Oakland Athletics: The Timing Couldn’t Have Been Worse for Lew Wolff

The Oakland Athletics and their fans received some great news on Thursday afternoon, as Lew Wolff, the face of the ownership group and the man put in charge of finding the team a new place to build their ballpark for the last decade, stepped down.

Oakland Athletics Managing Partner Lew Wolff stepped down Thursday, and is set to be replaced by the majority owner in John Fisher. Wolff is set to sell all but a small stake in the team.

This is all good news for the A’s and their fan base, and it could lead to some increases in spending moving forward.

Or not.

Fisher went to look at a location for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal in Oakland towards the end of August, which could signal that the new array of suits in the front office is legitimately committed to finding a more modern home for the A’s. That, and the fact that the club also brought on Dave Kaval, who was one of the major components behind getting a privately funded stadium built for the San Jose Earthquakes. The focus of Kaval is quite clear: He wants to ensure the A’s have a new home in Oakland.

Further bringing hope to the Oakland faithful, Kaval is set to have open office hours from 3-5 p.m. every Tuesday at the Coliseum. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, he even said that the lack of long-term deals to players in the recent past could change. To quote the A’s broadcast duo from 2012: “What is happening in Oakland, Ray Fosse?” “I have no idea, Glen Kuiper.”

All of this newfound optimism is directly on the heels of a report by Slusser a couple of weeks ago that the A’s could be facing penalties in the new CBA for not spending their revenue sharing and “fielding a competitive team.” Well, it looks as though the Oakland Athletics received the message loud and clear.

It would also seem as though Lew Wolff may have been at least partly responsible for the club pocketing checks from other teams. Once word comes down that the money may dry up he just bails? He has been tasked with finding a new ballpark site for a decade and the A’s have never come close to breaking ground. Wolff was apparently in it for himself, which we all have been guessing for some time now. Part of the reason the ballpark expedition never gained traction is because he wanted to build up properties around the area so that he could profit. He is a real estate man after all.

While the optics of the current situation may not be the entire truth, the fact that the report about the new CBA rules potentially affecting the A’s came out accompanied Wolff’s resignation and sale of most of his shares does not look good.

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