Crowley: A lot to look forward to in Oakland this year
OAKLAND -- In honor of Presidents' Day, MLB.com reached out to longtime A's executive Michael Crowley, whose tenure as the club's president since 1998 is the longest in Oakland history. In anticipation of the upcoming season, Crowley offered a hopeful message to A's fans:
"As pitchers and catchers get ready to report for Spring Training and we prepare for the 2015 season, I would like to thank all A's fans for your tremendous support and loyalty. I'd also like to let you know about the three things I am most excited about heading into 2015:
• "Our Fans: We have the most creative and inventive fan base in all of Major League Baseball, and we will continue to celebrate that wonderful fan culture. Over the past few seasons, our fans have championed such fun rituals as the Bernie Lean, Doolittling, Nerd Power, and I Believe in Stephen Vogt. We look forward to another season in which the players, fans and front office support each other in this positive cycle of fan entertainment and fun. We have already announced giveaways this season that include a Stephen Vogt Referee Bobblehead (with an audio chip that includes the "I Believe" chant), a Sonny Gray Solar Powered Gnome, and a [Sean] Doolittle Blanket, just to name a few. We look forward to another season in which fans can enjoy an authentic and fun fan experience, and be an integral part of our creative expression.
• "Our Infrastructure Improvements: We have been working hard in the offseason to improve our facilities. Not only will fans enjoy a completely renovated Spring Training facility in Mesa, Ariz., we will also see dramatic improvements in Oakland. We have invested more than $10 million to install new video boards and LED ribbon boards in Oakland. This investment will make our video footprint go from last in the league, to one -- when combining our two boards -- that will put us near the top of the league. Such improvements will help fans follow the game and dramatically upgrade the in-stadium entertainment and fan experience.
• "Our ballclub: With an active offseason, we have put together a deep and versatile roster for 2015. We bring back a strong nucleus that includes Coco Crisp and Josh Reddick, plus a deep pitching staff headed by Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir. We have added such proven talent as two-time All-Star Ben Zobrist, All-Star Billy Butler, plus Ike Davis, and Brett Lawrie. And we have increased our depth in an already strong pitching staff with the addition of two-time All-Star Tyler Clippard, plus young arms in Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin, Jesse Hahn, Chris Bassitt, and R.J. Alvarez. Having just wrapped up our successful FanFest, I feel even more confident that we have a great group of players who our fans will love to get to know and see play.
"It will be a fun ride, and I encourage you to buy your tickets early to lock in your savings and get access to the best seats for the biggest games. Thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the ballpark on Opening Night. Go A's!"