The Cost of Indecision

It’s been a while since I have posted here. Not that ML needs any help, but I felt like it was time I stepped up and earned the fact that my name gets to appear with his on the side bar.

This desire to contribute didn’t come out of the blue. It actually took root in a recent meeting that I arranged, at my workplace and over lunch, with ML and one Doug Boxer. Many of you know that Doug is the driving force behind Let’s Go Oakland, a group of people who are passionate and committed to keeping the A’s in Oaktown.

While we didn’t really talk about anything that anyone that reads this site with regularity doesn’t already know, I was impressed with Boxer and his straight forward style in discussing both the advantages of Oakland as well as the challenges it faces. I wish many of the Pro Oakland folks that I know were equally as honest about the challenges that face the Town in their pursuit of having a stadium built. Challenges, that while real, are not impossible to overcome if accepted and addressed. Especially when you have smart people working on a realistic solution. In short, if there is a solution in Oakland, Boxer will be part of sorting it out… Even if he doesn’t have all the answers about funding the joint right now, something I think he would freely acknowledge.

After having this more than an hour discussion, I can say a few things with absolute certitude. The City of Oakland has had an opportunity to put forward it’s best ideas. The ideas they have chosen as the best have been listened to. The people of Oakland are fortunate to have a guy like Doug Boxer in their corner. If he can’t help find a way to make it work in Oakland, I am confident saying that no one can, or will.

One of the topics of discussion, something I hoped to glean but didn’t, was what the heck this two year delay has been all about. ML, Doug and I all had our own thoughts, though none of us really know for certain. The reality is that it doesn’t matter, Bud Selig’s lack of foresight has already been extremely costly to our favorite franchise and should offend the sensibilities of all of us A’s fans in the Bay Area. After all, we live in a region with a long history of successful companies that grow from flashes of imagination to household names in the time it has taken for Bud’s panel to do absolutely nothing but “study” an already pretty clear situation.

From Pandora to Facebook, companies in the Bay Area prove all the time that chasing a perfect solution to any problem is a waste of time and detrimental to getting something done. So is sitting on one’s own hands and waiting for a solution to appear. It seems that one of these two scenarios is playing out before our very eyes. Either Bud is waiting for Oakland, or San Jose, to give up so he doesn’t have to force the issue, or he is expecting years of research to come up with a magic bullet to slay the Beast of Where an A’s Stadium Should Reside. Both are foolish.

A brief interlude… As you can probably already tell, I am kind of cranky. That isn’t really anything new for us A’s fans. Really, it’s like we are all building blocks in the 9th Wonder of the World: The Frustrated Pyramid of Oakland. Think about it for a minute, we are the bottom few rows of humongous sandy blocks. We make up the first few layers of frustration as we sit helplessly watching the players flail away. Those same players make up the next few rows of the great pyramid. As they struggle to figure out how a promising season devolved in one week’s time. Decimated pitching staff? check! Underperforming veterans? Check! But most importantly, clearly incapable of carrying out the most important parts of his duties manager? Double check!

I’d throw Bob Geren in as the next level of frustration, but I am not sure how long he is going to be around. Color me skeptical, but when was the last time an owner went on record in support of his Manager only to change his mind not so long after? Maybe, if Bob Geren gets crushed between the pressure of Billy Beane’s frustration at not being able to get a premier bat to come to Oakland and all the grumpy players (players who are grumpy because Bob Geren, himself, can’t communicate or manage a bullpen) it will provide some stress relief for all of us?

And on top of Beane’s frustration we have Uncle Lew. Now, some of you who read here regularly are going to have real trouble trying to sympathize with Lew Wolff, but just imagine the conspiracy angle is true. Imagine Bud invited Lew to buy the A’s so that he could move the team out of Oakland. Imagine Lew playing his part perfectly… Nope no land in Oakland. Nope, $30M later, Fremont won’t work. Hey Bud, time to pull the trigger on that San Jose thing you asked me to get done… Oh, wait.

Now pretend the conspiracy isn’t real (or accept that it isn’t, depending on your view)… Imagine spending a few years reaching out to different people in Oakland, as Lew did. Imagine amassing the magic “binder” of letter’s rejecting the use of places like Howard Terminal, researching how a river of crap flowing beneath the old HomeBase site impacts potential development, and so on and so forth. Imagine having a solution and walking into Bud’s office and being told… “Hold on a minute while we redo everything you have done and let the local press savage you for the next 2 years and take no action to help you move forward either way… Oh, and please keep holding the line for now. Afterall, we are ‘working’ on it.”

