Lew Wolff says the A's are NOT throwing away '08

The Chronicle interviewed Mr. Wolff after the Swisher and Haren trade and here are some of the things he had to say about what's going on and the upcoming season.

"I'm expecting much better than a .500 season," he said.

"Look, at the end of the day, it's where you finish, but you've got to have a platform to get there," Wolff said. "Last year was a disappointment for me, not because the players didn't try, but we had so many things that didn't work out.

"I think we'll do better in '08 than '07. If we stayed with what we had, on paper it might have looked terrific, but then you're doing nothing; you're not proactive. We'll be very competitive and, with a little luck, will win more games than people are anticipating."

On the possibility of the A's still going after Bonds:

"Well, certainly, he's a fantastic player," Wolff said. "If you go through our proprietary program, he comes out extremely high among players. I don't think we're heading in that direction. We don't judge guilt until somebody else does. But right now, I think the idea is to build a younger club. Billy may change and feel differently, and that would be up to him."

"I don't want to rule anything out, but I'm giving you the straight scoop. He's really not on our radar." Wolff said.

On the Haren and Swisher trade and the prospects we got back:

Oakland's farm system was "pretty much in the bottom 10" before the trades, according to Wolff, who now says, "This moves us in the top 10, and that's important when the system provides your flow of players. It was re-established overnight. Though I hate to lose Dan or Swish, some of those (acquired) players are going to help us this year.

"We didn't want to have another year with the very same people and just hope and cross our fingers that nobody was going to be hurt. It was very depressing last year."

"The whole thing is, looking at it passionately, I think we've improved the ballclub. We've certainly improved the probability of improving the ballclub," Wolff said. "If none of these offers came to us, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. At the winter meetings, Billy wanted to make clear that if a team wanted to knock his socks off, he'd be willing to listen. You're always going to feel that way.

"I kept reading the articles, and it's, 'Oh, my God, they're throwing away the season.' I don't believe that's true at all. I'm not going to go out to the game with the idea we're going to lose. We'll have a pretty good team on the field."

and on the A's future home:

Wolff reiterated that he wouldn't keep the A's in Oakland if the Fremont plan collapses. Asked if that means the team would leave the Bay Area, he said, "I think we would have to leave the Bay Area, but I want to make sure you know I have not spent any time threatening that. I hate that. It's not the way we operate. The Fisher family (the majority owner) and myself, we want to stay here."

"The league wants to have baseball-specific venues," said Wolff, no fan of co-existing with the Raiders. "I don't know how we can get to where we want to be when, for example, they drag the stands onto the field in August, when we're trying to make a push for the playoffs."

you can read the whole article HERE.