clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Wolff In Wolff's Clothing, For God's Sake

I've heard a lot of theories as to how when Lew Wolff says one thing, he actually means another, that he really has had his eye on San Jose all along, or that he's just setting up failures in attendance and local stadium plans so he can move the team to Las Vegas. And we're supposed to believe this, because...Because what, the answer in front of us is too obvious? We are a generation, I think, that grew up with too much Perry Mason, where the angry, jealous wife didn't do it because that's too obvious--aha, it turns out it was the one-legged Brazilian nun, who had a secret arrangement with a man who was posing as a transvestite posing as a transsexual...The fact is, though, in real life when the angry, jealous wife is the obvious suspect, she's also usually guilty.

I had a theory about Lew Wolff from the start, and as I've followed everything he's said along the way, it has always matched my original theory: Lew Wolff wants the A's to stay as close to Oakland as possible, and as a businessman he is simply prepared, simultaneously, with options B, C, D, E, F, and so on, ready--because even though he would hate to get down to Plans D or E, a businessman would be foolish not to be ready with more than a couple of fall-back plans.

Plan A? I believe Wolff wants to keep the A's in Oakland, and is exploring every possible way to do that. If this just isn't possible, Plan B is to explore the greater Oakland area, such as Fremont. If that also isn't possible, Plan C is to explore the greater Bay Area, such as San Jose, and if that also isn't possible, he will really have no choice but to explore beyond the Bay Area, or accept, for the time being, the inadequate baseball facility known as the status quo. Aren't these the exact options, in that order, we want explored?

Having a Plan B, or Plans C-G, doesn't in any way mean a businessman won't explore Plan A until it is successful or every angle has been exhausted. Wolff has good reason to explore options outside of Oakland, even if he wants the A's to stay in Oakland as badly as we want the A's to stay in Oakland. Oakland's politicians, in their infinite wisdom (commensurate with my level of sarcasm), say things like, "We entered a bad deal with a football team, so therefore we're reluctant to enter a good deal with a baseball team." Jerry Brown's level of commitment to the A's and baseball is such that he would probably call any current plan "No Fan Left Behind". What is Lew Wolff dealing with? He's dealing with a city that would turn a nice baseball stadium into a lousy one, in order to lure back a football team with a lousy deal for the city, so that the A's could consider re-building the nice baseball stadium they used to have from the parking lot right next to the old stadium.

If that's what I was dealing with, I would damn well have a Plan B. The only way I see the A's leaving Oakland under the current management is if they're thrown out. Which, unfortunately, is not impossible.