Oakland A’s fans and players are irate at ownership’s decision not to pay their minor league players, wondering if it is time for John Fisher to sell.
After years of obscurity, Oakland A’s owner John Fisher has become the poster child for everything that is wrong amongst Major League Baseball ownership. His decision to stop paying minor league players, but not let them out of their contracts, has caused a great deal of uproar. A’s players, fans, and even members of the front office have been against this idea from the beginning.
The owner of the A’s for the past 15 years, Fisher has remained in the shadows until recently. He was more than content to allow Lew Wolff to be the fall guy, the person that took the blame for the A’s refusal to spend money. Then, when Wolff was pushed aside, that fell upon the more personable Dave Kaval as the team rebranded itself in an attempt to get a new ballpark.
But despite that rebranding, nothing has changed. The A’s continue to be ridiculously cheap, to the point of embarrassment. Their refusal to pay minor league players has become the last straw, the moment where the curtain was pulled back to show the truth of the matter.
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That truth is simple – John Fisher and the current Oakland A’s ownership group need to sell the franchise. They simply are not interested in the long term future of the game, or even the A’s, based upon their current actions. For savings of under $1 million, ownership has courted extreme backlash and ill will, badly timed considering their quest for a new ballpark.
This move is not the only time ownership has given the finger to their fans recently. They have refused to sign a radio deal, preferring to have their own streaming service, which would presumably put more revenue in their pocket. Those fans that are unable to access that service, and had relied upon the radio to listen to games? Too bad.
Back in 2005, Fisher and Wolff purchased the A’s for $180 million. Now, the franchise is estimated to be worth $1.1 billion, a dramatic return on investment. Since it is fair to assume that Fisher is not a baseball fan given how rarely he is seen at the ballpark, the time has come to realize his investment. It is time for John Fisher to sell the A’s.
The Oakland A’s are in the midst of a public relations nightmare due to their ownership. The only way to correct it, at this point, is to sell the team to someone that cares about the game and the franchise.