A big hedge

As part of Susan Slusser’s preview of next week’s owner’s meetings in Orlando, there’s a couple of paragraphs devoted to the stadium situation.

There has been speculation that Major League Baseball’s committee examining the A’s stadium might issue its findings during the meetings, but team owner Lew Wolff said that he does not believe that will be the case, though an announcement should come soon. “All we want is a yes or a no,” Wolff said of efforts to get approval for a stadium in San Jose.

So an announcement should come soon, but not next week. Calgon, take me away!

A year ago, I wrote about three options that MLB could pursue regarding the A’s. They could either A) approve a move south, B) deny the move, or C) give Oakland one more shot with a deadline. Given the recent news on Oakland’s front, such as it is (and the lack of news on MLB’s part), option C would appear to have been the choice, in retrospect. Whether Oakland is getting a full shot is unclear, they’ve gotten at the very least a year. Yet there are plenty of things that don’t seem to fit that make me wonder what the real endgame is here.

Earlier in the fall, there were murmurs of a pending decision, which South Bay boosters have held onto ever since. Wolff’s retreat from that position in Slusser’s piece indicates that something may have changed, but to what extent? Wolff has held firm to wanting a “yes or no” from Selig, while the boosters have framed the South Bay as a chance to “explore” the territory. MLB appears to be in communication with both San Jose and Oakland city governments, giving the whole affair the appearance of a horse race.

If you ask me, “horse race” is not the proper term. “Contingency plan” is much more apropos. I get the sense that with the economy the way it is, the difficulty in getting things done in California, the T-rights issue affecting San Jose, and the uncertainty regarding Oakland’s ability to pull a deal off, MLB may view a dual-track plan as the best course of action right now.

First, let’s understand what the Bay Area means to MLB from a historical context. If you read the blog post from before Thanksgiving, you might see the Bay Area as one big bag of fail. Couple that with the litany of failed attempts to get something built for the Giants, aborted attempts to move by both the Giants and A’s (Tampa Bay and Denver respectively), and a lengthy delay in getting the only new MLB ballpark in California built (PETCO), you might actually excuse MLB for not believing that any ballpark plan in the Bay Area was a sure thing. Frankly, I’d be cautious too.

And so it may be that MLB is going to approach the A’s solution in a manner that won’t satisfy boosters from either San Jose or Oakland. It’s highly possible that MLB will foster Oakland’s efforts, while granting Wolff his chance to “explore” the South Bay simultaneously. Those of you pro-Oakland folks will look at this and say that The Town will be screwed since San Jose is so far ahead in the process. Well, nothing stopped Oakland from starting this process a year or at worst six months ago, instead of now. The nice thing politically about the way Oakland has gone about this is that they haven’t had to spend any money or make any significant decisions. Now we’ve got IDLF demanding that MLB commit to Oakland before they spend money on an EIR, which probably got many a chuckle going in NYC and Milwaukee. MLB doesn’t have to commit to anything. In fact, they can turn it around and pay for some or all of the EIR, thereby forcing Oakland to start making some decisions.

As for San Jose, they’re not the undisputed winners, at least not yet. They’ll have one chance. That’s it. While Oakland officials have pointed to a 2015 opening day for a Victory Court ballpark, San Jose won’t have as long, with a 2014 opening looming instead. The 2013 end of the Coliseum lease makes this a necessity. There may also be some lingering disinterest in opening the T-rights can until San Jose is completely in the bag, which right now it isn’t at all. Political capital for Selig to get consensus from the owners may not happen until everything is signed, sealed, and delivered. Selig won’t move until he has that consensus. And as long as a referendum is the deciding factor, he may not want to push all of his chips towards San Jose.

Oakland, then, is a hedge. Suppose that MLB helps fund the EIR, just as they’ve promised to partly fund San Jose’s special election. Since it’s unlikely that Wolff would be involved in an Oakland ballpark, MLB could arrange an ownership change to Oakland interests once the ballpark deal was in place, probably by buying the team Expos-style. Knowing the position in which they sit, Oakland has to decide whether to move forward or not. There will be some who are clearly offended by being placed second in the process. They may ask to pull out of the running entirely. Or they could take advantage of the opportunity, following through on all of the necessary steps just in case San Jose blows up – just as Fremont and Coliseum North did. Is it a long shot? There’s no denying it. Over the last 15 years Oakland’s made missteps and had the deck stacked against them. Yet it still has a chance, however remote, of keeping the A’s. To not work with that would be the utmost display of spite and would give MLB every excuse to finalize the move to San Jose without the slightest tinge of regret.

