24 September 2007

Jon Carroll: Voice of Reason

I haven't touched on the "Is 20 miles really leaving or not?" debate in a while, and was surprised when Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll chimed his with his take. His view is sober and pragmatic, with a good dose of glass half full:

And besides, I wouldn't really be "losing" the A's. They would be right where they've always been, on my television screen. I go to maybe one game a year - partly because I dislike the ballpark so much - so I follow them the way almost everyone follows them.

(I do go to more Giants games, but that's partly because I like the experience. I can take the ferry from Jack London Square and arrive right in McCovey Cove, mere steps from the right-field entrance. AT&T Park is a pleasing place to be and raises my spirits even when the team is losing, which it is a lot. If the A's are going to get a stadium of equal quality, more power to them.)

In many ways, the A's are essentially a television show, and I don't care where they play any more than I care where "Mad Men" is filmed. I understand that this is a heretical notion. Baseball is the nostalgia game. Many people like to think that it preserves the old values. That's why steroids are such a big deal in baseball. Does anyone care if a linebacker is a little juiced? Not really. But baseball is different. It's a church. We must never, ever suggest that it's a branch of the entertainment business.

Kudos to Carroll for his level-headed, casual fan take. And for those of you who want to debate this, I've intentionally left this post short so that there's room for snippets of comments to be placed in the post later today/this weekend.

bleacherdave said...
Note what he didn't say - that he would be driving to Fremont. It just doesn't have the sentimental aura of catching a ferry to the game. Which is by the way, a world class approach to a ballpark on a sun-kissed summer morn.

linusalf said...
yes but as jon caroll says he only goes to one game a year. to many many more of us that go to more that one game a year the a's are alot more than just a televison show and the change from oakland a's to silicon valley a's @ fremont would be a big deal.

anonymous (kevin) said...
I personally can't stand the game experience at AT&T Park. It's just so dull and listless. I find everything from the way the batters are announced to the "slash hits" counter totally obnoxious. Contrast this with the energy at the Coliseum -- where "Atomic Dog" by Parliament can be heard.
Then again, I don't like spending time in Mall food courts either.

Oakland Si said...
I take BART to many, many games at the Coliseum. Obviously the Coliseum doesn't bother me nearly as much as it does Carroll...and he doesn't sound as if he would drive to Fremont either. For all he really could care the A's could be playing in Las Vegas.

Jeffrey said...
He didn't say he would be driving to Fremont, but did say he doesn't go to many games in Oakland because of the stadium.
There are more people who will go to Silicon Valley A's @ Fremont games than will be turned off by "Oakland" no longer being in the name of the team. There just aren't that many people who share the passion they have for the A's with the City of Oakland.
I go to way more than one game a year, and I will continue to do so in Fremont, provided I can still get tickets.

Sixto said...
Jeffrey is exactly right... the number of fans who will stop going to A's games because of the move will be far outnumbered by the influx of fans/money from the south bay. And that's why the A's are moving; it's really that simple.

bleacherdave said...
Hey Jeffery,
ever hear that old saying, "If you have to ask, you probably can't afford it."

Jeffrey said...
Did you ever hear the expression "Money is no object."
Seriously, though I am not a millionaire it isn't that I couldn't afford them, it is that I don't know how available tickets will be with the limited capacity.
I could afford to take my wife and kids to a game per home stand at Giants ticket prices.

anthony dominguez said...
Fans that the A's lose from Oakland because of a Fremont relocation "will be far outnumbered by the influx of fans/money from the South Bay." Tell that to Peter Magowan!

transic said...
If Yankee Stadium can be (and is about to be) replaced, then the A's can move to Fremont. It's not like they haven't moved twice before in their entire history.
9/24 22:15 - As much as fans obsess over the daily tribulations of our favorite teams, it is always important to keep that obsession in perspective. Most people in the Bay Area simply don't place any of the Bay Area's six major franchises as part of their daily consciousness, let alone their priorities. For most here and around the country, baseball is merely a form of entertainment. For a growing percentage of fans television is by far the primary method of enjoying home games, not just away games (this despite today's announcement of MLB breaking its seasonal attendance record again). The casual fan's opinion is not worth less than ours because they don't religiously follow the team. It's worth more because they vastly outnumber us, and they have to be convinced to either directly or indirectly support any new venue, from conception through the end of its life. The hardcore fan views a team as relevant, but the casual fan makes the team relevant. That trend will continue into the forseeable future.