Saturday, March 26, 2011

Questions Around A's Radio Fiasco

Ever since we started this blog, we have been extremely critical of the A's management group. Not only is that due to Lew Wolff's and John Fisher's desire to move the team elsewhere, it's also due to their pure incompetence in running a baseball team. They are not without their defenders, though, and we've started to wonder why.

To Wolff's apologists, we ask with all due respect: Why are you defending these clowns? Is it because you hope that Lew will fix all that's wrong with your city or your sports hopes and dreams? Or is that you unrealistically believe that if the ownership makes more money then the team will improve and satisfy A's fans, in some baseball version of trickle-down economics? Or maybe "Grandpa Lew" once made a comment on your blog and you think he actually cares?

Regardless of why ... let us ask you this: Do you like the tarps? Do you like the higher ticket prices? Do you like having FanFest canceled? Does waiting in long lines to buy tickets just to get in the stadium get you excited? Do you enjoy receiving very poor customer service at A's games? Do you like walking halfway around the Coliseum just to get something as basic as a hot dog because Wolff won't open enough conession stands? Do you like missing two innings due to long concession stand lines that are understaffed just to save the billionaire owners some pocket change?

We here at BaseballOakland recognize that running a team is a business first. We get that. We're not going to disagree. However, what other business would ask its customers to sacrifice and put up with so many incompetent-fueled negatives in the name of ensuring its investors get a great return of investment. Would Coca-Cola? Target? Starbucks? Apple? The answer is NONE of them would -- not if they want to stay in business.

According to Forbes and CSN Bay Area, the A's have appreciated $125 million in value in the six years since Wolff took over, and the A's owners also have turned $123 million in profit in that same time period -- all while running this once-great franchise into the ground.

In any business relationship, we the customers don't expect anything less than fair pricing, a good product and good customer service. If Coca-Cola started offering lousy colas at higher prices, then you would switch to Pepsi in the blink of an eye -- as you should. Similarly, we here at BaseballOakland expect a basic minimum standard for the A's management to give to their loyal customers. We simply don't accept the argument that "owners need to make more money" as a justification for why we should pay more and more and expect less and less and less every single year. That is silly and defeatist.

Which is why today's news about the A's possibly being disconnected from the airwaves baffles us. Ever since the 1920s, radio has been connected to baseball and is recognized as a main part of its culture. So, why let the A's radio situation get this bad? If the A's owners were halfway competent at running this show, things would be different and their agreement with KTRB would be would have been wrapped up when we were putting up our Christmas lights, as opposed to a week before Opening Night.

This is simply embarrassing for the A's front office. We don't see how you can defend this.

We worshipped Bill King and Lon Simmons during the Haas years and we're lucky today to still have someone great like Ken Korach to listen to. Only question is, will we be allowed to listen to Korach on the radio? Only the A's owners can answer that.

A lot of people think it's just a matter of time before Wolff tries to scapegoat Oakland and the Coliseum for this radio fiasco. But Wolff isn't THAT shameless, is he? Is he?!

Bottom line: This radio station deal needs to happen, fellas. You can't let this one go.


Cristobal said...

Embarassing? How about embarrassing...

Stephan said...

Wow, just wow. I can't believe how awful this A's ownership is. I thought Bob Lurie was one of the bay area's worst owners but at least he had a radio station for his team. Great blog!

Anne Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne Marie said...

Lew Wolff--what a jerk! No more radio?? What will I listen to ??

Ranchero said...

Unfrickinbelievable. Yet sadly believable.

Domination 7 said...

I'm far from a Wolff supporter. I had my suspicions about him ever since he took over the team and we dismantled the big three keeping the weakest link in Zito. Any owner who makes the Schott ownership group look great is an abysmal operating outfit.

That being said I don't blame Wolfy for this radio fiasco. He offered far more than market value for the station and the current 860 owners got greedy and demanded more. Wolff is a complete clown who's proven time and again that he is un-fit to run a major sports franchise. But this one isn't his fault.

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