A Tale of Two Cities

I am personally very tired of reading hackneyed, reactionary articles that have myopic views of reality. I just read one that takes the cake.

It seems the Bay Area media is all in a tizzy about our Green and Gold Heroes. They don’t want to win, you see. That is the problem! They won’t sign high dollar free agents (not that they didn’t pursue any, but the reason those folks didn’t come is because Lew Wolff doesn’t want to win… not a substandard stadium or more money from the Cardinals and Rangers). They tarped off a “popular” section of the stadium (I thought popular meant a lot of people like them a whole lot and thus they are full on a regular basis) to drive fans away. If only Lew Wolff was as magnanimous as Peter MacGowan, people would be showing up in droves to watch the A’s. And best of all, look at the Tampa Bay Rays, they have built a perennial contender on a small budget. It’s doable if only you want to do it, or so the meme goes.

Upon further examination, that last part of the meme should be “Look how the Rays are replicating what the A’s did earlier in the decade, almost.”

Wait, what? The Rays are everything the A’s aren’t. This is true, currently. The Rays are a small market team that has to compete with the biggest of big spenders every year, and they have managed to make the playoffs 3 of the last 4 seasons. But let’s remember that the Rays are following the A’s playbook.

The Rays, an abject failure of a franchise for their entire existence until 4 years ago, have had the benefit of drafting in the top ten every year from 1999 through 2007. During that time they drafted such notables as Josh Hamilton, Rocco Baldelli, BJ Upton, Delmon Young, Evan Longoria and David Price (and less notables Dawon Brazleton, Jeff Niemann and Wade Townsend).

Prior to the A’s most recent run of success (I like to think it started with playoff contention in 1999 and ended in 2006) the A’s drafted in the top ten 5 out 6 seasons. With those picks they got Ben Grieve, Eric Chavez, Mark Mulder and the good version of Barry Zito (and they passed on Todd Helton to take Ariel Prieto).

In other words, key components of both teams most recent successful seasons came through the draft. Or to paraphrase Billy Beane  in his recent Athletics Nation interview, the core has to come from the farm system. How do you get a stocked farm system? Losing a lot for a decade doesn’t hurt, apparently.

I have a ton of respect for the Tampa Bay Rays. The organization has done an excellent job of drafting and developing, but can we please get real? The Rays have been to the playoffs 3 times in their entire history and were perennial losers for their first decade of existence. This past off season they lost Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. It isn’t that far off before David Price goes the way of Mark Mulder. The writing is on the wall.

That is not to say that I am expecting, or rooting, for a monumental collapse by the Rays. It is to say that the hardest part is about to hit. The replacing Jason Giambi with Scott Hatteberg part. The taking a flier on Frank Thomas and hoping against hope that he goes bonkers part. The “Do I keep Miggy or Chavvy?” part. Ask us about this stuff Rays fans, we know.

We know that you can only replace an aging DH with another aging DH so many times before Mike Piazza isn’t Frank Thomas. We know sometimes you go Chavvy when you should have gone Miggy. We know that for every Mark Mulder that nets you Daric Barton, Dan Haren and Kiko Calero there is a Tim Hudson that nets you Charles Thomas, Juan Cruz and Dan Meyer. We know that once you stop having top ten draft picks your minor league system only gets you so far and you have to start robbing Peter to pay Paul in one way or another.

That’s the rub. The minor league system is what gives smaller market teams a chance. When it begins to pay off, there are two questions that you can ask to know how wide the window of contention is: 1. How long can you keep these guys together? 2. Are we better off trading them some time before they hit free agency or taking draft picks when they sign with the Yankees?

My guess is that when all is said and done, the Rays won’t match the A’s 8 year (1999-2006) run of contention. But my guess isn’t really that important, the “Do we trade Carl Crawford or take draft picks?” part is in the past and the “Do we trade BJ Upton or take draft picks?” part is just around the corner.

How long until the return of the top ten draft pick part? Only time will tell.

70 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Cities

  1. Time for both Dickey and Newhouse to give it up– why doesn’t Dickey ask Billy Beane if the current ownership group wants to win? Nice summary Jeffrey- and those guys do this full- time…hard to believe

  2. OUTSTANDING! Let’s all be thankful for this blog, RM and Jeffrey! A true alternative to the horrid traditional Bay Area media.