Man alive that is a whole lot of frustration from top to bottom! But how about our two fair cities of consideration? Where do they fit in this Great Pyramid of Teeth Grindage? Has Bud’s indecision cost them anything?

First, an election will need to happen in San Jose should that locale be chosen. He had voter support to make it happen. Who knows what he has now? This is the cost of indecision.

Second, he had some momentum in Oakland… A grass roots group of supporters that are willing to make the case for a new stadium doesn’t exactly fall out of trees. How long does a Facebook group and clicking a link to send a form letter keep people’s attention? This is the cost of indecision.

These are just two, of many examples, of the cost of indecision. Bud didn’t capitalize on either. Instead he says “this is a complex situation” and insults our intelligence. That isn’t how you build the most successful internet radio platform. This isn’t how you build a social network with hundreds of millions of users. This isn’t how you should run Major League Baseball.

At Facebook, there are signs posted all around the place that say “Done is Better Than Perfect.” I think Bud needs to visit and catch a glimpse of how business is done these days. At Pandora, I am sure that copyright law policy and advertising sales campaigns and boosting subscription service account holders are all issues worked in unison. No, the “Dodgers and Mets have really screwed up… everything else is on hold” sort of dalliances don’t usually hold muster at companies that own the future.

Having a consensus builder at the helm isn’t exactly like having a visionary running the show. Having a man who can’t make a decision without the approval of those he “leads” is cutting into our fan base. And by our, I mean we. Me and you and all of us who should be preparing for a new yard instead of bickering about where that home should be.

Some other things that are currently cutting into the A’s fandom? Monte Poole’s monthly “Lew Wolff and John Fisher are characters from an Austin Powers film” column. By now, Poole should have been able to write off the A’s as the 30 mile moving carpet baggers or embraced Wolff for getting something done in the East Bay. Instead I have to argue with my friends, who support the same team I do, once a month about how Lew Wolff isn’t Emperor Palpatine and that, no, me pointing that out doesn’t make me an apologist. I will be really happy when I don’t have to read those columns anymore.

By now, our focus could be on how we band together to get Bob Geren the heck out of Dodge. Instead we argue, here and other places, about what Oakland could have done 15 years ago. As if that matters.

By now, some of us could have moved on to not being A’s fans if we so chose. Instead we drone on and on about what Lew Wolff’s intentions were when he bought the team. As if that has any bearing on MLB’s committee.

By now, some of us could be driving down to check out progress on the new yard every other week. Instead we fight about funding models for an imaginary stadium.

By now, we could all be looking at 3D illustrations and picking a seat for our season ticket package. Instead we are nitpicking “projections” of how many thousands of people would be sitting in the tarped off section of the O.co Coliseum.

By now, we could all be celebrating the signing of some free agent with a power bat. Instead we take sides in a debate over whether Scott Boras was telling the truth about why Adrian Beltre didn’t sign in Oakland.

By now, we could be talking about things that are relevant to the future of our favorite baseball franchise. Instead we are in a perpetual discussion over things that are irrelevant.

This is the cost of indecision. Something tells me a bad decision couldn’t be any worse.

73 thoughts on “The Cost of Indecision

  1. First move: fire Geren!

    Good post Jeffrey. I especially like the “done is better than perfect” quote. As a musician, i struggle with this frequently.

  2. @Jeffro–i really enjoyed your rant post. This whole thing is almost surreal. In the meantime, like David says, fire Geren would be a good start in the right direction. I’d take Mark Jackson right now, but the W’s beat us to him!

    • Have to note that as indignant as Jeffrey comes off in the post, at the lunch none of us (me, Jeffrey, Boxer) were angry, only frustrated. And it was a “Clint Eastwood” themed lunch so we had a right to posture if we chose.

  3. murphy’s law, what can go wrong will go wrong with what’s gone on the past 10-15 years for the a’s and a’s fans.

    -coliseum is ruined, neither of the two owners have put much money in improving the venue. media especially here blasts it. players don’t want to come here. it’s just a hell hole at this point. a 500 lb anchor around the a’s org neck that they’re carry around not knowing when they can get rid of it.

