McCourt reaches agreement with MLB to sell Dodgers

Update 11/3 11:15 AM – House Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Redondo Beach) introduced a bill to allow for public ownership of the Dodgers. Public ownership is not allowed per MLB’s constitution, but it’s a nice gesture. Hahn actually used the issue as part of her platform and rode it to election day in June.

Update 4:35 PM – The Associated Press (SI link) got reactions from Wolff, Tom Werner, and Mark Attanasio about their potential interest in the Dodgers. Wolff’s take:

“I’m very interested in having the sale occur for everybody involved,” said Wolff, a successful L.A. real estate developer. “As far as my interest in purchasing the Dodgers, I don’t have any. I’m interested in getting a new venue for the A’s.”

But would Selig, Wolff’s fraternity brother at Wisconsin, ask Wolff to join a bidder?

“That would be absurd,” Wolff said. “The Dodgers are going to go to an auction, and the highest bidder hopefully will revitalize the franchise.”

Bloomberg also reported that Fox may be interested in acquiring the Dodgers once again, but the company quickly denied it.

Update 3:00 PM – The New York Daily News cites an unnamed MLB insider who says that “it is unlikely Selig would try to steer A’s co-owner Lew Wolff and Boston Red Sox CEO Tom Werner – both Selig allies – toward making a bid on the Dodgers.”

Update 1:50 PM – Now it’s getting interesting. Bill Shaikin is reporting that the a prospective bidding group includes former Dodger GM Fred Claire (O’Malley era), A’s/Warriors/49ers exec Andy Dolich, and Ben Hwang, who looks to be the head of the group.

Original post below

Well that was faster than anyone expected.

Word started leaking over the weekend that Frank McCourt and Bud Selig were in serious discussions to have McCourt sell the Dodgers. This was confirmed Tuesday night by the LA Times’ Bill Shaikin, and further confirmed by a press release:

“The Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball announced that they have agreed today to a court-supervised process to sell the team and its attendant media rights in a manner designed to realize maximum value for the Dodgers and their owner, Frank McCourt,” read a joint statement. “The Blackstone Group LP will manage the sale process.”

Going back to the summer, when the McCourt divorce proceedings really got ugly, the prevailing wisdom was that unless Frank McCourt ran out of cash, he’d fight to keep the Dodgers to the bitter end. That would mean enduring a bankruptcy trial, lengthy divorce proceedings, and a possible auction of the team. Now it looks like the team will no longer be under McCourt’s control by the end of the month, and a new owner could be found and approved. Neither McCourt nor MLB are saying what prompted this turn of events. Whatever precipitated this, there’s no doubt that the timeline for selling the Dodgers has been significantly accelerated.

That gives MLB roughly six months to approve the next owner, though the process will be largely guided by the federal bankruptcy court, which will preside over the team’s auction. The auction will probably include the team and Dodger Stadium + parking lots, since those will all need to be sold to cover the McCourt’s enormous debts, short term financing, and a $130 million payment promised last week by Frank McCourt to Jamie McCourt. Everything could be sold as a package or on a piecemeal basis – that’s up to the court to decide. CNBC’s Darren Rovell has the over/under for the all inclusive sale price at $875 million, though several analysts have mused that the team and related properties should fetch well north of $1 Billion.

Of course, that leaves the question of who will make the winning bid. Having a court oversee the process gums up the works if you’re looking for a Selig crony to come in to get a sweetheart deal. Last year, the duo of Mark Cuban and Jim Crane drove up the price of the Texas Rangers by $100 million through auction bidding. There have been murmurs of several groups champing at the bit to get their shot at the Dodgers, so that $1 Billion mark could be eclipsed early. One thing to keep in mind is that not only does the new owner have to assume a ton of debt, they’ll probably have to agree to make $100+ million in improvements to Dodger Stadium in order for the team to stay “viable”. With an enormous bidding war for the Dodgers’ TV rights due in a couple of years, that’s relative chump change. Will it be Mark Cuban, Ron Burkle, or some private equity hotshot?

Prior to the auction beginning, you can bet that speculation will include Lew Wolff asserting interest in the Dodgers, a charge that he denied in January. That rumor was merely an unsubstantiated musing by ESPN’s Buster Olney and not based on any legitimate inside information. Wolff is buds with Bud, so he has to expect his name to be in the news and there’s little he can do other than deny, deny, deny. Given the circumstances of the team being beholden to the auction process, it doesn’t benefit either Wolff or MLB to have Wolff involved in the proceedings. There will be more than enough bidders, and there should be multiple entrants whose backgrounds and bids are far more substantial and less risky than Jim Crane’s or Frank McCourt’s. In addition, the asking price of the Dodgers will be so high that MLB won’t be able to pull off a Montreal-style “contract-and-expand” deal, with the other 29 owners digging deep into their own pockets to buy the team.

