Giants revisionist history

One thing that I don’t think can be argued is that over the last 15 years or so, at least since Peter Magowan took control of the Giants franchise, the Giants have had a better PR machine going than the A’s. When the A’s hired former Giants PR head Bob Rose, it was a tacit acknowledgement of that superior effort. The Giants’ needling of the A’s in their Wednesday press release was a great example of their skill.

Except they missed a few facts.

Here’s a chunk of the release:

The Giants territorial rights were not granted “subject to” moving to Santa Clara County. Indeed, the A’s fail to mention that MLB’s 1990 territorial rights designation has been explicitly re-affirmed by Major League Baseball on four separate occasions.

If you read that quickly, you might think it’s a simple, cut-and-dried scenario. In reality, the two sentences aren’t related at all. The Giants actually argued that Santa Clara County was not granted “subject to” a move. It wasn’t? Why was it granted, then? The Giants didn’t go into any explanation for what occurred (bullet points would’ve been helpful). The facts are these:

Bob Lurie asked Wally Haas for permission to take Santa Clara County in 1990. If the Giants feel that’s a myth and desire to dispel that myth, they should explain how they got Santa Clara County in 1990. As far as everyone knows, this is how it happened (via the Chronicle’s John Shea):

As Wally Haas [III] tells the story, the A’s were approached by Giants exec Corey Busch requesting exclusive rights to the area before the Giants’ proposed ballparks in Santa Clara and San Jose.

The A’s said OK, and the transfer became official when baseball owners granted approval.

That was it.

“We shared the territorial rights up to that point, the Giants and the A’s,” Haas said on the set of “Chronicle Live” on Thursday. “They asked if we would cede those rights to them so they could go through the referendum, and we felt that was fine.”

It takes some temerity to deny long-held history and not even provide an alternative. Quick chronology:

  • 1987 – San Francisco Proposition W fails at the ballot box. Bob Lurie throws the door open to building outside of San Francisco.
  • 1989 – Lurie works with San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos and Spectacor on a ballpark at China Basin (Proposition P). That effort fizzled in the wake of Loma Prieta.
  • 1990 – Lurie looks south to Santa Clara, where a ballpark could be built north of Great America. He asks Haas for permission and is granted county. The Santa Clara County (unincorporated)/San Jose/Mountain View/Los Altos/Milpitas/Santa Clara (city) utility tax goes down to defeat.
  • 1992 - Lurie turns his attention to San Jose, where Mayor Susan Hammer worked on a ballpark plan at 237/Zanker. The San Jose-only utility tax lost, and with it the hopes of having the Giants in the South Bay.
  • 1992 – Lurie comes to an agreement to sell the Giants to an investment group in St. Petersburg, where a domed stadium was built on spec.
  • 1993 – Walter Shorenstein and Larry Baer rally SF civic leaders in an effort to rescue the Giants. Peter Magowan, the head of Safeway, is brought in to be the managing partner. The price of the franchise is $95 or $100 million, depending on who you ask. The price is considered a discount in exchange for keeping the team in the Bay Area, as the Tampa Bay bid was higher. Magowan would go on to sign free agent Barry Bonds, and resign his Safeway post to focus full time on the Giants.
  • 1995 – Magowan and Baer craft another China Basin ballpark plan, partnering with Mayor Frank Jordan and later his successor, Willie Brown. In the meantime, Haas sells the A’s to Steve Schott and Ken Hofmann for $85 million, with some $10-15 million of incurred debt discounting the price as well as another “hometown discount” to keep the team local.
  • 1996 – Proposition B, the Giants’ privately financed stadium plan, wins by a landslide.

This goes back to a question I posed when the Bill Madden article came out last weekend. Read it carefully, look back at the chronology, and think about it.

If Bob Lurie had not gone after the South Bay, he wouldn’t have been granted the rights by Wally Haas. After Lurie struck out in SF for the last time and threatened to move to Tampa Bay, Magowan/Shorenstein swooped in to save the Giants. Would Magowan have asked for rights to the South Bay in 1993-96 in order to finance AT&T Park, knowing that he wasn’t actually going to build there but rather in downtown SF?

The Giants maintain that because territorial rights were confirmed with subsequent CBA/Constitution ratifications, Santa Clara County should remain theirs in perpetuity. The problem with that argument is that until recently, no other team has formally pushed for a move to Santa Clara County. Sure, Schott had talks with Santa Clara in 2001, but those went nowhere fast and no serious prep work (EIR, feasibility study) was done. What is there to defend if no one is asking? Now the A’s are challenging those rights, and both teams are getting a little hot under the collar.

Finally, the Giants argue that because of the way the Bay Area was gerrymandered, the Wolff/Fisher 2005 purchase price of $172 or $180 million (depending on who you ask) is not reflective of the A’s having control over Santa Clara County. There is no comparable recent Giants sale price to compare it to, so we have nothing to go on there. The Giants’ 2011 franchise value, $563 million, has multiple components including the value of their ballpark and media empire, neither of which the A’s have. That makes it difficult to isolate what the true value of Santa Clara County is, at least when it comes to locating a stadium there. The Giants have also added and swapped partners in the intervening years more than 70′s Marin County couples at a key party, which makes it even more difficult to understand the value of any specific component or any particular stake.

One comparison you can make is the purchase prices of the two teams when Magowan and Schott entered the fray. To reiterate, Magowan’s bid for the Giants was $100 million in 1993. Schott’s bid for the A’s was $85 million in 1995. If we adjust the 1993 figure for inflation and ignore the downturn caused by the 1994 strike, a 1995 valuation is $105 million, a $20 million difference between the Giants and A’s. That’s probably the best comparison to make because it’s pre-AT&T Park and pre-media empire. Adjust that $20 million gap for inflation and the result is $30 million, which is what Roger Noll has argued territorial rights to the South Bay are worth. To some that may seem low and not reflective of baseball’s impressive post-strike growth. At 5% compound interest, the 2012 value is $45 million. At 10% it’s $101 million.

In any case, there is a value associated with an A’s move to the South Bay. It’s been the Selig panel’s charge to determine that value and the feasibility of the move. Maybe the Giants would be irreparably harmed if the A’s went to San Jose. I don’t believe they would, but I don’t have the information available to appraise the situation properly. The teams are busy spitting out press releases and statements. What I want is real figures. I want the presentation that the panel made to the MLB Executive Committee two months ago. Without that, we’re left with an incomplete picture and a lot of spin. Knowing that’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever see that presentation, I realize that my request is futile. I’m still putting it out there, hoping that at some point, we’ll all be better educated about all of this.

.

P.S. – I’ve also written about the price of T-rights in these posts: The Payoff, The Neukom Doctrine, A Territorial Rights Primer

111 thoughts on “Giants revisionist history

  1. Thank you. Listening to Urban and Lund this morning made it sound like the Giants release was air tight and the A’s were just shooting from the hip.

  2. We been given a lot of meat to chomp on over the past week. If a decision is annouced prior to Opening Day, wouldn’t it be great if it were during the exihibtion Bay Bridge Series?

  3. It disgusts me how biased the TV and radio media in this region is toward the Giants. They take anything the Giants say as gospel. At least the print media is still a bit more balanced about it.

  4. I don’t think it takes a flying leap to make the assumption that if an organization ratifies the territories after a team stays in SF, that the original intent of those territories was not “subject to” them moving. You think MLB just forgot? Or does it have something more to do with the fact that a team was purchased in 93 with certain rights and territories built into the cost? As for what is fair market value for the territory, the owner will only sell at the price that it thinks its worth. Would you sell your house for what a buyer thinks its worth? Really?

