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Dave Newhouse in Trib today regarding A's

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Dave Newhouse in Trib today regarding A's
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By dorrit on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 06:25 pm:

Anyone see Dave Newhouse's article on the A's? Kind of depressing.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 07:33 pm:

The season has added up to what the owners wanted it to be they minipulated him to sign elswhere so they save 15 mill then spend no money all the while the team is somewhat competitive so they still draw close to 2 million, then they
lie and say beane can spend $$ money on a player then after the chicago trade in which the whitesox give Oakland 500k to help in salaries beane says no more $$$ to spend, man these guys really have perfected the art of manipulation ,do you think they really care if the A's make the playoffs ? NO WAY!!!!!!! they have made their $$$ by keeping the payroll at 40 mill then seducing fans to care and come to the net while not vesting in the club themselves.

sometimes being an A's fan i feel like an idiot , at least Giants fans know that they have an owner who really cares.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 10:14 pm:

Current A's ownership is the worst ownership group in the Bay Area, and that's saying a lot. Not only do they lie and mislead their fan base, they're cheap. The next worst owner in the Bay Area is probably Cohen of the Warriors but at least he spent big money on contracts to players like Dampier and Jamison, even though both don't deserve it. At least you can't call him cheap, dumb maybe for approving those contracts, but not cheap.

The A's ownership is all about making money. They're not going to sign most of the A's players once their current contracts are up and they become outright superstars. Giambi was the first, Tejada probably will be next after next year. Tejada will ask for 10-15 million per year and he should. He has worked his ass off the past couple of years to the point where he has to be mentioned in the A-Rod, Jeter, and Nomar territory when it comes to short stops. Look at his stats, hitting over .300, 25 hrs, and 90+ rbi with two months remaining in the season. This looks all too familar with Giambi's 2000 season when he showed everybody that he's a franchise player. I can see the same old squabble with Tejada's contract this off season that happened after Giambi's MVP year. Something will happen to break off the negoiations and the line of, "We'll worry about it after the season ends" will be given out to the media and fans.

No worry, the organization will once again have Billy Beane to save them by either signing a diamond in the rough, moving a player like Ellis to SS, or bring up a minor leaguer who can take Tejada's place but make a fraction of what he signs for.

I've been a season ticket holder for only two years but if the A's don't sign Tejada this off-season, I'll probably won't renew my season tickets for the 2003 season. What's the point? Have a championship caliber team being torn apart in front of my eyes because the owners aren't willing to break the bank in signing them.

People will say Schott and Hoffman saved this team by investing money into the farm team. That's complete b.s. It didn't take a genius to figure out that once they bought the team in the mid 90s, they needed to rebuild the organization from the bottom up and best yet, it was the cheapest way to run team for the next few years. Once these players who the organization spent years to develop become stars, they're let go.

I for one am tired of this ownership group. They can lie and mislead their fanbase but once you get caught publicly in doing it like they did with the newspaper article on Sunday, you're not getting money from me anymore. I've been an A's fan my entire life, spanning since I attended my first A's game when I was 4 and the current owners couldn't care less about me and thousands of other A's fans who lives and die for this team. I hope there is a strike. It's the only thing that can save baseball. The sport needs to be torn apart and a completely new system with new leaders has to take its place. Maybe that way, the corruption will end and the A's can get new owners.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By vinnieangelo on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 11:18 pm:

message deleted by moderator lil

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Monday, August 05, 2002 - 11:21 pm:

This latest news re the almost sale to a Washington group is very similar to what we all felt when we heard the sale to the Piccinini group had been tabled.

It is heart wrenching to see how this ownership lies and deceives the Oakland A's fans. Schott hired a PR guy to help him lie even better.

"The team is not for sale"

Absolutely disgusting.

But this is not the moment to turn our backs and give up. We must show they can't just continue to disrespect the legacy and this team which has a history we should all be proud of. We have to stand by our team and the only thing we can do right now is to show up at the ballpark to support the players, win or lose.

