The other kind of walkoff

The A’s made hay in July via a series of walkoff wins. It’s fitting that the team is capitalizing on a phenomenon coined by former Athletic Dennis Eckersley, almost karmic (I’d rather have won the ’88 WS). The A’s soccer brethren, the Earthquakes, have also gotten into the act, stringing together several winning and tying goals in the waning moments of numerous games this season. Let’s just say that the organization is no stranger to theatrics.

That comes in stark contrast to the neverending ballpark struggle, which has entered its 41st month according to our counter, but really has gone on for more than twice that long if you count back to when the Wolff/Fisher group took ownership. And if you believe Jayson Stark’s take coming out of the owners meetings this week, there’s no end in sight:

For about the 78th consecutive meeting of baseball’s problem-solving owners, there was no resolution this week of the A’s-Giants standoff. But if it wasn’t clear before now, it’s more obvious than ever that, in the words of one baseball official, that moving the A’s to San Jose is, most likely, “never going to happen.”

One sports attorney who has looked into this told Rumblings that the Giants have “a hell of a case” — centered around a document signed by the commissioner defining their territorial rights to include San Jose. And that’s critical, because any move by the A’s, or by the sport, to ignore or override those territorial rights could open a messy can of larvae for baseball.

How? Well, if the Giants’ territorial rights were suddenly deemed to no longer apply, it could set a precedent that might inspire some other team to attempt to move to New York or Southern California, by arguing the territorial rights of the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers and Angels were no longer valid, either.

So if the A’s aren’t bound for San Jose, what is likely to happen to them? Behind the scenes, baseball people are predicting they’ll eventually have to give up on this battle and settle for a new, Pittsburgh-size park in Oakland — and then do their best to beat up on the Giants in interleague play.

Stark didn’t articulate how this ballpark would be paid for. It’s a legitimate question. Oakland isn’t alone here. Field of Schemes’ Neil deMause pointed out in a recent Slate article that Seattle is facing the same dilemma.

Stanford economist Roger Noll pegs the operating profits of a typical arena at somewhere between $20 and $30 million a year. That could be enough—barely—to pay off $400 million or so in arena debt. But then Hansen and his as-yet-unnamed investors will still need to put down a huge amount of money to purchase an NBA franchise to play there. If every penny of revenue is going to pay off construction debts, that will leave nothing to offer his moneymen as return on their investment. “The gross revenues of an NBA team in Seattle could not possibly be sufficient,” says Noll, to cover the costs of both building an arena and buying a team.

Replace Seattle with Oakland and “NBA team” with “Athletics” and you have the first half of our local quandary. The crux of the argument to keep the A’s in Oakland is that some sugar daddy ownership group (Don Knauss & Co.) will swoop in, buy the A’s from Wolff/Fisher ($500 million) and pay for a new ballpark ($500-600 million). Using deMause’s corollary, which we’ve espoused here repeatedly, how does this new ownership make money, or even prevent themselves from being buried in debt? Even in San Jose a $500 million ballpark will require tons of upfront commitments to ensure that Wolff/Fisher aren’t leveraged to the hilt.

Moreover, this ongoing stalemate does no one any favors except the Giants, who must love the status quo – except for that pesky drug suspension thing. If the other big market teams are truly afraid of breaking precedent, then the naysayers are right, there is no way to San Jose. We’ve never heard anything directly from any owner to confirm this, so it’s just more grist for the mill. Funny thing is that there are protections in the Major League Constitution to keep the two-team markets safe. From Doug Pappas’ old article dissection the Major League Rules (emphasis mine):

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.

That leaves Boston and Philadelphia as the only “vulnerable” markets, and any move to either city would face just as many political and logistical obstacles as the A’s face going to San Jose, if not more. Even with that technicality out of the way, the big market owners may be looking at T-rights as sacrosanct and untouchable, nevermind the actual language.

Bringing us back to Stark’s blurb, what can Wolff do? He seems content to play the nice guy role among the owners and not push the matter. If the Giants are lined up looking to sue, the A’s can do the same. San Jose is putting together its own legal resources should a decision come down not in their favor. But there is one maneuver, one trump card that Wolff can play that we’ve only skirted around, and it’s fairly simple.

Wolff could refuse to negotiate a Coliseum lease extension.

