Let’s Face It, the Oakland A’s Are a Grift

“Let them eat cake”–Marie Antoinette

How it looks: the Oakland A’s are a pathetic franchise that plays in an archaic, crumbling, feces-strewn, possum-infested stadium, only draw about 3,000 fans per home game, and have a squad of no-talents and nobodies that expect to lose 100 games. 

The reality: According to Forbes, the A’s were the fifth most profitable franchise in MLB last year raking in 62.2 million dollars, which I’m assuming was garnered through revenue share (aka baseball welfare, which ironically was put in place to supplement teams, not morally bankrupt owners) and insane parking fees. This would make them more successful than the World Series-winning Houston Astros since the bottom line is a lion’s share of profit under the smoke and specter of poverty–only the naive fans are concerned about nonsensical things such as wins, losses, and (chuckle) winning a “worthless piece of metal.”

How it’s going: I will, like last season, watch this dung pile for about a month or two –with a measured detachment–until the losses pile up and I inevitably lose interest and decide that other summer activities are more pragmatic and worthwhile. (The Opening Day starter, Kyle What’s-His-Name, has THREE career wins, let that roll around in your noggin for a minute) God forbid I ask to be actually entertained by a ball club because that’s just not going to happen here. I would be wasting my time by essentially rooting for laundry as my emotional ties, affection, and nostalgia slowly die in a terminal collapse of the baseball spirit under this Machiavellian scheme.

Besides, if I didn’t make it perfectly clear above…this team doesn’t need my hard-earned dough. In theory, you are supposed to go to a sanguine ballgame to lose yourself and forget about your daily dramas and labors, but the fantasy isn’t even safe there as the ineptitude on the field will be a constant and harsh reminder that your time and money are being extracted from what the organization sees as a self-deprecating simpleton without dignity. Unrelenting exploitation. Then you must proceed to eat that pile of shit over and over with a bovine, blind allegiance–licking your lips fervently and saying, “Yessir, more please.”

Owner John Fisher and his chief enabler, team president Dave Kaval, deserve shame and scorn for as long as they infect the sport. Burn in hell Fisher, you deplorable, awful, unsightly trust-fund baby.

32 thoughts on “Let’s Face It, the Oakland A’s Are a Grift

  1. girlinsuspenders

    Since I currently have no allegiance to any team I am going to root for your team simply because I like your blog… and I feel sorry for you that your team super sucks. GO A’S!!!

  2. cheaphill44

    It has to be particularly frustrating to A’s fans to watch as they continually find and develop good young players only to trade them away. If they are the fifth-most profitable team using this model, maybe that gives new meaning to the term “Moneyball.”

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Haha….I laugh because it was witty but sad at the same time. MLB needs to institute a salary cap or get rid of revenue sharing all together.

      Thanks for stopping by, Hugh.

    2. Anonymous

      I have seen this crap since Charlie let Catfish and Reggie go to the evil empire. Now I seen Chapman, Simeon and Olsen go- that’s an all star infield. Same crap over and over again. And city of Oakland deserves to fall off the sports map. I don’t go any more and I can’t find the game on tv or radio.
      3and13 projects to 31 and 131
      Former A’s combined for 1400 OPS.
      Terihorrible ownership period!

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Yeah…they’ll stink. But as long as the owner gets that baseball welfare who really cares, right? He’s also trying to extort land from the city of Oakland in the name of a fancy ballpark with condiminiums.

      1. Badfinger (Max)

        I thought they were going to move to Las Vegas…I didn’t want them to but I thought it was in place… I guess not….which that is good. Yea it’s bullshit what he is doing…the Pirates owner is a bastard also.

  3. Steve Myers

    Hey Gary, great rant, as always. Great to hear your take on things as opposed to the sugar coated reports we get from so many of the other baseball news sources.

    I had no idea the A’s made money last season. I guess it makes sense for the reasons you excellently put it – getting welfare. An opening day pitcher with only three career wins – yes, that is a mind blower, though a great opportunity for AAA players to get their cup of coffee or maybe five cups.

    I guess the one advantage of 3,000 fans is that the ushers might fall asleep and not care if we roam around the stadium and sit wherever we want. Something nice about not being in a crowd and getting to watch a game.