The fact these owners tied Billy Beane's hands, and mouth, when they denied him the acquisition of the player needed to put the team in equal grounds to contend,will not be swept under the rug. We will be around to tell the story of their deceit and their lies. And you can bet there will be plenty of us who will not go easy on them.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bleacherdave on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 08:34 am:

"What's the point? Have a championship caliber team being torn apart in front of my eyes." Again, oaktown fan, Again. The pain of being an A's fan. Then again we could be Cubs fans wearing 1908 World Champs t-shirts. Which would be less heartbreaking.

Lil, just because the team is not for sale doesn't mean that those guys won't listen to offers. I mean how many times have you been at the store and made an impulse purchase at the checkout counter....for say $170 million? I do see their point - remember how much flack they got for actively shopping the team? It's not good for attendance, lease negotiations, stadium negotiations, season ticket sales, contract signing, or PR. You know the old story about the snake with the punchline...."you knew I was a snake when you brought me home." Those guys are snakes. Beware.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 09:05 am:

bleacherdave,

You lost me there with your post. I don't think the A's were just listening to offers when they set a 12 million deadline for a non refundable deposit. That's a sale.

And at the same time, the city of Oakland was ready with a plan and a deadline of their own on July 23rd.

It just so happens that both deals fell through because the parties involved didn't move on to the next step of formalizing the transaction.

The A's made no move regarding the ballpark in Oakland because they don't want to stay in Oakland.

It's as simple as that. They lied.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 10:33 am:

message deleted by moderator lil

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 10:42 am:

Listen up guys. I'm really not going to let this forum go down the tubes because some of you don't seem to get along. So get mad once...tell the person off...but let's not drag it on and on...

I think we can stick to criticizing and disagreeing the content of posts without personal attacks.

Please respect the rest of the people posting here.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By milo on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 12:13 pm:

where was this story re the alleged sale, etc?

please give link.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By milo on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 12:59 pm:

never mind..just found it in other section...

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bleacherdave on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 03:41 pm:

I'm splittin hairs with you, Lil. Schott's new PR guy appears to be doin his job well. The A's are not actively trying to sell the team, but they'll listen to offers. It is possible to sell the team without the team ever being "for sale." Similar to an article in the paper yesterday regarding Bay Area housing. A woman bought her homoe in Palo ALto years ago, for $70,000. Someone knocked on her door one day, and offered her $1.6 Mil for it. She moved to Hollister. She sold her house, but it was never "for sale."

One word for it is talkin outta both sides of your mouth.....

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 04:08 pm:

What's very sad about all of this is that by now,
being deceitful and lying is accepted as good business practice.

Your example of the woman who had a surprise offer for her house that she couldn't refuse doesn't really fit the picture of what went on between the City of Oakland and the owners.

I doubt there isn't one civic leader and ballpark proponent in Oakland who doesn't feel a bit cheated and mislead by the A's owners.

And I don't blame any of the city officials if they don't even want to hear about a ballpark in Oakland for a long time to come.

The A's are the ones who want a ballpark to increase their revenue.
After having followed this process very closely, I for one will not point a finger at any of the politicians for not wanting to deal with any of these guys any time soon.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bleacherdave on Tuesday, August 06, 2002 - 09:46 pm:

I feel ya, Lil. But they got me. No matter how much they lie, cheat, and obfuscate - eventually I'll come back. I've felt mistreated, struck, locked out, and disparaged. I've watched a team that won 3 championships in a row broken up out of spite. And still I come back. Always. Eventually. I come back. No matter how much ugly greed and spoiled bratsmanship try to tear down the game, I come back. The game is bigger than owners, players, or commercial sponsors. The game is pure and rhythmic, predictable and ever-changing. It's a game not of time, but of turn. It belongs to the clubhouse kids and bat boys, transistor radios and kids in the bleachers on their day off from school. It's the game, Lil. And it's got me.

Ya gotta believe!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - 08:32 am:

bleacherdave,

I wasn't talking about "the game" nor the legacy of the Oakland A's, which belongs to us fans. The memories and the history of this franchise is what keeps us following and nurturing the love for this franchise.

I am not going to turn my back on the Oakland A's and will continue to support the team and its legacy.

But I'll be damned if I'm going to condone and make excuses for people who use the love fans have for this game to cheat and extort money form cities and taxpayers. This is what Selig and owners like Schott are doing. I won't support that kind of behavior just because I love the Oakland A's and the game.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kenarneson on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 01:37 am:

Fans complain and complain and complain about outrageous contracts wasted on the A-Rods and Mike Hamptons and Denny Neagles, and then when an owner has the smarts to actually set a budget and stick to it, we call him cheap.

I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. Schott may be lousy at marketing and PR, but on the baseball side, this is one of the best-run organizations in the history of baseball. You can't tell me that Schott has absolutely nothing to do with that.

Selig's running around claiming all these baseball teams can't compete, and are losing money, and some might go bankrupt. Yet despite much lower revenues, the A's are not losing money, while at the same time providing a competitive team four years running.

Now why aren't the A's ever mentioned as one of these teams with big debt, that might have trouble staying in business? Because of Schott's philosophy of setting a budget and sticking to it. The A's are a healthy and stable organization, thanks to Schott.

Now if refusing to exceed your budget is cheap, well then I'll take it, because it's also smart. If Tejada gets too expensive, so be it. I'll root for Ellis or Crosby or whoever the next shortstop is. The A's will find a way to compete without him, I'm sure, just as they're now competing without Giambi.

Schott may be stumbling and bumbling around the stadium issue, but you gotta consider the whole package, the good and the bad. And considering the track record so far, I'll more than willing to give Schott the benefit of the doubt.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 08:10 am:

Welcome to our board Mr Schott but you don't have to use the alias kenarneson.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 08:16 am:

The majority of us here have long accepted the Schott tight wallet.

What most of us don't accept is his lying in regards to his commitment to say in Oakland.

As for me personally, I'm tired of his empty statements to the press to continue giving him the benefit of the doubt. He is not a man of his word and I lost trust in him to do what it takes to keep the A's in Oakland.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 08:32 am:

sactodavey, please disagree with what is posted without attacking the poster. Make an effort to keep discussions at a civil level.
thanks,
moderator lil

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kevink on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 09:31 am:

Hi Ken,
it's Kevin from ITRA! I bought your tickets in April.
I agree that Schott does a good job of keeping the A's afloat. However, the problem I have with him, is his word. He's lied to us 1 too many times. He would sell out to D.C. in a heartbeat if he got the right deal. Then he tells us "the team is not for sale."
Schott does not care about the legacy of the A's in Oakland or about the fans. I can deal with his cheapness, but his dishonesty is where I have the problem since we do not know where the A's might be headed if Schott feels he can make a buck.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By sactodavey on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 09:37 am:

hey Lil, i don't care what anyone says about schott they have a right to there opinion
but i was making it funy since the individual was proping big time schotts ownership etc... which come into question by most memembers so the dry humor i have i just made a comment.

I do not at all think it was uncivil nor out of line and i think you are getting now a little sensitive, nor was it an attact on the poster but a comment on the pure onesided prop for Mr. schott.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Thursday, August 08, 2002 - 09:37 am:

btw ken, please feel welcomed to continue posting and don't mind sactodavey, he suffers from verbalgia runs and we just have to help him deal with it.
regards from the den mom

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kenarneson on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 12:13 pm:

My point was not that Schott is a great owner. His waffling about where the team is going to be is clearly a very bad thing, and reeks of at least incompetence if not dishonesty.

My point is that his "tight wallet" is a good thing, not a bad thing. To use his "tight wallet" as an argument to make him out as the worst owner ever, as oaktownfan did above, is, in my opinion, just plain wrong.

If he does sell out to DC or Vegas or some non-Bay Area location, he may in fact turn out to be the worst owner in Bay Area history. But it will be because of that deadly as-yet-uncommitted sin alone, not because of his frugal ways.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 01:05 pm:

http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82%257E1748%257E,00.html

Here's the link to Dave Newhouse's column.

Ken, I think most of us here, with a few exceptions, understands that Schott is a very smart and good business man. He knows how to make money and runs the team in a sound fiscal manner.

