Stirring the Beane pot

A few Bay Area writers are talking up Billy Beane possibly leaving for Chicago’s North Side, with the rationale being that Brad Pitt’s alter ego will exit stage right after having experienced too much frustration regarding the A’s low revenue status.

All this sounds fascinating given the A’s record and the lack of resolution on the stadium front. However, it falls apart once you scratch the surface.

First of all, while the story has created something of an echo chamber effect here, there are no media reports emanating from Chicago about Beane being a candidate, speculation or otherwise. There are several “hot” candidates who are either younger or easier to get contract-wise. Dozens of articles have been written about the purported frontrunner for the Cubs’ GM job, current White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn – who just happens to be a Chicago native and a lifelong Cubs fan. Then there’s the status of wunderkind Rays GM Andrew Friedman, who is currently working year-to-year with no contract. Ned Colletti and Brian Cashman have been discussed as well. On the other hand, Beane is signed through 2014, and even though Lew Wolff would let Beane go if he asked, figuring out how to properly terminate the contract (ending in 2014) and have Beane divest his 2.5% stake in the A’s/Quakes is another matter altogether.

Then there’s a simple matter of timing. Chances are that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts will want to get his new GM in place no later than October, so that his new hire will have a fighting chance in the free agent market (there are some first basemen who may catch Ricketts’ fancy). It’s highly unlikely that we’ll hear a decision on Santa Clara County territorial rights by that point, leaving Beane and the rest in ownership in limbo. Beane would effectively be basing his decision on a hunch, and as we all know, Billy’s a little more empirically driven than that.

For his part, Wolff has been pretty straightforward on this semi-issue (from Shea’s piece):

“I would never inhibit anybody from bettering themselves because of a contract,” said Wolff, who had lunch with Beane on Wednesday and said no team has called regarding his GM. “Billy is fantastic and, to me, indispensable. My hope is he will be here a long time. I did promise Billy and all the guys we would have a venue so they would be able to further execute their abilities, and I think that will happen.”

Sounds optimistic.

“I have to be,” Wolff said. “There is no choice for us, for the good of baseball. It’s sad it’s taking this long.”

He added, “I’m going to build a new stadium for the A’s, and if I’m not, someone will,” but he was quick to point out he didn’t mean he’d move the club or sell to out-of-town interests, instead mentioning his son, Keith (vice president of venue development) as a possible baton receiver. “We’re working every day. If it doesn’t happen, we’ll go to Plan B, which I don’t have.”

I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that despite the A’s revenue problem, Beane likes his life. He oversees two franchises by day and pals around with venture capitalists at night. Not to say that he couldn’t get some of that in Chicago, but really, porkbellies aren’t as interesting as tech. And I have to think that as a particularly driven guy, he might not feel his work is done just yet. Just a hunch.

126 thoughts on “Stirring the Beane pot

  1. Yea, it was funny how they were acting on the radio today like the offer had been made. And of course, few people who called in understand why Beane’s hands are tied financially, not realizing that the team is trying to live within it’s means.

  2. After yesterday’s humiliating record breaking loss, I’d be looking to get out of Dodge ASAP!!
    Nah, he’ll stay. Less pressure and more job security here than Chicago or Boston, cuz LW just loves the guy like Bob Geren. Well, we know how that worked out.
    BB has won nothing in the O. He’s more famous for a book and a new film coming up. Too much hype, way overrated. Had a good run early but it’s getting worse the last 5 years.. He’s lost his mojo. Besides a new local ownership group , time for a new GM. Not sure about Melvin. He’s .500 manager at best with this lineup, which isn’t too bad.

  3. Ray Ratto – makes stuff up. Not worth reading. Has he ever supported his contention that Wolff doesn’t have the money for a stadium in San Jose?

  4. excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s what we get from Billy Beane. Please cash out Billy. You are not “the man”. Whoever scouted: Giambi, Chavez, Miggy and the Big 3, is the most responsible for the early 2000’s version of A’s baseball. Cash out Billy.

  5. Of all the Bay Area columnists, Ratto is second most likely to pull stuff out of his ass not supported by facts or logic. Newhouse is first.

  6. …tough for Beane to make the team better when free agents don’t want to play in an empty football stadium. Can we blame them? Then, there are players with no-trade-to-Oakland clauses in their contracts. Beane’s hands are tied.

  7. …yes, we should all have knee jerk reactions and blame one person for the responsibility of other people while conveniently ignoring all the things inhibiting him from doing his job on par with the rest of the league. yes, we could spend wildly a la the detroit or chicago and witness the franchise collapse in debt (see dodgers), or we can be perpetual losers like the marlins and hope to catch lightning every 5-10. But i would like to think that we’re much more intelligent and patient while having a sense of responsibility for the Game by at least trying every year…

  8. If Beane leaves take it as a sign MLB is going to move the A’s out of the Bay Area….

  9. …I think Sid is probably correct.

  10. Sid and pjk,
    I’m going to remind both of you of all this pessimism over our first round of beers at Cisco Field. By the way RM, excellent post. Nice alternative to the bull shit being put forth by the traditional Bay Area media. If LW is optimistic then so am I! As for Billy Pitt, him staying or leaving has no relevance on the future financial well being of the A’s or MLB. Nonetheless, my money is on him staying.

  11. …if Selig was sold on Cisco Field, construction would already be under way. He’s obviously too terrified of what legal shennanigans the Giants might try if he lets the A’s do the common sense thing and go to San Jose. With Oakland expecting a free ballpark that it won’t get, the only option left is to move the A’s somewhere else.

  12. @ David/JK, A GM’s success and/or failure can largely be based on the supporting staff he employs around him (including scouts). Although he may not have specifically identified those players himself, but it’s BB who employed those scouts, considered their opinions and is ultimately responsible for the talent that the team acquires. You fault him for the team’s recent success, but exclude him from the team’s most recent success. You’re tired of BB’s excuses, yet you excuse the lack of progress of Oakland’s ballpark plans or feign ignorance altogether. Really convenient stuff.
    .
    Agree with Anon, year after year, BB has tried to make this a competitive team. Adapting his approach each year while dealing with the constraints from our lack of revenue. Granted, we haven’t seen the success the last few seasons we would all like, but it’s a whole lot better than what some other Org’s have gone through for much longer periods. I’m glad and appreciative for BB.

  13. ….Beane does the best he can with what he has to work with, which isn’t much. He can draft players and hope they turn out good (which is always a gamble), and sign some players with few options, who are no longer wanted by the Big $$ teams, such as Matsui. Anybody think the A’s will be making their pitch in the Prince Fielder Sweepstakes? Didn’t think so. We already know there’s no chance he’s coming to Oakland.

  14. Agreed David. Excuses, excuses, constant whining (like his boss LW), and always in rebuild mode. I’d say go to the Cubbies and be on even par with the big boys and see what you can do with some real money, that your tightwad owners won’t give you here.

