Selig says contraction off the table

As part of the ongoing All Star media extravaganza, Bud Selig responded to an inquiry by the Chronicle’s John Shea: shea-twitter

There goes the idea that contraction was a bargaining item for the CBA. So let’s go with the idea that the Giants have been hoping that the A’s give up and leave town or get contracted. The latter is not happening, at least through the length of the next CBA (which is expected to approved by both MLB and MLBPA by the end of this season). Now let’s pivot to the A’s, who want Selig to force the Giants to make a deal or have Selig force a vote. Based on Selig’s reputation, the latter is not happening there either. Is that complex, as Selig says? Not really. Is it a difficult negotiation? Certainly. Let’s not make the issue bigger than it really is.

130 thoughts on “Selig says contraction off the table

  1. selig can take a long walk on a short cliff.

    gutless wonder!

  2. @ML – ” Let’s not make the issue bigger than it really is.” Right on! I wonder if any vote has to be initiated by BS himself first, hence his hesitancy or can LW initiate it? As I recollect, Tony mentioned that Schott had the votes before for SJ, but I couldn’t find any article links to it on Google?

  3. So basically we’re left with the Giants hoping the A’s will give up and leave then yes? They’ve got to be loving this. Oakland’s ballpark is all but dead, Selig is sitting on his hands about SJ. The only result left is exactly what they want.

  4. I’m not a huge fan of Shea, but that’s a funny tweet. Good for him on getting an answer out of Bud. This is great news, now A’s fans don’t have to have deal with this albatross.

  5. As long as East Bay fans and writers pretend a new ballpark can be easily built and paid for in Oakland when in fact it can’t, the A’s are in a tough spot in trying to move to San Jose.

  6. Schott, Hoffman not only had the votes, but also had been approached by Magowan about “buying” T-Rights for $50 million and were allowed by Selig to explore a ballpark in Santa Clara.
    Because public funding or political will never surfaced out of SC, the T-Rights remained “sacred” in the words of Selig.
    Mark my word: those rights will fall and the Giants will deal once an SJ ballpark becomes 100% imminent.
    Until then, the Rights remain “sacred.”

  7. @PJK – agree wholeheartedly. The real attention should be focused at Bay Area Media – with the intent of creating real coverage to this issue and placing the spotlight on the Giants greed. To date, the ballpark issue is a niche issue with not many people in the Bay Area understanding the Giants’ backroom dealing and nefarious ways. Until the media makes this an issue, Bud will be able to ignore it as he has seen fit to do thus far.

  8. @Dan,
    I’d be sitting on my hands to if nothing were imminent.
    Final land acquisitions, uncertainty over vote or no vote (I say no vote under certain scenarios)…SJ isn’t quite there yet.

  9. @tony d. Are you in the know, or at least very informed on this issue? I’d love to believe you, but the doubting thomas in me thinks Selig let’s the Giants prevail on this one.

  10. …I’ve gone back and forth with a Frisco writer who absolutely under no circumstances will consider the A’s going to San Jose. By the same token, this writer believes the A’s will stay in Oakland (his only solution for paying for the ballpark has been – you guessed it – the “John Fischer is rich” financing plan). The writers are bashing Wolff left and right and not pointing to the real problem here – Neukom and the Giants, who feel entitled to block San Jose from ever having Major League Baseball. As it’s been said in here, if an Oakland ballpark were easily doable, why would the Giants want to pen the A’s into Oakland, when such a park would be 8 miles away as opposed to 40 miles away in San Jose?

  11. @SwisherSweet–TonyD is the biggest SJ A’s fan on here 24/7 but is not in the know on these ballpark matters, he’s just very hopeful for a SJ ballpark. I’m on the oppoisite side, being a huge Oakland fan. 43 years in the same city with such a great, rich, crazy colorful history, all efforts and some should be made to make Oakland happen.

  12. Like I’ve said before, the Dodgers were in Brooklyn longer than the A’s have been in Oakland. And the Dodgers were at the very core of Brooklyn culture, unlike the A’s, who take a distant back seat to the Raiders and Warriors. So where do the Dodgers play their games these days? If the Dodgers can end up leaving Brooklyn, the A’s leaving Oakland can be done with far less fanfare. No one will doing HBO documentaries in 50 years pining over Oakland’s loss of the A’s, like what we’ve seen with the Dodgers and Brooklyn.

  13. @pjk So eager to rip a team from it’s home aren’t you? *sigh* Whatever. At this point A’s fans need to see some glimmer of hope or at least a trail of bread crumbs to follow. On the field, off the field, it’s all pretty bad right now. I just pray I won’t have to watch the Giants go on another run this year, while my team grows mold.

  14. one more reason why I hate the giants with a passion.

  15. eb: Got a financing plan for a new Oakland ballpark? If you do, I’ll try to attend the groundbreaking and buy tickets to the first game. In the absence of such a plan, I want the A’s to stay in the Bay Area, which means San Jose…

  16. no contraction is good news!

    @ML – Do you think the Santa Clara 9er stadium is going to happen (the current plan)? It seems like the NFL wants two tenants if they’re going to contribute.

  17. If contraction were on the table, would selig have any incentive to answer shea’s question with a ‘yes’? His no answer is obvious, and makes for a non news story – which could be part of his intent. But it’s not necessarily revealing.
    The best time to expand a league is when the league is short on cash, and there are healthy open markets. The best time to contract a league is when a league is awash in cash, and there are less healthy markets than there are teams. The latter is an accurate description of mlb’s situation.
    I will believe that contraction is off the table when either the A’s or the rays have a new stadium in place. It only takes one or the other, because you can’t contract a single team.

    We can point to a lack of precedent, but these are nearly unprecedented times. I could also envision the NBA contracting a team or two. Once one league makes the leap it might make it easier for the other.

  18. …Of course, the players union will go bonkers if MLB tries to cut teams. Even expanding the rosters to preserve the number of roster spots only replaces highly paid starting jobs with third-string bench-warming jobs. There’s only one starting shortstop, etc, per team. 28 guys per team as opposed to 24 means more crowding in the dugouts, that’s all. And, of course, reducing the number of starting jobs has the effect of reducing starting-player salaries anyway, since there will be the same # of players chasing fewer available starting jobs. Low bidder wins.