    • @martin – As I wrote, it was part of the status quo. The Giants can infer whatever they want, that’s all it is, an inference. Also, this isn’t a free market. It’s baseball. The Giants don’t have the right to determine what T-rights are worth.

  5. Once again, ML proves why he is the best. When are you getting on some radio shows? This blog is where better information and discourse starts.

  6. @ Martin: If the buyer did their research and was right on the money with their offer, why wouldn’t I?

  7. Martin, how does what happens after the fact define the original intent? The original intent was for the Giants to move to Santa Clara. End of story.

  8. You Da Man R.M.! Question: why don’t your blog threads show up on “Google News” searches of this topic? A lot of folks out there are in dire need of schooling when it comes to this subject.
    Again, I go back to the compensation ideal of guaranteed franchise value. If (or when) Santa Clara County goes back to shared status, technically the Giants would still have territorial rights to the South Bay. If MLB locks in the Giants current value based on having SCCo. as their territory, or even inflates it as part of a compromise, then what exactly would be the Giants problem at that point?! Again, there’s a way to make this work out for everyone involved, and unlike others here I believe the deal will happen soon. It’s basically time to end all the going back in forth in the media and time for Selig to lock Giants/A’s ownership in an Arizona room. For the good of all of baseball, Giants included, make this happen!

  9. @ Martin Again, Giants’ ownership bought the teaming knowing that T-rights to SC County could be terminated at any time by vote of the other owners for ZERO compensation. If they paid a significant markup for those rights knowing that (and I don’t believe they did), they are idiots.
    .
    Termination for convenience clauses are routine in business contracts. If you were purchasing a business which is heavily dependent on a major revenue contract, the difference between having such a clause or not is huge. If you have a five year revenue agreement with no T for C clause, that’s five years guaranteed revenue. If you have a five year revenue agreement which can be terminated at any time on thirty days notice, that’s thirty days guaranteed revenue. The purchase price for the business will reflect this difference.
    .
    This is one of several reasons why the Giants’ arguments don’t hold water. The T-rights may have been enshrined in the MLB Constitution, albeit by mistake. But so are the provisions that say those rights can be terminated at any time without compensation.
    .
    Even considered in the light most favorable to the Giants, and even ignoring any earlier agreements/meeting minutes, there is no way the MLB Constitution can be construed as giving the Giants ironclad perpetual rights to SC County.

  10. On the value question… The seller doesn’t set the market value, the market does. If you wantto sell your house for $1M, but comps say it is worth $750k it is still worth $750k.
    .
    In this case, it isn’t really the right analogy anyway. The Giants aren’t selling a house and they don’t want to sell the territory. It isn’t theirs to sell… All territories are up to MLB, therefore it is MLB who sets the value.

  11. By the way R.M., how does franchise value based on defined territory play out in the other two-team markets? Imagine the Yankees and Mets fighting hard over Manhattan, or the Angels and Dodgers waging war over the Inland Empire…all in the name of franchise value?

  12. This also undercuts the argument about these supposed “ratifications” of the T-rights enshrining them in stone. Since an error like this could be corrected at any time, it took some of the urgency out of addressing it before it actually became relevant.

  13. I thought this site was impartial and all about reporting on finding a “newballpark”, for the A’s anywhere in the Bay Area?

    Question for the enlightened around here: Why did Lew Wolff vote in 2008 to confirm the Giants’ territorial rights in SJ? I read that their T-Rights have been ratified 4 times, the last time in 2008 (Wolff must have affirmed them at that vote).

    Carry on gentlemen!!

  14. Let me make a baseball analogy as to how termination rights factor into valuing supposed T rights. If you had a star player who made $10 million this year but only had two weeks left on his contract, how much do you think you’ll be able to get for him in trade?

  15. @David Arguably, because those rights were not relevant to what he was doing at that time, and he was aware they could be terminated at any time by MLB.

  16. @bartleby – Have to correct you on the compensation aspect. The ML Constitution doesn’t include the Major League Rules document, so it doesn’t include the more specific policies that MLB has in place. Doug Pappas looked into it years ago found this:

    Under Rule 1(c), either league can move into a territory belonging to a club in the other league, so long as (a) 3/4 of the affected league’s teams consent; (b) the two parks are at least five air miles apart unless the two clubs mutually agree otherwise; (c) the newcomer pays the existing club $100,000 plus half of any previous indemnification to invade the territory; and (d) the move leaves no more than two clubs in the territory. This provision dates to late 1960, when it was adopted to establish the terms for the expansion Los Angeles Angels to play in the territory claimed by the Dodgers in 1958.

    I think Horace Stoneham was compensated for Charlie Finley’s move to Oakland, but I’m not absolutely sure about it and I’ve never seen a compensation figure.

  17. @David – They didn’t vote explicitly on T-rights. They voted on the CBA. BTW – Welcome back! Glad you’re feeling up to commenting here again.

    To answer your question about “anywhere in the Bay Area”, I’ll pose another question. How many of the three teams that Oakland is trying to retain via the Coliseum City project show up or have representatives at yesterday’s press conference? ZERO.

  18. @ML Fair enough. If that is accurate, then the maximum amount the Giants could reasonably have factored into the purchase price is “$100,000 plus half of any previous indemnification to invade the territory.” I don’t know exactly what that is supposed to mean, but it sounds like it’s going be based on previous MLB precedent, not on the supposed market value of those rights.

  19. @bartleby you really think that for all these years, the territories were ratified with SF owning SC County by mistake? Not one lawyer or owner saw this? The Giants never discussed their territory in regards to their ballpark or business plan in any meeting since 1996?
    I agree that the owners could vote to change the rights, that has never been in question. But if it was so clear that moving the A’s to SJ was best for baseball, it would have been done by now.

  20. @bartleby – That appears to be how MLB is handling compensation for any fundamental move: Astros’ switch to the AL, O’s/Angelos TV rights. Again, the issue is always about setting a fair amount for all parties.

  21. @martin That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying, there appears to be evidence that enshrining the T-rights in the manner that occurred was a mistake in the first instance. As for perpetuation of that mistake, I suspect the A’s looked at it and said, “It will be a major process and social issue to address this, and the process will be the same whether we do it now or later, so we’ll wait to address it until it actually becomes relevant to our plans.
    .
    Again, you insist on reading the MLB Constitution as though it laid out set-in-stone vested rights. It doesn’t, which greatly affects all of the issues we are discussing.

  22. -Haas erred
    -Current owners of both teams paid based on existing T-Rights
    -Future combined revenue of Giants and A’s would be higher with the A’s in SJ (especially when you factor in future media revenue potential)
    -Giants’ need for a “SJ subsidy” declines once AT&T Park is paid off in 2017
    -There is already a precedent/framework for a solution with the Orioles and Nationals
    -Both sides need to stop the media posturing and figure out a solution where everybody wins in the next 3-5 years; after that, the region starts taking the risk of losing the A’s as other markets potentially become viable once again.

  23. @ML doesn’t this really require arbitration? It’ that what its going to take Bud getting them to a table? How will they get compelled to negotiate?

    • @Nicosan – It might require arbitration. Issue there is that regular arbitration is between management and labor, not two franchises. Same methods apply however.

  24. re: Both sides need to stop the media posturing and figure out a solution where everybody wins in the next 3-5 years;

    …the Giants aren’t interested in an everybody-wins scenario. They want for them to win and for the A’s to lose. It’s very simple. The day is probably coming where Wolff invites MLB to buy the team from him and washes his hands of the whole mess.

