Ostler talks Cespedes, impact

The Chronicle’s Scott Ostler writes about what success Yoenis Céspedes could have, and projects it beyond the field.

It could be an adventure for team ownership, too. What if Céspedes keeps hitting and stirs up interest, a la Linsanity, drawing big crowds to the Oakland ballpark?

That would throw a monkey wrench into ownership’s aggressive campaign to prove that there is no market for baseball in Oakland.

If that happens, A’s owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher will have their own private Cuban missile crisis, and they won’t be able to solve it by picking up the Hot Line and threatening Nikita Khrushchev. Sorry, honey.

Now that would be something. Fans coming out and supporting the team regardless of what they think of ownership? It’d be as if they came to watch baseball or something. I know this: today I sold a bunch of my Giant fan friends on Céspedes. Sometimes all you need is a draw. It’s been proven repeatedly that quality pitching isn’t a draw. Home runs? You know what they say…

29 thoughts on “Ostler talks Cespedes, impact

  1. That was a truly epic commercial. Regarding Cespedes, Ratto nailed in in his most recent piece. When Cespedes is coming up to bat, you’ll postpone a trip to the restroom. That’s something that hasn’t existed with the A’s for far too long.

  2. Well, I’m going tomorrow night to see Cespedes. Unless it rains…

  3. Don’t think Cespedes’ success will have much effect on MLB’s decision. Selig wants the A’s out of Oakland, and that trumps any bump in attendance the A’s may see. What happens if Cespedes continues to rake and attendance remains low? Would that be proof enough that the A’s need to be out of Oakland?

  4. If Cespedes can get a new ballpark built in Oakland, that would be fabulous – like how the acquisition of Sidney Crosby certainly helped the Pittsburgh Penguins get a new arena. Would I bet that the excitement of a Cespedes HR derby would ever lead to a new ballpark in Oakland? Unfortunately, no.

  5. Cespedes can’t finance a ballpark….

  6. Ostler seems to be confused a bit (or is perhaps taking a page out of the Madden, M&R book of nonsense). Its not so much there isn’t a “market” in the East Bay; its that there isn’t a huge corporate base to support a privately financed ballpark. I mean, you could pack the Coli with $2 tickets all you want, but unless there’s a spanking new yard filled with expensive luxury suites and club seats, the Cespedes effect won’t mean anything. Yes, fc nailed it! Next topic…

  7. Cespedes is nothing more than an asset. It would be a mistake to think of him as anything more, because the org doesnt. The best case scenario is that he proves in the next 1-2 years to be a plus center fielder who can hit 30 bombs, which is incredibly rare. Then he’d be 27-28, and a very tradable asset with two peak years and only 18m left on the deal, and he could be traded at that point for a package equivalent to what Gio or Cahill delivered.

    The A’s assumed all the risk on the front end, he proves himself, and another team pays through the nose via trade for the proven commodity Cespedes becomes.

    They still don’t have talent in the org to have anything remotely projectibly dynastic. But if you traded Cespedes in a year, it’s now a top 5 farm system with 10-15 sure fire future contributors.

    That is a FAR more likely scenario than Cespedes magically creating sellouts in Oakland. Slow news day for Ostler, clearly.

  8. Mark McGwire HR’s and A’s attendance:

    1995 – 39 / 1,174,310

    1996 – 52 / 1,148,380

    19967(half) – 36 / 1,264,218

  9. btw – that was during the final Haas ownership year transitioning to Schott and pre Mt. Davis / Tarp. Interestingly it is also less than past 3 years under JF/LW.

  10. Looks like the Warriors are gone. Who’s next?…

  11. If it’s a good deal, I’m all for a SF Arena. The Coliseum site is so remote, after games all you want to do is make a mad dash for BART. If Oakland thinks Coliseum City is such a rockin’ idea, it should’ve built up the surrounding areas over the past 40 years instead of leveling everything and starting from stratch again.

  12. I think this train of thought that if Cespedes continues to rake, and draw big crowds and thus put a monkey wrench in SJ plans, is a non starter.
    For one, as Tony D says, it isn’t just about the total attendance, it’s about the corporate base and the ability to sell luxury suites and club suites.
    Two, even with big boppers in the line up, Oakland hasn’t historically supported the team nearly enough, as Anon’s McGwire HR/attendance figures point out.
    Three, Ostler only mentions this idea in the last two brief paragraphs in the article, as if it’s just something off the top of his head that he just tossed in, kind of thinking out loud. Clearly, he didn’t put much thought into it. The article was really just about what a phenom Cespedes is, and how exciting it will be to watch how he develops in MLB.

