I'll be honest with you, I wanted to write about this when it came up earlier this week but two things prevented me from doing so. One is that I had a hard time processing it and putting any words down on the page, and the second and more unfortunate factor was that I was away on a business trip and got food poisoning. I've been completely out of commission the past two days so my thought process is finally coming back together and I want to put some thoughts out there.
Earlier in the week, it was brought to light from a couple different sources that the Oakland Athletics were allegedly floating around the idea of disbanding between the 2025-2027 seasons in which they don't currently have a ballpark to play in.
The general idea is that because the A's don't have a solidified plan in place for a temporary ballpark and they're staring down the barrel of losing $70m annually in local television revenue that instead of operating at what might be a net loss for three seasons, they'd disband the franchise and try to pick up the pieces with an expansion draft prior to 2028.
Honestly, I'm having trouble taking this idea seriously. It would be an immediate poison pill for the franchise and they'd be completely dead on arrival in Las Vegas. It would wildly disrupt the balance of the league by moving to a 29-team model for a brief period, eliminating 26 major league jobs and a few hundred minor league spots for the Players Association in the process.
There's no easy way to shift league revenues around on a whim either. And not to mention the idea of John Fisher trying to secure financing for a loan of more than $1bn while losing the entirety of his business revenue for a three-year period.
There's almost no chance this situation gains any serious momentum. I'd have to imagine that the MLBPA would rather have their guys playing in minor league stadiums than losing jobs entirely. And the league office and the 29 other owners have already bent over backwards to allow Fisher to move forward with this half-baked embarrassment of a relocation process. Why would they cave further to this completely deranged idea?
The fact that this story has been reported by multiple outlets means we've had to at least run the scenario through our minds. And at this point, it's silly to assume that even the most outrageous ideas are beyond Fisher and Dave Kaval, who will stop at nothing to move forward with their idiotic business plans.
Ultimately, I don't think this story will lead anywhere. It's too insane of an idea to take seriously and there are too many acceptable alternatives for this last resort scenario to play out. The fact that anyone is accepting it as even remotely possible tells you all you need to know about how John Fisher's relocation process is going.