It was not a surprise that Major League Baseball gave their rubber stamp approval for the Oakland A’s to relocate. However, that may not have been the case if the vote happened a few days prior.
Late Padres owner Peter Seidler was against the A’s move to Las Vegas. In fact, he had reportedly managed to put together a group of seven or eight owners to vote against the A’s move. Unfortunately, Seidler’s passing on Tuesday gave commissioner Rob Manfred time to strongarm that group into compliance and approve the A’s move.
Peter Seidler tried to keep Oakland A’s in place
This revelation tracks when it comes to Seidler and his time as Padres’ owner. He was an owner that gave a damn and wanted to improve the fan experience. The Padres may have been a small market team, but Seidler spent at the upper end of the market. He wanted to bring a championship to San Diego and he realized that investing that money was an investment in the fans as well. It was one that would pay off far better than any interest rate for a bank account.
It is something that A’s owner John Fisher, and most of the league, fail to realize. The game is only going to grow if they invest in their fans. The A’s failure to draw fans had nothing to do with a lack of interest and everything to do with an owner who went out of his way to destroy the roster and fan experience. But it’s easier to blame the fans than the owners.
Seidler saw that was the case. He knew that the fans would support the team if ownership gave a damn. They certainly have in the past. Las Vegas is not a given either as most baseball fans would be there on vacation and to watch the road team. It is not a recipe for long term success. Add in questions about the financing and how there is almost nothing more than a concept, and the move is a ridiculous idea. But Manfred was able to use tragedy to get his way.
The Oakland A’s relocation application was almost denied. Unfortunately, Padres’ owner Peter Seidler passed before the vote could occur.