The Oakland A’s are ready to drop Oakland like the Raiders before them. But unlike the Raiders before them, the A’s have been outright attempting to tank. Their team salary over the last 20+ years has remained below the league average in spending. Frankly, way below the average and often near dead last. Hell, an entire movie about their bargain basement ways was made. Now they come to Carson City looking for money. I think that lawmakers should use the old adage with the franchise: “you need to spend money to make money”.

The Athletics owners have been totally fine putting a crap product on the field year after year. After all, teams get at least $100,000,000 in revenue sharing. Let the other teams spend a ton while the bottom feeders of the league collect. The evidence is pretty damning… here’s a look at the opening day salaries of each season, and how it measures up.

  • 2023: 30th in the league – $43,145,000 (league average: $150,696,141)
  • 2022: 29th in the league – $32,548,334 (league average: $134,492,108) – 2nd worst record in baseball, last in division, 46 games out of 1st place
  • 2021: 24th in the league – $74,615,000 (league average: $119,710,221) – 3rd in division, 9 games out of 1st place

In fact over at least the last two decades the Oakland A’s have never spent in the top 15 (top half) of teams in the league – often in the bottom 5. They field the cheapest team possible. Now, while spending more on your team doesn’t automatically guarantee a World Series victory (ask the New York Yankees), it certainly puts you in a better position.

The Houston Astros won in 2022, they were 8th in spending – at around 4x more than the A’s that season. Atlanta Braves were 10th in spending when then won in 2021. Dodgers were 1st in a shortened 2020 season due to COVID.

Here is what Carson City should require from the A’s

While there is no way to guarantee victory, there is a way to guarantee competitiveness. If the Oakland A’s want to become the Las Vegas A’s so badly, and they are seeking nearly $400,000,000 in public money to do so, make them dance for it (or at least try to get to the dance). Require the A’s spend at least the league average in salary every year, or the bond becomes due by them.

It’s only fair. If they actually plan on investing while they are in Las Vegas, this should be a no-brainer. If, however, they intend to keep their cheap ways… send them packing. Las Vegas loves a winner. The Knights are an example of that. The Raiders, for all of their losing ways, seem to invest in their product. The A’s need to prove they intend on showing up when they arrive on Las Vegas Boulevard… or they should pound sand.

Remember, they get $100,000,000+ just for being in the league every year. Also remember the value of the Raiders jumped about 50% after their Las Vegas relocation. The least they could do is spend it on the product.

Shock the state and actually make the billionaires work for the handout. Dare you. (You won’t.)

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