Olbermann and Justice give Wolff some good advice

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?

53 thoughts on “Olbermann and Justice give Wolff some good advice

  1. Much too much is being focused on Wolff’s quotes as if he is the main culprit as to why A’s fans are avoiding attending games at the Coliseum. Wolff’s recent misinterpreted quotes are a result of his ongoing frustration at being blocked from implementing his plan to resolving and getting a new A’s Bay Area ballpark with his own private funds. As a result, his A’s are being forced to continue in a substandard situation which adversely impacts both his franchise’s short and long-term financial viability. In addition, Wolff wants A’s fans to find the ballpark and ballgame attending experience to be a very enjoyable, pleasant, and fun time; something that only a new state-of-the-art ballpark in the right venue will be able to bring to long suffering A’s fans.

  2. Thanks for going to the trouble of posting that, ML. It underscores a point I’ve been trying to make for years. Don’t blame the customer. In my book, that post shows you got some guts, too.

    I was a loyal customer. Wolfe walked in our door, pointed at us – a crowd of loyal customers – and said “we don’t want you here anymore.” A New Coke move.

    http://www.athleticsnation.com/2005/12/22/4926/1340

    Since then, he’s hit 2.5 failed stadiums over 8 seasons. Little more. He showed such disregard for his product that the customers reclaimed it for themselves. They do all the marketing and promotion. They do all the blogs. Until scalpers kick in for the playoffs, die-hard fans account for all of the sales. All the ticket office needs to do is sell tickets and they can’t even do that very well.

    We brought the tarps down. We, the fans, finally got Olbermann’s ear. Do Not Tash The Local Fans. Loud and clear.

    11,000 seats tonight? That’s hilarious. That is not the customer’s fault. Lew Wolfe thought he could take that to the bank, but it’s his folly now.

    Future customers, if you want this product, stop rubbing shit all over it. Enough with the Ecoli crap. Or better yet, go ahead – the longer you got Olbermann telling poo jokes, the longer we retain the product. We were on TV tonight.

    Everyone talks about the solution. A new stadium is not the solution. In fact, the new stadium is it’s own problem now. If you want a new stadium, first you gotta solve Wolfe. His head and others should roll. I bet after this season, he will be gone, possibly taking San Jose with him. Add another 2-3 years to the newballpark timeline.

    If you want a new stadium, the new management will need to rebuild some bridges, starting with their current landlord. They’re gonna be at the old stadium with their current customers for a while. Next they need to rebuild some bridges with these customers. Their current customers, not some fantasy fans.

    For every revenue-sharing dollar they put in their pocket, they’re paying how much on rent – 5 cents? How much back-rent do they still owe? Over 8 years, they’ve paid hardly a penny in capital improvements. Yet they publicly bad-mouth their landlord at every opportunity? For crissakes, the stadium is 21 feet below sea-level, how does plumbing work down there? That should be on Modern Marvels, not ESPN.

    Seriously – you’re the landlord, you’ve had a lousy tenant for 8 years, you’d pull $1 billion out of your wallet to build this guy a new house? Just because he wants one? One that can house him and absolutely nobody else? You would trust him?

    Hell no, a sane landlord would say: “You are a lousy tenant. Go build your own house because nobody will ever rent to you. Go build it anywhere else, with anyone else, we don’t care.”

    If Oakland gave Lew Wolfe a dime, I would howl. If the franchise should leave Oakland some day, I don’t really care. We’re in the playoffs, baby, right here, right now. I’m not gonna rub shit over their new landlord. This is California, not freaking Cleveland, come summer I got a million other things I wanna do. Oakland is crawling with hipsters and the landlords know it, too.

    The newballpark isn’t merely a real estate problem anymore. It’s a matter of trust. Or anti-trust. Or anti-anti-trust. Whatever, you can have it, I’m into baseball.

    Did you catch the quick stock shot of Frank Yowell Field?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Youell_Field

    Magic number is four.

