Bryce Harper, a Vegas native, unhappy about prospective Athletics move

Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Phillies designated hitter Bryce Harper. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Las Vegas Athletics just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Oakland is soon to be without a baseball team, and Sin City native Bryce Harper feels for fans.

One would assume that if any player were in favor of the Athletics move to Las Vegas, it would be Bryce Harper, a man who was raised in the area. Instead, though, Harper has a simple message: Not like this.

Just days after John Fisher made nearly $1 million in attendance alone for the reverse boycott game, the A’s moved one step closer to moving to Las Vegas. The only thing left is for MLB owners to vote on the relocation, a move that is viewed more as a done deal than most of the hurdles Fisher has jumped through so far in his sole focus of moving the A’s out of Oakland.

Bryce Harper, Bryson Stott against Athletics move to Las Vegas

Harper, as well as fellow Phillies player Bryson Stott, grew up in Vegas. While the NHL’s Golden Knights and NFL’s Raiders have proven that Vegas can be a booming sports city, such a decision ought to come through expansion, rather than stealing another city’s team.

“I feel sorry for the fans in Oakland,” Harper told USA Today Sports in a report published Thursday. “It’s just not right. They have so much history in Oakland. You’re taking a team out of a city. I’m pretty sad because of all of the history and all of the greatness they’ve seen there. I see the A’s as Oakland. I don’t see them as Vegas.”

Stott, who attended UNLV, spoke to the many rival teams that already have a stake Vegas. It’ll take some time for the A’s to gain a fanbase.

“You have people in town liking the Dodgers, and the Angels, and the Padres, and the Diamondbacks,” Stott told USA Today. “It will take a few generations before they have a real fandom in baseball. I’m sure they’ll sell tickets for visiting fans, which is probably all they care about.”

That last line specifically is a jab at Fisher, who never gave Oakland fans much of a chance to show their support. The on-field product stinks, which in the end will translate to Vegas as well barring an overwhelming change in management strategy.

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