Fitting that this last bit of “inaction” could finally force action. It worked for the Minnesota Vikings. It most certainly won’t get the kind of results Zygi Wilf got (a publicly financed stadium), but it would at least force the powers that be to act. It would absolutely burn the last bridge Wolff had with Oakland and would be the worst PR move ever on top of many other missteps, but as we’ve seen in the Vikings’ case, it’s practically standard operating procedure for owners looking to get new stadia. Oakland pols have bragged that the A’s have nowhere to play besides the Coliseum. Do they really want to make that bluff?

Wolff’s refusal would create a nightmare for MLB. MLB could proceed one of two ways, either A) rule once and for all on the T-rights matter and let the franchise move forward, or B) try to assume control of the A’s by alleging that Wolff was not acting as a proper caretaker of the franchise in the market. The A’s can’t be contracted through the rest of the current CBA. Two teams would have to be contracted as a matter of practice and the Rays are locked into their lease, making contraction impossible in the near term. If MLB rules for the Giants, then at least Wolff would be able to decide if he wants to build in Fremont or give up completely and sell the team. And if MLB rules for the A’s, then Wolff will have gotten what he wanted, although he had to be a dick to Selig and the Lodge to make it happen, and Selig would have to deal with the Giants’ legal onslaught.

Selig could try to buy Wolff’s silence by subsidizing an East Bay stadium (also unprecedented) or having the other owners buy out the Wolff/Fisher group, which won’t be cheap. Wolff/Fisher are in a strong position in that they don’t have to sell, at any price if they don’t like.

Now, if MLB were to try to wrest control of the A’s from Wolff, the league would land in litigation hell. Wolff could easily point to Selig’s committee’s 41 months with no plan or decision, and it would drag out for a long time. Unlike the McCourt-Dodgers fiasco, the Wolff/Fisher group are more than solvent (underneath it all A’s ownership is the 4th richest in baseball). T-rights would finally be dragged out into the open, in court. Meanwhile, MLB would have to step in and negotiate lease terms with Oakland/Alameda County for some unknown period. They can’t go around Wolff to negotiate a lease while he’s still the franchise’s control person, since he still has to sign on the line which is dotted. MLB can’t get an injunction on Wolff not doing something. Can they force him to negotiate a lease? We’ll see. Beyond the Bay Area, there will be at least one mayor who’ll look at the ending lease and make a play for the A’s, even if the resources aren’t there. Effectively the A’s would turn into the Expos, a team in limbo for an indeterminate period.

All of that’s possible from Wolff making a simple declaration. He doesn’t have to make it now. He could wait until the end of the 2013 season if he likes. The chaos would put a great toll on the franchise and the fanbase, and you’d have to wonder if, in the end, it’s worth it. Walking away from the lease could be the first domino. At least someone would be playing. We’ve been talking about post-2013 for a while now. The closer we get to that point without a resolution, the more likely someone’s going to make a move out of desperation. Often large bureaucratic organizations don’t make moves until things reach crisis mode. If Selig wanted to end his tenure without drama, this definitely wouldn’t be a way to do it.

137 Responses to The other kind of walkoff

  1. Ethan says:

    Go A’s Boras is talking about in the interest of his current, veteran clients when he talks San Jose. It does not make a difference if the A’s are in San Jose or Oakland if he is representing a 10 ten draft pick when it comes to signing a draft pick.

    ACV the dome stadium in Oakland is absolutely the stupidest ideas ever. If the A’s move, redo the West side of the Stadium. Call it Mt. Marc. In all seriousness look at the ways the Packers renovated Lambeau Field over the years. Have all the conventions in the vacant Arena when the Warriors move to SF. I am going to the game now. I can’t wait for your comments while I am gone.

  2. GoA's says:

    @ACV- let’s not kid ourselves- the odds of Oakland happening, without a significant public subsidy, are less than SJ happening. If you really believe that Knauss is the great savior then he will need upwards of $600M in cash and second, revenue streams to support financing costs associated with another $500M. After dealing with McCourt there is no way the will relax their debt to equity requirements.

