Tenuous grip

Athletics Nation honcho Tyler Bleszinski (a.k.a. Blez) put up his annual Billy Beane interview yesterday, and as usual it’s a treat. Fortunately, this offseason’s conversation was more occupied by what the team did instead of looking to the future. It’s a good read.

Once you’re done with that, contrast that conversation with one held with Mark “not Rincon” Shapiro and conducted by Fox Sports Ohio’s Pat McManaman. The 2012 edition of the Indians spent the first half of the season at or a few games within first place, only to sink like they wore cement shoes after the All Star Break. Their last winning season was in 2007, when the team went to the ALCS and squandered a 3-1 series lead to the Red Sox. Back then the team was well-stocked with quality youth in the field (Grady Sizemore, Jhonny Peralta, Victor Martinez, Ryan Garko, Franklin Gutierrez) and studs on the mound (C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona Roberto Hernandez, Jake Westbrook). If the team could get over the hump, the malaise of the early 2000’s would give way to a resurgence, perhaps reminiscent of the mid-90’s clubs that dominated the AL Central. Instead, the team traded both Sabathia and Lee as they neared free agency, later traded Gutierrez, Martinez and Peralta while Sizemore and Hernandez were beset with injuries. It’s not a unique script. The A’s fortunes during that period played out much the same way, with Eric Chavez and Justin Duchscherer constantly rotating between the DL and the active roster, and Bobby Crosby simply not panning out after a RoY season. Poor yields on trades kept both teams from successfully rebuilding. It’s a script all revenue-poor teams have to follow, often with a boom season being illusory instead of trendsetting. Poor teams can afford to make fewer mistakes. Rich teams can afford to have Barry Zito suck for more than half of his contract until he redeems himself as a 4th starter. In Cleveland or Oakland, Zito’s contract is a pair of cement shoes.

That the Indians haven’t won the Series since the Truman administration is well-known. Not even a successful movie franchise has lifted the curse or healed the Cleveland fan’s psyche. No, it’s not as long as the Cubs’ endless suffering, but at least Chicago’s had other teams win in the meantime. The annual disappointment properly frames a snippet of the discussion between McManaman and Shapiro, as they talk about lagging attendance and the business side of the Indians. Shapiro was promoted to Indians president after the 2010 season, so he has his hands in more than just personnel work, now the task of GM Mark Antonetti.

Q: Is there a perception problem in town?

A: The biggest perception issue is probably the simplest one, which is we’re still to some extent always viewed in the backdrop of those ‘90s teams, when in reality that was a completely different business model. Those (Indians) teams were literally the Red Sox, the Cubs, the Dodgers. We were top five in payroll, as high as three. And our revenues generated that.

So I think there’s that general public sentiment that, ‘Hey if you win enough people will come.’ But that’s not necessarily true. We had a unique set of circumstances.

There was a new ballpark. That’s a huge multiplier. We hadn’t won in 40 years. That’s a multiplier. There was no football team in town. That magnified our revenues. The one that gets overlooked a lot is the industry was coming off a strike, so all of our revenues were amplified because all the other teams’ revenues were significantly tamped down at that point. So ours were amplified. Our spending power was amplified on the free agent market. And the city was economically in a better place. There were four Fortune 500 companies that were here that are no longer here.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? While the A’s didn’t have a new ballpark, they and the Coliseum Commission teamed up to make improvements to the Coliseum that made it arguably the best ballpark in the majors in the late 80’s. They were able to do this because the Raiders fled the stadium for Los Angeles. Wally Haas had the immediately competitive BillyBall teams of the early 80’s, then a rebuilding period, followed by the powerhouse Bash Brothers teams, during which Haas was a profligate spender. Dick Jacobs didn’t time the Indians’ rise to occur with Art Modell moving the Browns to Baltimore, but he sure took advantage of it. The Indians cashed in big by not having a major sport competitor in their midst other than the somewhat interesting Cavaliers. Like the A’s Moneyball era, the Indians’ run lasted about seven years. Among the Once the Browns were reconstituted via expansion, the novelty at Jacobs Field started to wear off and the more Clevelanders could turn their attention to an expansion team that, by nature of expansion, was doomed to struggle for several years. Like Haas, Jacobs and his brother David sold the Indians as the era was ending, and as a football team returned. In the twelve years since, the Indians have been above .500 three times and went to the playoffs once, that 2007 season. As long as Mike Ilitch and Jerry Reinsdorf own rivals in the division, they’ll always have more revenue and spend more than the Indians, just as the Rangers and Angels will in the West.

Shapiro then delved into what it means to spend more.

Q: That was a decade and a half ago, really. Fifteen years. Do you think people, the general populace still judges in those terms?

A: I think it frames that very guttural reaction, like, “Hey, if you win it’s already been shown people will come.” That’s what you hear all the time.

Q: Do you believe that?

A: I think more people will come. But the challenge is 2.2 million instead of 1.6 million doesn’t change the way we operate. Even that extra 500,000, 600,000 people, even if that’s $10-to-15 more million in revenue a year . . . one win in free agency is $9 million. So you’re not going to change the context. Again, I don’t think people want to intellectualize baseball, and I don’t believe you should have to intellectualize baseball . . . and we’ve made a conscious decision in most of our interviews not to get into these topics and just stay positive and talk about what our aspirations are.

But that revenue swing between 1.5 million in attendance and 2.2 million in attendance . . . meaningful dollars but not dollars that will have us plan dramatically different.

Q: It wouldn’t change the amount of money spent?

A: It would change the amount of spent to 15 million dollars a year. What does that buy you in free agency? Very little. One and a half wins.

