The Trib reported tonight that after a lengthy discussion by the Oakland City Council about the merits of the proposed 10-year lease extension for the A’s, the JPA vote on the lease will be postponed. Opponents, largely Raiders fans, were ready to break out talking points for Friday’s scheduled JPA meeting. No need for that, though we’ll have to wait for the inevitable lease leaks about the lease the next time it comes up.
I thought the lease would be approved based on CM Rebecca Kaplan’s work on the deal. Problem is that we’re in June, and Oakland’s just starting to have very important budget discussions. While property tax revenue is on the rise, there are still potential shortfalls that need to be addressed. One way to address them – at least this year – is to hold firm on the parking tax fight they’re having with the A’s. Or as I said on Saturday:
If the City doesn’t want the parking tax to be a wedge issue, then simply let the matter go to arbitration as planned for the fall. When that’s done, start up the lease discussions anew. Yet, why do I get the feeling that we’ll hear about this again before election day?
— Matthew Artz (@Matthew_Artz) June 18, 2014
Yep, just as I expected.
There’s also another way to manage these lease discussions – do everything privately. Stop broadcasting out to the media that a deal is close, and then when the actual negotiating begins, walk away from the table. The level of pettiness and petulance on display is unseemly. If the two sides really want to get it done, stop with the interviews and soundbites and hammer it out, with input from all stakeholders. If not, MLB will be happy to dictate the terms for you as they did last November.
Speaking of pettiness, what’s this?
Did Wolff instruct the scoreboard operators to change the display from “OAK” to “A’s”? There’s no reason to do this unless Lew’s trying to send a message to Oakland pols. Or unless he felt he needed to test the apostrophe thoroughly. Of course, over the weekend Lew had some fun with his image as the A’s hated owner, so maybe this is an extension of that. If so, he trolled some very excitable A’s fans very hard.
On Twitter I had been referencing a study from Emory University about the types of fanbases each MLB franchise has. The study tried to separate various factors, such as a “bandwagon” effect (fan sensitivity to on-field performance) and social media equity (how frequent and how volatile is team’s Twitter following) and others. While the bandwagon discussion was quite the flamefest, there was a good deal more agreement about the assessment of the A’s social media characteristics. Teams were grouped into one of four silos, and while there could be some debate about a few teams, the A’s place was rather well earned.
“Depression & Some Mania”, eh? Wouldn’t have it any other way.