Bad organizations make stupid decisions.
That’s not limited to the sports world. It’s true of many businesses and groups across all facets of society.
The soon-to-be-Las Vegas Athletics have faced all kinds of criticism the last few years, and it’s not limited to the pitiful product they put on the field. Plenty of teams lose. It happens. For most professional franchises, winning is cyclical, and teams often have to go through a dry spell to work their way back to the top.
But in the case of the A’s, there’s something different. There doesn’t seem to be a plan, unless they are stealing the plot of one of the great sports comedies of all-time, “Major League.” If the idea is to project complete buffoonery to anger the fans enough to not show up and then blame them for making it necessary to move the franchise, then congratulations. Brilliant execution.
But what it looks like from the outside is that it’s just a nonserious operation. That brings us to the debacle of this week.
Look, retirement tours are kind of silly. But they have become a modern tradition in baseball, with future Hall of Famers who have announced their intention to retire at the end of the season being honored by opposing teams when they visit for the final time.
Each team tries their best to do something unique, usually with a parting gift that has a tie to the area.
It’s certainly not necessary, but it’s a nice gesture and one that is incredibly easy to get right. But the A’s somehow found a way to prove this week that it can go terribly wrong.
Detroit star Miguel Cabrera is in the midst of his farewell season.
The Dodgers secured him a Hollywood star. Cabrera got a surfboard from the Angels. The Guardians, who play just down the road from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, got him a custom guitar.
You get the idea.
But when Cabrera visited Oakland for the final time this week, he was handed a bottle of wine. OK, the A’s are somewhat close to Napa, so it makes some sense.
Many people online have pointed out that the bottle retails for between $80 and $90 and have called the A’s cheap. We’re not going to do that. We don’t know much about wine, but a season covering a Raiders training camp in Napa took us to a few wineries, and one of the lessons was that price doesn’t always equal quality.
It’s probably a fine product. But that’s not the point.
Cabrera has a well-documented history of alcohol problems and went to rehab in 2009. It’s not a subject he often speaks about, but when he surpassed 3,000 hits last season, he famously celebrated with nonalcoholic champagne.
It’s just a silly mistake by the A’s. These things are so easy to get right, and unfortunately, you get no credit when it goes well. You only get mocked when it goes horribly wrong, and the A’s have been roasted across social media for the last few days.
It’s another self-inflicted wound by an organization that can’t get out of its own way. And soon, the A’s will be our problem.
But, hey, at least the disastrous gift was a distraction from yet another eight-game losing streak by the worst team in baseball that has already racked up 107 defeats.
At least this “L” won’t count in the standings.
Conversely, the Raiders are still trying to build a winning team on the field, but the organization continues to do a tremendous job of game day presentation.
Most notably, with their halftime performers.
Last season featured several tremendous headliners taking the stage for quick sets during intermission, and Sunday night may be the best one yet.
Lil Wayne has been announced as the halftime show for Sunday night. He could probably do the Super Bowl. That’s a massive get for the Raiders and a huge bonus for fans.
See how easy it is to not be a public relations nightmare?