    OT-amazing story about how Melky lied to try and cover up his steroid use- buying a website and trying to post a fake product on it-

  3. duffer says:

    The idea the MLB doesn’t care about the A’s status might not be accurate, Baynativeguy. There is a good deal of pressure being applied to Selig about the A’s need for a new ballpark. Listen in on the opposing teams broadcasters comments when they play the A’s at the Coliseum (when they stream the games via over the ‘net), you will discover that they typically mention that the Coliseum is a dump, that the A’s need a new stadium, and that the Giants ownership is attempting to hose the A’s – I’ve even heard this on the MLB network. Also, don’t forget that Tony LaRussa (a big advocate of the A’s moving to SJ, and a attorney) is currently employed as a special advisor to MLB, La Russa obviously has Selig’s ear – Selig is definetly getting the business about the A’s need for a new stadium.

  4. Baynativeguy says:

    Duffer: I’m sure that Selig hears from people, but it hasn’t resulted in much yet. Action, not words. I wouldn’t overestimate the grumblings out out of town broadcasters (remember they’ve been making jokes about the Coliseum, err the Oakland Masoleum for decades) but perhaps don’t care is too harsh. However, maybe there’s always something just more important to deal with. While the semantics may be off, the results are essentially the same.

    My perception of MLB is its conservative, steeped in its sense of tradition and therefore slow to change. It may be that 41 months is just the pace the baseball bureaucracy feels comfortable grinding along at.

  5. Scott Schroeder says:

    Pretty soon they ought to just demolish Mount Davis and call it a ballpark again.

    It’s been an absurd length of time to get this done. Pick a place … Oakland, Fremont, San Jose … and get going.

  6. Tony D. says:

    @Ethan,
    I’m sure the owners realize by now that 1) the A’s and Giants have coexisted in the Bay Area since1968, 2) the Giants hold exclusivity to San Jose/Santa Clara for the sole purpose of relocating themselves and 3) the largest city in the Bay Area is 35 miles further south from San Francisco then Oakland. Long story short, the situation that exists in the Bay Area is unique amongst all of baseball and does not exist anywhere else. So no, the A’s getting San Jose does not mean the Pirates abandoning gorgeous PNC Park for Boston, or the Indians dumping majestic Progressive Field for Philly.

  7. Pudgie says:

    Not sure if this is a sign or not, but Fireworks on Friday 9/14 and Atléticos Tote Bags on Sunday 9/16 have been removed from the Promotional Schedule.
    .
    Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

  8. Mike2 says:

    @Ethan

    How is the city going to renovate the Coliseum as is? They are still paying on Mount Davis and the Raider subsidies. Oakland is not Green Bay where the city owns the team and the stadium. The Raiders stadium deal is 2nd worst sports subsidies in the country. The city still has to pay over $100,000,000 on Mount Davis and currently has over 1 Billion Dollars in debt. They are not going to build a new Coliseum city or any new convention centers/sports centers in the city without some major fiscal miracle happening.

    http://www.oaklandnet.com/government/fwawebsite/treasury/treasury_summary99.htm

  9. GeorgetheIII says:

    in 44 years, the A’s have only outdrawn their record (attendance rank vs. win% rank) in the AL twice (1991 and 1993).

    42 of the 44 years, their record (win%) rank was better than their attendance rank in the AL

  10. LoneStranger says:

    @Pudgie – I see them on the main schedule. As of a couple games ago, they had the SW Fireworks advertised behind the plate.

  11. Pudgie says:

    @ Mike2,

    The City of Green Bay does not own the Packers. The team is owned by private stockholders and the city does not share in profits (neither do shareholders since the team is a nonprofit).

    In fact, the stadium is owned by the city and was originally named Green Bay City Stadium. After the death of Curly Lambeau, the city-owned stadium was renamed for said individual, which still bothers some of us as Mr. Lambeau did not pay for the stadium’s construction.

  12. Pudgie says:

    @ LoneStranger,

    You are correct, they are back on the schedule. They had been off the schedule for a couple of days. I had assumed that they had been replaced by the Breast Cancer Awareness umbrellas on Labor Day Weekend.

  13. Anon says:

    Ethan still hasn’t stated one data to support a stadium in Oakland, only instead continuing to deflect the real issues (financing and viability of long term stadium) on A’s management. If i didn’t know any better, i would say he’s some viral contractor working for the city itself lol.

    OT: check out the admission by the Sharks owner losing money and doing cash calls to cover it! No wonder pro teams are so interested in tapping the riches of the SB!

  14. pjk says:

    Sharks lose $$ because the players are guaranteed something like 53 percent of revenues. NHL teams make their money in the playoffs, and the Sharks are playoff failures,. A whole 2 home playoff games last year. The NJ Devils cashed in an extra $26 million by getting to the Stanley Cup Finals last season. The Sharks have never made it that far.