  25. @bartleby, you are assuming “enshrining the T-rights in the manner that occurred was a mistake in the first instance”. Has MLB said that it was a mistake? And then you are assuming again when you state, “I suspect the A’s looked at it and said, “It will be a major process and social issue to address this, and the process will be the same whether we do it now or later, so we’ll wait to address it until it actually becomes relevant to our plans.”
    The MLB Constitution is set in stone unless you can get 3/4 of the owners to change it.

  26. Hasn’t Sandy Alderson said it was a mistake?

  27. @ Martin: A 3/4 wouldn’t be difficult. It’s the 100% vote that is giving everybody a hard time.

  28. I never thought I’d say this but Ray Ratto’s column today is genius. I laughed my head off reading it.

  29. @Jeffrey
    That was funny, especially since it clearly shows what greedy, selfish, bully jerks the Giants are.

  30. The Ratto thing nearly made me fall out of my chair. It’s pretty much spot on despite how laughable it is…

  31. Question for you guys.

    I think it was a year ago that several businesses in the Silicon Valley sent an open letter to MLB saying they would continue to support the Giants, even if the A’s moved to San Jose. If the big thing with T-rights is providing revenue streams from those companies to service the debt on ATT park (I’m pretty sure I’ve read that here or at AN) then what is the big deal about having those rights? If those companies say they will still support the Giants, how valuable are those T-right really? I’m just trying to get some clarification on this. If there is something that I am missing, let me know.

  32. @martin “you are assuming “enshrining the T-rights in the manner that occurred was a mistake in the first instance”. Has MLB said that it was a mistake?”
    .
    You are misquoting me again. My specific statement was “there appears to be evidence” that this is the case, based on the A’s press release. I feel fairly confident the A’s would not have made as specific and public a representation as they did in this regard if the MLB meeting minutes didn’t back them up.
    .
    And of course MLB isn’t going to publicly say it was a mistake, whether it was or not.
    .
    “And then you are assuming again when you state, “I suspect the A’s looked at it and said, “It will be a major process and social issue to address this, and the process will be the same whether we do it now or later, so we’ll wait to address it until it actually becomes relevant to our plans.”
    .
    Well, yes. That’s why my comment begins “I suspect.” My opinion is speculative, but informed, based on 20 years as counsel to business. When management inherits problems from its predecessors, it tends not to address them until there is a clear need. Until just a few years ago, the prospect of “A’s to San Jose” was very speculative. Also, the fact this issue is one that would be addressed by MLB rather than the courts would tend to diminish the urgency of it. If you assume your remedies are in court, you have to worry about losing rights because of statutes of limitations, laches and the like. If you assume it’s a matter that will be handled internally by vote of your partners based on the equities regardless, it assumes less urgency.
    .
    “The MLB Constitution is set in stone unless you can get 3/4 of the owners to change it.”
    .
    Which is the same as saying it’s not set in stone, and wouldn’t have been a big factor is valuing a team’s purchase price. Frankly, I doubt Giants ownership put much thought into this at all at the time they purchased the team. The current situation would have seemed fairly remote, and the relative importance of Silicon Valley as a market would have been less. Giants ownership didn’t really even start marketing to SC County in a big way until a few years ago, when the A’s started expressing interest.

  33. This is really pretty simple and any self respecting CEO would put an end to this swiftly. Read the statements again… The Giants, one organization within a larger organization, are putting their interests ahead of the ENTIRE organization. This stuff happens all the time in the business world, and good CEOs put selfish VPs in their place and move the ENTIRE business. It’s beyond time for Bud Selig (MLB CEO) to step up.

  34. I really hope Wolff just goes ahead and signs a 20-year lease extension with the Coliseum and then sells the team for well-below market value, effectively driving down the value of all MLB franchises Let MLB find out the hard way that there is no solution in Oakland by forcing it to keep writing those big revenue-sharing checks for the next two decades. Make it a 20-year lease extension with a $500 million penalty for breaking it. Then the Yankee$ won’t have to worry about the Rays moving to a mythical stadium in New Jersey and the Giants owners can become pariahs in the MLB ownership ranks.

  35. pjk, that’s the quickest way for the A’s to either leave the bay area, or be contracted as a last resort. They won’t leave the A’s in Oakland in the Coliseum indefinitely…

  36. @Jeffrey,
    Right on Jeffrey! This is very simple, and in the best interest OF THE ENTIRE BUSINESS this will be dealt with accordingly. By the way all, props for keeping this thread clean and on point. The other thread dissolved into a sea of complete idiocy; over 200 comments? Must be a record for this blog RM.

  37. I challenge anyone on this board to rationally explain why the Bay Area should be a shared territory. We may rag on the Giants, but the A’s press release implied that a shared Bay Area is the fair solution. If so, then why? It’s tricky. Try it.

  38. ML, thanks for your hard work. Your blog is extremely well written and informative,

    Jeffrey, I don’t see how the intent of the intent of a guy who is multiple ownerships removed from the A’s matters. These rights have been ratified since 1990 and the A’s and the Giants both have new owners who were clearly aware of the rights when they purchased each team.

    Bartleby, Every owner in MLB also knows that there team can be taken from them by MLB at any time and they will be compensated only what MLB decides to pay them for it. It doesn’t mean that they expect it or plan for that possibility. I don’t believe territorial rights have ever been taken from a team.

    Jeff-Athletic, why shouldn’t the Giants be greedy bullies? They are protecting their investment and they are protecting their ability to field the most competitive team as possible…The Giants put themselves in the position they are in through commitment and hard work and they don;t want any of their gains taken from them.

  39. sunset clause, sandy! smh

  40. @Jeffrey, Selig either doesn’t think it is in the best interest of baseball or he doesn’t have 3/4 votes. Its one or the other. He moved Houston to the AL in less than a year. That move and many others in the past proves he is willing and able to “step up”
    @bartleby, For the last 3 years MLB has heard all of these arguments from the A’s. If it was as damaging to the Giants position as you assume, things would have moved by now because the Giants would have had no leverage.

  41. Unlike certain sideline EastBay guys, i wrote directly to Sam inquiring if attacking the ATE is a realistic option on the table, given the costs and time it would entail. He responded in kind:

    “Point well taken: litigation isn’t cheap.
    I think we could raise the money, though, if necessary, to fight it. We’ve got a business community that’s very excited to make this happen.
    I’d also like to believe that the threat of the nuclear option could be more effective than anything else we do.
    More to come….

    This could get really interesting if say Cisco sues MLB…..but as he notes, it’s probably a last ditch effort if all options are exhausted.

  42. I’d say all options ARE exhausted. The votes aren’t there to change the rights nonsense, the Giants want the A’s out of the Bay Area anyway and the only reason this travesty is allowed to unfold like this is because of a bogus anti trust exemption MLB shouldn’t have. San Jose should get started filing its lawsuit soon. Meanwhile, San Jose’s congressional reps are MIA on this, apparently.

