“There is no there, there,” said Gertrude Stein of Oakland, CA, though had she lived long enough, she might well have said, “there are no marquee players that Billy Beane won’t trade in their prime”. And in the wake of Andrew Bailey, Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill being dealt for prospects in successive weeks, the Oakland Tribune’s Monte Poole has seen enough, declaring of ownership, “they have effectively demolished any pretense of trying to win and simultaneously sending the message that until they get the trade they really want — trading Oakland for San Jose — they’ll just keep making a mockery of the game.” (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory)
There never has been any confusion about Lewis Wolff’s desires or intentions. Wolff (above) and John Fisher even bought off team president Michael Crowley and general manager Billy Beane, giving each a fraction of ownership. All four are rowing one way, beautifully in sync.
The iceberg in the water, however, is the Giants, who own territorial rights to San Jose. This alone makes movement a daunting endeavor, for Bug Selig is big on ownership consensus. And that simply doesn’t exist between the Wolff-Fisher A’s and platoon of Giants owners represented by CEO Larry Baer.
Consider these moves an A’s shortcut, their intent to drive their plan over the few curly hairs remaining atop Baer’s head. Few men in baseball can force an issue as vehemently as Beane, and Selig and Baer and all of us can see he’s on a mission.
So Bailey had to go, just as Cahill and Gonzalez did. Billy the Part-Owner is better served by moving them, even if we all know Billy the G.M. likes their talent.
The A’s will say they are fiscally barren and competitively invalid, that they were forced into these actions.
But they’ll offer no apology about abandoning their loyal but dwindling clientele. They don’t want you visiting their shabby little yard, no matter how long you’ve cared, so they’re informing everyone their shop is closed — even though the doors are wide open.