Ownership Swap

Note: This is another “what if” scenario for this week. The conjecture within is not based on any recent news or reports.

Several teams throughout MLB are in some form of transition, whether it’s a venue (Marlins) or a sale (Padres, Dodgers, Astros). Some of these teams are taking far longer than they initially expected to get their transitions completed, creating a bit of heartache for their constituent ownership groups and business partners.

In January I wrote about the problems facing Jeff Moorad in his quest to gain control of the Padres. As reported last week, Moorad withdrew his application to become the “control person” in order for the team’s new TV deal with Fox Sports San Diego to go through. Moorad’s deal to buy the team from John Moores was set to take as much as five years on a sort of layaway plan, though Moorad has already assumed operation of the team. He also has clearly been looking to accelerate the process, yet hasn’t made any headway within The Lodge for several months. The control person issue hasn’t even gone to a vote, unlike the uncontentious decision made in when Larry Baer was approved by MLB four months ago. Maury Brown thinks that in addition to financial concerns, there may be others among the other owners who have it in for Moorad, including Jerry Reinsdorf and Moorad’s former partner, Ken Kendrick of the Diamondbacks.

With the troubles that Moorad’s facing in San Diego and Lew Wolff is dealing with in Oakland, could the time be coming for the two to switch places? Moorad’s group, which famously includes Save Mart CEO and one-time A’s bidder Bob Piccinini, would be able to get in the club with a lower price ($100+ million less) in Oakland than in San Diego. The group, which is reportedly full of Modesto-area interests, would be able to see a locally-based team. There still the fundamental issue of what to do in terms of a venue, but I’ll get to that later.

For Wolff and John Fisher, it would be an acknowledgement of defeat in terms of trying to build a venue. However, Wolff and his family would at least be able to continue to be owners of a franchise, and a Wolff-Fisher ownership group would have more capital on hand to pass muster with the Elders at The Lodge. Wolff himself is based in LA, so a move to the San Diego franchise would also be relatively local. Future revenue streams are far more stable and predictable for the Padres than they are for the A’s at this point, so aside from the fact that there’s no dream legacy-piece stadium to build (except maybe for AAA), it’s a good investment.

There’s a $100 million difference between the A’s and Padres valuations (latter is higher), which would have to be accounted for. Politically, a franchise swap could be the catalyst Oakland needs to get its Coliseum City/Victory Court/980 Park/Flavor-of-the-week stadium plan moving. It would allow Piccinini the opportunity to prove that he could keep the team in Oakland. It’s possible that Andy Dolich, who Piccinini teamed with last time and recently lost out in the Dodgers bidding process, could come on with a minority share. And if Oakland can’t get its act together or if the cost to stay in Oakland were too great, the group would be well-positioned to move the team to Sacramento, which is closer and a more hassle-free drive from Modesto (and further away from the Giants, who would rent the Mayflower trucks for the move).

Obviously, swapping ownership groups is not nearly as simple as I’ve described. It’s only been done once in modern baseball history when John Henry took over the Red Sox while Jeff Loria sold the Expos and bought the Marlins. The important thing is that unlike the T-rights dispute, there is a real precedent for this. Whether you think this is realistic or farfetched is probably dependent on your view of current ownership and your opinion of Oakland or San Jose.

I look forward to the comments on this one. Fire away.

73 thoughts on “Ownership Swap

  1. Is Petco Park all payed off? According to ballparks.com the Padres paid $153 million. But I can’t see anything mentioning what the terms were for that money. Either way, seems to me like I’d rather have the Padres than the A’s from a business standpoint. They have a stadium, are getting a new TV deal, have the 2nd largest city in CA all to themselves, and had the majority of the stadium paid for using public money. I don’t see why Moorad would want to switch to the A’s. The cost of a new privately financed stadium (or even a Raley Field renovation) is gonna be more than that $100 million in savings, and then you’d still have to deal with all the ballpark location issues on top of that. I’d just wait for the 5 years to pass for my buyout to finish.

  2. Don’t see it happening.

  3. fun to speculate

  4. If the A’s and their theoretical future owner(s) just bit the bullet, forked out the cash with Oakland to go halvsies on a ballpark, would they be in any better shape than a KC or Pittsburgh?

    .