  3. Most Bay Area writers do not want the A’s to move to San Jose – under any circumstances. So they regularly complain about Wolff. Their solution on getting a new ballpark in Oakland in the absence of corporate and public dollars? The usual “John Fischer is rich…” plan, of course. They want to not only tell Wolf/Fischer to build their own stadium but they want to tell them where they have to build it, too. OK

  4. It’s one thing to not want to win, but to do so while convincing experts that you are a contender is quite a feat.

  5. @gojohn10–i was surprised on how many “experts” thought we’d be in the hunt this year. I figured we’d be at .500 like last year, maybe a little better, but would be behind Texas all year. I got the Texas part right.

  6. I get it … if you don’t think Wolff’s SJ is plan is legit or possible – you’re a “terrible” journalist.

    Keep drinking that kool-aid fellas ….

    Let’s Go O-A-K-L-A-N-D Athletics!

  7. @David–and the Mercury’s Mark Purdy, SJ’s biggest booster and a LW apologist, deserves a Pulitzer to some on here (TonyD)…lmao.

  8. @David- why don’t you comment on the merits of the column rather than some silly ass reply–gojohn10 shows how the A’s were picked by some to win their division–certainly fly’s in the face of what Dickey wrote–Jeffrey outlines the importance of the farm system and how it is cyclical based upon draft order…to support his premise that the Rays will follow the same path as the A’s have—once again flying in the face of Dickey’s assertion that LW doesn’t want to win—provide some substance man–what do you have that shows LW doesn’t want to win?

  9. @David, as usual, I don’t think you do. It isn’t so much about the legitimacy of the SJ ballpark plan that was the point of this post. It’s poor (or lazy) journalism to make arguments that the A’s aren’t doing what the Rays are (even though the A’s set the blueprint for their current model of operation and the Rays are reaping the success of a farm system built off sucking for 10yrs – - one in which the first players are beginning to hit FA, lets see how Tampa manages that) and that the feasibility of the Oakland plan can be based on “Fisher is rich”. You’ve read this blog long enough to see the challenges for a ballpark in SJ and/or Oakland, what SJ has done so far and what Oakland still has to do (and hopefully can do – - though time is running short). It’s incredibly lazy for writers to continue making the same argument over & over for Oakland (ie Newhouse keeps arguing for building at the Coli even though MLB isn’t interested in building there) and ignoring all the work that has failed to have been done.

  10. Dickey is full of it.
    .
    So is Newhouse.
    .
    However so is Mark Purdy, who much like the above two has been writing the same nonsense and dribble for the past few years as well.
    .
    Lets keep things objective here fellas.

  11. I get it. If you don’t see Wolff’s logic then you are a junior-journalist.

  12. @D Jr. – Newhouse writes once a week. He probably has written about the A’s three or four times out of the last fifty-two weeks. How is that “writing the same nonsense and dribble for the last few years …”?

  13. @David–you are correct on Newhouse. He hardly writes about sports anymore like he use to. He has a good neighbor column every week about people/businesses in Oakland and the eastbay.
    He’s an east bay institution and has been with the Trib for almost 50 years, had a regular sports column for years, and had his own talk show in the mid 80′s on KNBR before the Razor bumped him out of his slot, because he wasn’t controversial enough and didn’t have that “edge”.

  14. David, this post has nothing to do with any stadium plan. Not sure where you get that it does (I didn’t even mention either).
    .
    The point is that you can’t praise Tampa Bay for building a winner in the same method that the A’s have in the past and then say that Tampa Bay is proof the A’s don’t want to win. Tampa Bay is proof that the A’s are right to have been focusing on replenishing their minke league system.
    .
    I also encourage you to read what Newhouse has written about the A’s over the last two years. The talking points have been the same each time and it has always been horrifically one sided and unbalanced.
    .
    Glenn Dickey’s MO has always been to spout half thought out garbage in attempt together a rise out of people. Oh, and he has repeatedly written about how great Peter MacGowan is. He is like Neil Young’s one note solo in “Cinnamon Girl” only way less cool.

