I love Sacramento but bringing the Oakland Athletics here seems wrong and beneath us | Opinion

A lot, and I mean a lot, of people have been asking me about the Oakland A’s moving to Sacramento for three or perhaps four years, starting in 2025. I was born and raised here, and as a native Sacramentan, I grew up knowing this was absolutely a baseball town. So the idea of Major League Baseball coming to my hometown should be an absolute home run.

But forgive me for not circling the bases, because I think bringing the Oakland Athletics to Sacramento is wrong.


I know the pain of almost losing a team, we all went through it a decade ago when the Kings nearly left Sacramento. Along with many others, I rallied, screamed, cried and went around the country to save them. If it weren’t for the Hail Mary efforts of former Mayor Kevin Johnson, Vivek Ranadivé and his Kings ownership group, the late commissioner of the NBA David Stern and the fans themselves, we’d be a no-horse town.

But love found a way, and the Sacramento Kings are still here, still frustrating and thriving.

“But Dave, they were already leaving Oakland…..”

Probably. But any leverage Oakland had went up in flames when Ranadivé and his group offered A’s owner John Fisher a rent-free stay at Sutter Health Park.

And yes, you could say if it wasn’t Sacramento, it would’ve been Salt Lake City or somewhere else, and you’d probably be right.

But it’s not that simple.

Oakland’s chance of keeping the A’s was destroyed when Ranadivé offered Fisher a path to Sacramento. That doesn’t sit well with me.

We’re signing up to become bedmates with the worst owner in sports. The heir to the Gap fortune, Fisher embodies every stereotype of a billionaire: cold, callous, and not someone our city should be getting in bed with. He has tanked deal after deal in Oakland (though the city is far from blameless). His payrolls are consistently the lowest in Major League Baseball and he has not used his tenure as the A’s custodian in good faith.

The A’s minor league system is considered one of the worst in the sport and he has lost a loyal fan base who love the A’s.

Does anyone believe he’ll be any better in Sacramento?

Sure, the games will sell out in year one, simply for the novelty of seeing Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, Aaron Judge and other MLB stars playing in a 14,000-seat minor league park in West Sacramento.

By year two, or three at the latest, those sold tickets will look more like empty seats, and Sacramento will get an undeserved reputation of being unable to support the A’s and the Kings at the same time. The best fans in sports will get blamed and realize they were duped.

I admire what Ranadivé is trying to do, and I badly want another major league team in my hometown. Ranadivé understands the chess board and I believe is ultimately banking on Las Vegas falling through and capitalizing on the old adage of possession between ninth-tenths of the law. He may very well be correct.

But like this? In bed with Fisher? Stepping on the heads of A’s fans, who’ve also had to endure the heartbreak of losing the Golden State Warriors to their far more cosmopolitan neighbors across the Bay Bridge? They also lost their NFL Raiders to Las Vegas.

And Las Vegas doesn’t even want the A’s: Every poll put out, every radio host with their finger on the pulse, even their own mayor Carolyn Goodman have expressed their serious misgivings.

That’s the John Fisher effect.

I’m very proud of my home town. For that reason, I would rather forgo instant (and any temporary) gratification in exchange for doing the right thing. I don’t want us to help a horrific owner. It’s a terrible look.

When our community saved the Kings from relocating to Seattle, our story was heroic and beautiful. It was about people coming together with a common purpose. We always said it was “bigger than basketball.” It was about love and love finding a way.

The story of the A’s coming to Sacramento is different. We’re not the villains, Fisher and his cronies are. But this story is a lot less flattering to Sacramento than the Kings story was.

To me, it’s just not the game I want to play. The A’s belong in Oakland, and John Fisher does not belong in sports.

“Carmichael Dave” Weiglein hosts “The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross” on Sactown Sports 1140 AM, the Sacramento Kings flagship station.