Finally! A Bay Area columnist who has it right!
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| By deajay on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 09:51 am:|
"Schott tries to have it both ways. Neill Hayes .. cctimes.
dj, you beat me to it. At least we can say one of the writers here is paying attention to what is happening here. I will copy and paste the column just in case the link is broken in the future.
Posted on Tue, Mar. 18, 2003
NEIL HAYES: TIMES COLUMNIST
Schott tries to have it both ways
The A's have broken off contract negotiations with shortstop Miguel Tejada, which is surprising only because you probably were unaware they had begun.
Co-owner Steve Schott announced Saturday in Phoenix that he won't bother to make an offer for the reigning American League MVP because he doesn't want to insult him with a low-ball proposal.
This is like folding a high-stakes poker hand rather than risk losing your ante, but that's what we've come to expect from this franchise.
Schott said didn't want to "insult" Tejada with a low-ball offer. What he didn't say is he was terrified Tejada might actually accept a deal for less than market value, which is still more than Steve "Cheap" Schott will spend.
Isn't it a bigger insult to make no offer at all?
Schott could've saved face by throwing a four-year, $40 million offer on the table, which is still a bargain for a player with Tejada's skills. Hey, that's the best we can do. Take it or leave it.
Tejada often has professed his love for Oakland and has said he wants to move his family from the Dominican Republic to the East Bay. He might have accepted such a deal, which is probably what ownership feared most.
Schott wants it both ways. He wants credit for his team reaching the playoffs three straight years but none of the blame for them not advancing in the postseason.
He puffs out his chest when the A's are winning. Look what we're doing with such a low payroll! Then he shrugs when they are eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year. What do you expect from a small-market team?
He brags about how the team didn't miss a beat without Jason Giambi last year, never mind that the A's may have won Oakland's fifth world title had they kept their MVP first baseman.
He charges $35 for a bleacher seat for the division series and then complains when they don't sell out.
In other words, he can tell you how to spend your money but how dare they try to tell him how to spend his.
The A's are what they are, and this confirms it. They are a good team that may never be great. It's a franchise that can't afford its best players, has no firm plans for the new ballpark that could solve its revenue problems and owners who won't sell until somebody more than doubles the discounted price they paid seven years ago.
In other words, the A's, until proven otherwise, are an MVP farm. They sow the seeds and develop their prospects until a big-market team harvests them.
Eric Chavez is another potential MVP candidate on the roster, and his contract expires after the 2004 season. He'll be the next to leave.
With no plans for a ballpark, there's no reason to believe Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito will remain with the team when their current deals expire.
Schott said he won't trade Tejada because his team has a chance to win the World Series. It's a reasonable goal given the talent on the roster, but you have to wonder when news such as Saturday's will undermine team chemistry.
This team could go one of two ways. It could play with a renewed sense of urgency knowing its best chance to win is now, or it could say the heck with it. "What's it matter if we're all on our way out the door?"
The most important factor will be how Tejada deals with the distractions associated with being a lame duck.
Maybe it's time to be proactive rather than reactive. Schott claims the team will have to draw 2.5 million fans to break even this season, and even then there's no guarantee.
But how is waving the white flag of surrender over the team's best offensive and defensive player going to increase attendance? When does crying poor become a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Spring training is in full bloom. This is the most hopeful time of the year for baseball fans everywhere. How is Saturday's news going to build enthusiasm and spur season-ticket sales for the coming season?
It will have the opposite effect, but that will allow Schott to use the sagging attendance figures as an excuse for breaking off contract negotiations with Tejada in the first place.
That's the beauty of having it both ways. You're never wrong, at least in your own mind.
Contact Neil Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
| By deajay on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 10:22 am:|
Thanks, Lil. I have sent Hayes an email, thanking him for getting it right and basically ending my comments with "New Owners Now". I also referred him to Bob Padecky's column, yesterday's pressdemocrat, as an example of those who fall for every whimper which drops from Schott's mouth.
| By kevink on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 10:51 am:|
Most people aren't falling for Schott's act.
Even Peter Gammons is exposing him for the boob that he is.
Well, I just sent a nasty email to Carl Steward.
And I'm holding my breath waiting for Glenn Dickey's suk up job.
| By deajay on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 11:02 am:|
I'm sure Dickey is refining his column on the matter, as we speak. Probably has made a luncheon date with Schott, so they can go over his notes and make sure he has it right.
Jim Baker at ESPN insider said he would run a condensed version of my rant tommorrow, and Neil Hayes wants a condensed version for Sunday's letters to the editor.
Good for you bleacherdave.
I just hate the idea of writers turning this into a downer for the fans to the point of keeping the casual fans away from the ballpark.
The diehards like us will support this team through thick and thin and this latest fiasco should make us want to go and support our team more than ever. At least that is how I feel about all of this.
We don't want to play into Schott's intentions of coming out as a martyr in all of this.
Unfortunately if the attendance drops, we will be playing right into Seligs and Schott's hands.
| By eyleenn on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 12:01 pm:|
| By deajay on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 01:56 pm:|
Good going, BD!
Why should the casual fans not be able to make up their own minds too? I don't think the media can whip the casuals up or down. These folks will see the situation as it is and decide accordingly. This organization has not done anything on its own accord to build any loyalty within the ranks of the casuals. If they insist on dropping big name talent in favor of cheap major leaguers and an influx from the minors then where's there something for those who have not emotionally invested in this sport and who have no deep emotional ties to this team to hang their hat on.
The situation is what it is and people are going to make their choices accordingly. These aren't the "go no matter what" types anyway.
kbailey, I was making reference to the way Schott finds a way to sabotage this team every spring...from making statements like "the A's have no future in oakland" to the inability to compete because of the lack of revenues from where he is playing baseball and the broken system.
He is responsible for the perception that this team is doomed... and the casual fans don't like the idea of following a lameduck team.
But the reality is that under a committed ownership... one who would not whine and whine about how terrible the ballpark is and how he can't compete with a broken system, maybe people would not feel this team is doomed to extinction because they are trapped in Oakland.