    -meanwhile sf has a new park, one of the best in sports. just won a ws, have a well oiled machine both on and off the field. they love the fact the a’s are toiling around having no future as of now since they won’t let go of the sj tr knowing if the a’s could move down there they’d be close to equal footing off the field with corporate sponsors so they’re trying their hardest to not only stop the a’s from moving there but secretly want the a’s out of the bay area so they can have the bay area to themselves. i still remember back in 08 when everybody knew how bad sf was gonna be and some thought that this was the time for the a’s franchise to win some fans over but alas that never happened and just 3 years later here we are with sf dominating the area with a new ws title and the a’s are stuck in baseball purgatory.

    -a’s fans expect the team not to win which is horrible. after 7 years of .500+ ball which was a record or close to the record of winning consecutively season after season since they moved to oak, the a’s have fielded mediocre and boring teams with a manager who none imo wanted the team to hire who a’s fans point to the blah type feeling they get with the org as a whole the past 3-4 years especially.

    -a’s can’t sign/develop hitters. their health issues are killing any type of momentum they could have. there isn’t really an excitement for the team/franchise either on or off the field.

    -and we have selig who doesn’t have the balls to make a decision.

    you couldn’t have scripted worse scenarios for the a’s franchise in the past decade especially the last past half decade in regards to keeping or building up the fanbase that showed some signs in the early 2000s with those great a’s team.

  4. Yeah. The lunch was pretty tame and we agreed about a whole lot of stuff. Actually, I don’t remember anything we disagreed about. Doug is a good guy.

  5. when Wolff bought the team, he said in regards to a stadium that the worst decision was none at all. It seems that Mr Wolff has changed his mind about that. His decision to only pursue San Jose is holding this franchise back because he will not even bother to meet with Oakland officials right now. Why can’t he just sit down with Jean Quan and talk it out with her. Why does he have to donatel significant amounts of money to mayorial candidates that don’t care if the A’s leave Oakland? Lew Wolff IS the problem here.

  6. Jesse, question for you… If Lew Wolff talked to Jean Quan, what would you expect to come out of that?

  7. i don’t think Jesse read the rant…

  8. @Jeffrey- as I recall you posted in the past that oakland leaders actually preferred this indecision scenario (believe you called it stalling) and admitted, either directly or indirectly, that this was their strategy in the hope that LW became frustrated and sold the team…..looking at the ticker we are at day 168 of an DRAFT EIR—or nearly 6 months–with no timeframe issued etc—-seems to me that boxer is playing stupid to you when in reality his/oakland’s strategy hasn’t changed–delay, delay, delay….

  9. GoA’s, I can confirm Boxer wasn’t playing stupid.

  10. Jeffrey – awesome post. You put into words exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. It really comes down to Selig not caring enough about this franchise to actually do some work and make a decision. There’s no way he would let certain other franchises twist in the wind like this. The result is a perfect opportunity for the Giants and they have hit it out of the park. The Bay Area is far more solidly behind the Giants than I have ever seen before in my 40+ years of living here. I don’t know if the A’s can ever get back to equal footing as far as general fan support is concerned. I hardly feel like a fan of a local team anymore. I almost feel like an outsider, a fan of some “other” team in enemy territory and that sucks. And I lay all of that squarely at the feet of one Bud Selig. He must go.

  11. @dude – winning can change a lot. There are a lot of “fair weather” fans in the Bay Area. When we get back to winning, i’m sure we will have plenty of fans at the park. Selig said he’s walking away in December of 2012.

  12. @David- Selig has more recently said that he is staying on…at his wife’s urging….

  13. @David–“Selig said he’s walking away in December of 2012.”
    Can’t come soon enough.

  14. David – I hope you’re right on both counts. Even so, that means another 18 months of Selig ineptitude. The situation can get a lot worse in that amount of time.

  15. Selig’s salary’ is over $18 mill a year. Barry Zito’s a better value right now.

  16. It is safe to assume that some portion fo the Giants current fan base is entirely about being around a cool thing. That will fade as the team’s fortunes eventually fade. Need proof… look at 1990 in Oakland.
    .
    What I worry about is the kids who were born in the last 15 years. There is a generation of kids who grew up where the Giants had the coolest park in the world and the A’s had, well, a meh kinda of place. Diehard fans like me, we raise our babies ot be A’s fans. But, a generation of fans has come that are predisposed to being Giants fans.

