January 9, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Rebuild Oakland Coliseum!

With all the talk about the Athletics moving to Fremont (or possibly San Jose) one of these years, it's time to think about what will become of their home, Oakland Coliseum (no longer called "McAfee" or "Network Associates"), once they leave. Given that it was expanded barely a decade ago, to lure the Raiders back from L.A., it ought to last another twenty years at least. However, the original circular portion of the grandstand just isn't very well suited to football -- nor to baseball either, of course. So, I propose that they tear down the original portion and build a new grandstand where the the old part presently sits, in a mirror image of the new portion that was built in 1997. Check out the Oakland Coliseum page, with a new proposed football version and miniscule revisions to the existing diagrams.

And just for the record, I see no reason why the A's can't come up with a reasonable compromise with the City of Oakland to built an economical ballpark next to the Coliseum. From what I can tell, there is plenty of land in that area, and if parking gets tight, they can build multi-story garages. Granted, the ballpark arrangement with Cisco is probably too far along to back out now, but who knows?

Giambi returns to Oakland

Just like the wayward Raiders did a decade ago, Jason Giambi has decided to return to his "home" city of Oakland, where he is being welcomed with open arms. The 38-year old Giambi would have expected more money than the Yankees were willing to pay him, so they let him go. He will make only $4 million in Oakland this season, but with substantial performance incentives, and the A's have a $6.5 million option for the 2010 season. See MLB.com.

Smoltz head to Boston

The last of the Atlanta Braves' dominant pitching trio of the 1990s, John Smoltz, has decided to join the Red Sox. I wonder if there are any old Boston Braves fans up there. And what does this say about the Braves' long-term strategy: Are they going to let all the good players go except for Chipper Jones and Brian McCann?

Speaking of Boston, Bruce Orser brought to my attention a cool time-lapse graphic on the extensive renovations that were undertaken at Fenway Park from 2002 through 2009, at boston.com.

COMMENT by: Brian Hughes, of Edison, NJ on Jan 12, 2009 01:37 AM
Where would the Raiders play if this renovation were to take place? I think it would take a lot longer than an offseason, maybe even two seasons.

COMMENT by: Andrew Clem, of Staunton, VA on Jan 12, 2009 23:34 PM
I think Candlestick Park would be more than adequate for a year or two, though the 49ers might feel a little uncomfortable being upstaged the the "house guests." Or maybe even play a couple games in L.A. at Memorial Coliseum -- just for old time's sake.