Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Local Sportswriters Tired of Wolff's Act

Last Friday, sportswriter Monte Poole wrote a column criticizing A's co-owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher.

Poole ripped Wolff and Fisher for being "brazen about their restlessness, even expressing a measure of contempt for their situation and insensitivity toward the most loyal core of their clientele. That would be the fans who accounted for more than 2 million in attendance five consecutive seasons (2001-05)."

Then Poole suggested that, as the roadblocks preventing them from moving out of Oakland continue to mount, Wolff and Fisher might get so frustrated they'll just sell the team instead. Poole added:

"Here is where we pause for robust cheers from die-hard fans in the East Bay ... these fans want nothing more than to see the A's go to folks willing to restore fan interest with baseball, rather than development, in mind. That would mean committing to Oakland."

We agree with every word. But it's not just us, Monte Poole, and the 41,000-plus A's fans at Let's Go Oakland who feel this way. Many other Bay Area sports scribes recently criticized Wolff and Fisher for being bad owners.

Like South Bay resident Ann Killion:

"The A's, in contrast, have run off most of their fans. ...Wolff's marketing strategy has been to not so subtly let potential ticket buyers know that they would be foolish to go to games at the rundown Oakland Coliseum. And the fans are listening. The A's aren't just losing their existing fan base and tradition, they've lost an entire Bay Area generation, who think that fun-plus-baseball means going to a Giants game."

Or Ray Ratto at CSNBayArea.com:

" ...the A's stopped promoting their team as the cool kids table the way they did in the '80s. ...they've been telling people Oakland is a sinkhole for five years now, and as the Giants discovered in the '80s, when you tell people not to come out until you have a new place, they'll start to agree with you. They A's can fix all these things, but it takes a will and a capacity to spend money and energy to change the perception. They did it once, they can do it again. But they have to want to."

Check out the Press Democrat's Lowell Cohn:

"The A's are always crying poverty. That's when they’re not crying small market team. We're supposed to feel sorry for them. ...The principal owner is John Fisher. John Fisher is a billionaire. The A's never should cry poverty because the A’s are very rich."

The next day, Cohn openly questioned Wolff's and Fisher's integrity and honesty:

"The A’s used to make money. The A's used to have big crowds. The A's used to win and be a factor. The current ownership, which doesn't seem to care about making a good team, has done many things to cut down on crowds and cut down on success. Have they done these things intentionally? I wonder. ...The Fishers are not sportspeople. They are businesspeople. They have the wrong attitude to own the A's."

And we haven't even gotten to local sports veterans, Art Spander, Dave Newhouse, and Glenn Dickey, and other local media, who also wrote very critical columns about Wolff and Fisher this summer.

What happens next for loyal A's fans is anybody’s guess. But the list of Bay Area sportswriters who are getting fed up with Wolff and Fisher has gotten long and it only continues to grow.

3 comments:

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Kevin said...

I hate Lowell Cohn. He's a Giants/49er groupie, but I agree with his article. The sooner Fisher and Wolff sells the team to a group that is commited to making it work in Oakland, the better.

Matt said...

Let's hope Wolf and Fisher do indeed sell the team! In the meantime, I hope the A's can get Jack London Square for their new home!!!

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