  17. Jeffrey,
    Respectfully, a vote only needs to happen in SJ if tax dollars go towards actual construction costs of the ballpark.
    The way its possibly framed right now (land lease or sale to A’s), no vote will be technically necessary.
    Nice post by the way. Will RM and yourself be having a similar lunch with an SJ supporter and their take on the indecision?

  18. Tony D, I like to eat. I will break bread with just about anyone.

  19. The phone works both ways. Oakland can easily pick up the phone and call Lew Wolff if they do so please. They do not because they have bigger issues and in reality know a ballpark is not realistic.

    Oakland and Alameda County are praying for a new owner to come in and pay for it himself…Bottom line.

    Bob Geren needs to be fired ASAP. No reason why he should still be manager. I know the A’s have had injuries over the past few years but the team does not respond to him at all. Brian Fuentes is a newcomer and questioned Geren from the get go.

    In the end the bad relationship with Oakland/Alameda County and the A’s is why nothing will ever get done in the Big O……Without a good public-private partnership nothing gets done hence why the A’s will be the last MLB sharing a stadium with an NFL team next year….

  20. Jeffrey – Well said on all accounts! Whether you’re a Oakland or SJ support, there’s one thing we can all agree upon….Selig sucks arse…

  21. @ST–“Selig sucks arse…”
    For the first time ever, I agree with you on something!

    OT, but another lackluster performance by our A’s. 4-0 loss to the O’s. Our A’s get all F’s this last week and a D so far for the season.Geren’s gotta go, but Billy and Lew love him so much, he’ll probably be around the rest of the season.

  22. Hey, there’s a Fire Bob Geren FB page with 910 likes..lol. I may join to make it 911, to mean “HELP this sad ass team.”

  23. I joined the Fire Geren Now group. I’m almost hoping for the losing streak to continue, at some point Beane has no choice, like Baltimore that one year had to fire Cal Ripkin Sr. even though his son was the star of the team.

  24. Re: “Selig said he’s walking away in December of 2012.”
    I think he means he is going to set up a blue ribbon committee to study the idea of stepping down in December of 2012. Thus we can expect him to be around until the late 20’s, at least.

  25. ugh… Brett Anderson, why do you have throw sliders 50% of the time?

  26. I wish we could get a hold of Selig and tattoo this post to his neck.

  27. Selig is doing is what he always does – hiding under a rock and making himself completely unavailable for questions. You can’t even email the guy.

  28. Indecision?

    A “decision” was made years ago on the matter of a stadium in Oakland. That’s why the ‘Dolich Group” was rejected by MLB despite adequate finances; the group planned to keep the team in Oakland in perpetuity.

    Right or wrong, don’t forget what LW said about the A’s and a new stadium long before he acquired a small (reportedly) stake in the A’s; that the only city he would focus on would be San Jose (again, this is a reported comment); don’t know its veracity).

    Does anyone really think in all seriousness that a “decison” hasn’t already been made to move the team in San Jose?

    That’s been the plan from ‘Day One” of the LW/Fisher ownership group – in my opinion.

    The ONLY thing stalling this is the economy. Bud Selig has called having the A’s in Oakland a “mistake.” (again, reportedly).

    Indecision?

    Hardly.

    A’s Observer.

    • A’s observer wrote:

      Does anyone really think in all seriousness that a “decison” hasn’t already been made to move the team in San Jose?

      Judging from our discussion, Doug Boxer is one of those people. You should call him and tell him the bad news.

  29. Hey, A’s Observer… Thanks for adding to the irrelevancy.

  30. Dolich? The guy who wants to keep the A’s and Raiders in the same stadium forever? A complete, total non-starter…It’s obvious the so-called Blue Ribbon Committee is having extreme difficulty finding a place for the A’s in Oakland – hence 2+ years of hearing nothing from the panel. And why the panel obviously has been looking at San Jose, even though it was commissioned to look at sites within the A’s territory. Why even bother looking at San Jose if Oakland is still workable?

  31. Marine Layer:

    I think you may have misunderstood.

    My point was/is very simply that the current ownership group in all likelihood wanted to move the team to San Jose in the first place.

    I think – all the hyperbole aside – you would probably concur with that. (You know the history as well as anyone).

    Regarding Doug Boxer: I and thousands of A’s fans are very grateful for his efforts to keep the A’s in Oakland.

    He has great vision and a passion for the team; he recognizes the team’s importance to the community, and the region’s economy. He also knows that Oakland and the East Bay is a special place (all kidding aside).

    I didn’t state anything about the Blue Ribbon Committee.

