I’m not sure if I ever explained this before, so forgive me if I’m being repetitive. When I set about moving this blog from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress installation, I looked far and wide for a unique, succinct domain name. The obvious choice, newballpark.com, was already registered to MLB. The reason? It was purchased well over a decade ago by the Red Sox, who at the time were run by John Harrington. Harrington was in the throes of a campaign to replace Fenway Park with a newer, more modern version of the yard next door. After the Montreal Expos were contracted and reborn as the Washington Nationals, Harrington and the Yawkey Trust were out and John Henry, who had until then owned the Florida Marlins, took over the Sox. Henry chose to renovate instead of replace Fenway, and the rest is history. Ironically, the domain newballpark.com remains with the Sox despite the 180-degree turn. I could have chosen newballpark.net (which is available to my knowledge) or newballpark.org. Since I wanted to run the blog as a clearly non-commercial entity, I chose the latter. And here we are. So it’s with some amusement that I found out that the A’s changed their official Twitter feed from @OaklandAs to @Athletics. Immediately there was some worry that this was yet another slight of Oakland, and that the change was an indicator that they were out the door. Athletics After Dark‘s Dale Tafoya got the word from straight from the A’s.
It makes sense. The A’s were always going to be in this awkward situation regarding naming, especially on social media. Should they use OaklandAs, OaklandAthletics, Athletics, or OaklandAs? Isn’t “Athletics” synonymous with what Americans call “track and field?” Not having the apostrophe available on Twitter might lead to misinterpretation. In the end, when A’s fans posted on Twitter, they customarily used the hashtag #Athletics, so naturally the team might want to pursue the name. The baseball Giants weren’t first to claim either the domain name or Twitter account named “Giants” with both going to the New York Football Giants instead. The domain name athletics.com belongs to Selliquest, a purveyor of web-based sales and marketing tools for the pharmaceutical industry. The product in question is called Net Athletics, though the second word is emphasized. Selliquest owns both athletics.com and netathletics.com. Would they be willing to part with athletics.com for the right price? If it goes according to form, the company will probably ask too much for the domain if the A’s come calling. One more thing: #FIREGERENNOW