    • @freddy – Olbermann laid blame on numerous things other than Wolff. Yet you’re pointing solely at the owner. As long as people have this black-and-white, single-villain view of what causes the problem, nothing meaningful is ever going to get done. I urge everyone to approach all of this with some nuance. You just put out a straw man, the landlord pulling out $1 billion… There’s no indication that’s ever going to happen. The landlord-tenant comparison doesn’t even hold water, because the tenant wants to leave to build his own house with his own money in a better neighborhood, while the landlord wants to keep the tenant as a renter. If hipsters want to turn the Coliseum into an ultimate frisbee park, Lew Wolff is not going to stand in their way. He’ll be happy to step aside.

  3. @llpec,
    You’re 100% correct on that.
    @all,
    On why you don’t comment in other forums: had one idiot tell me that Oakland has offered Lew Wolff land for a ballpark (but he’s “refused” the offer) and another one tell me attendance dropped 500,000 when Wolff announced his intention to move the A’s. The mind is a terrible thing to waste…

  4. Interesting the parallel between Cleveland and Oakland in that both had their largest successes in the stands in franchise history when their football teams decided to skip town.

  5. The Cleveland/Oakland analogy is a little off imho. The Cleveland area lost over 100k jobs in the last 10 years and is not expecting to recover anytime soon. We all know Oakland’s problems so I won’t mention them here.

    You also have to look at the market. Ohio is a football and basketball state. Baseball is 4th somewhere behind football, basketball, and NASCAR. Once the job market improves I am sure you will see increase at Indian games.

    The other thing no one talks about in these attendance debates in the influence of cable and internet. Why go to games when you can watch them on TV or over in your ipod.

  6. @freddy,
    Speak for yourself..
    (That was easy)

  7. @jeff
    I realize from a person’s point of view that would like the A’s to stay in Oakland, this blog may seem slanted towards San Jose (I believe we all have some biases), but ML does a really balanced job in my opinion, and believe me I really want the A’s to get something worked out in Oakland.
    I believe most of the relevant news, that comes out just happens to be related to San Jose efforts, and not Oakland’s, ML can’t cover news that’s not there(thankfully he chooses not to), if Oakland/Alameda county are not doing anything relevant, there is nothing to report. It may seem bias, because there is little, to no news, and what news there is, is not coming from Oakland.
    I as a pro-Oakland person (would be happy with San Jose), have every confidence, that if/when Oakland does anything of relevance ML will be right on it. The fact is Oakland pols, have come out with truths, and half-truths, if Oakland is/was doing something they are certainly are doing it out of the view of the general public’s eyes, let’s not forget the current governor fired the one man in Oakland that was trying to get something done, that’s a fact and it was most likely, related to the efforts, Bobb was making toward the A’s getting a new home.
    If you have a problem with the commenters here, well that’s not ML’s fault, everyone has their own point of view. Its seems to me that most of the people here that are pro-San Jose, would also be ok with Oakland (if Oakland can ever get its act together), they just want what, we all want for the A’s to get a new ballpark. It’s also true that many other people don’t care if it’s, San Jose or Oakland, they simply prefer San Jose, because it’s the best economically for the A’s., is there any doubt that if its Oakland (MLB, Oakland/Alameda Co., Port of Oakland MLB players union, SF Giants), someone is going to have to give economically to make up for it not being in San Jose?

  8. Not sure what KO was referring to when he said that the World Series games in Oakland between 1972 and 1974 were poorly attended. Look at the box scores…every single one was sold out.

  9. The A’s should be spinning this against mlb for delaying the move to San Jose. “We’re stuck here and it sucks. We love the fans who’re sticking it out with us.” Only two explanations for not taking that approach: first, and most likely, the A’s are complicit in the mlb delay, demanding changes to the CBA revenue-sharing terms, etc., so they have no choice but to observe Selig’s gag order if they want to move to San Jose eventually. Second, unlikely but tempting, the A’s owners and management are idiots who can’t even hire a competent PR firm.