    Happy actually birthday, Newballpark. I was unemployed and procrastinating on job hunting when I stumbled upon the site the day the tarps were announced. Cliff Pennington was also the A’s #1 pick in the draft that year. I’d rather have the tarps playing SS.

  5. Briggs hates Cliffy,

  6. Way off topic, but we should all read this. The truth hurts some times.

  7. Briggs Oakland has been clear in its intentions to spend $0.00 for construction of a new ballpark. It wants the ballpark for free. And given Oakland’s massive budget problems, if anyone in the city government even tried to spend $$ on a ballpark, they’d be booted out of office, maybe even recalled.

  8. @Jeffrey: Good story about the fan/team relationship.

    .

    I’m ok with this relationship. I accept that MLB teams are a chain of stragetically placed amusement parks. They have interchangeable parts/personnel. We just happen to like the old, rundown one. It’ll suck when their season tickets are $3,000+ but as long as they put on a good show, I’ll show up when I can.

  9. Agree 100% with Zonis.
    @Jeffrey: fun or nauseating? I’m hoping this week of “what if’s” is leading to the Motherload of threads in a few weeks.
    At least one positive I got from this piece: Jerry Reinsdorf sure appears to have a lot of influence within the lodge ;)

  10. If we want to speculate, why not go for broke? How about the gnats and a’s swap ownership, the former a’s ownership giving the former gnats $200 million + television and sj rights. then baer/neukum can get sj since its so important to them. The a’s get a new facility and sj gets a ballpark. Everyone wins!

  11. New/local ownership for the A’s, the holy grail for some of us A’s fans. I know most on here won’t share this sentiment, but at this point if Wolff/Fischer were swapped for an old bag of corn chips, I’d be pretty pleased. Maybe my Oakland rage is guiding me, but I feel like a fresh start would be great for the franchise (even if they made their way to SJ.)

  12. I’m all for somebody coming in and meeting Oakland’s requirements for a new ballpark: Owners take on 100% of the massive risks involved, city takes none but gets all the benefits. Somehow, I’m not surprised nobody is signing up…

  13. If MLB’s wealthiest owner ( John Fischer- inherited wealth and now mostly in real estate ) can’t get a new stadium in Oakland to ” pencil out” , it tells you something. Especially when his family owns so many priceless works or modern art collected by his late parents ,( they can only display a small fraction at a time) , he could build a new ballpark for cash pretty much anywhere if he sells a couple of his Picasso paintings gathering dust in a warehouse .

    • @ob – Penciling out doesn’t mean digging into your own pockets. It means it has to pay for itself. Does an Oakland ballpark pay for itself? There’s scant evidence to support a Yes on that.

  14. ML just saved me the keyboard strokes to respond to eb. As long as Oakland has this “rich owner should donate ballpark” attitude, it can enjoy games in the 46-year-old Coliseum until the team leaves town.

  15. @pjk Wasn’t my comment, but thanks for playing along.

  16. Correct – somebody named ob, not eb.

  17. @ML: Did Lew Wolff ever real any details behind his financing plan for Cisco Field? To me, it’s seemed odd that despite the shift from Fremont to San Jose, the real estate collapse and general state of the economic landscape, Wolff has appeared confident funding would be there for a ballpark when the time comes. Is John Fisher the collateral?

  18. Briggs, as far as I know we haven’t seen any specifics on funding other than it would include a fair amount of “equity.”
    .
    Read into that what you will.

  19. eb, I feel your pain. I don’t care who the hell owns the team, though. I just want the next chapter to start.

  20. @Jeffrey,
    I think you nailed it with “equity,” ie selling off many of his hotel assets. If Wolff puts in a sizeable chunk to Cisco Field, its not really money wasted as it will bring up many of his other downtown SJ a$$ets, including those of his good friends McEnery and DiNapoli.

  21. @Briggs – All Wolff talked about was financing through entitlements (real estate). He didn’t say how much would go into the ballpark. Equity is basically cash. My thinking is that he and his partners would be loaning it to the A’s, who would pay it back over time with interest.

  22. @ eb – “Maybe my Oakland rage is guiding me, but I feel like a fresh start would be great for the franchise (even if they made their way to SJ.)”. This is precisely the kind of sentiment the realists on this board are condoning: it doesn’t matter where they get a new stadium or even who provides it for them, but it is critical they do get one and that it is sustainable in the long run so we don’t have to go through this bs ordeal again in a decade or two.

