Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Very Cloudy With a Chance for Baseball

Hall of Fame sportswriter Art Spander has a new column today that speaks to the discouraging dichotomy facing Oakland A's fans this spring. As much as they want to talk about baseball and only baseball, the team's threats to move out of Oakland constantly cast a dark cloud over what should be the most optimistic time of the season.

Spander is on record as saying that the A's should stay in Oakland. In today's column he continues his criticism of the Wolff/Fisher regime, calling them the team that "chooses to put faded tarps on a third of the seats of its stadium."

Just like A's fans, Spander tries his best to shift attention to the ballplayers and the actual game. But, general manager Billy Beane is quick to change the subject to what he does NOT have. As usual, Beane is offering way more excuses than victories.

"Our payroll's in the mid-50s," Beane said in Spander's column. "Some of our competitors in the league are four times that."

Of course, nearly all of their competitors in the league work four times as hard as A's owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher, in terms of selling tickets and reaching out to their fans. But you're not going to hear that from Beane, an A's co-owner who recently has joined Wolff and Fisher in their public pining for a move to another city. Why? Well, the reasons are as dirty as a five-year-old tarp.


linusalf said...

I read this article and one of the things that stood out was Geren's comment on the leaky roof in the A's spring training facilities. Huh? Considering how much money the A's pull in and how much capital the Fisher/Wolff group have at their disposal one would think that something like that is a no-brainier. For a business or a sporting team to flourish one needs to provide the best resources available. Not fixing a leaky roof goes to show how much these guys are willing to put into this franchise.

This isn't a problem that is only in Oakland, nor is it something that will be magically fixed in San Jose, it is something that should be dealt with now and waiting for the magical San Jose galleon isn't going to make this fix itself.

sidecross said...

Until the owners of the Oakland A’s learn to focus on baseball and not focusing on making deals to build a new stadium, the owners and its General Manager will continue to undercut baseball in Oakland.

A poorly supported team by the owners and GM could expedite reasons to move the team.

Another possibility that I hope is only a wayward thought, is that if MLB suffers under the current declining economy, MLB may be faced with a contraction of the number of teams.

If this could be a possibility our current owners might decide to either get a new stadium or cash in on a buy out from MLB.

Steve Bowles said...

Contraction is a non-starter.

The only two teams (and you have to contract an even number of teams) that could conceivably be on the chopping block would be the A's and the Rays, and I believe that the Rays have a long-term lease that precludes them from being contracted.

All other teams either have new stadiums or older facilities that are well maintained. Or, in the case of the Marlins, a new park on the way.

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