The A’s pulled in 1.6 million in attendance in 2012. At $25 per head, a rise to 2.2 million puts the A’s at an extra $15 million in revenue, the top range of Shapiro’s estimate – and that doesn’t account for costs so it will surely be lower than $15 million. While Shapiro doesn’t want to go too deep into the numbers, he knows what every front office knows: that the poor teams are hurt doubly by the current economic system. Aspiring to an $80 million payroll is great, yet it provides zero guarantees, enormous risk, and the cost per win in free agency (at least with WAR as the leading statistic) is so out of scale that it’s absolutely prudent to spend wisely in the short and long-term. It also puts the lie to the idea that if the A’s just win fans will come out, and that will save the team in Oakland. Something more fundamental has to change for the A’s to get to the point that they are no longer poor. As much as many in the pro-Oakland group want to believe that can happen in Oakland, I remain skeptical that it can. Just look at Bud Selig’s throwaway line when he was questioned by Bill Shaikin the other day.

Q: Do you believe a new ballpark in Oakland is feasible?

A: I don’t know. That is one of the things we are checking.

Oakland boosters have had three years to make the case that Oakland is feasible. I know the obstacles facing San Jose: the Giants’ territorial rights and a referendum. In Oakland, the challenge is much deeper and just as impossible to ignore. How much can revenues be expected to rise? $40 million? $60 million? What will make the franchise turn the corner in that city? How much is enough to compete regularly? After three years, Selig remains as unsure about Oakland as ever. After three years, you’d think he’d have the confidence to hammer out a deal the way David Stern did with Sacramento by bypassing ownership, or by having Bob DuPuy deal directly with a municipality as was done in Miami. The fact that Selig hasn’t should tell you something, and that something is not good. Selig claims that he’ll be guided by the “best interests in baseball”. From an emotional standpoint that should mean saving baseball in Oakland. Unfortunately, emotion and business generally aren’t compatible.

The A’s 2013 doesn’t look like the Indians’ 2008. They don’t have a bunch of pitchers that are about hit their sixth year. The roster is pretty well cost-controlled through 2015, allowing for flexibility in terms of offseason and midseason trades along with free agent signings. For the collective A’s fans’ sake, I hope that the team doesn’t regress as so many others have done. Otherwise Beane’s interview this time next year won’t read like this year’s, it’ll read like Shapiro’s.

105 thoughts on “Tenuous grip

  1. I can’t wait for coliseum city to come out. I wonder what its going to look like?

  2. @berry: Pretty much exactly like what the area looks like right now, because Coliseum City isn’t feasible.

  3. Good post ML. I was talking with a friend of mine who lives in Cleveland and he said he worries about the Indians long term. The population in the area has declined in the past 15 years so that has had an effect on the Indians attendance. The heyday of the late 90’s are long gone. Will the owners attempt to make significant and meaningful changes to the economic system when the CBA expires in 2016?

  4. @ Boonee
    Well..we will see….does anybody watch family guy???

  5. Try to keep this on-topic, folks.

  6. Was that a joke Berry? Peeing in pants brah!
    RM, is Progressive Field now considered to big due to Cleveland’s decline in population and corporate support? Perhaps it should be downsized to 34-36 seats (?).

  7. Tony d
    Dude are u drinking again???

  8. would suck to be a cle sports fan. haven’t won anything in over 50 years from any team. even other “cursed” teams/cities like the bosox have the celtics as a dynasty and chc/chw had the bulls dynasty. cle has had NOTHING except a ton of heart break. i think a lot nationally just totally forget about cle not having anything to chear for, least in terms of a championship team, for multiple generations.

    we a’s and bay area fans think we’ve had it rough. from “the drive”, “the fumble”, “red right 88” awful moments in browns playoff history and maybe the most sickening moment the org moving after the 95 season and seeing the ravens win a title just a half decade later in bal and being perrenial playoff contenders for the next dozen years. the indians being three outs away from winning a world title in 97, and then recently lebron signing with mia and making it to two straight nba finals and winning last season’s title. multiple groin kick to the cle sports fans over the past 3 decades that maybe no other city has seen.

    out of all their teams, only team that is worth a damn is cle due to them having a legit player to build around in irving but i don’t see the cavs winning anything anytime soon just due to the fact again lebron their former hometown hero’s heat likely will be the favs in the eastern conference for the foreseeable future.

    as for the a’s? i have always believed sj is gonna be the option mlb chooses thru the ups and downs over the past years. just makes too much sense for mlb not to go into a region where it’s flushed with cash that isn’t being spent into the league for the most part that will be once the a’s move down there.

  9. @ML

    Good article, it might be the tequila in me atm, but I think you covered the 5 Ws (What, When, Where, Why, and Whom) when you compared today’s

  10. (hit the submit button by mistake)
    A’s and what happened in Cleveland. I think the one thing you failed to mention is the quality of the A’s farm system compared to most if not all of MLB teams. The A’s minor league system has always been the one of the best if not the best farm system in baseball. So the A’s are able to reload every 4-8 years unlike most small market clubs. At least we are not Pirate, Royals, Indians, and Cubs fans we can actually see sustained winning teams (2-4 year stretches) a couple times each decade.

    Bud Selig clearly sees that the A’s need to move to San Jose, but his hands are tied since he does not have the power to move the A’s on his own accord. It is ironic that he was part of the group of owners that ousted Fay Vincent and removed “for the best interest in baseball powers” from the commissioner.

  11. a’s system was one of the best in the mid to late 90s when they called up the likes of hudson, mulder, zito, tejada, grieve, chavez, long, hernandez that helped set up those early 2000-2003 a’s playoff teams. after that it wasn’t that good from maybe the 2002 when they were still producing the likes of harden/crosby but it went pretty bad aftewards until 07 when beane traded the likes of haren, swisher and rebuilt what was a lackluster system with prospects like anderson, gio, cargo, carter, de la santos. same could be said last offseason when beane once again traded cahill, gio, and bailey and landed the likes of parker, milone, peacock, cole, norris, head. granted during this time the a’s have always found pitching as we saw this past season when out of nowhere the likes of griffin and straily emerged but those hitting prospects for the most part haven’t panned out although the selection of russell this past june probably has most a’s fans excited with the way he performed at 3 levels over the summer time in the minors.

    cle in contrast got horrible returns when they dealt their star talents. they traded sabathia to mil and at this point the top prospect they got back in return laporta looks like a bust. they traded lee to phi for not much at this time. now they stole santana from the lad in the blake trade and also years ago traded for choo from cle but they’ve done a horrible job drafting and trading away their star players. beane at least has gotten back other than the hudson deal impact players when he’s dealt away his stars.

