Last night Keith Olbermann took Oakland and Alameda County to task over the continuing sewage problems at the Coliseum. Tonight was Lew Wolff’s turn to be flogged. The clip below is a segment featuring Olbermann and longtime national baseball writer Richard Justice, in which Justice chides Wolff for blaming fans for the A’s attendance woes.
Everything’s on point. Olbermann’s sympathetic to Wolff’s plight but doesn’t excuse him. Apparently, the lead-in to this segment was a much more thorough critique of Wolff. For whatever reason Olbermann’s producers chose to leave it out. The show is not available for streaming besides scattered Youtube clips like these.
It’s too bad. I would’ve liked to have seen KO’s take on this side of the matter, if only to serve as equal time.
Justice pointed out that Cleveland manager Terry Francona and some Indians players chose to take the high road regarding the Tribe’s woeful attendance figures. That’s not exactly the same as Larry Dolan or Mark Shapiro talking. Last week Shapiro had an interview with Crain’s Cleveland which was similar in tone to Wolff’s latest quotes. Shapiro blames some of the problems on Cleveland’s market size. Fans countered that the organization has done little to earn their faith. Obviously there’s a different dynamic at work in Cleveland compared to Oakland. Circumstances are very dissimilar except for attendance figures – and one other thing. Aside from the three straight World Series in the 70’s (which Olbermann notes were not well-attended), the A’s most successful era occurred after the Raiders moved to Los Angeles. The Indians greatest success in the last 50 years occurred after the Browns abandoned Cleveland for Baltimore. The Raiders were successful for a period when they returned, and have been mediocre in the decade since. The Browns have been the AFC North’s punching bag since they returned as an expansion team. Both affected baseball teams have been unable to repeat their respective successes since the football teams returned.
I was able to watch the last airing of Olbermann for Thursday night/early Friday morning, and have seen the missing 10-minute show monologue. KO ripped Wolff, Horace Stoneham, Al Davis, the Coliseum’s sewage problem (yes, that again), Bo Pelini, Lee Elia, Craig Kilborn, and Olbermann himself for creating circumstances that lead to gaffes like Wolff’s. No, KO didn’t call for Wolff’s head. For your edification, I took a phone video of the segment (replete with poor audio, turn it all the way up) for you to view. If it gets taken down because of copyright/fair use issues, I’m sorry. Can’t do anything about that.
Note that Olbermann didn’t have any sort of solution, other than urging Wolff to not trash fans. Well, it’s nice for KO that he could jump from network to network and sue whenever he got petulant or bored. Wolff? MLB’s constitution doesn’t give him such latitude.
Someday we’re all gonna look back on all of this and laugh. Right?