When the winter meetings come around in two weeks, it’s clear that if the CBA is item 1A on the agenda, the Dodgers are 1B. Crane will finally be approved as the new owner of the Astros, perhaps just to get it out of the way. It’s unclear what that means for the A’s. Wolff’s getalong working style may mean the A’s issue is tabled until January. Then again, Wolff could barter his vote for “future considerations”. It’s impossible to say whether or not the A’s will even come up, let alone have Wolff’s territorial rights request addressed. Does Selig want to focus only on a few select urgent issues? Do the owners have enough information to act now on T-rights, or do formal presentations need to be made? We should know in two weeks.

101 thoughts on “McCourt reaches agreement with MLB to sell Dodgers

  1. I am NOT one of these “Wolff Must Go/Is The Devil” zealots, and I realize there’s nothing to support this, but I’d love for Mark Cuban to purchase the A’s.

  2. The Dodgers may be too rich for even LW and JF, but you bring in more partners to come up with the cash. Cuban or Ellison buying the A’s and building a kick ass park in the O would be way cool, but I would love to see Bob Piccinini get another shot and not be treated like crap this time by the Lodge.

  3. The next time Cuban or Ellison express interest in the A’s will be the first time. Oakland-only folks still holding out hopes for some magical benevolent billionaire to buy the team and donate a free stadium for Oakland. If that’s Oakland’s only hope, then there is no hope.

  4. Larry Ellison tried to purchase the Warriors for the specific purpose of moving them to San Jose, which doesn’t suggest any particular sentimentality where the City of Oakland is concerned. As many former employees of Oracle acquisition targets can attest, he is a particularly ruthless businessman.
    The notion that he would purchase the A’s for the charitable purpose of building a money-losing ballpark in Oakland rather than near his home in Silicon Valley shows a tenuous grasp on reality. If he bought the A’s, I could more easily see him launching a scorched-earth attack on MLB and the Giants for T-rights to SJ (in contrast to Mr. Wolff’s “good partner” approach).

  5. ..and Cuban once looked into buying an NHL team and decided the numbers didn’t add up. Doesn’t sound like the kind of guy willing lose many, many millions just so Oakland can have a free ballpark.

  6. I kind of imagined this was inevitable…

  7. What? The same tired arguments and points being reiterated… or that McCourt would give in and sell the team?

  8. It’s quite telling when a pro-Oaklander only hope for a baseball stadium is wishing….praying….fantasizes about a one in a million scenario. Glad McCourt is out of the way… onto the A’s already!

  9. If Ellison bought the A’s, he would immediately sue the Giants and MLB (and he’d have a very strong case, and he has an army of top lawyers).

    When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, obtaining Java IP in the process, Oracle almost immediately sued Google for Java patent violation (allegedly for Android violating said patents – probably bogus, but that’s an argument for a tech forum).

    In other words, Ellison doesn’t mess around. He’s ruthless and a world class prick.

    But part of me says that approach might have gotten the A’s much further along than Wolff’s “Mr. Cooperative” approach.

  10. Ellison would simply fund the City of San Jose lawyers in order to sue since guys in the lodge cannot sue each other……That would have forced Selig to do something as Vincent Piazza did with the Giants to Tampa being shot down years ago.

    McCourt selling is good news in general. I was in LA last week for biz and everyone I talk to out there says McCourt is public enemy number 1.

    So it is true along those lines the fan base is alienated.

    The auction does kill the whole Dodgers to Wolff scenario as ML is right it would put Wolff into public light on this and Selig as well

    We will see how this goes, I just do not think Selig will act on the A’s future. He does not care about 1 franchise that is a revenue sharing drain.

    He only cares about the big market teams hence why all his time is with the Dodgers, Mets, and he essentially without saying out loud sides with the Giants.

  11. Watched Selig at last week’s World Series awards presentations after Game 7. Seemed like he had to read from cards, even. Didn’t give me the confidence that he could make a tough decision. He hasn’t so far. Probably won’t now, either. The A’s will left to linger for years in the Coliseum until some out-of-town interests buy the team and move it far away, that’s my thinking right now.

