The illusion of pendulum swings

There’s been a wide range of reaction from Bud Selig’s non-update yesterday.

  • Gwen Knapp: “No decision means ‘no’ to the A’s. They aren’t getting the rights to San Jose, not yet, not soon, not even over Larry Baer’s stone-cold corpse.”
  • Mark Purdy: “And no action was taken — although Wolff’s quotes do indicate the blue-ribbon panel’s findings back up his contention that none of the Oakland stadium ‘proposals’ amount to anything.” (Purdy also brought up a potential antitrust case on KNBR.)
  • Ray Ratto: “So [the owners] see no compelling reason to hurry toward a decision they don’t want to make anyway.”
  • Art Spander: “The solution to all this is for Wolff, who wants nothing to do with authorities and business people in Oakland, a place he doesn’t live, to reach a compromise.”
  • Robert Gammon: “…it seems clear that the Giants’ presentation was more persuasive and that the rest of the league has no intention of overruling the Giants’ opposition to the A’s move.”
  • Jon Heyman: “Some progress is seen in that a significant amount of discussion is being dedicated to the A’s to the point where the talk has moved from committees to baseball’s Executive Council.”
  • Buster Olney: “The time has come for Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff to start firing off lawsuits in effort to move to San Jose — or sell the team.”
  • Ken Rosenthal: “Do not get distracted by any of this. The A’s focus is still on San Jose. The focus of the entire sport is on how the A’s can get to San Jose.”
All of that came from a few rather innocuous quotes from Bud Selig. At this point it doesn’t matter what Selig did or didn’t say – the quotes have been twisted so completely that anyone can weave their own “truth” from owners meetings.

Here’s what we knew going into the meetings:

  • There would be no official action taken on T-rights.

That’s it. Both the A’s and Giants made presentations, which some believe is encouraging and some don’t. Former Giants managing partner Bill Neukom was present at the meetings, presumably to plead the Giants’ case. It seems likely that both teams will continue to make presentations at future owners meetings until a decision is made.

The decision thing is the issue. The sad truth of the matter is that MLB doesn’t have to decide anything anytime soon, just as Lew Wolff doesn’t have to sell the team anytime soon. The A’s will stay afloat via revenue sharing through the end of the CBA, and as long as Wolff and Billy Beane don’t get out in front of their skis in terms of payroll, the team should continue to make money. In that short-term vein, the “best interests of baseball” may be to keep the status quo. You could easily say that Selig is kicking the can down the road, where his eventual successor will have to resolve the dispute. You might also say that the tossed off comment about moving outside the Bay Area is strategic one meant to incite at least a little panic. That may have worked in Miami and Minneapolis, but it’s not going to work here. It never has.

Eventually that short-term position will end and be replaced by a long-term, permanent solution. That’s when some kind of decision will have to be made. Unfortunately for us A’s fans, we have no idea when that might happen. There’s certainly no urgency on the matter. Maybe MLB is waiting for the Giants to retire debt, though the prospect of the team refinancing some of the remaining debt creates a gray area in its own right. The post-redevelopment world hasn’t shaken out yet, and won’t for at least several months.

Until some of these variables settle, it’s in baseball’s best interests to keep both Oakland and San Jose in play. For Selig to kill either option would be poor strategy on his part. San Jose boosters and politicians may be frustrated, but at least the city has most of its pieces in place. Oakland is finally getting some momentum thanks to Don Knauss, though it’s too early to tell if that momentum is real and sustainable. As long as a decision isn’t made on San Jose that shuts out Oakland, another lease extension at the Coliseum can be negotiated. This vague flexibility even opens up the possibility that Fremont could re-enter the picture, perhaps as soon as the next elected mayor takes office in 2013.

The wildcard here would be if San Jose decides to unleash the legal hounds. Again, this is where I think Selig’s M.O. comes into play. As long as Selig can say, “We’re still studying this,” there’s no specific decision to point to that San Jose can build an antitrust case around. Sure, they can make threats, but until someone files a case it won’t mean much.

Until then, what we’ve got here is a Mexican standoff. How do those usually turn out?

73 thoughts on “The illusion of pendulum swings

  1. this is why I come here for my news. honesty, this is some of the best content I’ve read anywhere on this topic in a long time. I can email this to all my non- Bay Area friends who saw ESPN’s article “Could the A’s leave the Bay Area?” and tell them “just read this”. Thanks for providing some perspective.

