The return of an Oakland Coliseum possum
On April 15, the following footage of the Mets broadcasting team justifiably complaining about the unsanitary conditions of the visitor’s TV booth due to the presence of pungent possum droppings went viral.
The Oakland Coliseum visiting TV booth has been unusable since the opening series of the season.— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) April 15, 2023
Why? There's a possum living in the walls.
Let the Mets' broadcast team explain:
Now the overall presence of the possum at the Oakland Coliseum, specifically in the press box, is not exactly a new development as a possum took up residence in the press box literally a year ago. USA Today wrote all about it as an allegory to the attendance woes of the Athletics, but Dallas Braden was amused by the situation. And if you were to ask yourself, how one can just live with a possum, you clearly have not seen enough Classic Simpsons.
In any event, as John Fisher is the heir to the Gap fortune, I originally wondered if a rogue possum would be tolerated in any of Fisher’s other businesses. Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated beat me to it. The answer is a resounding no — if a hypothetical possum were found at The Gap, Old Navy, or Banana Republic, it would likely be dealt with on the same day that it was discovered.
I would be remiss in this discussion if I did not point out that a different possum was sighted at the Coliseum back in 2014. It earned the nickname the Rally Possum, with its own Twitter account, because of course it did, and the team sold merchandise around it, because of course it did.
As to whether that lack of attention to the press room possum is emblematic of the Fisher stewardship of the Athletics is left up to you. But I would be remiss if I did not point out some other odd de facto tenants of the Coliseum of the past year.
The Oakland army of feral cats
Remember, last year the Coliseum was also besieged by an army of feral cats.
Again, in a story that is entirely true, it was reported that 30-40 feral cats were having their way with the ballpark. Prior to the 2022 opener, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Executive Director Henry Gardner wrote “Feral cats have multiplied since the corona virus [sic] and the kittens are running wild. The good news is the rat population has decreased substantially. The bad news is the cats are now gaining access to the inside of the Arena and are having a field day on the A’s turf, causing a nuisance.”
There was an actual meeting of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority taking more than ten minutes to discuss and celebrate the cats for eliminating all rodents for the past two years at the Coliseum in an actual governmental meeting presented below.
Ultimately, the team decided to trap, spay, and neuter the cats before releasing the cats. As the cats were feral, it was decided that adoption would not be appropriate for the adult cats. As far as I can tell, the clutch of cats still lives out at the Coliseum. It is unknown whether the cats still wait on the Coliseum’s GoKarts every morning.
What do these situations have to do with the Dodgers?
When I started writing, there was admittedly virtually nothing connecting the two franchises. However, I did recall a few days later after the Mets video went viral, a tweet involving Dodger Stadium personnel having a similar issue did come across my desk, which I present below. On April 19, it was reported that a literal dozen Dodger Stadium workers chased (and presumably caught) a possum in the upper deck.
There are a dozen Dodger Stadium workers chasing a possum in the upper deck right now.— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) April 19, 2023
But in all seriousness, it is worth noting that there is no Twitter account for any Dodger possum because the situation was likely dealt with that same day. There is no video of the attendants at Dodger Stadium chasing the possum or allowing the possum to reside at Dodger Stadium because a serious organization would not allow that situation to persist.
One needs to only recall the goose from the 2022 NLDS. It was caught and released. Los Angeles Animal Control did not allow a potential gaggle of geese to form in the Center Field Pavilion. To be fair, rogue wildlife and ballparks go together like peanut butter and hamburgers; you normally don’t think about it, but too much together will hasten your death.
Don’t believe me? Clearly, you’ve never been to Oracle Park and lingered after a game.
Seagulls taking over in San Francisco. It is like this after every game. pic.twitter.com/TRYwlOUu7Z— Tim Neverett (@TimNeverett) April 13, 2023
If an impromptu re-enactment of “The Birds” occurs at Oracle Park in my presence or otherwise, True Blue LA will let you know.