  19. If SJ is a no go, and it appears at this point that it is, I hope LW out of frustration sells this sucker. Nice prrofit for Lewie, BB and the Fish. Just the thought of new local owners will give a glimmer of hope for this once proud franchise. New owners who’ll be proud to call Oakland home and embrace the community like the Haas family did. Working with the mayor for a new ballpark, not ignoring her for 6 months, and pumping money to the other guys campaign who’s against any ballpaprk in the O.

  20. …and when no one comes forward willing to spend an estimated 800 mill + ($300 mill for team + $500 mill for ballpark + countless more millions for infrastructure and business relocations) to keep the A’s in Oakland, then Wolff will sell to someone who moves the team far away from the Bay Area. Be careful what you wish for, jk…. If the Haas family was so enamored with owning the A’s, why’d they dump the team? They grew weary of running it as a money-losing charity, didn’t they?

  21. re: Working with the mayor for a new ballpark,

    ..as in: being prepared to pay for absolutely everything while Oakland contributes nothing.

  22. jk, if you have any new local owners in mind let’s hear it?

  23. Put them up for sale, and you will get local interest–I guarantee it! (hint: he’s one of them, George Zimmer of Men’s Wearhouse, along with Save Mart’s Bob Piccinini).

  24. Perhaps you can show us all quotes where these guys are chomping at the bit to spend $800 mill+ on the A’s and a new ballpark in Oakland? Can’t wait to read them. If you can’t provide these quotes, then you’re just pulling names out of a hat and making wild, wild guesses based on wishful thinking.. And why would they wait for the team to be officially “for sale” before expressing interest? We’ve heard of interested persons wanting to buy the 49ers and Warriors when they were or are not for sale?

  25. @pjk–i refer to that Piccinini Modesto Bee article I’ve posted here several times. He’s itching to own a team, especially the A’s, but not sure he’ll chomp again just due to the way he got screwed by BS and his ilk. MLB approves the Dodgers sale to McCourt but shoots down Piccinini’s group? No justice in the Lodge.

  26. @SS33,
    Welcome to the blog. Not in the know, but been “involved” with all of this going on 7 years. While we’ve never met personally, ML and I go way back.
    A lot of my reasoning is based on my own research into this matter, as well as using common sense and using sound interpretation of the news/history.
    Not anti-Oakland one bit, but love my hometown of SJ and its emergence as a great American city.
    Bringing MLB to SJ will further that emergence. Some things to consider SS33 moving forward: the onus is on San Jose, T-Rights exist for one reason only/aren’t sacred, and the financial well being of ALL of MLB (not just the Giants).
    Keep those things in mind moving forward and you’ll be just fine. By the way, first rounds on me Opening Day 2015 @ Cisco Field SJ!

  27. Piccinini is now a minority owner with the W’s, who’s ownership is rumored to be moving to SF after the Arena lease is up. Furthermore, a recent article notes that Picinni has now essentially moved on from the A’s:

    Piccinini’s team was rejected, however, by Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig. Six years later, Lew Wolff purchased the ballclub for $165 million, about $33 million more than Piccinini’s bid.

    “You can play the what-if game with anything in life. I choose not to,” he said. “We did everything we could to make it go forward. It didn’t. On to something else.”

  28. @Anon–a few months earlier he was quoted as also saying probably not, but never say never on pursuing the A’s. Damn, he would of been a great owner no doubt. He has the bucks too. It may have to be a group of a bunch of investors. I’m still holding out hope that they’ll be sold locally, even though LW said no sale.

  29. @jk – yes, that was back in january…the quote i had above was from march after he took minority ownership in the W’s, and yes it’s from the Modesto Bee as well. Hope and fine and dandy, but it still won’t get the a’s out of their perpetual state of doom and gloom. Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen the Moneyball movie trailer yet, the opening lines says it all: When getitng a soda from a vending machine, “That’s a dollar man.”. “What?!”. “Welcome to Oakland!”. =/

    https://www.google.com/voice#inbox

  30. @Anon–i’m curious if the sodas were free back in the Haas era. I know when Schottmann took over in 1996 they cleaned house in the front office, dumped player payroll by over half and fired radio guy Lon Simmons. They also got the team for a bargain basement price to keep them in the O. I’m hoping the same thing happens if LW/JF sell and give a hometown discount so the money saved can go towards the park/land in the O.

  31. jk: if Oakland is such a great place for MLB, why was Schott given such a deep discount to keep the team there and why have three of four ownerships wanted to move the team? I can’t think of any other franchise in all of sports that ends up with its owners always wanting to move.

  32. @pjk ” I can’t think of any other franchise in all of sports that ends up with its owners always wanting to move.”

    The Giants?

  33. @pjk – Boston, Milwaukee, Atlanta Braves.

  34. …When’s the last time someone wanted to move the Braves? Nobody is wanting to move the Giants, either. Name one team besides the A’s that consistently has owners wanting to move it from its current city.

  35. If contraction is not on the table and with the A’s lease up after 2013 what is MLB going to do?

    The Raiders want to use the Coliseum site for themselves but with the A’s there how is that going to happen? This plus Oakland refuses to renew the A’s lease without some assurance they want to stay.

    The A’s only prayer is San Jose for these reasons on top of the fact Oakland and the A’s owners hate each other that dates back to the Schott days and the lawsuit he won against Oakland and Alameda County.

    The Giants have 34,000 season ticket holders, I bet that they get almost double (14k) from the East Bay than they do from the South Bay (8k) with the rest coming from the Peninsula, the City, and Marin Counties because of sheer distance.

    They would lose more $$ with the A’s building in Oakland rather than SJ but the Giants as ML has pointed out know full well the political well in Oakland has been poisoined for the reasons I stated above.

    The Giants want to keep the A’s in the Coliseum or see them leave. With contraction not an option its San Jose or a MLB takeover (a la Expos) and a new committee that searches for a new home outside of the Bay Area where T-Rights do not exist…..Every A’s fans worst nightmare.

    That possibility is more likely than some rich billionaire saving the A’s and building with his own dime in Oakland….Reality bites.

  36. @pjk “Nobody is wanting to move the Giants, either.” No, not now. Their contemporary ownership group got things together. However, since they’ve been in the bay, the Giants have been linked to possibly moving 2 or 3 times. I admire your passion for the A’s pjk, but sometimes it just seems like you’ll try and find any sort of leverage against the A’s in Oakland. It seems like you’ve already made your position known, why keep repeating yourself?