For many who are wrapped up in civic identity, the A’s saga is a zero-sum game. For someone to win, the opponent has to lose. For the rest of us A’s fans, it’s not zero-sum at all. We just want the A’s to stay local and for the era of free agent sluggers spurning us to end. For different reasons, MLB probably has a similar view. They want 30 vital teams. Despite the occasional talk of contraction by tinfoil hatters out there, Selig doesn’t want the failure of two contracted teams on his resume. There’s a decent chance that if San Jose doesn’t work out, Oakland will get its chance, and if that doesn’t work out – well, someone’s been thinking about what might happen in that case.

56 thoughts on “A big hedge

  1. How long’s it going to take Oakland to relocate 16 businesses, even if it had the money to do so? We can assume not all will qo quietly.

  2. We’ve been at this now Rhamesis for what, almost/over 6 years, and on rare occasions I’ve disagreed with an assessment of yours. Well, this is another rare occasion where I have to say “RM, I respectfully disagree with you.”
    Since Purdy’s interview on KNBR back in late September, here are the only facts that we know of: a decision hasn’t been made (or made public) by the “BRC” and Oakland SIMPLY stated they would begin an EIR process for a ballpark…THAT’S IT! Purdy is right on when he states that the EIR announcement has been completely blown out of proportion by the traditional Bay Area media.
    “Given the recent news on Oakland’s front…option C would appear to have been the choice.” WHA?! Othe than the EIR announcement, what news?
    “Wolff’s retreat from that position (pending decision)…indicates that something may have changed.” WHA again?! Even Purdy stated during the KNBR interview that the decision “may” come around December or the end of the year. No one has ever stated that it would be in October or November. I don’t see where something “may have changed.” If a decision isn’t rendered this week at the Winter Meetings that will suck big time, but it won’t be the end of the world and a decision should be “sooner rather than later.” as Wolff and Purdy put it.
    From the Purdy pieces, Lew Wolff’s interviews to the news out of San Jose (MLB visits with RDA officials), there’s to much evidence indicating that the A’s will be given an opportunity to explore SJ, with perhaps Oakland/VC acting as a backup plan in case SJ completely blows up (which I strongly doubt).
    As for the link at the end of the thread, no way in hell does this situation compare to that of the Montreal Expos; that thought is just plain stupid.

  3. It’s good to have both cities fighting for the team. But San Jose deserves the team and has the best opportunity. Oakland neglected and mistreated the team for so long and now they come in with this 11th proposal with no way to fund it and no corporate backing.

    I’ll go to A’s games in Oakland or San Jose. Let’s just get this over with.

    Most of the “traditional” Bay Area media, north of the Santa Clara county border, is resentful that San Jose has breezed right by their towns in importance, etc. San Jose getting Major League Baseball would be more salt in the wounds. So they want to make sure it doesn’t happen. There are columnists who under absolutely no circumstances would support an A’s move to San Jose. They’d rather see them continue as a league welfare case in Oakland. If the A’s left the Bay Area, these columnists would take consolation in San Jose not getting them and remaining consigned to Frisco colony status by MLB.

  4. Just to add: SJ could make things a lot easier on itself by eliminating the referendum, which isn’t technically needed anyway.
    Lawsuits would come regardless, so why not just erase that uncertainty. See the Petco Park saga.

  5. By the way, SJ officials don’t invite the Giants and the WS trophy to the downtown holiday parade if things aren’t going to go SJ’s way.

  6. It’s funny how people are focusing on IDLF’s comments. IDLF is not really relevant to this process, he is neither the mayor or mayor-elect and is but one vote on the City Council. Yeah, his comments doesn’t exactly make the city look good, but in the grand scheme of things, for right now, he is irrelavant.

    RM, I’ve been reading your blog for years and although I’ve felt that you have a slight tilt towards a South Bay stadium. Regardless of bias, I’ve found your coverage to be balanced, I do agree with your assessment.

    I originally expected the blue ribbon committee to find the Giants price for San Jose and rubber-stamp the move. But the fact we are still waiting after two years mean one of the following; there is no consensus among the owners, what Oakland is doing lately is compelling or Selig is unwilling to lead. Most likely it is a combination of all of the above.

  7. The Giants and the World Series trophy were prominent in the parade today. The A’s also had Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Stomper at the parade but that World Series trophy certainly got the most applause. Makes me wonder if San Jose would rather drive 45 miles to watch baseball instead of having it in their own downtown. We’ll see.