  43. @ Ted “Every owner in MLB also knows that there team can be taken from them by MLB at any time and they will be compensated only what MLB decides to pay them for it. It doesn’t mean that they expect it or plan for that possibility.”
    .
    Apples and oranges. That’s a far more drastic outcome than simply having territorial rights adjusted, especially since we’re not talking about allowing a new competitor into the market, but just letting an existing competitor move to a more advantageous site in the same market. Because it’s so drastic, they can have a high degree of confidence it won’t happen unless they screw up pretty badly. Regardless, they buy a team without at least being aware and considering that possibility, they are idiots.
    .
    “I don’t believe territorial rights have ever been taken from a team.”
    .
    I believe there are precedents, but I’ll let ML or Jeffrey or someone more knowledgeable speak to that. Regardless, if the precedent is limited, it’s because there’s been little need. Because of the number of games, MLB teams are the most difficult sports teams for a city to support, and are not easily moved. If you removed all territiorial restrictions, there would be few franchise moves just for economic reasons.
    .
    But for the most part T rights exist to prevent outsiders from entering a new market. This is why all the other two team markets are shared. The Giants are in a unique situation where it is highly foreseeable that this would occur, considering the history and in order to bring the Bay Area in line with other two team markets.
    .
    “why shouldn’t the Giants be greedy bullies?”
    .
    Because they are not only competitors with the A’s, but also partners. Because the A’s helped them out when they were in need. Believe it or not, you can be an aggressive businessperson without being a complete asshole.
    .
    “The Giants put themselves in the position they are in through commitment and hard work.”
    .
    If this is the case, then let them compete based on that commitment and hard work, and not on an artificial, un-American restraint on competition that would be illegal in almost any other context, and is only legal in this case due to historical accident and a bad decision that’s over eighty years old.

  44. @Ted
    “why shouldn’t the Giants be greedy bullies? They are protecting their investment and they are protecting their ability to field the most competitive team as possible…The Giants put themselves in the position they are in through commitment and hard work and they don;t want any of their gains taken from them.”
    .
    If they continue to work hard, or rather, if they rediscover their work ethic, then they’ll be just fine, they’ll continue to thrive, in fact. Plus, they not only stand to not lose any attendance or corporate clients (again, if they work hard), they stand to gain financially through both the compensation check they’ll be getting, and through the fact they will paying less into revenue sharing.

  45. @martin “He moved Houston to the AL in less than a year.”
    .
    That wasn’t anywhere near as contentious, and he was able to take advantage of an ownership change to do it. Maybe if the Giants had changed ownership recently, he would have taken advantage of the opportunity to make the T rights adjustment part of the deal.
    .
    “For the last 3 years MLB has heard all of these arguments from the A’s. If it was as damaging to the Giants position as you assume, things would have moved by now because the Giants would have had no leverage.”
    .
    Stay tuned. All indications are that MLB is trying to broker a resolution. If MLB didn’t find the A’s arguments persuasive, they wouldn’t have included the San Jose option in the BRC’s charter and they would have just said “no” by now.

  46. What I’d really like to see is the SLVG tell the Giants, look, back off or we’re going to ask our members to discontinue sponsorship of your team.
    .
    A letter writing campaign asking South Bay reps to get some hearings going on the AE wouldn’t be a bad thing, either…

  47. @ “A letter writing campaign asking South Bay reps to get some hearings going on the AE wouldn’t be a bad thing either…” Not a bad idea. Time to look for SJ’s reps…

  48. @Ted
    “They are protecting their investment and they are protecting their ability to field the most competitive team as possible”
    .
    Yes, no doubt they are vigorously protecting their investment. But really, do you honestly think they are fielding the most competitive team possible? Who have they acquired to really help their gawdawful hitting? Cabrera? Puhleeze. Beltran? Sabean has egg on his face on that one.
    .
    The fact is, the Giants are putting much more energy into screwing the A’s then they are in putting a watchable offense together.
    .
    You should be mad as hell at the Giants brass. I would be if I were in your shoes.

  49. Bartleby: I already e mailed my Congressional rep, who as an office about a mile or so from the Diridon ballpark site. 24 hours later, the response has been complete silence.

  50. @bartleby
    I could see the SLVG doing just that. Their signed letter to Selig proves their very strong desire for a new stadium and the A’s in San Jose. The Giants are taking their business for granted, and in fact the Giants are working against the business interests of those members of SLVG. I could really see it happen. They can easily pull their sponsorship and buying of luxury boxes from the Giants at anytime. I would love to see that. The Giants deserve it.

  51. Seriously. No takers on arguing why the Bay Area should be made a shared territory?

  52. @Briggs I think you have it backward. The burden of proof is always on those trying to impose anticompetitive constraints. T-rights themselves need to be justified. To me, the only possible justification would be to prevent teams outside the market from moving in, because of the possibility of oversaturating the market and making all of them unviable.
    .
    In the case of a market that already supports two teams, I see no justification whatsover for adopting a T-rights scheme that cripples one team to benefit the other. Especially since: (a) No other two team markets are divided up that way; (b) I would bet the pink slip to my car that the SC County T rights were not directly factored into the Giants’ purchase price, and therefore that the have given no consideration for it whatsoever; and (c) the equities favor the A’s, since they granted the rights, for no compensation, based on a premise that did not occur.

  53. @Ted- if by “hard work” you mean taking advantage of a generous show of cooperation by running off with the T-rights then denying the whole shady way they got them and have held on to them, then I agree,the Giants are the hardest workers I know.

    If that’s not enough, consider that the Giants and A’s aren’t competitors, they’re fellow franchises in MLB, an A-E entity. They should be playing ball with the other 29 franchises instead of circling the wagons, acting like they got to where they are without the benefit of the league’s legally dubious structure and by-rules.

  54. “protecting their ability to field the most competitive team as possible”
    .
    I just have to respond to this one as well. For the last twenty years, this has not been a priority of the Giants. With Barry Bonds putting butts in the seats, they showed little interest in putting a competitive team around him. The 2010 season was a fluke, they made a ton of money off it, but have put little back into the team.
    .
    The only time I remember them making a move that looked like they were really trying was the Zito signing, which of course was a disaster.

  55. @ Al Succinct, and nicely put.

  56. I guess I spoke to soon earlier about this thread remaining clean. Oh well! Props to Bartleby for putting some here in check with knowledge and facts. (some of you just don’t get it whatsoever).

  57. bartleby, franchise businesses are often under restriction in regards to where they can be located and allowing unfettered movement in MLB would be terrible. The Twins wouldn’t be in Minnesota and the A’s and possibly the Giants would be playing elsewhere if that were the case.

  58. @Ted “The Twins wouldn’t be in Minnesota and the A’s and possibly the Giants would be playing elsewhere if that were the case.”
    .
    Your evidence for this being what, exactly? Where do you think those teams would be?
    .
    The reality is, there are very few cities capable of supporting one MLB team, let alone two. And the ones that exist already have teams.
    .
    The NFL, NBA and NHL all operate without the benefit of the ridiculous antitrust exemption, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting them.

  59. @Ted “franchise businesses are often under restriction in regards to where they can be located”
    .
    Apples and oranges again. Franchises are typically assigned territories by single business entities who operate in competitive markets. The fact that McDonalds may assign territories to its franchisees doesn’t prevent Burger King from moving in.
    .
    Different rules apply when your a monopoly. This is the reason why the NFL was unable to legally prevent the Raiders from moving to LA.

  60. Bartleby – thank you for your rationalizations to the StandFromSJ newbs, but i think you will soon see it is a pointless circular argument as he continues to cite the same thing over and over again due to his bias’ as a Gnats fan over all other things…

  61. @Anon I realize that. Plus, you’re never going to convince someone whose position is driven by selfish reasons (e.g. “if this happens it will make my personal commute worse, even if it will benefit far more commuters than it disadvantages.”) But I figure, there’s probably been an uptick in new visitors as a result of recent news, so this is more for the benefit of the lurkers who haven’t been following this closely than anyone else.

  62. jeff-athletic and bartleby, year in and year out since 2000 the Giants are ranked in payroll spending about the same as they rank in revenue and franchise value. Over the five years prior to 2000, no team lost more money that the Giants. They were building a team to go in their new stadium and taking losses. The A’s have made almost exactly the same profit that the Giants have.