    Example: When the concession contractor at the Giants ballpark had its nasty labor dispute earlier this season, resulting in a half-ass sort of strike over Memorial Day weekend, a famous local PR “crisis expert” that was interviewed outside the ballpark, defending the contractor (and, by extension, the Giants). He slammed the poor workers for giving military veterans a “slap in the face” on the holiday weekend. As a result of his surprisingly cold, aggressive tactics the workers (unfairly, imo) lost public sympathy. You can be sure the Giants had a hand in hiring that PR maven. Why haven’t the A’s hired someone like that to present their case. The head guy himself shouldn’t be making stupid public comments. They need a plan and a spokesperson. The fact that they have neither is just pathetic.

  10. @xoot-you really think that Wolff is going to explicitly lay the blame on MLB–who cant draw that conclusion for themselves knowing that bs blue ribbon commission was set up in 2009 to identify if there were any feasible ballpark sites in oakland and 4 years later we have no feasible ballpark sites in oakland. Any reasonable individual looks at bs as a complete idiot–LW doesn’t need to point this out.

    Second- you imply in your post that LW is complicit in the delay to move to SJ because he is working on changes to the CB agreement. Sounds like a plan to me that is most likely based upon reasonable and prudent financial drivers.

    Third–in business you have the person who has to do the dirty work; someone who will take the lumps and understand that he/she will never “win” but they will pave the way for the next individual to step in and be the savior; kudo’s for LW playing the bad guy role when in reality the greedy gints are the bad guys in this game (of course you dont mention that). So how do you conclude at the end that have neither a plan or a spokesperson. The plan is being executed–the face of the organization will arrive when the dirty work is done-

  11. GoA’s–The A’s have no plan to spin the E Coli late-season and upcoming PS disasters (small crowds, football yard lines, sewer-gate) to their benefit. Dumping on the fans for not showing up is stupid. Olbermann’s right about that. Lew Wolff should shut his trap and hire someone with talent to handle the PR. The plan insofar as it concerns negotiatiions within mlb probably can’t be made public, so the PR people would have to come up with an approach that technically sidesteps that issue. It would be a tricky, but entirely feasible, project.

    The Giants had a whiny ineffectual owner back in the 80s who couldn’t get things done. When the Giants were in the pennant races toward the end of the seasons, he used to go on the post-game radio show and complain that the crowds at Candlestick were tiny. The world changed in 92 when that guy sold the team to some owners who were committed to doing things effectively. Wolff resembles Lurie more and more every day.

  12. @xoot- things changed for the gints when the got their new ballpark plan approved and were able to leverage that excitment to improve upon the remaining years at the stick–A’s will be able to do the same;

    In reality- how much does a local PR strategy matter considering the bay area media is all in the gints pockets (once again why no outrage against Lacob, York or Davis–all of which are or trying to move their teams). Part of an effective PR strategy is to elevate this issue to nat’l attention so folks like KO and others can see how mlb has allowed one of its own franchises to bully its regional partner into a corner and how little bs has done about it. I consider it to be a success using that criteria as Oakland, AC and bs are all exposed to their incompetence.

  13. Lev says:(September 20, 2013 at 9:43 AM )

    “Not sure what KO was referring to when he said that the World Series games in Oakland between 1972 and 1974 were poorly attended. Look at the box scores…every single one was sold out.”

    Except for Game 1 of the ’73 series, all WS games over those 3 years had attendance of 49,000+. That game is listed on Retrosheet as 46021. What was considered a sellout in that era?

    On the other hand, only one of the ALCS games ’71-’75 hit 49K, many were in the mid-high 20s-low 30s. (Examples 1972 Games 1-2, on Saturday-Sunday, drew 29566 and 31068. Game 5 in 1973 on a Thursday afternoon drew just 24265.) Maybe that’s what Olbermann remembers.

    1971 ALCS 33176

  14. GoA’s–you clearly don’t know the history of the Giants. The new owners signed Bonds immediately, for what was a record-breaking FA salary at the time I believe, and improved Candlestick substantially, year after year. The 93 season was a thriller, with the talent on the team stacked. The 94 strike hurt the Giants as much as everyone else. But compare the attendance numbers at the Stick vs. the E Coli for the years following the strike. The Giants continued to roll. They made big moves in 97 (adding Kent to the team, primarily), so that a competitive team was exciting everyone at the same time the teams was breaking ground for the new ballpark. And of course attendance at the new park has been terrific since day one (which, btw, was part of a final spring training series between the Giants and the Brewers–my 10 year old kid really enjoyed it).