    By the way, I would also say the same things about Andy Dolich who – by all accounts – is a class act.

    A’s observer.

  32. @bc–yeah, maybe another 7 or 8 straight losses may get BB to act on a new skipper, but I want to salvage the season in this rather weak divison that’s up for grabs. DO IT NOW, BB!!!!

  33. “The ONLY thing stalling this is the economy. Bud Selig has called having the A’s in Oakland a ‘mistake.’ (again, reportedly).”
    .
    Bud has suggested that it was a major mistake for the American League in 1967 to allow the A’s to move into the BAY AREA without considering the impact on the Giants (the AL and NL were separate organizations back then, so the Giants territorial rights only prevented another NL team from moving to the area). He cites that move as an example of how the two major leagues historically failed to work together effectively, but instead treated each other as business rivals. Hence the need for the merger of the two former leagues into the single league called “Major League Baseball,” which Bud brought about in the mid 1990s.
    .
    That historical opinion does not have anything to do with what Bud may or may not think about the merits of Oakland vs. San Jose. The A’s are here now, and Bud has never suggested that they need to move off to Portland or Charlotte or someplace else, which wouldn’t make a lot of sense from a business perspective.
    .
    I have no idea how Oakland can put together a financing plan for a ballpark and am somewhat skeptical. But MLB is clearly giving Oakland every chance to do so. If Bud had his mind made up on San Jose, there’s absolutely no reason to delay indefinitely or put the issue in limbo like this. All things being equal, the status quo is the easier path for MLB to take, so IF Oakland or Alameda County actually managed to come up with a solid ballpark financing plan in the reasonably near future I have no doubt Bud would jump at it and SJ would be out of luck.
    .
    But that’s a HUGE “If”.

  34. To refresh my memory on Cal Rip Sr. and that horrible 1988 year, He managed the 1987 season at a 67-95 record. Started the 1988 with 6 straight losses, including a 12-0 and 12-1 losses. They canned him after those 6 losses and put in Frank Robinson who added another 15 losses for a total of 21 straight, a MLB record. Frank finished the season at 54-107. He did manage the next year and they improved to 87-75 . He did go one more season and part of another before getting the boot too.

  35. @Simon-Oakland and Alamedy County have had years to come up with a plan. The ball has been in their court for years but they did nothing except plunge into debt by bringing the Raiders back.

    In the end, there is NO relationship between the A’s and City/County period. Quite frankly I do not blame the A’s for not wanting to deal with Oakland/Alameda County as they have proven they “cannot be trusted”.

    It is San Jose or bust for the A’s, Oakland/Alameda had their chance for years to get something done. They put in $$ to save the Warriors from going to San Jose and brining the Raiders back but “backstabbed” the A’s on numerous occassions.

    Why work with someone when you know you cannot “trust” them?? That is the reason why the A’s will move to San Jose eventually. San Jose despite having no indications from MLB have moved forward and are continuing to do so.

    Where is Oakland and their rough draft EIR??? Lagging as usual and always…

  36. I’m pretty close to the point where I just don’t give a damn anymore. Thanks Bud.

  37. re: I’m pretty close to the point where I just don’t give a damn anymore. Thanks Bud.

    …anger moving to apathy. The logical next step. Selig and MLB know how to make ex-baseball fans, by looking the other way on steroids, allowing Big $$ teams to poach the best players from small market teams and refusing to do anything on issues like the A’s ballpark because it’s so much easier to just do nothing and you still get to collect your $18 mill salary.

  38. re: I have no idea how Oakland can put together a financing plan for a ballpark

    …if Oakland had a plan other than to get either some charitable billionaires or MLB to pay for the ballpark, we’d have heard about it by now.