  63. Anon, give the Stand for San Jose nonsense a rest. I have been nothing but honest in every post I have made while you have acted like a child with your name calling and blind accusations. I told you that I had never even heard of StandFromSJ until you mentioned it.
    Grow up.

  64. Bartleby, do you think the movement in teh NBA has been good for the NBA and would you like to see that level of movement in MLB?
    The A’s or Giants could very well have ended up in Toronto or Tampa if not for MLB’s ability to limit its franchises movement for the betterment of MLB.
    Are teams not franchises under MLB? They pay franchise fees to MLB when they join and they operate under rules handed down by MLB.

    About the commute…How will putting a stadium in San Jose help the commute of residents of the city? How are fans from the East Bay supposed to get to games? AT&T is served by multiple forms of public transit from all over the Bay Area whereas there is no public transit from anywhere in the East Bay to San Jose that could be used to get to games. Regarding the selfish comment, everyone here is motivated by selfish reasons.

  65. @Ted – If you do some searches on this blog – which I’ve run for 7 years – you’ll see that we’ve covered these issues ad nauseum. There are solutions, no need to play the FUD game.

  66. “This was all just clerical error that needs to be corrected” is not a winning argument within MLB ownership ranks. If the A’s are serious about winning this debate they will start leaking to the media the parameters of a compensation package they would be willing to offer.
    .
    Issuing press releases about how unfair it is to be locked into the East Bay — especially after the Commissioner has expressed his desire for both teams to keep quiet about it — is a pretty strong indicator that the Wolff and Fischer do not expect any positive movement forthcoming from MLB any time soon.

  67. Ted, in general all teams revenue/payroll and franchise value are in similar positions… It’s because those three things are all directly related. MLB teams spend about 50% of revenue on payroll and revenue is a key component of assigning a value to any business.
    .
    And can we all stop with the nonsense that “MLB has reaffirmed TR’s…” MLB has approved a collective bargaining agreement of which one part is the TR’s. It is not like the owners have been asked “Do you think the Giants should keep Santa Clara County as part of their territory?” The only thing more misleading is the Giants claiming SCC represents 43% of their territory which blatantly excludes the fans (a significant amount) they draw from Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and pretends that there market penetration in Santa Clara County is greater than either of those two counties. I am willing to bet that they have more season ticket holders in Alameda/CoCo County than SCCo.

  68. The Bay Area should be made a shared territory for the following reasons:

    1. The A’s need a new stadium and that stadium needs to be privately financed. That isn’t happening in Oakland. This is the only thing Territorial Rights actually impact.
    2. Increasing the A’s revenues (and thus payroll and franchise value) is good for the entire league, it’s teams and it’s players.
    3. Uniformity for 2 two team market territory designations is the right thing to do.
    4. Because I said so.

  69. @Bartleby: I didn’t make any sort of argument to get backwards. I simply proposed a question. Humor me.

    Why should the Bay Area be considered a share territory? The New York teams operate in New York County. The Chicago teams operate in Cook County. These teams share their respective surrounding counties. The Bay Area is comprised of five counties. It’s a valid question and it’s just as valid examining the A’s request as it is picking apart the Giants’ claim. The burden of proof lies with those making the claims against conventional wisdom. Isn’t that the A’s in this instance? Regardless, at some point since 2009, the A’s stated their case to MLB/BRC/Selig on why the Bay Area should be shared. We’ll probably never know how it was worded, but that’s what I’m trying to get at.

  70. On point 2, I’d add that there is analysis that none of us can do that needs to be considered. The question to answer is will OVERALL MLB revenue grow more by having the A’s in Las Vegas/Portland/Charlotte/Chico/Fresno/Bakersfield and the Giants all alone in the Bay Area than it will by having the A’s and Giants in a shared market. If we take available data for those markets, MLB Media Market allocation, Corporate presence, etc. It’s hard to see that moving the A’s out of the Bay has a positive impact on anything but a single team’s bottom line. It also isn’t clear that the A’s moving within a market that is essentially shared by any measure but the MLB Constitution will negatively impact the Giants, but if it does that is where compensation comes in.
    .
    Pretty sure this is what the ‘ol 3 man panel has been looking into beyond where it is feasible to build a stadium within the A’s territory (though it seems they stopped looking in the A’s defined territory quite some time ago).
    .
    Considering these things, I don’t understand how any reasonable person thinks the Giants position is good for anyone but the Giants (and it may actually be bad for them considering the league has revenue sharing and a team in any one of those other markets will ALWAYS be on the receiving end of revenue sharing).

  71. ML, I assume you are talking about my concerns with the already unbearable traffic nightmares that plague this area. I will take a look around here to see what I can find out about it.

  72. @Jeffrey: Yeah. It’s tricky. I crave a new A’s ballpark just as bad as anyone else because I want to see my team make more money and translate that into wins/championships, but I have a tough time justifying why that needs to be San Jose once I remove my emotional ties. Proximity-wise, it’s close enough to retain a healthy chuck of their current fans, but is that it?

  73. Briggs, I’d argue that counties are kind of arbitrary. What’s more important is proximity. The A’s and Giants are in neighboring cities. A better question is why should either have exclusive rights to Santa Clara County when they don’t operate there? Or, why (if Counties are really that important) should the Giants have exclusive rights to a county that is not directly adjacent to their home county while it is directly adjacent to the A’s home county?

  74. No. Keeping a healthy chunk of existing fans is immaterial. Building in a city with requisite private funding sources for a new MLB stadium is. It’s not just about the A’s specifically getting a new stadium… This is about MLB revenues.

  75. @SFSJTed – you have unbearable traffic nightmares? Where exactly do you supposedly live? Traffic at around an A’s gametime at 7-8pm would be worst at 101 south of 280/680. There some ancillary traffic around 87 S. as well but the rest aren’t anywhere near say SF by 9th St. or Oakland and McArthur maze area. I assume you hate the Sharks too because of the supposed congestion they cause? From the tone of all the responses I’ve seen from you, I assume that work in the downtown area, most likely associated with the city government. Do you take lightrail? If not, why not then since you detest traffic so much that you would wish away a 500 million dollar into the city you live in?

  76. Anon, why the hell should he care what he is know as to you? Seriously, get over yourself.

  77. Wolff should drop hints that if he doesn’t get to build a stadium in SJ, he will build one in New Jersey instead.

  78. What I think is coming is essentially the end game, everyone knows the A’s situation must be dealt with. The Giants want to get the most amount of $$$$ possible and the A’s want to pay the least. There is a possibility of a new President and if so, a change as it relates to interest rates (Of course higher rates equals higher borrowing costs). For that reason alone, people want to get their project of the ground prior to the fall election. Even if Obama wins, rates will likely be going up in late 2014. What does it mean for the A’s? It means that they need to get shovels in the ground in San Jose sometime this year, to save money on construction. The specter of an Administration and or interest rate policy change is a big reason why the 49ers are expediting their move to Santa Clara, new hockey arenas are underway in State College & Allentown Pa, and perhaps work may start for the Vikings, Kings, Islanders and Seattle as well (In addition to the A’s). So I suspect that between now and June you will see an agreement for the A’s to move, but the Giants get $$$$$$$$$$$$ for allowing it.

  79. Ted, just saw your responses to me above… The original intent may not be important. I was responding to the fact that “martin” said moving to Santa Clara wasn’t the original intent based on what happened well after the rights were granted. The original intent WAS to move the Giants to Santa Clara, that isn’t even debatable.
    .
    As far as Bud stepping up in regards to the Astros… He made a condition of selling the team. You don’t think that he would leverage that if the Giants were trying to sell the team now? If there was a transfer from one ownership group to an entirely new one, of course he would use that as a solution to get out from under this mess.