    I was tempted to ask the Giants when they would start playing their games in San Jose but it wasn’t the place for that.

    It’s been hard for San Jose to get excited about the possibility of having major league baseball since the deck has been stacked against us for so long.

  8. Do you realize how uneducated the average person is on these matters of relocation and territorial rights?

  9. Yet more fire for the stadium situation to get a move on, the A’s got rejected by Beltre.

  10. ML, This story has so many twists and turns it’s difficult to figure out exactly where it’s going. But here are a few random houghts:
    .
    The fact that it’s taken 2 years for MLB to announce its decision is an indication to me that many of the other club owners are reluctant to grant the move to San Jose, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion today. The deal would have already been approved.
    .
    After 2 years of investigation by the BRC, I think MLB has a pretty good understanding of how decisons are made within the City of Oakland. The fact that Oakland is still under consideration speaks volumes about MLB’s view of options outside of the Bay Area.
    .
    If your assertions are true, it’s ironic that MLB will wait to see how a vote in San Jose turns out before fully commiting to a ballpark down there. This is the same election they’ve asked Reed to postpone until the spring. If you’re waiting on a vote, why delay the elections?

  11. fc – the steroid report took 20 months as well for something that should have been much quicker. As Sid alluded to before, I think the BRC is working on “baseball time” where the Winter Meetings is the only real dates where these discussions can take place (amongs the owners). However, the longer that this drags on, the more indifferent i am getting to the process, as well as the team. BS should be aware by now that this delay is causing more issues in the fan base (witness the Oakland vs. the world backers) than he could of expected. If this continues, I’m afraid he will alienate both the Oakland as well as the South Bay folks and in effect write the obituary on the A’s in the Bay Area all together….

  12. @ST, no doubt this delay is having an adverse affect on the fan base.
    .
    BTW, if in case anyone missed it, check out Jeff’s letter to Selig on AN. Great letter Jeff.

  13. @fc – 2-4 months seems like a lot now, but in the grand scheme of things it’s immaterial. These guys know full well what the deadlines are.

  14. I hope this whole stadium situation gets resolved soon because we’ve completely struck out in the free agent market and you know the attendance/stadium situation played a role.
    “I got used to seeing that park full in the first inning and still full in the ninth inning. I liked that atmosphere” — Adrian Beltre on why he wants to stay with the Red Sox

  15. @a’s fan – just saw werth sign with the nats! Until the stadium situatiob gets resolved, expect to see more FA rejections like Beltre. If anything, the Nats showed how they can thrive after the move to DC (in Orioles territory). Hopefully its a sign of things to come for the A’s.

  16. RAIDERS!
    FC @ 143,
    If the owners were reluctant to grant SCCo. to the A’s, we would have had a decision long ago, and there would have never have been a “BRC” study.
    Thankfully, because there were Giants fans at the SJ Holiday Parade is completely irrelevant in the ballpark saga. The A’s will have excellent fan support in SJ.

  17. It’s been noted here previously that by allowing both the 49ers and Raiders to pursue their own stadium initiatives, despite the likelihood that they will have to share, the NFL is also hedging on the Bay Area, with Santa Clara out in front of Oakland process-wise.

  18. Since when are the Nationals “thriving”. The numbers show that they are only averaging around half the capacity of their stadium. They are doing slightly better than Baltimore, but thriving?

  19. I’ll agree with Ralph that the Nats aren’t thriving. Two reasons 1) team has played poorly in DC and 2) a entirely new fanbase had to be created from the 1,000 mile move of the Expos.
    The Nats should do well attendance wise if they put a winner on the field. At least they’re able to land top free agents; oh a new yard must be nice.

  20. @ST–Nats thriving?..lmao. And you say I’m ridiculous? Do you even follow baseball?
    Okay, I’ll go slow for yah–I know the Nats suck, but their attendance has gone down almost every year, from 2.7 mill in 2005 (8 out of 16 in NL) to 1.8 mill last year (14 of 16). You put a new ballpark like theirs anywhere in Oakland, the A’s would draw as much or better, even in a lousy year.
    Putting the Nats in DC really hurt the Orioles. Silly Bud may make the same mistake if he allow the A’s to move to SJ, hurting the Giant’s, and at the same time alienating a loyal east bay fan base and destroying their colorful eastbay legacy.