  12. I get the feeling that some people would love to describe the bay area as San Francisco on one end, San Jose on the other and Cleveland in the middle, but we all know its a bit more complicated than that. Larry Dolan, owner of the Indians bought the team in 2000 for 323 million dollars. His team is now worth 353 million dollars 12 years later. Lew Wolff in 2005 bought the A’s with Fischer for 180 million, now the A’s are worth over 300 million dollars. Thats because the bay area is a larger market than Cleveland. Take a look at Tigers owner Mike Illitch’s equity, its about 360 million, why because he invests in his team. The comparison to his Market and Cleveland is far more accurate. Yet even though Illitch uses his own money to invest in the team, if he were to sell tomorrow he’d run to the bank with maybe 4, 5 or 6 hundred million in equity depending on how high the bidding war would take it. Maybe there are no small markets, just small owners. Mr Wolff, please sell the team to someone who knows what she or he is doing.

    • @jesse – Was worth $323 million. Recent sales have made sure that bumped every franchise value has been inflated to north of $500 million, at least if they were to go on sale. Dolan also owns SportsTime Ohio, the Indians’ RSN, ensuring that he’ll get a huge amount back. Wolff bought at a reasonable market price, probably orchestrated by Selig. Dolan, on the other hand, bought the Indians for far more than they were worth. Jacobs even held out for an extra $50 million, simply because the team was winning at the time.

      Moreover, there is a big difference between Cleveland and Detroit. Even as depressed as Detroit is, as a city and a media market it’s twice the size of Cleveland. Ilitch is the exception these days, not the rule. Find some other MLB owner whose payroll is nearly two-thirds of revenue, and we can start talking about Ilitch setting a trend.

  13. @Jesse- Detroit also contributed $200M to the ballpark construction in addition to the land. LW would be more than happy to take that same deal in Oakland….but
    Oakland doesnt have a f’ing clue—17 years have passed and still no viable site- not to mention moneynto support construction like Illitch received. Bud- please allow the A’s to move to a city that has a great site, whersupport will support them and provide for a financially healthy future for our A’s.

  14. Oh I see, multiple bidders would drive up the price of the Indians to 500M so that they could own a team with a whiny GM Shapiro who cries poor. That doesnt add up dude. Bottom line, every one of these guys are doing just fine, but Mr Wolff is willing to make us all wait longer so that he can do really really really fine in SJ.

    • @jesse – No, that’s exactly what would happen. Team sales these days are all about assets, liabilities, and revenue potential. It’s not so much about winning unless a team has a long tradition of it. It’s not like Ilitch has always run the team like this. In the early 2000’s the team wasn’t competitive, so Ilitch hired Dave Dombrowski and the team tanked. Guess what they got out of that? Justin Verlander. At the time fans criticized Ilitch for being cheap. The Tigers were under .500 every year for the first dozen years of Ilitch’s tenure, including three 100-loss seasons. What people didn’t know back then was that he was really being mindful of the team’s competitive window. When that opened he spent like a man possessed. Were you praising Ilitch in 2003? I doubt it. No one was.

  15. @Jesse,
    Sorry, but Wolff knows exactly what he’s doing. And he’s doing it so that OUR A’s can do really fine in $an Jo$e, not just him.

  16. @Jesse- wait longer….I guess it’s LW’s fault that Oakland still doesn’t have a site nor any idea of how to help pay for a ballpark- wow!

  17. re: Mr Wolff, please sell the team to someone who knows what she or he is doing.

    …You mean sell to someone willing to spend $1 billion of their own money to buy the team and donate a free ballpark to Oakland so Oakland doesn’t have to pay anything? Nobody is aware of such a person.

  18. @pjk, can you tell me specifically how Lew Wolff pays for the stadium in SJ?

  19. @jesse,
    Don’t mean to jump the gun on pjk, but here it is:
    1) corporate naming rights (Cisco Systems)
    2) corporate sponsorships
    3) sale of luxury suites/club seats
    4) bank loan
    5) private equity
    Bank loan is the big one, which needs to be paid for/backed up by strong corporate presence in the San Jose/Silicon Valley area. I believe PSL’s could also be in the mix, but I haven’t heard or read anything on that one. FWIW, this SJ resident will gladly buy a PSL’S for season tickets.

  20. why cant that happen in Fremont or Oakland? Those 5 things are being done by the Giants in SF. Why not a location in the east bay? If I’m not mistaken the SVLG backed the Fremont plan, and Cisco was on board too. I’m sure a loan could be secured.

  21. I think the idea is pretty clear–If it were possible, and MLB wanted Oakland/Fremont/Dublin/Concord/Antioch/Wherever in CC+A counties, we’d be seeing progress to that. Instead, we see a game of duck-duck-goose with the potential sites.
    .
    Because MLB hasn’t dismissed SJ, it makes it seem like SJ is the one they want, they’re just waiting for something to happen. That could be the SFG loan going away or Selig capturing the votes or Wolff finding the last bit of funding or Oakland to fail once again. Whatever it is, they’re waiting for something.

  22. Wolff tried Fremont but was stopped by the failing real estate market and the NIMBYs. He also proposed a real estate deal to go with a stadium in Oakland, a deal that got him what the A’s always have gotten from Oakland – a big yawn. San Jose has the corporate backing to get a privately financed ballpark done; Oakland does not, like it or not. Silicon Valley companies are not going to sponsor a ballpark in Oakland that is simply too hard to get to from their South Bay offices. Even Fremont would have been pressing it for these companies.