  80. Anon, Why are you calling me SFSJTed? Is SFSJ another organization that you think I am a part of? I live off near Hamilton and 17 on the San Jose Campbell border. Fans leaving from Oakland would have to be on 880 South by 5:30 to have a prayer of being in San Jose by game time and the traffic would get worse driving South. People wouldn’t be leaving Oakland, Hayward and Fremont around 7, they would be leaving during prime traffic hours. I worked in downtown San Jose for 8 years but I currently work most days south of downtown, North San Jose or Union City. When I worked downtown I worked for a large accounting firm and I have never worked for the city.

    ML, that is a fair criticism. I am unfamiliar with objective measurements and terms for traffic but I am sure that they would confirm that the 880 south commute is among the most problematic in the Bay Area. I did the Peninsula commute between San Jose and Menlo Park in the late 90s when it was at its worst and I have done the Fremont /San Jose commute more recently and it is worse. Like I said, I would love to see the solution for getting people to the games without many public transit options so I will search around your blog to find them.

  81. @ Ted – 880S traffic is not even close to being abysmal by any stretch and would be going away from any downtown ballpark traffic. Try going north on 880 all the way to the Colisuem to an A’s game. That’s the trek I and many south bay A’s fan have been doing for years, so your “concern” for east bay A’s fan is moot.

  82. Anon, the A’s are an East Bay team that draws most of its fans from that region. Those fans will have to travel to San Jose to get to ballgames and they will have to drive. When I go to the Coliseum or Oracle Arena I drive to Fremont and take BART, East Bay fans from Fremont to Tracy can take BART to games, these fans will have no public transportation options to get to San Jose.

    You aren’t going to tell me what SFSJTed is supposed to mean?

  83. Regarding transportation, the stadium site is the site of future BART to SJ.

  84. @ Ted – And the Gnats are a SF based team that draws most of its fan trom that region, so I don’t understand your point and such concern about routes used by other fans. Besides the fact that Diridon is supposed to be the new transit corridor area, when the A’s move down here, they will have a new local fan base anyways. btw – you never attempted to rebuttul my resoponse of your assertion that an A’s stadium will significantly impact traffic. Luckily the city has already completed not one but two EIR studies on it.

  85. Tony, I have been hearing about BART to San Jose for as long as I can remember and it has gone nowhere. Now with the state and city of San Jose being in financial crisis I am not sure it is going to happen. They already permanently scrapped the BART to downtown and BART to Santa Clara options. Lightrail connectors in Berryessa could work but it isn’t ideal or near completion.

    Anon, I can jump on a train in San Jose and take it straight to AT&T. So the A’s fans in the East Bay are just SOL? The team is going to abandon them for new or Giants fans in the South Bay?
    Did you argue that 880s weekday commute hours traffic is not terrible and that San Jose residents that work in the East Bay won’t be going towards a downtown ballpark? It is often an hour drive from Fremont to San Jose, that is abysmal by my standards and everyone driving South on 880 will be going towards the stadium.

  86. Troy, I apologize for calling you Tony.

  87. Ted,
    Funny, I know Giants fans down here who state it’s a complete bitch to get to AT&T Park from the South Bay. Caltrain WAAAAY to slow (stops at every @#$% station) and the drive up 101just plain sucks (not even including reportedly $30 for parking). But it’s somehow convenient for you; congrats.
    For the record, groundbreaking for BART to SJ/Berryessa is this year, slated to open in 2016. And also for the record, it’s a county/VTA project based on countywide sales tax revenue, not just San Jose.
    Lastly, for some strange reason, as an apparent SJ resident you are completely against the A’s moving to San Jose. Myself and many SJ residents disagree with your position, but that’s your right to feel that way. That being said, your reasoning is 100% completely ridiculous on why the A’s shouldn’t be in SJ. Just say you don’t want them down here and just leave it at that.

  88. Scrapped BART to downtown? That’s news to me. Link?

  89. BART to downtown has not been permanently scrapped.

  90. Tony, those fans are crazy. Caltrain makes it easy as pie to get to a game. I stop five times between SJ Diridon and San Francisco on the way to weeknight Giants games and I get there in less than an hour. On the way home, Caltrain expresses to San Carlos then becomes a local service train, I get back in about 1:15. That is pretty darn convenient, no?

    We’ll see if BART to Berryessa happens by 2017 (that is the schedule). I am all for it but Berryessa is not that close to downtown.

    Traffic congestion is a quality of life issue and seems reasonable, my concerns about subsidies is not unreasonable either and I think my concerns for the impact on Giants revenue isn’t all that crazy either.

  91. @Ted “Bartleby, do you think the movement in teh NBA has been good for the NBA and would you like to see that level of movement in MLB?”
    .
    For the NBA? Clearly yes. It has enabled them to leverage favorable new arena situations in OK City, Brooklyn, and by all appearances, Seattle and Sacramento in the near future.
    .
    It’s a moot point, because the situations of the NBA and MLB are not nearly comparable. Arenas are year-round, multipurpose venues that are far easier to finance than MLB ballparks. It’s debatable whether there are even thirty cities in North America that can adequately support an MLB team; there are probably twice as many which could be credible potential hosts for an NBA team. This is mainly because MLB teams must draw twice as many people to each of twice as many games.
    .
    So T-rights aside, there simply isn’t the opportunity for venue shopping and leveraging cities off each other in MLB that there is in the other three sports. The main function the T-rights have today is screwing the A’s and keeping a third team out of metro new york.
    .
    “The A’s or Giants could very well have ended up in Toronto or Tampa if not for MLB’s ability to limit its franchises movement for the betterment of MLB.”
    .
    Based on what? You seriously think Toronto could support two teams? And it’s far from clear that the Giants stayed in SF because MLB made them. A credible local group surfaced to buy the team, and the Bay Area is a far more attractive market than Tampa Bay.
    .
    “Are teams not franchises under MLB? They pay franchise fees to MLB when they join and they operate under rules handed down by MLB.”
    .
    Are you intentionally missing my point? MLB is a monopoly. Different rules apply. No way the T-rights would hold up against the antitrust laws if there hadn’t been a single, ill-reasoned Supreme Court decision eighty years ago that for some reason was applied only to baseball and not to other sports. It doesn’t mean the antitrust exemption isn’t un-American and completely unjustifiable on any economic basis. Let baseball defend its desired territorial restrictions under the same rules that apply to other businesses.
    .
    “About the commute…How will putting a stadium in San Jose help the commute of residents of the city?”
    .
    Actually, it quite likely will help the commute of many residents of San Jose, depending which direction they’re going, and it will make things significantly better for commuters from the East Bay. Right now, evening northbound traffic is far worse than southbound traffic because the jobs are in the South Bay and cheap housing is in the North Bay. So when there’s an event at the Coliseum, fans going north are worsening an already dire situation. Reversing this will probably make things somewhat worse for southbound commuters, but far more people will be helped than hurt.
    .
    “How are fans from the East Bay supposed to get to games?”
    .
    The same way South Bay fans and most East Bay fans get to A’s games now: They’ll drive. 85% of A’s game attendees drive; BART is nice to have, but its big picture importance is overrated.
    .
    Also, the new ballpark will be significantly smaller than the Coli, which more than offsets the transit factor. If you compare a sold-out Cisco Field to a sold-out Coli, it will still be putting less cars on the road overall.
    .
    “AT&T is served by multiple forms of public transit from all over the Bay Area”
    .
    Who cares about AT&T? We’re talking about the relative difficulty of getting to A’s games in Oakland vs. San Jose.
    .
    “whereas there is no public transit from anywhere in the East Bay to San Jose that could be used to get to games.”
    .
    Possibly they’ll run more ACE trains, we’ll see. But this really isn’t much different than the situation South Bay fans face trying to get to A’s games today. Yes, you can drive to Fremont and take BART, but by the time you’ve done this you’ve already suffered the worst of the northbound 880 traffic, then BART is another ten minutes off the freeway. It doesn’t really save any time, and it’s not a very attractive proposition.
    .
    “Regarding the selfish comment, everyone here is motivated by selfish reasons.”
    .
    Some more than others. I dislike the 49ers intensely, but I’m still glad they’re moving to Santa Clara because I’ve come to believe it will be good for the region. I’m a Raiders fan and it would be more convenient for me if they move down, too, but I’ll be very happy if they somehow pull off a new stadium in Oakland, because of what it would mean for that city. And as been said before, I don’t think too many Giants fans in San Jose are actively rooting against their city (and its tax base) because of some vague notion doing so will translate to higher payrolls for the team.