  12. I just want to say the A’s are not worth $400M like the pro San Jose crowd suggests. Someone could buy the A’s for a lot less considering Wolff bought the A’s for $180M. Someone makes an offer for the A’s at $280M and Lew makes close to $100M. Sounds like a good deal for someone who refuses to talk seriously with Oakland about building a stadium.

    Instead he tries to build in San Jose when he knows San Jose is off limits. Kind of like when he bought the Fairmont Hotel in SF. He tried to convert it to a condo/time share deal despite the fact the Fairmont was always a hotel with a storied past as a hotel. Just like the Fairmont, time for Lew to put the A’s on the block.

  13. Eric: I”m still waiting for your plan on who pays for an Oakland ballpark. Oakland won’t. Private interests won’t because they’ll lose their shirts. So who pays for it? What is Wolff supposed to talk to Oakland about? Oakland won’t pay for the ballpark and wants it for free.

  14. Even if I had a plan why would I present it to the public. It would only drive up the price of the property needed for a stadium. I think Oakland’s silence is to its benefit. Now if Lew Wolff would just sit down and talk to Oakland on how to approach this matter there would be some progress. Better yet maybe he should sell for a cool $100M profit on his acquisition a mere 6 years ago.

  15. So you have no plan on how to pay for a ballpark in Oakland, in the absence of public or private dollars. Nobody else has a plan, either, except to hope for some charitable billionaire to donate a ballpark….

  16. @Eric 19 – Have you read my interview with the owners of Peerless Coffee? They have no desire to move and may end up doing it only as part of an eminent domain proceeding. Oakland staying quiet has no effect on their price. Beyond that, MLB is not going to authorize a sale of the A’s to anyone at this point without an airtight ballpark construction and financing plan, whether it’s in Oakland, San Jose, or Timbuktu. Not that Wolff and Fisher have expressed any interest in selling.

  17. I don’t think Victory Court is doable because of Peerless Coffee and a lot of other businesses in the immediate area. The restaurant supply store, the wineries, the storage place, etc. Also the landlords for that site are pretty savvy. The reason Oakland chose this spot is because MLB had directed them to find something on the waterfront and close to downtown. Oakland needs to let MLB know they are willing to assist in any they can but they need to have SOME dialogue with Wolff and MLB in the quest for a new location. I think Oakland leadership would be willing seriously find a feasible location if Lew Wolff would do the same. MLB needs to forget the notion that an Oakland ballpark needs to be on the water and in downtown. In other words, time for Lew to develop a Plan B.

  18. @ML Next time you interview the owners of Peerless remember to thank them for building Mt. Davis.

  19. Plan B will be: sell the team. After no one comes forward willing to buy the team and build in Oakland with no public subsidy, it will be time for interests from other parts of the country (such as San Antonio, Charlotte, Portland, Las Vegas, El Paso, etc) to bring the team to their city. The A’s could fetch a tidy sum once new owners are free to relocate it….MLB has been looking for a location in Oakland for 3 years. Obviously, they can’t find any. VC isn’t happening.

  20. @Dinosaur Jr. – Wrong. The Coliseum Authority (joint powers governmental body) did Mt. Davis, not the Coliseum Commission (group of civic and business leaders).

  21. Eric 19,
    Feel free to address private financing, corporate support whenever you see fit. Can’t wait!

  22. @Tony D./pjk – Is that the only card you have to play in this debate? It’s getting really tired.

  23. …It’s been the same arguments and counter-arguments over and over again because MLB never does anything about the A’s situation, since Selig is too afraid to act, obviously. The A’s have been on hold for years. Selig hopes the problem just goes away but it hasn’t.

  24. Nothing will change until one of the parties changes position. To date, Oakland has done NOTHING to get a stadium built in their town (and who is surprised with how inept they are handling a few disgruntled people with tents), MLB has done NOTHING (again not a shock knowing how gutless Selig is), and Wolff is still waiting on San Jose because until they make a decision he can do NOTHING. So in short NOTHING is happening and we’re all still in the same holding pattern we’ve been in for almost 1000 days. Meanwhile the same tired arguments and counter arguments are spouted on this site like they’re new…

  25. ….Let’s see what MLB does when the A’s Coliseum lease is up in two years and Oakland offers: long-term renewal or nothing. Or, commits the building to the Raiders and doesn’t offer the A’s anything. Then we have the Port Rupert Mundies (from “The Great American Novel”), homeless and playing all their games on the road. Don’t think it could happen? With this inept, too-terrified-to-make-a-decision commissioner, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    • Posted up top as well: Update 1:50 PM – Now it’s getting interesting. Bill Shaikin is reporting that the a prospective bidding group includes former Dodger GM Fred Claire (O’Malley era), A’s/Warriors/49ers exec Andy Dolich, and Ben Hwang, who looks to be the head of the group.

