News for 1/5/12

Not the busiest week. Some news is coming in.

The Dodgers and MLB will start entertaining bids towards the end of the month. So far eight groups have been emerged:

  • Orel Hershiser, Steve Garvey, and pet food magnate Joey Herrick
  • Peter O’Malley
  • Fred Claire, Ben Hwang, and Andy Dolich
  • Dennis Gilbert, Larry King, and Jason Rees
  • Mark Cuban
  • Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and Mark Walter
  • Joe Torre and Rick Caruso (Torre quit his MLB executive position to be the frontman for the bid)
  • Time Warner

It should be competitive. In addition, Judge Leonard Stark is expected to rule next week on whether the Dodgers’ future TV rights can be sold with the team. For those thinking one of the losing groups could easily pick up the A’s if Lew Wolff is denied San Jose, I have to bring it up again: it’ll cost at least $400 million for the team (when including the premium) and $500 million for a ballpark (privately financed, of course). If Mark Cuban is balking at the Dodgers’ price tag at $1 billion, why would he put $900 million into Oakland? These guys aren’t in it to lose money.

More news:

  • Lowell Cohn provides a counterpoint to my appearance on Athletics After Dark. Or a vitriolic diatribe. You decide.
  • Governor Jerry Brown presented his new budget today, which would eliminate 3,000 jobs and consolidate numerous agencies.
  • Redevelopment agencies are set to officially shut down by February 1. Legislation is in the pipeline to extend that deadline to tax day, April 15. Good luck with that.
  • The replacement railings being installed at Rangers Ballpark will cost the team $1.1 million. They’re part of a $12 million package of improvements, much of them located in the outfield area.
  • The Minnesota Vikings’ lease at the H.H.H. Metrodome ended with their last game of the season. They have said that they will not move forward with a lease renewal unless they get state help on a new stadium. The Vikes continue to tout their Arden Hills plan, while also looking at stadium sites closer to downtown Minneapolis.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to reclaim Manhattan’s Javits Convention Center in order to allow for redevelopment, while allowing a developer to build a replacement convention center at the old Aqueduct race track in Queens. Matthew Yglesias wonders what the value proposition is for building the really large facilities, as opposed to the smaller ones often included in hotels.
  • The SF chapter of the Sierra Club filed a second appeal against the America’s Cup waterfront project, halting construction until a hearing for the appeal is held later this month.
  • Added 1/6 1:00 AM – Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal takes a look a development in the area between HP Pavilion and the ballpark site.

That’s all for now.

30 thoughts on “News for 1/5/12

  1. ML – In your view, what did Cohn get spot-on and what did he completely miss? I always enjoy Cohn, maybe I like his voice, but I have a soft spot for the grizzled Oscar Madison-type sportwriter. And I definitely appreciate his passion. But it seems like it was just the same thing that pro-Oaklanders tend to lean on, albeit louder.

  2. In my opinion the lc interview is the classic Oakland-only rant–gints run MLB and will never allow the A’s to move to SJ—LWFisher are horrible….needs to sell the team and than magically a ballpark will appear in the Oakland…and if only picchinni had been able to buy them…even if he didn’t have enough money.

    I struggled to find any facts in his rant….when asked about demographic studies that were conducted his comment was that there are plenty of people in the east bay–no mention of importance of corporate dollars to fund a private ballpark. Finally he referred to other Oakland teams being successful in Oakland and therefore by extenstion so should the A’s—of course didn’t mention that all Oakland teams are looking to move out…knowing that he lives in Oakland was the most useful peice of information to understand his emotional argument…personally prefer the logical assessment that is supported by facts…

  3. @ GoA’s – Tony La Russa lives in Alamo (way closer to Oakland) and he has been heavily touting an SJ ballpark recently. I don’t think Cohn’s proximity is part of the equation. Something else, perhaps.

  4. Cohen doesn’t even try to understand the financing end of baseball in the 21st century. Hey Lowell! The coliseum is an armpit. The sitelines are poor in the first deck, it was built as a foorball stadium! Fishers are rich, they should lose money when the fans don’t show up! Give us a break. Raiders sold out, but had to give deep discounts and still many suites were empty. This guy doesn’t get it. Where were the fans when we were competing? The SFG are located too close to the A’s. Time to even out the territory and separate the two franchises. Oakland can’t or won’t build a stadium….

