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A's

GameDay: ‘Animal House’ Or Clubhouse?

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A's Sweep Yankees

Coco Crisp (right) is congratulated by teammates after batting in the game-winning run for a sweep of the Yankees at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday. (Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

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CBS 5 Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell hosts “Gameday” every Sunday night at 11:30pm on CBS 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.

OAKLAND (CBS 5) — Food fight!!!!!

Eleven walk-off wins will transform any big league clubhouse into a frat house. The only thing missing from the A’s clubhouse Sunday was the keg. At least I couldn’t spot one.

We decided to broadcast GameDay from the O.Co Coliseum on Sunday, hoping the A’s could extend their magical streak and sweep the New York Yankees. But down 4-0 to Yanks’ ace CC Sabathia, I got a phone call from my producer suggesting we cancel the plans and do the show in-studio, he of little faith.

Then, the comeback began. One home run, two home runs, another in the bottom of the 9th, and Coco Crisp’s walk-off in the 12th. Just another day at the yard in Oakland these days, right?

You’re not supposed to cheer in the press box. I did, and who gives a damn? This is great stuff and I could care less if I was disturbing someone’s tweet.

One hour after getting another shaving cream pie splattered all over his face, Crisp waited patiently for me to finish my sportscast so I could do an interview with him for GameDay. He spoke about the special chemistry of this baseball team, the perfect blend of veteran presence and youth.

There have been 17 rookies employed at one time or another on this roster and it shows in how the A’s play baseball. Coco singled out Brandon Inge and Bartolo Colon as two players who’ve had a huge impact in the clubhouse. Inge and Colon, you may recall, were unwanted castoffs that have been big contributors in the A’s resurgence.

Walk into this clubhouse and take a look around. You feel the vibe. Half of these guys are just happy to be here, livin’ the dream. Just what part of this mixture of young and old translates into victories, I cannot answer.

A longtime general manager once told me chemistry is the most overrated factor in baseball. Perhaps. But I think this team is feeding off each other and the strange little quirks that each player seems to possess.

Selfishly speaking, its room filled with spectacular stories and insightful interviews. My friend Steve Kroner of the Chronicle did a story on rookie pitcher A.J. Griffin, who actually asked Kroner if his answers were good enough. And then there’s Yoenis Cespedes, who’s not so concerned about interviews because he doesn’t speak English. But he’s every opponent’s Cuban Missle Crisis and just might be the most exciting hitter to watch in the game today.

So enjoy your education, A’s fans. Because the Dean Wormer budget (insert Lew Wolff here) doesn’t allow rookies to become veterans, or veterans to become millionaires. Someday, they’ll all leave Delta House.

Toga! Toga!

See you on TV.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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