Athletics' stripped-down roster was outdrawn by 11 Triple-A teams Tuesday
After yet another offseason of cost-cutting moves, the Oakland Athletics were outdrawn by 11 Triple-A games Tuesday.
The Athletics announced an attendance of just 3,407 fans during Tuesday's walk-off win over the Cleveland Guardians. That's a staggeringly low figure for an MLB team ... as reflected in the attendance numbers from Tuesday's Triple-A games.
Attendance for baseball games on April 4, 2023 👀
AAA game: 9548
AAA game: 9229
AAA game: 8305
AAA game: 8222
AAA game: 6950
AAA game: 6915
AAA game: 6639
AAA game: 6382
AAA game: 5953
AAA game: 5172
AAA game: 3835
Oakland A's: 3407
AAA game: 3200
AAA game: 2453
h/t @jjcoop36 pic.twitter.com/f2o7tesXa5
— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) April 5, 2023
Yeah, you're reading that properly. Eleven Triple-A teams beat the A's attendance Tuesday. Not only that, but four Triple-A teams had more than twice as many fans as the Athletics.
Athletics continue to sell parts as they look to relocate
That's really sad for an MLB team ... if you can refer to the Athletics as that. Team owner John Fisher seems intent on moving the team out of Oakland. The city and Fisher have been at odds for what feels like a decade now, and things are reaching a critical point. Fisher can't seem to get the funding he desires from the city and has seemingly responded by making the Athletics an unwatchable mess.
The Athletics entered the 2023 MLB season with an Opening Day payroll of $56.8 million, per Cots Contracts. That is the lowest figure in MLB. Over the past few seasons, the team has traded away its biggest and most expensive names to cut costs. Matt Olson and Sean Murphy are among the solid players the team shipped out over the past few years.
Rebuilding can be a effective strategy for some teams, but that's not what the Athletics are doing. The team made little to no attempt to sign players such as Murphy or Olson to long-term deals. One of the key names the team received in the Olson deal — outfielder Cristian Pache — was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in March after he failed to make the Athletics' 26-man roster. Pache received just 260 plate appearances with the Athletics after being acquired by the team. It's possible it was the right move, but it's a bad look to sell Pache to fans as an exciting up-and-comer and then cut bait after such a small sample of games in the majors.
Fisher's strategy seems to boil down to making the team as unpalatable as possible to try to strengthen his argument for leaving Oakland, and the low attendance is a feature of that approach, not a bug. If no one in Oakland is coming to games, Fisher can more easily argue that Oakland has turned into an unsustainable market for baseball and take the team elsewhere. It's as if the plot of "Major League" has become a reality in Oakland.
Unfortunately for the team's fans, a storybook ending feels unlikely here.