  4. Bruce @ walkingoffthechessboard

    Well said, Gary. It is truly behind comprehension the new stadium thing has gone on this long, as well as the team serving as a farm system for the rest of baseball to pick off their best players once they show promise. The fact they make a tidy profit each year is a main reason why people tune out on baseball. Franchises do not have to win, just keep putting a team on the field of any quality…or lack thereof.

  5. darinwatson

    Tell us how you really feel! Kidding aside, I think every Royals fan like me who suffered through the cheapskate antics of David Glass for the first 15 or so years he owned the team can sympathize. A bad owner is the worst–they’ll never get fired, and why would they sell the team when they’re making gobs of money? What Fisher is doing to a proud franchise is pathetic.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      I love the name of your blog, Darin….. “U.L’s Toothpick.” But don’t think I haven’t fprgotten that Wild Card game in 2014!

      Kidding aside, thanks for your comment. The toothpick thing kind of reminds me of Dusty Baker, who also mysteriously started wearing black surgical gloves.

      Good luck to your Royals this year.

  6. retrosimba

    The unimaginable has happened. Charlie Finley looks good in comparison to current A’s ownership.

    I think the A’s owners are just waiting for baseball to again expand the number of teams qualifying for the playoffs. Then all the A’s have to do is maintain the current pace to be a contender.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Why not expand? It’s basically free money. My question is this: why sign players at all? Why not just play a bunch of nobodies and maximize profit since the fans are rooting for laundry anyway? That seems to be where the game is headed today, and I think where revenue sharing was supposed to help the game it’s actually doing it harm. Also, the players thought that having no salary cap would benefit them and it’s doing the exact opposite as all the teams with the lowest payrolls are making money hand over fist. I look at a team like the Atlanta Braves with all their long term contracts and just think, “why?”

  7. SeaGuy

    I shall use this note platform to protest all of the attention (er, “Twitter attention” – which may not be much true “attention” at all) shone onto the recent A’s attendance of 3407.

    For any true A’s fan knows that the league standard, and (obviously) the A’s standard for attendance since “Divisional Play” began, is “653”. Now as 3407 is more than five times “653”, these young whippersnappers shouldn’t even bother to bring it up.

    There was SO much less to do in the average life in 1979 than in 2023, that to have drawn just “653” to the gate then, was really an accomplishment. Today’s 9 and 12-year-old kids don’t need to bother with baseball, with so many video games available.

    Hope A’s fans can salvage something this year.

    Oh how we could use a steroids scandal or the like…

  8. Dan P

    Hey, Gary – this is Dan P from chipalatta.com. Back in the dark days of the Astros past (no I’m not talking about garbage can banging- I’m talking about 3 seasons of 100+ loss hell) we had many discussions about what was happening. A number of fans did not believe that Jim Crane was ever going to spend money, that his intent was to keep the salaries down to nothing so he could pay off the money he owed in buying the team, etc.
    Some of us thought that he had good intent, that they were stripping down and going to build back up and eventually spend bucks when it made sense.
    Luckily we were right.
    I feel bad for Oakland A fans. I don’t think the intent is there. I think the intent is just exactly what you described – kind of like the owner in the movie Major League – spend nothing on the team, rake in the “welfare” payments and eventually move it. Before they started this demolition, I thought that the A’s with a nice base of players like Chapman and Olsen were going to be the Astros main competitors for the immediate future.
    Sorry you are going through this all – I think the fans deserve much better.

    1. Gary Trujillo Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Dan. I think it’s important that the fans of other teams realize that it’s not the fault of the fans that the attendance is so abysmal. If people remember correctly, Oakland was one of the top drawing teams in the late 80’s/ early 90’s but this owner has made following the team an insult to our intelligence and pocketbooks.

      1. Dan P

        I don’t wish what has happened to the A’s fans on anyone (other than Yankee fans, who Dante would have written another level of Hell for if he were alive today).

  9. pbnostalgia

    Gary, after a quick glance at your blog, I can tell I’m really going to like it. It’s right up my alley. And I had to comment and share your disgust at the current state of the A’s. I’m not technically an A’s fan, but I loved them back in the 80s and early 90s, so I’ve always had a soft spot for them, and it’s depressing to see what they’ve been running out to an empty run-down Coliseum. I never made it there in its prime, but I used to love watching games there on TV, and now it’s become a bad joke. Nothing would make me happier than to see the A’s figure it out and stay in Oakland, but seems like the owner has one foot out the door and he’s determined not to let anything stop him now. Sigh.


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