Will Mr. Fisher Please Stand Up?
Once again after hearing some great news about local Oakland businesses and investors banding together to try and keep the A’s in Oakland this past weekend followed by the obligatory Lew Wolff comment about the team not being for sale and how no one has inquired about purchasing the organization. I was left wondering, when will John Fisher, Majority Owner of the Oakland Athletics, ever voice his opinion on what’s going on? One would assume that owning 90% of something means that you would at least have a flicker of interest in that investment instead of allowing the guy who owns possibly less than 10% of the team a humongous say in the decimation of the fan base and brand of the team.
Why hasn’t Fisher been more involved in this whole stadium fiasco and why has he left Lew Wolff in charge of every single last detail? Sure, Wolff’s track record as a real-estate developer is pretty impeccable but I’m thinking that he would rather not deal with any of the bile that has been slung at Wolff during this entire stadium farce. Is that reason enough though or could there be something more? Does he just not care at all because slowly but surely the A’s are turning into a more than profitable venture with a current value of $321 Million after a purchase price in 2005 of $180 million. Also let us not forget that if teams like the Pirates and the Marlins can get fancy with accounting, I’m sure the Oakland Athletics can as well to make sure they look “The Great Depression era” poor. Granted the A’s could have been worth a lot more if the Ownership group had decided to invest at ALL in their product but they learned early on that they wouldn’t need to because Billy Beane was used to working on a shoe string budget and being able to deliver 34% more wins per dollar over his 10 year run as the GM of the A’s. The Gift and the Curse of Moneyball is that in the wrong hands it can be a death nail for fans and a great excuse for owners seeking greener pastures and brand new free shiny stadium.
Or maybe John Fisher is just a truly magnanimous individual and can’t stand to see his poor rich buddy Lew Wolff not get even greater value for all his real estate holdings in downtown San Jose by allowing him to try and build a stadium there. Who cares if Fisher may have barely glanced over any stadium proposals, let alone Oakland ones, because that wasn’t the end game. The end game was always going to be what Fisher’s bro Lew wanted because that is what Cool Bros do for each other right? Damn the community you are in, my Cool Bro needs a new stadium and I could care less how he goes about getting it because I care even less about where the team is now.
So until John Fisher decides to interject himself into the stadium conversation, the sale of the team conversation, or any conversation for that matter regarding the A’s. The above image might as well be what is going on behind the scenes when Ownership talks about moving the franchise because complete silence from the majority owner leads the mind to wander what’s really going on when 2 Cool Bros plot to move a team.
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