  2. Selig & MLB are stonewalling seeming to wait for a deus ex machine. I’m not sure that a decision really needs to be made for SJ to fire off the anti-trust case. Just the very fact that they’re “studying this” is enough. They have a willing team and a willing owner. The very idea that there’s anything to study is MLB “conspiring.” In fact, MLB might have to show what it is they’re studying and they’d better have something better than the Giant’s “ownership” of SJ. I don’t think SJ has much to lose at this point. MLB has already cost them money for that land as well as revenue had the stadium been built & opened. If they lose the lawsuit, at least they can be done with it and move forward in another direction.

  3. Very good analysis ML.
    .
    All of this just tells me that we’re not going to see movement on any of this any time soon. And I’m thinking that, well, I know that, MLB is reluctant to move any team anywhere, even if it’s just 35-40 miles down a freeway in a neighboring city. MLB is also very reluctant to overturn any territorial rights under any circumstances, even if those T-rights were derived from total bull crap, like the Gnats T-rights.
    .
    Thus, going forward, I’m not getting my hopes up about SJ. I just look at it as a half way decent possibility somewhere down the road, and if it happens, it’s gravy. Until then, I’m totally embracing the Coliseum (I have no problem going there at all, it’s just the casual fans that avoid it), and the A’s receiving revenue sharing, and Billy Beane always finding market inefficiencies and putting up interesting, competitive teams in spite of the disadvantages, and even Quan and Knauss and gang coming up with some viable solution, or even some good renovations to the Coli.
    .
    In short, it is what it is, and I’m not going to let the a-hole gnats, or spineless Selig, ruin my love for the A’s, or enjoying their current over achieving season and long term rebuilding process.

  4. What the A’s should do is open a dugout store in San Jose. They should also actively sell to and market to, Silicon Valley companies, particularly ones that are already doing business with gnats, offering lower prices and extra benefits (shuttle services, BART passes, food & beer & wine coupons, etc), and steal away a chunk of the Gnats’ SV business. There’s nothing the Gnats or MLB can do to stop this.

  5. You said MLB doesn’t have to make a decision any time soon, but isn’t there urgency from the standpoint of a new agreement between the A’s and the Coliseum Authority? They most likely will increase fees for the A’s, which would reduce profits. You’ve addressed this before, but does this not factor into a decision?

    • @Mitch – That’s the only pressing matter. As long as MLB doesn’t shut Oakland out the extension should be done. Oakland won’t get the long-term commitment they want unless a new ballpark plan is well underway (which it isn’t). I said before that Selig or an underling would have to negotiate with the JPA on this, I still think this is the case.

      @fc – Tony D. is still suspended. In email he has indicated that he won’t be commenting so much anymore. I’ll lift the suspension soon and we’ll see what happens.

  6. Selig did say one thing that wasn’t vague… the end is nowhere in sight.
    .
    Now, the A’s need to go all out to win back the fractured fan base. You have guys on here and other A’s related blogs verbally blasting each other, over this mess. I shouldn’t be annoyed with my fellow A’s fans, or them with me.

  7. Great analysis ML.
    .
    I think you’re right that in Selig’s eyes, there’s no real need/advantage to making a decision now. Deciding in favor of San Jose now would only jeopardize negotiations on a lease extension, and why commit to Oakland if there is no real concrete plan in place. Delaying this for another year will help clear some of the water, not to mention move the Giants one year closer to paying off their mortgage.
    .
    As painful as this may be, we will probably be sitting here one year from now waiting on a decision. Pull up a chair everyone.
    .
    BTW, Tony still banded from this site?

  8. Jeff Unathletic…..no dugout in San Jose…let em worry about the Sharks and Earthquakes along with the Spartans. They need to forget San Jose all together.

  9. Bauce
    Nothing stopping them from marketing in San Jose. There’s a gold mine of business there. In fact, AFAIK, it’s a slightly shorter distance to the Coliseum than it is to AT&T. Plus, the Coli has a BART station. Why wait for, if it ever happens, a stadium in SJ, in order to tap into that huge market. If the Giants can build revenues from SCCO, as they claim is such a huge chunk of their business, there’s nothing stopping the A’s from building a healthy SCCO business. It’s just good business. Quite frankly, I’m totally fine with the A’s staying in Oakland. I just want them to get a new stadium, or have the Coli renovated (if the Raiders move or build a new stadium). But in the meantime, the A’s should do a better job of tapping into all of their potential markets.

