Cue the conspiracy theories. Unsubstantiated reports have Bud Selig giving Lew Wolff right of first refusal on bidding for the Dodgers when it comes up for sale. Strange. Apparently this is all because Wolff lives there. Guess what? Brewers owner Mark Attanasio lives in LA, why not him? Discuss.
Update 2:30 PM – Right on cue, here’s a response from Wolff via Joe “Quicktweet” Stiglich (thanks Different James):
Lew Wolff, on being mentioned as potential buyer if Dodgers go for sale: “I’m only interested in the A’s — and getting above .500.”
More from Bill Shaikin:
Although Bud Selig’s takeover of the Dodgers on Wednesday could lead to a sale, Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff said Thursday he would not be a buyer.
“I’m not interested in the Dodgers,” Wolff said.
“My focus is deep into getting us a new venue for the A’s,” Wolff said. “That’s where my long term is.”
It may not have been his idea two years ago when he created the committee, but it certainly explains the delay in the territorial rights decision now.
Does Lew have enough money to but the team himself, or would he need Fisher to come too?
@LS – They could divest Wolff the same way Chuck Greenberg gave up his share/spot. Given Fisher’s share, it’s likely that a new managing partner would be someone from within (not Crowley or Beane) or someone on the outside both Fisher and Selig are comfortable with.
@lonestranger almost certain Wolff does not have enough money to buy the Dodgers, Dodgers are worth close to 800M (I believe, ML please correct me if I’m wrong) where as the A’s around 300-350M he still needed assistance from Fisher.
Wolff wouldn’t have the money on his own. That’s not a problem though. Wolff could in theory pick from any number of well-funded groups in LA who have the capital, with him as the managing partner.
So how does this help the A’s situation…..or are they linking contraction to this….makes no sense–other than the Dodgers were proposing to do a $500M entertainment complex around Dodger stadium–this never got off the ground due to the ownership challenges—maybe LW sees value in that but I doubt it—although level of investment would be comprable–for your $800M you get the franchise and a ballpark that has been recently upgraded and is one of the classics—
It’s well known that Lew Wolff has had major business dealings in San José going back at least two decades. I don’t know why he’d be more or less interested in owning the Dodgers any more or less than any other prospective MLB owner.
My guess, GoA’s, is that Bud decides against SJ, divests Lew from the A’s and into the Dodgers, and gets another owner who would build in Oakland.
There is still a problem, however. No one has said how a park would be paid for in Oakland without the corporate help or the owner shouldering it. Perhaps MLB decides to loan money?
Though, unless Bud decides against SJ, I really don’t see Lew jumping from the A’s.
I’ve maintained that there will be no ruling until a deal in either Oakland or San Jose is sewn up, with both in play until the end. Why would Selig jeopardize that? There’s plenty of money waiting in LA for the Dodgers. I bet there’ll be at least five solid groups when the time comes.
Completely concur RM. No ruling, decision until San Jose (or Oakland) is sewn up.
I don’t see Wolff doing it. He has too much tied up in the Bay Area market (sports or otherwise) to just jump ship down to the mess in LA. He’ll want to see the stadium up here through to the end, that’s the kind of guy he is being a developer. Until a stadium in SJ is officially dead (which may not happen), he’ll own the A’s because there is no need for a new stadium in LA.
I going to assume that we are entertaining this bull $hit because there’s a lull in newballpark talk and we’re bored. Right? Getting right to the point, Wolff isn’t going to buy the Dodgers! Why would he? He already owns the A’s and is way into the newballpark game to change course at this point. Besides, owning a MLB franchise means more to Wolff than just large nine-figure numbers and the letters “LA.” Think ties to San Jose, Bay Area/Silicon Valley ownership of the A’s, new radio station, grooming the franchise for his son Keith, local family, etc. etc. Enough said on that.
It was apparent, listening to Minty this morning, that no one but Townsend is well versed in the A’s, the ballpark hunt, Lew Wolff, etc. Monty said, “Lew Wolff wants to keep the team in Oakland.” it makes for great talk radio, but not really good info.
re: gets another owner who would build in Oakland.