But it is his constant whining and shady way of doing business, lawsuits, lying to his customers (fans) and constantly contradicting himself, that makes him an owner who is very hard to admire.

He has proven to many of us that he is not a man of his word and that he can't absolutely be trusted. Some call this a sign and trait of a smart business person. I still call it dishonesty.

The issue remains whether we should stand at his corner, waiting for him to sell this franchise down the river, or should we continue to hurt his feelings, if that is possible, by being vocal about his deceitful ways.

If he hired a PR guy and is holding press conferences and luncheons, I suspect there are two plausible reasons.

One, he is really tired of being criticized and wants to save his reputation, the other could be he is getting ready for a major coup which might have Bud Selig's signature all over it...

So when Schott tries to spin the guilt of not getting a ballpark in Oakland to the Mayor and to the politicians, it may be because he is preparing the groundwork to say,

'I tried to get a ballpark in Oakland but it just was not possible and I had no cooperation from the politicians so...because of that I have to' sell to MLB or to Timbuktu or is his new agenda.

We are all good A's fans here, and we vent a lot when our team is losing...but we are still there supporting our team, regardless whether they win or lose.

It is the casual fans who have no idea what goes on behind the scenes who will all of a sudden one day realize this franchise did not deserve to be
disrespected and treated the way it has been by many in the SF media and in MLB. But then it will be too late.

What good will it do to say one day...I wish I had known what was going on and I would have done my part to prevent what happened to the A's.

We want to speak out now, loud and clear before the damage is done. Complacency will always be our worse enemy and our downfall.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By gregorymark on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 01:12 pm:

Well put, Lil! Excellent comments.

I'm bothered if Schott's meeting with journalists and is feeding them lunch. Many a journalist, I'm sure, has sold his "objective" soul for less than a lunch.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bleacherdave on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 01:34 pm:

As for Tejada, Schott said the shortstop likely would have to take less money to stay in Oakland.

There it is straight from the horse's mouth. I;m saddened. Viva $55 Million dollar minimum payroll!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kenarneson on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 04:53 pm:

I don't disagree with you, Lil. I just want Schott to be criticized where he deserves criticism (waffling on ownership/stadium issues), and not for something in which he actually deserves praise (payroll discipline).

Whether the A's stay in Oakland is a very different issue from whether Tejada stays in Oakland.

If we can keep those two issues separate, I'll be happy. Unfortunately, our discussions seem to jumble the two together far too often.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By vinnieangelo on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 11:28 pm:

I Like Ken, he makes TOO much sense.. :)

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 11:32 pm:

Ken, I agree and that is why we try to separate the forum in two main topics, the A's baseball talk and the Offfield matters.

But its hard to separate some of the issues because some people feel the ownership should be doing certain things to attract the fans and that of course involves keeping some players on the team.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By oaktownfan on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 02:06 am:

I never said current A's ownership was the worst owners "ever" in the Bay Area. Out of all the owners in the Bay Area currently, they're right up there with Cohan as the least liked. I personally think that the combination of them being "financially smart", thier untruthfulness, and the way they mislead their fanbase are the reasons why they are the worst owners currently the Bay Area.

Yes, the the A's have done well on the field and financially as a team with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball but them not signing their players in the long run will continue to hurt the owners in the p.r. department. Ever since they bought the A's, the thought of the team leaving the city of Oakland or the Bay Area has been looming over the fans. They have never said publicly that they want to stay in Oakland. They've looked in the possibilities of building a park in the South Bay, Fremont, and other East Bay cities but never seriously thought of one in OAKLAND. Yet, they want me as a resident of the city and others to continue to give them money year after year while they publicly state that the team's best interest isn't in Oakland.

Your point of payroll discipline is what I call being cheap. The A's owners makes millions in revenue sharing, concessions/advertising/parking at the Net, t.v.&radio rights and they pocket most of it like so many owners do. God forbid they use majority of it to invest in the team instead of fattening up their wallet. They offered Giambi 15 million dollars a year, he rejected, so where is it? Did they invest the money somehow in the team without us knowing it or did they just put it back in their pockets. The A's owners say they would give Beane the green light to trade for a big time player earlier in the season but once the trading deadline drew near, they cried poor and said they couldn't afford it. A's owners and other mlb owners aren't telling the fans and public the truth when it deals with their yearly earnings. So every year they can keep crying poor but sooner or later, the fans and especially A's fans will get tired of it.