  23. @Jesse, when Tony D lists out those five ways to pay for the stadium you also have to think about the likelihood that each of those factors fulfills their expected/desire portion of the debt service. There’s a risk inherent in 1) – 3) which would affect how effectively they pay back their designated portion of the costs. That in turn would affect 4) and the interest rate a bank would provide on a loan and also 5) in who’s willing to invest private equity/capital and at what rate of return.
    .
    People can believe or not if Wolff has vetted this process, but although Oakland may be able to achieve the steps 1) – 5), if may be at a greater risk, and therefore, a greater cost with lower guarantee on the ROI. As it currently stands, MLB’s lack of decisiveness on Oakland’s prospects would seem to support Wolff’s analysis. Further, if they can’t even commit to a site then there’s never a clear way for them to even begin to answer those questions/risks. Wolff selling doesn’t resolve that issue for Oakland.

  24. @pjk and tony d
    U know whY Jesse u right. This ballpark issue is too much 7 years of no idea whether its Oakland fault or lew wollfs nothing is being done and I think lew fought the good fight but either he invests in Oakland or he can sell to somebody who will. Life is not fair… Look at the sf giants changing there bay area appeal overnight u thought the sf giants were always like this, I told u guys that if those dudes win the ws championship and there only 2 away then it will make it really hard for Wolff to get san Jose apporval from MLB because those dudes want to keep the giants happy. So again its not fair but Wolff should consider Howard terminal or the coliseum site. Again I’m.sure oaklanders will come of Wolff shows he will stay.

  25. “I think the idea is pretty clear–If it were possible, and MLB wanted Oakland/Fremont/Dublin/Concord/Antioch/Wherever in CC+A counties, we’d be seeing progress to that. Instead, we see a game of duck-duck-goose with the potential sites.”
    Would MLB trump Wolff’s wishes? It’s hard to have possible branching off of possibilities when the owner has rigidly set his sights. I think MLB is keeping all options a open while trying to placate both groups. A madding strategy, for sure.
    Speaking of relationships between the two teams, do the A’s congratulate the Giants in the paper again this year? Do the Giants hold a mini parade in SJ? This WS aftermath will be interesting to say the least.

  26. Well regardless it looks like the A’s “perception problem” is about to get a whole lot worse. It seems a foregone conclusion at this point that the Giants are going to win the series. The Tigers seem to have decided not to even show up (this series has been one of the most pitiful in history, the Tigers should be ashamed of themselves). And with a Giants win you can bet the A’s will once again be perceived as the lesser team not worth coming to see unless you’re looking for bargain basement tickets. And that’s the view by those that will remember the A’s even exist after the Giants win their second series in 3 years.

  27. @Jesse, the other important issue is what Redevelopment has been done around the area to make the stadium apart of an attraction. Rareyl is a stadium an anchor for a redevelopment area, rather the oppositite, the redevelopment needs to occur before to get tax revenue up, that might be tough in Fremont, thats gonna be impossible around CC. In SJ it will be a bit tough, but the area is already developed, a sports team there and a new transit station coming. That’s why it will be easier to keep and maintain success given where Diridon exists.

  28. @Dan,
    I think that’s what going to be the “worst” thing about this Giants WS win: it will completely white out our miraculous season of walk offs and division championship. “The A’s…who?” At least this will be the case with the Bay Area media and casual bandwagon fans. Sounds kind of weird, but I’m hoping for a Giants sweep today just to get all hoopla and parade over with.
    Again, the perfect anecdote to all of this: an announcement before years end of an A’s ballpark in the Bay Area. Give us all some hope for the future Bud!

  29. @eb,
    A mini parade in San Jose? Yeah right! Free us and I’d say maybe. If not, tell the Giants @#$%& you!

  30. OT: I can’t believe the San Francisco Satins are gonna win another World Series.

  31. Lew dude please just build in ur territory. Don’t do it for me, do it for the A’s players. Cepesdes Reddick and those boys deserve a new stadium, san Jose is the giants dude just build whereever I can. Clone lew. Sry but somebody gotta talk to that dude. Right Jesse

  32. @hecanfoos,

    so? They still are behind by two and haven’t made up for ’89

  33. OT

    Going to hate to see what it will cost to go to Giants next year.

  34. Felt it was time to weigh in on this. I had 2012 season tickets and I get the strong feeling the Dolan’s are just in this to recoup investment dollars. As Marine Layer says, Dick Jacobs shook down the Dolans for an extra fifty million dollars as he sensed he had had someone with money burning a hole in their pockets itching to get into big league ownership regardless of the cost. Shapiro states he has a bunch of people sleeping 5 hours a night and working 80+ hours a week. Really? Where were they on August 30th when the Indians were concluding a four game series with the A’s and the signage at East Ninth and Carnegie( Progressive Field ) was promoting the Yankees series that had ended 4 days earlier? Really Mark, nobody in the Indians offices noticed that ? At one of the biggest entry points into the city, thousands of people passed that intersection for four days and I for one was personally embarrased by it. Long story short, MLB owners are not hurting financially and they need to reinvest some of their largesse in their teams.

  35. The A’s and the Giants were the two most exciting teams in baseball this year. People across the country woke up to the A’s vs. Detroit and then got slapped fully conscious with the Giants vs. Cinn. Bay Area baseball was the story for a good long week — as it hasn’t been in about a decade. I think the A’s won a lot of disaffected fans back in September and October.
    .
    Note the difficulties AL teams encounter in the WS when the NL team gets home-field advantage. The last three WSs present the best argument imaginable for not converting the NL to a DH league.
    .
    Enjoy the baseball. If you get a stadium decision about the time Buster Posey gets his MVP award, well, Merry Early Xmas to you then.

  36. @suit,
    You can have your WS championship, ticker tape parade, MVP award and bandwagon full of “fans.” Just free San Jose and make our NEW A’S BALLPARK imminent and I’ll persoannly indulge in my own champagne shower; that’s all I want for Xmas. Congrats…

  37. @tony d
    Dude stop being a hater…talk to ur boy lew Wolff and tell him and his rich partner Fisher to tell him to build in his own territory…even if they are bandwagon fans that is more money in.the sf giants pockets. A’s will be fine , we need a hitter to contend against the best pitchers if need be come playoffs and add more depth to our good pitching.