  26. Dolich? Oh well. There goes the new joint A’s-Raiders stadium.

  27. Wolff a “Selig allie”; I like that! RM, vow to not engage in any more tit for tat re Oakland vs SJ. At this point it’s senseless and doesn’t get us anywhere. Will save my ammo for the announcement/decision (just kidding). I’ll celebrate that moment with class ;o)

  28. Dan, yes.

  29. @TonyD–“I’ll celebrate that moment with class ”
    Lmao.. yeah right!!

  30. Good post ML on the Wolff piece and the Dodgers.

    The less likely it becomes Wolff becomes the owner of the Dodgers the more likely it becomes San Jose is opened up.

    I just cannot see Selig forcing Wolff to sell and telling his old buddy “sorry dude, take a hike”…After it was Selig who brought in Wolff in the first place.

    Then again, who would have thought Selig would tell Wolff to wait 3 years for a decision considering Wolff has been his friend for 50 years?

    Goes to show how gutless and cowardly Selig really is.

    One would think Selig leaving hurts the A’s to San Jose campaign in reality I think it helps. Any other commissioner would have resolved this.

    Especially for the fact the A’s have been in the Bay Area for 44 years only 10 years less than the Giants. It would be one thing if they were moving from out of state, but all this drama to move 35 miles south in the same market?

    This is a paradox and a half…

  31. Yes, Wolff was recruited by his old pal Selig and now has been left swinging in the wind for years. How many more years does this situation have to fester before Selig would not be accused of offering “favorable treatment” to an old friend? My guess is, Selig could wait 30 years and then give the OK for San Jose, and we’d still hear, “This is Selig helping his old friend and they both hate Oakland!!”…

  32. So besides driving all of us crazy what really was lost with Selig waiting 3 years- focus was alwayson 2015- which assuming a decision in the near future is very realistic

  33. Anyone else think that Stuart Sternberg might make a surprise bid for the Dodgers? Born in Brooklyn (although the year after the Dodgers left) and unsatisfied with the Tampa Bay stadium situation. He seems like he’d be a natural fit for the team. Although the Garvey/Hershiser group would be immensely popular with the LA fans.

  34. Hey Lew, if your buddy Bud denies you SJ, put your name in the hat with some other investors and make a run at the Dodgers. You’ll have a storied franchise, huge crowds, be the man in LA, and out of the bay area limelight where you’re not too poplular.

  35. @Ezra- wondered thesame thing- not sure of what is finances are but aothernopportunity for MLB to buy back a franchise and locate it somewhere else in the future- he could ake his stellar team with him and return the Dodgers to their glory days- in the end- what does baseball lose? They take on a n under performing asset- keep it operating bare bones and wait for the right opportunity to sell at a significant profit

  36. There was talk of him purchasing the Mets who’s Forbes valuation is only a little below the Dodgers for 2011 and was higher for 2010 when it was thought that Wilpon was going to have to sell them. So I think he must have the financing.

  37. Wolff not to popular with SOME in the Bay Area; get it straight!

  38. Wolff: Bay Area hero.

  39. Interesting that these Oakland JoKers would randomly post to LW as if 1) he were listening 2) it mattered and 3) anyone cared. As I continue to say about these selfish, passive, sensitive, and bitter dudes, you better off actually mailing, FBing, tweeting JQ instead to ask for an actual update on VC. But then again, she’s fighting for her political career now, but at least she’s addressing people’s criticism (…so if you get another recall petition (with all those 40K BSers…errr FBers), then she would probably update you on the EIR as well! 🙂

  40. OT also–but another agent saying you have to pay extra to get players in Oakland–“Coco Crisp’s agent, Steve Comte, said there were no offers forthcoming for his client either and said of A’s general manager Billy Beane, “Billy and the owners just want to sit back and wait because of the stadium issue. It is difficult – I feel bad for any organization that is in the quagmire the A’s are in because they do have to overpay to get good players to go there. Would you rather play in front of 40,000 people or 8,000?”

