Monday, January 4, 2010

Paging Boots Riley!

Rickey Henderson vs. umps/Brock's stolen-bases record/Brewers. 1982. [Heinz Kluetmeier/SI]

Baseball has always been the least popular spectator sport in apt. 302 (season's too long, steroid scandal is lame, Selig is creepy) but: MAYDAY! My (beloved?) Oakland A's are in danger!!

In the tradition of EVERYTHING IN AMERICA, EVER, rich people are trying to poach from the fertile grounds of the urban and poor in an attempt to increase a little thing called revenue. In the Bay Area, the latest episode of this is a campaign to move the Oakland A's to San Jose [NY Times]. The A's have the lowest attendance of home games in the league and they have to play in the creaky old Coliseum. San Jose seems appealing because it's 40 miles to the south, twice as big as Oakland, richer (Silicon Valley), and has, um, slightly different demographics.
My rebuttal is that the A's are a classic franchise and represent more than its ticket sales would indicate in Oakland, a city of high unemployment and especially low morale these days since there have been all these budget cuts in California. Man, first they tie up Bobby Seale at the trial, then they wanna move the baseball team downstate. Too $hort is being asked to retroactively show his permit for tape sales out of his vehicle circa '82 now, too.

Bud Selig has a fetish for the sexy/almighty dollar sign, as any businessman should*. Unfortunately, it turns out there aren't a lot of dollar signs in Oakland, unless you look up in the hills where all the Cal professors live, so there's probably a good chance that this move could happen. The fight to keep the team in Oakland is helped, however, by the SF Giants claiming territorial rights to San Jose (whose fans are fancy and well-to-do, which Selig loves), the threat of a lawsuit against the league (which Selig does not love) since the move would “undermine the financial viability of the Giants,” and the efforts of Oakland resident Douglas Boxer, founder of Let’s Go Oakland, a coalition of business and community leaders seeking to keep the A’s in the city. Doug's being pretty persistent in this fight, oh and I should probably mention that Doug's mom is a lady named Barbara...Boxer. Get the Senate involved and, I don't know, it just seems like things could get especially interesting.

The ultimate decision on where the A’s will play lies with Mr. Selig and the other MLB team owners. Conspicuously absent from this debate? Del, the Luniz, Tower of Power, Raphael Saadiq, Ant Banks, MC Hammer. Step up, gentlemen. (Keyshia Cole, you're excused 'cause you live in Atlanta now. Also, that family of yours! You have bigger fish to fry, my dear.)

Todd Shaw could not be reached for comment. That don't mean I can't post this attractive photo, though. (808 not included.)

The Coup ft. Black Thought & Talib Kweli - “My Favorite Mutiny.” Up in the Bay like Huey P!



1 comment:

danps said...

If I recall correctly, Mr. Henderson also indulged in one of the most classless, obnoxious, self-aggrandizing speeches in history on the occasion of breaking Mr. Brock's record.

Oh, and floral FTW.