  15. Regarding Beane, I was listening to the radio and it was just reported that the A’s have granted the Cubs permission to talk to Beane about the job. And you don’t grant someone permission unless either they asked or Beane asked. So this story may have more legs than we originally thought.

  16. …would be interesting to see what Beane could do working for a club with the stands full, playing in an attractive ballpark. Two advantages he certainly doesn’t have in Oakland.

  17. @Dan,
    Again, what ever happens with BB (stays or leaves) wont have any relevance to the A’s ballpark situation. As for pjk: pretty hard to build Cisco Field with a phone and welding company building still there. I mean, I like the Western Metal Supply building at Petco Park and all, but damn! The AT&T building right at home plate? Come on brah!

  18. Billy might leave. Wolff might sell. Maybe they stay. Who knows. But we are A’s fans. I doubt any of us will be changing from A’s fans, to fans of another team. That’s why, all things considered, I don’t “trust” our ownership and management. I just root for the laundry. If Billy is “tired” of dealing with a “low revenue” team… “don’t let the door hit ya …”

  19. @pjk – i thought Wrigley was a “dump”. Don’t they want a new stadium in Chicago?

  20. …Yes, I remembered there are 2 more properties to buy. But with MLB refusing for years and years to give permission for the A’s to go to San Jose, why should San Jose or Wolff have any urgency? Kind of like rushing out to build a garage when you can’t get a driver’s license…MLB has seen the Cisco Field plans, apparently examining every last detail, more than a year ago. And Brave Bud Selig has given no go-ahead on it, since that would require a tough, controversial decision on his part and he prefers to do absolutely nothing when faced with a situation like that.

  21. ….Wrigley a dump? Your words, not mine. Wrigley, while extremely old, is in a class with Fenway – too precious to replace and a must-see for everyone on a ballpark pilgrimage. No one would ever mistake the Coliseum experience for Fenway or Wrigley. With the A’s stuck in a substandard stadium in a city that can offer no assistance in replacing it, can we really blame Beane for leaving, if he does?

  22. David, no they don’t want a new park. What they want is a Fenway style renovation which Wrigley admittedly needs being that it’s 97 years old. That said, it’s still a sound stadium and not a dump if it gets some TLC ala Fenway. Design wise it’s near perfect (which is why it and Fenway were the models for almost every park built in the last 20 years).

  23. @pjk–the pressures in Chicago to pull off a winner are monumental. He’d crack under them though. He has it made here; job security for life it appears. He has an ownership who’s so impressed by his pure genius, and he can mess up year after year, always in that rebuild mode and still have a job. Most places he’d be out the door. Firing Macha and hiring Geren was a huge blunder. He said there was a disconnect with Macha and his players. Well, he responded with 5 winning seasons and a playoff. There was more of a disconnect with Geren and his players, and 4 1/2 of years of losing to top it off. Should of picked Wash like everyone wanted, but his best man was his pick.

  24. ….Unless Beane is responsible for players not wanting to come to Oakland’s empty football stadium, then it’s hard to blame him for the A’s subpar performance in recent years. Seems nobody wants to blame the Oakland politicians who have proudly disregarded the team’s facility needs for so long. Nope. Those guys are blameless, apparently.

  25. @pjk–give him all the credit in the early 2000’s, but he gets off scott free now? 13 years is too long with nothing to show for it.
    You go from the ALCS one year to mediocrity every year after, and it’s all the Oakland politicians fault..lol.
    BB is a smart guy and has a good baseball mind, even though his mind is more into soccer lately, but he’s way overrated IMO. Go to the Cubbies and good luck,. He”ll need it out there.

  26. …Let’s see how good another GM can do with the handicaps that Beane has had (free agents shunning Oakland, no-trade-clauses-to-Oakland, empty seats except when the Yankee$, Red $ox or Giants in town.). We’re probably going to find out pretty soon…The Cubs obviously are aware of the A’s mostly subpar performance in recent years and they seem to understand that it’s not Beane’s fault at all.

  27. @pjk,
    Simply put: the onus has always been and is on SJ to get this done, not MLB. That’s all I’ll say about that on this thread.

  28. name one player who has a: ” no trade to Oakland” clause? I know there are players who have several cities on their list, for several reasons, but never, ever, have i heard of a stand alone – no Oakland clause. I have read in the local and national press that the notion that there are large numbers of players not wanting to play in Oakland, being overplayed by our ownership.

  29. @TonyD–it doesn’t matter what the hec SJ does, it’s all in BS’s hands. He’s a consensus builder and he doesn’t have the votes to overturn TR’s. The G’s, the 3 other 2 team markets (not counting Balt/DC) and the other two in our division, who like the A’s just where they are, adds up to 9 No votes. 21 out of 30 is 70%. He needs 23.
    That’s all I have to say on this–this is a BB speculation thread.

  30. David: Here’s one, from SFGate:

    While there may have been talks, nothing has reached the stage where Figgins has been asked to waive his limited-no trade clause, which includes Oakland.

  31. “includes” means there’s more than one team, which exactly proves my point.

  32. A limited no-trade clause. Meaning only a few teams are off-limits. And the A’s are on that list, of course.

  33. @pjk–Figgins is out hurt right now, but has had two bad years in a row. It’s good he didn’t come here.
    Saved $9.5 mill a year to put back under Fisher’s mattress.

  34. @ David – great….you proved your point that players are disinterested in going to several crappy places to play, including oakland. it’s great that oakland is not singularly pointed out, but that doesn’t mean it’s a place players are eyeing to play at. Nitpicking at the slightest nuances is not conducive to the overall message: oakland is a garbage place to play until a new venue is in place, and presently oakland is stuck in neutral until property, financing, public support, and even an eir is in place. do you want to single anything out in that statement as well?

  35. @ jk – under the same line of thinking as you illustrated in your “$9.5 mil a year to put back under Fisher’s mattress.”, maybe oakland should concentrate on other priorities playing unethical rda to general fund games with their budget or kissing al davis’ behind again on a new football stadium. it would save them and the fans a lot of money and time by finally admitting that VC or anywhere else in Oakland is not feasible for a new baseball only stadium. If you object, i would like to hear your thoughts on location, financing, land acquisitions, and owner support of such an idea. And no, resurrecting Haas isn’t an option.

  36. It’s pretty clear that everyone is playing “telephone” with this, and that Shea teased an entire column out of a 2-minute conversation with Wolff.

    That said, some questions:

    1. Whence are the rumors and speculation originating? I’m not at all invoking the smoke/fire maxim — rather, I’m curious as to who is talking this stuff up with reporters to give it some credibility.

    2. Why did Wolff go beyond, say, the generic statement of support he gave Best Man Bob (a month before BMB was fired) or the blanket statement of noninterest he gave in response to the Dodgers-purchase rumors? Short as his interaction with Shea was, Lew made it more substantive and open-ended than he had to.

