Who’s staying where?

If you tend to read things too quickly, especially headlines, you could be forgiven for misinterpreting one or more of the following headlines I gathered for the Google:

See, I read the headline from the Stiglich “…Beane says he expects team to remain in Oakland”. Everything we’re hearing is still so fuzzy and noisy, perhaps all headlines require a double take.

Again, there isn’t any legitimately new news, only a shift in tone that we’re detecting. In Slusser’s piece, Beane walks back the moving talk slightly:

“Over the course of the 2 1/2 years we’ve been told it,” Beane said. “So this time, I’m going to believe it.”

The difference between now and the previous 2 1/2 years is that Beane hasn’t spoken out about the decision much, only to say that the A’s need a new ballpark.

Lest you think the organization only hires company men, there is this quote from Bob Melvin (via the AP piece):

“Lew won’t want to hear this, I kind of like the place,” Melvin said. “I grew up here, I went to concerts, it’s well-documented. I know that it’s outdated and we need a new place.”

Then again, if Melvin is still A’s manager come 2015 in a San Jose ballpark, you can expect him to praise the new venue profusely (without dumping on the Coli too much).

43 thoughts on “Who’s staying where?

  1. I kind of like the place too, Bob.
    Hiring Melvin is one of the better things BB has done lately.

  2. I love the coliseum! Many a great memory there, both A’s and RAIDERS! then again, I also loved my dads old 64 Chevy Impala SS. Some things just need to come to an end, and even Melvin recognizes that. A’s and Giants still abiding by gag order from Selig; can only be a good thing. Off to Da Islands..Aloha!

  3. Man, talk about an over all bummer year for Oakland fans and for A’s fans. it’s always kind of sad when the season’s over and especially when your team sucks, but this year has just really been bleh. On and off the field.
    Oh well. Now let me go and vote for Bill King some more…

  4. …if the A’s can’t go to San Jose, I hope MLB has a workable plan to keep the team in Oakland (even if nothing appears feasible in that direction at the moment). Because the alternatives to SJ or Oakland are pretty ugly for A’s fans…FWIW, I fear NIMBY uprisings in both places, with a few neighbors doing what happened in Fremont – gumming up and eventually shutting down the whole process. I bet a citywide vote on the A’s in Fremont would have passed. We’ll never know.

  5. @pjk- I have several friends from the Fremont area and a city wide vote would have been a moot point.

    The Pacific Commons site would have be done with no vote. The Warm Springs site was done in by NIMBYs and lawsuits regardless of a vote would have held up the A’s for years.

    In Downtown SJ, it is a big city with a good location….different story.

    I do not have faith in Selig to do the right thing….I never will.

    He is a coward and why would 2.5 years change that? In fact people become more conservative as time goes one.

    I truly believe in Selig’s eyes moving the A’s to San Jose or San Antonio is the “same difference”.

  6. Good for Melvin. Also, crister has the right idea. If one positive can come from this season, hopefully it’s Bill King getting into the Hall of Fame.

  7. If Beane keeps repeating it after years of silence that has to bode well for this thing just being over San Jose or no San Jose. Just give us the damn answer Bud!

  8. I like the quip from Melvin.
    Days on the Green in the 70’s were legendary!! Plus the coliseum being the home of the A’s all these years makes me very fond of this place also. If Mt. Davis had not been built, I would be all in for a complete renovation like the Angels did with their stadium. Of course that’s not the case.
    I’ve been wondering and I am sure this has been covered here before…Would MLB ever be willing to partially fund or help finance a stadium for the A’s in Oakland, the way that the NFL has a stadium fund and has helped out some ot it’s teams.in the past? I’m not saying I believe this, but if MLB did not want the team in SJ AT ALL. for what ever reason, they could try to encourage a new stadium in Oakland with a sizeable payment. Of course that hasn’t happened. It keeps going back to… Does Selig want the A’s in San Jose or not? That’s the question ,we still do not know the answer to.

  9. @ML – You may or may not allow this post. We shall see. Just know that I’m not attempting to instill controversy or anything resembling that. I’m just curious about something. The vibe (for lack of a better word) that I’ve been getting for weeks now is that some people on this blog actually know the outcome of this whole thing. Not from speculation, logic, or blind guesswork. They know for certain what the result is. If that’s true then one might conclude that someone has a direct line to someone like LW, or Beane, or Crowley. My question is regarding a gag-order that Tony D so eloquently brought up on this thread. However unlikely this may be, would not a gag-order be violated by revealing inside information to those outside the “inner circle,” i.e. those who are entrusted to keep this information secret until it is publicly revealed. Again, I’m not making accusations. Two things are just down right odd to me. One is that Sid, one of the most ardent SJ supporters for as long as I’ve been reading this blog has all of a sudden turned into a pessimist (especially in recent days). The other thing is that I’m seeing comment after comment to the pro-Oak crowd that sounds an awful lot like “don’t break your pick on this one.” Hey, I’m probably delusional just like all Oakland people but I just thought I’d ask. Please don’t think I’m being passive-aggressive or sarcastic, etc.

