Wolff talks with Shea, on with The Rise Guys Friday morning

Update 10:57 AM – Link to the archived interview here. MP3 download here.

Prior to FanFest, Lew Wolff is making the media rounds again. Friday’s Chronicle has decent length discussion between Wolff and John Shea about both on-field and off-field issues. There isn’t anything new on the business side other than Wolff’s admission that the team actually made $370,000 post-revenue sharing in 2011 thanks to the World Series going seven games. Wolff can thank fellow St. Louis-area native David Freese for that.

Wolff’s scheduled one-on-ones with fans are going to be interesting. I see why he’s doing this, but I don’t expect much to come of it. Maybe if he convinces a few fans regarding the earnestness of his effort it’ll be worth it. It just seems like people on one side or another have such ingrained opinions that it’s a futile task.

Later this morning, Wolff will be on The Game with The Rise Guys at 9:15, probably talking about FanFest, Johnny Gomes, Bartolo Colon, and maybe Manny Ramirez.


Quick note about FanFest – I expect to be there at 9. Jeffrey should be there around 11. I will be tweeting throughout, so pay attention to the @newballpark feed for updates from FanFest.

37 thoughts on “Wolff talks with Shea, on with The Rise Guys Friday morning

  1. Im so sad I won’t be in CA for this, but thanks @ML for doing your thing. I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the Wolff meetings. Its smart for him to try to put himself out there and to have frank discussions with fans. Doubt many minds will be changed, but its something. I think we aren’t going to hear much on the TR issue until some outline of a deal is agreed upon and will be leaked. It will probably be out of the blue. Finally got the 95.7 app on my iPhone, great to hear Chris Townsend, RT and yes on occasion Greg Papa.

  2. “Do you think you will have a hard time getting approval for a move to San Jose?”

  3. Just listened to the Wolff interview on The Rise Guys. Here are some thoughts:
    1. Wolff comes off as a very reasonable, likeable guy.
    2. Wolff shows quite clearly that he has been working on this for a very long time, and he thoroughly explored all East Bay possibilities.
    3. Wolff comes off as having a ridiculous amount of patience.
    4. Wolff is very very diplomatic towards the Giants, but in the process of explaining the facts, the Giants come of as selfish, unreasonable, greedy, spoiled brats that are putting themselves ahead of the good of baseball. And Wolff doesn’t even hint at any of that, again he’s very diplomatic. The facts show it.
    5. Anyone listening in on the Wolff interview on the Rise Guys, including people who don’t care about the A’s, would come to this conclusion about the Giants.
    6. The T-rights sound incredibly flukey and flaky.
    7. The A’s are doing what they can with what they have.

  4. @Jeffrey

    Wolff was basically saying that Magowan was full of shit and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Not in those words, of course, but he’s totally dismissing Magowan, other than saying that Magowan’s comments show that he (Wolff) started off not even considering SJ, but focused on the East Bay.

  5. you don’t have to pursuade me in my view on how i see those greedy dirty bastards from across the bay whos utlimate goal is to get rid of the a’s from the bay area and they’ve done all they can and will continue to do so even though it looks as the a’s will indeed get to sj eventually.

    to those a’s fans who side with them in this tr issue or even think about switching sides when the a’s move to the south bay, well remember that they’re the ones who would like nothing more than to see the a’s gone so as a bay area baseball fan good luck trying to live that one down if you think about swiching alligences in the next 4-5 years.

  6. @letsgoas

    All the regulars here on this blog are accutely aware that the gnats are greedy dirty bastards. So you or I saying as much is preaching to the choir.
    However, my point was how I thought the presentation of facts by Wolff on The Rise Guys show sounded to “Joe Listener who is indifferent to the A’s”. Which is to say, the Giants are selfish, dirty greedy spoiled brat bastards. We’re all vested in the A’s, but Joe Listener is probably not, and that would have to be Joe Listener’s conclusion, even though Joe Listener doesn’t really care about the A’s one way or another.
    True, being that Wolff was being interviewed probably attracted a whole boat load of A’s fans to tune in. However, I’m sure there were plenty of just regular listeners who were tuned in. And to them, when presented the facts of the A’s to SJ situation, the gnats undoubtedly come off very very very bad indeed.

  7. The Giants as greedy money mongers is besides the point. Yes, they’re being bullies, but they’re acting like any big business would in their situation. The real issue is how MLB has handled the situation.

  8. Check it out:

    Too soon? I’d love to have that on a shirt on opening day!

  9. I haven’t listened to the interview yet, but Wolff is getting tore up by the John Lund Show. Wolff’s answer to, “Why should the fans be motivated to come out this year?” really was abysmal, however.