  37. Um, no. What I am concerned with is that the options will come down to this: Oakland, which has no money for a ballpark and no corporate base to make a privately built ballpark happen, or some place out of the Bay Area. And we will get the latter option. Meanwhile, San Jose is totally feasible but won’t get the chance…Everybody in here repeats themselves all the time.. Don’t how many time I’ve read about the wonders of the Haas ownership in here, for example. Or how many times I’ve read that the A’s owners should “work with the city of Oakland,” with no mention, of course, that Oakland has nothing to work with – no money, no site, no political will to make a ballpark happen.

  38. @pjk—it would be nice if LW would work with the city, just for once. He spent more time in Fremont and SJ.
    BTW, Oakland does have a site, VC.
    BTW2, SJ doesn’t have all the money and Lewie will have to dig into his pocket to help, but won’t do the same for Oakland. Meanwhile, he gets the best rent deal in MLB and gets to pocket a big chunk of the revenue sharing. He’s never had it so good.

  39. …Once again, what exactly does the city have to offer? Oakland wants a free ballpark. We all know that. Wolff rightfully doesn’t want to give them one. So how is he supposed to “work with Oakland” under these conditions?…For the 1000th time, all San Jose needs to do is acquire a couple more properties and Wolff could do that himself. Oakland with VC has acquired pretty much nothing and has to move 16 businesses, for starters. And an Oakland-commissioned report found a site near VC the “least feasible” for a ballpark several years ago… And as we know, San Jose has the corporate support to make a ballpark happen and Oakland does not. Who is the naming rights sponsor for San Jose? Cisco. Who is the naming rights sponsor for VC? There isn’t one….

  40. @pjki believe it was Oak to 9th that was least feasible, not VC. And Wolff touted out the North Coliseum plan, moving out 100 businesses. All bogus.
    I’m actaully tired of repeating this same stuff over and over. Just want BS to rule on Oakland or SJ and i’ll move on either way with my life. Having a sucky team this year is not helping matters. Look for a huge fire sale coming soon.

  41. For the record, VC as a “site” only exists on maps as a dotted line.
    Let’s not even go there re: San Jose doesn’t have all the money. Are you serious with that one?!

  42. no one knows what offer Oakland is able, or willing to make – until all the facts are available … the D-EIR will be out by the end of the year (i hope).

  43. …end of the year? I thought the entire process (not just the draft) was supposed to take only a year or less? Sounds like that draft EIR has all sorts of bad news in it so Oakland is keeping it under wraps. Stall the process even further… FWIW, Oakland’s redevelopment $$ is going to the purchase of the Kaiser Convention Center, no? That is if Jerry Brown doesn’t take all of it back for the state, first. And Oakland officials have pledged to spend no general funds on an A’s ballpark. So if there’s no redevelopment funds and no general funds, how does Oakland spend $$ on a ballpark?

  44. @David- If Oakland had anything on the table it would be known already. The A’s have been in Oakland for years and it is flat out does not make sense when Doug Boxer says “Why would we let LW know what we are doing”?

    The city if they were serious should reach out to LW and tell him what is going and the plan going forward.

    LW just wants a ballpark and if he could do it in Oakland he would as popular to contrary belief. He does not want to deal with the Giants or Selig as who would want to?

    The problem is Oakland is much like Cincy, Pittsburgh, Miami etc…In the sense the old model of public subsidies making up a lions share of the cost of building a new park.

    Today that is not a reality at all and unless Oakland and Alameda County has money stuffed under their mattresses that we do not know about the A’s are done in the Big O.

    Even if they did have money hiding, they would use it for the Raiders and not the A’s or even the Warriors. Once again reality bites…

  45. @Sid – Wolff and Quan are supposed to meet this month… apparently someone reached out.

    “shovel ready” in SJ, doesn’t mean there are no obstacles. The A’s and giants have both been gone to denver and tampa in the past, but somehow they’re both still in Oak and SF.

    Too many A’s fans like to over-simplify a complex issue. If it were all about who has the biggest purse, then there would be three teams in NY and none in KC, STL or Milwaukee.

  46. Well, the A’s need a new ballpark. New facilities in Saint Louis and Milwaukee received public funds, which won’t happen for the A’s in Oakland or San Jose. Absent the public funding, then private funding is needed (and we’re not talking about the owners sacrificing their personal fortunes, which isn’t going to happen). Private financing can be done in San Jose but not Oakland. It’s clear. Milwaukee and Saint Louis (KC, I haven’t researched) valued their MLB teams and were willing to spend $$ to keep them (in Saint Louis’s case, public funds came from a long-term loan to the owners, apparently). Oakland, on the other hand, has spent 15 years disrespecting the A’s and blocking efforts for a new ballpark there. And last year’s mayoral election featured at least one candidate vowing to spend “not one dime for the A’s” as a campaign platform. Doesn’t sound like the A’s are valued, does it?

  47. Certainly SJ has it’s own obstacles. The difference is that we know how they could be overcome. We know less about VC because Wolff doesn’t believe it’s feasible, and Oakland won’t reveal anything.

  48. @pjk – Ok man. You seem to realize you are well within your “right” to say the same thing over and over. I doubt you’ve swayed anyone (not saying you’re trying to). We o need a new ballpark. I just don’t agree with Wolff’s talking points. He wants SJ and *some* people who agree with him, can’t see outside of that box. While I do not have a “plan” for financing a stadium in Oakland, I fail to believe the owners position on the matter.

  49. …and no one else has a plan, either, except the usual “John Fisher is rich…” plan. With no financing plan, there is no plan, period…You don’t get on JK’s case for repeating the usual “Haas’s were great” and “Wolff should sell the team…”, BTW.

  50. Haas was great for the Athletic franchise. Do you disagree? Should Wolff sell the team? I can see how there might be different opinions on that. I’m on record as wanting all of BB/Wolff/Fisher, to move on. Did you read Blez’s recent post on AN? Interesting take.

  51. Wasn’t the issue with Haas, and I’m probably repeating myself again, was that they got tired of running the team as a charity? Losing $$?

  52. @pjk–Haas was dying, there was financial and tax issues to take care of with his estate, the team was sold. I wish they would of continued ownership, but that wasn’t the case. Haas loved his players and front ffice staff and had a hard time dumping payroll. Schottmann had to problem doing that and made money right from the get go.