Their handling with the Giambi deal during the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 offseasons were disgraceful. I honestly thought Giambi wanted to stay here after 2000 but the way the owners dealt with his contract gave the team no chance of resigning him. I think Giambi and his agent should receive some blame but I also feel that the owners never wanted to resign him in the first place because he was quote "too expensive". You think Davis wouldn't sign Tim Brown in his prime, DeBartolo wouldn't sign Jerry Rice or Joe Montana in their primes, or Giant ownership not wanting to sign Bonds. Cohan gave Dampier and Jamison contracts when combined is almost equal to that of the A's payroll. Why did these owners resign these player, because resigning each one of them gave their team the best chance to win at that time and if they didn't, it would create a p.r. nightmare for organization. Not signing Giambi after his mvp year was bad but then offering him the same home-discounted contract after another mvp year made it look enough worse.

I see nothing changing with what took place with Giambi when it comes with players like Tejada, Chavez, Zito, and Mulder. Once their contracts are up, current A's ownership(if they're still running the team at that time) will let them go claming they're too expensive and the fans who have have cheered for them for years will see each leave one by one. That maybe good business for the owners but the fans will get tired of seeing their players leave year after year.

Like I said earlier in the post above, if Tejada isn't resigned in the offseason, I will not renew my season tickets. Sure, I'll go to a few A's games next year but the thought of the A's owners knowing that they'll making money off of me while they have no intentions of investing the money back into the team sickens me.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kenarneson on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 08:16 am:

Where is the evidence that Schott is pocketing money?

Doug Pappas, who is probably the most creditable source of baseball economic information anywhere (you can't believe MLB's numbers), has the A's making a profit of $3,407,000 last year: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/20020204pappas.html

Where did that $3.4M go? Well, for one thing, the A's are spending almost $10 million this year to sign all the draft picks they got from losing the free agents last year, according to Peter Gammons:
http://espn.go.com/gammons/s/2002/0601/1389519.html

They also recently signed Zito to a multi-year deal.

That sounds like reinvesting in the product to me. Compare that to the Twins and Astros, who are refusing to sign many of their draft picks this year because of the cost.

Davis, DeBartolo and Cohan all operate in leagues with strong revenue sharing, tight salary caps, restricted free agency and weak labor unions. To compare Schott's ability to sign star players to them is apples and oranges.

The A's work within a system where they have far less revenue to work with than their competitors. They still manage to compete by having the discipline to stick with the most cost-effective players.

That discipline means they'll have to let some players leave when they reach free-agent status. The game they have to play is putting the most cost-effective team they can on the field.

Otherwise, you end up with a team like the Texas Rangers with a few star players and the rest garbage.

I don't like my favorite players leaving any more than any other A's fan, but I blame the system for that, not the owner.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 09:03 am:

kenarneson,

"Where is the evidence that Schott is pocketing money? "

THAT is always the key and no pun intended, the 64K question.

There is no evidence because nobody can check their books. But there is absolutely no evidence they are telling the truth when Forbes and other studies shows the owners are masters in their creative accounting. And they do it within the legal barriers if you call deceitfulness and money laundering legal and good business practice. Some do.

Schott makes his profit from the concessionaires he owns. All the food and parking and luxury seating moneys goes directly into one pocket while the shared and other baseball related revenue goes into the other pocket.

So he is pocketing a lot of money, legally. And I would care less how much he is pocketing were it not for his lies. He bought this team from the Haases, for what ended up being $68 million, found a way to extort another $11 million when he sued Oakland for $48 million (settlement was to sell the team to local buyers) while he knew all along Selig would block the sale. Meanwhile all the wanted (he admitted with a quote in the newspaper) was to break the 10 year lease he had with the Coli.

As soon as he broke the lease he established his own concessionaire business and went about trying to relocate the team.


