Baer, Wolff had dialogue (really!)

Thanks to CSN’s Casey Pratt for going to the trouble of pulling quotes from two of The Game’s Newsmakers interviews with Larry Baer (Monday) and Lew Wolff (Thursday). For the most part, neither executive said anything substantive about the Giants-A’s stalemate, which means that once again, we’ve got to put up the proper image.

If you want to torture yourself by reading into the interviews, you can glean a few things about what has been happening:

  • Both Baer and Wolff are pointing to Commissioner Bud Selig to resolve the dispute.
  • Baer and Wolff have had an ongoing dialogue (negotiations) regarding territorial rights.
  • Baer backed off from saying that the Giants would welcome the A’s looking elsewhere, such as Sacramento. The Giants consider the Bay Area a two-team market.
  • Wolff continues to press that the plan is San Jose-or-bust.
  • Asked about what happened during Wolff’s meeting with Don Knauss, Wolff demurred and asked the interviewers (Tierney and Townsend) to ask Knauss.

Everything else we’ve heard before ad nauseum. This concludes your weekly non-update.

25 thoughts on “Baer, Wolff had dialogue (really!)

  1. Listened to that interview, same old stuff. Although, Lew’s statement about winning a WS would be hollow if he lost money was slightly infuriating as a fan. I know it’s not my money, but sheesh, why even say that? It’s interesting that Tierney is basically calling Lew out on spending money/collecting checks today, but was silent yesterday. I did like his follow up on Wolff’s claim that there was no “plan B.” Has anyone ever interviewed Fischer about being the A’s owner? It seems strange that he’d want to own a team and not want his fingerprints anywhere.

  2. OT: posted in last thread but people might not see it since that thread was up for a bit…

    Damon Bruce Twitter:
    Breaking News: A very good source has told me #warriors move to Piers 30/32 is already dead. Team will look to build closer to AT&T Park.

  3. Frankly I’d not be shocked if Bruce ends up being correct. Those piers have far too many NIMBY’s around them in a city that’s already nearly impossible to build at to begin with. The Giants location is a far more realistic location from a likelihood of happening perspective. And still maintains most of the advantages of the Pier 30 location while simultaneously being a better location access wise.

  4. This is such bullshit.

  5. You expected something new? It’s been like this for over 3 years. Nothing has changed and nothing will change until Bud decides it will. Or he dies of old age. Whichever comes first. Expect the A’s to be in a limbo indefinitely and learn to accept it is my advice. Or become a fan of a team the league hasn’t forsaken. Whichever floats your boat. .

  6. @eb: “Lew’s statement about winning a WS would be hollow if he lost money was slightly infuriating as a fan.”
    .
    Did you listen to the same interview I listened to? I believe he said that if he threw tons of money at it, i.e. Yankees, it wouldn’t feel like they won the WS, it would feel like they bought the WS.
    .
    He’s also correct that you can’t just dump an extra $20-$30m on a team one year and expect them to win. It’s a process that takes at least a couple years, and probably more like 3-4, and by that time, you didn’t just lose $20, you’ve lost $60-120m. That’s why they need the guaranteed revenue of a new stadium.

  7. @LS I heard that. Do you feel like the 89 WS is somehow worth less than the 70′s titles? Pretty much any world series winner the last two decades has had a high payroll and I’m sure the fans of those teams don’t regret anything. The chances of any team winning a title in MLB without an upper echelon payroll is highly unlikely. He mentioned that he does not want to lose money for the sake of winning a title alone. Again, it’s his money, he’ll do what he sees is fit. I just don’t like that line of thinking as a fan and it’s something I don’t think you should publicly say as an owner, especially one who suffers from PR problems for being “cheap.”

  8. Add on to my OT….
    Adam L:
    For what it’s worth, hearing that Bruce’s source is wrong about 30/32.

  9. Good bye white knight Knauss…../crickets continue to chirp in the Oakland only camp while they attack the person and not the situation…./yawan

  10. This is actual news, albeit what we already assumed – confirmation that Baer and Wolff have been in active discussion, that Selig wants them to come to an amicable agreement on their own, yet they can’t come to an agreement on Trights (neither is budging – probably Baer is demanding the world, and Wolff isn’t willing to give any money for the T-rights), but they do agree now that it’s now up to the commissioner, and they both want it done with.
    .
    That’s a bit new information. It’s also an indication that the end is near. Selig will have to decide now. No more excuses, nor more deferments. No more studies. No more negotiations. No more presentations. It’s all done. It’s up to Bud. If he rules in favor of SJ, then he’ll have to decide on “fair” compensation for the Giants, probably somewhere between Wolff’s amount (zero), and Baer’s amount (some ridiculously high number). And precedent is $75 mil – (to Orioles, when Nationals came).

  11. Tough for the A’s to negotiate when the Giants have no incentive. Giants are probably asking for some 9-figure sum that they know Wolff won’t pay. And we all know Selig is not capable of making tough decisions. I’d really like to see an anti-trust lawsuit that ends up breaking the Major League Baseball monopoly by making the AL and NL separate, competing corporations, with no commissioner.

