Nov. 1 was an ugly milestone for A’s fans. That was the 17th anniversary of when Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann officially became A’s owners after acquiring the team from the Haas family. Ever since that autumn day in 1995, A’s owners like Schott (and now Lew Wolff and John Fisher) have been threatening to move the team to the South Bay. Yep, loyal Oakland baseball fans have been mistreated by ownership for 17 years.
It would be criminal if they were subjected to an 18th year.
But with Wolff and Fisher at the helm, refusing year in and year out to work with willing Oakland and Alameda County leaders, it appears we’re headed in that direction. In March, it will be the four-year anniversary of the creation of the three-person committee that Commissioner Bud Selig put together to study the A’s stadium situation.
As of now, it’s been three years and eight months since then and still there is no ruling. We understand why people say Selig is a roadblock to the A’s progress on a new stadium. But we argue that Wolff is just as much of an obstacle. He refuses to work with the city of Oakland on a new stadium, saying he wants a ruling, even if it’s a ‘no’, before he figures out what he’ll do next. What Wolff doesn’t seem to get is that nearly four years without an answer is indeed already a ‘no’ answer.
If the territorial rights to Santa Clara County were a love interest, Wolff long ago would have been arrested for stalking. This uncertainty over the team’s future has been a big hindrance to improving attendance — along with Wolff’s and Fisher’s refusal to do any sustained marketing and their failure to reach out to the East Bay business community.
Multiple sources have said there are interested well-heeled ownership groups who want to buy the A’s and keep them in Oakland at a new waterfront ballpark.Yet, Wolff continues to stubbornly hold on for his years-old pipe dream of moving the franchise to the South Bay.
A’s fans deserve better than the uncertainty they’ve been subjected to for nearly 20 years. Yet, the problem can be solved easily if Wolff and Fisher would only sell the A’s. Please sell, guys. It’s the right thing to do.