  15. Typos courtesy of my iPhone

  16. Sorry Jeffery, but this post is also a bit myopic; the A’s have made some fairly poor decisions over the last few seasons and the fact that being able to sweep all problems under the “we need a new stadium” rug is completely dishonest. Did the new stadium force them to trade Carlos Gonzalez AND Huston Street for a guaranteed FA in Matt Holliday, or to trade and re-trade Scott Hairston which cost the A’s far more at the final tally, or to not sign Willingham for multiple years at a reasonable rate once they traded for him, or to have traded for an injured DeJesus who played for years in a great hitter’s park and in obscurity? That’s not even touching the draft or player development aspect which could only produce one above-average everyday player in Jemile Weeks because he’s of star-level talent.
    Yes the A’s can’t compete dollar-for-dollar with other teams but what they do spend their money on, they have gotten poor results. There has been only one recent issue that Beane admits mistake on and it’s considering a team more competitive than they could have been.

  17. Where did I say that the A’s only problem was the stadium again?

  18. …the A’s still finished with a better record than 10 teams with new or renovated stadiums. Where might we be if we had a new yard and Adrian Beltre had signed with us?

  19. First off, apologies for typing your name wrong, should have double checked that.
    I’m not saying you are explicitly saying the A’s only problem is the stadium but that the A’s use the argument all of the time to explain why they’ve been non-competitive. So when you write about how the A’s tried to sign free agents but they wouldn’t take their money or that “The minor league system is what gives smaller market teams a chance,” it feeds into that narrative of the A’s being able to absolve themselves because they need a new stadium.

  20. No it doesn’t. The minor league system is important for teams with new stadiums too, and even small market teams with new stadiums have to rely on the minor league system to fill out the bulk of their roster. They certainly aren’t going to go out and sign Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzales at the same time.
    .
    It isn’t just that the free agents wouldn’t take their money, it is that other teams in better revenue positions offered more. That is fixable by a new stadium.
    .
    You are right, the Holliday thing was craptastic. It was a bet (along with the return of Giambi) that was ill advised, especially considering that the team’s rotation was going to have two 21 year olds who never pitched above AA. But, they placed that bet thinking that a bit more offense would allow them to compete in the division. I probably wouldn’t have placed that bet.
    .
    Ironically, that seems to be the kind of move Dickey is indicating the A’s need to make to show they are “trying to win.”

    • The minor league system and the new stadium talk go hand-in-hand in that the explanation for why they can’t develop players is that they can’t afford to acquire talent at the same level as Texas does not that they haven’t done a good enough job developing the talent that they are able to draft, sign, or acquire in trades. A Michael Taylor-type of situation is not the fault of too few resources.
      .
      But in a few cases, one of which immediately comes to mind in Berkman, the A’s offered more years at the same AAV as the Cardinals and they got turned down. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have tried to sign Willingham in April or May as opposed to saying that the best decision could be made in the off-season. A 7-8 million AAV contract over 3 years would not have crippled the team’s ability to compete in the future.
      .
      I’m just tired of everything that’s gone wrong having some tangential connection to the stadium issue whereas if they did have the revenue, the questions would lie with the decisions themselves.
      .(Nice move with this BTW, should have picked up on the dot usage a while ago)

  21. PS- no worries on name spellings, the “rey” part of my name has been spelled in several ways by many people “ery”, “erey” and “ry.”
    .
    It ain’t no thang.
    .

  22. I am with you, mostly. Like I point out above “Do we keep Chavvy or Miggy?” type questions are indications that window be closing… It closes even faster when you choose Chavvy, Bobby Crosby flames out and Miggy crushes in Baltimore. Bad decisions are clearly a part of the problem.

  23. I was for keeping Miggy, a total gamer, over Chavvy, and he really loved being an Oakland A. Too bad they couldn’t of hung on to both of them all those years. They complain about FA’s not wanting to come here but they could of locked up those two studs but chose only one.

  24. Chavez was a good-hitting Gold Glove 3rd baseman. Meanwhile, the A’s had a replacement in the wings for Tejada (why I can’t remember his name, I don’t know.) Beane made the right decision based on the available information. Who knew Chavez was going to fall apart after he got that big contract and be injured all the time?

  25. @Jeffrey – I never used the word ‘stadium’. I was just addressing the lack of respect for some of the Bay Area’s, best sports-journalists.
    .
    What’s on your (music) playlist today?