    Wolff’s failure in Fremont and his spinning wheels in San Jose, combined with his current ridiculous whining–that’s not the right story line.

  15. The biggest problem with what Lew Wolff said, is that he said it. It’s not that the content is false. It’s that as the owner of a sports team, there is an audience for such gripes and it isn’t the general public in a newspaper.
    .
    I’d be much more willing to believe the Pro Oakland slant, that Lew Wolff wanting a new stadium in San Jose, is the cause for the attendance issues, if this wasn’t just the repeating of a well established pattern that has played itself out over 4 ownership groups and 4.5 decades.
    .
    I’d be more inclined to buy what Mike Davie, Jorge Leon and Garth Kimbal spew if it was actually objective.
    .
    The truth is very simple. The A’s haven’t drawn that well as compared to the rest of MLB for any sustainable period of time for as long as they have been in Oakland. They have been in the top half of MLB attendance less than half of the times they have been in the playoffs.
    .
    The only other team that has a similar record of people not showing up is Tampa Bay, and they don’t have nearly the track record to show that it is repeatable.
    .
    This $1B nonsense is just that: Nonsense. No one has said the City of Oakland should fork over a billion dollars. I’d be happy if they actually came out of the shadows and openly discussed what it will take to build a stadium where ever it is that they plan on building a stadium. They have done absolutely nothing of value here, other than proving Lew Wolff’s point… Chew on that, with an objective mind. They did a study that proved Victory Court was too expensive. They released a study that included Howard Terminal in 2002.
    .
    They now spin it as “Things have changed.” But, how have they changed? I haven’t heard word one to describe this… There’s a new parking garage? That’s not enough of a change to materially impact the challenges at Howard Terminal that were identified a decade ago… Read that again, a DECADE ago.
    .
    Lew Wolff, “There’s no place for a stadium.” Oakland, “Well look at this circle I drew on a map!”
    .
    Can the A’s draw in Oakland, in a new stadium? Sure. But at what cost and how is it paid for? Let’s get real about this. I want the A’s to stay in Oakland. But it isn’t happening with this kabuki theatre…
    .
    Queue the SOS/LGO commenter to spin some bullshit about how reality isn’t reality.

  16. PS- I wish Lew Wolff would shut up just as much as the Pro Oakland guys. Were I him, I’d hire a Chief Fan to talk about the team publicly and focus on lobbying behind the scenes.

  17. @Jeffrey
    Thanks man as a pro-Oakland (that’s just fine with SJ), person I could not have said it better myself, or should I say a pro-Oaklander, that tries to remain objective as I possibly can, whatever Wolff’s faults are, they are not nearly, as aggravating as some of the (only/pro) Oakland crowd that refuse to look at the A’s situation with a critical eye.

  18. You cannot compare the A’s to the rest of MLB teams as they are a big market team trapped in a dump. Tampa Bay is in a far smaller market even if you split the Bay Area into two as are several other MLB markets.

    So when you compare them to the other big market teams that is fair comparison. The other four 2-team markets are the best way possible to compare.

    Of those teams the A’s despite having the best record of all of them and yet are behind all other 7 teams in attendance.

    Even the lowly Chicago White Sox have better attendance than the A’s do currently.

    With that being said it is obvious the ballpark is the main problem and the location of the team in the market.

    The Giants built their park too close to the A’s. The disparity between the two parks is so vast even winning teams will not cure the problem.

    The team needs to move to San Jose so they can be at the center of the population in the South Bay metro area of 2M people.

    Right now they share the center of the SF Metro area of 4M-5M people with the Giants in a ballpark that is so inferior to what the Giants have it is not even funny.

    A Downtown Oakland ballpark would not solve this problem. In fact the A’s would still be on revenue sharing even with a publicly subsidized ballpark.

    The two centers of population and wealth are San Jose and SF in the Bay Area. This and the fact both centers are 50 miles apart is the reason why the A’s are a small market team in a big market.