  10. I could easily be mistaking this for sheer optimism and confidence, which is probably what it is.

  11. Tittle mentioned on the Chris Townsend show tonight–for people such as me who didn’t know it yet not surprised–that Quan and Wolff met recently. She brought up the Coliseum site and Victory Court to discussion, with no success. It sounds as if he subtly flipped her the bird. For as long as SJ is an option, she probably has no other reason to try to meet with him. If this is why Oakland is stalling the EIR, I don’t know. If the EIR is still in progress, that would be smart of Oakland in case MLB tells SJ “no”.

  12. @Columbo – I don’t know any real inside information. Like I said, all I’ve heard is noise, stuff that isn’t rock solid. I don’t have constant communication with anyone within A’s ownership. I’m the last person they should trust with such info, as it’s my job to pass that on to you.

    @DavidL – I heard Tittle’s story. Here’s the problem with what he said: How could Quan give the entire Coliseum complex to Wolff when she’s already given it to the Raiders? They’re actually spending money on the Raiders. That’s a false option. Victory Court is another story, and the two parties probably didn’t convince each other of anything, which is why you haven’t heard anything about the meeting released to the media. If there was, there’d at least be a press release.

  13. @ML – Thanks. I totally trust and believe in your response. Thanks.

  14. Columbo, you can sort of see there’s a lot of conflicting parts here: the gag-order mention is found in the AP’s account of the press conference but in that very presser, Beane spoke about a decision coming soon, that “this time” he believes it or that “they” informed him. That’s not forgetting the fact that Wolff just publicly debated the issue during the Angels series.

    ML, there is no way that meeting took place recently unless, as you stated, the offer was hollow. I suspect if there really was an affront made to Quan by Wolff, she would have gone public about it. Of course, with her current issues, she might just try to use the stadium issue as a wedge.

  15. Thanks, ML. I was surprised when I heard the Coliseum mentioned w/Quan’s name attached, and figured that it couldn’t be the case. I don’t like that CC At-Large Rebecca Kaplan keeps thinking the Coliseum site is an option for the A’s over VC, when MLB would never approve it even if SJ failed and room allowed for a baseball stadium. In the meantime, all we can do is keep waiting, whether we are pro-Oakland or pro-SJ.

  16. @Genaro – The meeting took place. It happened after Wolff and I finished our breakfast interview. As noted then, Wolff said that he’d tell her the same things he told me: they’ve reviewed Oakland thoroughly and it’s near impossible to get anything built there in this economic and political climate. As someone told me over the phone today, anything that comes out of that is spin.

  17. Oh wow, thanks for that confirmation. If there’s some half-truths to what Tittle was saying, perhaps Wolff was mentioning to Quan that they are going? I don’t understand why the discussion hasn’t permeated past the periphery.

  18. Is Billy Beane the son and the heir of a shyness that is criminally vulgar?

  19. Another year has ended and the A’s attendance did go up a bit from 17,435 to 18,232. But unfortunately that also puts them at the bottom of the major leagues in average attendance below both #29 Tampa (18,878) and #28 Florida (19,007). Total attendance the A’s was 1,476,792, also dead last 50,000 people behind Florida despite their playing one less game at home than the A’s.

  20. To Bob Melvin (I hope you read this Mr. Wolff):

    Thanks for thanking the Oakland fans. Classy move.

    Re: the Raiders/Coliseum: when did the City of Oakland “give” the Coliseum complex to the Raiders?

    To Marine Layer: don’t you talk regularly with Mr. Wolff? I’m kind of surprised you’re downplaying your connection. Quite a coup to get an in-person interview (he must trust you).

    A’s observer.