  23. @Anon Well, I meant a fresh start in ownership, no matter the city, but I understand and can mostly relate to your sentiment. Though, I’m honestly not at the point where a new stadium in SJ would bring me euphoria, it’s going to take a lot of initial swearing, muttering and acceptance to get there. BTW, “condoning?”

  24. @eb Assuming it happens, if you can’t be happy about the event itself I hope you’ll at least get some satisfaction out of the finger in the Giants’ eye.

  25. pjk, why do you view a stadium as a gift to a community? The stadium is where the team does business, where they make their hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Broke cities shouldn’t be subsidizing billionaire owners in a billion dollar industry.

    FWIW…I am a 49er fan and I am sickened at what Santa Clara is doing for the NFL and the 49ers.

  26. @Ted, not to speak for pjk, but for me, if you think the business should stay for non-business, community reasons, then you do lose the right to complain if, for business reasons they decide it’s better for them to move if you’re unwilling to subsidize a new place for them in their current location.
    .
    I’m 100% with you in that aside for some very basic moves like street work, etc. and “possibly” easements on taxes (and only in special cases), (any) city shouldn’t do squat for these teams. The problem is, you can’t have that view point and at the same time demand they stay put and/or complain when they decide that they want to move. If the “city” or “community” is going to lay a claim on them, then the team should absolutely expect the city to make sure that staying makes business sense to the team over any alternative. In the case of the A’s, that essentially means paying to build them a new ballpark. Hence the “gifting” pjk mentions.

  27. Yes, Oakland wants the team to stay and hopes MLB’s ridiculous territorial rights nonsense will “force” somebody to build a stadium in Oakland without taxpayer dollars. But such a venture would be financial folly in Oakland, so the A’s want to go to San Jose, moving further away from the Giants. But what do you know? MLB has made San Jose an official colony of the Giants and no team can go there. If the Giants aren’t gong to San Jose, they should get out of the way.

  28. @bartelby “Assuming it happens, if you can’t be happy about the event itself I hope you’ll at least get some satisfaction out of the finger in the Giants’ eye.”
    Believe me, Larry Baer, Kruk and Kuip (just because) will be burnt in effigy on the day any new stadium gets the go ahead. I imagine a SJ stadium would be even more of a knife twist, so there would be that silver lining.

  29. dmoas, I agree with you about the tax and infrastructure upgrades and I can see how someone could think Oakland should sweeten the pot a little to keep the team from going somewhere more attractive.

  30. @Ted – if you are so “sickened”, then you should also complain about this to the Gnats. Their MiLB team took millions from the city of SJ to revamp Municipal stadium. The MLB club, also took a substantial subsidy from SF to pay for transportation infrastructure as well as discounted real estate for Phone Booth Park. Ironically, this is the exact same model the A’s hope to do in SJ: privately built stadium with city infrastructure improvements…fwiw – i am an avid niners fan too and i was amazed SC is taking so much of the blunt on the stadium, but their residents approved it. If a similar situation happened in SJ, i would seriously reconsider the stadium as well, but luckily it is not.

  31. San Jose owns Municipal Stadium, not the San Jose A’s and it is used by the Spartans, high school teams and is rented out for non-baseball events.
    I would be OK with San Jose paying for street, sewage and transportation upgrades for a stadium in San Jose. I don’t like that they are willing to sell land to a real estate developer like Wolff for half or less than what they paid for it. At least lease it for market value to the A’s like the Port of San Francisco did with the land that Pac Bell was built on. Also, unlike that land in SF, there is a lot of demand by housing developers for that land in San Jose.
    I am not sure that Santa Clara residents approved much more than allowing the team to build a stadium in their town. The idea that Santa Clara has to be involved in the $850 million in loans for the stadium makes no sense to me.
    If Wolff privately finances a yard somewhere I have a feeling that it will be a gem and still cost a ton less than publicly financed stadiums like the one in DC or Petco, the Giants built Pac Bell for something like half of what it cost to build Petco.