PS:I have evidence, including a copy of a lawsuit Ed Alvarez brought against Schott for broken promises and loss of wages. As of early this year the suit had not been settled and it is all there in public documents for review.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bshbro4rvr on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 10:43 am:

what does anyone think of the feasability of a sale to another oakland-based owner?

i think, looking at the past 7 years, that schott/hoffman came into the market knowing that oakland couldn't support a team beyond the scale we have now. i think they simply viewed the opportunity in 1995 to rebuild the team to a scale where they were attractive for acquisition.

other teams, like the yankees and dodgers, have access to extensive cable distribution outlets, which provides a good deal of revenue and promotional leverage. they also have commitment from civic officials, who have a vested interest in their clubs as a business. oakland has none of this.

i think current management is convinced that their location is prohibitive for growing a club beyond a certain level, and i'm wondering if they're not right. i'm also wondering if we could ever get an investment group into oakland who would feel otherwise.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 11:07 am:

Well, Bud Selig has stopped any possible sale to local ownership. And there have been more than just the Piccinini group. One sale last year had been initiated by Billy Beane and he would have been team president. Selig nixed that one too and the media spread planted information about the deal as being a Vegas group or botched by DLF big mouth. It was neither and Selig had his hand on the blocked deal.

As for the new spin Schott's PR guy, Sam Spear is spreading about lack of cooperation from the city on the ballpark issue, it is the posturing for a sale or possible worse things to come.

There were plenty of city officials ready and willing to work with Schott on the ballpark proposal. And a few others who would have jumped onto the bandwagon had Schott any interest in staying in Oakland and in negotiating the ballpark proposed site.

Dick Spees, Jane Brunner and Larry Reid were elected officials and City Council members who were strong supporters of the ballpark idea in downtown Oakland.

Danny Wan, Moses Mayne and Henry Chang all stated publicly they would be ready to cooperate with such a project as soon as the A's owners would come forward to show their interest but until the present they have not seen such an effort from their part.

Mayor Jerry Brown will not move a straw as far as showing an interest, but he did allow Robert Bobb, his City Manager to establish a commitee and placed several people in his staff on the mission of hiring consultants and putting forth a developmental plan for the city and the ballpark, which they did. Schott never showed any interest in such a plan.

The City officials who have been against the ballpark and will be against the new ballpark are
Nancy Nadel and Ignacio De La Fuente. However, the latter has stated that he would be willing to change if he saw there would be no public tax money involved.

The tax money proposed would have been visitor taxes, sin taxes and of course user taxes. There was never a question of using public funds other than the development money they could have used and the land which belongs to the City of Oakland.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bshbro4rvr on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 11:25 am:

why is selig so against the a's staying in oakland?

i've heard the argument that the two franchises (a's & giants) are too close a canibalize each other's market share. but why doesn't he take a similar posture about the yanks and mets? there must be another reason.

what measures did selig use to block the sale of the a's to local investors? could he use them again?

i'm also concerned that oakland does not have a local group that could feasably support the team as needed in oakland, or that would continue to run the team locally.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kenarneson on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 11:34 am:

The numbers I quoted, which produced the $3.4M profit, include $13.9 million in revenue from concessions, parking, luxury boxes, etc. That amount does not seem out of line with other, similar teams.

Even if Schott has structured the concession business in a separate company, that money was not hidden in the numbers I used.

Forbes, by the way, estimates that the A's made a profit of $6.8 million last year. Maybe that $3.4 M difference is what Schott is pocketing.

Or maybe he's just putting it aside to help pay for Tejada/Zito/Hudson/Mulder in the future. Tejada's gonna demand at least three times that $3.4M difference in the coming years. We don't know, do we?

We have evidence that Schott does not tell the truth about what he wants to do with the team. He contradicts himself all the time. The Dolich "sale" and blockage was clearly a sham. Fine, let's accuse him of that.

But we have no evidence that they are making more than just a modest operating profit with this team. They appear to be investing back in the team at roughly the same levels at which they take in money. They are fielding a competitive team every year.

