Tuesday, January 3, 2012

KQED Forum Show: New year, same argument

Today, KQED radio had an hour-long discussion about Bay Area sports teams that may be moving. (You can listen by clicking: HERE)

Given that it's a 17-year-old debate for the A's, it's not surprising that the tiresome topic had, well, only one surprise during the show.

Sportswriters Glenn Dickey, Mark Purdy and Susan Slusser were guests. Slusser and Purdy did their usual cheerleading for A's ownership, while Dickey was stridently against the A's leaving Oakland. One listener emailed the show and criticized A's owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher, saying that they had kicked A's fans and the city of Oakland in the teeth. Dickey called the comment an "understatement" and joked that Wolff/Fisher had actually kicked A's fans on a body part "lower than the teeth."

The show's one surprise was an unscheduled phone call from Giants CEO Larry Baer, who reiterated the Giants' position of protecting their ownership of the territorial rights to Santa Clara County. The host asked Baer how many Giants fans come from the South Bay. He replied, "a lot," and that the number was high enough to really hurt the franchise if another team moved south. Baer also noted that the East Bay by itself is as big as the St. Louis market and that there is plenty of land in the East Bay for the A's to build a new ballpark for their fans.

Toward the end of the show, one prevailing thought hit us. This is the umpteenth year that KQED and other news shows have broadcasted this kind of discussion about the A's future. The same characters come on air and say the same things, and then, nothing changes. And nothing will change, unfortunately, until the team's ownership changes.

Chronicle sportswriter Scott Ostler mocked Billy Beane and A's owners last month for announcing they were "building for the future in San Jose." Ostler then sarcastically noted:

"(That's assuming they clear small hurdles such as fierce opposition from the Giants, a community group's lawsuit, financing ...)"

You see Ostler's point. In short, how long are A's fans going to be subjected to Wolff's and Fisher's failed pipe dream of moving the team? It's been three years since they officially announced they wanted to move the team south. Three years later, they have nothing to show for it. When are they going to take the hint?

There really is just one solution: Selling the team. Mr. Wolff and Mr. Fisher ... It's time to sell. For the good of the Oakland A's and for the long-term health of baseball.


ryanclowe29 said...

I don't know, as an A's fan, I'm conflicted. I'm all for the A's staying in Oakland, but I could give a S*** about the Giants. If the A's do end up moving to SJ, I hope they DO take a nice big bite out of the Giant's revenues. I'm tired of the A's being treated as a second class team around here, and all of the Giants fair weather fans who never went to see the team when they played at Candlestick. I'm sick of all the brand new Giants merchandise flying off the shelves in our own backyard. It seems like it's all Giants all of the time on the radio, even when the A's were winning 100 games a season. And sometimes you are lucky to get one TV on the A's game when you go to a sports bar if both teams are playing. Eff the Giants! Haas should have let them move to Florida back in the 1990s. Go A's!!!

Baseball Oakland said...

Go Oakland A's! We completely agree, Ryan. And forget the Giants? We agree, too. Just please remember why the Giants dominate the airwaves and merchandise. It's the incompetence of the A's owners, Lew Wolff and John Fisher. They've been "playing dead" in the East Bay for half a decade, all too happy to be lazy, kill the fan base, justify a move, and then collect $30 million welfare checks from other owners every year. Can't blame the Giants for filling the effort vacuum the A's have left. Don't have to like it -- and trust us, we don't, that's why we point out Wolff's dishonesty so often. And we don't like it, but we don't blame the Giants for working hard. We only wish our A's had owners who worked hard, too.

ryanclowe29 said...

You bring up an interesting point, I hadn't really thought about it that way. I guess that I'm just frustrated, it has been a tough half decade. Thanks!

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