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A’s, Yankees provide quite the storyline, so where were the fans?

The A’s are the major leagues’ hottest team and find themselves unexpected contenders in the wild card race. They’re facing a Yankees team that has the majors’ best record. Indeed, this four-game weekend series has gained attention nationally. So was anyone else surprised that the A’s 4-3 victory Thursday drew a crowd of just 23,382 to the Coliseum? That’s about 12,000 short of a sellout. Granted, it was a Thursday night. And it’s not like an A’s-Yankees game in Oakland always packs the house. Just last season, one of their games at the Coliseum drew even fewer fans — 22,581. That was on a Tuesday night, and it came on the heels of the Memorial Day holiday, so it’s somewhat understandable. But holy cow, Thursday’s turnout has to be considered a disappointment given that the series carries more magnitude than anyone could have dreamed of back in spring training. I think there’s an assumption that the A’s will start attracting bigger crowds the deeper into the season they stay in contention, but a turnout like Thursday’s makes me skeptical …

–It’s easy to jump on the A’s bullpen when it’s surrendering game-ending homers. But when the bullpen is dialed in as it is right now, the numbers sneak up on you. Oakland’s bullpen has allowed just five runs in 40 2/3 innings this month. They had another good night Thursday despite Ryan Cook finally allowing his first homer of the season. Cook had thrown 40 2/3 innings this season without surrendering a long ball, the longest streak in the majors among pitchers not to allow a homer. But his ninth inning was preceded by Sean Doolittle’s scoreless seventh and Grant Balfour’s scoreless eighth. The A’s have to continue to be thrilled with Doolittle’s ability to enter more crucial situations and get outs. It bodes very well for the future of Oakland’s bullpen …

–Rickey Henderson had some interesting thoughts before the game on Yoenis Cespedes making the conversion from center field to left field. A bit of it got into my final game story, but some did not, so thought I’d share. Henderson worked with Cespedes out in left field before the game.

“Baseball is a faster game in left field than center,” Henderson said. “The ball gets on you quicker, the ball moves in different directions. Really, you’ve just got to have quick feet and get to the ball as quick as you can. … He’s still taking wide angles because he’s a center fielder, and he doesn’t know how to cut the ball off or take a short angle to get to the ball.”

But Henderson, who switched from center to left as a young player in the majors, said he’s confident Cespedes can make the adjustment. He also believes the A’s are wise to try shifting Cespedes to left because he won’t have to chase down as many balls and will therefore accumulate less wear and tear on his body. “His offense (will improve) because he’s not tired running after each ball,” Henderson said.

That’s all for now …

Joe Stiglich

  • Nabeil

    Ive only been to one game this year. And trust me when I say I’m as die hard as they come. But I think I speak for most fans who don’t show up. Lew Woff Is the reason why we aren’t going. With that said this team is very exciting and may very well get into the playoffs. And I will be going to many more in the very near future.

  • Harold

    I agree with Nabiel… we love the product (the players), but hate the customer service (Lew “all about San Jose” Wolff). If Wolff stopped drooling for the South Bay, that stadium would be packed with rabid fans trying to rip off those ugly tarps.

    @Joel Stiglich – why do you keep asking this question? Its obvious. Lew doesn’t try to market the team. He’s playing passive as the Giants cannibalize the Athletics’ market. Joel, instead of being a parrot for the owner and Beane, like Slusser, how about trying some real investigative Journalism and call this what it is? It happened in Montreal with Expos and Wolff is trying it out here in Oakland. I know you need your access, but your readers are not stupid!

  • Stan

    When the A’s and Giants played Joe..where were you to castigate Wolff and Fisher for not removing the tarps? Instead of 48,000..those who plead poverty told paying fans to go home-”we sold out”..yeah,32,00 or so. Was it any secret that series would be a sell out?..No. Just another example of that crooked syndicate of Wolff, Beane, Fisher, and Cheatem & Lires.

