An Open Letter to the Oakland Athletics
To the Oakland Athletics and anyone else it may concern,
When the Oakland A’s moved to the Bay Area, there was plenty of optimism about the franchise. Charles Finley did not waste time bringing the Athletics into contention. The Athletics won three straight World Series Titles in 1972-74, Catfish Hunter, Vida Blue and Reggie Jackson led the “Swingin A’s” to three straight titles, and the Bay Area had their sweethearts for years.
However, since the bright days of the 70’s and 80’s, there have been some dark times in Oakland. The A’s have the unfortunate reality of competing with their cross town rivals, the San Francisco Giants. For the most part, the A’s have not been able to top the popularity of the Giants, whether that is because of the product on the field or the quality of the field they’re playing on.
After Rickey Henderson left Oakland in the 90’s, there were a few very very dark days in the Bay. It wasn’t until the Billy Beane Moneyball days that Oakland became relevant again. If it wasn’t for the incredible scouting department the A’s have, the franchise would be in absolute dismay for the last 30 years.
Currently, the A’s are in a very down period, which is ok, right? That happens for sports teams, but there are always ways to rebound. Unfortunately, there is no hope for the Athletics. Oakland has few top prospects, little hope in the pipeline and the fanbase expects any talent to be sold at the deadline.
Currently, the only attraction in Oakland is weird national anthems being sold, which somehow is worse than the product on the field.
So now, Manager Mark Kotsay is singing the praises of 37 year old Steven Vogt, who was relevant during their 2012 playoff run, but not now. Veteran leadership is great, but there's only so much Vogt can do as a backup catcher on a team that has absolutely no expectation of success in the near future.
The A’s claim to fame right now is their attempt at leaving Oakland. As someone who has watched Oakland Athletics playoff games for the last 20 years, leaving the Bay is a mistake. I do not care where they land, or what fancy stadium they end up in, it will not be the same.
From Warriors games at Oracle Arena to the playoff crazies in the Oakland A’s bleachers, the city of Oakland deserves professional sports. The Raiders already left town, and soon the city will be left without anyone to cheer on. Yes, they can still cheer for the Warriors, and the Giants will always stay relevant.
But, at some point it is time to let go. The Oakland Athletics ownership has done very little to maintain relevance in the last decade, and has shown all of the willingness to sell their assets before they have to spend money.
With Matt Chapman and Matt Olson in new homes, the time for change is now. As someone who will root for the A’s for a long, long time, I am still utterly disappointed in the way the team has been handled. Get over your five minutes of Moneyball fame, go spend some money, and go run a successful sports franchise for once.