    Yes, reading between the lines, I think 1 & 2 are related. I think this is Lew trying to put more public pressure on Selig/MLB.

    (And, to engage my favorite hobbyhorse, this could be the start of clearing the decks fro contraction.)

  37. re: And no, resurrecting Haas isn’t an option.

    …good thing I wasn’t drinking anything when I read this or I’d have spit it all over my computer screen…

  38. @anon – ok dude. you don’t like the O.co. Thankfully our field manager Bob Melvin does enjoy it and tells his players to go out there and defend their home turf. Complaining about the Coli doesn’t get anything done.
    Also, I don’t enjoy or care to “fight” with A’s fans online.

  39. We’re drifting OT again, Anon. It;s about BB and the Cubs rumors. You keep going back to VC and financing. I’m no expert on this and neither are you, even though you and others on here think you are. You just take LW’s word as Gospel. He has no interest in the O, plain and simple, if it’s a good plan or not.
    If BB goes we’re stuck with Forst probably. They need to look outside and really shake things up, which may include a new manager next year, even though I kind of like Melvin.

  40. It really is quite sad that jk spends his time beating the same dead horse over and over again instead of pressuring his… or maybe they aren’t actually his… representatives to get the ball moving further. I can’t believe we haven’t had any updates on the EIR yet. Are they even serious, or is this a stall tactic, hoping for a fairy godmother to come down from the clouds and with a single wand-wave makes it all better?
    .
    I’m wondering if they are waiting to see what Al Davis does with his Raiders before committing to the A’s fully.
    .
    ML, if the VC draft EIR were to be released today, and the full EIR certified in 60 days, what would be the next step, assuming that it was deemed viable and there were no problems?

  41. One thing I wont miss when all this is locked up: folks spouting bull shit (I.e. “Selig doesn’t have the votes…”) without any facts to back it up. And some of you have no room whatsoever to talk about going OT. Boy is that first beer in a collectors “Cisco Field Inaugural Season 2015″ cup gonna taste good!

  42. @ David – no one is “fighting” here. i just thought you were exaggeratiing the “oakland” exclusion point and losing sight of big the big picture. And what does Bob M. have to do with anything? Also, this “complaining about the COli doesn’t get anything done” statement is sure ironic, as Oakland in general hasn’t done anything about it for the past 15+ years. But hey, what do i know…. I’m just complaining.
    @ JK – yes, we are drifting on a tangent as is the continual bashing of A’s ownership and i don’t pretend to know everything, but i sure know simple reason and logic when i see/hear it. And sorry, I don’t brown nose LW as Oakland does with AD, but to hold him accountable for everything bad about the stadium is sure fooling yourself about the overall current status and future. But I agree with you on one thing: I also like Melvin thus far, having called out on a continual issues with the a’s (defense). I envision BB eventually handing off the baton to Forst in a couple of years and then being promoted to Baseball VP overseeing everything.

  43. re: we haven’t had any updates on the EIR yet.

    …I have to believe that if the EIR was looking really good as far as development of ballpark at VC, then Oakland would have shouted it from the housetops months ago. But instead, it’s been stall, stall, stall and complete silence. You can draw your own conclusions on what that might mean.

  44. One thing that keeps Beane with the A’s/Wolff+Fisher: soccer. I don’t see any link between the Cubs and soccer.

  45. Some day, hopefully soon, the A’s will have stability about the franchise in some way, shape or form… It is gonna be awesome.

  46. @Jeffrey—but where is the big question?
    @TonyD–then what the hec is the delay for this Cisco Field you keep dreaming about? No votes, dude. Even the much respected Rob Neyer went over this on CT last night.

  47. …so, no MLB support for a San Jose ballpark + no public $ for an Oakland ballpark = A’s out of the Bay Area, no? Oh wait – we’re still, as always, waiting for a Knight in Shining Armor to deliver to Oakland for free a $500 mill ballpark.

  48. @LS – There is no legal way to certify an EIR within 60 days of its release. The comment period after the draft is made available is at least 45 days. After that the study group has to go back, respond to questions, and even refocus the EIR if requested. Then the final EIR is released, then another comment period, and then certification. It’ll take 6 months if they’re lucky, more likely a year.

  49. @jk- The votes do not matter. If you read ML’s interview with Lew Wolff, he clearly states that Selig himself using his “best interests in baseball” powers can overturn the Giants T-Rights to San Jose.

    The other owners know full well this is not right and it is my understanding the votes are not the problem here.

    Also Lew Wolff stated other owners have “teased” him about his situation and have offered their help to speak to Selig. Wolff has turned their offers down because he knows full well he gets SJ or the Dodgers. Therefore why push the envelope? Why not sit back and let Selig do his thing?

    Especially when Selig is set to retire at the end of 2012.

    What did Selig say just recently? that he would not make any decisions until “All options have been exhausted” and that this decision would affect “two franchises” for years to come.

    Translation: I am not moving the A’s to San Jose and revoke the Giants sacred “T-Rights” unless there is no where else to move them to. San Jose is a last ditch option and Selig has made that known pretty clearly.

    This plus the fact MLB makes more $ having the A’s leave as I detailed before. My math and logical reasoning is sound. This couple with Lew Wolff being so “patient” and openly talking about the Dodgers and how much he loves Selig tells you something.

    Wolff is playing his position and knows full well he wins. If he did not he would have had San Jose sue MLB already and open up the flood gates forcing Selig’s hand as what Vincent Piazza did when his group was turned down moving the Giants in 1992.

    Piazza got 15M and the Rays for suing MLB and forcing Selig to do “something” fast.

    My prayer is there is no other city out there as Jeffrey states and San Jose is it. But 894 days tells me something is in the works and there are several “moving pieces” including the Dodgers.

  50. @ Jeffery – Amen bro! Amen!
    @ ML – breathes a big sigh……and then /facepalm

  51. An awful lot of speculation in that post, Sid. I don’t know how you can say things like “The other owners know full well this is not right ” and “he knows full well he gets SJ or the Dodgers. ” We don’t know what is going on in the lodge, or in LW’s head, except what he tells the media, or ML. You can attempt to connect the dots (that’s all we can do about most of this) but stating it as fact is not right.

  52. @ML. We’re effed. I hope that if VC is not viable, it’s painfully obvious in the draft so that things can get moving further forward in the SJ direction. I really don’t want to wait another 6-12-18+ months for a decision. This is so depressing.

  53. @LS,
    My opinion is that MLB isn’t concerned about the VC EIR timetable. MLB/Selig will make a decision when they’re ready, not when Oakland is ready.
    Facts? Some here (no need to mention names) are just like the GOP and far-right: the hell with facts! Let’s just say whatever we want and treat it like gospel! No more from me on yet another hijacked thread. Whether you stay or go, good luck BB!