  10. The A’s need as many stores, in as many cities as they can.

  11. Forget SJ market and forget satisfying Lew Wolff in sheep’s clothing. He tried to move Warriors to San Jose in the 80s and when it didn’t go down…what did the punk do? Sell!

    He doesn’t like East Bay especially Oakland and we already have proof of this. He cares nada about a winning product for a sports team. He cares about solely making money with retail stip malls and condos. Remember when he bought SF Fairmount? He cried WOLFFF then and is doing the same schit now

  12. As A’s fans we’ll just have to be resigned to a revenue-sharing ~.500 club for the foreseeable future. Nothing wrong with that I suppose. They are actually over-achieving this year so far which is great, we can focus our energies on this season.
    -
    I can totally see the Milpitas and Berryessa BART stations opening before the A’s stadium situation is resolved. It will be a great way for us south bay fans to get to games! No more trekking up 880 or driving to the Fremont BART station which is way off the freeway.

  13. @David
    Agreed!
    I’m more and more convinced that the SJ thing is going to take at least a year or more to resolve, whether it’s a yes or no. And currently the no movement is a de facto “no”, at least in the near future.
    .
    So Lew Wolff and John Fisher have to make the best of it. Market the hell out San Jose – open a dugout store there, sell luxury suites/boxes like crazy to SV companies. Heck, market the hell out of their own territory. The Gnats opened a dugout store in Walnut Creek (A’s territory) for goodness sake. The A’s should open one right next door, that’s bigger, better, and stands out more. Then they should get together with Knauss and company and say “show me the money” as in, you want me to stay here, then pony up with advertising and buying luxury boxes/suites, right now, not wait until some hypothetical stadium financing in Oakland comes to fruition.
    .
    Then they should open up a section of A’s merch at Raley Field (since River Cats players are also A’s players), and sell tickets there, along with ride sharing / shuttle service programs. Then do the same thing in Stockton with the Ports. In fact, they should try to get a radio contract in the Central Valley (we don’t have one), bringing in new revenue.

  14. Giants…keep south bay market. This is the only time I’ll ever support the Giants. San jose is still a place with a small town feeling to it and that will never change. I for sure would never go to a damn game there. And like the Giants gonna lose their tv deal with NBC Bay Area who is…LOCATED IN SAN JOSE…..puhleeeze be serious. Wolff already knew when he bought team what the deal was. Now he wants to act all innocent. Guy is a snake and so is Fischer.

  15. Another reason that MLB doesn’t want to make a decision is that the Raiders may decide to move soon. If the Raiders move to Santa Clara, Dublin, or LA, renovating/replacing the Coliseum becomes easier and provides MLB with more leverage over Oakland.

  16. Wolff and Fischer should make the best outta taking a gun and using it on each other. Then A’s can be marketed even better.

  17. Bauce, what’s your plan after the give up on San Jose? Where’s Oakland’s realistic ballpark plan? Because right now I see nothing but PR stunts and retread sites that MLB already rejected with no plan on how to pay for it beyond having the owners pay (which isn’t a plan at all).

  18. Thanks for the great overview. One quibble: Neukom’s presence at the meetings means he’s representing the Giants, but not that he has much say determining the owners’ current position(s). Neukom was in charge when the Giants developed the strategy they’re now implementing. (The purchase of controlling interest in the San Jose farm team, for example, occurred quietly, early in Neukom’s reign.) And Neukom, of course, is acutely aware of antitrust issues. But remember: Neukom got fired for hubris. (As a Giants fan, I was angry at the firing. I liked Neukom’s hubris and free-spending ambition; he funded and inspired the entire organization and put the team right where it need to be to take advantage of the 2010 opportunity; but I digress.) When he got fired, Neukom agreed to sell at least the bulk of his partnership interest back to the group. As a result, he’s now acting as a retained lawyer, not as a policy-maker.
    .
    Using Neukom to present the Giants’ position(s) to the mlb owners certainly sends an initial message that the Giants are not backing down from what they told the other owners back when Neukom really did wield power. But that doesn’t mean the Giants won’t compromise. I think they will, and I think they will do so on terms that Neukom personally won’t like, but that he professionally will broker.

  19. Marine Square….I don’t care what you do. Being banned is just a sign of weakness on your part. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me……who gives a damn about KTVU? We talking NBC Bay area and San Jose….Giants will not want any of that taken from them. Name the local bay area stations on tv where the A’s play on now….yeah sure you can’t!