  • http://www.accidentaltravelwriter.net Michael

    I remember when the A’s would draw 40,000 and 50,000 fans when the Yankees came to town. That was before the tarped over the upper deck and started systematically alienating the fans.

  • Greg Short

    Let’s see, I own a company and want to be competitive with my competition, (see the 49ers). I’m a A’s fan from 68 @ 11 years old. Have been to hunderds of games including renting suits. Oakland fans have shown they will not come, for way to many years. See how this team hits/scores on the road? (need new park) Ok then now we have big corp sponcors or lack of them in Oakland, see San Jose’s ability to provide big time income. Want Billy’s brains and fans, get to San Jose then you will see free agents jump to Billy, San Jose weather and this ownerships commitment.

    What about the city of Oakland and the dumbiseum board. Just look at all the other MLB teams getting great new venues in their city’s.

    Thank you Lew, Mr. Fisher, Billy and all your staff for wanting to please true A’s fans by making your baseball company much more valuable and move us into the next great era. Can you imagine a church with no church bells ringing, go to a Monday night game in Oakland and there you go!

    By far Billy is in the top 3 GM’s if not the top one in baseball. I’ll trush him not the no show fans to bring a world series to the A’s.

  • Joe

    This is exactly why Lew wants to move to the South Bay… because fans like you haven’t been showing up for years. If you were a “die hard fan” you would be going to the games to support the team on the field. In 2008 we averaged 20,559 (29 out of 30 in the league)and were 7 games over .500 at the all-star break. This was before any of the San Jose stadium plans came around. Also, tell me which corporations in Oakland sponsor the A’s, because I’m pretty sure the largest Oakland corporations sponsor the Giants more than the A’s. Also, Oakland isn’t getting any funding to build a stadium in an adequate neighborhood. They talk about “Coliseum City”, but they aren’t saying where the funding is coming from and no plans are developing. We need restaraunts, bars, and attractions next to the stadium. “Coliseum City” says it will bring it, but once again Oakland has no plans. AND they do not want us to move anywhere else in the city. If you’re talking about marketing the team, the A’s have been consistently voted top 5 marketing teams in the MLB. Get your facts straight and look at the numbers.

  • Stan

    You stepped into that one Joe. WE ain’t the enemy.

  • Joe

    Then, who is the enemy? It’s definitely not Lew. He does so much for the Oakland community that goes unnoticed. The point is we need a new stadium BADLY, and the city of Oakland is not helping us at all.

  • GoA’s

    Humm–LW is the villian? Back in 2006 before any talk of SJ, when the A’s were in the playoffs they finished 26th in attendance–its not LW–its not the tarps…why have another 10-12k empty seats each game, the A’s have never been supported like they should be—time to move to where the support will be there day in and day out–come one Bud—make the call so the A’s can play in a new ballpark in downtown SJ with regular sold-out crowds–

  • Stan

    And it was US who wanted Ray back home in the booth..

  • Stan

    Did any of you hear Brandon Tierney steal my post about removing the tarps when the A’s KNOW its going to be a sell out about an hour ago?. lol. If I had a million dollars for everytime writers stole my ideas..I would have about 5 or 6 million dollars…

  • Stan

    I heard that same about SF in the 70′s. Oakland isn’t a wealthy city I agree,but John Fisher is a MULTI BILLIONAIRE..Lets’ not forget that when he wants to embarrass the city over leaky toilets. He should do what I do..fix them.
    AND WHY DIDN’T they take down the tarps vs the Giants?..48 to 54,000 seats were there to be filled. And lets not kid ourselves Joe..if the A’s situation was like you say..then why not sell to a local ownership that WANTS to win a World Series,unlike Wolff who see’s no value in spending for stars or as he was quoted, “Buying a World Series”?
    Last..so you swallow that the A’s cant convince Silicon Valley to invest in the A’s?..you mean they will in San Jose 35 minutes away? How good can that great A’s marketing be?
    If John Fisher has started renovating the Coliseum in 2006.he would have that stadium he wants,now.

