Although I’m from the Midwest, Oakland Athletics Always had a fascination for me. started long before moneyball Era. Mark McGwire-Jose Canseco was on the rise of the A’s when I first became a baseball fan. Even beyond McGwire and Canseco, when the A’s are on the Nationals game…they looked starkly different. Yes, we know now why, but to a child they looked out of this planet. Even Carney Lansford or Dave Henderson or Dave Stewart…they were monsters roaming the quiet countryside of baseball. how they looked and played like that and I was left with these little guys chicago cubs at home? Still, the A’s had an air about them. Something you’ve always wanted to be a part of, even if you didn’t know why.
Then came the Giambi era, an age where my punk sensibilities were still very far from my life (still true). That team looked like it was all off to watch Skid Row at some bar for $7 after the game (okay maybe not punk, but go with me here). How can you not love them?
As I got older, and became more aware of how A has to fight against his own propriety, his circumstances, and reinvent himself to stay ahead of the pack, It was not difficult. It was also hard to miss that connection with Oakland, which was an underdog in California as a city. They made my own fandom so…Social class.
we all knew how Raiders represented the rebellious nature of the East Bay, more so than during his second term in the 70s. How he spoke for California, you didn’t see on the brochure. Dirty, loud, counterculture to glitz in the Bay or South. Ridicule in response to tourists and fantasists.
what does a represent
A were only slightly different, or at least 2,000 miles away it felt that way. They were still rebels, still not fitting into any scene, but they added a weird edge to it that is also a big part of California. They had white shoes, unorthodox mannerisms, creatures in the bleachers, drums, whatever, the overall feeling that they knew they didn’t have much, and didn’t want much, and they’d better make it work for those people. compared to those who had more. it was enhanced by receiving mlb Packages and lots of their watching games, games that always seemed dark and howling in the bay that night. A time when only true creatures of the night came out. It had a haunting, alluring mystery. You had to be crazy to want to be there, and even if you were you knew you didn’t belong anywhere else. At least that’s what it looked like. There was an obsession, a goofiness, a wink at the camera but a deep love that I and I’m sure a few others out here can only envy.
It was unique, something you felt you couldn’t see anywhere else, whereas most fandoms and environments feel portable, duplicated.
A move to vegas won’t be the same
Of course, these are not the things that the people who run baseball and all sports care about. It’s what makes sports a sport, it’s what turns us into fans in the first place, but it’s not what shows up on the balance sheet. A can be flown in VegasWhere? John Fischer may not only get his new ballpark But he wants the rest of the land deal so that it will never matter what actually goes on inside that ballpark. Money will keep coming. What’s up with the Cubs, what Braves is, what Chicago Bears want, and a list of others too long to write without getting too sad.
It wouldn’t mean what the A’s meant, what were the fans in the stands. Like the attackers, it would be some plastic replica that is pawing at the real thing, like a fake New York skyline or the Eiffel Tower down the street. A spectacular cardboard cutout that will try and assure tourists and residents that they are experiencing something they used to remember rather than just homogenous nonsense.
There are many reasons why a team will not work in Vegas. We can start summer with a temperature of 137°. Fans are not as likely to turn up in the middle of the week for a three-game series in July as they are for a game on a weekend in the fall. Or that Vegas is already gearing up to ration water in the summer.
Even if any of those come to pass and the A’s can’t go to Vegas, it looks like something is broken in Oakland now. A city that’s in turmoil due to too many things going on in the area, longtime residents pushed out because of cost, and those who pushed them out get even more ridiculous because of cost. And all those layers we don’t need to go into right now.
In strictly sports terms, which really can’t be viewed without social and political ramifications, what happened to Oakland is sad. He created and maintained his own spirit and culture around his teams, something unique and untouchable regardless of what was happening in the city. And then they either saw them being co-opted as trendy and part of the scene that these arenas and stadiums stood for at the grassroots level to cross the water for people who don’t really get it were, or leave the area. Totally just for more money. Painful symbolism.
I don’t know if there will be a game count. They must have become too big to fail. The owners and commissioners long ago took away what made the sport attractive, our love and dedication, and the communities we built around them. First, they pushed us further and further away from the grounds with their luxury suites and exorbitant ticket prices. Then they made us pay for stadiums and arenas that we can’t even enter. And sometimes they take teams away.
It has gotten to the point where these owners and commissioners don’t need the core it was once built upon, and it won’t matter if those stadiums and arenas are constantly half empty. Maybe the collapse of the RSN is a harbinger, maybe the next TV deals won’t be as sweet, maybe they need to put us back in the seats, making this a more livable place to be.
Or maybe the ship has sailed. Maybe we’re not coming back, not just like that. Not building that space full of weirdos and rebels on cold winter nights in a stadium that’s too flimsy to use just because it’s what we do. Not a place where any team gets the most passionate support ever and then sees that support used against them. Perhaps Oakland’s ultimate rebellion was that it wouldn’t bow to the A’s or the Raiders, that there came a point where they wouldn’t be used (though that’s not really how it works, as nice to say). Either way, baseball lost something late last night when Fischer and Dave Kaval released their statement like cowards. Can’t think it matters. Maybe it isn’t. But one day, it might happen.