The Oakland A's season ended when they were beaten by the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 of the divisional playoffs, leaving the team's fans to join those of the other Major League Baseball franchises in the shared offseason tradition of wondering what could have been.
The day after the season ended, a federal court judge in San Jose issued a ruling that reinforced Major League Baseball's ironclad right to determine where its teams play, leading A's fans to their unique offseason tradition of wondering about the long-term future of their team's stadium and home city.
With San Jose's lawsuit largely dismissed, the case may be stuck in appeals for years to come and the quick solution the city was hoping for is not forthcoming. This leaves the A's ownership, which has repeatedly stated they have no "Plan B" beyond San Jose, with the prospect of continuing to play in Oakland, at the antiquated O.Co Coliseum, for the indefinite future.
Now is the time for those with a direct role in the A's stadium situation to come together and provide answers and a practical path forward.
Rather than continuing to reject the city they have called home for nearly a half-century, the A's ownership should immediately reopen a dialogue with the city of Oakland.
This is something they have avoided for years, but given the probable conclusion of San Jose's legal efforts, the logical next step is to find a suitable stadium site in the team's current MLB territory.
Likewise, city officials in Oakland who have seemingly dragged their feet for years must provide detailed and transparent plans for the A's at the two sites they have publicly put forward, Coliseum City and the waterfront Howard Terminal site.
Until that happens, the A's can continue to disregard any proposal by the city as just smoke and mirrors. And if A's ownership truly believes Oakland is not viable in the long-term, it would be in its best interest to have this dialogue in public and prove it to MLB and the 29 other owners.
The A's players and front office continue to put a team on the field that gives fans hope. Off the field, the A's future remains cloudy and uncertain, and this storied franchise and its passionate Bay Area fans deserve better.
If A's ownership commits to pursuing a long-term home in Oakland, bypassing the needs for legal challenge or purgatory in an outdated stadium, the cheers we heard at the Coliseum throughout the playoffs will be dwarfed by the roar of a fan base that will finally see closure to this decade-long journey of uncertainty for the team they love.
Oakland natives John Jackson and John Hansen are co-founders of Oakland Fan Pledge (www.OaklandFanPledge.com), a fan-based initiative created to show support for a new A's stadium in Oakland.