Coliseum standing the test of time

Bud Selig showed up in Oakland on Thursday night and declared the A's need a new stadium to survive.

Updated: June 1, 2004, 4:10 PM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
On the same day a report was issued that the Milwaukee Brewers are losing the same amount of money they always have, their former owner showed up in Oakland and declared the A's need a new stadium to survive.

The good people of Wisconsin are up in arms that their hard-earned tax dollars have not made a lick of difference in the qualitative presence of the Brewers. The ballpark they paid for has not helped the team improve on the field or, as the new report suggests, at the bank. What was the point of the exercise, then? Was County Stadium crumbling? Were the stanchions buckling when an especially overweight fan settled into his seat?

Can the same be said of the A's home park, the edifice formerly known as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum? Is it beginning to resemble that place in Rome from which it gets its name in that big chunks of it are falling away? That particular Coliseum is still standing after nearly 2,000 years, albeit a little worse for wear. This coliseum, the one would have the taxpayers of California replace, is not even 40 years old yet. (Wouldn't it be a coup for some historian to find documentation dating from 110 A.D. or so in which the man in charge of organizing the gladiatorial spectacles at the Coliseum petitions the Emperor to replace the building with a more modern version? "I, Seligus, say unto you that we could have for more entertaining killing with a larger arena ...")

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at