It has been said by far more talented and knowledgeable people than me that the biggest problem with MLB owners is all they see is the next dollar, not the five down the line they could have, much less the next win. Oh sure, there are exceptions. John Middleton of Philadelphia seems to get it. The recently departed Peter Seidler in San Diego also did. Other than that, they can be hard to find. Almost everyone is looking to see whose grandma or puppy they can run over to make extra profit that they will never really notice from whatever is on the other side.
So there was never any chance that the owners would vote off John Fisher’s complete head-on-his-ass, boondoggle-led move of the A’s from Oakland to Vegas. There will come a time when any of these f*ckwits and failures will want to hold their own city hostage, or even move like that, or have some proposal that will suffocate whatever little bit of soul is left in baseball , and they will need the approval of their fellow connections to do so. They long ago obliterated the looking glass of stewards of the National Pastime, so much so that it is no longer the National Pastime.
But even if you can ignore how big of an astronomical ass Fisher might be, and if you can ignore the fact that Oakland sacrificed more public money to build a stadium to keep the A’s in Oakland where they belong, and if you can ignore that the Howard Terminal proposal actually had the property grab/scam that all owners want that Fisher won’t get in Vegas, and if you can somehow ignore the way Fisher drove this team into the ground, and if you can ignore how one of the league’s most passionate fans was simply disregarded and thrown away – and that’s so much to ignore that you should never be asked to do this – moving an MLB team to Vegas is a terrible idea! And MLB owners will soon hate it!
MLB owners just voted to allow a team to be moved to what would be the league’s smallest market, for a team to play in the league’s smallest stadium. They can spend three seasons as vagabonds with no home but their own Triple-A stadium or as unwanted guests in other people’s stadiums before they even get there. The whole plan depends on thousands of people, 81 times a year, deciding they want to fly to Vegas in the middle of the summer to watch their team three times. Or that enough people will travel to Sin City often enough to sell out a three-game series if everyone wants to trudge into this edifice of idiocy and greed in the heat just once. That’s the plan.
By 2023 numbers, if the A’s sold every ticket to their 30,000-seat stadium in a sauna for most of the year, they would finish 17th. They will not sell every single ticket.
Which means this team that the owners just voted to allow to sail this pirate ship into oblivion and heat death will soon be supporting this team with revenue sharing money. They will pay for it. In reality, they already are. And maybe that was Fisher’s plan all along, concluding for himself where no one could see that he was far too stupid and incapable of earning anything around a ballpark and therefore any ballpark town in a proof of his own imbecility would have changed.
Even if TV deals are a thing by the time the A’s crawl into the desert already needing water — which is probably by the time the league has taken over everyone’s like they used to — they won’t get much of an agreement to serve the 40th largest TV market in the US.
This is a vote to make for a basket case of a franchise the day it starts in Vegas, and maybe even negative three years. It’s obvious to say that the A’s are already a basket case, even though Fisher basically made them that way. But what would have worked better? The smallest ballpark in the smallest market in a climate inhospitable to getting to the park or sitting outside? Or a shiny new park right downtown that included much more of a footprint for Fisher and revenue streams in the nation’s 10th largest market, in one of the wealthiest areas in the country? Isn’t it just possible, with all of this, that the A’s might have become the big market team that the Bay envisions them to be? Well, not under Fisher’s trench-focused guidance, but under someone with a few neurons firing at the same time? Did anyone think the Giants were a big market team before they moved into their palace in downtown San Francisco?
Fisher isn’t going to start spending big when they get to Vegas. Not drawing 15,000-20,000 per game like they sure will. Not with anything else in his pockets, like he might have gotten with his coveted “ballpark village” at Howard Terminal. All he’ll have is the team he hates and a ballpark that can’t get enough of him. But of course his plan is to sell it once the stadium is completed and make it someone else’s problem. Or he’ll just keep gobbling up revenue share money while paying for nine guys who held a die to take the field just an hour before first pitch.
MLB owners will sponsor this team from day 1. And owners hate revenue sharing, so they try to take it out on the players every time the CBA expires. More than a few will openly wonder why they’re sending money to a team that isn’t using it to try to be competitive in a market they just chose to allow him to be in. They just voted to have another Pirates, another Reds, another Marlins. You can be sure that owners in New York, Boston, Chicago, LA and San Francisco will wonder why they did what they did so soon.
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