  5. Sounds like the traditional “John Fischer is rich…” plan for a new ballpark in Oakland. Fischer is supposed to sacrifice all his $$ so Oakland can get a free ballpark like Frisco got. OK. If Fischer won’t do it, perhaps the Oakland-only folks should be on the prowl for others who are ready to spend $1 billion+ on the franchise, a ballpark, land and infrastructure in Oakland. Shouldn’t be too hard if Oakland is the great baseball place these people believe it is. What are these people going to do if San Jose is turned down, Wolff/Fischer sells back to MLB and – gasp! – absolutely nobody comes forward ready to buy the team and build their own ballpark in Oakland? What happens next?

  6. As far as I’m concerned, Lowelll Cohn and Glen Dickey are one and the same. A lot of opinions, but no facts to back them up.
    A little disappointed in some of the questions posed by Dale. Rather leading, never really challenged Cohn on the facts.

  7. I was most amused by Cohn alleging that Selig thought Wolff was a “nerd.” No better way to get your argument out than by namecalling. Then there is a quote from the interview I found salient, “Anyone can shoot his mouth off.” You’re damned good at that, Lowell Cohn.

    How bad is Cohn? Read this article and try to keep from gagging from his sactimonious, smug, self-serving drivel.

  8. LC is NOT a great columnist, never was – the Bay Area has never had a great columnist. He obviously has no clue and appears to have early stages of some incurable condition. He is pathetically hysterical, that’s right “hysterical” about the thought of no baseball team in the O. He has no idea what Jerry Reinsdorf knows – he is speculating. His comments about the Gnats are their talking points – is he a flak for the Gnats? And like all columnists he has no facts which support any of his delusional conclusions. Rest in Peace LC.

  9. Lowell may live in Oakland, but judging by his writing he is an SF guy all the way. He puts the 49ers and Giants on this bizarre pedestal and usually ignores the Oakland franchises or gives them back handed compliments. I think he is just not a fan of this ownership group, like a good number of people in the greater Bay Area. Look at the Oakland A’s Facebook page, news article comments, sports columns, radio, etc. whatever their true motivations, the fact is, this ownership is not winning over the populace or putting their franchise in a positive light. I know people on here will disagree with me, but Wolff or Fischer aren’t exactly endearing themselves to the Bay Area at the moment.

  10. Bay Area? I think you mean Oakland.

  11. ML – I know you vacillate between continuing this blog (for the actual FRANCHISE fans, those of us who just want the A’s franchise to SURVIVE and THRIVE in the Bay Area for years to come) and going off the air because it’s an Oakland or nothing proposition for so many loud-mouth commentators who may or may not be connected to the Giants….

    This “interview” with Cohn is a mockery of journalism…I love D Tafoya, but Cohn is just not fully informed or is obliviousle to so many aspects of Bay Area economics that his allegations and strongly worded declarations to LW and John Fisher realler mean nothing.

    Please don’t “contract” this blog because of the negativity you encounter from these sorts of Cats…

    I read this blog not only for the truth you spit with the A’s stadium situation, but for the insight you give us all towards the development processes that govern land use decisionmaking across the board.

    You’re a good man, and I hope to meet you some day!

    Taj Adib

  12. @A’s Fan If you think that just Oaklanders are upset at the current A’s ownership, well, you’re entitled to your opinion. It seems pretty apparent that Wolff/Fischer aren’t winning any sort of PR war. Three major columnists in this area have described them as “the worst ownership group in Bay Area history” or something like that. I’m sure most non partisan fans from all over the Bay are reading that and being ever so slightly swayed.

  13. @A’s Fan- you nailed it-

  14. @ML Haven’t listened to the Cohn podcast yet; I suspect I’ll agree with your take on that. But wow, harsh words on the Cohn HOF article.
    At the risk of getting flamed myself, I have to say I’m basically in agreement with him on that one. If I were an HOF voter, I wouldn’t vote for anyone for whom there was convincing public evidence of PED use, and mostly for the reasons he stated. I don’t think you honor folks who cheat, and I don’t think the fact that you can’t catch all of them is a good reason to excuse the ones you do catch.
    FWIW, I wouldn’t have voted for the spitball guys either, for the same reason.

  15. re: It seems pretty apparent that Wolff/Fischer aren’t winning any sort of PR war.
    …yes, they’re not winning over people who refuse to believe there is no way to build a ballpark in Oakland, absent a massive public subsidy. I asked one of these columnists who wants the A’s to be sold, exactly who is going to buy them and spend $1 billion-plus of their own money to keep the A’s in Oakland. No response so far. No surprise there.

