With the season coming a close, the Oakland Athletics are still waiting around for Major League Baseball and Bud Selig’s evaluations regarding the team’s stadium options. Back in 2009, Selig appointed a “special” committee to evaluate the A’s stadium options, including options within the Athletics’ territory.
Even after two years of research, Selig’s committee hasn’t yet provided any answers for Oakland’s stadium problem.
Oakland’s owner, Lew Wolff, contends that all options in Oakland have been exhausted and wishes to relocate the club in San Jose. Wolff’s wishes, however, may not come to fruition, as the San Francisco Giants have the territorial rights to San Jose.
Nevertheless, the A’s ownership and front office remain cautiously optimistic, and even GM/VP Billy Beane remains confident that a decision regarding the A’s possible move to San Jose will be made sooner or later.
Until a decision is made, however, the A’s are likely going to be very conservative about their spending this offseason. The A’s can’t survive for much longer, however, if they continue to operate season to season without a clear future. Beane has noted before in the past that Oakland has not been able to do much long-term planning as a result of the unclear stadium situation.
The Athletics originally planned to relocate to Fremont, but the team scrapped those stadium plans back in February 2008. As many of will probably remember, Selig’s appointing of the committee came shortly after the team’s decision write off Fremont as a potential destination.
Since then, the Athletics have been forced to, as Beane calls it, “tread water,” and have been in quite a bind recently. The O.co Coliseum isn’t a very appealing destination for many free-agents, and the A’s have struggled in the past in convincing free-agents to come play in Oakland.The outdated, cavernous O.co Coliseum is a very tough sell, as evident by Oakland’s failed pursuits in 3B Adrian Beltre this past offseason.
Aside from the small crowds that come out to support the team, O.co Coliseum is just not that baseball friendly. The Coliseum is so crappy even the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, who share the Coliseum with the A’s, want out.
The A’s are in a very tough spot right now, and neither Bud Selig or MLB have been very helpful. Selig’s “special” committee has spent an ample amount of time studying all the possible options for building a new stadium for the A’s organization, but they’ve yet to release any of their findings.
Unless Selig comes forward with a clear answer to Oakland’s stadium woes, the A’s are likely going to cut back on spending entirely. Players like Josh Willingham, Coco Crisp, Hideki Matsui, and Rich Harden may all walk away from Oakland as a result of the team’s spending cutbacks.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, suggests, however, that if Oakland should get the O.K. from MLB and Selig to relocate to San Jose, the team may just go into an all-out rebuild process.
If that should happen, a cutback in spending would also be highly likely, as would tearing apart the current roster. The thought behind this is that the organization would want to display a perennial playoff contender on the field in time for the opening of the new stadium.
Slusser also notes, however, should the team get denied in its quest for a move to San Jose, the A’s could up their spending as a way to make themselves look more attractive to future buyers. Overall, this whole stadium issue has escalated to the point where many fans are questioning why it’s taking so long for MLB and Bud Selig to respond.
The A’s and their fans have been waiting patiently for over two years now. It’s time we get an answer.