  39. “It is San Jose or bust for the A’s, Oakland/Alameda had their chance for years to get something done. ”
    .
    Sid, I understand that’s the way you think it should be, and that’s definitely the way Lew Wolff thinks it should be. I honestly don’t have strong feelings about either location. But the real decision-maker here is Bud Selig. Bud still has his minions kicking the tires in Oakland, and he has had San Jose’s deal on the table for a couple of years now without ever giving the slightest suggestion in public that he wants to take it.
    .
    This is not MLB’s first rodeo when it comes to ballpark-building. They always look for maximum leverage to get the best deal possible, and they’re not afraid to the let the process drag on for eternity if that helps. They do not make emotional decisions, either. The ineptitude of past Oakland administration will not be held against the current one if MLB thinks there is any chance Oakland can deliver now.
    .
    In one sense this is Oakland’s game to lose right now, because with a credible stadium plan on the table in the East Bay MLB will not open up the T-Rights issue with the Giants. I know that’s upsetting to many SJ backers, but it is the basic business reality. Even with every Silicon Valley company signing sponsorship pledges, the value to MLB of a privately financed South Bay ballpark can not outweigh the major headaches that would be caused by the adjusting the territorial rights and making the Giants happy in the process (which, whether you like it or not, will be non-negotiable requirement for Bud Selig).
    .
    That said, obviously there is nothing close to a credible stadium plan on the table in the East Bay and no sign of one coming in the near future. So the South Bay option is very much alive and anybody who thinks one side or the other has this in the bag is just kidding themselves.

    • @simon94022 – Well said.

      • @simon94022 – Well said.

        I also agree that was a good post by Simon. However, I only agree with your last paragraph. Again (how many times have I stated this RM over the last 6+ years), the Giants territorial rights to the South Bay are not, I repeat…ARE NOT, sacrosanct! They can be changed/altered when it is in the best interest of baseball to do so; such as they were altered in 1992. The best interest of baseball dictates a healthy financial future for the A’s (and MLB by extension), even if it means the Giants “loosing” a handful of average fans, minimal corporate sponsorships from the South Bay. So all things being equal (which they’re not as you imply), I still say San Jose offers the A’s and MLB the best financial future. Now, if we could just get those final land deals done…

  40. @Simon–agree that bs (or maybe really bn–bill neukom) have significant influence but ultimately the ownership group will choose where to build a ballpark based upon what bs/bn decide—no one, not even bs, can force an owner to invest $500M in an area that he doesn’t believe is a good biz decision

  41. …Mayor Quan has said the city has been in contact with MLB. Would love to have heard Bud’s response when somebody from the Oakland side had to have asked MLB to build the ballpark with its own money. MLB is the same people that held out for full public funding in Washington DC. It’ll get none in Oakland – or San Jose, for that matter.

  42. Thanks, ML, and thanks for this maintaining this amazingly informative site. I can’t imagine the amount of work you have put into this issue.
    .
    “the Giants territorial rights to the South Bay are not, I repeat…ARE NOT, sacrosanct! They can be changed/altered when it is in the best interest of baseball to do so; such as they were altered in 1992.”
    .
    @Tony D. — The territorial rights can be changed, but it isn’t a step that would be taken lightly at all by MLB. All that happened in 1992 was that an unclaimed territory (San Jose) was given to the Giants, without objection from the A’s (who were thrilled by the idea of the Giants south, which would have left no team called “San Francisco” and thus put the A’s on equal footing in Northern California). But what happened in 1992 was under a different regime. The league merger created a new governing agreement for MLB, spelling out exactly what territories belong to each franchise. T-rights can be changed only by amendment, not unilaterally by the Commissioner under the “best interests of baseball” clause. And there is no precedent for taking any part of team’s territory away.
    .
    But apart from legal issues, the reality is that Bud believes MLB should be a partnership where everyone is kept happy to the greatest possible extent. There is literally ZERO chance that he would just ram something like loss of the South Bay rights down the Giants’ throats. A key part of any A’s-to-San Jose deal will be making the Giants happy. Neukom probably won’t attend the press conference with the Mayor and Lew Wolff, but you can be sure he’ll be spouting off about how great it is for the Bay Area and for baseball and for the Giants and for the A’s. He won’t be saying those things through gritted teeth, either, because just like Peter Angelos he will have gotten something valuable out of the transaction.
    .
    I don’t pretend to know what that something is, of course. The powers that be probably don’t know, either, which is a big part of a why San Jose has not been green lighted by MLB. But Bud isn’t interested in an end result that just makes the A’s financially stronger while ticking off the Giants or weakening them in the long run. That’s not how he operates.

  43. Well Simon, let’s just agree to disagree. You can’t change history, and history dictates that the only reason the Giants have the South Bay as “their” territory is because they were going to relocate to San Jose. It doesn’t matter what’s happened since 1992. If the A’s were trying to relocate to San Jose from, say, San Jose Costa Rica, then much of you’re argument would make sense. But we’re only talking about a move within the same metro area. The powers that be in MLB aren’t dumb; I’m sure they can read a map of where San Jose in comparison to SF/OAK. No one, not even San Jose, will get the green light from MLB until the land acquisitions and infrastructure improvements for an A’s ballpark are 100% complete (or approved). When this happens, a “decision” from MLB will be made, and the Giants will be made “happy” (whether they like it or not). In closing; the MLB universe does not revolve around one team (especially one that won the 2010 WS and is making money hand over fist!). That is all.