…And who would this mysterious person be who would build in Oakland? What if Selig can’t find such a person?
so ML–what is holding up a deal in SJ? Reed mentioned a few months back that they had willing sellers on the last 2 parcels—they will formally accept the work of the various groups that worked on Diridon…
pjk: I don’t know. However, if MLB were to decide to loan some money to the A’s to build a stadium, the money requirements for the ownership group would probably go a little lower. Tough part is that the team isn’t actually up for sale and some of the groups who would be willing/able to buy them are probably holding their tongue.
…the next time MLB pays to build a ballpark will be the first time. They want publicly funded ballparks. MLB wasn’t even thrilled with the Giants building their own ballpark – they want the taxpayers to pay for it. Which of course won’t happen in Oakland anymore than Frisco…How do owners repay a “loan” if the new Victory Court ballpark becomes like PNC Park in Pitsburgh – beautiful ballpark, empty seats? Oakland’s history of poor support for the A’s doesn’t make it a good candidate for a new ballpark loan.
@ML John Ireland being interviewed and mentioned Mark Attanasio as a candidate too. So there you go.
i doubt any new park be it in sj or oak will turn out as bad as pnc in terms of the empty seats. if the a’s are competitive as they’ve been for much of the past dozen years having only a losing record in only 4 seasons out of the last 12. they’d probably draw a bit more in a new sj park than an oakland one but very unlikely they’d be drawing the crowds they’ve been drawing at the coliseum which is barely 10k on most weeknight games.
to compare that to pit who haven’t had a winning season since 92 and there’s a reason why their fans don’t show up even though imo they have the best park in all of mlb.
again how many teams that won over the past decade but played in lousy venues couldn’t draw fans. min, flr, tb. look at min now, they sell out every game. sure the marlins will draw at least double what they’re drawing now even if they aren’t making the playoffs. least they’ve been fairly competitve.
To those who say Oakland has a history of poor support, I say look across the Bay. The support for the Giants stunk while they were at Candlestick. They built PacBell (now AT&T) and then the fan support went way up.
Should the A’s announce a new stadium is coming to Oakland and sign Albert Puljos like the Giants signed Barry Bonds. There will be plenty of people coming to A’s games in Oakland.
…didn’t Miami just recall its mayor for backing a taxpayer-funded ballpark for the Marlins? There seems to be more anger than excitement over that project. We’ll have to see just how much of a draw the new ballpark is.
Ethan… And Puljos is just gonna come to Oakland out of the goodness of his heart? Or are you expecting the A’s to outbid the Yankees and Mets and Dodgers and…
remember bonds grew up here locally and was a sfg fan.
the only similar scneario for the a’s would be if tulo from col who grew up locally here and grew up as an a’s fan decided to sign with the team in his prime once his deal runs out with colr but that’s not gonna happen.
Who thought the Giants could have signed Bonds? If they get outbid for Puljos by the Yankees the A’s should superstar free agent signing would add some excitement to a new ballpark in Oakland.
Remember the Dodgers are shambles. The Mets appear to be a victim of Bernie Madoff. The Red Sox just signed Adrian Gonzales to a long term deal. The Yankees have a long term deal with Texeira. Shoot maybe the Giants might be the biggest player for Puljos.
cubs could be a team to seriously go after pujols. with lee and ramirez off their books after this sesaon, lee is already gone and ramirez is a fa after 2011 i believe. i also think fukudome’s contract is coming off their books soon too.
that’s a lot of money that’s come off their payroll in a season or two. never mind the cubs probably have a lot of money to spend anyway to sign somebody like pujols.
@pjk – What’s the difference in a stadium loan now vs. a keeping-the-franchise-afloat loan later? Perhaps they’d like to avoid having to loan the A’s money in five years when SJ is blocked and Oakland can’t come up with $500m?