  10. @eb,
    To the Oakland-only folk I guess. I thought his answer was spot on and honest. You people should be tearing up Oakland pols, not Wolff. By the way, F..k Baer and Magowan! SAN JOSE A’S BABY!

  11. So much for the great reporting here that Wolff lost $1 M last season. I thought we could depend on getting the facts on this site, but apparently not.

    A’s Fanfest? Sure, go ahead and show how much we fans all appreciate their decimating team.

  12. @ ML: Still, either you can be relied on for the facts, or you can’t. Information is thrown around very loosely on this and other sports sites, information which becomes “fact” that people then use to “win” arguments. You’re still one of the best, ML, but your arrogant SJ-only posters might want to reconsider how “right” they are on virtually every argument concerning the A’s new ball park location.

  13. Arrogant SJ-only posters? I suppose that’s better than being obnoxious.

  14. When you spend $65M on payroll is there really much of a difference between a $1M loss and a $370K gain? Either way you’ve wasted your time and money.

  15. @Jerry – Are you going to assail me and Susan Slusser over the facts? Where can you get your “facts” from? As long as MLB and its teams provide no transparency over their financials, we can only go on info from ownership, Forbes’ annual industry analysis, and the rare Deadspin-style leak.

  16. Jean Quan sitting by Jacob and Guber at tonight’s Warrior game. Is she gonna be at Fanfest too?

  17. Anyway, I am really hoping to see the report someday. I thought it was very interesting that the commission, according to Wolf, came to the same conclusion, that there was no feasible Oakland site. He is getting hammered pretty bad, maybe he feels some vindication is around the corner. He sounded pretty chipper to me.

  18. Vida Blue telling the Bay Area Newsgroup what he would ask Lew Wolff at Fan Fest:
    “Is he committed to the city of Oakland and to Alameda County as far as improving the A’s and trying to make it a proud franchise? I’m sure all fans want to know that, and that’s the same stuff that I’m curious about. When you’re trading away players all the time, that revolving door never stops. These fans are savvy enough to see what’s going on. If you’re not committed to putting a competitive team on the field, a lot of those fans are going to go away.”

  19. Maybe Vida Blue should also ask the city of Oakland how much they are committed to a brand new A’s stadium. Only fair right?

  20. @ eb “These fans are savvy enough to see what’s going on. If you’re not committed to putting a competitive team on the field, a lot of those fans are going to go away.” – These fans are also smart enough to remember that the A’s went to the ALCS 5 years ago and that LW tried to willfully get a competitive team the following years as well through FAs. But it’s easy and naive to look at the micro level, when you have macro level issues like the decrepit stadium, franchise health, and competitive balance in the AL WEST with Texas and LAA spending 2-3X your levels. Therein lies the main problem with pro-Oaklanders who only look emotionally at minute details but not at the larger picture and ignore the realities of today’s MLB; try to compete with the big boys without having a well thought out business plan is asking for the franchise to burn away in perpetual mediocrity and/or spending unsustainable amounts of money until you’re force to sell the franchise. As far as VB is concerned, sorry….Oakland/Alameda was way out of the picture 15 years ago when they told the A’s to F off and then bend over for the Raiders….

  21. Has Vida noticed Mount Davis? Who does he think did that to the A’s ballpark? Wolff?

  22. townsend had si’s and mlbn’s verducci on fri night where they discussed the a’s future in regards to sj/oak, a’s offseason moves, and later on in the interview how these huge tv deals teams are signing and will sign in the future play will shape the sport.

    the tr issue was at the very beginning but he thinks the a’s move to sj is invitable but doesn’t know how it’ll happen. market in sj is too good for mlb to pass up and if he were another owner it wouldnt’ take much convincing to sell that sj is a great idea.


  23. That interview Wolff did was interesting to me for one point that I’d not heard before. He described how he was actually part of the process to help the Giants move to the City of Santa Clara. The city needed an amendment to the MLB TR which was apparantly a small part of the process for a ballot measure and something to which Haas agreed to in order facilitate the process of the Giants bid to move out of Candlestick.

    When the Giants didn’t move to Santa Clara and the issue died, the process of recinding the allocation of those TR rights was something that was simply overlooked.

    I’ve just never heard it explained by anybody with first hand observation before.