  54. Jk, If I was going to bet where, I’d bet San Jose.
    .

  55. @Sid You are just determined to ignore the fact that the antitrust laws have changed since 1992 and that Piazza was not binding precedent in the first place. You really need to stop practicing law without a license. :-)

  56. Athletics Nation had a little poll if BB should stay or go.
    72% want him to stay, 27% want him to go.
    That’s about opposite of what they think of LW in a poll back in November.
    AN is about as hardcore and great cross section of A’s fans all across the country. It shows that they;re not really happy with ownership, but still like the GM,. I’m kind of in the boat. I like the guy, he’s done good here, but wouldn’t be heartbroken if BB left. Seems like he’s just kind of bored with the game and is not as driven like before. 13 years, and the last 5 have been more than disaapointing. Let him go the Cubs with more money to spend and see what he can do. That’s the most interesting part of it all.

  57. @jk- BB is waiting for LW to buy the Dodgers and then he’s GM of one of T5 franchises-

  58. @GoA’s–interesting take on things and kind of makes sense. Go from a B5 franchise to a T5 franchise. Who wouldn’t? 20 years with the A’s, 13 as GM, time to move on. I post on this one A’s site, and there’s some guys who are like doom and gloom if he goes.

  59. The more I think about it, the more I believe Selig’s decision is tied to the Giants paying off their note on ATT in 2017. Right now the A’s are not willing to pay the Giants $120m (6 years @ $20m/year) for the rights to SCC. They probably are willing though to pay something in the neighborhood of $30m – $40m. Selig wll delay his decision to insure a ballpark in SJ will open no earlier than spring 2015. At that point, the Giants will have 2 more years on their note, which will be equivilant to appx $40m.

  60. @fc–$30-40 mill isn’t much in the big scheme of things. The Giant’s are claiming that the SCC market is worth about that every year to them, and if attendance falls just a little, they can be in trouble competing. I think thats a bunch of crap, but all these teams (including the A’s), claim theyre just barely breaking even every year, where in reality they’re making $20 mill profit, about 2/3rd of their welfare check.

  61. Always thought that Beane got too much credit since most of the institutional knowledge was there under Sandy Alderson’s system, but he’s been a good GM with an unusual amount of energy in his early years (figuring out how to get Jeff Weaver to the Yankees so he could have Ted Lilly, things like that, which he doesn’t do anymore). Forst would probably do just as well at this point.

  62. @bartleby- I was using Piazza as an example of when Selig is pushed against the wall he will show his true “cowardly colors” and give in. Piazza showed full well that you can get Selig to move by only by brute “force”.

    His lawsuit was settled for a quite of bit of money and he got an expansion franchise in the Rays that was more than a consolation for not getting the Giants. I like your quote about practicing law without a license! My lawyer buddies tell me that all the time! :)

    @Lone Stranger- I am “theorizing” of course on why there is a delay but the signs are obvious:
    1. 895 days since the BRC was formed
    2. Selig denying San Jose its requests for a ballot post…twice.
    3. Selig stating this is a complex situation and that he will not make any decisions until all options have been “exhausted”.
    4. Lew Wolff’s patience and comments about the Dodgers and his praise for Selig
    5. Lew Wolff in ML’s interview (and others) about the other owners “teasing” him and offering help.
    6. Selig ignoring SVLG and Mayor Chuck Reed’s letters
    7. Selig stating the Bay Area being a two team market having always been “controversial”.
    8. Lew Wolff stating in ML’s interview that Selig himself can overturn the Giants T-rights by using his “best interests in baseball” powers.
    9. Selig denying Steve Schott a vote when he garnered 75% vote from the other owners accoring to Lawrence Stone.
    10. Selig stating the A’s moving to Oakland in the first place was a terrible “mistake”.
    11. Selig knowing full well his frat buddy “Lewie” does not want to own a team outside of California.
    12. MLB makes more $$ from revenue sharing by moving the A’s away than by letting them move to San Jose and giving the Giants a “break”.

    It is obvious there is something “big” going on here and there are moving parts making this a long drawn out process. Those moving parts in my opinion are the Dodgers and a new city to move the A’s to.

    San Jose may still get the team, it is my hope all else fails and Selig has no choice but to let the A’s move to Silicon Valley. But it is terribly obvious he does not want to go there and make “history” by changing the Giants T-rights.

    The other owners are rich and powerful men and know SV is full of cash and the A’s are being subsidized by all of them. To get them off revenue sharing even to a somewhat detriment to the Giants is no big deal to the whole league….The issue is Selig being a “coward” and not wanting to make history.

    @Tony- Lew Wolff has offered to buy the last 2 parcels if San Jose cannot get it done and Selig knows this full well. There is no “race” to the finish since this is a privately financed ballpark. The land is such a small part of the overall picture and Wolff has explained this to Selig in detail.

    In reality Selig has a Plan A and it is moving forward on some level. San Jose is Plan B and will not be used or even “explored” (Ballot vote, responding to letters, etc…) unless Plan A has completely failed or as Selig stated “all options have been exhausted”.

  63. @Sid,
    Go have yourself a tall cold one (or two)..WILL YAH!

  64. I was waiting all weekend for TonyD to respectfully disagree on Sid’s takes on things.

  65. The World Premiere of Moneyball will be at Oakland’s Paramount Theater on Sept. 19. There’s a good chance both Beane and Brad Pitt will be there, but Sony Pictures hasn’t confirmed this.
    I’m relieved that Oakland didn’t get bitch slapped on this one and SF getting the premiere on this one. I wonder if Lew Wolff will attend? I doubt it. The guy’s not too popular in the O and not too familair with the downtown O scene..

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_18776737

  66. LOL@Anon–we posted at the exact time!!..lmao.

  67. Lew Wolff not popular in The O? IMHO I bet the vast majority of Oakland citizens, weary of crime and the economy, could care less about Lew Wolff or the A’s for that matter (as evident by current attendance). But I digress: congrats to Oakland for getting the premier. Only appropriate to have it in the town where “Moneyball” took place.

  68. Sid, you also said that Selig was going to confirm in the positive for San Jose “within two weeks” many months ago so I frankly don’t see how cobbling together different strands makes your recent point a true reflection on the realities of the situation.

  69. …Lew Wolff is not popular with people who want him to build a $500 mill ballpark in Oakland with his money, regardless of whether he makes his money back or not. He’s not going to do it so they don’t like him.

  70. @jk – yes, i think we read the same feeds lol….but you need to stop with your obsessive Lew hate or we’ll have to start calling you Ahab soon…. :X

  71. This just in: “MoneyBall” opens the same day as that movie about the injured dolphin. The A’s just can’t win. Can Brad Pitt sell more tickets than a dolphin with a prosthetic tail? I have my doubts.

  72. @pjk – lol….ever the pessemist ;) Critic previews should be coming soon, so we should see some reviews before the opening….

  73. @Genaro- I made the mistake as many of us do here in this forum by thinking in terms of “Bay Area” baseball only and being Pro-SJ.

    From that perspective San Jose seems like a “slam dunk” as then both teams would be situated really well and both would contribute to revenue sharing.