  38. from berry 2 weeks ago:

    If this team was the San Jose A’s… we would have enough money and support from corporate sponsers to keep our young team longer… as well as sign top players from other teams… (except Josh Hamilton…YIKES, dude what happended to you…) but in Oakland.. i think this team could have a 2 year run before they have to break things up… again because my city OAKLAND… are not doing the things needed to help fund a ballpark for the A’s, i dont blame Lew Wolff for keeping his eyes on the prize which is San Jose.

    berry today:

    Lew dude please just build in ur territory. Don’t do it for me, do it for the A’s players. Cepesdes Reddick and those boys deserve a new stadium, san Jose is the giants dude just build whereever I can. Clone lew. Sry but somebody gotta talk to that dude. Right Jesse

    You make unrealistic requests a lot, berry?

  39. Yup ML. Views change every week.
    Why don’t u bring up my quote before the playoffs warning everybody what was at stake this season. If A’s win it all = quicker resolution regarding san Jose and/or more pressure on Oakland city leaders to come up with a viable plan to MLB to keep them in Oakland….ooorrr if the sf giants win it all = a even harder chance to get pass the sf giants t rights , losing more popular appeal allready go the sf giants etc. U know the rest….and right now I’m right…. Maybe I’m not a hardcore baseball fan like the est of u guys even though some are on here to either bash Oakland in a sophistical way. Whatever doesn’t change the reality that the team is still in Oakland and the giants are one win away. Why can’t Wolff just build by the coliseum .. it would be cheaper and IN HIS TERRITORY. We all go to A’s, Raiders and Warrior games anyway lets see of Coliseum city can work. Enough said….

    • @berry – Read my post, and if you have a response to it then go ahead and write it. Your constant pushing of Coliseum City, with little to back it up, is tiresome and it ventured way into spam territory in the past. We’ve talked ad nauseum about how hard and expensive Coliseum City would be to pull off, yet you always ignore it. If you want to talk Coliseum City, do the numbers. Figure it out. I’ve tried to do it and it makes no sense.

  40. Sophisticat/sarcastic way I meant Sry

  41. Xoot, too bad TV ratings for the WS are some of the worst in history so not too many are actually seeing the great bay area baseball. On top of which, a big reason for SF’s success is that Detroit swept the Yankees. Few teams come back from sweeping a series with all the additional days off that they have and come back strong. The Tigers came into this series full of rust.

  42. Find numbers??? Dude its Sunday I’m relaxing…ML it doesn’t have to be coliseum city type plan but I do know that the team is playing on Oakland with no san Jose in site as of today of Oct. 28 2012 I’m going on a date anyway….well guys If giants win congrads and hopefully 2013 A’s win it all next year especially if we keep our core together which looks good. Have a good Sunday yall. U too ML 🙂

    • @berry – Look. You’re the guy always asking if someone can make Coliseum City work. Why don’t you find out for yourself? It’s going to take a solid community effort, you might as well get involved.

  43. why should any owner be forced to build and spend basically all their money on a 500 million dollar project in an area where it’ll be tougher to pay it off? i think wolff would rather wait another few years and build and open cisco field in 2016 or 2017 than be forced to build a park in oakland which doesn’t make financially to do it unless you’re an extreme oakland partisian.

  44. Now…@#$%& FREE SAN JOSE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!

  45. as an a’s fan this hurts but congrats to the sfg players, coaches, and baseball operations. also to the real sfg fans who stuck by during the days when they got 7k at candlestick, congrats also.

    now to those bandwagon midget fans and the midgets front office who’ve tried to screw the a’s and have and are still trying to drive the a’s out of the bay area, a big f.u. from me as an a’s fan.

    also somebody posted here recently whether the a’s will give a public congrats like they did a couple of years ago. uh i think the public back and forth the two sides had in the media earlier in the season regarding territorial rights that we won’t be hearing any congrats from the a’s side of things on anything anytime soon. will always feel that the midget higharcy the moment the a’s side gives them a handshake and walks away that ratface with the curly hair and many others inside their front office would give you the middle figure behind your back.

  46. @toni dee, nobody cares about my ballpark opinions. I hope you appreciated the WS. Baseball fans should’ve, and I think you’re that.
    ..
    @dmoas, right now, celebrating the third time the Giants have been to the WS in this millenium, and the second time they have won it, the tv ratings don’t much matter to me. If the ratings matter to you, that’s cool. Just consider this quetions: How many times have the dodgers, or the A’s, been to the WS in THIS millenium? How were those ratings?
    .
    Don’t start fights you can’t finish.
    .
    The A’s and the Giants were the most exciting teams in baseball this year. I stand by that call.

  47. Congrats suit, as well as to the rest of the TRUE Croix de Candlesticks out there. As for the bandwagons…
    Yes, as a true baseball fan I can appreciate the effort and talent between the lines, although it was hard to see Auto and Scutaro celebrating this one. But whatever, Congrats all around to the players and coaches. As for the curly haired owner with a rat face…
    As I stated two year’s ago, let us hope San Jose, as a great American city, is finally freed to host the A’s and MLB. An announcement soon to that end will be the perfect medicine to ease the “pain” now taking place. Hopefully soon, hopefully soon…

  48. Well, that sucked. East Bay born Giant fans are pathetic. Some idiot is walking the street screaming and beating a trash can.

  49. Meant Zito, not auto (damn auto correct).

  50. If BS were to announce his decision that the A’s are moving to S.J. now the Giants and their fans might say, “Who Cares, We Won the World Series!”

  51. Uh, xoot. I was just responding to the notion that the country is taking notice. They took notice all right… and they didn’t care. I have no idea where the A’s ratings stood in all of this, probably not great either. It was hardly a “We have 4 championships to your 2” thing or whatever other d*** measuring contest you perceived it to be.

