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Oakland A’s owner John Fisher meets with protesting fans ahead of relocation vote

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Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher met briefly with a group of A’s fans who had shown up to the MLB Owners’ Meetings in Arlington, Texas, to protest the team’s planned relocation to Las Vegas. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Fisher briefly indulged three men — 41-year-old Jared Isham, 42-year-old Gabriel Cullen and 38-year-old Jorge Leon — who had shown up to the meetings urging the franchise to stay in Oakland.

The substance of their conversation was a polite one given the circumstances, but it did not inspire a change of heart on Fisher’s part. After nearly two decades of trying to find a solution to remain in the Bay Area, Fisher stressed that his patience had been exhausted and that “It’s been a lot worse for me than you.” The trio of fans, meanwhile, urged Fisher to “do what’s right.”

“I think it’s easy to make these things personal. But you know they are passionate for the team,” Fisher said to reporters. “And I’ve been in baseball for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of the ups and downs. For the most part, people have been focusing their desires to succeed.”

Speaking to the media themselves, the fans appreciated that Fisher actually spoke with and acknowledged them, but did not absolve him of the issue of relocation or of mismanaging the relationship between the A’s and their fans.

“I’m happy he came and talked to us. At the same time, it’s sad it took 18 years for him to talk to A’s fans,” Cullen said. “That’s one of our biggest problems is we don’t have any connection with him.”

The trio’s trip is just one of several last-ditch grassroots efforts by fans in Oakland to try and convince Major League Baseball ownership to vote no on relocating the franchise to Las Vegas. This particular group, which goes by the name of the Oakland 68s, took the extra initiative to pay for a plane banner to be flown above the owner’s hotel and Globe Life Field reading “A’S BELONG IN OAKLAND — #VOTENO.”

While the efforts of A’s fans to make their stance on who was responsible for the A’s likely leaving Oakland known will persist, MLB owners — barring what would be a monumental change of heart — are expected to…

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