It’s late as I write this from my darkened office space. I was in bed, just scrolling through Twitter as one does when suddenly official statements from the Oakland A’s and the Mayor of Oakland were being retweeted with fury and one of baseball’s oldest and most storied franchises was finally admitting that they intended to move to Las Vegas.
What better time than the middle of the night in the middle of the week in the midst of the worst season start of all time to announce such a major development in the ongoing search for a new A’s stadium. Why have big celebrations like they did for Laney College? Why release beautiful renderings like they did for Fremont, San Jose, and Howard Terminal? No, this team is done with any attempt at seeming sympathetic to their loyal fanbase. A fanbase who, as of this writing, was actually attempting to organize a sell-out “reverse boycott” which will have achieved nothing and swayed nobody but would display what a loyal group of people follows this subpar team being run by incompetent liars.
I have written several times about Dave Kaval and John Fisher both here and various other websites. My admiration for Kaval was quick to diminish and would eventually evolve into a great distrust. When asked at the beginning of April to schedule an interview with me — something we have done every year he has been a part of this organization — Kaval simply ghosted me. Did I expect him to say yes after last year’s embarrassing display which, I hope, was part of the reason he virtually disappeared from social media this year? No, I knew he wouldn’t say yes but I had hoped he’d at least be man enough to respond.
But there’s the rub, right? Kaval and Fisher aren’t man enough to face the fans. Kaval had initially made an attempt with his hot dog procurement and endless Pollyanna proclamations but that sheen has faded. Fisher, of course, has never even made the attempt. He’s as cowardly as they come and hasn’t had a meaningful public appearance in years — or maybe ever. The people in charge of the legacy of this team care not about legacies or history or community or baseball. They care only about their own bank accounts.
I have long said that Las Vegas was not going to happen. There are too many reasons for MLB owners, who must vote on any relocation, to be reluctant to vote yes. I have always thought that it was a ploy to get Oakland to buckle to the A’s demands and that any money, time, and resources used in Las Vegas would eventually go towards an expansion team. Obviously the A’s making a binding offer on some land puts into doubt my own theories but it does not eradicate them entirely.
Laney College, San Jose, and Fremont were done deals until they weren’t and Las Vegas will be a done deal until it isn’t as well. As long as the A’s have the opportunity to simply build on their current site, there is always a plan b regardless of what Carnival Barker Dave tells you. But to make this move at this time and in this fashion, the front office is either fully confident that they can get this done with no obstacles or they’re even more stupid an inept than I had previously thought.
Surely they must know that coming this close to relocation is going to kill their fan base. If Las Vegas falls through and the A’s decide just to build in the current parking lot, they will have still managed to cause long-lasting harm to their brand. So, as I said, they must have absolute certainty or they’re not even thinking a half move ahead.
Just last week I wrote that the team has never been closer to a deal in Oakland. That is still true but like I told Dave in the now infamous interview, they’ve also never been closer to leaving and that reality just got a little more real in the middle of a Wednesday night.
Dave Kaval and John Fisher and their team are not good people. They have lied to their fans time and time again and fans continue to stand by the team because “I love the names on the jersey, not the names in the owner’s box” but that’s all nonsense at this point. You don’t even know the names on the jersey anymore because the names in the owner’s box have managed to make this season all about them without ever showing their face or uttering a word in public. These are not idealistic people. These are morons and crooks who have systematically dismantled this franchise from the inside out and followed each misstep and blunder with an even more pathetic display of Peter Principle ineptitude. They are not good at the business of baseball and their attendance and stature in the industry prove it.
To anyone in Las Vegas who may read this and may want a hint of what’s to come for your new home team — heartache is the only thing coming your way. Sure, you’ll have great seasons and memorable games but you’re going to be saddled with the same sorry, pathetic, cheap ownership group that ruined a good thing in Oakland. You’re going to be stuck with an owner who will always find an excuse not to spend a little bit of money and with a president who will always talk to you with his fingers crossed behind his back. Want proof? Just look at how they’ve run the Earthquakes after getting everything they wanted for that stadium. He’s still cheap and that’s not going to change in Las Vegas because, say it with me folks, these people are bad at the business of baseball.
In their late late night comment, the A’s acknowledged that they knew this was difficult for the fans but everything about this team has been difficult for fans for years and the fact that they’re trying to do this under cover of night — as if it will make any difference — is both an insult to Oakland as well as to Las Vegas.
This post has rambled, I know. I try to keep this site as impersonal as possible but tonight I just couldn’t do it. It bothers me how much this bothers me. I don’t even live in California any more but Oakland without the A’s is just not right. They have been my team for as long as I can remember. I went to games just to see them as a kid. I was a season ticket holder as an adult. I wanted to take my son to their new Oakland ballpark someday but these monsters don’t care about any of that. They don’t care how many fans they’ll lose along the way just so long as they can get a local government to fork over just a few more dollars for them. It’s all garbage.
Dave, John, if you read this I hope you are ashamed of yourselves. I hope you never set foot inside an Oakland game again and that you feel the embarrassment that you have you have levied on your fanbase for your entire tenure. And to any media who Dave and John may still talk to, I hope you all hold their feet to the fire and force them to answer the questions they continue to refuse. Stop letting them spin the narrative in an attempt at making themselves look smart. They’re not smart. They’re just a bunch of fools with money and some connections who inherited a story and lit the book on fire.
Dave Kaval and John Fisher have ruined a beloved part of many people’s lives but in so doing have also made themselves a joke so I take some solace in knowing that despite all the successes you may claim, nobody thinks you’re good at what you do. Nobody thinks you’re good, honest men. Nobody thinks your legacies will be of greatness. You are nothing but destroyers. Liars. Losers. Everyone sees it. Every bit of imposter syndrome, inferiority complex, guilt ridden thought that ever enters your minds is true. You are imposters. You are inferior. You are guilty of ruining something great and taking happiness away from people — families — all for your already over-stocked bank accounts.
I’ll miss the Oakland A’s if this all goes down like it’s looking like it might but I won’t shed a single tear on the day Kaval and Fisher are finally out of this organization.