    Bud Selig is truly a coward for not seeing this and overruling the Giants from the get go to help MLB have 2 healthy revenue sharing producing teams in what is the wealthiest market in the country.

    Instead lawsuits and bad media publicity has ensued and Selig is the one to blame for all of it….

  19. The last two posts by Jeffrey and one by GoA’s were excellent! Standing and applauding loudly! I guess the moral of the story can be summed up like this: The truth hurts, so Mr. Wolff, stop ranting about the truth.
    @xoot, could you imagine the Giants still playing at Candlestick Park, TODAY?! Bottom line is that they did get there new ballpark in corporate rich San Francisco (see Warriors and why they want to relocate to SF). Over 20 years since those early 1990’s and the A’s STILL need a new ballpark. And as the Raiders have recently made plain as day, corporate poor Oakland is not going to happen for privately financing a venue. If San Francisco in the 1990’s were like Oakland circa 2013 there’s no way the Giants would be playing at AT&T Park. In closing, very disengenious to compare what the Giants did in the 1990’s to what the A’s/Wolff should be doing today.

  20. BTW, when did calmly pointing out the truth become “whining?”

  21. tony, I assume you meant “ingenious.” Thanks. Lew Wolff is whining. That’s what it sounds like to me and apparently to everyone else who’s not blinded by that strange yellow color the A’s wear. (I know, I know: “Ft. Knox Gold.” Charlie Finley. Now there was a guy who knew how to hoodwink.) Wolff’s approach is just terrible PR.

  22. These circular arguments get really old and tiring (which is why I haven’t posted much lately). Oakland-only folks (including Quan) are playing a dangerous game of poker that they can’t win:

    – Keep checking down and sooner or later, it goes back to you playing your hand (which you have none)

    – Keep call Wolff bluff by doing nothing and it validates LW assertion that it isn’t possible in Oakland and he (and MLB) will leave

    – Go all in and you risk political backlash similar to the Mt. Davis public subsidy fiasco

    Unfortunately, Wolff (and more to the point, MLB) holds all the cards here and is waiting to see how much Oakland is willing to sweeten the pot before they show their cards. If not, they’ll just pass and take their winnings to another town and say thanks for playing.

  23. MLB’s reply brief in support of its motion to dismiss was just filed. MLB also filed, as an exhibit, the current MLB constitution. I think litigation forced MLB to release the previous version, too. Until then it had been sacrosanct. I’d be happy to send a pdf copy via email, but I see ML no longer has an email link here.

  24. @xoot,
    “Everyone else” equates to Oakland-only and traditional Bay Area media in this saga. Correcting spelling now are we? Like no one ever spelled anything wrong here or had a typo (sarcasm). At this point I guess that’s all you got left in this debate..

  25. @xoot- As I was raised in the bay area I am well aware of the gints history both on and off the field. Fortunately, I was raised properly and taught to like 2 teams–the A’s and anyone that beats the gints. It has been a glorious year.

    Comparing what the gints had to do to build a privately financed ballpark in SF to what the A’s are enduring because of the gints is apples and oranges. Absent gint opposition a ballpark would be opening in downtown SJ next year. Do you really think any of these discussions around eColi and LW and attendance would be happening at this point in time. No–excitement would be all over with the team developing into a perennial contender, Cespedes on board and the playoffs/WS on the horizon–

  26. Without context, Xoot, it’s impossible to call it whining. At this point, it’s just pointing out the obvious. Until you hear audio of him actually whining, you’re adding your own bias to what he said in order to call it a whine.

  27. ML – I’d like to respond to two of your points.

    “Olbermann laid blame on numerous things other than Wolff. Yet you’re pointing solely at the owner. As long as people have this black-and-white, single-villain view of what causes the problem, nothing meaningful is ever going to get done.”

    In context of this thread, Do Not Trash The Local Fans is directed specifically at Wolff. Sure, when a lot of folks criticize Bush or Obama, they should be pointing their fingers at their administrations, the system, whomever. But the boss is the one who is going to get the heat. Particularly when the words come straight out of his mouth.

