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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dear A's Fan: UH OH!

Major League Baseball Commissioner reportedly suggested that the Oakland Athletics could possibly receive approval to relocate from Oakland. There has only been one relocation in MLB in the last 40 years, the 1972 relocation of the former Washington Senators to Arlington, Texas, becoming the Texas Rangers. The fact that Selig left so much as a crack in the door for the A's to move should sound alarms in the Bay Area.

According to Sports World Report, Selig said, ""It depends where they'd be. They could be all over the world, for that matter," Selig said. "They need approval. We have to go through an approval process. It just depends on where they're moving to."


I think it would be sad for this historic franchise, which has offered so much to baseball fans over the decades, to have to leave its long standing fan base. Often I side with the fans and the current home city in possible relocation situations, but in this case, I have to sign with Athletics owner Lew Wolff.

Wolff made a good faith attempt to keep the team in the northern California/Bay Area by exploring the possibility of building a stadium in San Jose. However, the San Francisco Giants blocked any such attempts, as San Jose lies in the Giants' territory.

The 44 year old Coliseum (formerly the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum) is a relic. It is a poorly maintained, outdated relic. Other than Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, no other stadium in baseball is remotely as unfit for a moder major league sports franchise than Older facilities, such as Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, have been consistently renovated and modified to keep up with the modern demands of a Major League Baseball team. With the opening of Marlins Park in Miami, is the only North American facility remaining shared by an NFL team (the Oakland Raiders) and an MLB franchise, a concept that seemed like a good idea in the 1960s and 70s and proved to be a really bad idea by the 1990s.

I sympathize with the anxiety that the fans of Oakland may be contending with since Selig's remarks. Sadly, you have to have a decent building to compete in the modern sports competitive landscape. Coliseum won't cut it. One potential small loss for giant loss for baseball.

In 2012? Seriously?

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