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A’s pregame news, and my own top 5 list of major league ballparks

It’s an overcast afternoon at the Coliseum, and there were even some rain drops before first pitch. Is the gray sky representative of the A’s current situation? Certainly, two straight losses is no reason to push the panic button. But Oakland does not want to hit the road having been swept by the Angels, who are playing well and gaining confidence late in the season.

–Wednesday’s lineups:
A’s: Crisp CF, Smith LF, Reddick RF, Cespedes DH, Carter 1B, Donaldson 3B, Drew SS, Norris C, Pennington 2B; McCarthy RHP.

Angels: Trout CF, Hunter RF, Pujols DH, Morales 1B, Kendrick 2B, Trumbo LF, Aybar SS, Callaspo 3B, Wilson C; Haren RHP.

–The pregame news was a little light … A’s manager Bob Melvin said reliever Sean Doolittle was hobbling around the clubhouse last night after taking a liner off the left shin Tuesday night. Doolittle’s availability for this afternoon was up in the air.

Another lefty reliever, Jordan Norberto, still hasn’t started throwing but Melvin still thinks Norberto might return this season. “I think we’ve cleared a hurdle with how his shoulder is feeling,” Melvin said. “You never know until he goes out and plays catch, and he’s still not there yet. We feel like if we can get him playing catch reasonably soon, we might have him for a stretch during the course of the season. We certainly hold out hope for that because he’s had a really nice year for us.”

–Good discussion point: ESPN’s Pedro Gomez tweeted his list of favorite big league ballparks 1 through 30 (I’ll let you guess where the Coliseum ranked on the list). In the spirit of those rankings, I give you my top five. The criteria I’m going by is my own personal experience each time I visit the ballpark. Granted, it’s influenced partly by me covering the games from a press box as opposed to watching them in the stands. …

Here we go …

1. Camden Yards — Everything about the place oozes class. It’s a modern ballpark that is “throwback” enough to give you a sense of what it was like watching baseball back in the 1920′s. The sight of the all-brick B & O Warehouse out beyond right field wall adds to the old-school feel, and the field opens up to the Baltimore skyline in center field, a characteristic I like in a lot of ballparks.

2. Fenway Park — No explanation needed really. The history and tradition make it a special experience any time you go there. Watching a game there is like stepping back in a time machine. If I was covering a National League team, maybe I’d probably have Wrigley Field on this list for the same reasons. But I’m more familiar with Fenway …

3. AT&T Park — It’s easy to take for granted because it’s right across the Bay Bridge. I kind of get numb to the beauty of it all because I’ve been there so many times. But what a unique location and design for a baseball stadium. Top-notch …

4. Safeco Field — There’s always a large group of A’s fans that make the trip north whenever Oakland visits, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you get the chance. It’s just a beautiful, unique venue that fits well in one of the best cities in the American League to visit.

5. Angel Stadium — Outside-the-box pick, no doubt. And if you’re an A’s fan, you probably wanna throw a tomato at me for including it. It certainly has nothing to do with ballpark beauty, because the exterior of this place is really unattractive. But I get swept up in the atmosphere, once the game starts, more than at any other ballpark. The open-air press box is located perfectly, right above the first deck, so there’s a great view. The weather is usually perfect for a night game, the crowds are usually big, and A’s-Angels games always seem to carry extra weight. Games in Anaheim always have a great feel …

–Any thoughts, agreements, complaints? Let’s read ‘em …

Joe Stiglich

  • Stan

    Why cant CJ Wilson contract bora bora and malaria with some food poisoning?. Not that I hate on him or like that…