Yahoo Sports MLB writers Hannah Keyser and Zach Crizer are joined by Dan Moore - who covers the team in Oakland - to discuss the roles of team owner John Fisher, president Dave Kaval, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and who is responsible for the team’s decision to purchase land in Las Vegas. Listen to the full conversation on Yahoo Sports’ new baseball podcast, “The Bandwagon”. Be sure to subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.
- Do you feel like it is as simple as Jon Fisher is at fault?
- Just from a very personal point of view, my dad took me to my first As game when I was five, my wife is expecting our first child, a boy in the next month. I was greatly looking forward to bringing him to As games right around when he turned five.
And with Fisher taking the As out of Oakland moving them to Las Vegas for no other real reason other than he has the chance to get more public money there, it's impossible not to feel anything other than hurt and angry by that. I do believe that it's a complicated situation.
If you feel the desire, though, to point fingers, I think Jon Fisher and frankly, Major League Baseball as well need to shoulder the lion's share of the blame here. Major League Baseball, Rob Manfred have taken weird unprecedented steps to grease the skids here and to facilitate this move, including taking steps to remove the relocation fee that the As and Jon Fisher would otherwise in any other situation need to pay by moving to Las Vegas.
And so just that evidence, to me, I don't understand it. There's also just a simple fact, as you said, that Jon Fisher is a multibillionaire. And there's right now roughly like a $300 or $400 million gap in funding that's needed for the infrastructure surrounding the stadium.
Oakland has no way to fill that gap currently without raising taxes and doing certain of those things that I mentioned earlier like impoverishing its ability to provide essential city services. Jon Fisher could offer that money upfront. He would likely recoup that money in the years to come. He's choosing not to.