Here at BaseballOakland, we've written a lot about civic events, such as the Oakland Running Fest, Oaklavia, Best of the East Bay Party, the Art Murmur and First Fridays, and on and on. The high attendance at these events shows that Oakland is an active community with a lot of civic pride and that residents have the ability to spend the money to make these events a success for the promoters.
One group of people has been mysteriously absent from these events: The Oakland Athletics. While the A's are a private business and are under no obligation to participate in anything, that hasn't stopped the Raiders and Warriors from taking part in events here in Oakland. The Raiders and Warriors are smart to do so. It builds community, it shows that the teams care, and most of all, it sells tickets to sporting events and boosts their TV ratings. Likewise, the Giants across the bay have their logo attached at the many events that they sponsor in San Francisco.
However, the A's have usually shown up in just one city, San Jose. Over the weekend, the A's were a key sponsor for the San Jose Jazz Festival, according to the San Jose Mercury News. This caused us to scratch our heads a little. Why avoid Oakland almost all the time, but come to San Jose?
Here's a quote from the article:
Speaking of power, the Oakland A's and owner Lew Wolff made a big impact on the festival, too.
Willow Glen businessman Michael Mulcahy, who co-chairs the local grass-roots group that wants to bring the team to San Jose, represented Wolff at Mayor Chuck Reed's Jazz brunch Saturday morning at the Silicon Valley Capital Club.
The A's were a festival sponsor, and Mulcahy explained that their support allowed organizers to give away 2,000 tickets to East San Jose community groups that wouldn't have been able to afford the price of admission
So San Jose community groups are eligible for sponsored admission by the Oakland A's, but not Oakland groups? Wouldn't it be a nice gesture to sponsor 2,000 tickets to Oakland community groups to this weekend's Art & Soul festival in downtown Oakland? Especially considering that former A's bat boy MC Hammer will be performing.
What really grinds my gears about this is that this all files in the face of the dubious "I tried in Oakland" argument that Wolff/Fisher have been trying to sell to us over the years. From 2003-2005, when Wolff was "trying" in Oakland, the A's did little-to-none such outreach to the Oakland people. However, from 2006-2008, Wolff and the A's did a number of civic events in the Tri-City area and in San Jose, when he was trying to get Fremont site wrapped up.
Since then, of course, Wolff has focused entirely on the South Bay. Then again, it shouldn't surprise us. As the sign says, Wolff and Fisher never tried in Oakland.