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If I owned the Oakland Athletics

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Ladies and Germs of Athletics Nation, I rise to make a case for my ownership of the Oakland Athletics. I’ve had enough of John Fisher’s mild and debauched ways. His family spent 17 years trying to give East Bay a billion dollars for a brand new stadium. Now he’s upped that bet to $12 billion to give Oakland more housing, more parks and less harbor grunge. What a fucking jerk!

No wonder the A’s have only won 341 games in the past five years. According to Baseball Reference, Fisher paid $94.5 million for last year’s team that missed the playoffs despite featuring the greatest players of all time: Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, Josh Harrison, Frankie Montas, Chris Bassitt, and Sean Manaea. (At least, that’s what I remember.) Fisher is obviously too soft to own the A’s. He’s a wealthy real estate man who inherited his fortune from his parents. The nerve of these people.

Why shouldn’t I own the A’s? I’m a dedicated A fan, which means I know better than the Front Office how to build a team. I’m temperamental and unruly and therefore perfectly capable of calling on AJ Puk to pitch the 9th inning of a Frankie Montas no-hitter. I am also not rich. (My credit card limit is $20,000, max.) So, as the owner, I will have to be a real penny-pincher, not a sticky can like John Fisher.

And that, my friends, is why I have to own the A’s. Under Fisher, the Oakland Athletics have strayed from the straight and narrow path of true flinterism in the dubious realm of multi-billion dollar development projects.

Let’s not forget that the A’s wouldn’t even be in Oakland without the notorious Scrooge, Charles O. Finley. Now the he was a moron! In the Misers Hall of Fame, Finley was inducted in the first round. In 1974, he paid the entire roster of three-time Oakland Athletics world champion, (real) Hall of Fame broadcaster Jon Miller and MC Hammer (Stanley Burrell, batboy) less than Elvis Andrus spent on insurance for his Lamborghini!

[Author’s Note: I don’t really know if Elvis owns a Lamborghini. I don’t actually know what insurance on a Lamborghini costs, either, but go with the joke.]

I digress.

Unlike Fisher, Charlie Finley never wanted to spend a dime building his own stadium. He chose garish uniforms and orange baseballs because they were available at a discount. Imitating George Halas, he threw nickels around like they were manhole covers. (Tip: Mike Ditka) To save money on payouts, Finley actually fired a player during the World Series! Will John Fisher have the huevos to do this? I do not think so.

And one more thing: the most successful teams the Oakland Athletics ever produced were Charles O. Finley’s early 1970s teams. Obviously, skinflintery works. Fisher’s problem is that he’s not cheap enough.

In The Magnificent Seven, the chief bandit, Calvera (Eli Wallach) exclaims: “Generosity! That was my first mistake!” This will be the motto of my ownership regime, chalked above the counters. On my first day as a new owner, I will institute new management practices aimed at bringing the A to the puny glory days.

First, I’m going to cancel this ridiculously expensive Howard Terminal project. Why continue to grease every politician, bureaucrat and commissioner between here and Sacramento? I will lease the Colosseum land to the airmen. They could just arrive by plane. I would save on hotel rooms.

Athletics will play all of its matches in the Colosseum parking lot. I will give players a discount on parking, of course. I may be cheap but I’m not a barbarian. Players can get team meals from center field hookers… uh, South Lot, Section D.

Second, I will manage both the front office and the field team. Why not? Finley did. (Or maybe it was Ted Turner. Or Ray Kroc. I forget.) Think of the money I could save. I could get rid of Billy Beane and David Forst. I could destroy all those superfluous Peter Brands in the front office. When it comes to field management, how hard can it be to sign up Stephen Vogt (.164) as a cleanup hitter?

Third, I will trade any player at any time for any team willing to make a reasonable offer. My players will not have names on the back of their shirts. They will receive backstage credentials (“Admit One”) which they can wear as decoration the ascots.

Fourth, I won’t have a long-term contract for any player. Khris Davis signed a three-year contract with the A’s and quickly forgot how to hit a baseball. No more! I will pay the players by the round! And I’ll pay them off-line, Bobby Bonilla… in cyber-currency of my own creation!

Finally, I will not spend any money on a minor league system to develop players. Such a waste! I will just have an open trial each March. The top 26 guys enter the team. The other three thousand guys have discounted memberships. But they will have to be ready to come out of the stands at any time to cover 2nd base.

I bet a team like that could beat the Angels.

Currently, there is only one obstacle to me owning the team: I don’t really have a billion to buy Athletics. However, I opened a GoFundMe account: Acct. #SOL-0112-35813-213455.

Oh look! The first donation is from Larry Baer of the Giants!