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.