  44. Yes, an A’s move to SJ would be considered a move “within the same metro area”. Hopefully this means we hear no more South Bay supporters crowing that San Jose is big, bad, and rich enough to be considered “separate” from the SF Bay Area…..caught ya!

    • Yes, an A’s move to SJ would be considered a move “within the same metro area”.Hopefully this means we hear no more South Bay supporters crowing that San Jose is big, bad, and rich enough to be considered “separate” from the SF Bay Area…..caught ya!

      You’re so funny Rob! As an SJ supporter, I’ve never stated that SJ/SV was “separate” from the rest of the Bay Area. Some SJ partisans may have, and like yourself, they are more than entitled to their opinion. On the other hand, the “same metro” is one big place. The “big, bad and rich” of SJ/SV are on record as supporting an A’s ballpark in their own backyard (SVLG letter to Bud Selig anyone?). Would they support an A’s ballpark over 35 miles to the north? (cue the sound of crickets)

  45. And no Rob, you can’t say “well, those SV/SJ company’s support the Giants over 40 miles to the north” because the Giants corporate support from SV/SJ is way overblown by the Giants blowhard ownership. Over 75% of SV corporations not doing any business with the SF Giants anyone? (SVLG poll)

  46. @Jeffrey, if Wolff were to meet with Quan I would expect him to show the same binder to her that he was able to show to ML. Why cant he explain to her WHY he can’t get a stadium deal done in Oakland. Quan is a smart capable woman, if she agrees with him, why wouldn’t she call Bud Selig or MLB and say nevermind. Let em go. OR, she could persuade Mr. Wolff that his binder doesn’t have all the answers. Why are we blaming Bud Selig for a problem created by Lew Wolff.

    • Damn Jesse, that’s just about the most naive thing I’ve ever seen written by a regular commenter. Neither party wants to work with the other. They want to succeed in spite of each other.

  47. Jesse, because Lew Wolff made a decision. As everyone points out on both sides of the argument, Lew made his choice. Bud Selig, 2 years ago, took ownership of the decision. That is where we are. The path forward requires Bud to do something.

  48. @simon94022 Assuming all you say is true, that just tells me the park will ultimately be built in Pacific Commons. No T-rights issue, no parcel to assemble, Wolff/Fisher gets productive use out of a substantial asset they already own, and they get access to the Silicon Valley corporate market. Not as good as in downtown San Jose, but on the other hand the Giants wouldn’t get a nickel in compensation.
    Anyone who thinks just because negotiations with the big box stores stalled on the first go round they are dead forever. I’ve been in enough high-stakes business negotiations to know if the will is there, something will get done, and the issues which supposedly cratered the negotiations seem far from unsolvable to me. Hell, at the end of the day, the A’s could probably just buy out two underperforming big box stores outright for less than they might have to pay the Giants for T-rights.
    The fact that some posters on this site hate the idea of a suburban ballpark will not factor into it whatsoever.
    As Lew Wolff has said, MLB can tell him where not to build, but cannot tell him where to build. Anyone that sentence doesn’t clue in to what the fall back plan is is not paying close enough attention. In the end, economics will out. If San Jose is out, Fremont is the only feasible place that meets the economic objective.

  49. Second paragraph, first sentence should end “…is kidding themselves.”

  50. @georob The simple answer to your premise is for some purposes it is, and for some purposes it is not. For purposes of watching a game on TV or allowing a hard core fan to go to an occasional game, it is. For purposes of getting a high paid exec or VC to bring a client to a ballgame, it is not.

  51. I think a suburban ballpark would be wonderful. The trend over the last 2 decades has been downtown ballparks/arenas/stadiums. However, I’ve always liked more suburban locations. They have more space, more parking, and are generally more accessible (and they can be built near light rail / bart / train lines). The infrastructure for suburban locations is easier as well.