  52. i do find it funny that the midgets according to some in the bay area media sees themselves as the “bos” or “nyy” of the west coast or want to be envisioned that way as “national team”. well the rest of the country sure doesn’t think that way now that the three world series the migets have been in over the past decade have been i think the three lowest rated world series during that time.
    ….
    doubt the nyy, bos, chc and yes lad would have their world series ratings tank the way the midgets have seen when they’ve made the fall classic. sure the a’s ratings if they had been in the world series wouldn’t be great either but the a’s org and fans doesn’t have that big of an inflated ego of themselves as a certain org does here locally.

    if sj is the end game of all of this eventually, i’m all for it if the baseball gods want to stick to us a’s fans if it means they eventually are playing in cisco field sometime before the end of this decade is over.

  53. From one Anthony to another,
    On the contrary, I know a lot of Giants fans down here who would say to that “hell yeah! My team won the WS AND San Jose is getting a MLB team!” Civic pride is a beautiful thing…

  54. @xoot, the Giants have gotten lucky , they were lucky that Brandon Phillips made a stupid base running mistake, lucky Scott Rolen made an error, lucky Johny Cueto hurt his back, lucky Matt Latos got the flu, lucky they got to face Mike Leake in GM 4, and thats just the first round against the Reds. This is simply the Giants time to win now, in 62 and 02 the Giants in my opinion were more deserving of winning but they didnt. I mean how do you not win the WS with McCovey, Marichal and Mays, or Bonds and Kent. But you win two primarily because of Scutaro in 2012 and Ross 2010. most teams get this kind of luck at one point or another. Nobody can convince me that the 72 A’s werent hella lucky to beat the Big Red Machine without Reggie Jackson, and getting 4 home runs from Gene Tenace, no way that supposed to happen, but it did. And oh yes, I’m sure Giants fans were like how in the hell did this team with white shoes and a donkey just beat the Reds without Reggie Jackson.

  55. I fully expect a parade that extends from downtown S.F. all the way down to S.J., since, you know, the Giants couldn’t have done this without the fan support from the South Bay.

  56. Don’t the A’s still have the stadium lease to deal with at the end of next season?

  57. …Hard for the Giants to cry poverty and victimhood over San Jose when they are winning the World Series twice in three years. Who knows? Some on-the-fence teams may even switch to dumping the territorial rights thing over this….

  58. That’s about the only good I can think that might come of this. Otherwise, the Giants winning yet another one has just allowed them to further overshadow the poor A’s despite their magical season.

  59. The 2012 world series ratings will be the lowest ever recorded (thanks to the Giants) – passing the 2010 Giants world series. Even a Saturday college football game ranked higher ratings than the Detroit-Giants Saturday game. The Fox network likely wishes that Giants don’t do well in postseason.

  60. …not that the A’s would have been a World Series ratings bonanza, either.

  61. @dmoas and @eb: let’s have a moment of peace. I took my older son to Candlestick when the crowds were under 10K every game. He’s now the happiest Giants fan I know. Well, maybe second happiest. TV ratings just don’t matter to me. The team’s making both money and good decisions. It’s fun to watch. And their ballpark is a beautiful place to see a game. I hope the A’s are moving in those directions, too. Looks that way. Signing Cespedes seems like a dramatic turning point. You don’t make a move like that unless you’re serious, and it has paid off big time already. All of the other moves the A’s made (except, possibly, dumping Suzuki) suddenly looked brilliant, in context. Move into a new ballpark with an exciting popular team, and good things will happen.
    .
    And, no, that wasn’t me banging on the trash can lid in Oakland last night. I was the guy shouting YEAH YEAH YEAH! under the redwoods.

  62. @ EB, nothing worse my friend, East Bay Born Giants fans, how pathetic!!! I totally agree.

  63. First, let’s all show a little respect for something that is pretty amazing and bizarre. In three seasons, with two pretty different rosters, the Giants won the world series. That’s pretty ridiculoius and something all baseball fans should be able to respect.
    .
    Second, screw Larry Baer.

  64. *won the world series twice.

  65. I second Jeffrey’s sentiments. Congrats to Giants. Now it’s time for us to get ours from MLB.

  66. Sorry xootsuit, Giants? a lineup consisting of a bunch of .250, 4 HR players – fun to watch? no thank you. The A’s, despite their low payroll, are much more entertaining than the boring giants – as are most AL teams.

  67. A’s fans shouldn’t have any wounds to lick this off season. 2012 was amazing. If bashing the Giants or their fans makes people feel better, I feel sorry for you. Many of the same people on the Giants bandwagon now will be on the A’s bandwagon the next time they win a World Series. People are just enjoying a positive thing for the community. It’s not often we get one of those things that brings us all together.

    The Giants won what I want the A’s to win. It’s that simple. They earned it like every other 25-man roster that ever won a World Series.

  68. Briggs, doesn’t mean we need to be happy about it. Nor that we even need to respect it, Jeff. Only thing I care about are that the Giants organization are trying to destroy the A’s, their owners by extension are dicks, and most of their fans I know are jerks or shameless bandwagon hoppers who couldn’t even tell you basic knowledge about the team or the sport.

  69. @Xootsuit

    “under the redwoods” Where?

  70. @Dan. Fair enough. That said, it’s MLB that’s refusing to act, not the Giants. Also, the A’s don’t have a stellar track record when it comes to fostering warm fuzzies with the fans. In the end, all MLB teams are just logos and names that are property of MLB. The bandwagoners (and hardcore Giants fans) are celebrating a championship, not ideologies or payrolls and definitely not bully business tactics.

  71. Agree with Dan- I’m happy for the players and TRUE giants fans.. The organization as a whole can… What did DeGeneration X use to say?…….. SUCK IT! Don’t have to respect anything. Eff the Giants, A’s all day no matter what

  72. The TV ratings comments on this thread are pretty uninformed. National TV ratings for baseball plunge whenever a series does not involve a large East Coast market – Yankees and Red Sox mainly, but to a lesser extent Mets and Phillies. If the Cubs ever made the Series, they would be huge.
    .
    Other than that, baseball is a highly localized sport. Fans follow their own team. Very few sit down and watch an entire game between two teams from other markets. A really exciting series can make up for that a bit — like last year’s awesome Cardinals-Rangers 7 game series. But only a little.
    .
    So the problem with ratings for the two recent Giants World Series had little to do with the Bay Area, and a lot to do with the fact that both were one-sided and short series, and even more so that the American League served up Texas and Detroit — teams with absolutely no national following. If Fox is lamenting anything this week, it is that the Tigers beat the Yankees.

