Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) and His Sistine Chapel
By Sean Davis
What Jon Heyman probably thought was an innocent tweet lit the Athletics fanbase ablaze last night when he lamented the fact that the Bay Bridge Series was taking place at the O.co Coliseum rather than “ATandT Park.” You can see the offending tweet right here. What Jon fails to understand is that making a statement like this is almost guaranteed to result in a backlash from fans, media, and players alike who have endured the Oakland Athletics being beaten down repeatedly over the last few years. Call it hypersensitivity, call it an inferiority complex, but whatever it is the Athletics are justified in being upset with Mr. Heyman.
Pictured here, the first of two games that were unfortunately played at the O.co Coliseum between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics. (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
He received countless tweets back, as you would expect when you have almost 223,000 followers. Some of those tweets though came from members of the Oakland Athletics, who saw fit to not only stand up for themselves, but for their home, and for all of the fans who occupy it. We all know that the stadium is an issue, and we’re all tired of hearing about the battle over territorial rights with the San Francisco Giants that has trapped the A’s at the O.co Coliseum. But it is the only home the Oakland Athletics have known since moving from Kansas City in 1968, and for all its flaws, we love it. We being the fans and the players of course.
Sean Doolittle had perhaps the tweets of the night on the subject, first saying ” I can see why you don’t like it. We have a strict No High Horse policy at O.Co…” at Heyman, then he added today “All I know is (when full) the O.co is one of the best atmospheres in MLB. Outdated? Yes. But fans make up for it & we love it.” and the crown jewel of them all, “also your Sistine Chapel that is ATandT Park forgot the bullpens when they built the stadium so there’s that.” As if Sean Doolittle already wasn’t popular with the fans, this cements his status near the top the fan favorite power rankings. Not to be forgotten, Josh Reddick, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin and Brett Anderson also made efforts to stand up for the Coliseum.
Heyman attempted to back track his statements a bit today, trying to cool the flames of fury by insisting he wasn’t insulting the fans, which is true but also demonstrates he simply does not get it. While he did not directly insult the fans, his condescending attitude towards the Athletics and the Coliseum says everything that needs to be said. He views the Athletics as an inferior organization, and if he doesn’t then he has a funny way of showing that. His East Coast, New York, elitist attitude is simply offensive and statements like this are an injustice to baseball writers across the country both amateur and professional.
He was asked to appear on 95.7 The Game with the Rise Guys this morning, but shockingly declined. He knows he upset a lot of people around here, but he doesn’t have the courage to face the music.
How obnoxious was Jon Heyman’s statement? Even the ultra hated C.J. Wilson came to the defense of the Coliseum! Makes it a little harder to hate Wilson at the moment, but I’m sure we’ll all come to our senses at some point.
Sure AT&T Park is fancy, features nice views of the bay, has amenities that will not be found in Oakland, but it lacks all of the fire and passion that the O.co Coliseum has. It will never capture the energy that O.co does, it was noticeable last year during the playoffs, and it has been noticeable this week during the Bay Bridge Series. O.co is a tough place to play when the stadium is packed.
So Jon Heyman can now join Angel Hernandez, Buster Posey, Jesus Montero, Alex Rodriguez, and many others in the pantheon of people who should think twice about entering the O.co Coliseum. Not that Heyman would want to in the first place. For #shame.