A’s owner Lew Wolff told Bloomberg Television today that General Manager and Vice-President Billy Beane and team President Michael Crowley have both agreed to extensions that will keep them with the team through the 2019 season.
Beane, who has been general manager of the A’s since 1997, is the longest-tenured GM in the American League. And Crowley signed on with the team just one year later. The 76-year-old Wolff told Bloomberg, “If they are here another 30 years, that’s fine with me.” Then he joked, “Somebody said the reason I am doing it is I want one or the other to be able to wheel me into the new stadium.”
And what’s most important in this story for A’s fans is what’s not said about what it means for that new stadium. As everyone knows, the A’s are eager to build a new stadium for themselves in San Jose and have been awaiting a decision from Commissioner Bud Selig granting them permission to do just that.
Wolff and the A’s brass have basically described a decision that would block their proposed move to San Jose as a death sentence for the team. Unconfirmed rumors have been circulating that the fix may be in and that Selig will grant the A’s permission to move before long. And today’s news only seems to make that speculation more credible.
Why would the team’s two top executives choose to commit themselves for the next eight seasons to a team that may have no future? They wouldn’t. The announcement that Beane and Crowley have committed to the A’s through 2019 means that they clearly see a bright future for the A’s – in San Jose – through the end of the decade and they want to be around to see it!