- Originally I had intended to write this piece as a statement on how MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has failed miserably in his handling of the situation that plagues the Oakland Athletics organization. I was going to make demands that the A’s be released from the purgatory that has turned one of the most successful and historic franchises in baseball into an extremely thin shell of its former self. Then the New York Daily News’ Bill Madden reported that it was likely the A’s were going to ultimately be denied permission to move to San Jose, upholding the territorial rights of the San Francisco Giants (which were given to them by the Haas family when they owned the A’s).
- This is the kind of news, no matter how unconfirmed or untrue it may turn out to be, I was absolutely dreading. Throughout this entire ordeal I have maintained that I was willing to exchange the hour long drive to the O.co Coliseum for perhaps a two hour long drive to the mythical Cisco Field in San Jose. Anything was better than the A’s packing up and leaving the state.
I am at a point now where I am trying my best to keep off the ledge, to convince myself that my entire baseball life is not about to be pulled out from under me. Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News Group did his best to talk me down, he spoke with A’s owner Lew Wolff who told him “I spoke to Bud today on another matter, he didn’t bring it up.”
Something about this just doesn’t feel right. In the 3 years since this committee has been formed to decide the future of this organization, nothing but hurdles have been thrown down in front of them. If this holds true, perhaps the last hope to keep the A’s within driving distance is the Coliseum City plan which would build a new facility at the current site, or perhaps far-fetched as it may be, a move down I-80 to Sacramento into an expanded Raley Field (which has been built to allow for such expansion, just in case).
With an orange and black cloud hovering over the Oakland Athletics, I feel that ultimately the blame has to fall on the shoulders of Commissioner Bud Selig himself. Since taking over the Office of Commissioner in 1992 he has made massive changes to the structure of the league. The introduction of the wild card and the 3 round playoff format, interleague play, the steroid testing program, the World Baseball Classic, revenue sharing, and just a few days ago the addition of 2 more playoff teams and a 1 game wild card playoff are just a few of his notable accomplishments during his tenure (Wikipedia.com). But allowing one franchise to essentially be held hostage by another, to be driven into the ground, is unfathomable.
I know full well that I am not one bit impartial on this issue. To anyone who read my introduction this week, you know how much this team means to me. In a baseball sense, losing the A’s would literally be like someone tearing my heart out and shipping it off to San Antonio/Portland/Las Vegas. But I recall seeing the looks on the faces of the Montreal Expos fans watching their team for the last time. There may not have been many of them, but they were devastated. I couldn’t imagine something like that happening to me, but alas here we are.
I will not for one second try to convince people that Bud Selig has not had a positive impact on many aspects of the game. But in this case he is a complete and utter failure. If he allows the Giants to bully the A’s around like this, his authority is a sham, his credibility is null, and his presence will be useless. Much to the detriment of A’s fans, baseball fans, and the game itself.