  15. Mike2 says:

    @Pudgie2

    Yes I do know the Packers are owned by individual stock holders. I was trying to point out the fact that the city of Oakland is too far in debt to renovate the Coliseum area or build a convention center/Coliseum CIty without a 3rd party helping out.

  16. anonasfan says:

    You have to remember that Bud Selig is on record as opposing the Bay Area as a two-team market. He said moving the A’s there in 1968 was a mistake. I have never seen him redact those statements.

    MLB doesn’t want to mess with territorial rights and doesn’t have any great desire to see the A’s in San Jose. If the status quo with a new ballpark continues they’ll survive, that’s their neutral position. San Jose is a negative for MLB.

    Say hello to your Montreal A’s or your Sacramento A’s – that is the direction this is all heading. From MLB’s perspective that is a much better situation. Montreal is the true stocking-horse in all of this. They are a viable MLB market with an existing MLB facility. The A’s could be sold and moved to Montreal over a weekend.

  17. anonasfan says:

    Here are some links about what is going on in Quebec:

    http://ballparkdigest.com/201107284047/major-league-baseball/news/more-mlb-dreams-in-montreal

    http://ballparkdigest.com/201107103979/major-league-baseball/news/montreal-capable-of-supporting-mlb-if-theres-an-owner-with-deep-pockets

    Quebecor Media is moving forward with Quebec City building an NHL arena. The price tag is $400

    They are doing this to establish themselves as the premier provider in the province and across Canada. Bell, their main competitor, owns the Blue Jays. Quebecor is launching a new French-language sports network and owns french-language Blue Jays broadcasting rights. They also have some Montreal Candians rights. For this station to be a big hit they want/need more content. An MLB team in Montreal would fit in very well with their plans and that’s why it’s been discussed. Quebecor was in the conversation at the end before the Expos left town ten years ago. This is not a fanciful notion.

    Montreal has been experiencing a development boom. Large projects are happening there. Big projects. There was a good plan for an MLB stadium (http://stadiumpage.blogspot.com/2010/02/unrealized-concepts-volume-3-labatt.html) that only failed at the last minute largely because the Loria group who had taken control of the Expos AFTER the initial Labatt Park plan was floated had poisoned the well. as we’ve seen in Miami Loria is not the kind of guy you want to do a stadium deal with haha. Montreal didn’t fall for the extortion.

    Quebecor Media is as local as it gets. They are the kind of group that can make this project happen. I highly recommend you take it seriously because this is MLB’s backup plan for the A’s. They know exactly how good a market Montreal is. If you go there today you will see tons of Expos hats – they are new with bright colors. Nobody likes the Blue Jays. Montreal is a baseball town going way back and the A’s are the perfect franchise for them. The history, character, everything, is perfectly suited for Montreal.

  18. VS says:

    Lew Wolff – time to man up and sue baseball. Or help the city of SJ sue baseball. Sign whatever needs to be done, start building the stadium, put your money where your mouth is, and will anyone say San Jose has no right to have a mlb team?

    The territorial rights are just a legal fiction, empowered because everyone kowtows to Selig and MLB. The moment nobody cares about what MLB thinks, and pulls an Al Davis type move, then SJ will be done.

    Otherwise please sell to the folks that want to keep the team in Oakland, as I couldn’t stand to lose my beloved A’s to some other state!

  19. Mike2 says:

    Montreal is not going to build a stadium for any team considering what happened to the Expos after the 95 strike. Star players sold and traded, attendance was a joke, and MLB taking control of the franchise. Another one of Bud Selig’s highlights as The Commish.

  20. TW says:

    - Chances of an A’s move to Montreal? By rounding off to the nearest hundredth of a percentage point, the answer is Zero.
    - BS is against the Bay Area being a two team market as well as SJ being a negative for MLB? Reality of that statement is easily refuted by this: BS/MLB allowed the A’s and the Giants to negotiate a move to SJ. MLB might not move very smart as a collective but they don’t move idiotic-ly either. If they saw SJ as a negative, they would not have allowed negotiations to commence. Further, with great corporate money to mine as well as significant wealth in SJ, it lacks business acumen to say SJ is a negative. As far as the bay area as a non two team market, add up the two team attendance total and divide by 2. Now take that total and compare to many single market teams. Question answered.
    - The lack of a decision after almost 4 years means? It is simple what it means. When a party remains undecided and/or moves incredibly slowly on taking a position, it means that party is uncertain of the cost-benefit ramifications in choosing a position. The party will remain undecided until such time the cost-benefit ramifications are clear enough to take a position that best serves that party. And when that time comes that a position is clear enough in its cost-benefit value, voile! The long suffering stadium issue will finally be at the beginning of the end.