  92. Jeffrey and Troy, Permanently was the wrong term, I used it because I misread something in haste prior to posting and I apologize for that. I realize that it could be interpreted as dishonest.

    There is only mention of Warm Springs and Berryessa on this site:
    http://www.vta.org/bart/index.html

    And Wikipedia (I know, not the best source) says:
    The original plan was for the extension to continue into downtown San Jose via subway. However, in February 2009, projections of lower-than-expected sales-tax receipts from the funding measures forced the VTA to scale back the extension, ending it at the Berryessa station and delaying tunneling under downtown San Jose to a future phase of construction. The originally-planned extension from Fremont to Santa Clara would cost $6.1 billion, but the VTA estimates an extension to Berryessa would only cost $2.1 billion.[18]

    I should have said that the plans have been delayed indefinitely. My bad

  93. @Ted VTA just announced that BART to Berryessa is slated to receive additional funding to be finalized this month. That funding would allow the Berryessa station to open in 2016, about the same time as Cisco Field.
    .
    They are planning express bus service from Berryessa station to downtown SJ, which will make the transit situation for East Bay fans coming to games far BETTER than that currently faced by South Bay fans doing the awful 880 to Fremont thing.

  94. @Ted “Fans leaving from Oakland would have to be on 880 South by 5:30 to have a prayer of being in San Jose by game time”
    .
    Fans leaving the Peninsula or South Bay for a game at the Coli currently have to leave by 5pm to get there by first pitch. I have done this personally many times.
    .
    The fact is, moving the ballpark south will help some people and hurt some people, but will improve the commute picture overall.
    .
    “The A’s are an East Bay team that draws most of its fans from that region.”
    .
    The A’s are an East Bay team today that draws most of its fans from that region today. This will certainly change if they build a ballpark in San Jose.
    .
    “Did you argue that 880s weekday commute hours traffic is not terrible and that San Jose residents that work in the East Bay won’t be going towards a downtown ballpark?”
    .
    Again, there are far more East Bay folks working in the South Bay than the reverse.

  95. Bartleby, both the Giants and A’s were courted by Toronto which is why I said that one team OR the other could have ended up there.
    I see your point on the anti trust exemption but I don’t think it causes any harm. Perhaps TR and movement could be controlled via the MLBC. The TR are part of the MLBC because because the owners want them there.
    The afternoon commute traffic south on 880 between Fremont and SJ is worse than the traffic heading North but that isn’t really the point. We are talking about the impact on San Jose residents. Isn’t the goal of the A’s to more than double weekday attendance? We aren’t talking about 10-15k fans headed to the coliseum on a weekday and don’t you think most A’s fans come from the East Bay rather than the South Bay? I am a big believer in baseball stadiums being serviced primarily by public transit. If the A’s come down here I would like to see the move contingent on a transportation management plan and implementation of the recommendations. Ideally there should be no need for more than 5,000 dedicated parking spaces for A’s games. This is the model that was used in SF for Pac bell.

  96. @Briggs “The New York teams operate in New York County.”
    .
    Neither New York team operates in New York County, which is Manhattan. The Yankees are in Bronx County and the Mets are in Queens County. I’m not totally clear on how this supports the point you were trying to make anyway, but the example you gave does not support it.
    .
    “The burden of proof lies with those making the claims against conventional wisdom. Isn’t that the A’s in this instance?”
    .
    I would say no. The “conventional wisdom” (and also the law) is that free and open competition is the American way, and if you want to impose territorial restrictions you need to have a defensible justification. The fact that all other two team markets are shared shows that even in the twisted, AE-protected world of MLB the “six-counties-to-two, sodomize one of your franchises” model of allocating territories is not the “conventional wisdom.”
    .
    I would not equate “status quo” with “conventional wisdom.” There are lots of ridiculous laws on the books that are there for stupid and/or historic reasons, and when they come before the courts, they get struck down.
    .
    Anyway, the A’s arguments why the territory should be shared are very easy: (1) It will help grow the sport in the Bay Area, and increase MLB revenues overall; (2) it will relieve other teams of revenue sharing burden; (3) the Giants have done nothing to deserve their current special treatment, and have paid no consideration for it; (4) although there was no follow-through, there is apparently evidence it was always intended that the Giants would get SC County only if they moved there.
    .
    I really don’t see ANY persuasive arguments that go the Giants way.

  97. Bartleby, that BART new is great. A light rail connection would be sweet but a bus could work. They really need to make sure less than half the fans are driving to games.

  98. @Ted “both the Giants and A’s were courted by Toronto which is why I said that one team OR the other could have ended up there.”
    .
    OK, the Giants were courted in the mid-70s, before the Blue Jays even existed. So far as I can tell, territorial rights had nothing to do with the fact they didn’t move. Anyway, now that Toronto has a team, I doubt another MLB team would try to move there whether they were barred by T-rights or not.
    .
    As far as the A’s moving to Toronto, I can’t even find a reference to that happening on Google.
    .
    “I see your point on the anti trust exemption but I don’t think it causes any harm. Perhaps TR and movement could be controlled via the MLBC.”
    .
    No harm? It is the ONLY thing keeping the A’s out of San Jose. Without it, the Giants T-rights to Santa Clara County would not be enforceable, MLB Constitution or not. It would be the same situation as when the Raiders moved to LA. The NFL voted down the move, but Davis sued and won on antitrust grounds.
    .
    The Giants have no moral or legal high ground here. They are just opportunists trying to take advantage of an anticompetitive windfall.
    .
    “The TR are part of the MLBC because because the owners want them there.”
    .
    And they are only enforceable because of the AE. Without it, Lew could just thumb his nose at Larry Baer and start the bulldozers.
    .
    “The afternoon commute traffic south on 880 between Fremont and SJ is worse than the traffic heading North but that isn’t really the point.”
    .
    I flat out disagree on this. I have driven northbound 880 to weeknight A’s, Warriors and Raider games for decades, and I commuted to the East Bay for three months last year. Northbound has been improved quite a bit in some areas, but I believe is still clearly worse. ML, any statistics on this?
    .
    “We are talking about the impact on San Jose residents.”
    .
    We’re not only talking about SJ residents, but whatever. As I’ve said before, the ballpark will have certain negative impacts on SJ residents but will also alleviate certain negative impacts of the current situation.
    .
    “don’t you think most A’s fans come from the East Bay rather than the South Bay?”
    .
    Currently they do, in San Jose they won’t. Like every other MLB stadium, they’ll primarily draw from fans in a twenty mile radius. This move isn’t about long-term, die hard fans, it’s about corporate fans and casual fans. It’s hard for the die-hard fans to hear, but from a business perspective they are the least important group.
    .
    “I am a big believer in baseball stadiums being serviced primarily by public transit. If the A’s come down here I would like to see the move contingent on a transportation management plan and implementation of the recommendations. Ideally there should be no need for more than 5,000 dedicated parking spaces for A’s games. This is the model that was used in SF for Pac bell.”
    .
    I firmly believe this will be the case. As I said before, most fans will come from the South Bay. Diridon is already served by Caltrain and VTA, which are the only systems relevant to these fans. East Bay fans will be served by BART to Berryessa then express shuttle, and also maybe Amtrak and/or ACE to some degree. Further down the road, there will be a direct BART station. If HSR somehow comes to fruition, Cisco Field may end up the best-served-by-transit ballpark in all of MLB.