  12. I thought the Giant’s position was that they would not negotiate for any amount of compensation. Baer says that it is up to the Commisioner, but we know that if things went against them,, the Giants would be fighting that decision, likely in the courts. After reading about Selig’s smart ass commets at the last owner’s meeting,it is obvious that he will NEVER make that decision. He will just wait and see how long Wolfe can hold out before selling the team or finding a new site.in the BA. All the data is in and still no decision? That’s because they are not going to make one.

  13. If Baer and Wolff are having dialogue so that tells me a few things:

    1. San Jose is the only viable site left in the Bay Area as if it was not Baer himself would state it publicly Wolff missed something in the East Bay.

    2. Selig has made “some” progress on this as to get the two sides to even speak after years of this stalemate is a good sign.

    3. MLB is leaning towards San Jose, as both teams made presentations and if the Giants were more persuasive you would see Selig outright denying San Jose and suggesting other sites or something of the nature.

    As for the Warriors, the EIR has not started yet so we cannot eliminate the Pier 30/32 site this early.

  14. S.F. is maybe the only city in California with a strong enough mayor system to get by NIMBYs. Let’s see if Lee is any better than Selig about ramming something through.

  15. @pjk
    “Tough for the A’s to negotiate when the Giants have no incentive.”
    .
    But the Giants clearly have been in negotiation with the A’s (Baer talking with Wolff), which tells us that Selig is pushing it. You’re right, the Giants have no natural incentive to negotiate, unless pushed, which clearly has to be the case.

  16. “Negotiation” is a pretty strong word. It probably goes something like this:
    Selig: “Hey, Larry, you need to talk to Lew about this San Jose thing.”
    Baer: “K.”
    — Later on that same day —
    Baer: “Hey, Lew, this is Larry Baer over in San Francisco. About that territorial rights thing, how’s $200 mill sound?”
    Wolff: (spluttering)
    — Later on that same day —
    Baer: “Well, Commish, I tried talking with them, but they wouldn’t budge.”
    Selig: “Try again in a couple of weeks. I’d really like you guys to come to an agreement on your own. I’m sure Lew can be reasonable. He and I go way back.”

  17. The two front offices have been negotiating over the money for the TRs and the timing of the A’s move at least since Neukom got fired last summer, maybe longer . (It’s still not clear if he was the hardliner in the Giants’ owners group.) Wolff and Fisher should make a deal. Aren’t they running out of time — lease expiring, fan base angry and staying away in droves? I realize a short-term lease extension is possible, just as mlb’s revenue sharing plan contains a special-needs provision that will help the A’s until they manage to build a new park. Sounds like life-support, to me — Montrealish. If Wolff wants to own a baseball franchise that contributes to the game and to the city (whichever city) it plays in, he should make his move now. Pay up, or sell out.

    • @xootsuit – Why should Wolff/Fisher pay nine figures or whatever the Giants want when they don’t think that’s a fair price? That’s negotiating against themselves. Both sides agree that Selig needs to step in. That’s naturally the next step.

  18. Agreed with ML. Clearly, the Giants are saying some astronomical figure. And they’re only at that point due to Selig pushing them to the negotiating table. But since Wolff would be a fool to accept such nonsense, it’s now up to Selig to be the arbitrator of the deal.

  19. Selig can’t just “step in.” Clearly, he’s dealing with a bunch of conflicting views from the other owners. (Taking something away from one owner to help another’s mere business interests isn’t the way they usually work, I believe.) Selig wants a consensus. He can get that if the teams agree. Wolff and Fisher are acting like businessmen, not like baseball franchise owners. Again, I point to the group that saved the Giants from moving to Florida in 1992. They had a powerful business plan, granted; but they also were acting in the best interests of the San Francisco Bay Area. (They immediately took steps to sign the best FA on the market in decades, to bring in HOF retirees to support an effort to connect with the team’s history, etc., etc.) That’s the way you rebuild a franchise’s “brand.” Wolff and Fisher are dumping all that to play chicken with mlb in the hope they’ll recoup development money.
    .
    Blaming the Giants for the A’s problems is silly.

    • @xootsuit – Sure he can. There’s nothing stopping him. During his term the commissioner’s office has only expanded and consolidated its powers, at the owners’ continued approval no less. He may prefer to work from a consensus because it makes governing easier, but there will always be times to make tough decisions. All he has to determine are a number and a schedule. Everything else is just posturing.

  20. It’s funny, I thought the A’s had been bringing old HoFers for the past couple of seasons.

  21. Yeah, they’re showing up at the park every night the way Mays and McCovey have been. And the statues outside the park — beautiful. Give me a break.

  22. And the giants had statues at Candlestick?

  23. @xoot- And the gints are operating in the best interests of baseball- give me a f’ing break- even bs has indirectly called them out on this with some of his comments when he spoke about all wonderful Walter Haas was-

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