Two Bay Area sportswriters published pieces this week that must have made Billy Beane throw a chair or two.
The Oakland Tribune's Monte Poole wrote a scathing column that offered the harshest criticism yet of Beane and A's owners. Poole wrote:
The con is kaput, the game over. A's ownership, having run out of patience, isn't even pretending to care about competing, much less pleasing its fans. Dedicated first and last to themselves ... They're quitting, backing away from the 2012 season so early and so emphatically that even Pete Rose, the disgraced hit king, has to scratch his head and wonder, once again, what is the definition of "integrity of the game." How can such a naked exhibition of surrender not hurt the game?
Ouch. It's all true, of course, and kudos to Poole for having the guts to tell it like it is.
Then Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News chimed in Thursday night, saying he fully agreed with Poole. Kawakami called Wolff, Beane and John Fisher "thoroughly cynical owners" who have surrendered instead of competing, "like they’ve surrendered in so many other winters."
Double ouch. But Kawakami wasn't done. He wrote:
You know we say teams are going "all-in" when they go for broke in a certain year? Right now, Wolff and Fisher (and Billy Beane) are receding from play and going "all-out." Nothing left, folks! See ya in 2014! They’ve ransacked the A's roster for every valuable thing they could, driven themselves purposely to lousiness, and are daring MLB to let them move to San Jose or watch out, it’ll get worse. Not a great movie, I guess.
Other sportswriters chimed in to agree with Poole and Kawakami. Lowell Cohn wrote a brief blog about Poole's column that was titled, "Oakland A's equal travesty." He wrote:
I love what Monte wrote and I wish I could have written on the A’s this well and this passionately.
Bottom line: Everybody knows that Wolff and Beane are threatening the integrity of the game in a brazen, almost childish, way. How long will MLB's leadership allow Wolff and Beane to taint the game this way?