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Lighting malfunction causes 38-minute delay at O.co Coliseum

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

On the bright side of things, there were no flooding or sewage issues at O.co Coliseum in Oakland on Saturday. The weather was nice and the field conditions were ideal. On the not so bright side, the A's were hosting the New York Yankees in a night game, which requires lights, and due to a failure in one of the light fixtures beyond left field, the two teams were left in the dark — well, almost — for well over 30 minutes.

The game officially went into a delay with the A's leading 2-1 and coming to bat in the fourth inning. There was still sunlight on the field at the time, probably enough to continue play at least temporarily, but the umpires halted the action and then waited as electricians climbed high above the stadium to access the situation.

It was a good decision to call the delay, because the process proved to be lengthy.

In the meantime, Twitter went to work.

That's only a small sample size of the beating O.co took in wake of its latest malfunction.

As speculation began that the umpires were losing hope and possibly discussing actually suspending the game, there was a flicker, followed by a loud roar, as the lights finally started to power their way on. That process was actually pretty quick, and with starting pitchers Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Kazmir doing their best to stay loose during the delay, the game resumed in short order.

The total length of the delay was 38 minutes, which is right in that time frame that will make managers nervous about bringing their starters back. Another 5-10 minutes even may have changed things. Both did return and looked no worse for the wear in their first inning, Kuroda was eventually pulled in the fifth after allowing three runs. He left at 95 pitches. Kazmir left after the sixth at 98 pitches.

The A's went on to win 5-1.  

It's unfortunate that the shortcomings of the decaying stadium — which houses both the A's and Oakland Raiders — continue to impact games that count. At this point, though, the A's are stuck. MLB still won't let them build a stadium in San Jose, and they've yet to find another suitable location to rebuild.

Hopefully, something on that front changes soon, but we've been saying that for about five years now. We'll just have to hope O.co Coliseum has more good days than bad days going forward.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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