  32. The Diridon land is worth a lot less than what San Jose paid for it and in return SJ gets $500 million in private investment in its downtown. A no-brainer deal. Unfortunately, American principles of democracy don’t operate in San Jose and the Giants are vetoing the whole project without San Jose voters even getting a say. Lots of demand for land for housing in San Jose? I’ve got an empty lot about an eighth of a mile from my house that had a future housing development sign on it for a year or two. The sign fell down a while ago and the land still sits there vacant. The housing market is depressed, mortgages are much tougher to get.

  33. @ Ted – Interesting, you suddenly became knowledgeable on things pertaining to Municipal stadium after several days of not even knowing about the SJ Gnats. FYI – The $1.5 million improvements were specific to the SJ Gnats, since they requested it (see Madison Nguyen’s response when StandForSJ was introduced). Why doesn’t the lil Gnats pay this themselves? In terms of the discount for the A’s, you do realize that we are in a depressed real estate market and that the city provided the option to LW since they had to have a contract in place before RDA termination goes into affect? I am not aware of “demand by housing developers” for Diridon as well, since there’s tons of housing nearby that can’t even be leased now (Axis/67/etc.) and that particular area has been vacant for a long time. Do you have any specifics to cite this claim? Again, there are more parallels between Phone Booth Park and a future SJ Cisco field development then there are differences. Both are to be both privately funded and both require some public infrastructure improvement. The City Council thought that given the size of the developmental and what it means in jobs and future city revenue, the discounted land price when taking into account the market, was fair and equitable for all parties.

  34. pjk, MLB is not a democracy it is a private business. The general public doesn’t get to vote on MLB business. If MLB takes away SCCTR from the Giants San Jose should get fair market value for any land they sell to Wolff and Co. I am all for the city providing street upgrades etc. Downtown land is still in demand and even if it isn;t worth what they paid it will be worth a lot more one day not too far down the road.

    Anon, I have been going to baseball games at Municipal stadium since the 70s. What makes you say that I didn’t know about the SJ Giants? Municipal Stadium belongs to the City of San Jose, it has belonged to the city for a lot longer than the San Jose Giants have been playing there. The lil Giants don;t own the stadium so why would they pay for improvements?
    Can you point me to an article that details the specifics for the financing of the stadium, area improvements and acquisition of land?

  35. Ted,
    We know that you PERSONALLY don’t want to see the A’s in San Jose. But at least give me this: as an American city, San Jose SHOULDN’T be barred from pursuing our National Pastime. If you bleed red, white and blue, your answer to this should be a no-brainer.
    Anyhow, please try to answer this honestly as well: if San Jose sells the Diridon land to Lew Wolff at a “discount,” with the following then happening: a half a billion dollar private investment into our downtown, increased sales tax receipts from increased downtown business, increased private investment downtown in the form of retail, bars, restaurants and office/residential development that want to be in an exciting downtown (see area around AT&T Park SF)…YOU’D STILL BE AGAINST THE A’S IN DOWNTOWN SAN JOSE?
    Again, try to put all your personal wantings and biases aside when answering these questions. Thank you.

  36. I think it would be more satisfying to Wolff to turn the A’s around in the bay area.

  37. By the way: downtown land is still in demand even if it isn’t? Huhh?! Have you noticed all the empty lots (many parking) in downtown San Jose? The high vacany rates for both office and residential downtown? Ironically, an exciting ballpark in downtown San Jose can reverse this sad trend and make businesses and people WANT to be in downtown San Jose. Again, you can see what AT&T Park did to SoMA/South Beach and Petco Park helped attract nearly $5 billion in private investment into downtown San Diego. Selling land at a “discount” is very small compared to what we would eventually get downtown.

  38. TonyD, I still haven’t seen the financing details for the land and ballpark but the idea of virtually giving away the land makes me uneasy and to be honest Tony, I have a hard time quantifying the effect of the $500 million investment downtown. Restaurants would get a bump in business which would make my friends in business around San Pedro Square happy while office workers and commuters would be negatively impacted. The $500 million would just be a short term construction project and few good jobs would actually come out of stadium operations. As a former long time regular at a few San Pedro Square bars I know that Sharks games give them a bump in business that is great for owners but drives out the regulars so I am not sure that it adds to the excitement factor of non-A’s fans.

    What if 5 years down the road the Rays decided that they too wanted to play in San Jose. Would it be OK to let San Jose bring another team into town or would it be OK for MLB and the A’s to say no to the Rays and San Jose?

