Some Bay Area sports journalists have swallowed the canard that Billy Beane may leave because he thinks the A’s can’t win while playing in the Oakland Coliseum without even considering these questions:
Since then, the Cubs have been in the postseason eight times, but never in the World Series. The A’s have been in the postseason 22 times, including six World Series, four of which they’ve won.
So, why would Beane want to leave? To get away from the penurious ownership of Lew Wolff and John Fisher. Beane can’t say that, of course, but journalists should be able to figure it out.
When Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann bought the team from the Haas family, they cut veteran players — on the advice of general manager Sandy Alderson — and put that money into the farm system. Players from the system, including the big three pitchers — Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito — fueled the playoff runs from 2000-2006, along with position players like Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez.
Now, there’s less money going into the farm system and the results show. The A’s have three position starters from their system — shortstop Cliff Pennington, second baseman Jemile Weeks and catcher Kurt Suzuki. Good players all, but none of them the offensive forces Giambi, Tejada and Chavez were. The A’s young pitchers seem to be good, but they hardly pitch before they land on the DL.
So, the A’s attendance keeps dropping, which suits Wolff fine. He and Fisher collect money from clubs which have higher revenue — and higher costs — because they’re actually trying to win.
Yet, there are writers who think the Giants should give up their territorial rights to San Jose. Not a chance. They made a deal with MLB that, if they built a new park, they’d have those territorial rights. Don’t kid yourself.
Owners and commissioner Bud Selig would make the same deal today. Without it, we’d have the Tampa Bay Giants and one Bay Area team, I don’t want Beane to leave, but if he does, put the blame where it belongs, on Wolff and Fisher, not the Coliseum.
Glenn Dickey has been covering Bay Area sports since 1963 and also writes on www.GlennDickey.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.