A bit of promising news has emerged for fans of the Oakland Athletics. Answering a follower’s question on Twitter, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News said that the Golden State Warriors owners would not only be interested in buying the A’s but also want to build a much needed stadium, keeping them in the East Bay.
They want to buy the A's. And build an East Bay stadium. https://t.co/HpOMA2RAEd
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) June 8, 2016
The news is somewhat tempered by the knowledge that Oakland’s current owners are not interested in selling.
Even with that, this is wonderful news for fans of the A’s.
First of all, the future of baseball in the East Bay is very uncertain. Despite having very loyal and passionate fans, Oakland annually produces some of MLB’s lowest attendance numbers. The stadium they play in is one of the worst in sports and badly needs to be replaced.
Until that happens, another city coming forward with a new stadium proposal to sweep the A’s away is a definite possibility. If Oakland fans are lucky, it would be a relatively nearby city like Sacramento. It could also be a city like Portland, San Antonio, Las Vegas, or Montreal, just to name a few, that would take the A’s completely out of Northern California.
The fact that there’s an ownership group that would try to keep them in the East Bay to prevent a move is positive news.
Additionally, this group’s track record is pretty darned impressive. The Athletics haven’t had a great run of playoff success since their three straight American League Championships from 1988-1990, peaking with a win in the 1989 World Series. Still, they’ve been fairly successful, qualifying for the postseason nine times since 1990.
As a comparison, from the 1994-95 season through the 2011-12 season, the Warriors made the playoffs one time. Even with the 2015 championship, 73 wins in 2016 quite possibly mixed in with another championship, the 2007 “We Believe” squad is still remembered fondly among Golden State fans. That team was eliminated in five games in the second round of the playoffs.
The Warriors’ misfortune has all changed. They’ve now made made the playoffs in four straight seasons, have one championship and at least another conference championship to go along with it. The ownership change in November of 2010 had a lot to do with that.
These owners have shown that they can build a banner franchise after starting from essentially rock bottom. The A’s are not great, but they’re not rock bottom, either. If the Warriors owners want to buy them, then fans of the Athletics should be ecstatic and hopeful that it happens.