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Elephant Rumblings: Oakland officials denounce A’s “half-baked” stadium plans

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Disgruntled Oakland Athetics fans thow tomatoes at photos of Steve Fisher, Dave Kaval and Rob Manfred Photo by Karl Mondon/MediaNews Group/East Bay Times via Getty Images

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

I should probably change my salutation—I realize I’ve been full of gloom and doom lately. I hope you can forgive my not-so-sunny disposition: the A’s are playing as poorly as ever, having run their current losing streak to eight. They haven’t scored more than three runs in a game since September 12.

Meanwhile, I awoke yet again this morning to a world in which the Oakland A’s days appear to be numbered. They’ll be back for at least one more season, but it’s hard to imagine that owner John Fisher gives half a fig about fielding a quality team in 2024. Rather, he and A’s president Dave Kaval seem bent on convincing the baseball world that their half-baked relocation plans will eventually become something palatable.

It’s not news that Oakland officials are angry at the A’s for abruptly ending negotiations on the proposed Howard Terminal development and announcing a stadium deal in Las Vegas, but Tristi Rodriguez at NBC Sports Bay Area assembled some choice quotes in this piece that appeared on the site yesterday.

Leigh Hanson, chief of staff to Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao, derided the A’s direction in especially colorful terms in an interview with Tim Keown at ESPN:

“To see this blow up in Oakland for really no reason and then to hear how little they have in Vegas is mind-blowing. When they said they had a signed deal, a binding deal, I thought, ‘Holy s—t, they’ve been playing us all along.’ But then to see this nine-acre parking lot … what? You walked away from us for that? Not to be a jilted lover, but God is she ugly.”

Good stuff, but the real humdinger comes from Kaval, a master of empty, nonsensical doublespeak. He expressed his confidence in the A’s direction thusly:

“[Vegas is] the busiest intersection in the West. There are more people there — cars, people, eyeballs. If you go to Vegas, you end up there. And so, it’s quintessential Vegas. It’s right on The Strip. And so, I think it will, in many ways, be one of the most exciting and iconic locations for a sports venue in the world, because we’re there.”

Cars? People? Eyeballs?! C’mon, Dave. Gimme a break.

Have a wonderful weekend, AN. Hopefully the A’s will give us at least one more win at the Coli this weekend as they wrap up their final homestand of 2023.

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