  26. @pjk–it was Bobby Crosby, who had a great first year when Miggy left and was ROY in 2004. Injuries got to him too and he flamed out and is out of baseball now.

  27. keep in mind, miggy was supposedly on roids and/or hgh as well. chavy was the safe bet. its just too bad that crosbo never saw a slider he didn’t like to whiff at. also, associating bad baseball with the stadium is really shallow to support your hatred of ownership. didn’t we trade our prized prospect (eithier) for bradley just to make a run at the pennant? didn’t ownership sign off on the holliday trade ballooning it close to $80 million after the alcs run in 2006? /facepalm. how quickly we all forget 5 years ago….

  28. The fact of the matter is, in every MLB season roughly 4860 wins and 4860 losses will be distributed among 30 teams. This means that no matter how smart their baseball people are, even if every single team had a genius GM, almost half of all MLB teams will have losing records in any given year.

    For small market teams like the A’s especially, winning is cyclical. Unless you have above-average resources like the Yankees, chances are you’re going to go through winning cycles and losing cycles periodically.

    And no one’s crystal ball is perfect. The fact that some of BB’s recent decisions didn’t pan out doesn’t mean he’s not a terrific GM.

    In other words, the fact that the A’s are currently in a down cycle is indicative of virtually nothing (though it remains true they would endure fewer of them if they had a new yard and more resources to tilt the odds in their favor).

    (Whew, glad I was able to get that out. After David’s calling Dickey and Newhouse “some of the Bay Area’s best sports journalists, I thought I might not stop vomiting long enough to type.)

  29. I love Oakland. I love the A’s in Oakland and want them to stay. However, Glen Dickey has always been a blowhard. Other than Bruce Jenkins, he has to be the most overrated sports columnist in the Bay. Almost all of his articles are based on trying to get a rise out of fans and they’re usually always devoid of any deep thought. Also, Lew Wolff sucks! (Sorry, had to throw that in. I can’t be seen agreeing with the pro-San Jose faction too much) ;)

  30. David, I stood up for Dave Newhouse last week ;) respect is something everyone earns and clearly Newhouse and (to a lessor extent) Dickey have put in the time to deserve respect. That said, I really was laughing out loud at Glenn Dickey’s take on the Rays v. A’s thing. But that’s his thing, he tries to write outlandish stuff to piss people off. I believe the term is “muckraker.”
    .
    Today I have been in an Outkast kind of mood. How bout you?

  31. @bartleby–just a slight correction, but shouldn’t it be 2430 wins and 2430 losses? A total of 2430 games are played each year (162X 15 games a day on averge); one win and one loss per game, or 2430 each.
    If you distributed 4860 wins and 4860 losses, each team would average a 162-162 record!!

  32. Anon, not sure what you’re trying to prove with those points. The A’s couldn’t sign Miggy because of roids but they offer Giambi 100 million? “Too bad Crosby never saw a slider he didn’t like to whiff at” apparently has no bearing on the A’s having seen this throughout his development. They traded a prized prospect for a guy who could force a team to DFA him at a drop of the hat. Ownership bumping up the payroll for a player they stated from the outset they could not retain. These are supposed to be good moves?
    .
    I like the fact that Ownership did bump up the payroll in 2007 and 2009 but if they were making better decisions the past three seasons, they would have been able to bump the payroll at the same level in order to field a winning team. That’s the problem I have because then you get more comments like “The fact the A’s are currently in a down cycle is indicative of virtually nothing” when those comments neglect
    “little problems” like having a net-loss in prospects with the Scott Hairston trade and re-trade because the A’s couldn’t identify where they needed help.

  33. Bad moves have contributed to the poor attendance. Its undeniable.

    @Jeffrey – The new Opeth and Mastadon albums are stuck in my shuffle.

  34. @David–and the one foot out the door since LW bought the team and bashing the Coli among other things hasn’t helped attendance either.