I see no reason to accuse them of caring more about profits than winning on the field, of not being willing to invest in their team. The evidence just doesn't support that accusation. So why accuse him of something when the evidence doesn't support the accusation? Just because we don't like the guy?

They will make a huge profit when they sell the team, of course. They could leverage the current value of the franchise to take out loans to pay for Tejada, et al. But that would (a) put them in violation of Selig's 60/40 rule, and (b) go against their philosophy of not spending money you don't have.

Breaking promises? Bad. Lying? Terrible. Deceit? Unforgiveable.

Not spending money you don't have? I see nothing wrong with that.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By diamond_lil on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 06:48 pm:

Ken,

I don't begrudge Schott from making a profit. And I really can't argue with you whether or not the concession business and luxury seats and boxes have been indeed reported in their modest 3.4 mil profits. I also can't tell you the details of the players depreciation and shared revenue and tv etc is part of what he invests or pockets.
Like I said, the numbers put out there by MLB certainly don't match the estimates done by Forbes and other literature put out there.

The players however know that they can take the owners to court if they allege loss of money as the reason for changing the labor rules and if the owners break the union and next year implement the rules unilateraly, they better be telling the truth or Selig will be charged with perjury.

>>But we have no evidence that they are making more than just a modest operating profit with this team. They appear to be investing back in the team at roughly the same levels at which they take in money. They are fielding a competitive team every year. <<

All I can say in answer to that is that their biggest investment was to keep Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta. Their biggest bonus when they bought the team from the Haases for below bargain rate was the farm system loaded with talent from players to the scouting department. So they were able to stay away from the free agent market and drafted wisely when their own free agents moved to greener pastures. I certainly worry the change in system with no draft compensation may hurt the team a great deal and the way they have been doing business.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By eyleenn on Saturday, August 17, 2002 - 08:51 pm:

Gary Peterson of the CoCo Times points out that the true test of whether Schott wants to win or just make a profit will come in the Tejada contract situation. This was his column yesterday.

Posted on Fri, Aug. 16, 2002

GARY PETERSON: TIMES COLUMNIST

Fate of A's to depend on Tejada

ENJOY THE JASON GIAMBI contractual soap opera, did you? Did you thrill to the distant rumble of free-agent thunder? Did you hang on each breathless development during spring training of 2001? Did your spirits soar at the prospect of a long-term agreement, then dive at the news that no such thing would be immediately forthcoming?

Did you experience the seven stages of See You Later over the course of last season -- frustration, rage, resignation, mourning, night sweats, uncontrollable giggling and the thought (despite yourself) that Giambi grooms up like quite the Boy Scout?

Are you still emotionally hung over from the experience, still reeling from post-traumatic spin doctoring disorder?

You might want to consider getting over it. See, Miguel Tejada's contract is up at the end of next season. You think the Giambi experience taught you a few harsh realities? The Tejada experience could be the post-graduate course you wish you never took.

Not to belittle Giambi. He was the A's best offensive player, but as the first guy out the door he left a lot of talent behind. Thus, the A's have weathered his departure surprisingly well. They're in the thick of the hunt for both a division championship and wild-card berth. Attendance is down about 7 percent (reflecting an industry trend), but they're still on track to draw 2 million fans.

Tejada, assuming the worst, would be the second guy out the door. If you want to characterize his fate as even more critical to the A's than Giambi's, you'll get no argument here.

It also will be a more complex dynamic, which is bad news for the knee-jerk reactionists in our audience.

The Giambi scenario was a pretty straightforward deal. A's ownership chose the bottom line over their slugging first baseman. Lesson learned: Team ownership has no thirst for paying top-of-the-market wages.

Tejada hasn't been voted MVP (yet), nor he is quite Giambi's equal on offense (yet). But he's getting there. He's also approaching Gold Glove status. If you want to include him in the three-headed pantheon of surpassing contemporary shortstops, you'll get no argument here.

If that doesn't add up to a top-of-the-market property, it comes close enough. As for that market:

Alex Rodriguez is in the second year of a 10-year, $252 million contract that is too preposterous to be relevant as a market standard. Derek Jeter is in the midst of a deal that will take him from $14.6 million this season to $21 million in 2010. Nomar Garciaparra is in the fifth season of a seven-year contract worth $44.25 million.

