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MLB Official meets with the mayor of San Jose

Apr 7, 2010, 9:28 AM EDT

Three things occurred in the Bay Area yesterday:

  • Continued silence from Bud Selig’s little committee about what will become of the Athletics;

I know Selig and Lew Wolff have some incentives to drag all this out — like, trying to buy some time during which they can figure out how to buy off the Giants and sucker the people of San Jose into thinking that they’re not using public resources to benefit a rich real estate developer — but sometimes a mercy killing is the best route for the goodwill of the patient.  It’s been over a year since it became clear to everyone that the A’s were going to San Jose. Maybe it would have been best to get that ball rolling a while ago.

  1. ssweeps - Apr 7, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Who cares? The rude, drunk, a**hole A’s fans don’t.

  2. APBA Guy - Apr 7, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    Among those 10,000 generously estimated in attendance was none other than Lew Wolfe himself, perched in Row 4 of the Diamond Level with but one flunky.
    The A’s drew about 30,000 on Opening Night, which could be their high-water mark for the season.
    Last night Lew got a good look at his AAA club who fought the offensively challenged Mariners to a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation. A’s starter Dallas Braden went 7 and struck out 10. Ian Snell (!) matched him in innings and runs allowed.
    The home half of the 9th was particularly instructive with the A’s loading the bases off Kanekoa Texeira only to see lead off hitter Rajai Davis wave at strike 3 well out of the zone followed by Daric Barton taking a weak hack on 3-1 against a rookie pitcher with the bases loaded who’d gotten behind every hitter in the inning.
    After that display attendance thinned as A’s fans, who do understand how the game should be played, abandoned hope and their seats.
    That they A’s won in the 10th was due to three factors that come together as rarely as an earthquake-free day in NorCal:
    – Former A’s bench coach Don Wakamatsu kept Texeira in the game for the 10th having run through his relief staff except for Aardsma.
    – Ellis is on one of his hot streaks. He had three hits, including the game winner, and only a spectacular play by Kotchman prevented a 4th. He won’t be able to hit his mother in a few weeks, then a few weeks later he’ll be hot again. Or injured.
    – The Mariners are every bit as offensively challenged as Spring speculation has described them. I don’t think you’ll see Dallas Braden striking out 10 of anybody else unless the A’s play the Nationals in interleague.
    As for the A’s moving to SJ, no matter what you want to do in CA some people will say No. They may know what they are talking about, they probably don’t. Wolfe knows this. What MLB wants to know from the Mayor is can he deliver the City Council and can he deliver a “Yes” vote on the inevitable referendum.

  3. scatterbrian - Apr 7, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    Good lord that photo is pathetic. I flew in for Opening Day and was still mildly surprised at the number of empty seats. I also went to the A’s/Giants game Saturday, and checked out the Tailgate/Fanfest thing, and the A’s obviously have their die-hards. And there was genuine excitement from some of them, mentioning that the team is on the rise and that is has some exciting young players who are close to making an impact. There just aren’t enough of these fans anymore. But among the ones who are left, there is also a lot of negativity and snark. Granted I was in the season ticket section and those folks tend to have higher expectations, but it’s still sad for a team that had a pretty successful decade. Whether it’s Lew Wolff’s real estate or “best man” Bob Geren or Billy Beane’s soccer team, they’re all pointing fingers at these guys as the cause of the A’s problems. But really, that picture taken during the National Anthem says it all. There are not enough fans in Oakland, and there haven’t been enough for years.
    I hate it, and I wish things were different, but I just don’t see a viable reason to keep the A’s in Oakland any longer, and I don’t blame them for wanting to go elsewhere.

  4. scatterbrian - Apr 7, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    …and it ain’t getting better. They lowered 16 oz. domestic drafts to $4.99 this year.

  5. Dball - Apr 7, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    I do see people wearing green and gold a bit around the south valley area, so there ARE fans somewhere. Either that or perhaps the recession has people buying old A’s clothes from thrift stores.
    Billy Beane constantly shuffling the deck doesn’t inspire much loyalty in fans, new stadium or old. Whatever the case, this is one of the least supported teams in MLB and something must be done:
    move or contract.

  6. WiseOwl - Apr 7, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    There may be some confusion between cause and effect. The team has an owner that has pretty much said there is no place in the entire city good enough for his team. The team has a GM who continue to develop young talent then trade it away for more undeveloped prospects. The GM has also made it quite clear that his field manager is a eunuch who will only roleplay the manager position and comply with a strict set of rules made by Billy.
    Now how can you honestly embrace a team run like this?

  7. scatterbrian - Apr 7, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    The fight for a new stadium began long before Lew Wolff became owner. It actually started after the Raiders moved back to Oakland and turned the Coliseum into a 60,000 seat monstrosity, treating the more successful franchise like second-class citizens. Fifteen years later they are one of only two teams still sharing a stadium with an NFL team. It finally took the Fremont proposal for the city of Oakland to take the A’s seriously, and they have since presented three sites. As far as I’ve read, each one has issues with current tenants not willing to move. So saying that Wolff says there is “no place in the entire city good enough for his team” is a bit of an embellishment. There’s a difference between being viable and being “good enough”.
    Also before Wolff, when the A’s averaged 95 wins between 2000-2006, their rankings in attendance in the AL were 11th, 7th, 8th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 12th. That’s pathetic, and makes it perfectly reasonable to seriously consider better options.
    As for the Billy Beane complaint, more often than not he’s put together winning teams while he was trading away that young talent. I don’t really understand how building around young talent is a negative. I do understand the difficulty of following a team with a revolving door, but that happens with almost every team. And it’s not as though all that talent traded away has been awesome. Tim Hudson’s had his ups and downs, and Mark Mulder has had mostly downs. Mulder also brought Danny Haren in, who has been great for the D’Backs, but was turned into Brett Anderson and Chris Carter, as well as Michael Taylor and Kevin Kouzmanoff by proxy after throwing in Huston Street and Scott Hairston. Had the A’s kept more of the young guys instead of trading them, they’d be in a similar position as the Astros, desperately trying to fill holes around Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Roy Oswalt.
    The comment about Geren is probably valid. The man leaves much to be desired. But why is having the manager and the GM on the same page is a bad thing?
    Circling back to answer your question: I have no problem embracing the team. I have been doing so for 30+ years, and three seasons of 75 wins isn’t going to change that. That’s fair-weather fandom. Besides, there is a wealth of young talent on the horizon, it’s hard not to be excited about the team’s future. Among other developments, I’m looking forward to seeing if Carter and Taylor can develop into a strong 1-2 punch in the middle of the lineup, or if two of their many young pitchers can join Anderson to form another Big Three.

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