Yesterday we talked about the factual inaccuracies in Lew Wolff's arguments in Part One of his Athletics Nation interview. Today, we do more of the same for Part Two:
TB: There are some conspiracy theorists out there who claim that you never really had any intention of moving to Fremont. They say that the Fremont stadium effort was an effort to get the Giants and baseball to consider San Jose more seriously. Someone even in the piece I ran yesterday about favorable/unfavorable put up a story from 1998 from the Chronicle, where you were quoted as saying, "I wouldn’t spend five minutes in any other city in California outside of San Jose."
LW: That was long before I was an owner, years ago. Yeah, we were trying to get the Giants to San Jose at that time. I was a business person in San Jose at that time so I was just trying to attract the Giants.
The article in question — click here for it — was written by Steve Kettmann, the Chronicle beat writer covering the A's at the time. (Kettmann would later go on to write another article about Wolff and the A's in 2009.) But let's discuss Wolff's quote. First of all, the 1998 Chronicle piece is 100 percent about the A's. It completely flies in the face of what Wolff is saying in regards to moving the Giants. Secondly, in 1998 in would be impossible to move the Giants out of San Francisco. They had already broken ground in 1997 for the building of Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park). The ballot initiative for Pac Bell Park passed in 1996.
LW: When we won the division and we were in the "final four" three years ago.
LW: 2006, right. We didn't sell out any of those games in Oakland.
TB: Any of the ALCS games?
LW: If we did, you have to check on that I’m not exactly sure. ...
Wolff is lying here. Those Coliseum games were indeed sold out. The Coliseum capacity in 2006 was 34,077. A simple check of Retrosheet.org shows that Oakland attendance was 35,655 for Game 1 and 36,168 for Game 2. If that isn't a sellout then I'm John Jaha.
Continuing along those same lines:
LW: But the most interesting part was we didn’t change prices significantly [after 2006] and we had less season ticket holders interested in buying season tickets for the next season than we had the year before. Hard to believe. You tell me why that is.
Here's why, Lew. First, A's-game prices skyrocketed from 2005-2006, and continued to go up in 2007. Also, look at what happened in the off-season.
1. Wolff announced his desire to move to Fremont (unpopular with fans)
2. Barry Zito signed with the Giants (loss of fan favorite)
3. Frank Thomas departs to Toronto (loss of fan favorite)
In some ways, I'm tired of writing these articles. I really am. However, due to Wolff's constant lies and inaccuracies we have no choice but to fight back with the facts. Moving the A's is one thing. Moving them based on total falsehoods is another.
Part 3 is coming soon ...