The San Francisco Giants own preordained territorial rights over the disgruntled Oakland Athletics, who remain bent backwards on the Bay Area’s back burner because of their glaring inability to generate MLB revenue, despite occupying a segment of the fourth largest market in professional sports. The Giants ranked seventh in team revenue ($262 million) in 2013, whereas the A’s ranked 28th, pulling in a whopping $173 million.
Famed general manager Billy Beane is at the core of Athletics’ successes, but he’s also the recurring scapegoat for a team that will never succeed in the same market as the two-time, post-modern World Champion Giants, who have shoved Beane into the outskirts of relevancy in the realm of title contention. The Athletics simply cannot compete in a large market, let alone one shared by the Giants, who are sarcastically willing to share their ocean-front territory simply to prove Oakland’s lack of fanfare.
The Athletics enter the 2014 season with championship aspirations, but dreams are only realized in real life when practicality exceeds stupidity. The A’s boast a formidable team capable of defeating four outrageously overrated teams in the contract-happy AL West. Big deals handed down from the wanna-be success story Seattle Mariners and checkbook-negligent Los Angeles Angels have given way to the Athletics in a manner of which is unprecedented in baseball. At least, on the left coast.
Oakland could very well win the AL West for the third straight season in 2014, but they will never win a championship, let alone a pennant, in the Giants-driven world otherwise known as the Bay Area. Beane and Co. have had a swell run at Moneyball 2.0, but their successes are completely irrelevant. Die-hard A’s fans often point to their downfall as being the Giants’ inherent ability to dominant the market. San Francisco is simply non-competitive in comparison to the beloved Green & Gold when it comes to money though. Real life facts counteract dimwitted East Bay logic, after all.
Lew Wolff is frequently bashed by ill-advised Athletics fans for being the main proponent of their negligent spending habits. It’s a tragic fallacy for a passionate fanbase though. Majority owner John J. Fisher is worth $2.8 billion and could easily build a champion by disallowing key contributors from leaving the East Bay if he ever decided to pony-up the pennies necessary accomplish the feat. That would mean the man would actually have to invest money into the team he purchased. What a concept!
It’s a strangely simple outcome for a degenerate sports writer to predict, but slapping green tarps across the upper deck of a Jurassic building will never make Mr. Fisher richer. So, what’s the point? The A’s ghostly “owner” has handed down operations to Wolff, who has no issue throwing his long-time GM into the flames of two decades of fire. Then again, that man has unofficially tunneled blockade into the indispensable offense belonging to passionate fans of whom will never let go. And the man calling the shots will never stop trying to build a winner out of lame resources.
No, it’s not wrong for A’s nation to wrap their hatred around the Giants organization for wreaking havoc on their seeming contractual rights to move to San Jose, the third-most populated city in California. But, why would a team that boasts a shared board of executives and investors allow a dormant billionaire to move into their territory?
Oakland’s disillusionment has never reigned more supreme. Their bewildered fan-base might appear to have zero conception of the business practices of a big league franchise beyond personnel decisions. After all, the root of their success is embedded in Beane’s excellence, which continues to reign prominent. But the A’s aren’t as handicapped as one might think.
Oakland could very well contend for that ever-elusive American League pennant yet again in 2014. They’ll plant a solid product on a should-be bulldozed field, otherwise known as the “O.co Coliseum.” All this will happen while the Giants flourish bay-side, banking on a privately-financed, state-of-the-art baseball facility. And they’ll do it with a championship-caliber product, only to leave A’s fans wondering why their multi-billion dollar owner refuses to invest in his own team.
(All team revenue statistics are courtesy of Forbes.com)