Tuesday July 31st, 2012
John Burns: Much speculation has been in the past years that the Oakland A’s would be getting a new stadium. With Oakland currently playing great baseball (18-4 in July) it makes you wonder if the chances of a new stadium increase. It has been rumored that the new stadium would be in San Jose, California and named Cisco Field. The projected opening date would not be until 2016. Oakland has been playing at the Coliseum since 1968. It would be the first time since 1909 that the A’s received a brand new stadium. The field dimensions for Cisco Field are: Left Field – 302 feet, Left-Center – 375 feet, Center Field – 405 feet, Right-Center – 345 feet, and Right Field – 310 feet.
The chances are good for Oakland to make the playoffs this season with only being four games back of the Texas Rangers in the A.L. West lead and leading for one of the A.L. Wild Card spots. If the A’s keeps this up and the fan base increases, the chance for a new ball park increase also. With an increased fan base, the A’s will have help going after a new park because of the money that will be coming in from attendance, merchandizing, etc. Cisco Field would be ready for the 2016 season, so if the A’s have a bad rest of the season and continue to struggle the chances decline for a new ballpark. Another thing to consider is that 2016 is four years away, so anything can happen and the A’s don’t necessarily have to wait for Cisco Field. Oakland could explore other options if they start to become a power house and want a new stadium sooner rather than later. Perhaps they will look at other locations like Portland, Memphis and Durham. Or even go back to Oakland for one more try to obtain a new stadium in their current home.
The Athletics realistically have to look at moving the team out of the Bay Area altogether. With Yoenis Céspedes looking like Oakland’s franchise player, he would be the perfect player to build around the team and a new ballpark. Oakland is in a very similar situation to what the Miami Marlins faced in recent years. Miami ultimately were able to land a new stadium and make a big splash. But their new ballpark took a great deal of negotiations and was iffy right until the last minute. As a result of their new digs, the Marlins went out and signed Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, traded for Carlos Zambrano, and hired Ozzie Guillen. Now they are starting to sell off their players, but that’s another story for another day. The A’s could do something very similar to that if they do get a new stadium (but actually keep their talent). Watch out for the Athletics if they get a new stadium in a city to be named later. Everything could change and I expect the change to be very positive.
***John Burns- MLB reports Intern: I am a highschool junior, play 1st base and catcher. I am a diehard Phillies fan. I was born in Philadelphia but now live in Virginia. I come from a huge baseball family and just love the game. My cousin was drafted by the New York Mets in the 2008 MLB draft. My favorite players are Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Ryan Howard. I tweet all the time and you can follow me on twitter(@JohnBurns_MLB)***
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Thursday May 10th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky: Whether or not the Athletics stay in Oakland has been an ongoing issue since John Fisher and his ownership group bought the team in around 2006. The A’s have played in a multi purpose stadium for baseball and football since the 1960s. At first, the stadium wasn’t bad, with a great view of the Oakland Hills out past the center field wall. When the Raiders returned to the Coliseum in 1995, their owner, Al Davis built suites and more seats (sarcastically dubbed “Mount Davis”) that stretched higher than the upper deck of the rest of the stadium. The once beautiful views were blocked and the stadium became a concrete bowl. In late summer and early fall, the centerfield grass (where the bleachers are placed for football) is in a state of disrepair compared to the otherwise perfect playing surface. Still, when the A’s were winning, they managed to draw crowds. The A’s had many prosperous years, winning the World Series in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1989, and losing in the World Series in 1988 to the Dodgers and in 1990 to the Reds. More recently, in their “Moneyball” season of 2002, the A’s won 20 consecutive games and made the playoffs, but lost to the Twins in the ALDS.
It’s been a long time since the local fans have seen a winning A’s team. The last time the A’s made the playoffs was 2006, when they lost to the Tigers in the ALCS. The only time they went .500 since 2006 was in 2010. This could be due to general manager Billy Beane’s knack for trading everyone away. Notable trades include Andre Ethier for Milton Bradley, Carlos Gonzalez for Matt Holliday, and Mark Mulder for Dan Haren (who eventually was also traded). The team hasn’t been consistent since 2006. Last year, the team looked like it was finally going to be competitive with pitchers Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson healthy and ready for the season. Top prospects Michael Taylor and Chris Carter were ready to make an impact. Unfortunately Anderson got injured and needed Tommy John surgery, Cahill didn’t pitch to his potential, and Taylor and Carter spent the majority of the season in the minors because they didn’t perform in the majors. The final blow came when this winter, the A’s traded Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals and Trevor Cahill to the Diamondbacks. All of these events together had the fans asking: are we ever going to contend again? Read the rest of this entry