  41. It’s quite disappointing and upsetting the A’s have chosen not to at least extend offers to Willingham and Crisp. I do not agree with the tact the organization is taking on the personnel front, San Jose or not. The goal should be, especially in this two team market to try and put a competitive team on the field.
    I’ve said it before, a new ballpark regardless of its location will not be the answer to all of the A’s problems. Even if they were to move to San Jose, they would still have to contend with a Giants team which looks to be competitive for many year to come. The name of the game here in the Bay Area is market share, and the A’s are not doing themselves any favors by allowing their players to walk. They just took another step towards become even more irrelevant.

  42. @GoA’s True enough. The article also put forth this nugget, “Even so, Comte said, the ownership group, which includes John Fisher of the Gap, “does have money, and if you’re going to be one of 30 teams, you have to spend some money and put a team on the field. They have other capabilities if they wanted to do that.”

  43. fc – why do you believe the giants will “be competitive for many years to come”? They made good use of top 10 draft picks, making them competitive, but because of that, no longer have the benefit of being picking at the top of the draft. Additionally, Cain hits free agency after the 2012 season, Lincecum after 2013. I say both end up in NY or Boston. No, I believe the giants window is closing rapidly.

  44. Beane and Wolff are beyond weak for not signing our free agents. They are buying land and not signing these players? This is a desperate ploy to convince the other owners in MLB to allow SJ.
    Sadly, it probably won’t work. Then they will have to scramble to pick up the leftovers.

  45. By not signing free agents, the few who might even be willing to play there, this could get the MLB union involved. Agent Steve Boras already has said the A’s need to go to San Jose. The A’s effectively reduce the market for free agents from 30 teams down to 29 teams, which reduces salaries for all. It’s long past time for Selig to let the A’s go to San Jose. He needs to stop being afraid of the Giants. All options in Oakland have been exhausted. There is no magic billionaire ready to give Oakland a free stadium.

  46. re: Even so, Comte said, the ownership group, which includes John Fisher of the Gap, “does have money, and if you’re going to be one of 30 teams, you have to spend some money and put a team on the field. They have other capabilities if they wanted to do that.”

    Translation: Run the team as a money-losing charity like Haas did.

  47. @hecanfoos, The Giants may very well lose Cain and Lincecum to FA, but then again they may not. Many in the local Bay Area media believe that of the two, Cain is probably the one who’d probably be willing to stay, giving the Giants a hometown discount. Lincecum will probably test the FA market, but remember he’s from the Pacific NW, and he prefers to pitch in the cooler climate of the Bay Area.
    Remember they also have Bumgarner, Sandavol, Posey and Belt under team control for several more years. Add to that the boat load of cash they’ll have coming off the books and I’d say they are in a pretty good position to remain competitive. Selling out every game doesn’t hurt either.

  48. Remember when Steve Schott announced a year in advance that the A’s would not make an offer to Miguel Tejada? I suppose he could have reached into his personal savings to pay him since team revenues were not on par with what other teams have, but that is no way to run a business.

  49. A’s not signing free agents = the RIGHT decision coming soon! (Champagne at the ready)

  50. I agree with Tony D.

    I think Beane and Wolff have already been informed, and are just waiting for the official announcement.

    Just think, letting Willingham go, due to “waiting on stadium decision”, and the statement that they would rebuild and emphasize youth if SJ was given the go ahead. That just adds up to SJ having the green light, and Beane knows it.

  51. Even if San Jose is a go, I still don’t agree with the plan to scrap and rebuild. That’s usually a 3-4 year process. Are most A’s fans okay with potentially 9 years of losing? That is beyond the typical up and down cycle of baseball, in my opinion. Meanwhile, the Giants have a legit chance to add some more championships.

    • Another news addition: Update 11/3 11:15 AM – House Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Redondo Beach) introduced a bill to allow for public ownership of the Dodgers. Public ownership is not allowed per MLB’s constitution, but it’s a nice gesture. Hahn actually used the issue as part of her platform and rode it to election day in June.

      • Public ownership is not allowed per MLB’s constitution…

        How exactly can MLB prevent public ownership? For instance, Fox aka News Corporation is publicly traded. And they owned the Dodgers. Therefore weren’t the Dodgers owned by the public? So what’s to prevent someone from forming a corporation, bidding for the team, and after winning selling shares to fans?

