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.