  • Stan

    Also ,how do you explain Joe that MLB blue panel hasnt revealed that mysterious report after 3+ years?..OR,Joe, that the biggest defender of Selig dragging his feet is Wolff?
    And the bottom line with fans is..from 2006 to March of 2012 we fans heard to get used to losing and seeing the best players traded away,no star free agents being signed..we were told as long as the team is in Oakland,BEANE CAN’T WIN. Then,he spent for Yoenis..
    WE are we winning. Connect the dots Joe..

  • Stan

    One last. If the A’s sold out every game,Wolff wouldn’t want to move to San Jose?

  • Stan

    If silicon valley creates so much money..why does San Jose have to cut back on police and services?

  • Joe

    You don’t make any valid points. First of all why they don’t take down the tarps is because of supply and demand. They incorporate a dynamic pricing model. So, when more people want to go to a specific game the tickets go up. When less people want to go to a game the ticket prices go down. It’s economics. Why would the A’s sell to a local company when they love the team? Local companies pledged $1 million to keep them in Oakland. Ok, but that is still about $599 million short of a ballpark. And, like I said before, even if the A’s did sell (which they absolutely won’t) the new owners will experience exactly the same thing the current A’s owners are experiencing: there is a complete lack of revenue in Oakland, and there is a ton of untapped revenue potential in San Jose.

    Lew would love to spend a lot of money on the A’s. It seems that he spends all that he possibly can with the lack of revenue the team gets. So, how can he buy stars? Or, you can go a different route and stars DO NOT want to play in Oakland. The A’s have been needing a third baseman since Eric Chavez started his injury problems. So, they went out and offered Adrian Beltre the highest contract. However, he turned the A’s contract down because he didn’t want to play in the Coliseum and took a smaller contract in Texas. This was during the huge hype of the A’s with Matt Holiday and our pitching staff. Like I said, we spend as much money as we can.

    San Jose wants the A’s to come. They are contemplating on filing a lawsuit against the Giants.

    Renovating the Coliseum? Is that a joke? How can they possibly do that? Tear it down and build one on the same location? They don’t need new seats, or small upgrade in the stadium quality. They need a HUGE upgrade. I said this in a previous comment. They need more revenue. Corporate revenue, box revenue, and local attractions, such as bars, restaurants, and other attractions that brings tourists to the stadium. You need somewhere where you can get a few drinks or lunch/dinner before or after the ball game. You need a place where hotels are nearby and people who are visiting the city will come and watch a game. When you go to New York and are visiting the city you think “Oh I’m here might as well go to a Yankees game”. Who the hell comes to Oakland to visit the city? What bars, restaurants, and other attractions are close to the Coliseum? NONE! There needs to be more things that brings fans to the stadium, and more corporate sponsorship because the corporate sponsorship brings the most revenue to a team than anything else.

    The MLB Blue Ribbon panel has not made a decision is because Selig wants the A’s and Giants to figure it out amongst themselves. However, we cannot. Both the A’s and Giants owners have said that Selig needs to make a decision because our teams cannot. Selig hasn’t done a damn thing towards it. It is on him, not Lew.

    We made the ALCS in 2006. How can you not notice that we are a small market team and we cannot be signing all these big name contracts. We have tried to sign bigger names, but no one wants to come to play in Oakland. We take advantage of market inefficiences and sign those guys because we cannot afford A’Rod type contracts. Read Moneyball.

    The only reason we could sign Yoenis is because we had the money at the time. This was after shedding millions of dollars in contract buy-outs and trading our best players. If he absolutely needed a contract at the beginning of the offseason we couldn’t do it. If someone offered him a contract at the beginning of the offseason we wouldn’t have been able to match it.

    If the A’s sold out every game, I’m sure Lew would think about staying in San Jose. BUT, WE DON’T! Look at the last series. Yankees are in town and we sweep them. AND, we didn’t sell out any of those games! We are still lacking corporate sponsors- our single most revenue earner.

