Most baseball fans are probably aware that the Oakland Athletics have been campaigning for years to find a new stadium. The New York Mets' broadcast crew just delivered an explanation for why they need one that is more compelling than anything the team is willing to divulge.
During a game between the Mets and A's on Friday, the Mets' SNY broadcast team of Gary Cohen and Ron Darling revealed that they were not working in Oakland's usual visitors television booth. Their reason was very understandable.
A possum was still on the loose in that booth.
Apparently, the possum's presence has been known since the Athletics' Opening Day game against the Los Angeles Angels, and the animal has remained at large despite traps set by the team's employees. It apparently hasn't hurt anyone, but the stench left by its, um, business was noticeable enough that SNY opted for a different office for the day.
Last night, Gary and Ron shared the story of how they got moved out of the visiting television booth thanks to a possum 😂 pic.twitter.com/t3aK3siEzT
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 15, 2023
Here's the story:
COHEN: We are not in the regular visitors television booth tonight.
DARLING: I came here and went to the booth, and people grabbed me, almost tackled me and pushed me into this booth.
COHEN: So when we came here last September, we were told the tale of the RingCentral Coliseum possum, who apparently makes a home in the visitors TV booth ... so the Angels played here at the beginning of the season. They were the first team in. Wayne Randazzo, our friend, is now the television voice of the Angels, and he told us in the opening game of the season, the possum who apparently lives somewhere in the wall behind that visitors TV booth made an appearance during the game in their booth.
DARLING: Was it, like, nibbling at them?
COHEN: It was just crawling around, minding its own possum business, walking across the counter. He wasn't trying to horn in on the broadcast. He was just doing his possum things. Anyway, so they set traps for this possum, but he's proved elusive ... [The Mets television tech crew] walk in the booth and were immediately met by the stench of the possum having, you know, done his business in the booth. Apparently, the booth reeked so badly of possum leavings that an executive decision was made to move us to this booth, which is somewhat smaller and has a few impediments, like there's a pole right in front of me.
DARLING: So we had to choose between possum and pole.
COHEN: And I chose pole.
Only in Oakland, though there's something that feels karmically right about hearing this from the Mets' booth.
A possum on the loose in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum shouldn't be surprising to anyone, given the stadium's notoriety as the most decrepit stadium in MLB — and possibly in all of sports. In fact, possums are a known issue in the stadium.
But humor can take you only so far. Vermin infestation is only one of the reasons the Athletics are looking to move, but when the animals are making their presence known on television, you start to wonder why the process has been taking more than a decade.