  39. re: it is a private business.
    …um, I thought the whole basis for the federal anti-trust exemption was that baseball IS NOT a business? Which is it? If it’s a business (and it’s obvious it is) it should NOT have an antitrust exemption.

  40. pjk, it certainly isn’t a democracy or a government entity.

  41. MLB is given a special privilege by the federal government. And now, that special privilege is being used to deny a city of 1 million people the right of self government on this issue. I’d say that’s a pretty egregious abuse of this special privilege and it should be gone. If you don’t want San Jose to have Major League Baseball, I guess we’re not going to come to any kind of agreement.

  42. @Ted “What if 5 years down the road the Rays decided that they too wanted to play in San Jose. Would it be OK to let San Jose bring another team into town or would it be OK for MLB and the A’s to say no to the Rays and San Jose?”
    .
    Your persistent refusal to acknowledge the crucial difference between restrictions on intermarket moves and restrictions on intramarket moves can only be interpreted as willful blindness. While it is debatable whether even restrictions on intermarket moves are necessary, they are far less objectionable than restrictions on intramarket moves.
    .
    Further, the example you cite is absurd, it would never happen. The Rays would never risk their franchise this way, and the City of San Jose would offer nothing for a second MLB ballpark. The Rays would never be able to get financing. There’s no way they could play in the same yard as the A’s: MLB schedules make this infeasible, and the A’s will undoubtedly have control over scheduling of other events at the venue.
    .
    In other words, market forces would prevent this scenario. No need to coddle anyone by granting them special privileges of being exempt from the law.
    .
    If in some fantasyland this actually happened, OK, fine, great. We’d all have more entertainment options for a few years, the venture would fail, and the Rays would then move somewhere else. Y’know, just like how other businesses operate in the real world.
    .
    All this hand-wringing over the theoretical harm the Giants suffer is really overdone. The Lakers had a chokehold on the LA market, and they let the Clips move into the same damn building with them. Didn’t seem to worry them much, and doesn’t seem to have done them much harm.

    • @bartleby

      .There’s no way they could play in the same yard as the A’s:MLB schedules make this infeasible, and the A’s will undoubtedly have control over scheduling of other events at the venue.

      While I agree with most of what you said, MLB scheduling would not be a problem. If you look at the schedules of most 2 city teams, you’ll notice they are rarely at home at the same time. And if they knew the sharing was happening, those times could easily be avoided. For instance, the Mets and Yankees shared Shea for a couple years while the old Yankee Stadium was being renovated in the 70s.

  43. @Ted “The $500 million would just be a short term construction project and few good jobs would actually come out of stadium operations.”
    .
    The $500 million represents a large number of very high paying jobs that would last for several years. The economic effect of that stimulus is likely to persist even after those jobs were gone.
    .
    Beyond that, it’s not just about filling the existing restaurants. A new ballpark can be expected to revitalize the entire downtown. Look at the effect of AT&T Park on China Basin, Coors Field on LoDo, Petco Park on Downtown SF. It’s about filling all those luxury condos they just built downtown and attracting new offices, residences, restaurants, bars and services. It’s about momentum.
    .
    Having a healthy downtown benefits the entire city. The citizens of San Jose recognized this when they invested more than $1 billion in public money to redevelop downtown. Some of those projects succeeded, others failed. A San Jose ballpark is likely to have as much impact on downtown as that $1 billion of tax money – almost all at private expense.
    .
    Then there’s the marketing factor. Free three hour commercials for San Jose on TV almost every night, six months out of the year. Sports articles mentioning San Jose in the newspaper and on the internet year round. Reminding the rest of the country that San Jose exists, and that it’s a big-time city. This stuff matters when businesses decide where to locate or airlines decide where to add flights.

  44. Hmm… Modesto-based ownership of the A’s might not be a bad idea. Let’s see, Save Mart has a long history of sponsoring major sporting events (NASCAR race at Sears Point for many years), Gallo is the world’s largest winery, and Frito Lay (Pepsico) has a major Modesto presence. All three have obvious ties to Save Mart. If Piccinini could bring his Modesto business contacts together this could be a good thing. Does Selig read this blog??? ;-)
    .
    I have a hard time believing that Intel isn’t more of a player in sponsoring Sacramento/Bay-area sports too. They are such a major presence in that area, and talk about money to burn! They sure have it…

  45. Speaking of money to burn. Standing room Only tickets to the A’s/Giants at Pacbell are nutso this season. I like to support the A’s when they play in SF, but it just isn’t worth it. On the flip side, about the same price will get you some of the best seats in the house over at the Coliseum.

