Bonta Hill: It’s time for the Oakland A’s to embrace change

In some cases, organizational change is a good thing. The Golden State Warriors made a change shortly after the 2013-14 season when they axed head coach Mark Jackson shortly after their first-round exit at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers. We all know how that wound up.

When the San Francisco 49ers decided to part ways with Jim Harbaugh, that sent the team into a tailspin they’re only just now pulling out of.

According to reports, A’s vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, General Manager David Forst, and manager Bob Melvin very possibly may be shown the door as president Dave Kaval and team owner John Fisher seem primed to make a change after the 2019 season.

Whether that’s good or bad remains to be seen, but considering how long Beane has been running the show in Oakland – since 1998 to be exact – now is the appropriate time for the A’s to move on from the “Moneyball” era.

The A’s are in a tricky spot these days. They desperately need a stadium, and fans need to latch onto players like Matt Chapman, Matt Olsen and Franklin Barreto, hoping they’ll be fixtures for years to come in Oakland.

In my opinion, Beane killed the spirit of A’s fans after he let his feelings get in the way, and traded away star Josh Donaldson. One of the four players he got back in the deal was Barreto, but A’s fans are tired of prospects coming through the system only to be traded before they’re eligible to hit free agency.

A change from Beane and Forst also may be good for Kaval, who certainly wants to put his fingerprints on this franchise.

Kaval can be a bit overbearing with his pettiness towards the San Francisco Giants, and his exuberance about nailing down a stadium location was a bit premature, but he’s a forward thinker. Kaval gets the social media/technology side of things, and at this point, that’s what the A’s need.

The Oakland Coliseum, to put it kindly, won’t remind anyone of AT&T Park. Frankly, it’s a dump. Adding the Treehouse, though — a place where fans can hang out and chill — gave the Coliseum a little sexy. Kaval hit a home run with the new addition — a monthly pass to the Treehouse is $29.99.

I hear tell that the new offices in Jack London Square include amenities like a batting cage and a gym. Heck, I hear Kaval has added a room to do yoga. Not bad.

And it’s just a matter of time that Kaval will want to handpick his own general manager. It’s obvious. Reports have it that he’s already hired 50 new employers, including several vice presidents. Oh, and Melvin — who the Yankees wanted to interview last winter, but got blocked by the A’s — wasn’t offered a contract extension. In baseball circles, that’s considered bad form, a disrespect to Melvin.

But it also signals that change is coming for an organization that needs a jolt, one that needs a stadium that can generate real revenue for this proud franchise.

It seems clear that Kaval wants to be the point man, the guy to revolutionize A’s baseball. With Beane and Forst stuck in their ways, it won’t be possible for Kaval to flip the A’s franchise.

A change is coming. And it could be for the better.

Bonta Hill
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Bonta Hill

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