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Fan’s Take: What Does Future Hold for the Oakland A’s?
The future of the Oakland Athletics is more than just a little unclear. It's looking downright bleak and hazy. Will they eventually emerge as the winning team they were in the '70s and '80s or eventually crumble and fade away?
It's a scary thought to a fan who has followed them for decades. The A's have been in Oakland as long as I can remember, having moved to the city when I was just 2 years old. I started going to games as a teenager, and my oldest daughter likes to say she was "born at the A's game." She literally almost was, but I made it to the hospital in Hayward just in time. Now in her 20s, she goes to A's spring training in Arizona every year.
Over four decades after the arrival to their new home in Oakland, the Coliseum is crumbling. It's the only stadium in the country that shares the field with an NFL team. And, unfortunately, it doesn't look like the City of Oakland cares enough to do anything about it. They don't have the money or the will power to keep them in the East Bay, where they belong.
The City of San Jose, on the other hand, has already purchased the land for a new ballpark and addressed the financial aspects of bringing the team to the south end of the Bay. San Jose's mayor, Chuck Reed, is even prepared to campaign for a ballot proposal to get it all approved, according to Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News.
The odds are, if Oakland doesn't act, it will lose the A's, as well as the Raiders, who are currently looking at their other options. It doesn't look good for the East Bay city, and I can't understand why it seems so willing to throw its sports teams away.
In the meantime, general manager Billy Beane is having to trade players left and right to make ends meet, with the two latest—Guillermo Moscoco and Josh Outman—heading to the Colorado Rockies this coming season in a trade for an average outfielder in Seth Smith.
The famously low-budget team was documented in the recent film "Moneyball", and Chicago Tribune writer Phil Rogers asks, "Why, a decade after making the decision to stay in Oakland because of his young daughter, doesn't Billy Beane move on to a better environment now that she's grown?"
I think that answer he simple. Beane loves the A's. What other reason would he have for keeping his loyalties with the Athletics? It's the same reason the fans love their team, whether they're winning or losing. Although many of us would be sad to see them leave the East Bay, we'll continue to support them whether they're in Oakland or in San Jose.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, following the Oakland Athletics since the '70s and attending hundreds of games over more than three decades. Follow her at www.facebook.com/KCDermodyWriter, Twitter @kcdermody, or www.kcdermodywriter.com.
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