    This has nothing to do with police and services. This is a baseball team that WILL BRING REVENUE TO THE CITY.

    You are obviously unaware about the facts going on. Get them straight. Do research!

  • Stan

    At the risk of going round and round…What star player just last week added Oakland to his teams to trade to?..that’s on just over a half season of winning. The Coloseum is..30 min from downtown SF or the Embarcadero,so these arguments that the Coloseum are in the wilderness are puzzling..or that the Internet companys love San Jose so much,they would never sponsor a winning team based in Oakland or use Luxury boxes.
    Oakland is closer to SF..then San Jose..whats in San Jose for tourists?..I’ll tell you,A longer drive to San Francisco!

  • Stan

    One more last..until you tell me independent accounting of the A’s books show they have lost money in Oakland,Joe-even once in 40 years here,I wouldn’t go by a billionaire pleading “no money”.

  • Stan

    How about a compromise?..Lew can name them the San Jose A’s?..and then build a “San Jose” stadium in Oakland on free land. Is that any different then what the San Fran 49ers are doing in Santa Clara?
    Yes,I’m joking..I think..

  • Stan

    And Joe..economics? why would they sell if they love the team?..that’s wanting it both ways. Complain that you can never make enough to win…and turned down ANY offers from other billionaires who DO think they can make money in Oakland..OR at the very least, win.
    You cant tell me they LOVE the team that has starved for players since Wolff took over.
    I think we agree,that if Wolff and John Fisher..who never seems to say a word strangely,continue to run this team,then no, we wont see many winning years by their methods.
    AND why does the media allow John Fisher to impact Oakland in such a negative way to go unanswered? What is he -the sports version of Howard Hughes?

  • Stan

    And your reasoning of “dynamic pricing”..doesn’t explain why those tarps vs the Giants weren’t lifted does it? IT WAS A SURE SELL OUT- for 3 GAMES..and the A’s knew months in advance. To say that “the plan” prevents sell outs Joe,is pointing out a real flaw-IF that was the real reason. I think,Wolff,doesn’t want to see a sell out..it makes the tarps idea seem..illogical does it not?
    More of this ownerships hypocrisy.

  • Stan

    I really have a hard time hearing “no revenue” as an excuse to field bad teams,if not this year..then many more than a good one here and there. The A’s since 1968 have never lost money for one,and for two..the Warriors sold for $450 million..and Ellison’s bid of a half billion was turned down as you well know Joe. If a NBA Oakland team is worth that much..imagine what Ellison would pay for the A’s. If money is the problem Joe..why is John Fisher and Lew Wolff turning down all offers?. They cant have their cake and eat it too. Or tell fans to eat it.

  • Stan

    Really Joe,how do you reconcile a team ownership that has done nothing but make a large profit..and then claims revenue doesn’t support a winning team? If your any American capitalist..that’s your goal. But,c’mon,to then blame revenue for bad teams?..well,capitalism 1-A would say ..sell,if you cant afford to play.
    Where am I wrong?

  • Stan

    Lets visit some facts..IN 1994 Lew Wolf and partner made a 800 million dollar sale of real estate..John Fisher is worth a minimum of a billion and a half-and more…and they paid 180 million for the A’s.
    So,where are they cash strapped Joe?
    Forbes says the A’s are worth 301 million..but thats very conservative. Forbes also says Bill Nuekom is still owner of the Giants.
    Lets go by the half bill for the Warriors..who sold for double the estimated value. The world is full of the smelly super rich. I would say the A’s could go for 600 mill-easy. And the bidders would be many.
    So -again facts- the A’s equity must be enormous.
    The profit in that equity would more then pay for a larger payroll..and still be a huge reserve left over.
    I mean-they A’s admit “We got stadium money”..so,why cheap out on the team?

  • Stan

    One more I love repeating..John Fisher is not listed in Wikipedia.
    Hows that for knowing what would be said of you?..and pay to keep it deleted?