  52. bruce on 1050 early in his show took a call from a sj resident who was a sfg fan who said he’d want the a’s to move to sj. bruce then said he doesn’t think it’ll happen because of the “info” he’s gotten from those within the sfg org saying that the current ownership wouldn’t have bought the team if they knew the sj tr issue would be overturned.

    also that the a’s franchise value being maybe less than half or even more of what the sf is worth would sway mlb to choose sfg over the a’s when it dealt with the tr issue.

    i don’t buy that. but like this post was mentioned, the a’s are screwed without a new stadium both on and off the field and the longer this indecision continues, the a’s are becoming even more irrelevant each passing day, week, month, season.

  53. bruce also keeps mentioning that mt davis should be blown up and they should basically do what the laa did when they knocked down that of structure they had when the rams played there.

    said it’d be good both for the a’s and raiders although think it was more jokinly with the raiders saying that the seats in mt davis are the reason why the place isn’t sold out.

    don’t ever see that happening. even the original stadium bowl for the coliseum is sub par. not to mention that doesn’t change the fact that the seats are still far away. brought up maybe a week or two ago possibly putting a temp fences down the line of the field to cut down the foul territory.

    in the end, a new park is the only way to go for the a’s. don’t think the colisem any part of it is salvagable for either baseball or football.

  54. “the current ownership wouldn’t have bought the team if they knew the sj tr issue would be overturned”
    This is an entirely different statement than “current ownership wouldnt have bought the team unless they knew for certain the sj t-rights would not be overturned.” As stated, so what? When one buys a business, there are no inherent guarantees that adverse events will not occur in the future affecting that business.
    And if the latter statement was intended, I’d say “if overturning T-rights was a non-starter, why even have the BRC study the issue?” It would have made the whole thing easier just to say no in the first place. Then, the Fremont ballpark could’ve been mostly built by now.

  55. @letsgoas–so if sj is out and oakland can’t afford to build a park, and no one is going to build a privately financed one in oakland than where does that leave us–in the coli for many years to come until something changes? I doubt it….the consequences for MLB of not acting at some point in time are just too great–assembling plots of land is no easy task in todays world—to walk away from it would be simply amazing…

  56. @GoA’s “where does that leave us–in the coli for many years to come until something changes?”
    It leaves us in Fremont.

  57. @bartleby– I agree–but it will take a recovery of the housing market before that project can take off….so in the meantime we are left at the coli…

  58. @ GoA’s From Fremont the A’s can access most of the same revenue streams as in San Jose (e.g. Cisco naming rights plus Silicon Valley premium seat customers and sponsors). So, although ancillary development was the original intended financing mechanism in Fremont, I don’t think the project’s viability depends on it. They could borrow from the same sources they would in San Jose and pay the loan with (most of) the same revenue streams they would have in San Jose.
    Later, if and when the real estate market recovers, the ancillary development becomes a windfall. That upside is another reason I think it’s a no-brainer the park will be built at Pacific Commons if San Jose fails.

  59. Build a f”king stadium for the 49’ers and the Raiders somewhere (S. Clara) and revamp the coliseum, which has 10,000 or more parking spaces and is right next to public transportation. Forget VC, Diridon, Fremont, or anything else. Get rid of that eyesore Mt. Davis. The damn land is already there and ready to go. The surrounding area can be redeveloped to include the f’king bars/restaurants/hotels that everyone keeps harping on. It’s not like there are crips & bloods roaming the coliseum area. My wife’s mother works 3 blocks from the coli and eats lunch on Hegenberger and, other than the occasional homeless person, she said all is o.k. The coli, with the right changes, can be an absolutely great park, IMO. Turn it into a baseball-only facility with only the most modern amenities and kick Al to the curb to follow the 9’ers to a kick-ass stadium in S. Clara Valley that is super bowl worthy. We would have baseball and basketball only at the “Coliseum Complex,” a.k.a. Oracle Park and there would be a ginormous football-only stadium in SC County. Everyone’s happy. PS. sorry for the language if I offended anyone. I’ve had a few beers.

  60. And a couple of shots of my friend Jack.

  61. New Honey Jack? Cause I likes that stuff

  62. No, I’m feeling cheap tonight. Just the standard old Jack. A’s lost again and I just exploded a volcano I built for my son and it was awesome. Mentos and soda baby.

  63. We need a freakin’ tailgate. As long as we can keep it civil… June 19th. Who is in?

  64. And… Damon Bruce is a pompous windbag. He knows jack crap.

  65. I’m in, although Saturdays are better for me. I will bring my 5-year old who will keep me in line!!! j.k.

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