  53. @pjk- i thought Haas was in poor health and wanted move on? Charity? Man you really don’t like anything about the City of Oakland, eh?

  54. @all – Haas was not yet ill when he started exploring the idea of selling the team. This was confirmed by George Vukasin, Sr. By the time the deal was consummated, he was deathly ill. The A’s had accrued nearly $20 million in debt by that point – a small number now, a huge number back then.

  55. ML – as long as you’re here, wasn’t the entire Oakland VC EIR process supposed to take a year or less? Not the draft EIR alone taking at least that much?

    re: Man you really don’t like anything about the City of Oakland, eh?

    .Apparently, you missed my post from last week about my latest visit to Children’s Fairyland, which, as you know, requires extensive driving through the downtown area. Said what a great idea a downtown ballpark would have been if Oakland officials hadn’t spent their time bragging about dismissing the A’s and passing on the opportunity. It’s in one of the threads from last week.

  56. @pjk – See here.

    Now we’re backpedaling from 12 months to completion to 12 months for the draft. Here’s some advice, Oakland: Underpromise, Overdeliver.

  57. @ David “While I do not have a “plan” for financing a stadium in Oakland, I fail to believe the owners position on the matter.”
    .
    Some inconvenient facts:
    .
    – Long-term premium and charter seat commitments represent a huge percentage of the Giant’s gate (I’ve guesstimated something on the order of 50%) and were fundamental to their being able to pay off AT&T Park, the only privately-financed ballpark in the modern era.
    – The main market for these are big corporations, law firms, and the like. Silicon Valley has literally hundreds of these. The East Bay has a relative handful, and a large percentage of those that exist (in Tri-Valley) are roughly equidistant in travel time from SJ and Oakland.
    – Given the number of games they must commit to, and the manner in which they use the tickets, convenience and travel time are paramount considerations for these corporate customers.
    – The criticality of this market is the reason the Giant’s don’t care if the A’s build a park in Oakland and are terrified they will build in San Jose.
    .
    Given these facts, your “failure to believe the owners position on the matter” is completely irrational. It is a religious belief, based on nothing more than your own wishes and biases.

  58. Here’s an article by John Shea from this morning, SIAP.
    .
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/13/SPGO1K9LH7.DTL
    .
    “…Pressed for answers on the length of the probe, the future of the A’s in Oakland or San Jose, and the Giants’ territorial rights to the South Bay, Selig said, “We’re working all that out. The committee has come back. There’s a myriad of options. There’s a lot of stuff we studied. The one thing I want to be sure about is to look at every conceivable option and analyze all of them….”
    .
    Sounds to me like MLB is waiting to see if a ballpark in Oakland is financially and economically viable. Probably also waiting for San Jose to secure the remaining 2 parcels.

    • Here’s an article by John Shea from this morning, SIAP..http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/13/SPGO1K9LH7.DTL.“…Pressed for answers on the length of the probe, the future of the A’s in Oakland or San Jose, and the Giants’ territorial rights to the South Bay, Selig said, “We’re working all that out. The committee has come back. There’s a myriad of options. There’s a lot of stuff we studied. The one thing I want to be sure about is to look at every conceivable option and analyze all of them….”.Sounds to me like MLB is waiting to see if a ballpark in Oakland is financially and economically viable. Probably also waiting for San Jose to secure the remaining 2 parcels.

      As RM has alluded to in the past, Selig IS NOT going to go out on a limb and alter the Giants T-Rights UNTIL a ballpark in San Jose is 100% imminent; meaning construction WILL begin tommorrow! Oakland financially and economically viable? Probably not (check that off the list). San Jose get’s their entire house in order? Hopefully soon we can check that off as well.

  59. @bartleby – fan comes from fanatic. Unless you are a robot, you have “wishes and biases” as well. BTW, there’s nothing religious about my love for the Oakland A’s!

    • @bartleby – fan comes from fanatic. Unless you are a robot, you have “wishes and biases” as well. BTW, there’s nothing religious about my love for the Oakland A’s!

      Bartleby may have “wishes and biases” as well, but he also comes on here with hard, cold facts to back up his posts.

  60. Can Selig “alter” T-rights without 3/4 owner approval? If he had the votes right now, based on comments he’s made in the past – wouldn’t he have already let that cat out of the bag?

  61. …if altering the T-rights means the A’s bring in many millions of new dollars instead of being a revenue-sapping franchise on the league dole, then it should be a no-brainer to get the 3/4 votes. We know the Giants believe they should have Santa Clara County for themselves until the end of the world, but that notion is ridiculous.

  62. no-brainer? i don’t know. I see the Giants, Mets, Yankees, Cubs, White Sox, Angels and Dodgers (maybe San Diego too) not voting to change T-rights. that’s 8 of 30 teams. Do the math.

    • no-brainer? i don’t know. I see the Giants, Mets, Yankees, Cubs, White Sox, Angels and Dodgers (maybe San Diego too) not voting to change T-rights. that’s 8 of 30 teams. Do the math.

      C’Mon David! You’re a public educator and Raiders fan; you’re better than this! (I hope). All the teams you mentioned are in SHARED territories (what will most likely become of SCCo.) and will vote to get the A’s off the revenue welfare to become revenue contributors. Also of note is that White Sox owner Jerry Rheinsdorff is a good friend of Lew Wolff; yeah, he’s really going to vote against the “change.” Dodgers don’t even have an owner (technically). What else? I’ll give you the Giants voting no to sharing SCCo, kind of like Peter Angelos voting against the Expos move to DC. Do the math (as well as use logic).

  63. Sigh, same spin from all the same sources. We just need new information from Oakland, San Jose, Bud, Wolff, Jesus, Buddha, somebody. It’s really getting ridiculous, the club is festering and even A’s fans are snarling at each other. I was thinking yesterday how great it would be to have John Jaha back on the A’s, if that’s not a sign of despair, I don’t know what is.

  64. David: .Well, it all gets down to this: Does San Jose losing mean Oakland wins and keep the A’s? Unfortunately, it probably does not. No waiver of t rights is more likely to mean the departure of the A’s from the Bay Area, for all the reasons that have been discussed in full on this Web site many times before.