  52. Tony D, Jeff: Can I have some of what you’re smoking?

  53. a few years back when all of this started I had an aquaintenance who was fairly connected in on what was happening with the A’s/SJ. At that time he told me that Selig wanted to wait until a new CBA agreement was in place. He had no idea why…and I even posted here asking ML if he had any idea how they could be linked. At the time it seemed ridiculous…wait another 3 years…but here we are…if something does come down soon with the A’s getting the nod to SJ I will continue to wonder whether there is any significance that links the CBA and opening up SJ…can’t figure out any myself…anybody have any thoughts?

  54. @Stanley

    Beane state clearly that the signing of free agents is contingent on the stadium decision. If the move to SJ is a go, Beane said he would definitely go into full rebuilding / youth movement mode, to get a competitive team ready by 2015. If the decision is against the move to SJ, he would go into full “make team competitive now” mode, which would involve as much free agent acquisition, or retention, as possible.

    Now, he seems Willingham, the best run producer on the team, is being let go. And Crisp, the best base stealer, is being let go.

    So, the logic follows, Beane knows what the decision is (and it’s yes on SJ), or he’s been given very very very strong indicators that yes on SJ is indeed the case.

    Otherwise, offers on Willingham and Crisp would have been made in the 5 day grace period.

  55. I guess I have a hard time understanding why you pro-SJ guys believe whatever comes out of the A’s management’s mouth without questioning it. The other rationale is that the team doesn’t want to spend additional money on THESE free agents — that other free agents can provide similar skill-sets with less risk (injuries) for less money. Afterall, the team didn’t exactly tear it up with these guys on the team.

  56. Thanks Jeff Athletic for such an awesome explanation for Stanley. As for what I’m smoking, its called reality, AND ITS SOME GOOD $HIT! feel free to take a puff or two.

  57. Stanley,
    I don’t know if you’ve noticed (or really cared), but not to many free agents want to play in Oakland these days (Beltre, Berkman anyone?).

  58. Of course I’ve seen that Tony but what does that have to do w/ Beane and Wolff being told there a go on SJ…

  59. Hey TonyD–The reality is we have piss-poor ownership who really doesn’t give a damn about putting a competitive team on the field. And this latest BS is proof of just that. Going until rebuild mode for the umpteenth time in as many years is getting a little old. If you guys get your little cutesie park in SJ, things won’t change much payroll wise, but the sticker shock of pricey seats will.

  60. Would rather pay a few more $$ to see the A’s in a full-house brand new ballpark in SJ than pay a few pennies to see them amongst tens of thousands of empty seats like they have now.

  61. re: The reality is we have p***-poor ownership
    …Sounds like somebody’s upset because Wolff and Fischer are unwilling to lose their shirts donating a $500 million ballpark to Oakland.

  62. Not signing our own FA’s ,who actually like it here, will guarantee more empty seats and destroy what’s left of the eastbay fanbase. It’s shameful what BB and LW are doing here. BTW, new ballparks are nice and I do want one (in the O of course), but I come to see a game, not the park. I don’t mind the for many more years until a new one is built there. It’s like an old shoe: not too pretty but comfy enough and does it’s job.

  63. re: Not signing our own FA’s ,who actually like it here

    …Are these guys willing to come back or do they just want offers they can take to other clubs to match or do better? It’s pretty much a given, anyway, that Willingham is not coming back, isn’t it? Wants to be closer to the South.

  64. I would like someone to tell me what make the ownership good NOW, and not based on some (so far empty) campaign promises.
    I see what I see right now, and it sucks.

  65. @DinoJr– “I see what I see right now, and it sucks.”
    I hear you, brother, it totally sucks. But the pro-SJ guys will give LW and company a free pass no matter what.

  66. The ownership is good now because they’re trying to get our team a new venue (that was easy). If you think everything sucks so much, why don’t you do us all a favor and stop following the team.

  67. ” If you think everything sucks so much, why don’t you do us all a favor and stop following the team.” The A’s, love it or leave it! smh. Why is it not acceptable for a fan to voice his/her displeasure? Potentially nine years of losing is not a warm thought.

  68. @Tony D.
    I said NOT empty campaign promises.

  69. Can’t help but wonder if Beane just doesn’t want to play the game anymore of being used by players and their agents, who extract nice offers out of the A’s with no intention of actually playing in an empty football stadium, just so they can go to other teams armed with “I have strong interest from another club.” Beane has to spend a lot of time formulating these offers and it’s all a waste of his time. Nothing is accomplished except that competing teams are made stronger (for reference, see: Beltre signs with Rangers).on Beane’s time. I’d probably say, “Sorry, Mr. agent. I’m not making an offer for your client.” too.

