Here we all were all revved up and ready to go for the Halloween game between the Houstons and the Phillies when Mother Nature busted in and acted more like a wicked stepmother. Quickly, two thoughts came to mind. First, does this mean Thor won’t start Game Three? Second, can we lock up Rob Manfred before he decides to schedule a doubleheader of seven innings games for whenever late Fall stumbles back to Summer?
Speaking of the most honorable and bland commissioner, he already clinched the October Snidely Whiplash Award. He wins in a landslide for his statement to Chris Russo on Sirius XM that given the lack of “pace” in Oakland the Athletics “…have to be looking at Las Vegas…”. The commissioner’s good friend John Fisher is the billionaire principal owner of the A’s, and he has a plan.He would like the city of Oakland and the county of Alameda to spend an aircraft carrier loaded with hundred dollar bills to build a stadium since the one that’s been used since they arrived from Kansas City in 1968 got ruined when Al Davis owned the Raiders and the local extremely honest and not corrupt politicians were luring him back home after he split for Los Angeles only to see the NFL then allow the Raiders to move to—Las Vegas. Let’s all have a nice drink before I go on. There, that’s better.
Okay, so Fisher and his group of respectable looking shitheads don’t just want a new stadium. If they did, they could build it where the current white elephant is. No, they want a million and a half square feet of commercial space, 3,000 residential units, hotel rooms and more. The politics of this mess have been making headlines for years if not decades but progress has been glacial. Some of the best teams ever assembled have called Oakland their home. Putting a team with its history, or any team for that matter, in Las Vegas is perhaps not as bad as holding the World Cup in Qatar unless it is permanent. It fits with the current trends in the world though. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were banished from the baseball world not so long ago. Their crime? Taking employment with gambling casinos. They were paid for being seen and hanging out, schmoozing with the suckers maybe. Pete Rose is still banned for his unabashed wagering activities. Now, of course, there are big bucks to be made for MLB by selling advertising space and time to Draft Kings, Fan Duel and other folks who can’t find honest work. Go ahead, kids, tune into ESPN or MLB TV and get the scores, highlights, and odds.
How did the Oakland Athletics fall into the Gap anyway? It’s kind of a jeans thing. Charlie Finley thought he was rich, but when free agency came along in the 70s he realized that larger fortunes than his would soon be in the ball biz or else it was all going to go kaput. He tried to sell the team to oil maggot Marvin Davis but could not escape his lease and Davis (no relation to Al) wanted to move the team to Denver, So, for $12.7 million, Finley sold it to Walter Haas, Jr., who owned Levi Strauss. This brought about a relatively happy time for the A’s and their fans. The days of Carney Lansford, Tony LaRussa, Dave Stewart, Mark McGwire, Dennis Eckersley, pennants, flags, et cetera. In 1994 Haas was gravely ill and he sold the team to another investment group which, a decade later, sold to the group led by Fisher, son of the founder of the Gap, Inc. It pretty much stinks so let’s get back to the 2022 World Series.
As stated in a previous epistle, I’m rooting for the Astros but it’s fun no matter what. Seven games would be great because after that there’s nothing but that Qatar World Cup and then spring training. Then we can go back to arguing about Family Size bases, pitch clocks, and shift nostalgia. Kyle Schwarber, Alex Bregman, bless them all! Memories of Gene Tenace!