    In my dealings with customer service, I often get the feeling the person I’m speaking with is as frustrated as me. We make a simple request, are put on hold, and then met with the refrain “no, we can’t do that.” Who gave them that answer? It came from somewhere above. I’d love to speak to the real villain but the organization is not transparent.

    Giving the customer service reps a little autonomy might be a good start. They are sitting on buckets of unused product which gets flushed down the drain every night. I don’t want to be too harsh on them, they are doing their best – but their hands seem to be tied, the culture is amiss. There is a huge disconnect between proprietor and customer. In business you never blame the customer. Tell me where my finger should be pointed.

    (Selig!!! – the crowd roars – The Giants!!! – and a move to San Jose is going to change this!!! Color me dubious.)

    “You just put out a straw man, the landlord pulling out $1 billion.”

    I put out a lot of round numbers, I didn’t think anyone would get too hung up on that one, I’ve seen it bandied around here before. It’s roughly the price tag for the Niners’ and Warriors’ new venues. Wolff is not going to invest his money in Oakland, I’ve been told, so Oakland will need to pony up a substantial investment themselves. Give me a round-dollar estimate of their expected contribution. Any number you want, let’s fix that.

    The city seems to be able to find money when they want it. Most of their capital improvement projects run substantially over-budget; $58 million extra for the Fox, a $26 million bridge at Lake Merritt cost another $100 million before they finished. Hardly anyone batted an eye at that. Add up enough of those multi-million dollar over-runs and you could buy yourself a ballpark.

    You are right, the figure might be for discussion purposes only. At this point, Oakland probably won’t cough it up. Primarily due to the bad blood. The A’s need a new spokesman if they want to re-open talks – with Oakland, Selig, the Giants – you name it. The team has the power to throw that switch. Can’t do that with Quan, she’s elected. And largely irrelevant. If you want stadium cash from Oakland it will come down to a ballot. The very same local fans who have been trashed.

    All this nonsense over a backed-up toilet. It could have been worse – the vistors’ dugout was full of Scioscia that night!

    • @freddy – Of course the main criticism is aimed at Wolff. It couldn’t be more obvious. But what KO makes clear is that other problems contribute to the situation. If anything, an owner’s quote serves as a flashpoint.

      You’re awfully confident that Oakland can come up with money. Money for infrastructure improvements and parks is often a sound investment. Public subsidies for MLB, the NFL, and NBA are another thing altogether. The citizens of Oakland haven’t forgotten about the budgetary impact of Mt. Davis, and it still has to be addressed in any new stadium deal in Oakland, especially one at the Coliseum. Oakland pols have frequently said they won’t need a vote on any project because there’s no mandate for one. You don’t think someone won’t sue to make that a reality? And is any mayoral candidate, including Mayor Quan, willing to stake their political future on the promise of another sports complex redevelopment utopia?

  28. @freddy,
    Wow! I’ll just keep it classy and state that you’re more than entitled to your opinion. That is all…Go A’s!!

  29. No, I’m not confident Oakland could come up with the money for a ballpark. I’ve outlined some of the reasons for that. But before we go further, give me a round-dollar estimate of what Oakland would be expected to contribute. I mentioned $1 billion and was shot down for that – so much are we talking about? I’m not going to argue it – what’s the consensus?

  30. @freddy – For the sake of argument I’ll say $250 million and a free/ready-to-build site. That’s the rough amount the City of Sacramento is devoting to the Kings arena.

  31. for what it’s worth–I’m not saying Wolff’s a bad guy, that he’s responsible for towels in the toilets or Mt Davis or the yard lines on the greensward, etc. I’m saying that I think his public image has become foolish, and that it makes no sense for him to have put himself in such jeopardy. Given the A’s success this year and the sellouts to come, he stood to gain nothing by making those odd statements about fans and attendance. There was only downside, and it has developed . . . .

  32. $250 million and a free/ready-to-build site. Thanks – great – that’s all I needed. I’ll remember that for future reference.

    The cost-overruns alone on the two projects I mentioned cover about half of that. I’m offering that just for perspective – I’m not saying Wolff would get it.

    • @freddy – Just so we’re clear, the Fox renovation money came from a now defunct redevelopment agency. Lake Merritt improvements were funded by Measure DD bonds. If you’re talking public financing for a stadium, it usually means raising bonds – and that usually means a vote.