  70. @pjk–i’m surprised BB didn’t pursue the Cubs or Redsox jobs. He’d have oodles of cash to play with, but he knows there’s less pressure here and he can make mistakes and have bad luck and still have a job for life, Lew loves him so much.

  71. Where did the “9 years of loosing” and “empty campaign promises” crap come from? Oh well, until the next thread..

  72. Stop saying “you pro SJ guys”.

    I think I can kind of speak for others here in that we all just want the A’s to get a new ballpark, period. And I think I can also speak for others here in that anybody would be just dandy with building a new ballpark in Oakland, if it were feasible. But, unfortunately, it’s not. It just doesn’t pencil in financially. The city of Oakland has no money, and no rich person is going to lose their shirts making a $500 million donation.
    And we all know that the A’s are simply not viable in the O. Free agents want nothing to with the place. The A’s made very competitive offers to Beltre and Berkman, and they both said “not a snowball’s chance in hell”. The A’s made a sincere effort to make 2011 a “win now” year. But they couldn’t get the biggest prize free agents (never stood a chance), and the guys they did get just didn’t do enough. There are players that literally have specific “no trade to Oakland” clauses in their contracts.
    The A’s can’t compete in their current stadium, and sorry to say, in Oakland. Their isn’t enough corporate base, and being so close to the gnats, their always second banana, or worse, red headed step child. SJ gives them a new lease on life. It distinguishes them away from the gnats, it gives them a huge corporate base, and gives them a new ballpark that will fill up.
    So it’s not “pro SJ” per se. It’s “pro new stadium and make A’s relevant”.

  73. Well, I’m not sure where “9 years of loosing” came from, but considering we haven’t won since 06 and rebuilding will more than likely take 3 to 4 more years, 9 losing seasons in a row is not unfathomable.

  74. Amen, jeff-athletic. Facts can be stubborn things.

  75. @Jeff The A’s will be second banana to the Giants in San Jose, probably even more so, due to the established Giant fan base down there and the relative newness of San Jose being a “major urban area.”

  76. …the A’s will build up a fan base in the South Bay, no doubt. Meanwhile, the East Bay has become Giants territory, fan-wise. Something’s gotta give. The A’s are inconsequential in their own so-called territory. Just sit at a Burger King in San Ramon amongst people all wearing Giants gear, like I did, and you’ll get a small taste of it. ..Yes, the local news media, dominated by Frisco and the East Bay, is not going to immediately accept San Jose, but they’re going to have to come around eventually. Kicking and screaming, they will bring their cameras and recorders to Cisco Field…

  77. Well, it’s certainly not pro-Oakland because you guys bash it left and right, so I’m sticking to pro-SJ.

  78. @ eb – “The A’s will be second banana to the Giants in San Jose, probably even more so, due to the established Giant fan base down there and the relative newness of San Jose being a “major urban area.” Funny, I asked 2 of my Giants buddy about this recently, if they would support the A’s if they moved to SJ. One guy, who is a diehard fan and season ticket holder, says he would attend both games, but more so the Giants. The other, who is a bandwagon fan but has been attending Giants games regularly this year, says he would unequivocally support them and attend the games. While this doesn’t represent the whole SJ demographic, I’m under the impression from all the folks i’ve spoken to who would whole heartedly support it regardless of their old/or newfound Giants allegiance.

  79. So let me get this straight. Areas that have supported the A’s in the past, but jumped bandwagons recently will never ever never go back to being A’s fans, yet areas that have been giants supporters for over 50 years will embrace the A’s times 1000? I’m confused…

  80. Dino Jr…I am confused–where do you get your info that the south bay is die hard gint supporters—and has been for 50 years….back when SJ was a few hundred thousand people? prefer facts and stats from a reputable source–

  81. ….Get a new ballpark in San Jose and the fans will come. Over time, the A’s will build up a strong South Bay fan base. The status quo, with the A’s not able to ever get a new ballpark in their current territory, means the A’s bleed more fans and don’t develop new ones. Especially with one of the finest ballparks just a few miles away, compared to the dismal Coliseum.