    Giants keep your T rights and don’t let the coward duo of Wolff and Fisher take them

  20. Dan….the realistic plan is not San Jose. The realisitc plan is for SJ deal to be sliced and Wolff and Fisher sell and get the hell out of baseball. They are not in this business for the baseball that’s for damn sure. Wolff can’t wait to get to SJ not to have a great title contending team but only to have property and malls to show off to his rich buddies. As someone said before….Donald Sterling type of owner. Loser. As sais you remember the warriors in the 80s?

  21. Martin…its early so put the bottle down man. Raiders going nowhere and LA is not even an option. LA doesn’t want the Raiders back and Raiders never belonged there. Even crazy Al Davis saw this by late 80s. Rams will be back in LA by 2015…bank on it

  22. No one can make Lew Wolff sell the A’s or the Giants sell their South Bay T-Rights. It makes me wonder what Selig’s plan was. Clearly, he is the one who brought Fisher/Wolff in to MLB. Was Selig’s plan just the Montrealization of the A’s? If so, he should have done his homework…. no way was that ever going to happen in Oakland. Or did Selig just think he was going to “punk” the Giants into seeing things his way? That’s also not a well thought out plan.
    .
    Wouldn’t it be nice if the MLB Commissioner were truly independent and could make decisions without fear of reprisal?

  23. Weak Sauce, Internet tough guy, huh? Stay classy you POS!!

  24. @Bauce – Wolff was a minority owner of the Warriors. He never had any power from my memory. It was Mieuli, Finnane, Cohan, and now the new group.

  25. Just ignore Bauce. Everyone else seems to be adding to the discussion. I’m going to be content that the A’s stay in the bay. I’d prefer SJ, but can handle them being in Oakland. The only thing is all of this nothingness is making me a little jittery.

  26. Speaking of suspensions, what’s up with JK? He still banned? I know a lot of us had our differences with him, but he didn’t strike me as a bad dude. Could he be allowed back on the blog soon or is this a life ban?

  27. Bauce, your response just shows your lack of any actual knowledge about what is going on. Wolff will not be getting any property or malls in San Jose besides the property the ballpark itself will be completely occupying. Anything else you’ve heard is just misinformed propaganda. And you didn’t answer my question, if not San Jose what is the plan? Because right now and for the last 17 years Oakland hasn’t had one. And the team won’t be staying in the shithole Coliseum forever.

  28. There used to be an A’s store at the Great Mall in Milpitas. Apparently, it did not do well enough to stay open.

  29. blah….blah…blah….this is the same

  30. blah….blah….blah….This is the same BS we have been hearing for 3 years now and we will keep hearing for another 2 years at least.

    What a joke Selig is!

  31. Getting a new ballpark by 2015 has fallen into the “pipe dream” category. Oakland may actually get their sh*t together by the time a decision is made on SJ. But most likely, the A’s will be just left there to rot in the Coliseum because no one wants to deal with the situation and Wolff won’t sell because no one has actually said “no” to SJ. You may well be reading this same blog 3 years from now about some legal fight going on in the courts with many possible parties- SJ, the Giants, the A’s, NIMBY’s(Giants front) and MLB. The Giants won’t budge because they know the A’s would thrive in SJ, and the competition would be real. Otherwise, why would they care if a team moves 35 miles further away from their ballpark? Even building Coliseum City in Oakland for the A’s would be a win for the Giants. The problem is, until someone actually tells LW it’s not happening in SJ, he won’t sell, and he won’t build in Oakland. Meanwhile, pages fly off of the calendar and the A’s remain in an ancient venue. The unfortunate loser in all of this is the Raiders who very well might want to renovate the Coliseum and finish turning it into a football stadium. But if the A’s are stuck there in limbo, it’s a no go.

  32. Larry E, just a guess, but judging by the comments he’s made about this blog on LGO, I don’t think he would post here again. He seemed pretty upset about it.

  33. I’ve never seen an argument so detached from reality! NBC Bay Area? WTF?

  34. Let’s say Knauss blows Wolff out of the water with a detailed, coherent plan for building in Oakland that made financial sense(a long shot, I know). Would that be enough for Wolff to reconsider Oakland again? Would anything? This limbo is killing the team and fracturing the fan base, Wolff has to see that.

