Do you even have to ask who plays Ebenezer Scrooge? I didn’t think so. We all know who’s taken our beloved Athletics hostage for the last number of years and has sought to use them as a means to an end for his own profit, ruthlessly willing to leave emotional carnage in his wake to turn a profit. If you still haven’t figured out who I’m referring to, you haven’t been paying attention. Our fearless owner Lew Wolff appears to be at it again, but perhaps he’s taking a different approach this time around.
In an article on Friday from Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times he wrote that Lew Wolff has sent a letter to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (full text here) requesting that the Coliseum and the A’s negotiate a 5 year extension of their current lease which expires after the 2013 season. As Wolff states in the letter, this extension would be 5 years regardless of what happens in the A’s efforts to get their new stadium in San Jose. Of course there are some escape clauses that appear to be tied to what the Oakland Raiders do in their efforts for a new facility. At this point, 4 years after Bud Selig supposedly began reviewing the situation, it’s hard to take anybody’s word.
Every A’s fan has one terrible fear, that our team will be pulled right out from under us and moved away, leaving us stuck here in a sea of orange and black. That is a nightmare scenario to say the least. There doesn’t seem to be any true indication that Wolff’s intentions are to take the team out of the Bay Area, but how can anyone be so sure?
What Wolff may need is a visit from the Ghosts of Athletics Past, Present, and Yet to Come (Not literally ghosts though). Bring in the likes of Reggie Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Dennis Eckersley, and Ray Fosse to try to talk some sense into Lew about the history this team has with the city. Have Josh Reddick, Grant Balfour, Yoenis Cespedes (with Ariel Prieto to translate of course), and Coco Crisp to remind Lew just how incredible the city of Oakland treated them during the last incredible season. Talk to the likes of Addison Russell, Michael Choice, and A.J. Cole about what they have to look forward to as they fight their way to Oakland and what they can bring to the community, and what the community can give them. There are so many reasons this team should remain in Oakland, and maybe if Wolff realizes how closely tied to this city the Athletics are perhaps he’ll wake up on Christmas morning with a newfound desire to make it work.
It seems like wishful thinking at this point, but at the very least if this agreement can come to fruition we will have bought some time with our team in Oakland. Miracles can happen, if Scrooge can wake up Christmas morning with joy in his heart, then so can Lew Wolff, and we can keep our Athletics right where they belong.