  21. @all – The Nat’s were smack dab in the middle of MLB in terms of revenue, $184 million in 2009 – without Strasburg as a draw. They didn’t need a large revenue sharing check to achieve that. As the second team in a two-team market, that very much is thriving. The A’s would kill to have $30 million more every year. To look solely at attendance numbers is lazy. I thought you guys were better than that.

  22. @Tony, as far as we know, the only thing holding up a move to San Jose are the Giants’ territorial rights. Unless there are other issues at play here, what other reason would there be for MLB to take so long?

  23. RM,
    I honestly didn’t know any of that info regarding the Nats revenue. You have schooled once again.
    Jk, you’re one funny, as always. Nothing more to say about your latest post.
    FC, how do we know that MLB is “holding up” the report? Who ever said it would take month, a year, whatever to complete?
    Heck, maybe the actual study was put on hold due to the sale of the Rangers. Maybe this “study” will take a full two years to complete.

  24. jk – please see http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/33/baseball-valuations-10_Washington-Nationals_337401.html where the the new ballpark and location has tripled the valuation of the Nats, doubled revenues, and allowed it to have a positive operating revenue at last. This is what baseball will look at in terms of its impact, not just attendance figures. Now, what impact did the Nats have on the O’s? A positive one actually: 30% increased team valuation, quadruple operating income, and increased revenues. Care to counter this with your usual knee-jerk illogical diatribes and personal attacks? And “loyal east bay fan base”? ROMFLMAO….is this the fan base that threatens never to go to A’s game if they move to SJ, whereas us South Bay guys continue to make the trip up north?

  25. Owners meetings start tomorrow. Are we going to hear anything? I’m predicting no.

  26. @Tony, I’m trying to not allow my desire to see the A’s in San Jose cloud my view of what might be going on. I realize this is a complex issue, and maybe the focus of the panel has changed over the past couple of year, but most observers feel that two years is an awefully long time for the panel to be working on this report.
    .
    I’m not sure what’s the relationship between the findings in the report and the owners takng a vote. In my mind though, regardless of what the report may say, if Selig had a consensus of the owners, we would have already had a vote.

  27. Lew Wolff sent a response to Jeffrey’s AN letter via Blez:

    The Winter Meetings (which I will be attending for a couple of days) is not an owner’s meeting and would not be a logical time or place for a ruling to occur — although I would, of course, welcome any time and place.

    Duly noted. BTW, there are usually owners meetings in January, though I don’t see them on the MLB upcoming calendar.

  28. For some reason Wolff’s saying “Wish I could be more specific.” gives me hope that things may eventually turn in San Jose’s favor.

  29. @ST-you’ve been attacking me for months now, so don’t even go there, dude.
    And how many A’s games do you see? I bet you don’t even go– just shooting your negative crap from your PC.

  30. @ST – No, the fan base has not threatened to boycott SJ. If “jk” has made that threat … please attribute it to him and not everyone else. Part of the (EAST BAY) fan base (200 loyal A’s fans) packed city hall last Wednesday!

  31. @JK – Once again, you did not address the original topic (Nats thriving) and instead trying to sidetrack it with an unrelated tangent topic. If you can’t stand logical debates or “attacks” as you say, i would suggest you keep quiet, for once. You are so predictable.
    @David – I am encouraged that some pro-Oaklanders will still go to SJ, unlike hardliners like JK. It’s unfortunate that these loyal East Bay Fans do not attend more games, period to really make a statement for the viability of staying in Oakland.

  32. All things being equal, it would be best if the A’s could stay in Oakland since San Jose is mostly Giants fans. But the combination of Oakland’s decades-long mistreatment of the A’s (discussed in here over and over) plus the lack of strong corporate backing, no public $$ available and poor fan support at the existing stadium all means San Jose has become the best option. But it might take years to fully develop a strong South Bay fan base for the A’s. I just don’t believe Oakland can get the job done unless someone comes forward ready to spend $1 billion of their own money and is then prepared to run the team as a consistent money-loser. Good luck with that one.

    • All things being equal, it would be best if the A’s could stay in Oakland since San Jose is mostly Giants fans. But the combination of Oakland’s decades-long mistreatment of the A’s (discussed in here over and over) plus the lack of strong corporate backing, no public $$ available and poor fan support at the existing stadium all means San Jose has become the best option. But it might take years to fully develop a strong South Bay fan base for the A’s. I just don’t believe Oakland can get the job done unless someone comes forward ready to spend $1 billion of their own money and is then prepared to run the team as a consistent money-loser. Good luck with that one.