  82. Civic pride, having your city’s name on a team jersey, being a “major league” city, these are powerful things. This is why passions run so high on this board, and why every thread ends up as a San Jose v Oakland debate. These feelings are the same for both cities, and are one of the reasons the A’s would have a large and passionate fan base in San Jose in short order. Deep in their hearts, the Oakland-only’ers know this too, though they might not admit it even to themselves.
    Many Giants fans would flip if the A’s game to San Jose. Many casual and/or non-fans would bandwagon on out of civic pride. And many Giants fans who remain primarily loyal to the Giants would adopt the A’s as their second team.
    In your hearts, you know it’s true.

  83. FWIW, there’s plenty of people in the South Bay not rooting for either team. If they only had to go 2 or 3 miles to get to a game instead of 30 or 40 miles, they’ll start rooting for the A’s, even if its only as a secondary rooting interest to their hometown Red $ox, Cubs, Phillies, whatever.

  84. @bartleby Would you become a 49ers fan over the Raiders if they named themselves the San Jose 49ers once in Santa Clara?

  85. @eb Me personally? No, the Raiders would still be my team. But the Niners might move from the category of “teams I dislike” to “teams I kind of like, and go to see once in a while.”
    But you can’t go by just me. I never said everyone would flip, just that a lot of fans would.
    My former landlord is a die-hard Giants fan, and has been since at least the ’60s. He has had season tickets to the Giants since AT&T Park was built. I asked him if he would become an A’s fan if they moved to San Jose and he said “in a heartbeat.”

  86. @eb You also need to consider: I don’t believe Giants fans in the South Bay have any particular animosity toward the A’s, just indifference. Whereas Raider fans everywhere in the Bay have been bred to loathe and despise the Niners. So it’s not completely apples-to-apples.

  87. Wow, same old same old debate? I’m so shocked.

  88. Bartleby, Jeff-Athletic, and Anon hit on the nail.

    I am a life long Giants fan from San Jose because my parents would never go to Oakland for games growing up.

    I love the A’s since I got my driver’s license but I will always be a Giants fan first.

    The point is I am from San Jose and live in the South Bay still. Giants games are too far for me to go to consistently.

    I have friends with season tickets who offer me games all the time but I refuse because of the distance and my own personal anger against the Giants for blocking San Jose from having its own team.

    With the A’s in San Jose, I would buy 20 games at least because I can go to them consistently without having to travel 50 miles.

    San Jose would sell out for the A’s all day long. With all the rich people and their families in the general area people would go to the games like myself even if they are Giants fans.

    The A’s are not a hated team in the South Bay at all, in fact I saw A’s fans going to the Giants playoff games last year all the time. It is all about the Bay Area not Oakland vs. San Jose.

    @eb- Bad analogy with the NFL. A much different sport where they play once a week……Absolutely terrible.

    Baseball you need consistent fans because there are 81 home games…..Do the math.

  89. @GoA’s- Your friends theory is plausible about the CBA.

    Let’s see if he is right… is interesting.

  90. @bartleby I don’t know. I find it really hard to believe that your average sports fan would switch allegiances so easily. Either way, my point was the A’s will still be second banana in the bay, either in Oakland or SJ. Unlike what someone posted suggesting the reason for the A’s second class status is Oakland alone.
    @Sid Huh? I’m sorry I try to digest and understand your posts, but it’s often a struggle. Maybe it’s my comprehension skills…

  91. @Ezra – News Corp. created a holding company subsidiary to buy and operate the Dodgers. Most corporate-owned teams have a similar structure. That subsidiary operates somewhat autonomously and usually has its own P&L. It is sheltered by News Corp’s corporate structure. When Fox held the Dodgers, they ran it at a slight loss for years, which was fine because its regional sports network benefited.

    Most ownership transactions are done privately, so there’s a lot of vetting involved, including the final votes by MLB owners to approve a franchise sale. In the case of teams ensconced in a bankruptcy hearing, there’s certainly the possibility that a group could mobilize to raise enough money to make bids, but in the Dodgers’ case the federal judge is allowing MLB to pre-screen and approve bidders. So still, it’s still largely guided by MLB.

  92. “’m sorry I try to digest and understand your posts, but it’s often a struggle. Maybe it’s my comprehension skills…” It t so ironic to see pro Oaklanders not understanding simple points that there will be newfound A’s fans in SJ (due to civic pride, locality, etc.) and yet they keep on persistently insist that Oakland can feasibly continue to support the A’s w/o public funding and a regime, but instead solely on the basis of hope and wild speculation…..ROFLMAO…

  93. @Anon I understood Sid’s initial response, it was the part directed at me that I wasn’t clear on. I don’t get the correlation between his post and mine. But thanks for keeping an interest.

Comments are closed.