  35. @eb I can’t speak for the man but it’s possible- but even Knass doesn’t want Coliseum City. A nice waterfront BP with some Cisco like sponsorship money. Oakland’s best time may well be in the future when SJ looks like a no, IMO. Until then, I think limbo becomes the new normal for the fan base and we’d be better off being patient. At least they haven’t left the state.

  36. OT, but it looks like the A’s finally have a Comcast “Insider.” We’re movin’ up in the world, boys!

  37. I guess continued stalemate benefits me since I have great discounted seats on a cheap 22-game plan with $9 parking, so why does this feel so dispiriting? Just want to see this franchise move forward!

  38. This is what happens if San Jose is a no and then Lew Wolff sells.

    1. The new owner will say they will have check things out financially before they can fully commit to a new stadium in Oakland.
    2. They will select a site and Oakland for help in assembling the site.
    3. Oakland will say sure but you have to pay for everything.
    4. The new owner will say ok that won’t work financially and will investigate another site and ask Oakland’s help on the new site.
    5. Oakland will say sure but you will have to pay for everything.

    After 10 or 15 years, the new owners will give up and sell to another ownership group.

  39. Before the A’s said they wanted to move to San Jose, I felt both the A’s and the Giant’s spent minimal effort in Santa Clara County on attracting fans. The Giant’s have had a dugout store for a while but neither team spent much effort to get the average baseball fan to go to their games or doing any publicity in Santa Clara County.
    .
    Since the 49er practice facility has been in Santa Clara for a while, I’ve always felt the 49ers had more of a presence in Santa Clara County. The players are normally around, most of the 49er news comes from Santa Clara, more organized appearances are local to area, etc.
    .
    If A’s build a new stadium in Oakland, I feel both the Giants and the A’s will go back to ignoring Santa Clara County.

  40. STH: Exactly. And the beat goes on…Until investors in another market (Portland, San Antonio, Charlotte, NC) come forward with a publicly funded ballpark and then it’s bye bye A’s…

  41. If anything, at least this issue is finally getting some big-time national attention. This whole thing just keeps growing and growing and growing and I’m starting to worry a little more than I used to.

    Slightly off-topic: does anybody have a link to the concept art for the proposed ballpark for the Giants around/in San Jose? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

  42. “STH: Exactly. And the beat goes on…Until investors in another market (Portland, San Antonio, Charlotte, NC) come forward with a publicly funded ballpark and then it’s bye bye A’s…”
    .
    @pjk – yes, but that’s probably 10 to 15 years away from being a possibility, unless maybe Sacramento loses the Kings and decides to go all-out to get the A’s.

  43. If HYPOTHETICALLY the A’s build a state-of-the art stadium in a great waterfront location in Oakland where the surrounding area is also developed, do you think the A’s will be able to attract Silicon Valley sponsorship?

    As a former Cisco employee, I know the deep pockets these large SV corporations have. Especially a more sports-inclined company like Cisco that’s is trying to develop some “stadium experience” technology. Will the fact that the stadium is in Oakland or the East Bay be a detractor? Or is the more pressing issue here that the stadium itself needs to be a destination?

    As a side note: A lot of my former co-workers from Cisco lived in the Danville/Pleasanton/San Ramon area.

  44. just wondering what TF BS has been telling both sides…seriously Is is it possible BS is acting as double agent in this case ?

  45. @ David – “Now, the A’s need to go all out to win back the fractured fan base.” Is this the same fractured fan base that had a showing of 25k+ last Friday?! Or is it fractured because only a select few out of the 40K FB fans came out with their “I <3 T-RIGHTS" slogan? O.o

  46. @ Chris0 – I used to work at one of the main competitors to Cisco. They used to have a suite at Oakland for years but terminated it when the economy tanked in 07′. I was expecting them to stay dormant in terms of any future sponsorship because of the state of flux of the present economy, but low and behold they are now sponsoring the 49ers. I think with the Niners stadium now in SC and football having much more national appeal, many SV companies will instead opt to stay local and/or if they consider baseball, may instead be inclined to sign deals with the Giants, since they live in a more prestigious and recognized facility for their clients.

  47. Chris, if they’re not investing now, they’re not going to invest in the future. Just look at how many of the SVLG companies that signed that letter DON’T have sponsorships or suites with the Giants despite their top notch ballpark because they’re too far away. An A’s stadium in Oakland would have the same problem. No amount of new stadium in Oakland will change the fact they’re 45 miles from Silicon Valley.