    But from the “MLB” perspective the view is far different. The Giants put in 40M in revenue sharing while the A’s suck out 40M where the teams are now….To “MLB” the Bay Area should not be a 2-team market for this reason.

    In San Jose may that be different but….San Jose is locked out by T-rights as Selig refuses to budge on that.

    When I started to “think” holistically then everything started to make sense as I put my Bay Area/Pro-SJ biases aside and started to see what is going on here.

    The BRC only speaks to San Jose because they are holding San Jose as a last ditch option for the A’s.

    897 days and counting tells you something and the fact “mathematically” MLB makes more coin by moving the A’s out of here tells you San Jose is last ditch. Selig’s words are very clear and he will not make any decisions until “all options have been exhausted”.

    “All options have been exhausted”….Is San Jose not a option I ask? That tells you San Jose is not being considered and neither is Oakland because MLB would never build privately there because it would be a huge money loser as the A’s would suck even more out revenue sharing and be in debt.

    Therefore Selig is looking to move the team to a new city and some way help out his frat buddy “Lewie” in some way. The Dodgers theory has been stated in more than one place…..Why is Lewie so patient? I would be too if I knew I would get the Dodgers or San Jose….I would chill and praise Selig too.

    San Jose only gets the team in a last ditch effort where everything else fails. MLB wants this to be a 1-team market before opening up San Jose….Our only hope is all fails and San Jose is given freedom from the Giants.

  74. @ Sid – I respectfully disagree with your doomsday theory. We’ll just have to let the process unfold and take either good news (a new stadium anywhere in the bay area) or accept that BS and oakland dug its own grave here…..

  75. pjk, I don’t think you have to be Oakland-only to be unhappy with Wolff. He may be planning to spend his own money, but so far he’s not proven able to spend much of anything on the A’s. He doesn’t spend money on players, doesn’t spend money to upkeep what is currently the team’s one and only home (and will be for some time to come SJ or no SJ), doesn’t spend money on his soccer team’s players, has yet to build their stadium despite the project having all the needed approvals (he just won’t file for the permit because as he told ML in the interview a few weeks back he’s not ready to commit yet). So far Wolff hasn’t spent very much of his own money at all. If he really wanted to he could force the issue with the Giants and Selig. If he really wanted to he could buy a winner NOW for the A’s. If he wanted to he could build the Earthquakes a stadium. But so far he’s done none of these things. He continues to run both his teams on a shoestring budget and lets them languish in sub par facilities. Which means he’s either unwilling to spend money on the teams, or worse, unable to spend money on the teams.

  76. Haven’t you looked at the previous posts in here? How can Wolff spend $$ on players when free agents refuse to come to Oakland and players have no-trade-to-Oakland clauses in their contracts? And why should Wolff pay for upkeep on a home he is renting? Shouldn’t the landlords do that? How many people put new roofs, etc on homes they rent? re: Earthquakes. A sign saying “Future Home of the Earthquakes” went up at the site the other day. The place is about half-mile from my house.

  77. @Dan, correctly me if I’m wrong, aren’t the A’s willing to spend $450m of their own money on a ballpark in San Jose? Didn’t they offer Beltre $70m, and bid $19m just for the right to negotiate with Iwakuma? In addition weren’t they interested in signing Berkman to a free agent deal? Damn cheap bastards!

  78. @ dan – while your opinion has a lot of objective data to back it up, im not sure your statement about player salaries are correct. Please see the salaries below, including the ones prior to LW ownership:

    2011: $ 67,094,000
    2010: $ 58,304,900
    2009: $ 62,310,000
    2008: $ 47,967,126
    2007: $ 79,366,940
    2006: $ 62,242,079
    2005: $ 55,425,762
    2004: $ 59,425,667
    2003: $ 50,260,834
    2002: $ 40,004,167
    2001: $ 33,810,750
    2000: $ 32,121,833
    In 2007, he spent quite a lot on the a’s before blowing up on the team and he continues to give aging vets handsome one year rental fees (see: ben sheets)….as for the other fronts, he did spend 30million + on the fremont land before getting the finger by the Nimbys. As for the coliseum, would you spend money on an old beater car before selling it? JMHO…

  79. @pjk–in all fairness, LW has spent some money on the Coliseum for “leaks and stuff.”
    Jeez, if i had his and JF’s money plus the welfare fom MLB, putting more $$ into the Coliseum would be a no-brainer for the sake of the fans at least.

  80. re: If he really wanted to he could buy a winner NOW for the A’s

    …let’s pretend for a second Wolff could get by the obstacles of trying to persuade players to come to Oakland. Building a “a winner NOW” means losing piles and piles of his own money, ala Haas. Running the team as a money-losing charity ala Haas

  81. …yes, the A’s went after Beltre 2 years in a row and Berkman. Unfortunately, neither would consider coming to Oakland…

  82. re: putting more $$ into the Coliseum would be a no-brainer for the sake of the fans at least.

    …outside of getting rid of the troughs, there is nothing much that can be done with the Coliseum for under $200 mill. Oakland officials, still held blameless by some for the A’s predicament, turned the place into a football stadium in 1995.

  83. OT: Polycom to move headquarters from Pleasanton to SJ: http://www.mercurynews.com/real-estate/ci_18782518 . I know that SJRDA had major incentives to attract./retain companies in SJ (including my former one), but it’s encouraging to see companies still moving south in the post-RDA era.

  84. @anon,
    SJ should go for the jugular and go after Chevron (I’m sure they could provide shuttles from San Ramon to downtown SJ ;).

  85. @ tony – i dont like chevron too much so eat bay can keep them…look what they have done to san ramon! :X

  86. Anon, yes I would spend money on a beater car if I were selling it in hopes of getting more in the sale. But that is neither here nor there. We’re not talking about a car. We’re talking about the team’s home. The current home and their home for the foreseeable future. Yes they’re renting it, but they’re also living in it and are far and away the primary users. And look at other teams like the Nationals and Giants… they too were in decaying publicly owned stadiums that were shared with other teams. And despite short term plans to stay in those facilities they chose to spend some money on both of their public owned parks to make them a tad more livable for the fans while they waited for the new home. What is stopping Lew from doing the same? As for the player issue, if you start building a winner and open your wallet and fix up the park you’ll have your free agents who will want to sign. Sure he’ll lose some money short term, but eventually it’ll even back out as attendance, viewship, and revenues increase and continue to do so in a new park. I mean hell the increase in franchise value alone he’s garnered by simply owning the team would cover years of losses, at least enough to get us into a new park.

  87. It’s funny, the local media, vocal A’s fans at Coliseum, most A’s fans on AN, a lot of the national baseball media, all have issues with the Wolff/Fischer ownership and yet, here he’s defended as a wise, business first sports owner. It’s okay to be behind the San Jose move and still be critical of ownership, you know.

