In the early 90s, I worked for a computer service company. One day, the VP of Sales sent out an email:
Subject: Dress code tomorrow
Executives from The Gap, a potential large customer, are coming for a tour of our facilities tomorrow.
You're not required to wear clothes from The Gap (although it's encouraged), but above all, please do not wear Levi's to work tomorrow.
I found it amusing to think of Levi's as the enemy. The Haas family, which owned Levi Strauss & Co., also owned the Oakland A's at the time, and has been a major contributor to UC Berkeley, my alma mater. Levi's, in my mind, was a force for benevolence.
Nevertheless, I dressed the part. And I think we got the deal. All thanks to my pants, of course.
On Wednesday it is expected that the A's ownership change will become official. Lewis Wolff will apparently be the managing owner. However, the majority of the team will be owned by the Fischer family. The Fischer family owns, naturally, The Gap.
I guess this is kinda like having a team that was once owned by Coca-Cola getting sold to Pepsi. Probably doesn't mean anything, but I enjoy the irony of it.
When the deal becomes official, the A's will have the third-wealthiest owners in baseball. If the tradition of stingy A's ownership continues, it can only be because of philosophy. It won't be because the owners can't afford it, or because they are up to their ears in debt, like some teams.
I fully expect the penny-pinching philosophy to continue. Partly because Steve Schott is staying on for awhile in an advisory capacity. But mostly because if the A's got a new owner who went all Arte Moreno on us, I would have no idea how to react. It's beyond my ken.