  35. Mastodon is killing it on that record.

  36. @David–so nobody disputes that a winning team puts more butts in the seats and nobody disputes that there have been some bad moves (hindsight is 20/20)–I’m sure BB wishes he could have done a few things different–so how do bad/unfortunate moves prove that LW doesn’t want to win—that was the claim of dickey—which you support—which was refuted by Jeffrey in his post—you still haven’t answered this question

  37. Bad decisions suck. The most important thing is to look forward and push for something better. I like the Wallace for Taylor trade, I think in the long run the A’s got the better all around player. I have a feeling this offseason will be full of decisions.
    .
    The thing is that we won’t know until sometime in the future of those decisions are good or bad. Like the Chavvy v Miggy decision, what seems like the right choice at the time can look foolish a short time later. I mean, you have Bobby Crosby playing well in AAA, Chavez has moved into elite company with three straight excellent years and only 25, you know you can’t sign both he and Tejada… And then Chavez has injury trouble and Crosby sucks it up.
    .
    As Steve Jobs said in his 2005 you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect the dots looking back. You have to do the best you can an have faith that it will work out.

  38. *2005 Stanford commencement speech

  39. @GoA’s – supporting a good journalist, in theory, doesn’t mean i support every word he types. We can all agree, to disagree. The adjectives used to describe Newhouse and Dickey, by many on this site … is way off the mark, inmho.

  40. @ Genaro – Please read the whole thread before trying to make your own point. The original argument was that the present A’s management hasn’t done anything to want to compete, unlike the supposed TB Rays and devolved into discussion of past decsisions. Like other have said before, Crosby was pushing Miggy, so there was an alternative to replace him. Not so much with Giambi, hence they had to accumulate the parts to make the whole, as they say in Moneyball. And if you’re critiquing Bobby now about his development, I’m sure you said the same exact thing during his ROY campaign, right? /rolleyes. And you would also take away Bradley’s prized bat throughout the 2006 ALDS campaign at the time? And going all in for 2007 is a bad thing too right, especially when pro-Oaklanders are blaming he doesn’t (which is it? make up your minds). Really?!! Hindsight is 50/50. As pjk and jeffery points out, unless revenues grows substantially, then little mistakes like these will amplify with a small market team in the long run. And unfortunately, that won’t happen in Oakland with the passive support and anemic government.

  41. …Newhouse and Dickey spew utter nonsense (Newhouse called San Jose “Prune City” a couple years ago) and seem to have a surprising lack of information about the subjects they write about. They’ve got their story (No A’s to San Jose ever – under any circumstances ever) and they’re sticking to it. But they have no workable solutions for getting a ballpark done in Oakland, though, outside of urging flat-out charity by the owners.

  42. @David–my apologies than–appreciate you clearing it up that you don’t agree with his notion that LW doesn’t want to win—you just took offense to his reputation as a journalist being attacked—just suprises me–most journalists would reach out and engage those they are writing about—suprised at minimum he didn’t take his premise to BB and ask him if he thought LW wanted to win–me thinks that BB wouldn’t stay with an organization that wasn’t serious about winning–

  43. au contraire, mon fraire …. Lew does want to win, but if losing and pretending he can’t compete in Oakland, somehow gets him to SJ … then yes, i think he would put that quest ahead of winning, right now.

  44. @David–we’ve all been waiting for you or another pro-Oakland invdividual to identify the available revenue streams in Oakland to build the park and make sure there is enough left over to put a competitive team on the field–so until you can show numbers on paper you can’t claim that LW is “pretending” he can’t compete in Oakland—-there’s a reason that he gets a $30M welfare check and its not from pretending–

  45. @GoA’s – don’t hold your breath dude. I am not a builder of huge concrete structures. I’m a fan. If I did have that sort of information – i would find Boxer or Quan and deliver it to them. Also, I don’t have to be a real estate mogul or a developer to have an opinion of Wolff. I can claim whatever i truly believe!

  46. “And unfortunately, that won’t happen in Oakland with the passive support and anemic government.” Anemic government (awaits answers from Quan)…check. Passive support (looks at the “opinions”)…check.

  47. @David–won’t hold my breath but find it amazing that you can state so much “opinion” when you haven’t invested the time to figure out the facts…kinda like what dickey and newhouse do–but they are “professionals” so that is inexcusable–

  48. anyone who posts on this a full out geek for then Oakland A’s! Not passive at all.

