Selig killing pact just 1 more thorn

To many A’s fans, team owner John Fisher is the ultimate villain.

Fisher has slashed the team’s payroll in half while increasing ticket and parking prices for a dwindling fan base to watch his last-place team careen toward the second 100-loss season ever in Oakland. But a recent revelation from one of the richest and most successful owners in sports points the finger for the A’s woes at none other than former baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob offered A’s fans a potential alternate reality by disclosing he once had an agreement to purchase the A’s years ago — only to have Selig torpedo it.

In “Long Schott,” a remarkably insightful book by and about former A’s co-owner Stephen Schott, co-authored by the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea, Lacob talked about his failed 2005 deal to buy the A’s from Schott for $180 million.

“I’ll never forget it,” Lacob told Shea, before describing how Selig not only dismissed the deal out of hand, the commissioner didn’t bother calling him back. “So I had the Oakland A’s agreed to … and it got yanked from under me. I was really pissed at Bud Selig.”

Selig, meanwhile, steered Schott and his late business partner Ken Hoffman toward two men he knew, Fisher and Lew Wolff, Selig’s old fraternity brother at the University of Wisconsin, who essentially copied Lacob’s term sheet to complete a $180 million purchase.

“Nothing against Joe Lacob. I thought John Fisher and Lew Wolff would be a great combination,” Selig told Shea.

Sean Connelley/ staff 3/20/02 TribuneOakland Athletics owner Steve Schott talks to the press during a press conference before the the A’s pre-season game against the San Francisco Giants. 

Now 83 years old, Schott appreciates being successful and healthy enough to still do what he wants, when he wants. For the longtime, hard-charging Bay Area home builder and land developer, this usually means working three partial days per week at his company’s office in Santa Clara.

That left him plenty of time for a recent phone conversation about one of the greatest “what ifs” in Bay Area sports history, even if Schott himself wasn’t taking the bait. Schott was more open to answering questions about his decision to write an autobiography – he wanted his grandkids to have a reference point for his triumphs, travels and travails – than dissecting what’s wrong with the A’s 17 years after he sold them.

Schott knows exactly what Fisher’s going through, for he too was once a cost-conscious, reticent A’s owner who couldn’t navigate his way out of the Coliseum and into a new ballpark.

For Fisher, tangible solutions for a dilapidated stadium, dwindling crowds and mounting losses still may be years away. In the meantime, Fisher simultaneously keeps alive his threat to move to Las Vegas and his hopes for a Howard Terminal ballpark while still presiding over his team’s giant mess in Oakland.

“I’m not here to criticize what’s going on with the A’s,” Schott said of Fisher’s plight. “I don’t know what they’re trying to do, if they want to move or not. It’s not my headache.”

Despite Lacob’s ever-growing acumen as a team owner, Schott wasn’t willing to play revisionist history about his failed deal with the Warriors owner.

“Gee, I don’t know,” Schott said when asked if the A’s would have been better off if he’d been allowed to sell to Lacob. “I don’t want to speculate. But (Lacob) sure landed on his feet pretty well.”

Source link

Denial of responsibility! insideheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.