  33. Yep, I know exactly where that money came from, and as I said: “If you want stadium cash from Oakland it will come down to a ballot.” So we’re 100% in agreement.

    I followed that with: “The very same local fans who have been trashed.” That’s pertinent to Obermann’s rant – these are the voters who would need to approve that ballot.

    • @freddy – Hurt feelings vs. the ongoing sting of a $10 million/year bad stadium deal. One of these matters a lot more than the other.

  34. Yeah right – blame Wolff while the crazy gnats organization (with Selig as an accomplice) is doing an unprecidented move in professional sports, in a two team fanbase situation – opposing the other team moving further away? – the gnats are the true villians. The giantsspin job artists (Shea and Ratto, TK also, not this time though, and others)are at it again – blasting Wolff and the A’s attendence, the Coli, etc. – and avoiding the fact that the A’s are 1st in the AL West and the gnats are a cellar-dweller (where the giants belong)

  35. @xoot- while you look at all the nat’l press as negative, in my mind it is exactly what this situation needs to begin to break the logjam- if bs didn’t feel like an idiot before when he was dropping the f* bomb when talking about the A’s ballpark he sure does now with a nat’l audience now understanding he hasn’t done anything to alleviate this situation other than be party to a lawsuit–

  36. I’m generally a LW supporter. He hasn’t done it perfect but he has for the most part plaid it by the MLB book (more so than I think he should). However, I agree with those who say “don’t blame the customer”. It doesn’t even matter if it truly is a customer issue (debatable), it makes no sense to take an adversarial stance with them. While I don’t want to over dramatize his comments because they weren’t that bad, again, calling fans out is not likely to propel them to buy more tickets. The caveat to this is LW might have chose the words he used purposefully (the words were meant to be heard by someone with the same initials as Bull Sh!+).

    As far as KO, not a fan of his non sports work/shows. Even as a contributor to Football Night In America he remained off putting (IMHO). Yet with him returning to his roots, sports reporting, his characteristics/personality is a refreshing presence in a sea of mostly stupidity. And while I disagree with a couple of his points, HUGE credit to KO for actually taking up this issue and putting some miles on it. He has instantly made Bay Area media institutions look flimsy and weak (not that they could realize they are flimsy and weak, or even care). To this day it still is a head scratcher that this clearly Bay Area newsworthy story has gotten little more than a few axe grinding blowhards regurgitating depth-less, fact-less drivel.
    The timing of KO is great too! The A’s (PLEASE!) may find themselves on the biggest of stages in a few weeks. With a strong personality like KO pushing the story behind the A’s stadium saga, and the A’s in the WS, those of us who want the A’s in a new stadium will not only get the enjoyment of a WS, we get the added bonus of seeing the ostrich known as BS forced to pull his head out of the ground, just a bit, and hear the words “A’s stadium issue”.

  37. >>>But before we go further, give me a round-dollar estimate of what Oakland would be expected to contribute.<<<
    The dollar figure the city has to kick in? That can't even be extimated because the first question is stadium location and what the site cost will be (beyond the actual stadium construction cost). Once that is determined and the true assessment of the site issues can be made, a proposal for the city's $$$ contribution could be determined. Problem! As history clearly and unambiguously shows, the city can't even pick a spot everyone is on the same page about, that they stick with, have everyone pitch/champion collectively with one voice.

