Kotsay, Vogt say their hearts are with Oakland Athletics fans

Mar 29, 2024, 9:17 AM

Manager Stephen Vogt #12 of the Cleveland Guardians talks to the media prior to the game between th...

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 28: Manager Stephen Vogt #12 of the Cleveland Guardians talks to the media prior to the game between the Cleveland Guardians and the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on Thursday, March 28, 2024 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Whether it was planned or just a coincidence, both managers in Oakland had the same sentiment about Athletics fans.

As the A’s and Guardians met for game one of the 2024 MLB season, an uncertainty loomed over the Coliseum. What happens next between Oakland and the Athletics? The team’s lease with the Coliseum expires after the 2024 season, meaning Thursday night’s 8-0 loss could be the last home opener in Oakland.

A’s manager Mark Kotsay spoke briefly about the situation, and the fans’ opening day boycott prior to Thursday’s game, telling the Mercury News he wouldn’t expect anything less from passionate Oakland fans.

“My heart is with the fans. I understand the emotion and impact and this organization’s history of 55 years of being here and their emotion and passion of wanting to keep this team here and the way they express it, is with passion… When they come out, they come out with support and love, and they do it full force.”

This process of finding a temporary home has included three possible locations: returning to Oakland or playing in Sacramento or Salt Lake City.

Making his managerial debut, former A’s catcher Stephen Vogt told the Mercury News he’s been following the off-field news surrounding his former ball club. The Visalia native was a member of the Athletics for six of his 10 years in the league. Mark Kotsay’s first year was Vogt’s last year.

“Obviously I’ve followed the Oakland news closely and my heart goes out to the fans and the people of Oakland and obviously the organization as well. They’re in a tough place right now and hopefully they get some answers and clarity soon.”

The 39-year-old manager made his major league debut with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012 before joining the A’s the following season. During his time in Oakland, he was voted to the All-Star game twice in 2015 and 2016, eventually getting fans to chant, “I believe in Stephen Vogt!”

“The playoff atmosphere here is better than any in baseball. I’ve experienced a number of different playoff atmospheres, but the Oakland Coliseum packed at playoff time, it’s tough to beat.”

Vogt hit a home run in what was his last at-bat for both the A’s and in his career. Before rejoining the A’s in 2021, Vogt helped the Atlanta Braves win the World Series in 2020. He also played for the Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Upcoming schedule for the Oakland Athletics

  • Thursday, March 28th-Sunday, March 31st – vs. Cleveland Guardians
  • Monday, April 1st-Wednesday, April 3rd – vs. Boston Red Sox
  • Friday, April 5th-Sunday, April 7th – @ Detroit Tigers
  • Tuesday, April 9th-Thursday, April 11th – @ Texas Rangers
  • Friday, April 12-Sunday, April 14th – vs. Washington Nationals

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