“I claim this city for Mother SF!”

The gloves are out. The line in the sand has been drawn. Honestly, I’m hoping for a Hamilton-Burr duel. Then again, maybe not. Andrew Baggarly reported today that the San Francisco Giants have just purchased a 25% stake in their high-A little brothers, the San Jose Giants.

The Giants will claim one of four seats on the San Jose club’s board; if they agree to purchase a controlling interest, they would occupy three of five board seats.

Industry sources pegged the value of San Jose’s franchise at $7-10 million, making the Giants’ investment worth an estimated $2-3 million.

San Jose officials are not amused with the Johnny-come-lately appearance of the mothership’s
“investment.”

Reaction from San Jose city leaders was not warm. Mayor Chuck Reed will not participate in Thursday’s event at Municipal Stadium, according to an aide.

Councilman Sam Liccardo, a big-league-ballpark booster who has been meeting with community leaders to draft a pitch for the A’s, was blunt about the Giants’ move, calling the timing “notable.”

“The only time I see pitchers from the Giants in San Jose is when they’re on a rehab assignment,” he said. “And this pitch looks like an attempt to rehabilitate a San Francisco ballclub’s image in San Jose.

“Everyone’s assumption is that this is a plea to the commissioner, and I don’t think it changes anyone’s mind in the end.”

San Jose is a bit upset because the Muni renovations, which the City and the SJ Giants have been arguing about for years, could’ve been made more complete had the mothership lended a hand.

This move is not about reinforcing the Giants’ major league territorial rights. It is about C-A-S-H. It looks like the baseball equivalent of flipping a house. Look at it this way. When a public company, like recent example Genentech, faces a takeover, the interested buyer (Roche) has to pay a premium over the prevailing market share price. In Genentech’s case, the premium was 16%.

I’ve mentioned this in passing, but I’ll say it again: Both the SF and SJ Giants would need to be compensated if the A’s moved to San Jose. Obviously the terms would be different for each team. The parent team’s $2-3 million investment could yield $1 million or more if they played their cards right, not including the costs associated with moving the team to a smaller market – say the North Bay, for instance. Should they raise their stake to the 55% controlling interest, they’d get even more.

Who’d figure out the compensation? I’m guessing the blue ribbon committee that’s sorting out the East Bay situation. Smart move, Neukom. Smart move.

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