It was an anti-climatic ending to spring training for the A’s Saturday afternoon as a torrential downpour and flooded field forced a rain out of the last game of the Bay Bridge series.
The three week old sod in the outfield wasn’t able to drain the water quickly enough as the showers attempted to turn the turf into a swamp.
“The field was bad, it just didn’t make sense potentially putting guys at risk of injury out there,” said Bob Melvin.
After a series of embarrassing plumbing issues turned the coliseum into a punchline of jokes over the 2013 season, it took only one game to start back up in 2014.
The visitor’s dugout flooded and the A’s locker room had sewage issues and backed up water, prompting players to take to Twitter during the rain delay.
Josh Reddick comically tweeted, “Back in Oakland? Sewage problems in clubhouse!! Yep. We are BACK BABAY!”
Sean Doolittle responded to his teammate with a twist on the Raiders’ slogan “Commitment to Excellence” with a satirical tweet of, “Commitment to Excrement! Just win baby!”
The A’s need to clean this situation up, as Overstock.com Coliseum is continuing its role as the laughing stock of the league.
The big news on the afternoon was the announcement of the 25-man roster for opening day. Most of the moves were as expected, with Daric Barton, who is out of options, being selected over Stephen Vogt for the last left-handed bat off the bench being the most controversial.
Vogt will start the season in Triple-A Sacramento.
“That was maybe the most difficult one I’ve had to do,” said Melvin. “Not only what he’s meant to this team in the time he’s been here, but he comes into spring trying to make the team and proving he belongs here and he did. Is he going to be here at some point in time this year? I don’t see how he can’t be.”
Vogt was a key contributor down the stretch for the A’s in the 2013 season, including a walk-off hit in game two of the ALDS, and ended spring training with a .364 average and three home runs. The catcher took the news hard as he teared up when talking about his demotion.
“I believe in myself and I know at some point this year I’ll be back to help. It’s still a tough day to get that news,” said Vogt. “This is such a great team, a fun team, and it’s just hard to not necessarily be a physical part of it at the beginning of the year. I think that’s the hardest part for me. I love these guys.”
Former top prospect Michael Taylor was designated for assignment, likely ending his tenure with the Oakland organization.
Outfielder Sam Fuld and LHP Drew Pomeranz will suit up on opening day, however with Craig Gentry and Ryan Cook expected to come off the DL on Saturday, their time with the big league club will likely be brief.
With a flurry of off season moves to acquire veteran players, and bringing back a solid core from last year’s season, the A’s will begin the year without a rookie on their opening day roster for the first time since 2006.
For the third straight spring training the A’s ended camp with a winning record as they were 15-13-5.
Sonny Gray will take the hill Monday night against the Cleveland Indians to kick off the 2014 campaign, weather permitting as rain is in the forecast. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 at O.co Coliseum.