The freeloader Oakland A’s just took one in the chops. Got what they deserved, finally.
In case you missed this news item, Major League Baseball is phasing out revenue sharing over the next four years, a blow to the A’s who always are hat in hand, accepting money from the rich clubs, depending on the rich clubs for their income. For their profit.
The crafty, skinflint A’s always make a profit even though they put a crummy team on the field year after year, even though they trade their stars for youngsters or draft picks, even though they routinely spit in the faces of their fans who want to follow a player — see Josh Donaldson, see any number of players — only to see them reach stardom in another uniform.
The A’s earn about $30 million a year in revenue sharing. Although you hardly could call that earning. It’s taking. Flat-out taking. And it’s disgusting. They earn money but have among the lowest payrolls in baseball.
The A’s advertise themselves as a small-market team. That’s one of the biggest frauds in American sports. It’s a form of grand larceny.
Small market. Are you kidding me? The San Francisco- Oakland-San Jose area is the sixth-largest media market in America. We are not talking Davenport, Iowa, or Fresno here. How the A’s got away with this small-market lie is a miracle. It’s the smartest thing they ever did.
The Giants, of course, are a large-market team. The Giants actually pay the A’s to play baseball right across the bay. Giants president Larry Baer should just drive across the Bay Bridge once a season and present the A’s a check from the Giants.
This small-market lie gives the A’s an excuse not to produce, not to field a major-league roster, not to keep good players, not to care about their fans, and most of all, not to compete. The A’s are the most shameful bunch I ever have covered.
And please don’t tell me the Giants wouldn’t give the A’s rights to San Jose or wherever. Nothing prevented the A’s from competing exactly where they are.
And nothing prevented the A’s from seeking a new ballpark in the East Bay. Oakland has any number of viable sites.
The A’s principal owner, John Fisher, is a billionaire — all that Gap money. Are you a billionaire? He has the resources to build wherever he wants within reason, has the resources to compete like a genuine sportsman instead of the parasite he is.
Quick story and then back to the parasite A’s. The year after the A’s parted ways with manager Ken Macha, he dropped by Phoenix Municipal Stadium when the A’s still played there in spring training.
Macha and I were in a private box — I was interviewing him. Some guy walked in, guy wearing Bermuda shorts and sneakers. I don’t think he had shaved. A credential dangled from his neck to a region near his navel. Looked like a fan. He interrupted me. Started talking to Macha. I wanted to say, “Excuse me, buddy.” But Macha seemed to know him so I kept quiet.
When the nonentity left, Macha looked at me and smiled. “You have no idea who that is,” he said. I admitted I had no idea who that was. “That’s the A’s owner,” Macha announced.