Adventures in Ethics and Science

I don’t usually blog about baseball, but today I’m riled. I’m not a hard core baseball fan, but I’m not an enemy of the game either. Beside watching my brothers play little league (and even acting as scorekeeper for their games on multiple occasions), I quite enjoyed the handful of Major League baseball games I’ve attended over the years — even the Red Sox game I went to with my Organometallic Chemistry seminar my junior year, where the skies opened up and soaked us at the top of the seventh inning.

Assuredly, I have mostly paid attention to MLB in order to track the fortunes of the Cubs (since I know that should they win the World Series, it’s time to drop everything so I can go home and face the apocalypse with my family). But I have begrudged no one his or her opportunity to enjoy the game.

But peaceful coexistence is off the table when they decide to move a major league stadium to my town.

Yes, the Oakland Athletics have decided to abandon their current home at the Oakland Coliseum (officially, the McAfee Coliseum). They’ve announced that they plan to build a brand new ballpark in Fremont, with state of the art wireless technology, which should improve the game, uh … how exactly?

The team wants a new place to play. That’s fine. But, they’re moving from a location that is currently served by mass transit — which at keeps freeway traffic from getting nearly as horrible as it could on game days — to a site that is about as far from existing mass transit as you could imagine in Fremont city limits. But it is near a freeway that is already, under normal conditions, so congested that it drives people to eat their own young.

Way to endear yourselves to your new host city, A’s!

Also, has a new baseball stadium ever been a good deal, economically, for the city in which it’s built? Again, I don’t usually follow such things, but my sense is that the people take one for the team in deals like these.

And Cisco, corporate entity offering land for the park? Before I had no strong feelings about you one way or another, but now, you’re on my list. (It’s a serious list.)

If anyone has it in their power to arrange a season-long Major League Baseball strike once Cisco Field is built, I’d be much obliged.


  1. #1 NJ
    November 15, 2006


    Red Sox.

  2. #2 Mark
    November 15, 2006

    Are you being asked to pay for the stadium? In my small home town, the powers that be and their running dogs at the local newspaper convinced people to approve a 1 percent sales tax to pay for a minor league stadium. How wonderful for the team, those who like to watch minor league ball and for those who manage to skim off a little extra income from them. And the local government has to threaten torture to get the corporate partner that gets its name on the stadium to even hint at how much money they make on it. That’s what I call the free market system. Or maybe not.

  3. #3 Super Sally
    November 15, 2006

    … but now, you’re on my list. (It’s a serious list.)

    For those on that list, know that Dr. F-R spent the majority of her formative years in NJ, and still has friends there.

  4. #4 Orac
    November 15, 2006

    Also, has a new baseball stadium ever been a good deal, economically, for the city in which it’s built?

    It all depends on how many goodies the city and state gave up to land the stadium in Fremont. Most of the time, though, the tax breaks and other money kicked in by local governments ends up making these stadiums not such a good idea when examined in cold, hard financial terms.

  5. #5 Janet D. Stemwedel
    November 15, 2006

    I’ve corrected the spelling of “Sox” in the post. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

  6. #6 Babe in the Universe
    November 15, 2006

    The A’s have been unhappy since the Raiders moved back to share Oakland’s Coliseum. Their view of the Eastbay hills was then blocked by a huge structure nicknamed “Mount Davis.” after Raiders owner Al Davis. Repeated attempts to find a new location in Oakland were stymied by Mayor Jerry Brown’s insistence on including affordable housing.

    The Oakland Coliseum is very convenient to public transit, with a BART station and now Amtrak. Last week the San Francisco 49er’s announced they wish to leave Candlestick Park (aka Monster Park) for a new stadium in Santa Clara. The new site is close to light rail.

  7. #7 Rob Knop
    November 15, 2006

    The worst thing ever to happen to Oakland was the Raiders moving back.

    Well, OK, that’s hyperbole. The worst thing is probably how high they are on the list of “most murders per year” statistic.

    But, still. The Raiders left, and there was much angst. I quickly shifted my allegiance to the 49ers, which turned out to be a very rewarding shift at the time. They went to LA; I wanted LA to keep them. Then they come back, and the Oakland City Council plays dead for Al Davis. The A’s got screwed over big time; both short-term (not playing in the Colisseum for a week or so, torn up fields that nearly led to game cancellations) and long-term (the stadium with that awful Davis Mountain is no longer nearly so baseball-friendly).

    I sympathzie greatly for their desire to go elsewhere.

    But… yeah, the BART to the colliseum is great, and it’s a crying shame that the new stadium won’t have that. I have many fond memories of the summer between 8th and 9th grades. My dad, at the time, worked at a company that had season tickts for A’s games; excellent seats in about the 12th row of the first deck, behind the visitor’s dugout. Well, they couldn’t always give away the tickets to the day games (usually they gave them away to customers), because of this pesky little work thing. So, roughly once a week, my sister and I had *excellent* free tickets to the game. Hop on BART, go to the game, hop on BART, come home…. Those were the days. That was a great summer.

    And now, not only are the A’s planning on moving away from BART, lots of school districts in various places are talking about “balanced” school years that will forever kill summer vacation. Western civilization is ending, I tell you.


  8. #8 William the Coroner
    November 15, 2006

    OK, I’m curious, I want to see the rest of the list!

    And can a vegetarian give good list? I think real grudge holding requires meat eating.

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