  21. I find it really hard to believe at this point, that the meetings between Quan and Wolff are anything more than both sides keeping a cordial relationship, while MLB decides how long to hold the A’s and SJ hostage over TR’s. Let’s face it. The A’s need a place to play in the meantime, and Oakland get’s nothing out of kicking the A’s out of town. Even if the city knows they’re leaving. Oakland will take whatever money it can get from the A’s until the first game at Cisco Park. God forbid the A’s move to San Jose, and keep a good relationship with the city of Oakland, it’s history, and it’s longtime fans. The Raiders, and Warriors are probably gone too, and even if the Raiders managed to stay, I doubt anything is getting built in the next 10 years. Much like Reed will never sue MLB over Antitrust, Quan/JPA won’t force the A’s to do squat(other than pay rent). How many times has the lease been renwed? Do you think Quan even cares? I’ts not like Oakland will have a chance at another franchise, but kicking the A’s out of town B4 a new stadium was built, out of spite, probably wouldn’t help matters. Just my opinion. I don’t have any inside info, but I have seen Lew Wolff at a game B4, and i was on an elevator with BB about 6 years ago.

  22. …the whole process lately, with Wolff talking about the ballpark issue on TV, Beane expecting a decision soon – for real this time – and the Giants being silent has me suspecting that MLB will soon make Santa Clara County a “shared territory.” Really, can MLB keep in a place forever a territory system where the A’s get 2 counties and the Giants 6?…Of course, I have no inside information and Selig could just as easily rule that “territories are sacred,” whereupon Oakland would be given a few months to work something out, which probably won’t happen because Oakland doesn’t want to help pay for the ballpark.

  23. It is different this time, compared to the last 2-1/2 years. Beane and Wolf are talking about it, and acting like a decision is coming soon. They also don’t seem too worried.

    And Beane has told agents of Willingham, Crisp, and Matsui that he is waiting for results of the stadium decision before negotiation of re-signing those players. This especially indicates that a decision is very soon. Beane would not sit on his hands in terms of roster moves for very long. That indicates that he knows he’s getting an answer soon, even that he’s been given a date for an announcement. If Beane had no hard date or indication of quick action, he would be going about his business as usual, and not be telling the agents of those players to “hold off for now”.

    Maybe I’m an optimist, or just biased, but I think it’s “Santa Clara County is shared territory”. It just makes too much sense. MLB has a vested interest to let the A’s become profitable, and they know the Giants will be just fine (as far as fans and corporations in the area, there are no territories).

    If not that, the decision will include some sort of concrete plan for a stadium elsewhere, including perhaps money from MLB coffers, or even money from the Giants (pay up if you want to keep your T-rights, since you didn’t pay for it in the first place). Who knows.

    Regardless, MLB has vested interest in not leaving the A’s crippled purgatory, and in letting them make the best for themselves. Why would MLB not want to make the A’s profitable, as opposed to a welfare recipient?

  24. @Ed – Based on the movie, I’d say no.

    @A’s observer – I don’t know how you get the idea that I talk to Wolff regularly. I’ve only talked to him during the last interview and the previous session two years ago. I don’t call or email him and vice-versa.

  25. @ jeff-athletic: your theory is definitely plausible given that Beane has recently indicated he would most likely tear down the roster if the move to SJ was approved. As others mentioned before, prior years this wouldn’t be the case and he would be going after internal FAs immediately. Something definitely is cooking….
    @ columbo: not trying to start anything, but i find it interesting that you continually incite some sort of perceived bias and question the integrity of other’s motives and information. yet, in the other thread, you stated that you were innocently soliciting our opinion and background into our enthusiasm and we responded accordingly, only to have you question it again in this thread (without responding in the other one). As i stated before, these circular arguments get old really fast (especially after years of deliberation).

  26. This quote from Billy Beane, I think, is very, very telling:

    “If you know you’re going to be building a new stadium in four years, it’s one thing that nobody’s shown better than what the Cleveland Indians did at the beginning of the ’90s, the key to having a successful opening is to have a great team,” Beane said. “If you’ve got a stadium in four years you probably would do everything you can to put yourself in position to have the best possible team, not just for one year but for a number of years going forward.”

    This could be a strong indicator that Beane knows what the decision is, that it’s SJ. And this means he’s not going to try to resign Willingham and Crisp, so he can collect the draft picks, so he can work on building for 2015. This, because Willingham and Crisp, in their early 30’s, probably would not be major options that far down the road, but extra draft picks would be. Matsui, however, will come on the cheap, since no one else likely wants him, and he’s be good to have around for influence on the young-uns.

    But really, Beane talking about this, and telling the agents to hold off, it could be a “tell”, even though he has a gag order.

