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David Brown

Is McAfee so bad that free agents won't sign with the Athletics?

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Before he allegedly pulled a fast one on the Atlanta Braves, free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal talked with the Athletics about playing in Oakland. He didn't sign, of course, and FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal says the A's have problems attracting free agents because of "working conditions and security concerns" regarding their home stadium, McAfee Coliseum.

That leads to a big question: What's wrong with McAfee, other than a few isolated incidents, most of which are associated with Raiders games? In an attempt to provide an answer, here are 10 concerns might be in the minds of free agents:

10. Billy Beane’s wish for all players to have a .230 batting average but a .430 on-base percentage just too awkward of a split to realistically achieve.

9. Closer Brad Ziegler's inability to stay absolutely perfect for entire season shook confidence of free agent market.

8. Cell phone thrown from stands that beaned Carl Everett in '03 started another annoying trend that still includes wise guys screaming "Can you hear me now?" at Jack Cust.

7. Most players too lazy to take the three-mile hike from the far-away dugouts to their position on the field.

6. Stomper, the A's elephant mascot, repeatedly tramples children at ballgames. No, not because he's vicious, but because he's an elephant.

5. Cost-cutting measure of firing the grounds crew means games have to be played with the tarp covering the infield at all times.

4. Leftover Raiders fans dressed as Darth Vader in the "Black Hole" section take to lightsaber duels using actual lightsabers, and there have been some beheadings.

3. Rather than stats, scoreboard instead shows pithy but irrelevant passages from "Moneyball."

2. Bowing to the demand for greater protection following the Frank Francisco chair-throwing incident in '04, management overreacts by installing removable grandstand so fans can throw their seats onto the field of play.

1. Ushers constantly delaying games to check with players to see if their virus protection is up to date.

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 30 9:00 am
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