In light of the big redevelopment news, it might be easy to forget that there was plenty of other news from earlier in the week. Susan Slusser’s article featuring Peter Magowan had a poll attached. Normally I don’t bother with polls (notice how there haven’t been any on this site for a long time). In this case the poll had over 2,000 respondents, plus the question and responses were well-phrased, so I’ve been following the results (it’s still up if you haven’t voted).
The three camps are pretty well delineated: the pragmatists/realists, the Giants-only crowd, and Oakland holdouts. At this point, the pragmatists hold a sizable lead over everyone else, albeit a plurality, not a majority. The holdouts are in the Quan position, though there’s no instant runoff here. And the SF-only voters simply need to have some sense knocked into them because they’re greedy dickheads.
Sure, there are a lot of people in the leading group who are not actually pragmatic, they’re really pro-San Jose. Many are longtime A’s fans, many are not. I can tell you that most of the people I correspond with are silent majority types – they are overly vocal or passionate about either San Jose or Oakland. They just want this whole ordeal sorted out so they can get back to cheering on the green and gold. The real danger is in losing a large percentage of these fans to apathy or disgust. At Mayor Quan’s press conference, Doug Boxer told me that among the parties working to move or keep the team, there is no one with clean hands, which is absolutely correct. It’s all this out-in-the-open maneuvering – done by A’s ownership, Giants ownership, and the cities – that is chipping away at the fanbase.
Do the owners of either team care? Obviously not, as ends justify means here for whomever wins. The cities? Sure, insofar as they’re buddying up with business and civic leaders, not so much citizens. I’ve mentioned before that the Athletics-Oakland saga is akin to a divorce, so it was going to get messy. Signs are pointing to some kind of resolution soon. After that, the big issue will be dealing with the mess all of this has created. It may take an entire generation to wash the stink out of this.
I don’t have children, but a lot of the regulars here have multiple kids that they’re raising as A’s fans. I want there to be an A’s in the Bay Area for those kids as much as for myself. That’s why I keep doing this. Compared to everything else that’s happening in the world it’s beyond trivial, I know. The A’s are still a big part of the community, and of my life. Hopefully 2012 will mark an end to the politics, one way or another. Here’s to hope. Catch you next year.