Quick Bit: Joe Lacob could be what the Athletics need to become relevant again.

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The differences between the Warriors and Athletics, who used to be neighbors in Oakland, is a true tale of two franchises.

There are the Warriors, perennial winners with superstar players who are paid handsomely to do superstar things. And then there are the Athletics, a bad team with a desperately low payroll that doesn’t tend to keep its best players for too long.

Now comes a report that the same person could have owned both teams.

Dubs owner Joe Lacob revealed recently that he had a deal in place to buy the A’s in 2005. The price was $180 million.

MORE: Who is Joe Lacob?

The franchise was eventually sold to John Fisher and Lew Wolff. Wolff attended the University of Wisconsin with then-MLB commissioner Bud Selig; the two reportedly were fraternity brothers. Lacob went on to buy the Warriors with Peter Guber in 2010.

Lacob told the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea that he has long been willing to purchase the A’s from Fisher, who is now the team’s majority owner.

“I’ve had a standing offer to buy the A’s from John Fisher for I don’t even know how long. Over a decade,” Lacob said. “It’s up to him; it’s his business. It would have been smarter to sell to me a long time ago because we would have been partners, and he would have been able to own a part of the Warriors as well. I tried to tell him that. I would have done a ratio deal.”

Forbes (via the Chronicle) estimates the A’s are worth $1.18 billion.

Imagine: The team with the second-lowest payroll in MLB being purchased by the person who owns the most expensive team in the NBA.

Fisher’s unwillingness to put money into the Athletics has had dire effects in recent years. The team is playing in a decrepit stadium, the Ring Central Coliseum, which opened in 1966. The last-place club has the lowest attendance in baseball this year. Fisher is considering moving the franchise to Las Vegas.

Lacob said that if he was in charge of the A’s, a new stadium would already have been sorted out. The club is seeking approvals for a mixed-use development project in Oakland that would also include a stadium.

“I’d just pay for it all privately like I did with the Warriors (who now play at Chase Center in San Francisco),” Lacob said. “And you know what? You get to say at the end of the day, ‘I didn’t take any money from you.’ You didn’t get the $300 million or $400 million in (public) infrastructure money, whatever, but it’s easier for me to be able to take that tack.”

The A’s certainly wouldn’t be worse for wear if Lacob were to invest. And given these recent comments, perhaps Athletics fans can begin to at least dream of a future under Lacob’s stewardship. A new stadium, paying players market value, maybe even selling out a few games? That would be something.

According to Forbes, Lacob’s net worth was $1.5 billion as of May 30. Lacob made the bulk of his money after launching venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins in 1987. He invested in more than 50 startups with the firm before leaving the company.

Originally found on Sporting News Read More

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