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Elephant Rumblings: Doubletaking on South Jordan

MLB news roundup

Sacramento River Cats v Salt Lake Bees Photo by Daniela Porcelli/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

The A’s are exploring the possibility of playing their home games in South Jordan, UT.

The A’s are exploring the possibility of playing their home games in South Jordan, UT.

The A’s are exploring the possibility of playing their home games in South Jordan, UT.

No matter how many times I repeat it, I still can’t believe it. No disrespect to the pretty, great state of Utah—I grew up in Salt Lake City after toddling out of Stockton at age four. No, no disrespect to the Beehive State—in fact, I would love to see the A’s play in SLC. When I was a lad, I saw the Salt Lake Gulls, and later, the Trappers, at Derks Field, where Smith’s Ballpark now stands and the Salt Lake Bees currently play. I still visit my mom in SLC regularly.

But the idea of South Jordan being home to the A’s is irreconcilably surreal to me. And the thought of the A’s blocking a perfectly good Triple-A team from moving into their new stadium just...fills me with the sort of indigestion that precedes the spiciest of takes. I need to get them out of my system.

Obviously, I am, like so many fellow A’s fans, very angry with the direction John Fisher is taking the franchise. After years of assuring us the A’s were “Rooted in Oakland,” Fisher decided to move the team to Las Vegas even though substantive negotiations with Oakland were underway for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal.

Since the A’s heralded their relocation last April, they have scrapped their stadium renderings yet failed to update them, secured hundreds of millions in public funding from the state of Nevada yet failed to detail how the team will finance its share of expenses, and vaguely discussed where the team will even play for three seasons before the Vegas stadium is “expected” to open.

There was talk of extending the lease at the Coliseum, or playing at Oracle, or the Aviators’ park in Vegas. Now there’s talk of Sacramento and South Jordan. Does that mean the other sites are off the table? I mean, no disrespect to Utah—but would the A’s really be looking there if there were any viable options between northern California and southern Nevada?

I personally doubt it.

John Fisher is doing a terrible job of carrying out an awful plan. And MLB has signed off on it—all 30 owners. Commissioner Rob Manfred has been a staunch ally to Fisher. The league is therefore neck deep in co-conspiracy here. I’ve been thinking about which team I might gravitate towards in a post-Oakland A’s era, but watching this shambolic farce that is the A’s relocation plan unfold in scenes of ever-greater absurdity while MLB declares, “This is Fine!” is spurring me to re-evaluate my emotional investment in the game altogether.

On to the next act, I suppose.

Have a wonderful week, AN.

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