The Oakland Athletics and how not to run a franchise, featuring the Golden Knights

The Oakland Athletics aren't making any friends in the sports world. Here's what they can learn from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics
Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics / Jason O. Watson/GettyImages
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The Vegas Golden Knights have been one of the most successful franchises in the past decade. They've made two Stanley Cup Final appearances, won a Stanley Cup, and have the best postseason winning percentage (60%). Yes, the last bit seems like a stretch to report. However, being a huge success in your first seven seasons should warrant discussion as being an incredible franchise.

Sadly, it seems the Oakland Athletics didn't get the memo. With their proposed relocation to Las Vegas in 2028, the team has already ruffled some feathers in Sin City. The baseball organization proposed playing seven neutral-site games away from their new home, hoping to "boost" their brand. Surely, that would go over well with the public, right?

Tell them, Arnold.

Apparently, not. The news caused massive pushback from fans and Las Vegas citizens alike, with people questioning owner John Fisher's motives. With another publicly funded stadium on the horizon, the Oakland Athletics are trying (unsuccessfully) to duplicate their former Bay Area brethren's relocation. Mind you, the Raiders have a fan base that spans the entire country, with the Black Hole going coast-to-coast.

Compare that to the Vegas Golden Knights, who started their franchise organically. With owner Bill Foley building an arena without any public funds, the team established goodwill within the community. In fact, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has latched onto the city's success, bringing numerous events to Las Vegas. That includes this year's NHL Draft, which will be held at the Sphere.

So what can the Golden Knights teach the hapless Oakland Athletics and John Fisher about running a franchise? People are starting to sour on the idea of another Bay Area team coming over, with this franchise's baggage becoming heavier by the day. Here are some lessons for the baseball team, courtesy of Vegas's on-ice team.

The Vegas Golden Knights are about bringing in the biggest stars

If the most recent trade deadline was any indication, the Vegas Golden Knights showed they're not afraid of taking a plunge. By acquiring Noah Hanifin and Tomas Hertl, the team was banking on building off last season's Stanley Cup success and for the future. Although they weren't successful, the organization has the pieces needed for the long run.

The moves benefited the team in numerous ways, adding more scoring bite and power play strength. But Vegas is no stranger to adding big names, with their trade for Jack Eichel on November 4, 2021, proving this point. The result? Their first Stanley Cup victory in franchise history with a memorable parade.

Compare that to the John Fisher-led Oakland Athletics, who've traded various budding superstars under the guise of "Moneyball." Many names come to mind in recent years, including Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Sean Manaea, and Marcus Semien. The result? No World Series titles and a relocation that Fisher and Rob Manfred are trying desperately to shoehorn.

Las Vegas residents aren't getting the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Yankees with their relocation. They're possibly gaining a team that cuts corners and doesn't hand out contracts to their most prized stars. Fisher can learn from Bill Foley and company that building trust starts with keeping viable talent in the town.