Bud Selig and the Homer Simpson Approach

“Dear Lord, please let somebody else come up with a solution for this shit.”

Nerd 2: What are you going to do, Mr. Simpson?

Homer: Actually, I’ve been working on a plan. During the exam, I’ll hide under some coats, and hope that somehow everything will work out.

The preceding quote is from one of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons titled “Homer Goes To College.” Not only is it a classic Homer moment, it also perfectly sums up the way Bud Selig has handled the A’s stadium situation. Instead of being proactive, or active at all, Selig has been content to sit on his hands while the Oakland Coliseum continues to slowly fall apart and anger and resentment tear the fledging fan base to pieces.

In fact, the only thing Selig has really done is form a blue-ribbon committee to study the team’s situation, but that was back in 2009 and we haven’t heard so much as a peep from them, whoever the hell they are (I tried searching online and couldn’t find any information on members).

What Bud has managed to do through his inaction is piss off every A’s fan on earth, regardless of where they would like to see the team build a stadium. Whether you’re on the Oakland side or the San Jose side, we just want some kind of concrete answer so we can know what to expect in the future.

Yesterday, Bud kicked the rumor mill into overdrive by suggesting that the A’s could explore relocation options outside of the Bay Area if they wish. However, Lew Wolff was quick to respond by saying that they have no intention of moving out of the Bay Area or selling the team. While there are those who are running wild with speculation about Portland and Las Vegas, many people like myself saw Selig’s statement as no new news in the long-running saga since all he was really saying is that team owners can look into relocation if they want (as long as it’s not into another team’s territory of course).  So the A’s remain stuck in limbo for the forseeable future.

I’ve always had the feeling that Bud is loathe to challenge the Giants on their territorial rights to the South Bay and is secretly hoping that an ownership group would step up and announce their intention to keep the team in Oakland, sparing him the work and headaches of trying to hammer out some sort of agreement between the teams. Just like Homer, Bud is hiding out and hoping things will just take care of themselves. Now that Oakland is seemingly getting its act together, I can picture Bud crossing his fingers that a solution is found soon and he’ll never actually have to grow a pair and use his powers as commissioner to make something happen. Or maybe he’s just hoping that he can pass this issue on to his successor to deal with.

While Bud is correct in saying that this is, “A complex, complicated situation,” and, “The idea is to get it right, even if it takes a little longer,” the fact of the matter is that the A’s have needed a new stadium ever since the return of the Raiders mangled the Coliseum in 1995. Former owners Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann were being publicly courted by both Sacramento and San Jose in the late 90s. Save Mart Supermarkets CEO Robert Piccinini teamed up with former A’s executive Andy Dolich and had a plan in place to buy the team in 1999, with the intention of keeping them in Oakland, before owners tabled the vote on whether to approve the Dolich/Piccinini group. And let’s not forget how Oakland Mayor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown refused to commit any money or resources to helping the A’s build a new stadium back in 2002 when a stadium plan was in place (the issue of public money being spent on a stadium is another entry for another time).  So how is it that all these years later a solution still hasn’t been found? How much longer are the fans supposed to wait for baseball to “get it right?” Why should I continue to shell out my hard-earned dollars for this bullshit?

Since 1996, 17 new ballparks have opened their doors, and the A’s and Tampa Bay Rays remain as the only teams in desperate need of new digs. The Coliseum is the last multi-purpose stadium to serve as a full-time home to both an MLB team and an NFL team. This is completely unacceptable. Getting a stadium built in California is a lengthy, convoluted process, just ask the 49ers. But at some point, the powers that be need to stop pussyfooting around the issue and sit down at the bargaining table to reach some sort of solution. At this point, any reason that Bud gives for not having found the answer to the A’s stadium woes is a tired excuse that only hinders the team’s future and patronizes a once proud and robust fan base. Hurry the hell up already.

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6 Responses to Bud Selig and the Homer Simpson Approach

  1. Pingback: Reading Digest: Outsourcing Edition « Dead Homer Society

  2. sara6300 says:

    oops sorry it got doubled up. Makes me seem twice as passionate. Don’t know how to delete one of them.

    • Dennis Biles says:

      Hey Sara, thanks for the replies! Don’t worry about me not showing up to the Coliseum any time soon. As a full season ticket holder, I guarantee that I’ll always be in the house. It was more of a rhetorical question than an actual threat to stop going to games. Trust me, as long as I’m breathing, I’ll be going crazy in Section 149! I hope you keep reading!!

      • sara6300 says:

        I actually loved this post of yours. And you gave me the opportunity to make my shout out for fans to come out and not punish the players because of the blankety blank owners!!!!
        I’ll keep reading!!

  3. sara6300 says:

    In answer to your question “Why should I continue to shell out my hard-earned dollars for this bullshit?” Because this is a wonderful, scrappy team that is playing above expectations. Because these guys are playing their hearts out and they shouldn’t have to pay because ownership s___s.
    Because the A’s are in second place and are totally fun to watch. Because, after being at AT&T park last night, I much prefer to be at the Coliseum where the fans want to actually watch the game, know their baseball and are much more polite and courteous to other fans. I want
    a new ballpark as much as anyone but the price I pay for my season ticket in one of the best seats in the park would buy me a bleacher seat at Yankee stadium.
    Because we have a fun team made up of really nice guys who will stop and talk to you just because you are there and they want your support.
    I am working my heart out to keep the A’s in Oakland and get us a new ballpark but darn it, come watch this team. Go to SaveOaklandSports.org to find out what a large bunch of fans are doing to corral all the energy coming out of City Hall, the business community and the fan base to keep the A’s here and get a new ballpark. But meanwhile go to the park, take advantage of these prices while they last and cheer this wonderful team on.

  4. sara6300 says:

    In answer to your question “Why should I continue to shell out my hard-earned dollars for this bullshit?” Because this A’s team is a scrappy, fun team to watch play. Because these guys are playing their hearts out and no one ever expected the A’s to be in second place. Because, after being at AT&T park last night, I much prefer being at the Coliseum where people actually watch the game, know their baseball and are much more considerate and courteous to other fans. We may be a small crowd but we are devoted and loyal and screw the friggen ownership, lets support our team. Why should they have to pay because ownership s___s.
    I am really hating people saying they aren’t going to the game because of ownership. I want a new
    ballpark as much as they next person, but I have the best deal in the country. My season ticket price in one of the best seats in the park would buy me bleacher seat at Yankee stadium. I get to talk to the players who are wonderful and so happy to be in the majors.
    I am working my heart out to keep the A’s in Oakland. There is a wonderful group called Save Oakland Sports and you all should go to the site saveoaklandsports.org and read about all the fan efforts to keep the A’s in Oakland.
    But darn it, go watch this team. Your hard earned dollars will give you a very good time, I promise you.
    Sara Somers

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