  73. @Briggs and Simon
    Amen…

  74. @xootsuit
    Ignore these haters.. you simon and briggs didnt do anything wrong, im ashamed of my fellow A’s fans acting so immuature about this, if the A’s won it all i know plenty of Giants fans that would still hold on to their 2010 ring and give the A’s there props… i dont know all this karma the A’s are dealing with is kinda weird… but xoot took the high road , even he knows as a giants fans that the A’s FINALLY have a team on the short term that can compete at least 2 years… and i just wanted to tell xoot for being a good sport, because if it was me i would not be so nice.

  75. I think A’s fans that were born in the mid-80’s, like myself, are probably the ones that feel the most burned right now. I never really experienced winning in ’89 (I was far too young, although my parents were at the quake game), or any of the greatness of the 70’s — so all I’ve got are some decent playoff memories, and several teams that were never allowed to reach their full potential. For us to see the Giants work half as hard and now have 2 series in 3 years is heartbreaking. We can only hope that somehow our core of talent this time around will be kept together, but it’s hard to see that happening if a new stadium hits a dead-end again.

    A lot of Giants fans I’m friends with wonder, “Why do you hate the Giants so much?”, but it’s because they don’t understand the argument from our perspective. They think it’s this happy-go-lucky, we all live in the Bay so we should support one another type-deal. They seldom know about the territorial rights argument (or if they do, they’re terribly misinformed), so they brush it aside. But it’s more important than that. This really is a case of one franchise trying to destroy/relocate another franchise. It doesn’t matter where you live — It’s just plain evil and it’s not in the spirit of sport, only in the spirit of money. And perhaps that’s why we’re so passionate about the fight — we’ve never been money grubbers from the get-go, and all we want back is something we handed over long ago at no-cost. A something that would create thousands of jobs in a time when we need some, and revitalize a franchise that deserves to be restored. It’s not just about the A’s…it’s about doing the right thing in a time where we need more people/organizations to do the right thing.

  76. I wrote this about a week earlier (as I was watching the Game 2 with my friends), but not sure why it didn’t get posted…anyhow: I am jealous of the Giants. I am jealous of their shiny ballpark on a picturesque area, while we continually rot in the Mausoleum in the middle of nowhere. I am jealous of their revenues that allows them to keep their players long term, while we start shipping ours even before they reach their arbitration years! I am jealous of their general media coverage that forgives their crappy GM and all things orange and black, while we constantly get attacked and ridiculed from anything from our Owner to tarps. I am jealous of their fanbase, while loaded with a lot of bandwagon fans, have constantly sold out night in and night out and aren’t distracted by any off field issues, while we A’s fan bicker amongst ourselves to fracture our already decreasing numbers. Yes, I’m jealous and I’m ashamed to say it….but anyhow, congrats to the Giants on their 2012 WS victory! I’ll celebrate with my Giants fans for them, but not necessarily with them….

  77. Good point psf,
    If I were a Giants fan, SET with kick-ass ballpark, beautiful setting, competitive team and championships, I’d be giving our A’s props to. Heck, if Cisco Field were imminent or already in existence, I’d be happy for the Giants and ALL their fans (even the faux ones). But as it stands right now, we’re being fucked! Of course we’re going to be bitter and defensive. Make things all even in the Bay with the A’s in SJ and all will be well in the universe…

  78. Larry E and Dan, you don’t have to like it, but you should respect it. It’s a pretty amazing feat. I, like everyone, have no respect for the current stance of the Giants ownership towards my teams future in the region. That doesn’t mean that I can’t comprehend how hard it is to do what the Giants have just done. I have learned how to separate off the field disdain from on the field accomplishment.

  79. Test…posts not going through?

  80. @ML

    I always thought that TV networks don’t really make any money on a series unless it goes past 5 games. It used to be true in Basketball and Hockey, not too sure on MLB.

  81. Jeff, good for you. I haven’t, and never will. My off field disdain colors everything they Giants do on field. Which just makes what they just did that much more disgusting to me. Respect, spare me. The entire organization and fan base has a shitload of work to do if they want to earn my respect. Unfortunately they’re currently working in the opposite direction as far as I’m concerned.
    .
    Oh and as for the players, several of them like Melky Cabrera and Pablo “MVP” Sandoval have done plenty to earn my disdain separate from their being simply Giants.

  82. it’s hard to have any respect for an organization, on or off the field, when they’re trying to kill the team you support.

    I’m aware that Buster Posey isn’t the one keeping us from moving to San Jose, but it’s real hard to wave a rally towel for somebody when I know that the people paying him want to bury the team I love.

  83. I thought one of the big payoffs for sports/sports playoffs anyway was the network’s ability to shove their own shows and new season programming down our throats in the hopes that we’ll come back to watch them.

  84. simon94022 (another typical giants fan spinning the facts) The fact is that the 2010 world series (involving the giants) was the lowest rating world series of all time, passed by the 2012 world series (also involving the giants) The 2011 world series’ teams were Texas and St Louis ( because Texas “has no national following” as you suggest, also the St Louis is a tiny fanbase when compared with other cities that host MLB teams – how do you explain the 2011 world series higher rating?)

    Also, how do you explain that the giants 2010 playoff television ratings were down badly – while the 2010 AL playoff ratings were up? (the AL playoffs are aired on TBS also, a cable only channel, with less potential viewers than Fox – a national network.

    Also your linking the giants with the A’s as bay area teams that “east coast fans don’t care about” is equally false. The A’s are not at all associated with the giants – please keep them out of this.

    The Fox network is definitely lamenting that the Giants made the world series – why do they always diss the giants? (because they lose hundreds of millions in revenue when the giants play in the world series) Deal with it – the giants are very not well liked outside of SF (the ESPN network has pointed that fact out frequently)

    • Deal with it – the giants are very not well liked outside of SF (the ESPN network has pointed that fact out frequently)

      How does one even respond to a statement like that? Wait. I know. In 2012, the Giants were the 4th out of 30 teams in both home and road attendance.