  88. @Dan – I don’t think there are any guarantees when it comes to the A’s attendance. In 2006, the last time they made the playoffs, attendance was actually down when compared to the previous year – 2.10m vs. 1.98m. You would’ve thought attendance would have spiked in 2007 following their playoff run, but instead total attendance fell another 55K.
    .
    What’s sad about this whole attendance issue is that those who want to see the team stay in Oakland have chosen the wrong course of action. Instead of giving Wolff every reason to stay, they instead have given him every reason to leave. Why not show your support for the team by packing the ballpark? If attendance was good, what reason could Wolff give for wanting to leave? I seriously doubt no amount of bitching and complaining will make Wolff change his mind about Oakland. As it now stands, he sees no good reason to stay in Oakland.

  89. re: it’s funny, the local media, vocal A’s fans at Coliseum, most A’s fans on AN, a lot of the national baseball media, all have issues with the Wolff/Fischer ownership

    …of course the fans and media have issues with Wolff-Fischer. The template is – blame the rich greedy capitalists who are oppressing us, not – blame the public officials the people elected. There’s no victimization in that. latter narrative.

  90. re: As for the player issue, if you start building a winner and open your wallet and fix up the park re: you’ll have your free agents who will want to sign.

    …once again, players don’t want to come to Oakland. And once again, there is no point in the A’s spending large amounts of money to fix up a ballpark owned by somebody else, that everyone is in agreement needs to go…And there’s no guarantee attendance would even go up all that much, given the A’s compete with the best ballpark in the Majors 8 miles away. The A’s were a Top 4 finisher in 2006; they were rewarded with the 26th-highest attendance. The Giants, losing season and all that year, finished way way ahead of the A’s in attendance.

    re: The current home and their home for the foreseeable future.
    …through 2013, anyway. Anybody’s guess what happens after that. With the prospects of a new Oakland ballpark extremely slim, what I would like to see would be for the A’s to play at PacBell Park for two years while their new ballpark gets built in San Jose. Of course, we may need the Wizard of Oz and Santa Claus himself working together to make this scenario happen.

  91. @eb “It’s funny, the local media, vocal A’s fans at Coliseum, most A’s fans on AN, a lot of the national baseball media, all have issues with the Wolff/Fischer ownership and yet, here he’s defended as a wise, business first sports owner. It’s okay to be behind the San Jose move and still be critical of ownership, you know.”
    .
    SOME of the local media, SOME vocal A’s fans at the Coli, and SOME of the national baseball media have issues with ownership. Lots don’t.
    .
    The two reasons A’s ownership is getting some criticism at the moment are: (a) SOME people with long term attachments to the team don’t like the idea of a move for emotional reasons; and (b) the team is not winning right now. But sports is a cyclical business, and virtually all teams have downturns from time to time. Fans of all 30 teams feel their management should field a winner each year, but it’s an impossibility. And they all bitch when things aren’t going well.
    .
    I’m the first to be critical of management when it’s deserved. I’ve been quite critical of Raiders and Warriors ownership over the years. I believe Clay Bennett should not just be reviled by the fans, but should actually be in jail for what he did with the Sonics. But frankly, all the criticisms leveled at A’s ownership (except for emotional arguments relating to the move) are either irrational or unreasonable.

  92. @pjk- The A’s will play in the Coliseum until a new ballpark is ready. I don’t see Alameda County/City of Oakland giving up on hundreds of thousands (millions?) of free money in a contract renewal. If they refuse to come to the table to negotiate, they should be fired by their constituents.
    .
    @eb- pjk is right, it’s much more fashionable and sells more newspapers to be negative about someone or some thing.
    .
    @sid- Your overuse of “scare quotes” is amusing. Also, the more dots you have to connect to get from here to there, the less likely the supposition is correct. I prefer to stick to the simple reason this is taking a long time. Here’s my theory: Selig is waiting for Oakland to finish the VC EIR to complete MLB’s due diligence. If that shows it’s impossible, then SJ is the answer. If VC ends up viable as a location, then MLB mediates between Oakland+Athletics to get it done. I believe Selig was ready to announce SJ over a year ago, but because Oakland finally got interested in keeping the team, Selig has to give them time to make it work. This is simply so Wolff can make a presentation to the owners before they vote to overturn the rights. Selig won’t use the “best interest of baseball” clause if he doesn’t have to. Now, here’s my conspiracy supposition: Why doesn’t Oakland have the draft EIR done yet? Could there be something in there that they don’t want everyone to see until they get it worked out?
    .
    The problem with the signs, as I see it, are that you can read them in many ways.

  93. ” there is no point in the A’s spending large amounts of money to fix up a ballpark owned by somebody else”

    This is where we disagree. Other teams in the EXACT situation that the A’s are in found reasons to spend a modest amount of money to improve and upkeep their then current homes which were publicly owned while they waited for their new parks. Why do the A’s feel that they don’t have to do the same thing that other teams have done? Because they’re cheap?

  94. I used to rent an apartment. I didn’t spend any money to improve the structure since I didn’t own it in the first place. Which teams spend $$ on their old ballparks? The Giants and Nationals, whose futures in their respective cities were secure because new ballparks were under construction? Not so with the A’s. Ever hear the phrase, “putting lipstick on a pig?” Or George Steinbrenner’s comment when asked about the possibility of renovating the old Yankee Stadium again? “I don’t go to dances with old ladies in new dresses.” There is nothing much that can be done with the Coliseum. It needs to be replaced. Why spend millions to improve the faded Coliseum when it’s never going to be competitive with the Giants ballpark 8 miles away?

  95. re: then MLB mediates between Oakland+Athletics to get it done.

    ..at which point, MLB asks Oakland for its level of public contribution for construction of the ballpark. Oakland’s response – $0.00 – would then have MLB throwing in the towel and looking to move the A’s.

  96. @pjk- “..at which point, MLB asks Oakland for its level of public contribution for construction of the ballpark. ”
    Perhaps, but at that point they still can say that they’ve done their due diligence.
    .
    @dan- “Other teams in the EXACT situation that the A’s are in”
    Which teams are these? How many of these teams had a ‘jewel’ of a park a few miles away? No matter how much they fix up the Coliseum, short of an Angels Stadium-like remodel, it will still be the ‘other’ option in the Bay Area.

  97. pjk, The Giants started spending money on Candlestick, years before they had Pac Bell in place. In fact they were further back in the process than the A’s are in San Jose and they still felt it was worthwhile to spend public money on their park despite it being publicly owned and sharing it with the Niners.

  98. Correction, they still spent their private money on their public park despite it being publicly owned.

  99. No cash to do anything (land acquisitions, business relocations, infrastructure improvements, construction financing) = not viable.

