3 Takeaways From The Athletics 2022 Season Entering The All-Star Break
With the 2022 MLB All-Star Game upon us, it’s time to look back at the Bay Area’s teams and how they’ve fared halfway through the regular season.
The Oakland Athletics have not had the same success in 2022 as they did last season, finishing the year with a 86-76 regular season record, third best in the AL West.
Halfway through the year, the Athletics are currently fifth in the division at 32 wins and 61 losses heading into the All-Star break. Another year as one of the bottom dwellers of the MLB, the A’s have had more bloopers than highlights in 2022, desperate to get out of this season with the team still in Northern California.
With only one All-Star in tonight’s exhibition, let’s take a look at three key points to the A’s 2022 season thus far.
1. A’s Staying In Oakland?
The biggest question surrounding the Oakland Athletics this season was off the field as the franchise seems slated to move to Las Vegas after failing to build a new stadium in the Bay Area.
Well not so fast.
In the first step of many needed, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission recently voted to remove Howard Terminal from the Port of Oakland, the site of the proposed new ballpark on the Oakland waterfront. The vote passed 23 to 2 in support of removing the “port priority use designation” from Howard Terminal, a hurdle necessary to keeping the A’s in Oakland.
The A’s Howard Terminal plans include a privately financed $12 billion mixed-use project on 56 acres of land, centered around a $1 billion waterfront ballpark. It would include 18 acres of public parks and open space, housing, hotels and an amphitheater.
The favorable vote allows the A’s pursuit of a new ballpark in Oakland to move forward. A no vote would have all but ended the team’s quest for a new home in the Bay Area and improved Las Vegas’ odds of luring the A’s to the desert,” wrote the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“There’s a unique, supremely cool vibe to big events in Oakland … That same energy will return, absolutely, if the A’s build a new ballpark, whether it’s at Howard Terminal or the Coliseum site.”
— OaklandStadiumWatch (@OakStadiumWatch) July 18, 2022
The vote comes after Athletics’ President Dave Kaval had been scouting potential stadium sites in Las Vegas as the MLB is giddy at the chance to bring baseball to the desert. But now with the Howard Terminal project still alive, the A’s move may be put on hold for good as the franchise seeks to stay in the Bay.
“You have heard from your staff that Howard Terminal is not needed for future cargo growth,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said during the public comment period. “You’ve heard from the port (of Oakland) that Howard Terminal cannot currently, nor in the future, ever be used as a seaport terminal… I ask that you give Oakland its shot.”
The process of the A’s building their new waterfront stadium still has a long way to go, but for now, The Green and Gold remain in Oakland.
2. Exile of Quality Players
Heading back on the field, the A’s boast one of the worst records in baseball, only one win better than the Washington Nationals, who are about to enter a full rebuild if/when they trade perennial All-Star Juan Soto by the deadline.
After trading away All-Stars Matt Chapman and Matt Olson, and SP Sean Manea before the 2022 season even started, A’s owner John Fisher made it clear that the franchise was headed for another fire sale in order to cut costs. Now sporting a laughable $48 million payroll, the Athletics look poised to continue the rebuild by trading away center fielder Ramón Laureano to the highest bidder.
Laureano, 28, has been the defensive ace for the A’s since making his Major League debut in 2018. Now five years in to the Oakland experience, the Dominican may want a change in scenery heading into an arbitration year, especially with the team showing no sign of being competitive anytime soon.
Ramón Laureano was NOT happy after the Josh Smith inside the park home run pic.twitter.com/ZffVqkVd7i
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 12, 2022
The Fansided A’s forum, White Cleat Beat, are one step ahead of the curve, throwing out the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins and New York Yankees as three teams that could vie for Laureano’s signature by the August 2nd trade deadline.
And you can’t blame the players for leaving as Fisher has been seen as the problem for years, always trying to cut costs instead of putting money into the franchise.
“Nothing A’s owner John Fisher is doing these days seems to be working for anyone. Except, well, John Fisher,” The Sacramento Bee’s Chris Biderman wrote last month. “And that’s been the team’s biggest problem — even more so than the club’s never-ending bid for a ballpark.
“As difficult as it is to build anything in the Bay Area, the 49ers, Giants and Warriors have all constructed modern venues there in the last quarter century.
“Even the Raiders have gotten a new stadium, albeit in Las Vegas that relied heavily on taxes from hotels. Raiders owner Mark Davis is far from one of the richest owners in the NFL, but he was able to get a stadium deal done. Fisher, who is reportedly worth $2.2 billion, is the only major sports owner in the area who hasn’t been able to build. Indeed, the A’s have a Fisher problem and would be better off putting someone else in charge of building a new stadium if the last 17 years of his time owning the team is any indication.”
the players on the Oakland A’s still care 🤝pic.twitter.com/cFKr2PNUuu
— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) July 17, 2022
Here lies the many problems with the Athletics organization.
3. Home vs. Away Record
Lastly, and probably the most surprising for the franchise, the A’s actually have a worse record at home than away in 2022.
Currently 11-31 at home and 21-30 on the road, the staggering differential can partially be attributed to the lack of home support this season as an embarrassing 143.66% dropoff in attendance has occurred from last season.
The average turnout for A’s games is a whopping 8,422 fans from a report in May. And from the looks of it, those numbers seem to be dipping with each passing day.
The all-time low for attendance in May is now owned by the Athletics, hitting a depressing number of 2,488 fans on May 2nd, 2022.
Yes the A’s are playing in their home stadium but how “homey” is it if there is no one to cheer you on?
Click on the link below to hear Jason Ross and JayMarZZ break down their midseason grades for the Oakland Athletics.