  49. Crosby could have been put at third base if the A’s had felt that was the area of pressing need but they made the Chavez decision long before 2003. And your point included the roids aspect yet that aspect was also there with Giambi and they offered him a ton. With respect to Crosby’s development, it was what they did after that ROY season that is on the team as they botched several injury diagnoses in addition to letting him fall off a cliff after the 2005 season, specifically when they rushed him back in Sept.
    .
    I was against the Bradley trade because at the time the Dodgers were forced to unload him as he just had the water bottle incident in LA that September. The original offer was Saarloos and Mario Ramos yet got bumped up to Ethier to get the deal done. The small market team took an incredibly risky short-term gain and that’s supposed to be a good move?
    .
    Again, I don’t get what you’re saying with this going all-in stuff, I never said it was bad in 2007, just that the A’s went about their 2009 “going for it” in a bad way by trading two top players for a guaranteed rental, something that a small market team can’t afford to do.
    .
    These aren’t little mistakes, that was being facetious as they were substantial mistakes but get glossed over because the overriding issue is the stadium issue. I come from it at the angle of wanting the A’s to do well, not that they need to stay in the Coliseum.
    .
    Jeffrey, I agree that there’s a bit of hindsight looking in these things but would it be unfair to say that Chavez had an injury history as well? If you remember, he had plantar fasciitis his first season and he had some back issues around 2001 or 2002, I forget which exactly. One would have to consider that in a comparison to then non-existent history of Tejada. Plus there’s information that we aren’t privy to like the difference in demeanor and whether a player can handle the burden of being “the” guy of a franchise. Chavvy has already said that he couldn’t handle it and you have to wonder if that was even a consideration at the time they made their decision.

  50. @ genaro – again, hindsight is 50/50. you can continue to deliberate past decisions as if the opposite decision was easy to make. was letting mulder and zito go a genius move on their part as well? how did they know when to pick up thomas yet not sign him the following year? i’m not glossing over the issue based on the coliseum, but rather from a perspective that i don’t pretend to know all the compelling reasons that would affect beane to make those decisions and think that i could of done better. but i do think it’s stupid to blame the a’s management in not attempting to win as Dickey postulates. if the a’s had the budget of say the giants or angels, do you think those decisions would affect them as much? could they afford to blow millions on pitchers like vazquez to not perform and not bat an eye? as i said, these issues are probably minor to top revenue generating clubs, but is amplified by the fact the a’s are a small market team.
    @ david – swing and miss by another oaklander trying to bat against that ol’ “what should we do to stay in Oakland?” pitch…..

  51. Here is what I have noticed is the big difference with the A’s since 2007 vs. the 1999-2006 years that no one seems to mention….Injuries.

    The A’s were a healthy team most of the time during the 1999-2006 years. In the past few years they have had to use the DL so many times they have broken their own team records over and over.

    Like any sport you need “health” to win. You cannot expect the A’s to win when 1/3 of the team is on the DL at any given time.

    Look at this year….Ellis, Anderson, Braden, Wuertz, Bailey, McCarthy, Ross, Willingham, Balfour, all spend time on the DL this year. That is actually less than in past 3 years.

    Tampa Bay on the other hand has had good health in the AL East with good talent hence they win. The A’s have had no such like the past 3-4 years.

    You cannot blame Beane or Wolff for the team succumbing to injuries. That is something people overlook a lot….Ask the Giants this year about injuries, spoiled their repeat campaign.

    @jk-usa- Your “one foot out the door” argument is flawed. The 49ers have had “one foot out the door” in SF since 2006 and yet still sellout in the dump known as Candlestick. The A’s as Jeffrey has pointed out have passed the median in attendance 7 times in 44 years….15 playoff appearances for 7 times?? Shows regardless of the owner the team does not get fans period in the East Bay.

    I emailed Newhouse and pjk is right he expects Fisher and Wolff to “pay for it themselves”. When I questioned him on how they would sell premium seating with the Giants so nearby he of course did not respond.

  52. re: emailed Newhouse and pjk is right he expects Fisher and Wolff to “pay for it themselves”.

    …Y.es, pay for it themselves and if Wolff/Fischer go bankrupt doing it, that’s there problem. Not Oakland’s, or Newhouse’s or Dickey’s. Oakland keeps “its” team and Wolf/Fischer bear all the massive risk.

  53. their problem, not there problem.

  54. Anon, you keep saying it’s hindsight but the reasons I gave as to how those conclusions were made is with the information that was there “at the time.”
    Ask Bill Neukom or Tony Reagins if they could spend on bad contracts and not have ownership “bat an eye.”

