NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Matt Vasgersian is a distinguished national broadcaster with a very local connection.
The Moraga native has followed news of the A’s relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas closely and specifically, even though his work as an MLB Network studio host is to cover all 30 teams, from thousands of miles away.
“The national perspective is that of questions for the short term, and people seem comfortable with this [relocation] in the long term. Probably more comfortable than I am,” Vasgersian said Tuesday at the MLB Winter Meetings.
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Vasgersian points out assumed positive impressions from the Raiders’ relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2020 and the success the Vegas Golden Knights had after NHL expansion in 2017 led to a Stanley Cup championship this year.
“I think it gives everybody the idea that Vegas is this fertile pro sports environment that’s willing and able to host all four major sports in North America,” he said. “I might be a little more skeptical as to endorse that thought.”
Oakland baseball fans have become forced-savants of legislative sessions, public funding, acreage, referendum votes and ballpark construction, as they try to understand what might happen next with their team. They care about those important “small details” that might paint a bigger picture, which isn’t always reflected in national media coverage.
“I don’t think they’re in the weeds,” Vasgersian said of the national perspective on the A’s relocation efforts. “I don’t think they’re really interested in being in the weeds in this story. It’s a can that’s been kicked down the road so many times, and a little bit of ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’ “
Jon Morosi also covers baseball nationally for MLB Network but with no immediate connections to the Bay Area. He, too, sees this on an educated and more personal level than most.
“There has to be empathy [for Oakland], and that is where I’d begin on this,” Morosi said Monday at the MLB Winter Meetings. “And we all understand what it means to have a team, then lose a team.”
Morosi describes following the “general contours” of the A’s stadium saga over multiple decades.
“I do not have intimate knowledge of every step in the process over the last 20 years, whether it was Fremont, San Jose … or any other place where parks were looking promising,” Morosi said.
But he can safely say that we didn’t arrive at this spot of controversy and confusion overnight.
“This cannot be the fault of any one person, or one entity, or one government,” Morosi said. “There is blame to be shared.”