  13. Only issue I see with that arena, is the building on ancient concrete pilings issue. I mean a modern arena is not a light thing, and those pilings would need some major reinforcement to hold it. The cost could become excessive. But it is telling that the team is pursuing options outside Oakland. They’re definitely in the “we want to leave” category now.

  14. An individual player rarely if ever has a major impact on any team’s attendance. What impacts attendance is winning.
    Cespedes is awesome, but if he hits 50 home runs while the team spends the season below .500 and out of playoff contention, nobody should expect ticket sales to surge. That wouldn’t happen in any market.

  15. Crazy thought occurred to me while reading this thread again: what if Cespedes were dealt to the Giants as part of a deal for SJ? Especially if he becomes a consistent big bat over the next few months. Such an action (albeit probably extremely unlikely) would infuriate the Oakland-only crowd and probably upset the greater fanbase as well. But the actions/events of the next couple of months will happen with the long-term financial health of the A’s (and MLB) in mind, not short term. If the A’s are selling out Cisco Field as contenders in (say) 2020, will “now” really matter? Just saying.

  16. @Tony D.
    I’ve always looked at the scenario of the A’s taking over the G’s dead weight fat contracts (Zito, Huff, for instance) as more likely.

  17. guess the cespedes hype isn’t drawing much fan interest. from the looks of it there maybe only a few thousand at the game mon night against kc.

  18. oh yeah screw selig and that bitch org across the bay that has the most wussified fan base of all time for delaying this sj decision for the a’s franchise and their fans who don’t have the lack of dignity need to dress up like idiots every game.

  19. My first thought to this article is — sorta echoing some other posters — if Cespedes does become a force and it doesn’t improve attendance, will the writer then conclude that Oakland is not a viable BB market? I am skeptical about both his stardom-on field prowess will change attendance and the writer would use their won logic to say Oakland is not viable.
    Someone mentioned winning is the big attendance changer. I agree that is true often but has that been the case with the A’s? If memory serves me correctly, multiple seasons in the serious thick of the pennant chase did not change attendance much did it?

  20. bay area is a event driven place. does anybody not remember that sf couldn’t even draw 2 million in their last three years at the stick when they were a consistent .500+ team and this with the knowledge of them getting a new park in 2000? the media here locally doesn’t want to bring that up only bringing up the a’s and their lack of attendance thru out the years.

    a’s over this past decade even when they were good did draw 2+ million in a horrible venue for baseball, until 2006, and this was them knowing the uncertainty of the a’s future and having an ownership that didn’t view oakland as their long term home for the franchise.

  21. Nice Twitter pic! (Sarcasm)

  22. Well, I just got back from tonight’s game and it was the usual acres and acres of empty seats. At least the A’s won…

  23. indians drew just over “9300” fans mon night. those who were there also said like with the a’s game there probably wasn’t more than 4 or 5 thousand so i guess the a’s have their rival in drawing the fewest amount of people at their home games this season now with the marlins have their new park.

  24. Yes, I saw the Indians did even worse. And they have a modern stadium. What’s their excuse?

  25. certainly the new park factor has worn off after 15+ years. i would think a new park for the a’s they could draw at least in the mid to high teens be it in oakland or san jose on a weeknight game against a non draw of a team like kc is. now if we fastfoward and the a’s new park was 15 years old and they were spinning in circles as a franchise winning 75 games every year without much star power than i could see them drawing as poorly as cle and other franchises like pit has even with relatively new modern ballparks.

    cle they’re like the a’s of the midwest where they’ve shipped off their star players during their playoff run back in the 07/08 seasons when they dealt the likes of sabathia, lee, martinez peralta, blake and have seen injuries ruin the stars they have kept over the years in sizemore/hafner. add to that a bad minor league system over the years with no young players arriving other than santana and they got a franchise that looks to be stuck in the mud.

  26. Looks like the A’s do have some competition. The A’s average through 3 REAL home games is 20,578 (not the 29,870 it is with the two Tokyo “home” games). The Indians average through 4 is 20,505 and dead last among the 20 teams with home games thus far. A’s are second to last. The Indians problems however are definitely more organizational than the A’s. The A’s at least have a so/so team with a good farm system, it’s just their stadium that’s crap. The Indians have a great ballpark, but have a shit team and little hope for improvement coming up their pipeline. If they at least had some hope for the future they’d be doing a bit better like say the Padres. Padres average is 31,590 (which for them is actually pretty bad at this point in the season) but overall it’s not terrible despite the crap team they’re fielding this year since they do have the new park and they have the best (or second best) farm system in baseball with some hope for the future.

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