  100. @ eb – why do you continue to play the “oakland hater” card, just because someone doesn’t share your same views (especially pertaining to ownership)? And on top of that trying to reach out and correlated it with SJ partisans? /sigh . This “woe is me, i’m an pro-oakland guy” attitude is getting real old, real fast especially when oakland guys haven’t done squat to show feasible plans to stay (plans?financing?hello mcfly! /crickets still chirping away)
    @ dan – sorry, if i’m in a rental house (as i was before), i wouldn’t spend a dime trying to improve it just so someone can take it over and i get nothing out of it. also, likewise as pjk stated, the aforementioned nats and gnats had new homes on the horizon to look forward to. Do the A’s in their present limbo state? please name another team in the exact same situation as the a’s (need a new ballpark, has a new one identified in a new city, can’t move because of tr’s, and present city doesn’t have a plan for a new stadium). interestingly enough, the closest situation we had of such a renovation would be from the raiders….and look at how that turned out, especially now that they’re trying to build a new home while the city foots the bill for their old mt. davis debacle. having said that, now if the a’s get the go ahead on sj or vc for that matter, then i think things will change dramatically altogether. As for the player salaries, i thought i presented to you with concrete data that in the LW regime, they spent more than before, but you are ignoring this and speculating hypothetical what if scenarios all on the basis of a decrepit stadium?! And you would like to put it on his shoulders? Did LW build the Mausoleum? Who won a lawsuit against the city of Oakland again for Mt. Davis? What has Oakland done again to ensure that the A’s get a new home in the past 15+ years? I’m no LW apologistt, but as ML has continually said, the blame goes both ways for a renovation of the coliseum with both sports team and the city to blame.

  101. LS, What does it matter that they have a “jewel” of a park across the bay. They should improve their current situation to keep what few fans they have left if nothing else. And ideally a few touches to fix up the place might actually bring back some of the people that have been lured and/or driven away over the last 10 years that the “jewel” has been open. Because right now the “we’re cheaper” route alone isn’t working. They have to add a few things to the park to make it worthwhile to visit. Put some new scoreboards in, add a small museum on site even if it’s just in a small room, take the damn fences down on the concourse to open it back up a bit, paint some of the exposed concrete to make it a tad more inviting, make sure all the lights are working in the light towers, clean up the parking lot, etc… Little things. Things they honestly should have done already.

  102. …what did the Giants do with Candlestick after the Magowan ownership took over? They put up some aluminum bleachers beyond the outfield fence, spruced up the food court, and, as a joke aimed at the Diamondbacks new ballpark, put a hot tub in the stands. I’ll bet they didn’t spend much on any of this. These kinds of improvements would do nothing for the Coliseum – it needs to be replaced.

  103. @Anon Typical name calling. Almost anytime someone on here bags ownership he/she is jumped on by a predictable few and yet, you are speaking on sharing differing views? Please. A’s fans should be able to express frustration with management on here and you should also have the right to combat those beliefs if you so choose. I just don’t understand the need to insult other posters and name call.
    @pjk The Oakland A’s playing in SF? No thanks, I’ll stick with the Coliseum. That would be a trippy scenario.

  104. @eb – pot calling kettle black….crickets still chirping away. /signed one of those SJ guys. :X
    @dan – attendance has historically trended w/ the filed on the team. even during the haas years when the ballpark wasn’t so bad, attendance tanked after 95 to even levels below of today. i don’t think you can necessarily say firmly that “putting lipstick on a pig” mentality will actually do anything drastic to the attendance itself. now, if you want to call out on other merits including fanfest, then you may have some basis there. all you’re offering at this point is based on pure speculation that actual #’s (player salaries, attendance figures, etc.) don’t support.

  105. Anon, if the A’s are as you say “in a limbo state” then there is even more reason to spend a little on their current home. Because right now it’s their one and only home. And they’re at minimum going to be there well into the latter half of the decade. Why not spend a little now on their “rental.” I mean you use the rental house analogy, fine. You didn’t spend any money on your rental structurally, but I bet you put a better TV in it than the one it didn’t come with. I bet you put up new shower curtains and laid down some throw rugs. I bet you put up pictures and paintings on walls. I bet you even painted a wall or room to your liking for the duration of your stay. I rent too, and I’ve done all of the above to my rental to make it more livable. The A’s should do the same thing. Because for the time being at least the Coliseum is their one and only home.

  106. New scoreboards? Painting? A museum? Throwing good money after bad. Let the city and county, the owners of the stadium, pay for this. And we don’t know if the A’s will be in Oakland after 2013. That’s when their lease runs out and I’m not hearing of any progress on an extension. if Oakland says no lease extension without a commitment long term to Oakland, then, Houston, we have a problem. I don’t know if that is the situation here or not….In my 7 years in my apartment, I spent $0.00 on new rugs, nothing on painting, nothing on plumbing. Why spend my hard-earned money to fix up somebody else’s building? (I did buy a TV, which I took with me when I moved)

  107. @ dan – bad analogy there: yes, i may have spent on a new TV and maybe some curtains, or throw rugs, but i was also able to recoop those costs to my new home when i took them with me. you’re still avoiding my original answers to you regarding your statements about player salaries and attendance. and the problem with your new line of thought is if i was in a place i hated (been there, done that), but couldn’t go where i wanted to for one reason or another, i always had the option to move to another place that may not be as good, but would do for the time being (this is the sid scenario). your line of thinking seems to be that oakland is entitled to the a’s and that they’ll be there forever regardless if the coliseum is run to the ground. i don’t share those views unfortunately, and as i said before a shining example of renovating the coliseum only resulting in a dismal failures is the oakland raiders. i would rather spend the money that has direct correlation to attendance such as players themselves and the recent salary figures of years past has shown LW has tried to do this, albeit unsuccessfully at times (see Beltre).

  108. @Dan- As I said before, I think Selig was almost ready to allow the A’s to move to SJ before Oakland woke up. If Wolff knew this, there would have been no point then in doing any upgrades at that time. Can they still do upgrades? Yes, the scoreboard will be upgraded soon. But I think part of the reasons that many upgrades haven’t been done is because they don’t plan on, or hadn’t planned on, being there much longer.
    The reason AT&T park matters is that everyone is still going to see that as the premier park in the area no matter what upgrades you do to the Coli. You need a major rehaul to change that train of thought.
    Maybe if the A’s owned the place or had a better relationship with Authority things would be easier, but they don’t.

    @pjk- “That’s when their lease runs out and I’m not hearing of any progress on an extension. if Oakland says no lease extension without a commitment long term to Oakland,”
    They may be letting time tick to create more of a pressure situation on the A’s. I don’t doubt that they would pinch them for every penny and may try to use the desire for a longer term contract as a negotiating ploy to get more out of the A’s vs their desire for a short term lease. I highly doubt that no deal is made, and I’ll say it again: If the Authority can’t work out a deal for what is essentially free money, they should be fired.

  109. …If the A’s go to San Jose, there is already a precedent for a team hanging out as a lame duck in its present location for several years. The New Jersey Nets are moving to Brooklyn. But they’ve continued to play several seasons in New Jersey, first at the Meadowlands and then at Prudential Center, despite everyone knowing they would be gone.