      Respectfully pjk,
      If, in fact, the San Jose area is mostly Giants fans, and “their” team plays 40 miles to the north in San Francisco, than the mostly A’s fans of the East Bay should have no problem with “their” team playing 35-20 miles south in Downtown San Jose. Heck, with this logic, the A’s in San Jose makes even more sense in terms of balancing out the Bay Area fan bases.

  33. If the owners do not make a decision at the winter meetings this week (all of them are required to be in attendance) then we will all be waiting for another year before a decision.

    MLB promised San Jose that they would pay for a spring election. At this point the only way that can happen is if a decision is made in December.

    “Baseball time” is terrible and BS needs to get off his ass and make a ruling. I know from Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone’s comments that Steve Schott on his own got 75% owner approval back in 2004 but BS was so offended that Schott did his job for him he turned around and re-affirmed the Giants rights to San Jose.

    Schott in turn seeing there was no way he could get anything done in Oakland or San Jose sold the team to Lew Wolff.

    The other owners are not dumb and they see the gold mine in San Jose, the real issue is BS having his committee present their findings to the owners in a centralized forum and then proceeding with a plan of action.

    I hope they get something done this week or we stuck for another year as we all know the owners are rich, powerful, and busy people….Also on top of all of this we all know BS never calls all 30 owners in “ad-hoc” meetings after the winter meetings. Its now or 1 more year of waiting….

  34. @ST A’s fans, regardless of location have been burned by how the current ownership has been nickel and dimeing the team. One could say the Haren/Harden/Blanton rotation was unsustainable, but when they broke up that team, fan interest has waned. I know mine has. Low attendance at the Coliseum isn’t just the fault of Oakland and the Greater East Bay, that blame lies on all A’s fans throughout the Bay Area. To flip one your comments around, it’s a shame that South Bay/San Jose boosters do not attend more games and buy more season tickets. To have the hard data that South Bay zip codes drive the growth of walk up sales and season ticket sales would make the argument of a move to San Jose more ironclad. No matter what horse we are backing in this stadium horse race; we call ourselves A’s fans and yet we don’t go to games, and for that low attendance can be blamed on all of us.

    • @ST A’s fans, regardless of location have been burned by how the current ownership has been nickel and dimeing the team. One could say the Haren/Harden/Blanton rotation was unsustainable, but when they broke up that team, fan interest has waned. I know mine has. Low attendance at the Coliseum isn’t just the fault of Oakland and the Greater East Bay, that blame lies on all A’s fans throughout the Bay Area. To flip one your comments around, it’s a shame that South Bay/San Jose boosters do not attend more games and buy more season tickets. To have the hard data that South Bay zip codes drive the growth of walk up sales and season ticket sales would make the argument of a move to San Jose more ironclad. No matter what horse we are backing in this stadium horse race; we call ourselves A’s fans and yet we don’t go to games, and for that low attendance can be blamed on all of us.

      I don’t think the A’s recent offer to Adrian Beltre constitutes “nickel and dimeing.” They are trying to bring home a contender, but the likes of Beltre, Dunn and Berkman just aren’t interested. Wonder why?

  35. @Kenny – that makes sense to me.

    @pjk – the giants had terrible attendance at candlestick (always lower than the A’s). Look what a nice stadium got them. This could happen in Oakland or San Jose.

  36. re: this could happen in Oakland

    …if Oakland had the money and corporate backing it could. But the money isn’t there. The Giants attendance at Candlestick began exceeding the A’s around 1993 and stayed that way. Now with the new ballpark, it’s like comparing a late model Mercedes Benz to a rusted 1973 Chevy Vega.

  37. re: it’s a shame that South Bay/San Jose boosters do not attend more games and buy more season tickets.

    …at least San Jose A’s fans have the excuse of not having BART access and not being easily able to drive 20-30 miles to the ballpark frequently. What’s the excuse for Alameda County fans, with convenient highway and BART access, yet the Coliseum is more like the Oakland Mausoleum on most nights?

    • There’s a short piece on the stadium situation by Fanhouse’s John Hickey today.Also, I can’t seem to find a good shrubbery on the blog.

      What a bunch of BS from Hickey. The Giants claim to SCCo. is three decades old? Does Hickey even know (or care) why the Giants have SCCo. in the first place? And why do people hold on to this assumption that MLB/Selig don’t want to “take on” the Giants; as if baseball favors certain clubs over the others and Neukom is some sort of god? I guess BS sells; or at least gets readers.