  21. Marine Layer says:

    @anonasfan – As your links suggest, it’s going to take someone with really deep pockets to buy the team AND build a stadium in Montreal. Sounds familiar, right? Quebecor could do a Rogers-style deal in that it owns the team and stadium. Problem is, Quebecor is small potatoes. Its market cap is around $2.2 Billion. No chance.

  22. ru155 says:

    @TW
    I’m sure all the MLB owners have the dollar-sign-eyes when SJ is brought up, but enough of them have to be hesitant about precedent – otherwise we would have had a resolution by now. I think i missed the point where the Giants and A’s started negotiations, any info on that? I assume you’re talking about the Giants public position of “no move into our ‘territory’.”
    .
    As I’ve said before, I’m all on board w/ SJ making the most sense for the A’s ownership and turning a profit, but this drumbeat of comments from staff at the meetings saying either “no resolution yet” or “Giant’s have a tough case…” are not good signs.
    I don’t want to get into the validity of the sources – fans can b*tch and moan about Starke or Madden not naming sources, but this isn’t politics, there’s nobody on the other end calling for that person’s head for commenting and force them to name names, it’s sports writing for gosh sake.
    It would appear, from this year’s indicator phantom comments, that the Giant’s are outmaneuvering Wolff’s “aw shucks” approach and proved as much but getting the A’s to prove they were hot under the collar during the dueling press releases on the T Rights earlier this year.
    I don’t know if Wolff would press the nuclear button as an F-U to baseball, but it could be his exit strategy to give Fisher the biggest ROI possible w/o having to shell out on a new stadium – let the next sorry owner have to deal with that headache of learning French and getting dual citizenship.

  23. Tony D. says:

    @ru155,
    See my previous comment. I believe the idea of the owners being afraid of setting “precedent” is ridiculous because allowing the A’s San Jose won’t equate to rampant franchise relocations. See all the new ballparks built since 1992. Take care of the A’s and Rays and MLB is set for the long haul; no relocations or expansions at least until mid-century!

  24. gojohn10 says:

    OT Are the shots from Moneyball where Billy is in his car taken from Howard Terminal? I don’t think they are, but it would be too ironic if they were.

  25. anonasfan says:

    Marine Layer -

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebecor

    Quebecor is a multi-headed hydra. Their market cap is closer to $10 billion. Their big revenue growth is coming from tv but also the Videotron segment (cable, mobile phones, etc). The financing model for the Quebec city arena is half team half municipality. And there is no NHL team right now!

    It takes exactly this sort of ownership group to make this happen in Montreal. Objectively this is a terrific MLB market by all measurements right now. The previous bad blood and lack of trust would prevent an expansion team from going in there but a desperate relocation situation? Tailor-made for Montreal. This is a legitimate option.

    One thing to note is that English-language press on the topic is going to be pessimistic. This is just a Canada thing. Montreal is 75% French and the views you will find in that press are very different. There is public support for using money to build an MLB stadium. Nothing like what you find in Oakland or even San Jose. Hell, you could get the city to cough up a couple hundred million just to bulldoze Olympic stadium and make it a park and you’d get public support.

  26. ru155 says:

    @Tony D.
    If they’re unafraid, it would have been done already. The longer you let things linger like this the less likely it is that Wolff will be able to build momentum among ownership to make a stand with him against the Giants.
    Do you think Selig didn’t try to push this through at some point? Selig runs it like Congress, he’s constantly taking the temperature of owners and waiting for the right moment when he hits that 75% mark to present the measure for a successful vote with the blue ribbon being the never ending cover story. 3 years in to the blue ribbon, no dice, ownership hasn’t come on board.
    Sorry if i sound abrasive, but this would have been done years ago if the other owners in the lodge were on board – they’re not.