  65. pjk: If the Mayan calendar spells the end of us all. We’ll never know, because Selig is retiring right around Dec. 2012!

    but really, I want to see what Quan comes up with for VC. Also, want to see how viable 980 is.

    Putting all of this aside for a second. Wouldn’t it be nice if our super-GM, could pull a hitter or two, out of his hat? Attendance is about to scary with the team we have right now …

  66. …What she’s come up with so far is a complete disregard for what was supposed to be the one-year deadline on completion of the full EIR. If they had good news to report it, seems to me they’d want to do so quickly instead of staying completely silent… What’s Beane have to offer for a hitter besides Weekes, Suzuki or some prospect like Green? Not much. We all know we can’t get premium free agents to come here.. The A’s play is so abysmal right now I didn’t bother to watch more than a pitch or two of the All Star Game. Hopefully, the game won’t again result in home field advantage for the Giants in the World Series. Go Phillies!

  67. eb – I’m with you. So tired of all this. On the player front, I’d love to get Rickey into the lineup. No, not Rickey in his prime. Rickey right now today at age 124 or whatever. Sadly, he’d be a huge improvement over who we have swinging the sticks for us currently.

  68. @David You’re a public educator, for God’s sake, you should be pooping diamonds and handing them to the poor! Sorry, what is that teacher reference number 6? I hope no one here finds out I’m actually a crime fighter/astronaut/philanthropist.

  69. @eb: Teachers are the boogeyman in America lately. I’m used to the lack of … appreciation. Maybe its the summer vacation. What isn’t widely noted is: we don’t get paid vacation.

    @Tony: My students love me and my Principal would freak-out if I tried to leave. Go Raiders!

  70. Tony: I doubt any of the teams I mentioned would want another team trying to set up shop in their territories. Why would the Cubs or White Sox (with the Brewers up the highway) want to change T-rights?

  71. …and what are the possibilities of another team moving into any of these places? Why would the teams be so paranoid to believe that if they allow the A’s to move 40 miles from Frisco instead of staying 8 miles away, that opens up the door for more teams in Chicago or Milwaukee?

  72. Does anyone think the Mets or Yankees would embrace a new franchise, 10 miles away in Jersey? Clearly, there’s lots of corporate dollars and human density out there.

  73. A move from Oakland to San Jose is in no way a precedent for a move from anywhere outside New York to New Jersey.

  74. Please detail for me how owners refusing to change the territorial rights means Oakland has the $$ and a viable site for a new ballpark.

  75. @David, while I’m certainly appreciative of your profession as an educator of our youth, I think the argument you’re posing is a little too simplistic.

    This isn’t a case of a team from another territory moving across the country to encrouch on the Giant’s territory. Instead, it’s about turning the Bay Area, which is already shared by both teams, into a “shared” territory, consistent with the territorial agreements in Chicago, LA and NY. This is a very specific and unique situation. Hence, why Selig is not capable of handling it.

    If this discussion was about the Rays moving from TB to set up in NJ, your argument would be stronger as I would confidently assume the Chi, LA & NY teams would be strongly against. In the case of the A’s & Giants, if SJ is eventually brought to the owners, they would be very careful in the language of their decision and that vote would be either for allowing the A’s to move to the arguably more lucrative South Bay or have them stay in Oakland and continue to subsidize the team until a stadium is worked out (which could be 5yrs, 10yrs or never).

    • @David, while I’m certainly appreciative of your profession as an educator of our youth, I think the argument you’re posing is a little too simplistic. This isn’t a case of a team from another territory moving across the country to encrouch on the Giant’s territory. Instead, it’s about turning the Bay Area, which is already shared by both teams, into a “shared” territory, consistent with the territorial agreements in Chicago, LA and NY. This is a very specific and unique situation. Hence, why Selig is not capable of handling it.If this discussion was about the Rays moving from TB to set up in NJ, your argument would be stronger as I would confidently assume the Chi, LA & NY teams would be strongly against. In the case of the A’s & Giants, if SJ is eventually brought to the owners, they would be very careful in the language of their decision and that vote would be either for allowing the A’s to move to the arguably more lucrative South Bay or have them stay in Oakland and continue to subsidize the team until a stadium is worked out (which could be 5yrs, 10yrs or never).

      Welcome to the blog Dirty. Excellent post!

  76. pjk: stop asking me questions i can’t possibly answer. I can loan them $100. How about monopoly money?

  77. Repeat after me: SHARED TERRITORIES and CASE BY CASE BASIS. NY, Chi and LA: the precedence is there for SCCo. to be a shared territory, especially because that’s what is was prior to 1992. Any other hypothetical relocation in the future, be it the Rays or anyone else, would be dealt with solely on it’s own merit. It’s stupid to say the A’s moving 40 miles south to SJ opens a “can of worms” of teams wanting to relocate.

  78. …First of all, how many teams are in bad stadiums that need replacing and can’t get it done? That would be the A’s and Rays. Not like there’s a flood of teams out there looking to bolt from their current city, like what has been going on with the A’s since the 1970s. Yes, the Red Sox and Cubs play in 100-year-old yards, but somehow I don’t think there’s any risk of them moving, since they are venerated in their home cities in a way the A’s can only dream about in Oakland.

  79. @ David My wife is a teacher, I know the drill, unfortunately. What’s crazy about the comments on this site is the predictability of the posters, myself included, I suppose. It seems like if you’re from the South Bay you jump on any possible Oakland suggestions and vice versa if you’re from the East Bay. In the end, nothing is being agreed upon and all this arguing is based on speculation, the A’s could end up on the top of Mt. Diablo for all we know. Meanwhile, the A’s still can’t hit or field and the Giants are the kings of the Bay Area.

  80. BTW, not a knock of the site itself. ML is doing great work keeping everyone up to date, god knows the Bay Area media isn’t pulling its weight when it comes to the A’s or their fans.

