The other day the A’s announced their new ten-year lease for the Oakland Coliseum. That same day Bud Selig issued a statement praising the new deal and saying that Major League Baseball is committed to Oakland. Yesterday the Oakland mayor said “not so fast, this still has to be approved, you know.”
About that approval:
The anticipated approval of a 10-year-lease deal between the Oakland Athletics and the Coliseum authority was canceled Friday when representatives from the city of Oakland failed to show up for the meeting.
Four members of the 8-member Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority – which operates O.co Coliseum – apparently boycotted the meeting, sources said. Without their participation, there was no quorum and a vote could not be taken.
Apparently the city ordered its members of the Coliseum Authority — including one who helped negotiate the lease extension herself — to not attend. Over some sort of city-county pissing match. As always, all of the context you need can be found over at NewBallpark.org.
Maybe you want to wait a bit before sending around congratulatory press releases, eh Bud?
And maybe — just maybe — you should’ve figured out a way to get the A’s to San Jose five years ago.
The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.
Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).
John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.
What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.
The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?