Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are the A's a "Crown Jewel" of MLB?

If you caught the home run derby last night you saw a beautiful, multi-angle showcase of the recently renovated Kauffman Stadium.  On July 2, the Kansas City Star ran an interesting piece detailing the long and winding road the city and the team traveled to get the All Star game. In it, Commissioner Bud Selig is quoted as saying this about the Royals stadium in support of a sales tax measure to fund improvements:

Kauffman Stadium’s construction (in 1973) played a key role in the transformation of modern-day ballparks. With approval of the proposed renovations, this historic venue will once again be transformed into one of the crown jewels of Major League Baseball.

He is quoted later in the piece as saying:

This is a franchise we need to be successful...

Consider that the O.co Coliseum opened in 1966.

Has Bud ever expressed a similar fondness for a facility that, while undoubtedly drastically hurt by the 1996 renovation in terms of baseball, is still rich in history having hosted six World Series? No. He did offer this rather damning statement back in 2009 in an effort to boost support for the Fremont plan:

I cannot stress enough that the need for the A's to have a viable and modern stadium is a paramount objective for your organization and for the game overall. The A's currently operate in one of the least desirable venues in Major League Baseball and it has placed your club at a serious disadvantage with respect to other clubs in the game.

What he could have said was something like this, "The A's clearly need a new, modern facility. The Coliseum, while rich in history and home to some of the all-time great baseball teams, has seen better days and was rendered a less-than-ideal facility upon the return of the Raiders. Our goal is for the A's to find a new home and build upon their tremendous legacy."

Just saying, Bud.

If You Thought Charging for Soda was Absurd

In Moneyball, the actor playing David Justice finds out that the A's charge the players for soda in the clubhouse in an effort to "keep the money on the field." This beyond-the-pale cheapness was fictional. However, this tidbit from yesterday's New York Times regarding the Royals is not:

In a 2011 article, former employees told The Kansas City Star that scouts and others were denied basic equipment, even company cellphones, as the Royals cut costs. Brett, who fronted a group that failed in a bid to buy the team, said he had heard that the Royals, in the early 2000s, would pay no more than a $1,000 signing bonus to any drafted player taken after the fifth round.

Waiting for Godot

Was anyone really surprised that Bud offered this today regarding the A's stadium situation?

The main hang up is we don't have all the answers yet....It's a very complex issue. It's complex on both sides.

The quote of the day, however goes to San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo regarding MLB's stadium indecision :

If pregnancies took this long, the human race would be extinct.

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