Hello, A's fans and thanks for following the BaseballOakland.com blog. Be sure and join us on Friday at the GO Bar, at 736 Washington St. in Downtown Oakland, to watch the A's take on the Yankees in the Big Apple. Should be a good way to meet and connect with other fellow Oakland baseball fans.
Here are some brief news items that are worthy of discussion here in late July:
Dave Newhouse and Rebecca Kaplan
Longtime sports columnist Dave Newhouse had a recent sit-down with Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan. They covered all kinds of Oakland-related issues, including the city’s sports teams. Quotes:
"And Kaplan sees Wolff's 'baseball village' concept even clearer than Wolff, right smack dab on Coliseum Complex property."
We're still Victory Court fans, or of any ballpark site near the Jack London Square waterfront. But we're also big fans of Kaplan and we agree with Newhouse –- it would be great to see her vision of improving the Coliseum Complex. We doubt Wolff put too much effort into this. Unless you count asking for public money or other unrealistic plans.
More Calls for New Ownership
We are not alone in this. Wolff apologists like to let him off the hook, but even they should recognize Lew's lack of ability to put anything together for a new ballpark while he chases pipe dreams. A recent Bleacher Report piece echoes this sentiment. The writer goes on to say that Mark Cuban should buy the A's, but we would be happy with anyone who is actually committed to Oakland and the fans.
SF = Ground Zero for Failed Stadiums
On the foggy side of the bay sits a sparkling stadium, a lot of atmosphere and even a recent World Series win. Yet, as the Chronicle points out, there have been numerous failed stadium plans over the years for the Giants in San Francisco. From 1968 to 1992, the A's outdrew the the Giants 17 seasons to 8. Many reasons were given for bad S.F. attendance: Crazy politics. Disinterested business community. Apathetic citizens. Too many entertainment options. The city lacking public money. Etc.
Now, those same excuses are being used on Oakland. In reality, a new downtown Oakland ballpark, like San Francisco has, would make the A's thrive. All it would take (just like the Haas family showed in the 1980s and the Giants' owners have displayed from 1993 til now) is vision and commitment.
Dick Williams Tribute
To honor Dick Williams, the former A's manager and Hall of Famer who recently died, the A's had a moment of silence and a video tribute for Friday's night's home game – the team's first since Williams' death. While the video tribute was nice, the effort once again seemed lackluster, especially given that the night before, the San Diego Padres (another team Williams once managed) played in throwback uniforms to honor Williams. The A's could have dusted off some 1972 pullover jerseys in "Fort Knox Gold" and "Wedding Gown White" lettering, the kind of bright colors that would have made Charlie and Carl Finley smile. They could have worn a black arm band the rest of the year. They could have done a number of things. We don't mean to pick nits, but it always seems like when A's front-office officials are presented with these opportunities to sell A's tradition to fans hungry for it, they always do the bare minimum. To put it bluntly for the umpteenth time, we A's fans deserve better. So did Williams.
RIP, Dick Williams. Thanks for the memories and the World Series titles.
Good Weekend for Throwback Baseball
If you didn't get a chance to get out to the yard this weekend you missed out. While the fog stayed around for the doubleheader, we still had a blast. One time in the late '80s, the A's had another "doubleheader" of sorts. The first game was an old-timers game featuring A's and Giants legends, followed by a regular season game. It was nice this past weekend to see some baseball tradition, however limited, return to the Coliseum.
Speaking of the '80s, it was nice to see the mid 1980s jerseys get some love at the Coliseum last week. While the A's never won anything in those uniforms, we still appreciated the time when "Oakland" was emblazoned across the chest of all uniforms -- home, road and alternate. Currently, just the gray road unis say "Oakland," and it is worn infrequently. What a shame.