  48. The A’s have tried in vain in Oakland for years and due to the sheer ineptitude of the City of Oakland we are in the situation we are in today.

    Oakland in fact is closer to San Jose by a significant margin rather to San Francisco and Bud Selig has shown how much of a coward he is to do the right thing.

    The owners if asked to vote will side with Wolff guaranteed……If not, Selig would never try to broker a deal unless he had a consensus from the other owners as why waste time?

    If Oakland had a viable site why waste time brokering a deal to San Jose? These questions must be asked when trying to see the logic or lack of there of.

    Wolff must call for a vote in August and explain to the other owners that if the vote is not approved he will not stand in San Jose’s way if they wish to file an Anti-Trust lawsuit that would have great merit.

    At this point after 1160 days what else is left to do? The Giants will not negotiate ever and Wolff/San Jose must take things into their owns hands or let Selig decide their fate for them.

    I have been skeptical of this from the get go as the signs would seem MLB wants the team in San Jose but the Giants hold on unconstitutional t-rights that the other sports do not have and are playing their hand and will not budge.

    The time has come to make this “complex” with a forced vote and an Anti-Trust lawsuit.

  49. Sid I wouldn’t say “significantly closer.” Downtown Oakland is 42 miles from Downtown San Jose. Downtown San Francisco is 47 miles from SJ. Not a big difference. Both are too far away to get anywhere near the investment from SJ a downtown SJ ballpark would. Difference is SF can live without outside investment on a private ballpark as they have been for over 10 years, Oakland can’t.

  50. ML, Thank you for newballpark…just need some clarification…

    Selig won’t give an answer because once he does, it could mean an anti trust law suit? Which is also why the A’s is not on the agenda? So he decides not to answer and prolong the A’s to stay in limbo.

    Is Dublin or Pleasanton an option? I’m a San Jose resident and want them to stay in the Bay. Oakland, San Jose..it does not matter. What’s best for baseball.

  51. what’s best for baseball is the a’s to move to sj and get into that silicon valley money that hasn’t gone into sf for the past decade despite a new park and likey won’t get in any new oakland park.

    said all along i want a new park anywhere in the bay area. sj is imo by far the best option and i still believe it’ll happen eventually, but if it doesn’t then those from the oakland side of things better weren’t bs’ing about having a group willing to buy the a’s and keep them in oakland. still don’t know how they would be able to build a 450-500 million dollar stadium in oakland hopefully somewhere other than the coliseum parking lot. course the cynic would say would selig even would allow the a’s to be sold to a “pro oakland” group after the piccinini fiasco back in the late 90s.

  52. @Ren – That would only apply if Selig unequivocally said no to San Jose. With Oakland there’s no real legal challenge since everything there is tied to the existing Coliseum lease.

    The Tri-Valley area could be an option, but it would be difficult to pull off without a healthy amount of government assistance (subsidized land).

    • @A’s observer – That appears to be a dead link. If you can email me the link I’ll get it fixed. I’m not clear on what article you’re referencing.

  53. Interesting idea. Selig doesn’t make a decision to keep legal action at bay from either side. Could that really be his goal? As long as he’s “studying” the issue then everyone has to wait right? No legal challenges from the Gnats front group and no legal challenges from San Jose. All the while the A’s rot in a mausoleum. I guess at this point, I wouldn’t put it past him to sacrifice the A;s (and their fans) to keep a lid on this issue.

  54. Tri-Valley could use more exploration. Since they have BART, the village concept could work better there than it would have in Fremont, but of course the real estate market would have to pick up.

  55. As a lifelong Tri-Valley resident, having the A’s here would be a dream come true.

    That being said, the idea just seems strange on its face. Where would it go, Camp Parks? Didn’t Dublin flat-out say ‘no’ to the Raiders building there?

  56. Selig’s suggestion that the A’ could move out of the bay area and into a smaller city (with a smaller MLB fanbase) is foolish. The A’s are not dumb enough to make such a move. The television cable rights income that the bay area can provide is potential much better than the small market cities (Portland, Sacto, Las Vegas, San Antonio, etc.) can provide. All those cities (including their surrounding suburbs) have fanbases which are 2.2- 2.3 mil. in size. Also struggling MLB cities such as Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland are all that similar 2.3 mil. size – the MLB does not need one more of those franchises.

