Sorry Oakland, You Deserve Better

Well, it’s official.

The Oakland A’s are moving to Vegas and that sad reality is a gut punch to a city that deserved a better fate.

Last week, the Oakland A’s finalized a binding agreement to purchase land in Las Vegas with plans to build a new ballpark and relocate the team. The move was a long time coming after the team and the city of Oakland were unable to come to an agreement on a new ballpark after nearly two decades. The agreement now starts the slow, painful countdown of the A’s tenure in Oakland.

Everyone failed.

The city didn’t budge in their stance on funding a new ballpark for the A’s in Oakland. Ownership failed the fans. The A’s have put together one of the worst rosters in the history of baseball this season. Oakland is leading MLB in losses, runs allowed and owns the league’s worst run differential this season. It wouldn’t be crazy if they ended up with a worse record than the 2003 Detroit Tigers, who have the worst 162-game record in league history at 43-119.

For years, the franchise’s ownership group led by John Fisher has put severe limitations on the team’s spending. Those limitations for the A’s have resulted in the talented players that were drafted, signed internationally and developed being allowed to just walk out the door for nothing. Since Fisher took over ownership in 2005, the A’s have made it to the ALCS just one time.

You could make an All-Star team of those players that left Oakland through trade or free agency over the last decade.

SP: Sonny Gray, Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea
RP: Liam Hendriks
C: Sean Murphy
1B: Matt Olson
2B: Ben Zobrist
3B: Matt Chapman
SS: Marcus Semien
LF: Yoenis Cespedes
CF: Mark Canha
RF: Josh Reddick
DH: Josh Donaldson

One of the saddest parts of the A’s departure from Oakland is that it is truly a franchise with a rich history. The A’s, who started out in Philadelphia in 1901, are one of baseball’s oldest franchises and after a brief stint in Kansas City, they moved to Oakland and the franchise was reborn.

With names like Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Vida Blue, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Rickey Henderson, Dave Stewart and many others, the A’s weren’t just the second team in The Bay. They had their own identity and feeling to go along with a passion for winning on their way to four World Series titles since moving to Oakland in 1968.

Unfortunately, that passion died long ago, and with it left the energy and patience of one of baseball’s great fanbases.

It’s quite ironic that Oakland Coliseum has been crumbling for years, because it’s the perfect representation of the franchise it currently houses. Those empty seats represent more than unsold tickets, they represent thousands of neglected A’s fans whose team abandoned them as they have to watch a franchise who will undoubtedly lead the league in losses — maybe even every year until they move in 2027?

There is no winner here.

The players and coaches don’t win because they’ve been put in the middle of an untenable situation. The city doesn’t win because a historic park imbedded in the city’s history that serves as a source of revenue for the community is about to leave forever. And the biggest loser is the fans, who will now watch the third team of theirs leave the city with the Warriors already moving to San Francisco and the Raiders having also left for Las Vegas.

This situation is truly a shame and the slow goodbye to the good people of Oakland is going to feel like the slow rip of a Band-Aid.

Sorry Oakland, you deserve better.