  46. With Ted’s focus on how a ballpark would negatively impact the people of San Jose, and his seeming inability to lower the blinders on some common sense things, I have decided that he is a plant from the Giants PR machine. His job here is to add negative information that could sway any SJ voters who find themselves here while researching the subject before the vote.

  47. @LoneStranger
    Very well could be. Me thinks there is some possible PR going on – the Madden piece, based on talking to a few lawyers, the M&R piece, which was completely unsubstantiated, the tit for tat press releases, and Ted a few others showing up here. And we all already know that Stand for San Jose is a Giants astroturf group, as proven by their funding.
    .
    Paranoia? Maybe. Pragmatic cynicism? Probably, and for good reason.
    .
    And I view it all as a GOOD THING. I made the point before, but if the Giants felt comfortable that their TR would be upheld, they’d be completely quiet.

  48. We’re not talking about the types of plants Tim Lincecum likes to smoke, right?

  49. @ Ted – Interesting that you have been going to Municipal stadium games since the 70’s, but aren’t aware of the funding the lil Gnats received (look at my city memo again), nor that StandForSJ was launched at Municipal stadium by the former head of the lil Gnats. I would recommend you do more research before trying to argue whatever stance you are trying to push. Speaking of which, I am still waiting for your proof that there is vast downtown residential interested as you noted before.

    BTW – Since you live in the Bascom / Hamilton neighborhood, I used to go to a great Greek restaurant across the way from the pruneyard. Do you know the name of it since i forgot and was wanting to go there again. It’s been there for at least 5-8 years.

  50. @LS It’s hard not to wonder about that. We know it is routine nowadays for companies to send PR people out to spread their point of view on various blogs. This blog is the leading source of information on this issue. And Ted’s views pretty much toe the Giants’ company line 100%….
    .
    Actually, I’ve wondered for a while now why we haven’t seen shills for the Giants posting here previously.

  51. @Darren A new privately financed ballpark will have something like 70 suites and 10,000 club/charter/premium seats to sell for 81 games per year. Financing of such a ballpark will depend on getting long term contracts to purchase that product. A handful of big companies, no matter how rich they are, won’t cut it, it will take hundreds. For why this works in SJ but not in Oakland or Sacramento, please see list of SVLG membership.

  52. It is obvious Ted does not understand the logistics behind any of this.

    1. The 49ers gave Santa Clara sweet deal, say what you want about the loan, the reason why Santa Clara took the loan is because their Stadium Authority is Tax-Sheltered…..The 49ers are covering any short falls between debt service and rent payments year to year…..Santa Clara is protected, the 850M just looks bad but in reality it is not.

    2. The land in Downtown San Jose for the A’s ballpark would be used for nothing if not for a ballpark. In the history of MLB ballparks the city of San Jose is getting the best deal of all time……….No one has built privately since SF in 2000 and before that LA in the 1960s. We the citizens of San Jose are getting a free ballpark…..Not the A’s or any other team.

    3. If the banks are willing to give 850M for a Silicon Valley football stadium you do not think the A’s can get a 350M loan for a downtown San Jose ballpark?? Lets be real here, the taxpayers will not pay anything towards construction…..the private sector is so strong in the general area there is no need for taxpayer dollars.

    We as the citizens of San Jose can at least give the land, infrastructure, and raze the site for the A’s if they build it privately after that…..Sounds like a great deal that will pass very easily in a vote.

    These are facts…..Not theories

  53. @bartleby
    “Actually, I’ve wondered for a while now why we haven’t seen shills for the Giants posting here previously.”
    .
    Because the Giants are getting worried. I know without a shadow of a doubt that negotiations are hot and heavy, and that consensus is building within the lodge. With that in mind, the Gnats will do whatever to sway public opinion, particularly in Silicon Valley.