  38. re from the Fanhouse article: It might cost $500 million to construct freeway access and “that’s before the first brick is laid on the stadium itself,” a source said. The A’s can’t afford that, and the cash-strapped city, county and state bodies certainly can’t.

    …This alone should knock Victory Court out of contention. Half a billion alone just to build freeway access, from a city, county and state that are all broke? The $460 mill ballpark just jumped in price to nearly $1 billion, didn’t it?

    In San Jose, there’s easy access from Routes 87, 280, 880 and 101 right there. Fans have easily driven to Sharks games in the same neighborhood for nearly two decades now.

  39. re: don’t think the A’s recent offer to Adrian Beltre constitutes “nickel and dimeing.” They are trying to bring home a contender, but the likes of Beltre, Dunn and Berkman just aren’t interested. Wonder why?

    …looks like we can add the Japanese pitcher Iwakuma to that list since the latest report says he’s not coming. Oakland, its mostly empty football stadium and a small budget are not attractive lures for players.

  40. @Kenny – Nickel and Diming? While I’m not a LW apologist, we’ve signed quite a number of FAs (and traded a number of prospects) over the years…when it made most sense. And in terms of attendance, even as recently as 2006, when the A’s made the ALCS, they were around 25% below the AL average and have been declining since 2003. And laying blame to SB residents for the attendance downfall is absurd, especially in light of how supposedly this is Giants territory. I thought this was Oakland’s team? SJ’s government has done all the work in terms of monetary, land, and process support for an A’s team that is not even theirs with a REAL deal in place (CISCO sponsorship). What has Oakland done again? If and when the A’s move down here, then you can blame us first hand for any attendance shortfall.

  41. Distance and lack of BART access is not an excuse. I drive over an hour every week during soccer season from North Oakland to see the Quakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. This includes mid-week games. If, I, an Oaklander, can do that for the Quakes, surely the South Bay boosters can do the same for the A’s.

    I’m done with your trolling. You guys are just as bad as the “Oakland only” folks.

    I stand by my comments on Nickle and Diming, the A’s brand has been diminished so much in the last fee years by that the team is poison to free agents.

  42. re: I drive over an hour every week during soccer season from North Oakland to see the Quakes at Buck Shaw Stadium.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that your family obligations in the evening are minimal.

    re: the team is poison to free agents.

    The team is poison to free agents because these guys have better options than to play in an empty football stadium every night.

  43. Along with Jeffrey, I wrote Bud an eloquent letter a few months ago along the lines of Barbara Lee’s letter, on keeping the A’s in Oakland. I wrote that a new Oakland ballpark would create much needed jobs in the area, do wonders for the Lake/DT/JLS areas and continue the A’s colorful history and tradition in Oakland. That they should be given first consideration over any other areas since this has been their home for 43 years. That they do have loyal hardcore fans, even though it’s tailed off as of late due to uncertainty and an aging ballpark.
    I also told him to take his time on this rather complex issue. Oakland being chosen would boost attendance at the Coliseum for the next 5-6 years before the VC park is built, which is good for the team, fans, stadium workers and players.
    He has listened apparently, because he’s taken his time and hasn’t announced a winner yet.

  44. Selig hasn’t announced a winner because San Jose is the obvious choice but MLB has locked itself out of San Jose with the t-rights nonsense and has made a mess for itself. If Oakland were doable and viable, it would have been announced as a winner long ago. Why even look at San Jose if Oakland were viable? Bud’s going to need more than eloquent letters to select Oakland – he’ll need lots and lots of money that Oakland doesn’t have.

  45. Well thanks for the info, you have clearly talked to Selig personally.

  46. According to columnist Mark Purdy, MLB has been visiting San Jose lately and has even examined the flight paths over proposed ballpark. Why bother with any of this if Oakland is viable?

  47. “Our future does not lie in Oakland. Santa Clara County is a much more viable market.” – Steve Schott, March 2001.

    So Schott sells to Wolfe, who comes to the same conclusion about Oakland.

  48. “He has listened apparently, because he’s taken his time and hasn’t announced a winner yet.” ROFLMAOWTFBBQ!!!!!

  49. Really. Does Selig read a single letter from a fan? I doubt it.

  50. @ML I really hope you do find a shrubbery. Preferably two so that you may arrange a path. A PATH!!!!!!!!

  51. Guys – I sent Buddy (that’s what i call him since we’re close like that) an email telling him if I don’t hear anything by tomorrow, then it means that SJ will be granted exclusive rights to the A’s. I’ll let you know the outcome shortly! :X

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