OAKLAND -- Sean Doolittle has joked that when the A's see other modern marvel ballparks, the ones with retractable roofs and state-of-the-art amenities, his comeback is, "Oh yeah, well ours turns into a football field."
Indeed, as the only facility in America that houses both MLB and NFL teams, the A's need to savor every inning on the pristine O.co Coliseum field Sunday, because it marks their final home game before the Raiders start playing football on it. The Raiders have an exhibition game on Friday.
"From a pitching standpoint, the mound stays in great shape," Doolittle said.
"The outfield gets a little bit faster because it gets matted down from all of the equipment they bring when they bring the stands out."
Right fielder Josh Reddick agreed.
"It definitely matters, the outfield's going to be a little more eaten up than it usually is," he said. "It's going to make the ball travel more interesting and it's going to make coming in on balls at full speed a lot harder to deal with. So you've just got to take that into consideration and kind of be a little more cautious. You're not going to see as many outfield assists as you see from other teams."
Then, could the A's use it as a homefield advantage, of sorts?
"I guess it could be because we know how it's going to somewhat react," Reddick said. "But that's the thing, when you come out here, you never know how it's going to wiggle around for us. But when football season's not here, we know that our outfield snakes a lot."
From the Raiders' perspective, they despise having to play the first month-plus of the season on the infield dirt. And the A's don't care for their field getting so chewed up in the heat of a playoff race.
Enter Clay Wood, who is in his 19th season season as the Coliseum's head groundskeeper.
"Clay and the groundskeeping crew do an unbelievable job," Doolittle said. "I know they have some special tricks with the dirt, what they do with the infield. They take the baseball dirt away and put down football dirt, and then put baseball dirt back on or something like that.
"It looks worse than it is."
Catcher Stephen Vogt said he did not have concussion symptoms after taking a bat to the helmet from Jurickson Profar's backswing in the sixth inning on Saturday.
Vogt was removed form Saturday's game after taking a foul tip to the mask. He was not in the lineup Sunday, but that's because the A's are facing a left-handed pitcher in Texas' Derek Holland.
"He literally has a knot on his head," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Vogt.
And still no physical activity for concussed catcher John Jaso.
"He's close to baseball activity, but not yet," Melvin said.
Melvin, on reports that suspensions from the Biogenesis PED investigation will come down Monday, bringing an end to months of speculation and a sense of closure: "It doesn't appear we're affected by it," Melvin said. "It's dominated the news. I'm sure a lot of people would like to see it go away.
"It needs to be cleaned up and everybody wants to see a fair playing field."
Right hander Bartolo Colon has been implicated in Biogenesis, but it is thought his 50-game suspension for a failed drug test last season will suffice.