  54. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants hired someone to post here. After all, we know they’re not above forming an astroturf group disguised as a grassroots citizens organization. What did Liccardo (SJ councilman) say? When a bunch of Frisco lawyers and Frisco residents form a group called “Stand for San Jose,” watch out for what comes next….Jeff: I’ve been thinking the consensus-building is what is going on right now, otherwise why wouldn’t Wolff just throw in the towel? Soothe the paranoid fears of a few owners that the A’s moving further from the Giants means the Rays moving into some other team’s backyard…If Wolff throws in the towel, nothing happens but the other 29 owners have to buy up the A”s and cover losses for many more years until somewhere down the line, investors from another part of the country buy and move the team. Nobody is gong to meet Oakland’s “conditions” that A’s owners must privately finance a ballpark there.

  55. @JA I hope you’re right.

  56. Better dead than red…

    Better… uhm (something that rhymes with orange) than orange.

  57. Better a fatal heart attack that rooting for orange and black?

    • Better a fatal heart attack that rooting for orange and black?

      I don’t think I was very effective in the parallel I attempted to draw.

  58. Off the heart attack tip, here’s hoping that this weekend is THE WEEKEND: owners and investors of both the A’s and Giants in AZ over the next couple of days, and Mark Purdy is now in Scottsdale (see his Merc piece today on Brian Wilson). Hopefully, maybe…maybe.

  59. Since being potentially “outed” as a Giants operative, we’ve heard nothing at all from Ted. hmmm

  60. Ted’s probably in Arizona now ;)

  61. I hat to disappoint, but I am fairly certain Ted is not a secret operative for anyone

  62. I think your right Jeffrey. I was just going along with the theory. Can’t wait to talk about REAL stuff (last two weeks have been crazy).

  63. Tony D- have you seen any articles that speculate why both ownership groups are in AZ?

  64. @GoA’s,
    No. Just the Purdy piece mentioning they would both be in Arizona this weekend.

  65. no doubt in my mind there are at the very least those in the sf org that are reading this blog. i’ve gone to a few sf boards/blogs and they know of this blog very much, heck even gone to a few other team’s boards also mentioning this blog so there isn’t reason to believe there are those from across the bay that follow this site everyday to see what’s the opinion of a’s fans.

    and as i said a few weeks ago for those asses who are reading this blog from the craptastic halloween team that has their idiot fans dress up like idiots at every home game, you and your bosses that sent you here can all go to hell!

  66. A paranoia meter tuned to this blog entry would be clicking like a Geiger counter at Homer Simpson’s dashboard. Your fear of the Giants clouds your judgment. Moorad would be worse than Wollf/Fisher.

  67. At Creators Project, the A’s got some representation going on, but it is St. Patty’s Day.

  68. All, Jeffrey knows exactly who I am. He looked up my email address and found my LinkedIn and possibly my Facebook accounts. He sent me a very gracious email explaining why he was leery of me not being who I said I was. We have exchanged some nice emails since. FTR, I got outed here on the day of the St Patty’s Day Golf Tournament at SJ Muni and Ted had projects around home to attend to yesterday.
    Anon, as I have said several times. San Jose owns the ball park that the San Jose Giants play in. San Jose State plays games there as well, so do high school teams and many other pro teams have called that place home over the decades.
    Municipal Stadium is San Jose’s park, not the San Jose Giants. When was the last time you drove down Race Street? I drove down Race from 280 and there is a massive housing complex being built between 280 and Stevens Creek.
    I told you that I live near Hamilton and 17, I actually live on the other side of 17 from the old Zorba’s restaurant that backs up to the light rail but I can still get Greek food down the street at Yiassoo which is just past Pruneyard on the other side of Bascom. I am done telling you about myself. Who they heck are you?

    • Ted shouldn’t have to withstand this kind of scrutiny based on his supposed M.O. Some of you regular commenters have run crying to me when your anonymity has been threatened. Leave it alone. Thread closed. New thread later today.

  69. @ted- still would like to know what developers want to develop the ballpark area into housing like you cited. This area is a wasteland of old industrial buildings…20 years after SJ Arena opened- and as others have said- there is a glut of townhouses, condo’s, lofts that are sitting on the market with no interested buyers. Also, SJ giants can continue tom play in SJ- but the city shouldn’t give a dime of money to that ballpark- personally I would prefer for them to transfer it to SJ State and they can improve upon it and make it their sole home field while still allowing the hs games to be played there-

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