    But let's say the city selected a site, stick with it/strongly champion it collectively with one voice, the discussion of money remains a fool's errand. Oakland is not going to put in any serious money for a private corporation to build a stadium. Do you (everyone) wonder why (never mind an actual plan) a site hasn't been chosen after this many years? Why sooooo much hot air, so much dog and pony, so little action has taken place on this issue by the Oakland Pols? Why other past city administrations have said, through actions, "A's, we're busy right now, maybe call back next year"? The answer is that behind closed doors the Pols know the truth: bad financial health coupled with a political atmosphere that will excoriate the Pol that gives 150 million dollars to a private corporation/extremely wealthy owner/not too popular team equals dead on arrival. So the Pol(s) knowing this cold hard reality behind closed doors (knowing they will be seen as a loser putting forth a plan that fails), being they are not going to stick their necks out and be truthful about it (that just isn't good politics), reach for the political playbook. That playbook says do nothing(ignore) and/or use hot air, dog & pony shows. You let the other side make their comments, make their moves, stake out their position, then pivot/politic the issue. This way no matter what happens (whether the A's stay where they are, give in to less team favorable plans, move elsewhere) the Pol can claim the success or deflect the blame of the failure. Hey they tried, right? The other side is the bad guy. We wanted them to stay, we totally gave them the JLS_CC_VC_WF_ParkingLot plan! We gave it to them! The evil SOBs just turned their backs on us! Look, if that wasn't the case, given this! many! years!, then why doesn't Oakland have an SJ like plan they are pitching with a collectively single voice????

    Ad nauseum, The A's are all but done in the city of Oakland. This whole discussion and everything surrounding it is itself a dog and pony show (irony). BS knows it, the Lodge knows it, LW knows it, JQ knows it, the Giants know it, the media knows it, anyone who can add and can step away from the emotion of the issue knows it. The A's are all but done in Oakland, it's just a matter of time. And for those who passionately want the A's to stay in Oakland (not those who simply want the city of Oakland to win and the A's be damned….they can go jump in a lake), I'm sorry. I know that fandom/team following-loyalty isn't about attendance projections and exorbitant site prep costs and how many companies are 3.14 miles from the welcome mat at the stadium, it's a passion thing. And it sucks to see your team to not only leave but also associate themselves with another city/name. But the cold hard business side of professional sports is what it is. It's 5 CPA's and 2 MBA's sitting in a room with a spreadsheet that says 'fans here' have 22 cents per hour potential while 'fans over there' are only 17 cents. That 5 cents difference can pay for the stadium. It's cold, hard, unfeeling spreadsheet numbers. And this cold hard reality has already decided the fate of the A's in Oakland. And to argue otherwise can't possibly be born out a fair reading of the facts…….

  38. Can I get an AMEN for TW’s post!..

  39. @TW, Wow! Couldn’t have been stated any better.

  40. I’m telling you, give me 20 billion dollars and I can get this entire thing fixed.

    Highlights of my plan include
    -purchasing the A’s, Warriors, and Raiders
    – building new stadia at Alameda Point
    – building a new offramp OVER the port of oakland directly to the new Marine Layer Complex in Alameda
    – paying off the state to avoid CEQA, EIR, all that mumbo jumbo

    who will pay me?

  41. Anyone know when MLB and the NFL are going to make the call on swapping the Chargers/Raiders games?

    • @Dan – They already have. No swap. Raiders could play at home on Monday night if the A’s get the #1 or #2 spots. Will post on this later.

  42. TW writes :
    >>>But before we go further, give me a round-dollar estimate of what Oakland would be expected to contribute.<<<
    The dollar figure the city has to kick in? That can't even be extimated….

    Above in this thread, ML estimated it as:
    $250 million and a free/ready-to-build site.

    As I said, for purposes of future discussion, ML's estimate works for me. If you and ML would like to argue or revise this estimate, please do. If you would like to translate "free/ready-to-build site" into dollar value, that might be useful. Reach an agreement and please post that figure when you are done.

    It's an arbitrary number, non-binding, somewhat speculative. As I said, I will accept any number you choose. This number merely exists to facilitate further discussion, i.e:

    The city of Oakland will be expected to contribute X (this number was set by ML & agreed with by TW and the consensus of this forum) and, thus, etc.

    or

    The city of Oakland will be expected to contribute ??? (this number is a big argument in itself on this forum so there's no point in further discussion. The end.)

    C'mon, put the goalpost in the ground.

    Game's starting.

  43. There are no goalposts to out in the ground until there is a site thy has been vetted.

  44. Cool. Instead of shifting goalposts, you’re talking no goalposts at all.

    That’s like Sarte. Or Shakespeare.

    Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
    Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee,
    And for thy maintenance; commits his body
    To painful labor, both by sea and land.

    I can totally play that game.

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