It was quite a busy Sunday newspaper today in both the San Francisco Chronicle and the Bay Area News Group. Former A's marketing guru Andy Dolich cited plenty of reasons in the Chron why the A's should stay and will stay in Oakland, while Bay Area News group columnist Gary Peterson criticized A's ownership on how they are trying to control their anti-Oakand message and the conflicting lengths they're going to in order to do this. And Peterson gives BaseballOakland a shout-out, as well.
First of all, the Dolich column. If there is anyone who understands sports business in the Bay Area it's Andy Dolich. Not only did he lead the A's to their most successful period at the gate, he also built successful business models in the NBA and most recently with the San Francisco 49ers.
Given Dolich's successful track record and his strong sports business background, and it's safe to say he knows a thing or two of which he speaks. Dolich lists the various reasons why the A’s should stay in Oakland, along with the several reasons why other markets outside the Bay Area will not work for the A's. He also notes the historical difficulty of getting new stadiums built in California, including the added complexity of the struggling economy. Dolich reminds readers that these A's owners have threatened to move for years, and yet the A's still remain in Oakland.
We agree 100 percent. A’s management has taken the position that a move will solve all their problems and that solution will come as easy as a simple MLB decision to allow it. Even if territorial rights barriers are taken down, it's still a long and difficult process to get the rest of the deal done. Dolich states — and we fully agree with him — that the best solution for the present and the long term is for the A's to remain in the same place where they've been playing for over 40 years, right here in Oakland.
In Gary Peterson's column, he talks about the controversy over the A's creating a Dallas Braden "Get of My Mound" T-shirt, even though the Players' Association refused to grant the team permission, and how that conflicts with A's owners' position on an earlier controversy surrounding fan Jorge Leon and his signs at the Coliseum.
There is a big hypocrisy here. When the players protested against the T-shirt the response from A’s management was "were selling them anyways." When fans have non-offensive signs protesting against management, they get ejected? How is that fair? It's not.
Perhaps most importantly, Peterson broke a story in his column that none of us had heard before: A's management has issued a "gag order" of sorts, telling the media that they are not allowed to interview A's fans at the Coliseum at A's games.
What’s with these A's owners and their (over) controlled message? Obviously the fans have a voice and need to be heard from. When the sign controversy blew up in the A's owners' faces, they shut down the fans' voice, and instead offered puff pieces about poor billionaires and their problems. That is one of the reasons we run BaseballOakland is to provide an Oakland fan's voice. We are the fans, we pay the bills, and without our money, MLB ceases to exist. So, by issuing media gag orders on the fans and to the local press, A's owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher reveal their paranoia. It also shows just how far they're willing to go to control the message as they try to craft a phony narrative that they are trying to sell to the media and to MLB.
I know this was one of the longer blogs but with two heavy hitting columns this morning there was a lot to cover. Stay strong, Oakland A's fans. We got your back.