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The party is beginning in Oakland

OK, now this is getting weird.

For the first time in more than a decade, I’m here in the Coliseum preparing to cover a full season of A’s baseball.

That’s pretty cool. It’s also weird, because I’ve been away so long.

But baseball never left Oakland, even if I did, and it’s cool to see that a full house will be on hand tonight for the season opener against the Seattle Mariners.

Many of the full house are already in the north and south parking lots, grills going and tailgating in full swing. It is a party.

After spending an hour or so in the clubhouse and time on the bench as manager Bob Melvin gave his daily breakdown, I took a hike out to the parking lots to see what was going on.

I lit out toward the biggest crowd on the north side and it wasn’t until I got within 30 yards or so of the group that I realized that it was the line for the latrines. Ah, well.

Did a video tour through the lots where I was offered both food and drink by the patrons, all of which I turned down without, I hope, offending anyone. But these A’s fans have a history as a forgiving lot, and there were no hard feelings.

Wanted to download the video, but I couldn’t get the newspapers’ system to handle it. Oh, well. I’ll try again in a bit.

Hopes and expectations for the 2013 season are high after the A’s, supposed non-factors in the American League West a year ago wound up as West champs. Will they repeat? Well, they could, but that’s what the next 162 games will tell us.

It should be fun.

And there’s nothing weird about that.

John Hickey

Returning to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.