I’m not an Oakland-only guy by any means, I’m just throwing ideas out. Yes, it would be a proactive action by a group that doesn’t seem to be able to tie their shoes without a unanimous vote. However, we know that they have given loans to other teams who needed it, and Bud seems to have some kind of balls after taking control of the Dodgers.
…San Jose is only “blocked” by baseball’s stupid artificial constraints and Selig’ being too terrified to fix the situation. Does MLB want to get in the business of “loaning” teams money for new ballparks when it’s something they haven’t done in 100 years? Just to keep a team in the heavily subsidized East Bay market, with its poor fan and corporate support? Why bother?
Lew Wolff, on being mentioned as potential buyer if Dodgers go for sale: “I’m only interested in the A’s — and getting above .500.”
Ethan, a lot of folks expected Bonds to go the Giants.
MLBtradeRumors retweeting @Haudricourt:
“Brewers owner Mark Attanasio totally shoots down any speculation that he would have interest in owning Dodgers. Dismissed it completely.”
townsend earlier today said he “knows” that the a’s have the 3/4 of the owners to approve the move to sj.
guess this comes after he said i think yesterday that selig maybe just waiting for sj to get all the land. also selig trying to be a consesus builder and what would be the proper price for tr. how about zero bud, that’s what the a’s “sold” them to back two decades ago.
@jJeffrey, according to Ted Robinson, the Braves were going to sign Bonds and everyone thought thats where Bonds was headed. Then the Giants offered a then record setting 6 year 42 million dollar contract to Bonds, and everyone was shocked, and not too many other owners in baseball were happy because the Giants went over what the second highest bid was from the Braves.
@Jesse–sounds like when the Giants overbid for Zito by a country mile.No one was even offering anything close to the kind of money the G’s offered. At least the Bonds deal paid off in the long run, steroids and all.
I remember the Bonds thing differently, of course I was in High School at the time and I HATED the Giants, so I hardly paid any attention. Ted Robinson would know better than I.
FWIW, I don’t recall the Braves trying to sign Bonds, but I do recall that they tried to trade for him.
Jeffrey I was shocked Bonds went to the Giants. I was shocked because they actually paid a record price (at the time) for him. Why did they? They knew he would help fill the seats at AT&T. He did help fill the seats. Come on, do you think Barry is a “hometown discount” kind of guy? Puljos to the A’s is likely a stretch but my point is …… announce a new stadium deal….then sign a high profile free agent to help put people in the seats.
Which makes me think now that Barry has retired and the Giants won the World Series. Imagine if the Giants did not have their amazing run in the playoffs last season. I think attendance would be down, way down. Considering the Giants debt structure, maybe a territorial rights payoff would be more likely to happen. With its new championship banner, AT&T is full and there is no reason to give up San Jose from their point of view.
yep which is why i don’t know why it was thought that had they won the ws last year that they’d be any more likely to relinquish the rights to the south bay. the argument i think was it would show that they didn’t need the south bay to be successful both on and off th field but i think it would just only embolden them thinking they’re even more of the top dog in the area.
add to that i knew their fans who were already snobs, elitests, and arrogant would even become more insufferable if they had won and so far they are.
imo it was the very worse case scenario for an a’s fan here in the bay area.
Ethan… AT&T wasn’t even on the drawing board when the Giants signed Bonds. I don’t see how the Bonds to the Giants 7 years before AT&T Park opened is analogous to your wishcasting…. That said… I am in favor of Pujols to the A’s no matter where the stadium is that the A’s need to fill up.
Not to feed the flames for the conspiracy theorists, but if you were the owner of an MLB team, and a reporter asked you about your interest in buying another team, what could you say without sending your current fans into a panic and the value of your current team down the toilet?
The answer of course, is what Wolff said.
And what Lerner said. And what Attanasio said. We really won’t know a thing about who might buy the Dodgers for a while.
sj’s mayor reed will be on townsend’s show monday discussing the park/tr issue.
boxer’s kid also will be on from 1-2 monday.
boxer 1-2 on monday and reed will be on at 2:45.