  27. @anon – Re: not answering the last thread. Unfortunately, I am unable to find time to be on this site as much as I would like. Hence, there are times when I don’t even read this blog for days at a time. Trust me, it’s not because I didn’t want to provide a response. Re: the rest of your post — I’m not attempting to incite anything and I thought I made that clear. Maybe I didn’t and I apologize for that. I’m not clear how this particular argument, i.e. gag-order, is something that is part of the “getting old fast” group of arguments you speak of that have been debated for years. In this post I referred to a vibe I’ve been feeling regarding an impending a decision and simply outlined a couple of things that made me wonder if there are those who already know the outcome based on inside info. ML answered that for me and I accepted it.

  28. The first key date is the arb deadline. He’s got to offer arb to type A Willingham to get those two picks (including possibly a first-rounder, I see him as a fit for the Phillies who have often salivated over him. Crisp isn’t ranked, he won’t get tendered. But DeJesus is a type B. he would fetch a sandwich pick but he’s expensive and might accept given his poor season. Could go either way.

  29. @Jeff-Athletic- You are correct about the A’s being on welfare and MLB in general wanting them to be profitable. A move to San Jose would accomplish that except it makes more sense to move the team out the Bay Area profit wise.

    The Giants would then put less into revenue sharing because they would be “cut a break” for losing Santa Clara County by default.

    Although I do agree the Giants will not be hurt but they will cry that they will be and Selig will make concessions the way he did for Peter Angelos in Baltimore.

    Angelos did not even have hard T-rights to Washington DC but he still got control of their TV rights. Makes no sense and the league guaranteed franchise value and revenues.

    In the A’s case, TV is shared already so the Giants have to be cut a break some other way.

    Selig does NOT want to go down that road with the Giants because solid T-rights are in ‘his own mind” sacred.

    That plus if the A’s leave the Bay Area the Giants become a financial powerhouse like the Dodgers and Red Sox. In fact only the Yankees and Red Sox would be worth more with the A’s gone than the Giants.

    Giants right now are worth (forbes #s) 563M, good for 7th in the league. The A’s are 29th at 307M. The Giants value with the A’s gone in such a wealthy region would be 800M or so. Right where the Dodgers are.

    Their revenue sharing # would skyrocket from 30M-40M to 75M-100M and so would their payroll.

    This is the real issue Selig is having a hard time grasping.

    Let the A’s into San Jose, set a precedent, give the Giants a break? or move the A’s somewhere else, let the Giants become a rev share powerhouse?

    If they are let into San Jose it is because Selig has no where to move them to. A distinct possibility that I hope is the case.

    I just think in 929 days it would have become obvious long ago…..Unless Selig is really that dumb, which is another distinct possibility.

  30. @ Columbo – fair enough. I think no one, besides the BRS, Bud, and maybe Wolf really knows whats going on. May I ask why you aren’t asking the same questions on status for something much more readily achievable and accessible: the oakland government? To date, my attempts at contact Quan and any oakland government on eir status, financing plan, and the raiders preferential treament have gone on deaf ears. I think if pro-oaklanders start asking these questions first, it would be a great start to understanding the feasibility and in turn potentially a realistic plan for staying.
    @ sid – respectfully, i don’t share your pessimism. Its funny though, but the Giants to date have a $120 million dollar budget, yet in today’s Merc, it was cited that “it’s Sabean’s job to work within the budget, and given its limitations, “. I almost laughed out loud in the office on that one. I can see the Giants going back to around $100 million payroll, and the A’s increasing average payroll to around the $75-80 million area (provided they have the appropriate talent worth it that is). I think that you really have to look at the Nats as the model that Selig would like to mimic: depressed undervalued team to a continual contender with high valuation and good revenue generation.

  31. @sid

    Sounds good, from Selig’s perspective, making the the Giants into Red Sox/Yankees West, with having the the Bay Area to themselves.

    Okay, so where do you relocate the A’s, where they will be profitable? And where is there a shovel ready project, and where is there a white night investor to both purchase the A’s, and finance a ballpark? And where is there a city that has the corporate base, population base, buying power, and TV market of the Bay Area?

    San Antonio – decent sized city, with some corporate base, but, nope – it would be wash on what the A’s are at now.
    El Paso – hell no
    Portland – About the same as SA, only wetter, so, not quite
    Charlotte – Sorry, just not big enough
    Louisville – seriously? This is a small/mid sized city, just not big enough for MLB
    Sacramento – I like this option, as I live in the area. But nope. Sac may not even be big enough to support the NBA (which is a different economic model).

    And none have deep pocketed investor groups lined up ready to purchase the A’s. And none have anywhere near even the idea of a stadium project, either publicly financed or privately financed.

    I do see your reasoning, and why Selig/MLB would like that option. But then I would like the option of pulling a bag of a million dollars off the tree in my backyard.

