Baseball’s pretty great

So here’s what happened. I got home and the power was out. While reporting the outage, I jumped on a bus to head into Old Town (<5 minutes, no driving tonight). Got off and went over the Jack’s, a nearby sports bar. When I got to the door I found out that Jack’s had closed two weeks ago. So I walked further into downtown Scottsdale, settling upon Scapegoat, one of my favorite bars. The goat reference was coincidental, yet I took it all the way. I ate a lovely sandwich called ‘The G.O.A.T.’ If the bar had Celebrator I would’ve loaded up.

When I entered it was still largely an after-work crowd with a handful of Cubs fans watching the game. Scapegoat is not a sports bar and only has one TV. It’s also a quite small bar, so when a crowd of 20 people come in they can practically take over the place. So I chatted up a bunch of Cubs fans that came around the 5th inning and a couple Indians fans, me being the neutral observer. As the tension rose the Cubs fans got more jokey (a well-developed defense mechanism I have seen elsewhere), but still desperately hopeful. Even as the Cubs lost the lead the fans didn’t get depressed. They saw the prize in the near distance. And as Kris Bryant smiled while fielding the last grounder and threw to first for the final out, I sat there and watched the gathered fans. I realized that I’ll never truly appreciate winning like they are right now. The fans have been down for so long, so much failure and disappointment, and now the ultimate in sheer joy. It was beautiful.

As I left I shook hands with them and said, “Enjoy this. Next year the Cubs will be hated by America like every other team.” I’m sure they enjoyed it to the fullest. I walked home.

Baseball’s pretty great, indeed.

20 thoughts on “Baseball’s pretty great

  1. Order of events:
    1. City of Cleveland wins a pro sports championship
    2. Chicago Cubs win a WS
    3. Hell freezes over
    4. A’s get a new stadium

  2. I sat and watched in my living room with my with and three daughters. The older two girls were recounting the time that my brother and I took them an ALDS game in Oakland. The towel waving, Coco Crisp making an incredible catch, the ice cream and cotton candy… ha.

    I don’t get the bill Murray meme. What the heck is that from?

    • Jeff – if you’re seeing the one I’ve seen, it’s from the last scene of Lost in Translation. Murray’s character is whispering in the ear of a young woman he’s lusted over all film, and the viewer doesn’t get to hear what he says.

      I’m with you – I think A’s will get it done in Oakland soon enough.

  3. I always questioned Lew Wolff desire to actually build in Oakland (on this site), at times was shot down with a variety of excuses made for old St. Wolff as I called him, in reference to some commenters who I felt did not want to be critical of him at all.

    There is no way we could ever know if Wolff never really had any intention to build in Oakland (innless he actually admitted it) as I always questioned, but today’s news, solidifies it for me.
    And, yes I am spiking the football (baseball), just a little…

    • He’s 80 years old. If he was 60 he’d keep pushing. He knows there’s a long slog ahead for whomever takes over the lead. Maybe…. he’s just tired.

      • Maybe he is just tired ML, but he was older then 60 when he took over. Maybe he is just tired, or maybe he never really wanted to build in Oakland.

      • “And then he explained how he was tired. He still liked watching baseball, being a part of baseball, seeing kids enjoy games at the ballpark, liked watching the A’s even as they struggled. But at age 81, after attempting and failing to get ballpark projects under way in Oakland and Fremont and San Jose, Wolff was pondering the future. He realized that no matter where a new ballpark was built, the project would take at least five years to complete. Wolff would be 86 then, minimum. It hit him emotionally when his good friend and college fraternity brother, Bud Selig, had stepped aside as baseball commissioner in 2014.”

        I know that doesn’t work with the he-hates-Oakland narrative.

      • I never said he hated Oakland, and I haven’t come with any particular narrative, but his actions suggest he simply may not have wanted to build there.

        Perhaps it was a combination of age, and the fact that Oakland wasn’t his first choice, Oakland may not have been his second or third either, or a choice at all, but I guess that’s a narrative that some don’t won’t to consider.

      • Wolff spent 2003-06 working on Oakland stadium concepts. Remember Coliseum North & Coliseum South? He tried. He failed. He moved on.

      • I also believe, I pointed out that Wolff s wait Davis out strategy (which I was also told wasn’t true at first, by a few of my friends here), may back fire because of his age, that was in fact if he ever was willing to build at the coliseum site. So if it was age, or a combination of age, and his heart truly not being in building in Oakland, I may have been correct about both.

        Hopefully we will get a new park in the next 5-8 years, because while I’m not as old as Wolff, I’m currently not getting younger.

      • Sorry ML, I just happen to believe he put a hell of a lot more efert into San Jose, and Freemont.
        I’m am not of the “He lied, he never tried” group, but I am of “He didn’t try as hard as he could have in Oakland” group.

        And, Hay it’s ok, I never said he had to build in Oakland, I would have been happy with San Jose, or Freemont, not as happy as I would have been with Oakland of course, but I never had a problem with the other places. I just don’t think he was up front or dealt in good faith concerning Oakland.

  4. Lew Wolff is out……Best thing ever to happen to the A’s.

    Let’s hope Fisher taking over is a sign of good things to come. Worst ownership and one of the richest according to ESPN.

  5. I would take today’s news as a sign that Fisher will quietly start entertaining bids to sell the team.

    • That’s a possibility as well. Its looking a bit different however, but who the hell knows?

    • wouldn’t the a’s value as a franchise to a lot more if they were sold with them playing in a new park or having a new park on the way?

      • I agree with that thought.

      • “Wouldn’t the A’s value be a lot more if they were sold with a new park on the way?”

        Not necessarily. Franchise value according to Forbes, sure. But if you’re talking about franchise value according to a billionaire who might seek to buy the team – there aren’t a whole lot of those – don’t you think they’d want to be able to decide a.) what was being built, and b.) where it’s being built, especially since the new ownership group would be on the hook for the debt of building the stadium? New owners would rather have a clean slate financially than be on the hook for huge bloated contracts or stadium financing debts.

        We know that whatever gets built (assuming it’s in California) will be entirely on the back of Fisher (or a hypothetical new ownership group), if he is indeed still the owner. We also know that the franchise has appreciated in value significantly since he bought the team.

        Logically, the mindset at this point if you’re Fisher is either a) sell the team in the next year, or b) I’m in this for the long haul, until something is already built – minimum 5+ years.

  6. Wolff says it will take 5 years to get a new ballpark. Some of us will be pretty old by then.

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