  55. the niners don’t sellout the Stick … they buy up all the unsold tickets, so the home games can be broadcasted locally.

  56. …I’ll bet the 49ers sell 90%+ of their tickets, much better than the 40% or so that the A’s sell…This seems to be the equation: 49ers moving 30 miles south = no big deal; A’s moving 30 miles south = absolute horror!

  57. @David–than you should be pissed that Uncle Al doesn’t do the same thing…guess he doesn’t want to win

  58. @pjk The 49ers aren’t going to change their name to Santa Clara 49ers, the Oakland A’s would change to San Jose. How would you feel if the Sharks moved to SF and ditched the San Jose moniker? As a proud Oaklander born and bred, it makes a difference to me. Baseball is also more dynamic to it’s surrounding area due to the number of games, football is a different and doesn’t impact the urban core as much.
    @GoA’s Are you really suggesting Jed wants to win more than Al? Wow. Slam him all you want, there’s been good reason, but he spends money getting players here. Buying excess tickets has nothing to with wanting to win, it’s a PR thing. The 49er “sellout” myth has been a long standing tradition.

  59. @pjk – FWIW, I married into a family of niner-fanatics (I’m a Raider fan, so it sucked). On top of that I succumbed to the wife’s pressure to live near her parents so I have been on the Peninsula for awhile now. As such, over the past 7 years I met the most ardent of niner supporters. Without question, 100% of those I encountered hated the fact that the team has been wanting to move south. On top of that, my father-in-law, the wife’s uncles, cousins, friends, etc., all season ticket holders since the 80′s, have vowed to cancel their tickets should they move. They still attend games from time-to-time now but not like they used to. The caveat here is that this is my own personal experience. It might be that there are hordes of other ardent fans who could care less and would gladly drive down to SC. I just thought I’d make this observation. One other thing… The season ticket holders I’ve encountered sell many of their game tickets on the cheap quite often to whomever is willing to buy them, many times on gameday. Perhaps these near “sellouts” and the well-known decline of fan ahem “quality” over the past few years have something to do with cheap tickets floating around nowadays. Perhaps it’s not so much the ardent supporters attending games anymore. Again, just a personal observation that is admittedly limited in the grand scheme of things.

  60. @eb–it was tongue in check as you pro-oakland guys like to take every extraneous item and come back and try to correlate it to poor ownership—the latest rant was LW doesn’t want to win—maybe Al should tarp some seats off so he has less to sell and than he can get his games put on local tv on a more regular basis–

  61. If San Jose’s elected politicians were as dismissive of the Sharks as Oakland’s have been of the A’s (We don’t need to rehash everything again), I wouldn’t like, but would certainly understand why the Sharks might want to leave….FWIW, as I’ve said, nothing changes except the ballpark location and the city name in the standings and on the away jerseys. Not even the A’s cap would change…

  62. @Columbo–the ’9ers must be really worried about all those fans cancelling season tix—this morning on KCBS they reported that they plan on beginning site preparation work for the new stadium in Santa Clara earlier than expected–I work in Palo Alto–and I have yet to encounter anyone here who is opposed to the ’9er stadium in Santa Clara—amazing how we operate in the same general area and yet your experience is so different than my own–

  63. @GoA’s *sigh* “You pro-Oakland guys” You do realize there are a huge number of A’s fans who are “pro-Oakland,” right? Not all of which act or think in generalizations in which some on here like to apply to them.
    As for your joke, call it a “whoosh” moment on my part.

  64. @pjk I think that a lot more changes than just the away jersey, pjk. I guess we just disagree.

  65. @eb–and you realize there are a huge number of A’s fans who are pro- A’s and wanting them to get into a new ballpark asap–and therefore by extension, support them moving to SJ–

  66. @GoA’s My point, GoA’s, was that your statement was generalizing a large number of people.

  67. @GoA’s – #1) That’s why I threw in the caveat that this was personal observation and it didn’t necessarily apply to everyone, #2) Isn’t Palo Alto in SCL County, i.e. closer to SV? I’m on the northern side of the peninsula, closer to SF. That doesn’t surprise me that your experience of zero resistance to a niner move would be found in such a location.

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