Dear Pioneer Newspaper,
As a former sports editor and editor-in-chief of the Pioneer I found Louis LaVenture’s article about the A’s and Giants missing in some facts. Mr. LaVenture stated that the A’s had traded away Eric Chavez. If there was any research done, Chavez is the reason the A’s shy away from signing their own. In 2004, the A’s resigned Chavez to a six-year, $66 million contract extension. His offensive production started to slip in 2006 and the last four years of his contract he played in a total of 166 games for the A’s. The A’s felt burnt by the contract and have since shied away from those deals.
Also, LaVenture writes “It has been 15 years since the A’s were serious title contenders.” Hogwash. The A’s made the playoffs eight times since 2000. Six Division titles and two wild cards including the last three seasons before this one. The Giants have six playoff appearances during the same time. Four Divisions and two wild cards. If you remember correctly, the Giants started their playoff life last year as a wild card.
Among baseball people, the thought is that anytime you get in the postseason, you are a serious contender.
Finally, Mr. LaVenture states that the A’s “organization lacks finances to be a MLB heavyweight” at the top of the graphic. So wrong. The Wolff-Fisher ownership is in the top five in terms of net worth in baseball. They are just cheap. Wolff’s stated goal is to turn a maximum profit each year on the team, not to win. So, he doesn’t spend money on the teams and puts the revenue sharing checks he gets from MLB in his pocket instead of using it on the team. The Giants ownership group is willing to lose money to field a winning team which they have.
Class of 2001