  16. You know you’re on the right track if Lowell Cohn disagrees with you. ML, I would consider it a huge compliment.

  17. The worst owners in Bay Area history were AEG.

  18. @Taj Adib – Thank you. I’ve gotten a nice outpouring of support from readers and people in the media, which helps a lot. There are numerous signs of progress and encouragement and I’m glad for it.

    @bartleby – I didn’t have a problem with Cohn’s argument. I have a problem with his elevating his opinion above the player. Get over yourself, man. He’s taken “get off my lawn” and elevated it to an art form.

    @Nam Turk – Agreed.

  19. OK, now I’ve listened to the Cohn podcast. Uninformed, ill-reasoned drivel.

  20. remember i posted a summary of cohn’s chron live rants against the a’s and a sj move last week so nothig in this interview with aad sounds different and really don’t want to listen to it knowing what he said last week on tv had a lot of facts wrong about the whole situation with the a’s and their move to sj.

    at this point other than purdy and townsend, i doubt most in the bay area media know all the full details about this subject. if they did they they should know sj is the best option to keep the a’s viable both on and off the field in the bay area.

  21. Cohn is obviously way off the mark with the Giants/MLB will never let the A’s go to SJ arguement, as well as there being oppurtunities for the team in the East Bay. I think he is correct though that this ownership is intentionally dragging down this franchise. It appears that the idea was to first put out this idea and then begin the dismanteling in hopes of an answer from MLB.This certainly is plausible. So Far MLB has not bitten on this.Teams use the term full rebuild to placate fans into thinking that they are doing this for the future as an excuse to why they are packing it in. I have always thought that term is just a BS excuse, although I guess there can be different degrees of a “rebuild”.The Pirates have been rebuilding for decades, it never ends.for them and they have a great stadium.So there are no guarentees that the A’s will have a great team come 2015, so why are some ok with the team being trashed for the next couple of years in “Hopes” that it will lead to some magical season in 2015? I care about the upcoming 2012 team.

  22. good care about a team that has NO SHOT of competing against basically the al west’s version of the nyy/bos now that laa/tex franchises have signed billion dollar tv deals in the past year. even if everything went well in 2012, the a’s win maybe at their high point 90 games and that may not even be enough to finish second in the al west for the next handful of years.

  23. ML do you discuss the state or redevelopment with such snark in this post because you are a concerned California citizen who cares about city and state budgets, or do you believe that if redevelopment is eliminated it makes this better for your own San Jose self-interests by eliminating Oakland. If it is the latter, you are going to be disappointed when its not going to make things easier for San Jose.
    The end of redevelopment is going to affect much larger and more important things than just baseball

  24. @Dinosaur JR – I covered the redevelopment saga for an entire year and predicted the outcome while you where somewhere else generally ignoring the news. I’ve met with people on both sides of the argument and empathize with both of their arguments. I don’t take sides on it: it’s an extremely flawed but very useful mechanism. My reaction was that downtowns throughout the state will be left frozen in time, and that is a rather sad prospect. If you think that all I care about is a ballpark, frankly, you don’t know shit. And you’ve proven that time and time again.

  25. @ Dinosaur JR: Seriously?

  26. Going back to Cohn – Joe Posnanski’s latest piece about Hall of Fame voting anything but sanctimonious. It’s honest, and it doesn’t paint things as black and white.

  27. Generally ignoring the news? Whats with the tone? Why do you take any questioning or criticism of anything you write as a personal attack? What i was referring to was the quoting of the BBO piece and the like about “good luck with that” in reference to what the RDA’s are doing. The death of RDA’s is going to make it hard for SJ as well, especially with a vote.

    • @Dinosaur JR – Probably because you’ve engaged in personal attacks. Or did you not make a comment about how I attend games in the middle of a thread about resolving territorial rights? Or frequently alleging that I am biased? Or how about the time you declared San Jose dead or dying, or the time you made a snide and incorrect comment about the Vukasins? Or the numerous times I have to correct you on some misinformation you want to randomly throw out there?

      It’s okay. I get it. You’re hanging on by your fingernails, have no plan to speak of, do not engage in any discussion about what Oakland needs to accomplish, and you seem to relish a role as a foil to the pro-San Jose posters. At least you’re not repetitive.

  28. The death of RDAs is going to have enormous consequences for California that go far beyond baseball and football. RDAs, properly managed, were a great tool for economic development and regional planning, but they never should have been used for sports venues.
    The end of RDAs doesn’t have any significant effect on the A’s prospects of building a new ballpark in San Jose, but they totally squelch Oakland’s prospects for a new ballpark. It’s just as well, given that Mayor Quan was looking to grossly inflate the site prep for Victory Court by five times what it should have cost.

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