  81. @eb “nothing is being agreed upon and all this arguing is based on speculation”
    .
    I’ll say it again:
    .
    – Long-term premium and charter seat commitments represent a huge percentage of the Giant’s gate (I’ve guesstimated something on the order of 50%) and were fundamental to their being able to pay off AT&T Park, the only privately-financed ballpark in the modern era.
    – The main market for these are big corporations, law firms, and the like. Silicon Valley has literally hundreds of these. The East Bay has a relative handful, and a large percentage of those that exist (in Tri-Valley) are roughly equidistant in travel time from SJ and Oakland.
    – Given the number of games they must commit to, and the manner in which they use the tickets, convenience and travel time are paramount considerations for these corporate customers.
    – The criticality of this market is the reason the Giant’s don’t care if the A’s build a park in Oakland and are terrified they will build in San Jose.
    .
    This is not speculation. Any objective, rational observer with knowledge of the situation should be able to agree on these basic facts.
    .
    You can say, “we don’t know what any particular corporation will do.” That’s true, as far as it goes. But we can predict their mass behavior with a high degree of confidence based on how many of them there are and where they are located. There are an order of magnitude more of them in the South Bay than in the East Bay. There will be something like 10,000 club seats and 100 suites to sell. An Oakland ballpark would have to compete directly with the Giants for whatever corporate customers are nearby, and it would be on the wrong side of the bridge. All optimism aside, it’s not happening.

  82. @ Tony, thanks for the welcome. Been following ML’s work here for 3+ yrs and riding every high & low with each of you pro-Oak & pro-SJ guys.

    @ David, no insult meant by calling your argument simplistic. Rather, it’s just my thinking on what it’s exactly that would have to be voted on by the owners if SJ is eventually decided on by the BRC and how it would have to be presented so that no precedent is set in the future for a team to move into an already occupied “territory”.

    If the Giants begin to sense the BRC leaning in the direction of SJ, and I’m assuming they would if the BRC is talking to all parties and keeping each up to date, I think it would be in their best interest to begin negotiating with the A’s rather than have the rest of MLB impose any guidelines that may decrease their leverage. As eb said though, this is all just speculation and no matter how many facts we have (bartleby, you’re very very factual), it’s all speculation until the BRC & Selig make a decision.

    At least contraction isn’t a consideration (I’ve thought this from the start, no way the MLBPA would cooperate with such a decision and that would be a nasty dispute), at least that’s one less thing for people to speculate on!

  83. FWIW, I don’t claim to know for sure what will happen. That part involves some speculation. I do feel some confidence I know what will not happen, because in the end economics will out.

  84. @ bartleby, completely on page with you, take it as a compliment. I’m naturally skeptical (Big 4 background) and got a good grasp on economics so based on the present information available, I’m confident of what will materialize, but then again you just never know. It sucks we’re all basically being held hostage by MLB’s due process.

  85. @ bartleby Hey, boss, it’s your world. We’ll see what happens, you may be right. Until then, I’m going to stroke my MC Hammer bobble head and pray for a decent defense.

  86. @eb–decent defense would of given us 6-8 more wins this year, maybe more.
    This is the most frustrated I’ve been with the A’s in years. My 40th year following them. I need some good news on Oakland getting the nod for the park. This site will explode with disappointment.

  87. @jk-usa I love Oakland and the East Bay, but at this point I just want something positive to happen, anything. If the A’s stay home, even better. I look at it this way, A’s stay in Oakland and get a stadium I’m super thrilled. If they have to go to San Jose out of desperation, well, at least they’re staying in the bay and at least A’s fans will be able to tell Giants ownership to eat a bowl of d*&%$. I just hope ownership would celebrate and put past Oakland history around the new stadium, make the A’s the bay area’s team. It would be a classy thing to do.

  88. eb- did you get a prerelease hammer?
    .
    Some folks would be disappointed if an Oakland deal is worked out. I sure wouldn’t. Neither would ML.

  89. @Jeffrey I don’t quite understand your question. I was merely stating my opinion. I would always feel a twang of remorse if the A’s left Oakland and I’m fully aware that other people have different perspectives on the matter. However, I would still root for the A’s in San Jose if that was the only option. Care to elaborate?

  90. Wonder how much the hammer dolls wil go for on e-bay? Rickey’s went for like $30-40. I have so many A’s bobbleheads and would never sell them. Bill King’s is one of my faves. $300 i think it went for after his death.

  91. @ Jeffrey Ohh. Sorry, just worked out and I’m feeling the out of shape haze. Heh, no I don’t. Just making a wisecrack, though I do have tickets for that game. I still don’t know how I feel about an MC Hammer bobble head, there’s no one else that actually played for the A’s that they could have used?

  92. @jk-usa My father in-law surprised me with the Bill King bobble for Christmas. Best gift ever! Holy Toledo!

  93. @eb—awesome!! I had two of them and gave one away to my best friend who missed the game. Man, I miss Bill King. Back in the early 80’s there wasn;t a lot of A;s games on TV, like 30-40 a year, and I would listen to Bill and Lon all the time. Before that, Monte Moore, he was okay, but wayyyy too much of a homer for me. Fosse is that way too but is bearable. Kruk and Kuip are homers and I can’t stomache them. They belong on the east coast where the homerism is obscene.

  94. clearly ot: my two favorite bobbleheads are Bill King and Dave Stewart. Last time I counted I had 37. All of mine (but 2) are A’s, not all are Coliseum special giveaways (I have a Cy Young commemorative Zito and a Jason Giambi Modesto A’s, as examples).
    .
    The 2 that aren’t A’s are a Mike Scioscia that my Cousin-in-Law left hidden in my curio cabinet once (I have him facing the corner as if it is the final scene from the Blair Witch Project) and a Josh Borlin as George W. Bush, wait… that’s actually Bud Black, that I got at a Padres game earlier this year.
    .
    eb, my point above was that when jk says this blog will “explode with disappointment” if an Oakland deal gets done, I can say (without a doubt) that the editorial staff (ML and sometimes me) wouldn’t be sad about that. We’d embrace it (assuming I am not getting screwed in some tax deal by being an Alameda County resident).

  95. My own reaction to an Oakland deal getting done would be, first, surprise. Extreme surprise.
    .
    Second, relief at a resolution.
    .
    Third, excitement at the prospect of a new ballpark.
    .
    Fourth, disappointment at a lost opportunity for San Jose. A new ballpark in downtown Oakland would be a shot in the arm for Oakland’s downtown, but won’t do anything for Oakland’s profile. The benefit to San Jose of having a major league team move there would be much, much greater.
    .
    Finally, years and years of anxiety over the economic future of the team. I know the Oakland-only’ers don’t care if Wolff and Fisher lose their shirts, but part of the point of the exercise is supposed to be allowing pursuit of free agents and retention of players. I’d be extremely concerned I’d soon be following the Pittsburgh Pirates, West.