  99. @Ted “They really need to make sure less than half the fans are driving to games.”
    .
    I’m a big fan of transit, and I think that’s a worthy goal. Still, it’s aggressive. I think that’s about what the Giants get, but SF is unusually dense for a U.S. city and they are an outlier. In a sprawling city like San Jose, I’m not sure you get quite to 50% even at the point where there are better/more transit options to Cisco Field than to AT&T Park (which could quite easily happen). This is particularly true because in relative terms, SJ traffic is not that bad. (I can sail right into downtown on 280 south, even during rush hour). But I think SJ can do quite a bit better than the 15% that currently ride transit to A’s games.

  100. TR are currently hurting one teams plan to go into one specific area while it is protecting 29 other teams.
    The Giants moral and legal high ground is based on what they bought and paid for when they bought the teams. They did buy the rights to SCC and they did base their plans for their franchise based on the knowledge that they had those rights secured.
    I am basing my assessment of traffic between San Jose and Fremont based the commute I have made 100s of times. It does currently take 45 minutes to an hour to get from Decoto road and 880 to 880 and 280. The Nimitz is a mess.
    I was talking about the impact on San Jose residents because that is what I am and San Jose is the city that will be most impacted by the A’s move.
    I have a hard time seeing Cisco field matching AT&T which is served by busses from multiple counties, three seprate rail agencies and multiple ferry companies and lines. It would be great if Cisco Field could match that but with the poos state of public transit in Santa Clara County I have my doubts.

  101. ML, thanks for the link. 2024? We’ll see like the article poijnts out they have been talking about BART in San Jose since the 50s. Although I think BART is overpriced (outrageous per foot price to build and it uses non-standard gage rail), outdated and inferior to an electrified Caltrain I will be happy if it ever makes it to downtown. I certainly have contributed a lot of tax dollars to make it happen.

  102. @ Ted – Your original assertion was traffic would absolutely be terrible with the A’s in the area. You live in the vicinity of Hamilton/Bascom area and i stated the commute from downtown to there is not that bad. You go on a tangent about East Bay commuters coming south to SJ. That’s good, because they are making a similar trek that us SB A’s fans have been doing for quite a while and it’s not that bad (takes me about 45min to 1 hr). I conveyed the fact that some EB fans will undoubtedly not follow the team (many Oaklanders on this board have stated as such), while others that have been on the fence will undoubtedly turn to be Gnats fan. I’m not being unsympathetic to them, its just reality that Oakland and the East Bay are much closer to the Phone Booth Park then the San Jose itself. And as I noted previously, the Gnats obviously think they have a fan base in the east bay otherwise they wouldn’t have built a Giants store in Walnut Creek. And while I agree that 880 in general has a ton of traffic, that should not detract from many fans going anyways, especially if they carpool down. As far as impact to SJ residents, you’ll be happy to know that the EIR addresses these traffic concerns. Furthermore, the frequently backed up 280/880 section is slated for makeover by Caltrans by 2015 if i remember correctly. There’s too much traffic there as result of Stevens Creek turnoff on both freeways. Now as far as the Gnats, do you have public record to show that the McGowan ownership group specifically noted SC as part of their territory when they bought the team? I’m not talking about charter records, but rather actual contracts or the like or a specific quote stating as such? There has been recent anecdotal evidence to suggest that belief was in fact falsely presumed by all (see previous posting here).

  103. TR’s aren’t protecting 29 other teams. Market forces are protecting all but 4, and they actually protect those 4 as well, though it is debatable. There is no way any MLB market but LA and NY could even think about adding another team. Those markets already have deep ties for the existing can add and third team in either would be an abysmal failure.

  104. @Ted “TR are currently hurting one teams plan to go into one specific area while it is protecting 29 other teams.”
    .
    As Jeffrey said, market forces are protecting the other teams. And if you want to frame it this way, 29 other teams do NOT have TR protection against intramarket moves. Why is the Giants need any greater than the Yankees need to prevent the Mets from going to Manhattan or the Dodgers need to prevent the Angels from moving to downtown LA? (The latter of which could conceivably happen, by the way).
    .
    “The Giants moral and legal high ground is based on what they bought and paid for when they bought the teams. They did buy the rights to SCC and they did base their plans for their franchise based on the knowledge that they had those rights secured.”
    .
    This is a completely disingenous argument. I know because, in my practice, I’m on both the giving and receiving end of analogous arguments on a daily basis.
    .
    I can virtually guarantee this: The Giants cannot produce documentary evidence that T-rights to San Jose directly factored into their purchase price for the team.
    .
    For one thing, they, like the A’s owners got a “hometown discount” for keeping the team in the Bay. They didn’t pay a premium because of these super duper, extra special rights they have that no othe team has.
    .
    For another thing, they do not possess a crystal ball. You actually believe, based on the situation as it existed in 1992, they developed the following business plan: “Well first, there’s going to be a HUGE technology boom that will triple the value of Santa Clara County as a territory. Then, even though SC County will be the “heart” of our territory, we’ll build a privately financed ballpark in San Francisco because, what the hell, we don’t want to make it too convenient for our customers. By then, the A’s will have completely run out of options to build an new park in the East Bay, but what the hell, we know we can rely on these bogus T-rights to basically drive them out of business.”
    .
    Because that’s basically the only scenario where the T-rights have any relevance at all. If the Giants had actually had any foresight into the above occurrences, the would have built AT&T Park in downtown SJ themselves.
    .
    “I am basing my assessment of traffic between San Jose and Fremont based the commute I have made 100s of times. It does currently take 45 minutes to an hour to get from Decoto road and 880 to 880 and 280. The Nimitz is a mess.”
    .
    I did this for three months last year, and believe you are exaggerating. 880 south gets a little slow as you approach downtown, but if you cut over on Mission Boulevard and take 680 to 280 you can avoid this. Anyway, there may be some traffic on 880 south, but 880 north is worse.
    .
    “I was talking about the impact on San Jose residents because that is what I am and San Jose is the city that will be most impacted by the A’s move.”
    .
    You personally may be adversely impacted, time will tell. For this reason, you may never be convinced. But the bulk of commuters are going north, not south at the relevant times, so more people will be better off.
    .
    “I have a hard time seeing Cisco field matching AT&T which is served by busses from multiple counties, three seprate rail agencies and multiple ferry companies and lines. It would be great if Cisco Field could match that but with the poos state of public transit in Santa Clara County I have my doubts.”
    .
    Cisco Field will be served by buses, and more can be added. It will start off served by Caltrain, Lightrail, ACE, Amtrak, and an express bus connection to BART. (I must point out, BART does not directly serve AT&T Park, either). Later it will have its own BART station, and possibly HSR. It may or may not ever completely match AT&T Park for transit, but AT&T Park is unique in this respect, and is not a reasonable benchmark. Name one other MLB park that is as transit friendly as AT&T Park.

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