In their tireless (or maybe tiresome, depending on how you view it) pursuit to keep their mythical new stadium in the news, the A’s announced a new ballpark website and survey to give fans a chance to help determine their geographical fate.
This comes with an immediate warning, namely, they had better make the result as transparent as the privacy laws allow. We don’t want any of that “Name The Stadium/On Second Thought We’ll Name The Stadium” jiggery-pokery.
This is a common okey-doke among nascent franchises – give the fans a say only to reveal later that the decision had long ago been made for something the fans didn’t want but that the owner did.
But let’s give the boys the benefit of the doubt and say they’re on the up-and-up. We’ll still need to verify their up-and-up-ness because these are not trusting times, and if president Dave Kaval was keen on opening his office on Tuesdays for anyone to walk in and blow the breeze, he can’t suddenly become Secret McNoneOfYourBusinesston on the key franchise decision of the next two decades.
Also, we'll need to know how much this survey counts toward a decision. If 50 percent want a park in a place owner John Fisher doesn’t, then how do you think being told all their votes didn’t weigh a single ounce will play with the customer base?
You see, nothing is worse than fake democracy, because even the most downtrodden and cynical of people take a dim view of being lied to, or perceiving same. These are mean-spirited times, and in the world of sport, an angry fan base is an absentee fan base. The A’s are all in on the stadium being the Benadryl for their skin rash, and it can never been looked upon as a a scam or a ripoff, the way the one in Arizona is.
So this survey better be good. And open. And meaningful. Otherwise, you wasted a perfectly good press release that could have been used on the Josh Phegley trade.