  27. GoA's says:

    I for one dont believe that bs has tried to push it through so I think for anyone to question the support of lack of support for the A’s moving to SJ is premature. I am going to say again that early on in this process (2009) I was told that bs didn’t want it to happen until 2017–not sure why but it does coincides with their payoff of the ATT mortgage. Its obvious to all that if bs is working to try and negotiate a TR settlement that the BRC thinks SJ is better for MLB—my timeframe again for decision–early 2013 before season starts—vote in SJ in November of 2013–design and construction of ballpark takes next 3 years—opening date in SJ –2017—

  28. Marine Layer says:

    @anonasfan – Er, no, their revenue is $9.4 billion. Their market cap is $2.2 billion. They don’t have the cash to pull off anything big. That is the very definition of small potatoes. John Fisher alone has about as much money as Quebecor and he’s probably not tied up in $3.6B in debt like Quebecor.

  29. Tony D. says:

    Santa Barbara sure is beautiful. Agree with GoA’s, its looking more like Cisco Field Opening Day 2017. If its a sure thing, I can wait.
    @ru155,
    This thing is to complicated to simply state that it would have happened a long time ago if BS wanted it to happen. Read up on the Expos to DC saga for how difficult there things can be. Difficult yes, but not impossible.

  30. anonasfan says:

    ML – They’re the ones talking about it, it’s not my idea. I imagine they would be partners with others. The takeway isn’t to nitpick the group, it is that interest exists.

  31. LoneStranger says:

    @anonasfan – I’m interested in buying the team. Should I call up the newspapers to get it reported?

  32. Marine Layer says:

    @anonasfan – Lovely. Another group interested in a team that’s not for sale with no clear path to a new stadium (which you disingenuously did not point out in your links). Get in line. BTW, this is a niche site covering a niche subject matter for a fringe team. Nitpicking is our stock and trade, if you haven’t noticed.

  33. Carl Elftman says:

    The A’s will never get a staduim because the giants wants the A’s to leave the Bay Area and this why they are stopping the A’s from building.

  34. TW says:

    RU155 writes: “”I’m sure all the MLB owners have the dollar-sign-eyes when SJ is brought up, but enough of them have to be hesitant about precedent – otherwise we would have had a resolution by now. “”
    Totally agree. The only certainty that can be drawn from the delay is that MLB believes no decision best serves them.

    RU155 writes: “”I think i missed the point where the Giants and A’s started negotiations, any info on that?”"
    It was a story blurb posted here which quoted about the teams negotiating. Sorry I don’t have the blurb handy. However, I wouldn’t take it as ‘ the teams are now negotiating’ and a resolution is coming. The negotiation appeared to simply be MLB trying to have the decision made for them (made easy). Though I have heard nothing further, the CW says the A’s and SF are miles apart — and the issue is entirely in the hands of BS.
    My bringing up of the negotiation was solely about refuting a post that said SJ “was a negative for MLB”.

  35. Tony D. says:

    @Carl,
    Thanks for enlightening us all.
    Re “negotiations,” when Larry Baer declines to comment on the situation and states it’s in the hands of the commissioner and committee; when Lew Wolff states, albeit long, that the process is fair; considering the committee completed its work earlier this year, turned in its report to the executive council, which put the process on the “front burner,”…..this all leads me to believe a resolution is being formulated and negotiations are occurring. Just my opinion of course, but that’s how I interpret the aforementioned.

  36. duffer says:

    ru155 FYI: the giants “do not have a tough case.” Jason Stark is not the last word as an MLB source. Stark enjoys stirring the pot – his comments are rarely relevent. One doesn’t need to be a legal wiz to know that the ATE is on wobbly ground. The current Tampa Bay Rays owners group have pierced it twice in court (and that is likely why Selig awarded them the Rays franchise) The A’s case (one would believe) is much stronger than the Tampa Bay group’s was. The A’s haven’t moved to SJ yet because Selig likely wishes to avoid opening a legal can of worms by either the A’s or giants management. Also, Lew Wolff, Selig’s frat buddy, doesn’t wish to offend Selig and the MLB club members.

    Besides, Wolff is doing quite nicely with the current arrangement, the A’s are profitable because ot the MLB revenue sharing arrangement, and the A’s have likely more than doubled in value from the $170 that Wolff bought the team in ’05.

    This link will explain that the ATE has more holes than a brick of swiss cheese: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1905748.

    The giants managment appears to be bluffing with a weak hand. If and when Wolff decides to sue MLB and/or the giants – the A’s stand a good chance of winning.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>