  24. @Anon I was just posting what a former Oakland A’s great said about the current situation and what he thinks the fans will ask Wolff about. I realized long ago that trying to change minds on this site only leads to an emotional tit for tat, that wasn’t my intention.
    By the way, I really don’t think “Pro-Oaklanders” are the only segment of the fan base that is currently dissatisfied with the team’s current direction. There seems to be confusion and resentment from most corners of the Green and Gold tribe. We may disagree on this, but I believe Wolff will need every A’s fan he can get even with a new stadium, wherever it is located. PR is very important and right now, the A’s aren’t exactly pulling the right strings.

  25. There is a segment of fans that wants Wolff to spend spend spend regardless of whether he loses a pile of money doing it. And they don’t want to believe the parts about free agents not wanting to play in the Coliseum and players putting “no-trade-to-Oakland” clauses in their contracts. They want a villain-opressing-the-virtuous scenario and you can guess what role Wolff is to play in that. They’re not going to point fingers at the politicians they elected who did nothing for the A’s….

  26. what is wolff/beane supposed to say to the a’s fanbase? they tried to go for it last season but it all fell apart and the fan base still didn’t show up at the coliseum. then on the field anderson got hurt and missed half the season and will miss half this season at least. cahill regressed as many expected from his 2010 season. braden missed all but a handful of starts to begin the season and then went down with a shoulder injury. gio was the only of the pitchers not named mccarthy who surprsised us all who had the kind of year most expected him to have after a breakout 2010 season for him too.

    a’s realistically can’t compete in the next few years with how the laa and tex are spending like crazy. is beane supposed to lie to the fans and himself thinking he can seriously compete? the a’s would need everything right to even reach 90 wins and that may not be enough to win the al west the next 2-3 years. a’s need to do a complete rebuild and load up again 4-5 years from now when hopefully pujols with the laa is on the downside of his career when he’s 36+ years old and tex with hamilton/beltre/young also are slowing down while they’re reaching their mid 30s also.

    hopefully with some high draft picks in the next year or two where they can find some stud hitters along with some of the young hitters currently in their system to go with the imo very good pitching talent that could be coming up in the next few years, the a’s can compete realistically for the al west division for an extended 5-6 year run period as those a’s teams in 2000-2006.

  27. If Wolff/Beane talk about the team’s financial constraints, they will hear “John Fischer is worth $1 billion!” In other words – spend money out of his own pocket. Did winning bring the fans out in 2006? No, it did not…

  28. @ eb – re: “confusion and resentment from most corners”. Read AN and the plans to 2015….i think a majority of the fanbase understand what has to happen, especially in light of the LAA / TEX re…err….overloading! It sucked when it was Moneyball vs. the Yankees/BoSox, but to have them now in your own back yard…..yeouch. 😦 P.R. is important right now, but facing reality is much more so..as noted before, look at the macro level.

  29. @Anon I frequent AN a lot and I understand the reasoning for the recent moves. However, 8 years of “rebuilding” (which isn’t guaranteed to bear fruit) and basing everything on a currently mythical stadium is just not the type of plan most A’s fan want to hear, hence the current outrage.

  30. @eb,
    It should happen between the next 1-6 months, but once San Jose becomes a reality through MLB and Cisco Field becomes all but certain, the vast majority of the fanbase will become excited. Yes, we may struggle in the next few years against the likes of LAA and Texas, but there will definitely be light at the end of the tunnel.

  31. By the way, no outrage here.

  32. “However, 8 years of “rebuilding” (which isn’t guaranteed to bear fruit) and basing everything on a currently mythical stadium is just not the type of plan most A’s fan want to hear, hence the current outrage.”

    That sound you just heard was the nail being hit on the head.

  33. And that is something Wolff acknowledged in the interview, no? Something to the effect of “They’re tired of hearing it, and I’m tired of saying it.” Everyone and their mother knows that a new stadium is absolutely necessary. The stadium doesn’t have to be mythical in either city, it’s just a whole lot more mythical in Oakland at this point.

  34. re: The stadium doesn’t have to be mythical in either city, it’s just a whole lot more mythical in Oakland at this point.

  35. @eb – ” However, 8 years of “rebuilding” (which isn’t guaranteed to bear fruit) and basing everything on a currently mythical stadium is just not the type of plan most A’s fan want to hear, hence the current outrage.” Current outrage? Most fans? You mean, pro-Oaklanders? Reality sucks: Oakland can’t afford a publicly finance stadium, the Ranger and Angels are now in the top echelon of MLB in spending, and I should of got in on Apple at $10 in 2001. As the saying goes, don’t hate the player, hate the game: misdirecting your emotions to LW doesn’t doesn’t accomplish anything. And as others have pointed out, the only mythical thing about a new stadium is it’s association with anything Oakland….

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