    Also, MLB teams with larger fanbases and television viewers earn much more from their cable tv contracts than the small market teams do. For example, the Texas Rangers recently inked a tv rights contract where they are receiving $80 mil. annualy now – and will start receiving $150 mil. a year in ’15. Even the San Diego Padres now are earning $80 mil. annually with their new cable tv deal. Whereas a small market team such as Kansas City only earns $18 mi. yearly with their television rights contract.

    If a market such as San Diego can receive $80 mil. a year – the A’s (in the much larger bay area) should be able to fetch a tv rights deal for at least $100- $120 mil. annually.

    The difference between receiving $150 mil. annually compared to $18 mil. (as a Portland, San Antonio, or Sacto market would earn) is obviously staggering – a $132 mil. a year difference. Doing the math – that $132 mil. difference (using a $25 per ticket average MLB ticket cost as an example – equals an additional 5,280,000 fans per season – unbelievable!). Lew Wolff and the A’s know better and will not move into any of those small-time MLB markets.

  57. To Marine Layer:

    It is a 5/18 Chronicle article written by several reporters including Ron Kroichik (in sports section).

    I’ll keep trying to find the article.

    Thanks observer.

    A’s observer

  58. eb, I seriously doubt he cares about articles written by misinformed sensationalist boobs for local newspapers who are more interested in generating readership than in the truth. Selig for instance said nothing of the sort that the author ascribes to him. But that didn’t stop him from writing the article anyway.

  59. The local press makes an impact and I wouldn’t call all of them “boobs,” although certainly a handful would fit that title. People read the paper or online sports sites or listen to the radio and I’d imagine opinions are swayed by “expert” analysis. I mean Wolff has gotten booed at his own ballpark. Being called “the most hated man in Oakland” in a major paper isn’t a good thing. I’d imagine he doesn’t take all of this too personally, but I hope the A’s get that PR can go a long way because right now it seems to be all Giants.

  60. My sense of the media is that in general they (we) are really rooting for Oakland over San Jose for the same socioeconomic reasons that Wolff would prefer San Jose even if Oakland had a site. Personally I just want to see the A’s in the Bay Area, I don’t care if they tie the ghost ships in Suisun Bay together and make it the foundation of a floating ballpark.

  61. Bay Area columnists writing about the situation show an alarming lack of knowledge about Bay Area economics. If Wolff won’t build in Oakland he should sell to someone who will? OK. Where’s the viable site? Don’t bring up the already-rejected ones. And where’s the financing mechanism, besides the owners going broke?..

  62. baycommuter
    May 20, 2012 at 8:54 AM (Quote)

    My sense of the media is that in general they (we) are really rooting for Oakland over San Jose for the same socioeconomic reasons that Wolff would prefer San Jose even if Oakland had a site. Personally I just want to see the A’s in the Bay Area, I don’t care if they tie the ghost ships in Suisun Bay together and make it the foundation of a floating ballpark.

    ^^^^^^^
    Exactly!

  63. daniel: interesting blog piece on the A/T action against mlb. Consumer A/T class actions are difficult to begin with, for several reasons. Also, that lawsuit involves mlb’s broadcasting policies, so the A/T exemption might not have any bearing on the case. mlb could defend without going there, in other words, and lose, and not lose any further piece of the exemption. But the lawsuit does highlight one thing very clearly, I think: mlb has become an international entertainment conglomerate. Back in 1922, one of the strangest rationales J. Holmes offered for the original A/T exemption was the essentially local, intrastate nature of “exhibitions of baseball.” Holmes also wrote that baseball was outside the traditional defintion of commerce because playing baseball did not “produce” anything for sale — “personal effort, not related to production, is not a subject of commerce.” No one in today’s world would agree with either of those notions. The courts since 1922, including the SCt, have devised other reasons to uphold the A/T exemption, but they’re not rock solid, either.

    As baseball has expanded to exploit larger audiences, for much larger profits, it has transformed itself into something veyr much like the “trusts” that the Sherman Act was designed to bust. mlb knows that, of course, and so mlb will do anything to avoid a big A/T lawsuit that goes right to the heart of the exemption. Even if a court upheld the exemption, the publicity might spur long-deferred Congressional action. No one in mlb wants any of that. They all just want to keep making money.

    My guess: Selig will broker a deal, but who knows which way it will go. Will Wolff and Fisher finally pony up the money necessary to buy off the Giants? Or will someone else buy the A’s from Wolff and Fisher and move them away? Or . . . . Oakland? As of today, I would put those three possibilities in that order of likelihood.

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