  32. @ Anon – Good question. I don’t have a good answer other than my numerous attempts to contact those in charge have been futile. The optimist in me says it’s because they’re keeping things under wraps. The pessimist in me says they don’t have anything substantial to report. I don’t know how many other pro-Oak people have tried to obtain information but I can assure you I have attempted no less than a dozen times since VC was announced last year.

  33. And oh yeah, of all those other cities mentioned – San Antonio and Portland would be the best possible options, in terms of size, corporate base, etc. However, both would run into T-rights issues, or at the very least TV rights issues. The A’s in Portland would infringe on the Mariners TV rights. The A’s in San Antonio would violate both the Rangers and the Astros TV rights.

    So, a move elsewhere just seems a real long shot.

  34. @Jeff-Athletic- San Antonio or Portland would look great with a “free ballpark”.

    Another part of Selig of being against San Jose is that puts 2 privately financed ballparks in the same market. He wants public money to build stadiums so his teams do not add massive debt to their sheets.

    In San Jose, the A’s would be profitable even with debt service but in San Antonio or another city with a free ballpark they would not be getting 30-40M a year like right now.

    They would break even or get 5-10M or so while the Giants put it in 90M. With the A’s in SJ the Giants would be cut a “break”.

    Doing the math:
    San Jose + San Francisco= 50M in rev share (20 Giants, 30 A’s)
    San Antonio+ San Francisco = -10M+ 90M= 80M

    The league makes more $$ per year with the A’s gone. In San Jose 60M a year is still better than the 0 they get now via rev share but they can get more with A’s gone.

    That is why Selig states a 2-team Bay Area markets has always been “controversial”.

    My math only makes sense with a “free ballpark” somewhere else.

    • @Sid – I don’t think you understand how the revenue sharing model works. Teams only send a third of their local revenue in and receive back the league average third. For the Giants to jump from a $30M contribution to $90M would require a bump of $180M total, which is nigh impossible from what we know about how the G’s operate. Hell, that’s not even doable by the Yankees. The league has assuredly run the numbers on these scenarios and understands the true impact.

      I don’t expect the A’s to be a major revenue sharing payer simply because their future high overhead counts as a deduction. The important thing is that they boost overall league revenue, regardless of the various accounting tricks employed in the revenue sharing model. Same goes for the Rays.

  35. Sid,
    Do you listen to anything Wolff or Selig have to say about this situation? And why do you continue to think the entire Bay Area, MLB world revolves around the Giants? IT DOESN’T! This will be dealt with the best interest in baseball in mind, not just the Giants. (I know you’re a Giants fan Sid, but for the love of Pete!)

  36. @TonyD-the Giants didn’t want that more than qualified pro-Oakalnd group to buy the A’s back in 1999, and MLB made sure of that. They had a new park in the works and they wanted the A’s to continue languish under the cheapskate Schott ownership, even though it didn’t quite work out the way with the good team that was developing. Now the G’s want the same thing, for the A’s to languish under the another cheapie ownership at the crumbling Coliseum. LW should say screw em, let them have SCC, I’ll build our temple in the O and take on these bastards in our existing territory.

  37. @jk–curious–you feel LW should spend $500M of his own money to build in Oakland—-I know your a Raiders fan also—do you have the same expectation of Al Davis to spend $500M of his own money to build a new stadium for the Raiders in Oakland? Without that the Raiders will more than likely be gone also—

  38. @GoA’s–The NFL would help some for the Raiders in the O or SC. I know I’m dreaming, but if MLB would help the A’s for a park in the O, it would help the VC site big time.
    I’ll pick the As over the Raiders in staying in the O. The R’s left once before, and going to SC wouldn’t be too bad, if the city name is still intact. The no tailgating in SC would be a major bummer for the Nation though.

  39. @jk–keep in mind that the NFL isn’t giving money it is loaning money—that has to be paid back–for the Jets/Giants $300M they have 15 years to repay it–MLB has already supposedly offered a $150M loan to Oakland for VC–still need revenue streams to pay that back–

  40. So now it was the Giants who didn’t want the so -called “pro-Oakland group” to buy the A’s back in the late 90’s? A group that now had a stadium in the works for Oakland? Some of you would make great Republicans: throwing out lies, talking points without no sense of accountability whatsoever.

  41. And for the millionth time, THE GIANTS AREN’T IN CONTROL HERE! They never have been and never will be (no matter what crap comes out of Larry Baer’s mouth).

  42. TonyD–settle down bro, and please don’t compare me to the Republicans. I’m on your side with these guys. They repulse me to no end. I honestly believe the G’s have a lot of juice on this, back then and they still do now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s