  85. The real reason nobody goes to A’s games is that the Giants are kicking butt on the field.

  86. @duffer – I wasn’t defending the Giants, just pointing out the reality of what drives national TV ratings. Last year’s series went 7 games (and game 6 was one of the most exciting in all of baseball history). What do you think the ratings for an A’s vs. Cincinnati Reds World Series would have been like this year, especially if one team swept?
    .
    Your post reads like a caricature of the kind of insecure A’s fan who always has a chip on his shoulder. It’s embarassing That attitude is big part of what keeps the A’s second fiddle in the Bay Area. To casual fans a huge turnoff. The 2012 A’s were one of the best stories in all of MLB, they have a great foundation for the future (on the field, at least), and I for one am happy about that.

  87. re: The real reason nobody goes to A’s games is that the Giants are kicking butt on the field.

    …It’s more because the Giants have a better facility and more fans. In ’06, the A’s stomped the Giants on the field; the Giants stomped the A’s at the Box Office.

  88. Hey fellas lets talk some free agency… do you think the A’s can get B.J Upton???

    • Hey fellas lets talk some free agency… do you think the A’s can get B.J Upton???

      I hope so. They could sure use another CF. (Can somebody get this berry kid a couple internets?) Oh boy, I’m sorry. Just having fun. =)

  89. @duffer

    I will prob not make any sense with this post , but TV ratings will always be off. Most Nielsen’s ratings for certain weeks only involve 5,000 people (stat sampling) on average for any given survey. Neilsen estimates that there are approximately 120 million TVs in the US. So if an estimated 7.6% of their sampled survey watched this years WS, what does that say about their participants. Those 5,000 people also had to decide if they wanted to watch football, reality shows, or the WS. So if I was apart of the survey and my team was out, why would I want to watch the WS.

    The ratings don’t take into account of on line viewing or TiVO like devices. It is one of the reason’s why we can’t get rid of shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians or Here comes Honey Boo Boo, because people in the national sample keeps watching these great reality shows. So until someone can come up with a God like device that can monitor all races, age demographics, and what everyone is watching at the same time, than the numbers will always lie.

  90. berry, no. And why would they want to?

  91. Ethan, can we just stop with the bullcrap? Anyone who believes that the A’s are outdrawn by the Giants (nearly2 to 1 in some seasons) because they have been outperformed on the field isn’t paying attention or doesn’t want to get real.
    .
    We get it. You want the A’s in Oakland. Spouting ridiculous garbage that is the opposite of reality doesn’t get them any closer to staying.

  92. Ethan – a team who’s lineup consists of a bunch of .250 BA, 4 HR players does not ” kick butt on the field” – the giants likely win because they hypnotize their opponents with boredom. The giants were an average team that became lucky and hot in the playoffs. Comparing the two teams, the A’s are ten games better than the giants. The A’s were 94-68, if the Giants played an AL West schedule, they’d have been lucky to finish 84-78 at best.

  93. @Duffer

    OT Post. Does anyone actually think the Nielsen ratings are accurate? It’s a flawed system from the 1950’s that does not use modern technology to accurately project its numbers. Who cares if 7.6% of a sample survey of 5,000 had to decide if they wanted to watch the WS or Sunday Night Football. If my team was out of the WS, why would I want to watch the game on TV? Everyone know the system is flawed, but to use that argument as a defacto indicator that a team has no National following is ludicrious.

    The Giants also had the 4th best road attendacence (33,116) in MLB this year.The A’s was 23 with an average of 29,978 per road game. I could also use those stats and say the Giants do have a national following, and that 2.6 million people payed to see them play on the road. So it’s easy to bash a team for low ratings, because of a flawed and inaccurate system that is used to monitor TV programs.

  94. duffer must’ve read the articles about the SF Giants in the NYT this morning. Something got the ire boiling. Maybe a free taco will mollify the guy.
    .
    Fox itself drives viewers away from the WS. The camera work is horrible (long shots of tomorrow’s pitcher with a headset on in the dugout, answering dumb questions, instead of showing the catcher and pitcher communicating or the runner taking a lead, etc., etc.). For a while, Fox actually used a camera behind the plate ump, so we had a great view of the ump’s butt instead of the pitch. Buck and McCarver, of course, speak for themselves.
    .
    As I said before, I don’t have much interest in the ratings, but it seems the last couple of games of a long series pique the interest of tv watchers. Short series get short shrift. Also, I saw somwhere that Fox’s WS ratings have been pretty dismal for the past 6 years. Again, take the crappy production into account. The Taco Bell ads woven into the coverage probably resulted in a million people turning in disgust to their radios. (Remember 2007 WS, when players in the dugout, including Coco C., wore live mics and talked enthusiastically to each other about their appetites for TB tacos? Fox hit bottom there, and hasn’t risen a bit since.) Anyway, take solace where you need to, I guess, but don’t be surprised if other people are reluctant to pin their sense of value to the viewing habits of tv addicts.

  95. All I know, Mikez, is that businesses do not fork over billions annually to television networks for adspace based on a very “flawed, inaccurate system, based on a sample size of 5000”. Also, the Fox network really appears to dislike the giants. During a 2012 regular season game between the Giants and Dodgers, for example, the Fox commenter kept referring to Matt Cain as Matt Kemp – it’s apparently not only Joe Buck who dislikes the giants (although Buck was strangely absent at that game and also typically goes AWOL during of regular season games when the Giants are televised)

  96. All I got to say is let the Giant hate go mango before it consumes you. Back to baseball I see the A’s picked up Balfours contract and Reddick and Inge are up for Gold Gloves.

  97. I am not all concered about the giants, Mike2. I do get p.o.’ed when excessive comments from giants trolls giving the Giants props appear at A’s sites though – the less I am informed about the Giants, the better off I am.

  98. Every team has a “National Following”. Some are just bigger than others.

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