A day after the City Of Oakland asked Major League Baseball and Bud Selig to “name a point person” in order to develop a “ballpark strategy”, A’s ownership have responded with a press release claiming the ballclub is done fiddle-fucking around. From the San Jose Mercury News’ Kelly Rayburn :
“We have fully exhausted our time and resources over the years with the city of Oakland, dating back to previous A’s ownership,” Lewis Wolff (above) said in the statement. “We recognize conditions have not changed. Letters to Major League Baseball offer nothing new or of any real substance. Outside stimulation to have us continue to play in an aging and shared facility may generate press and ‘sound-bite’ opportunities, but do not provide any tangible alterations in the circumstances we face.”
Wolff’s letter noted attendance and season ticket holders in Oakland are both among the lowest in baseball ” even when the A’s are playing well on the field.
“Our goal and desire for the organization is to determine a way to keep the team in Northern California,” Wolff wrote. “That goal has not changed. We have no interest in covering old ground again, as we need to move forward in finding a future home for our team.”
New A’s Ballpark‘s Marnie Layer can read the writing on the wall ; “any hope of retaining the team in the city that has been home for 40 years is all but lost. It’s lame duck time.”
It’s all about San Jose, which amazingly, Ray Ratto does not mention in his blog post. It’s about corporate dollars, suites and minisuites, club seats and advertising and sponsorships. It’s about the demise of the classic, egalitarian form of fandom.
Wolff goes on to thank Mayor Ron Dellums and East Bay developer Sherman Balch, plus County Supes Gail Steele and Scott Haggerty, both of whom supported the Fremont plan. Not thanked are the other signatory to yesterday’s letter, Jane Brunner, or previous Council President Ignacio De La Fuente. Hmmm, if I were Oakland I wouldn’t expect much of a reply from the commish anytime soon.
I look forward to all of the namecalling that will commence shortly.