3. Casey Kotchman, 1B
4. Milton Bradley, LF
5. Ken Griffey Jr., DH
6. Jose Lopez, 3B
7. Franklin Gutierrez, CF
8. Rob Johnson, C
9 Jack Wilson, SS

LPH Ryan Rowland-Smith

— Jim Street

 

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