  96. …I’d love to see Oakland get a new ballpark. But the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against it, given all the reasons discussed in full in this chat room. I don’t see how it gets done unless MLB agrees to build the ballpark itself, which I don’t see happening. Why de-value all the franchises (yes, forcing the owners to build their own stadiums makes buying an MLB franchise less attractive) just so Oakland, which has been so dismissive and non-supportive of its team over the years, can keep Major League Baseball? Better off picking up the stakes and moving to Portland, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Charlotte, NC, New Jersey, etc…

  97. “just so Oakland, which has been so dismissive and non-supportive of its team over the years” I assume you mean Oakland politicians, yes?

  98. …Well, Oakland politicians and the fans who haven’t been going to games. Usually ranked in the bottom half of attendance, even when putting out a winning team (4 wins shy of the World Series in ’06, ranked 26th in attendance). Oakland is not likely to strike the owners as a place they must stay, given the sad political and fan support histories.

  99. So you would say the same of the Giants? Before their new park they suffered a similar history of “poor fan support.” That can’t be denied.

  100. @eb “Before their new park they suffered a similar history of “poor fan support.” That can’t be denied”
    .
    Apples and oranges. There were many factors suppressing Giants attendance that did not apply to the A’s, and many reasons there was WAY more upside for a new park in SF than there is for a new park in Oakland. Before AT&T, the following was true:
    .
    Giants: Hideous, freezing dump of a ballpark.
    A’s: State-of-the-art ballpark, for its time.
    .
    Giants: Remote location and horrible traffic access. No transit access.
    A’s: Central location well served by freeways. BART.
    .
    Giants: Big TV and radio ratings, merchandise sales.
    A’s: Small TV and radio ratings, merchandise sales.
    .
    Giants: Perennially losing teams; no WS titles.
    A’s: Winning teams, 4 World Championships
    .
    And considering the upside of a new park in China Basin vs. Victory Court:
    .
    Giants: Right in the middle of a major corporate base (downtown SF) with superior access to the region’s largest corporate base (Silicon Valley).
    A’s: Little corporate base nearby. Hideously inconvenient for the region’s largest corporate base (Silicon Valley).
    .
    Giants: No meaningful competition nearby.
    A’s: Would be going head-to-head with one of MLBs strongest teams in one of baseball’s best ballparks only eight miles away.
    .
    For these reasons, the Oakland-only meme “it worked for the Giants, it will work for the A’s” is, well, not the product of deep thinking, let’s put it that way.

  101. “For these reasons, the Oakland-only meme “it worked for the Giants, it will work for the A’s” is, well, not the product of deep thinking, let’s put it that way. ”
    How did you get that from any of my posts? I’ve never said I was Oakland only…*shakes head*
    Just look at your response, you are using excuses to justify poor attendance at Giant games just to prove your “point.” You’re doing the same thing many have accused Oakland A’s fans have done on here to save their team, mainly making excuses. I’m sure you’re a nice guy bartleby, but almost all of your posts here consist of arguing any pro-Oakland response and defending anything San Jose. Now you are the champion of “logic,” I understand and I’m very impressed by that, but it is all very repetitive. I’m sure I’m guilty of plenty of annoying message board habits, but it’s just a tired act at this point.

  102. @eb I never said you were an “Oakland-only” guy. I consider you more of an “Oakland-first” guy. But many Oakland-only’ers have argued on this blog over the years that a new park in Oakland will solve all the A’s problems just because AT&T Park solved all the Giants problems. They assume, without critical examination, that SF, San Jose and Oakland are all equivalent sites from an economic perspective. Your comment echoed that meme, so I responded to it.
    .
    I strongly disagree with your argument that I am making “excuses” for poor Giants attendance pre-2000. There has been a lot of statistical evidence posted on this board and elsewhere that attendance tracks closely with ballpark quality and success on the field, so pointing out those factors were working against the Giants is not an excuse.
    .
    Contrast this with the Oakland-only’er’s constant refrain that A’s attendance has been subpar throughout their history because they’ve always been cursed with bad owners (ignoring the fact that A’s attendance was bad through most of Walter Haas’ tenure, also). Statistical evidence suggests there is little or no correlation between “owner love” and attendance. THAT is an excuse.
    .
    I’m sorry you find my posts repetitive, but if you stick around here long enough I think you’ll find that true of all the regular posters. We’ve been waiting on this for years, and there’s only a limited number of things to say.
    .
    My thing is, if I see comments that are poorly supported by facts or logic, I feel driven to respond to them. Consider it a character flaw if you like, but no offense is intended. This is a debate, right?

  103. @bartleby “This is a debate, right?” No, or at least it shouldn’t be like the kind of debate we’re seeing on this site. There is open antagonism between fans of the same team! This place looks like a Giants/A’s thread if you were just giving a casual glance. It’s depressing. As for attendance in Oakland/SF, do you know off-hand what parts of the bay the A’s draw from? People get stuck in this mindset that the team only draws from its city/county of location. There’s no guarantee San Jose is going to be a panacea if it ends up being the A’s new home, maybe attendance will increase tenfold, who knows, but the Sharks shouldn’t be a barometer of attendance.

  104. …Why shouldn’t the Sharks be a “barometer of attendance?” If they were struggling at the gate, the Oakland-only folks would be shouting from the housetops about San Jose’s poor support of the Sharks and how that proves San Jose can’t support major league sports. But the Sharks are sold-out rock stars in the South Bay, which is a thorn in the side for anti-A’s-to-San Jose folks. So reasons are invented about why the Sharks are supposedly not a good comparison.

  105. @pjk Well, the Warriors have drawn well in Oakland even after all that losing. True they are the only basketball team in the area, but the Sharks are the only outlet for hockey fans. Of which, there are a lot of east coast/mid-west transplants here, so there is a market for hockey. A lot of non-San Jose residents have adopted the Sharks as their hockey team. Baseball is a whole different animal than either of those two sports.

  106. Like I said, the Sharks’ outstanding fan support leaves Oakland advocates having to devise reasons why this success supposedly would not be transferable to the A’s. I’m not buying these so-called reasons.

