Fans are on the low end of the totem pole in the overall scheme of sports.
The late Dr. John McMullen, who owned Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros franchise and the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils franchise once remarked. It’s my team, I can do whatever I want with it. Dr. McMullen thought about moving his Houston baseball business to Washington, D. C. and his hockey business from East Rutherford, New Jersey to Nashville. He never went through with his threats of moving but the teams were his businesses not the fans, not the marketing partners not the TV partners and he could do whatever he wanted with his businesses. In Major League Baseball in 2023, that spirit lives on with owners in Baltimore and in Oakland. Despite pleas from fans in the San Francisco Bay Area, John Fisher is not selling his Oakland soon-to-be Las Vegas Athletics’ business. In an exclusive interview with NBC Bay Area which means Fisher chose the outlet for his message and ignored the rest of the Bay Area journalists, Fisher said “I’m sorry it hasn’t worked out in Oakland”. But it is his business and he has decided that Las Vegas is just a better option for him and it is hurtful that Oakland A’s fans have turned on him.
Fans have no say in a team. In Baltimore, John Angelos really doesn’t seem to care much about Orioles’ fans. The Orioles’ baseball team seemingly has turned the corner and has become a solid baseball club. But Orioles management suspended its announcer Kevin Brown for pointing out the team’s lack of success against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. Angelos gave an “exclusive” interview to the New York Times which served more as an Angelos infomercial than a tough interview. Angelos needs to raise ticket prices to pay for his rising stars and wants a ballpark-village. MLB controls its message to its loyal following.
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