The owners in Major League Baseball would like you all to believe that the lockout is about greed. It is about curbing the players and making certain that the league and teams can remain healthy going forward. At least, that is what they would like the public to believe.
The problem is that the owners do not want you to know what they are worth. This way, they can cry poverty while getting public sentiment against the players and the system in general. Oakland A’s owner John Fisher is a prime example of this strategy.
Oakland A’s owner John Fisher cannot cry poverty
Fisher frequently claims that he cannot afford to pay out larger contracts to build the A’s roster. Players that start to earn a respectable salary are jettisoned as soon as possible, with the claim that they cannot be afforded on the team’s budget. A major signing in free agency? It will never happen since Fisher cries poverty at every turn.
The problem is that Fisher is not exactly Connie Mack, where the franchise was his sole source of income. He is worth $2.4 billion, more than the owners of the Astros and White Sox, amongst other teams. Fisher is not exactly on his way to the poorhouse or pawning his shoes to make ends meet.
Why were the White Sox and Astros specifically mentioned? Because those teams have been willing to spend to keep their players and/or bring in free agents. Both teams were in a similar situation as the A’s where they had a strong core but needed to supplement the roster. However, unlike the A’s, they added those players needed, leading to the postseason and, in Houston’s case, an appearance in three of the past five World Series.
The same could be the case in Oakland. Fisher can certainly afford to spend on his roster. He just simply refuses to, claiming any number of reasons as to why the A’s need to be a charity on par with the Sisters of Mercy. All the fingers that Fisher points to explain why the A’s do not spend should be pointed back at himself.
The Oakland A’s have plenty of money to spend on their roster. The issue is that owner John Fisher refuses to relinquish the checkbook.