  107. How about this comparison: Oakland used to have an NHL hockey team. Support was so poor the team now bears the distinction of being the only franchise among the four major sports to have folded in the last 50 years (after a couple years in Cleveland). Untested, untried San Jose got a hockey team and it sells out every night, every year. So there’s definite evidence of the South Bay being a pretty strong market for major pro sports.

  108. @pjk So you choose to ignore the Warrior’s success and say Oakland is a bad market, but point to the Sharks as a reason San Jose is a good one? Ok, whatever floats your boat. The Warriors and Sharks are in a pretty similar situation, of which does not equate to a region supporting an MLB team. I guess we disagree.

  109. BTW, San Francisco had a hockey team as well. Not anymore, does that mean SF is a bad market, inferior to San Jose?

  110. ….The Warriors set a team attendance record in their lone year in San Jose, despite being lousy and despite everybody knowing they would only be in town for one year. Even more evidence of San Jose’s strong support for major pro sports. Or is that to be dismissed, too, when pondering A’s-to-San Jose?

  111. @pjk So you ignore my point and continue to promote San Jose at another city’s expense. *sigh* It never ends. I should listen to my ramblings in an earlier post and just cut the cord.

  112. …Frisco as a sports city? Well, ponder these facts:
    * it’s the largest city in the USA without a sports arena. It could have had both the Warriors and Sharks but didn’t care.
    * the city was perfectly content to let the Giants leave, which is why they had to build their own ballpark
    * Mayor Frank Jordan saved the Giants for Frisco. He was rewarded by being booted out of office at the next opportunity.
    * Not much angst about the 49ers leaving town. No heads rolling. Only 5% of season ticketholders have Frisco zip codes.

  113. Ignore WHAT point? About the Warriors drawing well in Oakland? It hasn’t translated to success at the gate for the A’s, has it? They play in the same parking lot. Meanwhile, San Jose, with the much-lower-profile NHL, has been outstanding in its support for the Sharks. This certainly looks good for the A’s if they move to the South Bay.

  114. @pjk No, it hasn’t always translated, it shouldn’t. The A’s are one of two teams in the market, have a longer schedule and demand higher attendance per game in order to be seen as successful. The Sharks and Warriors are the lone game in town, have shorter seasons and need smaller crowds for a sellout. What I’m saying is that neither is a very good barometer for fan support for the A’s in either city. San Jose may be great attendance wise, I’m just saying there is no strong evidence it would be WAY better than what we’ve seen in Oakland after the stadium shine wears off and 40 years go by.

  115. …well, SJ’s arena opened in 1993 and the shine STILL hasn’t worn off. The team still sells out. And, once again, if the Sharks were a poor draw, it would be Exhibit A for the ant-A’s-to-San Jose folks about why the A’s shouldn’t move south.

  116. @pjk Look, in my opinion, the Warriors shouldn’t be used as an example to justify/predict the A’s attendance success/woes and the Sharks shouldn’t be either.

  117. The Sharks are San Jose’s only venture into major pro sports. But they should not be used as a comparative for how the As might do in San Jose? I wholeheartedly disagree.

  118. @eb Your distinction between the A’s and Warriors situations is apt. But you ignore a similar distinction between the Warriors and Sharks situations. The NBA is WAAAAY more popular than the NHL, across the board. And the NHL is failing in most of its non-traditional markets – except San Jose. So the Sharks success in San Jose says a lot about the A’s potential in San Jose.
    .
    “I’m just saying there is no strong evidence it would be WAY better than what we’ve seen in Oakland after the stadium shine wears off and 40 years go by”
    .
    There is evidence attendance would be better, we can debate how strong it is. But there is overwhelming evidence that REVENUE would be WAY better than is possible in Oakland, and that’s the more important thing. Simply put: The target market for the primary venue revenue generators exists in San Jose, it does not exist in Oakland.

  119. …Thanks, Bartleby. The NHL has hit a grand slam home run in the non-traditional San Jose market while striking out in other nont-traditional markets, such as Atlanta, Phoenix, South Florida. Shows strong, strong potential for MLB in San Jose. FWIW, the Giants sure believe San Jose would be a great place for MLB – that’s why they want to make sure it doesn’t happen.

  120. There was a post, some time ago, that used the Fremont Economic Impact Report (ticket sales data contained therein) to show where fans came from. It also included statistical regressions to show where they should be coming from based on distance, etc. I can’t remember when or what ti was called… If anyone does, please post a link for eb.

  121. @pjk–the Sharks are the only NHL team in the BA, and they make the playoffs just about every year, more than any BA team in any sport. Put that same team at the Oracle or the Cow Palace, they’d pack it. Just look at the W’s, and they suck. If they were playoff bound like the Sharks, the place would flip and would be a tough ticket.

  122. …Um, Oakland already had the Bay Area’s only NHL team. It bombed. Very badly. (And the Sharks sold out even when the team was lousy. And despite failing in the playoffs each and every year, they still sell out.)

  123. Sorry ML, for going OT on Sharks/W’s/Seals talks. No more.

  124. “Your distinction between the A’s and Warriors situations is apt. But you ignore a similar distinction between the Warriors and Sharks situations. The NBA is WAAAAY more popular than the NHL, across the board. And the NHL is failing in most of its non-traditional markets – except San Jose. So the Sharks success in San Jose says a lot about the A’s potential in San Jose.”

    Perhaps, but the popularity between the Warriors and the Sharks really isn’t that large of an issue. It still comes down to selling out a relatively small building. Even with the Sharks, their tv ratings are low and they aren’t a hot button issue type team in the Bay Area media. So while it is a good sign for San Jose that they sell out, there really isn’t a huge push for the team, even in San Jose, as a whole (unless it’s the playoffs). I just don’t think the Sharks = hard evidence the A’s will draw dramatically better in San Jose than in Oakland. The economic aspect, however, you got me there.

    @pjk In terms of Oakland supporting a hockey team, at that point Oakland had other well established franchises, there wasn’t the fervor to prove Oakland was “big time.” Plus, and I have to say it, I don’t think the brothas in Oakland were clamoring for hockey.

  125. I’ve already gone over this: For the anti-San Jose crowd, poor Sharks attendance would mean San Jose can’t support the A’s, while good Sharks attendance is no indicator of whether San Jose can support the A’s. OK. Sounds like tails, they win, heads, we lose…

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