Frustrated A’s fans call for owners’ heads

Longtime Athletics fan Greg Alterton recently took to the Internet to unite with thousands of exasperated Green and Gold loyalists express their frustrations over the current and past seasons.

Alterton explained the reasoning behind his efforts in starting the petition on behalf of the dedicated fan base:

“Oakland Athletics fans are some of the most enthusiastic and loyal fans in sports.  They are also one of the most long-suffering.”

In the petition found on Change.org, titled “Sell the team, or invest long-term in building a championship caliber team”, Alterton suggests owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher throw in the towel and sell the team or invest a sincere interest in building the squad up. He writes:

 “It’s clear that the current owners, Lew Wolff and John Fisher, aren’t willing to compete with other clubs to go after foundational players headed to free agency, or to lock them into new contracts before their contract year. This approach will never build a team that will contend for a championship.”

The Athletics have lost seven of the last eight games and finished July with a losing record, a first since the 2009 season. The white flag is up, the season is over. The team is deflated, manager Bob Melvin can’t understand the reasoning behind his teams struggles, and the fans are angry. They’re also tired.

They’re sick of the taste of October on their tongues being snatched away as if they were kids eating dessert before dinner. They miss their favorite players who are traded away, replaced by players unfit to keep playoff dreams alive while former players bask in the glory and thrive on winning squads. Players like Josh Donaldson, Scott Kazmir, and Yoenis Cespedes, to name a few.

Alterton continues his post:

“General Manager Billy Beane does a decent job putting together a team from the scrap of other teams, and untested prospects. But to reach the playoffs and ultimately win the World Series, owners and managers need to adopt a multi-year approach to build a winner, not try to piece together a winner in one off-season.”

The petition goes on to mention the flip-flopping over a new ballpark, and Wolff’s role — or lack thereof — in the decision-making process:

“The current A’s owners haven’t been serious about pursuing options for a new ballpark.  Wolff’s plan to build in San Jose was always a non-starter.  He wasted years holding to that plan, and dismisses serious proposals for a new ballpark in Oakland.  In short, the current A’s ownership has no vision, and no interest in investing in the future of this club, and should either sell to a ownership group that will invest in the future, or they need to change their approach to ownership.”

It concludes:

“Wolff and Fisher have owned the A’s for ten years.  The team is no closer to the World Series, and no closer to having a new ballpark, than when they took over the team.  Ownership, committed to the future, is needed in Oakland.”

The petition has reached 2,830 supporters since its start earlier this month. The goal of the petition is to reach 5,000 supporters total. It is unclear what will happen if the petition accomplishes its goals, but regardless if there are changes made at the ownership level or not, it’s provided a platform for fans to voice their concerns over the team.

Tabania Crockett of Elk Grove, Calif.:

“Under current ownership Oakland Athletics have become an embarrassment to MLB. Ownership has no respect for the team, League or fans. It is unclear what their goal is beyond making money, but they certainly do not appear to be interested in baseball. Owners are two extremely wealthy men yet spend none of their money on improving the team. NONE. They appear content to play baseball Monopoly while the beneficiaries of the luxury tax imposed on those who care about assembling winning teams.”

Jeffery Foster of Union City:

“They’ve caused me to become detached from the team and sport that I love and grew up watching. I refuse to give my money to billionaires who aren’t willing to invest in their players. From McGwire to Giambi to Tejada to Cespedes and Donaldson. … I’m sick of it!”

Dawn Surges of Martinez:

“I am frustrated by the lack of care for the fans who are unwavering in their support for the team.”

Fans have also taken to Instagram in a type of social media therapy, expressing that they have felt betrayed, disrespected, and taken advantage of by management and/or ownership for their love of baseball and their hometown team.

In response to a post on the Oakland Athletics official Instagram account: