Lark11, the blogger at RedLegs Baseball, posted an excellent blog last week that analyzed a lazily written, pro-Lew Wolff article by Ken Rosenthal.
Lark11's blog entry basically eviscerated Rosenthal's piece and the pretzel logic the baseball reporter used to justify Wolff's baseless whining that he must move the A's to compete.
This is demonstrably false, as Lark11 showed. Facts are stubborn things. And the facts surrounding the Oakland A's business situation support Oakland's side, not Wolff's. Check out some excerpts:
"In the 1980s, the A's outdrew the Giants by 2.5 million fans. In the '90s, the Giants outdrew the A's by a paltry 300,000 fans. ... in the 2000s, the Giants outdrew the A's by 14 million fans. Of course, the discrepancy in the 2000s has nothing to do with Oakland's viability as a marketplace. It has everything to do with the opening of Pac Bell Park in San Francisco prior to the 2000 season."
But Lark11 was just getting warmed up:
"The only problem with the Oakland market is simply that the A's owners have refused to step up and privately finance a ballpark in OAKLAND. The truth is that the A's were on the same exact footing as the Giants until the 2000s. At that point ... the Giants demonstrated their loyalty to the fans and their commitment to their market ... The A's have not."
The blogger notes that A's co-owner John Fisher is a billionaire, one of only eight billionaire owners in all of MLB. He then reveals his suspicion of what Wolff's true endgame plan may be:
"The real problem here is the A's ownership. ... I suspect that, if we were to pull back the curtain and see the true motivation of Lew Wolff, then his desire to build a ballpark in San Jose has more to do with the opportunity to develop the real estate surrounding the proposed ballpark site than any alleged weakness in the Oakland market."
"Rosenthal writes that 'the A's remain in limbo, plodding along in Oakland' without mentioning how the ownership group has intentionally operated to keep itself in limbo."
Finally, Lark11 finishes as strong as the Big Red Machine did when sweeping the Yankees in the '76 World Series:
"I simply expect better out of Ken Rosenthal than this. A national writer should do more than just parrot the self-interested arguments of a baseball ownership group. Major League Baseball works in Oakland. It has for decades ... If the A's actually committed to the market, rather than badmouthing it in an attempt to move to a different city, then baseball in Oakland could flourish again."
It's nice to see that some things are so obvious about Wolff's & Fisher's ownership that they can be seen as far away as Ohio.