  • Todd Fuller

    Stan, what you’ve just said in your 9 consecutive posts, is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone who read any part of your babble is now dumber for having read it. You are an idiot and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • Stan

    Todd..what I said is what Andy Dolitch has said,what many local sports writers have said including Poole to Ratto.
    Sorry that your FOX news brain cant understand us. You are another A’s fan..who wants the A’s to leave. Talk about conflicted souls..

  • Stan

    And,of course..not you or anybody else has said my facts are wrong, as usual you just sling the monkey poo you always have on hand..so to speak.

  • Stan

    You said you left..if you can’t keep your word ,why bother somebody who does?

  • Joe

    Stan, you are completely wrong with everything. You have no idea what goes on in the inside, and clearly do not have an understanding of economics, or how a baseball team makes revenue. No matter what any one says to prove you are wrong you are going to continue to think in your head that you are right. I can assure you that you are wrong. Get your facts straight and understand baseball, not just on the field, but from a financial perspective.

  • Stan

    I’m not wrong..Wolff and Beane and Fisher have a created a self fullfilling prophecy of crying poverty. Lowell Cohn says that. Monte Poole says that,Ann Killion,Ray Ratto, Andy Dolitch says that. And yet when Beane has spent-like with Yoenis,he got results. In 2002,Beane had a great little team..then blew it up and had nothing to show for “saving money”
    Interesting that the two biggest apologist’s for Beane are you and Sue Slusser.
    I dont see other losing franchises using tarps so as to point out we dont draw customers. Its one hell of a stupid marketing strategy.
    I might not be sure why they lie..but if they have the billion for building a stadium,whats the problem with signing-or KEEPING the great players? Let the Fisher’s sell Joe..and watch a Ellison,or the many super rich out there,build a winner with none of the “prospects forever” philosophy.
    The A’s aren’t leaving. The reality Joe is..they either sell or continue to try and sell what we aren’t buying.

  • Stan

    Admit it..Lew Wolff is a Los Angeles man who owns large tracts of property in San Jose. John Fisher is so rich,he might not even really care.

  • Stan

    John Fisher has multi billions..I can see where moving for him doesn’t make any difference in his wealth. At best the idea “Tickles his fancy”..for Wolff the investments would be making money..and THATS what he’s in for. And Beane? he always did like the built in excuse to lose and why. He didn’t take the red sox or ch sox job…because he would then HAVE to win. He didn’t want that challenge. He could play in Oakland for years and fiddle with prospects. And in a good year like this one, he’s available to the media and be a happy Billy.
    unless your Chris Townsend..then you represent all those bad people who call Beane down for excuse making and cheapness.
    Tell me Joe..do you say to Monte Poole he doesn’t know facts?

  • Stan

    And Joe,I did catch that reference you made about me you could only have gotten from the A’s. Like KNBR,you’ve done some snooping-or got it from the A’s. Bring it on,I can take it.

  • Stan

    Although,I’m not happy you and BANG would want my personal information from the A’s..to please the A’s. Doesn’t seem very journalistic.

  • Todd Fuller

    Stan, please explain why you don’t work for ESPN or MLB Network? I really would like to know. You pretend to have all the insight on everything, but in reality you read things and convince yourself that it’s your thoughts. YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT NOTHING. I feel sorry for you, and your pathetic life. Go away please. I look forward to seeing 34 consecutive responses to your own responses.

    YOU THINK YOU KNOW,BUT YOU DON’T KNOW,AND YOU NEVER WILL-jIM MORA

  • Stan

    I do know..and that’s what gets the (some) media angry. I was writing about JaMarcus..not the media..I was writing about Huff and his beer hobby hurting his hitting..then almost a year later Baggs agreed. Gore,ESPN and slurs,Tim,And dont forget almost all I wrote about the Warriors was like I see the future..I said Smart was a mistake..on and on.
    The A’s haven’t had a single money losing year in 48 years of being in Oakland-more or less. And now that Beane sniffs a great year building..NOW he says there’s room to add. Winning changes things.