  110. “your line of thinking seems to be that oakland is entitled to the a’s and that they’ll be there forever regardless if the coliseum is run to the ground. ”

    Anon, absolutely not. Oakland isn’t entitled to the A’s at all. In fact Oakland has done zippo to keep them and IMO deserves to lose them. But that doesn’t change the fact the team will be playing in the Coliseum for the next 3-5 seasons. Their current lease not withstanding. The simple fact is, there is no where else for them to go in that time span. They’ll be in the Coliseum. They know they’ll be in the Coliseum. Even if San Jose were approved tomorrow the soonest they’d leave is the 2015 season, and odds are it’ll be longer than that to say nothing of if San Jose is denied.

    And you’re right, spending money on this alone won’t solve all the problems. But it’s a start. A modestly nicer Coliseum will be that much more marketable to fans and indeed to players. Will it lure everyone back, no. They’ll need to field a winner in conjunction with some modest improvements to lure fans and players back. It won’t be easy but it’s also possible. The alternative is to leave the team and stadium as is, and basically flounder for the next 3 to ??? years waiting for the SJ or other ballpark to open while fans continue to leave, and players continue to pass the A’s over. Is it fair to ask Lew to pay for all of this, no, but it wasn’t fair of San Fran to ask McGowan to make the same kind of improvements to Candlestick and his team as well while he was trying to build his private ballpark, but he did both anyway because he was a good owner committed to both the short AND long term success of the franchise. If Lew isn’t, then what’s the point of him owning the team right now and what’s the point of people going out to the ballpark now?

  111. re: Oakland isn’t entitled to the A’s at all. In fact Oakland has done zippo to keep them and IMO deserves to lose them.
    …exactly
    re: Coliseum improvements. Lew Wolff already offers the cheapest prices in all of major pro sports in all of North America. He’s got $2 tickets, free parking nights (San Jose Giants A league parking: $10), free hot dog nights and fabulous giveaways, like the recent Kurt Suzuki jerseys. Yet, people still don’t come and would rather pay multitudes more to see the Giants, even when the A’s have a better team. Slapping a new coat of paint on the Coliseum is just driving home the point that the place needs to be replaced. Why throw anymore $$ into it?

  112. @ Dan – glad we agree on the point of oakland entitlement. however, i will disagree with you on how to approach attracting more people. i think lew knows precisely what he is doing even if it is rather low key. if i had x amount of money to spend on attracting people, would i spend it on a facility that i don’t own and that is owned by a city that doesn’t care-want me? No, i would take that money and pass it on to the consumer, especially with my competition charging outrageous amount of money for the same 9 innings of the sport. i would make the venue one of the best values in baseball (as pjk alluded) based on my own criterias. while it may not make you happy for $2 tickets or free parking, it is luring/keeping fans as witnessed by the attendance figures. for the rest of my money, it is proven that winning on the field will attract more people, so the rest of my funds go there with lew hoping to catch lighting in a bottle once in a while (i.e., holiday). thinking of it is as the moneyball of baseball operations. while i would like a better stadium (damn troughs!!!! :X), i certainly won’t pay for the improvements in ticket prices. i would rather take a leak in its present condition if it means prices are affordable and saving that money for the new stadium. that is short term….as for long term, i think lew has already shown his commitment by spending millions on fremont and making it clear if sj is open, he will do whatever it takes to clear the final property parcels. his business decisions are sound. as for other aspects such as fanfest or going after 1 year rentals, i even have to challenge those….

  113. @pjk-just because LW can’t show a profit over these little improvements at the Coil doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. If he was as great a guy as you guys all say he is, he should do a little more than fix “leaks and stuff. ” Just shows what a cheapskate he really is. Him and JF are sitting on a gold mine, collecting welfare checks every year that they don;t always spend on payroll; a team value almost doubling in 5 years, where everyone’s house and 401k are in the dumper the last 5 years. The city/county is broke, like most in the state and nation. The A’s and Raiders aren’t. They should share in some of the expenses, like 70/30 A’s on little cosmetic improvements, even if it’s for the next 4-5years.

  114. @jk aka capt. ahab – who said he was a great guy? why hasnt al done anything, since oakland is tearing down the coliseum for him? and thats kool that you’re blaming him for the recession as well. anything else you want to lump in there? maybe poverty, world hunger, gas prices, wars? /facepalm

  115. Catain Ahab? That’s not nice, dude. Please quit with the name calling. I’ve noticed you’ve been a lot more decent lately and less confrontational, but nothing last forever.

  116. @ jk – sorry, that was inappropriate and leftover from our last dialogue, however it was just to point our your OCD with hating LW.

  117. re: ust because LW can’t show a profit over these little improvements at the Coil doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.
    …then the city and county, which actually own the building, should get on with these improvements. Since when is a tenant on a lease responsible for building improvements? I know you’re still pining for the money-losing, charitable ownership of the Haas’s, but those days are over…I

  118. @pjk–like I stated earlier, everyone’s broke but the uber wealthy. LW and JF fall in that category. They should chip in and do some stuff. Sometimes there’s more to life than stockpiling all your money and having to show a profit on every endeavour. Show a little Haas for these last few years at the Coliseum. Couldn’t be no worse than some of these FA signings that blew up on them the last few years.
    In ML’s interview with LW, LW said that he heard that they’ll be new scoreboards put in soon. Doesn’t sound like he’s involved in that, so it is the city/county ponying up the cash for that? Those tiny, ancient boards are weak. That will be a big improvement for the fan experience. I hope not only better, but they’re bigger too. The signage overwhelms them.

  119. Why don’t Wolff and Fischer be more like the charitable Haas owners and say, let fans in for $2 on some nights? Offer free parking sometimes? Free hot dogs? Why not, say, $38 to sit behind the dugout when it costs $150 for a similar seat for the Giants? Why don’t they have giveaways of bobbleheads, jerseys, T shirts, calendars? After all, they’re filthy rich and can afford it, right? Oh – wait a second. They’re already doing everything I just mentioned. Nevermind.

  120. Why don’t Wolff and Fisher open up their wallets and try to land free agents like Adrian Belted!? For crying out loud!

  121. Meant Beltre, not belted.

  122. From SuSlu and the Chron:

    “With Cubs owner Tom Ricketts in San Francisco this week, and Chicago looking for a general manager, there was rumbling that perhaps he’d meet with A’s GM Billy Beane while in town. A’s owner Lew Wolff said no teams have called about Beane, but Wolff reiterated that he’d allow Beane to pursue other opportunities if they arise. Beane was unavailable for comment.”

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/31/SPVB1KUG0O.DTL#ixzz1Wkiav7uH

  123. in a logical world, bb potential jumping ship would only add fuel to the fire for building a new ballpark in SJ–he’s made it clear that the A’s need to relocate to be competitive—but I digress—forgot that bs has no logic…or balls…yet

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