But this could be more than a will they-won't they proposition. Labor Armageddon is at hand, and there's no way to tell what the economic climate will be in the wake of the inevitable strike. The two sides may agree upon a luxury tax/revenue sharing package that provides relief to non-Yankee teams. Or owners may cave in without gaining any kind of meaningful change.

Maybe owners will confess to cooking the books and reveal that baseball is a thriving enterprise generating profits unseen since the days of bootleg whiskey.

Whatever, the possibility exists that some kind of economic reform could result that would take some of the sting out of re-signing Tejada. Or not.

That said, there is no plausible scenario by which re-signing Tejada will be transformed into a painless exercise. He's going to be worth at least $10 million a year regardless. More likely, he'll be able to ask $15 million without seeming overtly bloodthirsty.

Which means the Tejada decision likely will wind up right where the Giambi decision did -- in the laps and minds of team co-owners Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann. Only with more far-reaching consequences.

Their call on Giambi was the tip-off that they have no intention of risking profit, digging into the franchise's equity, or otherwise maintaining the best young roster in baseball. A similar call on Tejada would be confirmation of the highest order.

Because after Tejada come top-of-the-market talents Eric Chavez (after the 2004 season), Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Jermaine Dye (after 2005), and Barry Zito (after 2006). Or sooner in some cases, if options are not exercised.

If Tejada is allowed to walk, the message is far more profound than it was in the case of Giambi. Because every time you allow an All-Star to take a hike, the less it matters what your position is on the few who remain.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact Gary Peterson at gpeterson@cctimes.com.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By vinnieangelo on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 12:33 am:

:(

Im trying to not think too far ahead..But Damn, this is getting me misty. I don't know if I can handle another situation like this..Giambi-Gruden-Strike-Fumble/snowjob-Tejada....DAMN THIS HURTS!!!

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By voxhoo on Sunday, August 18, 2002 - 08:43 am:

Schott only cares about money. True. Why didn't he spend more at the deadline? This is a business. A business will invests $1 if it makes more than a $1. The A's are on pace for 2 mil attendance. Last year, with 100 wins, they drew 2.1 mil. My guess is Schott only spent $1.8 mil on Durham and Rincon because he figured it was only worth about 100,000 tickets which along with concessions is around $2 mil. Spending $1 to make $1.10 is good business sense. Fans are upset because he didn't get Floyd. Let's see, spend $4 mil to make $2 mil? That's not good business.

The Mariners spent $0 at the deadline and Mariner fans are upset. Why? The Mariners are maxed out in revenue. Spending more on the team will make $0 more revenue. Spending more money would be a bad business decision.

The Red Sox add $2-3 million at the deadline. Why? Well, they're maxed out at Fenway but Henry's group owns New England Sports Network. More wins means higher ratings means more dollars. When Henry ran the Marlins, he was a cheap owner. Why? Because the incentive to spend wasn't there. Now that he owns the Red Sox, he does spend money. Why? Because he has the incentive.

Why won't the A's spend the way the Red Sox spend? Because they don't have the same financial incentive to spend.

A minimum payroll isn't the solution. The A's spent $8 mil to sign their 7 first round draft picks. If there had been a $50 mil min. payroll, maybe the A's pick 7 3rd round guys and divert cash to the 25 man roster. That doesn't make the A's better.

A better system would be to distribute revenue sharing based on the record of the small market teams. Tax the revenue on the top 10 revenue teams and distribute to the bottom 10 revenue teams based on record. Best record gets the most money. Worst record gets the least money. Then you'll see low revenue owners actually competing because there are dollars at stake.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By bleacherdave on Tuesday, August 20, 2002 - 05:30 pm:

Interesting thread. Lil, as far as player contract depreciation costs, per Pappas, the A's have already taken their tax deduction for 50% of the purchase price that can be allocated to depreciable player contracts. The effect? The basis of the team is not $68Mil, but 50% of that, $34 Mill. In other words, after taxes the cost of the team was only $34 Mill.

More later.....


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