Regime change? Not likely

In an interview with Bloomberg West, Lew Wolff mentioned that the upper management duo of Billy Beane and Michael Crowley will be extended through 2019.


Here are a couple of clips from Bloomberg, story by Jon Erlichman and Rob Gloster:


56 thoughts on “Regime change? Not likely

  1. If this isn’t telegraphing that the team knows a deal in-principle with MLB and SF is near, I don’t know what is. That puts Mike and Billy in place for 4 years in SJ given Wolffs remarks that a 2016 Cisco opening is more likely. I think it’s a win for the team.

  2. Sounds like 2019 is when Lew feels that there will be enough data to next evaluate their performances. That would put it three or four years after a stadium opens, which sounds right to me.

  3. …well, that’s forward-looking.. Now can we please have an announcement about San Jose? Some time this century? At last check, about 4 weeks ago, this was supposed to be on “the front burner.”

  4. There is so much stuff adding up to point to a deal for SJ, this is just one more of them.
    1) Selig asking for more seats on the design of Cisco.
    2) The big rebuild – quotes from Beane wanting to emulate the Indians model for new ballpark.
    3) Leak from Rosenthal saying MLB will approve move.
    4) January meetings pretty much about A’s to SJ.
    5) Selig saying it’s on the front burner.
    6) Selig saying he doesn’t want Giants suing (the SJ “front” group)
    7) Selig not denying issue is on 3rd base (“might as well use a baseball analogy”)
    8) Now Beane/Crowley signed through 2019 … wow! That long? Would Beane stay on for that long if he didn’t know SJ was a go? And, would Wolff extend the execs that long if he had any inkling SJ wasn’t a go, where “there is no plan B”?
    It’s just a matter of what kind of comp package the gnats get in order to stay quiet and cooperate. It’s that simple.
    It ain’t over until the fat lady sings. But I see her chowing down and hear her warming up.

  5. For number 3, I meant to say Bob Nightengale, not Ken Rosenthal. Ooops.
    It was Nightengale that had “insider information”, and leaked it out. Of course, there were denials after that, soon followed by Peter Magowan’s BS. But everything is hush hush until a deal can be worked out.

  6. Not necessarily unexpected. I mean, if you’re Wolff, why bother changing anything at this point? He’s stuck with Beane and Crowley for this long, might as well go 7 more years.

  7. Those two already have ownership shares, so locking them up longer term doesn’t seem that unusual or foretelling vis-a-vis the stadium. It’s great and all, but I’m not sure I’d get too excited that this specifically foreshadows a deal is more or less done. I’d like to think that, but the A’s could just as easily want to do this regardless.

  8. I agree with the Dude that it isn’t unusual. Also, I’m sure the contract would have an exit clause that either side could exercise if they really wanted to get out of it. It’s probably just a schedule for increases in pay or ownership stake.

  9. NicosAN, as an avid reader of, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t run off all the avid/dedicated posters here like happened on your own site. You haven’t done it yet, but I thought I’d launch the preemptive shot across the bow.

    • @SunshinePumper – Unless that Nico has the ability to be on both coasts simultaneously, I think you have the wrong guy. Besides, I’m the guy who runs off the posters here.

  10. If Cisco Field wasn’t happening, this extension doesn’t happen and Beane would get out of town while likely selling his ownership stake; simple as that, enough said (that was easy).

  11. By the way, kind of odd that Wolff made they announcement in San Francisco. What are they doing in SF anyway?

  12. Until the stadium issue is resolved, I don’t see anything like this latest development taking place. Sure, it’s routine, under normal circumstances, where a team is in a decent venue with some sort of hope for the future. Being stuck in limbo, or being consigned to the Coli forever, are not normal circumstances.
    Take the scenario MLB denies the move to SJ. Wolff has repeatedly said there is no plan B. MLB would likely buy back the A’s, to then sell to another buyer who would then move them out of the area. There is no way MLB is going to keep the A’s in the Coli forever. Wolff, Fisher, Beane and Crowley have no plans of being consigned to this hopeless pit indefinitely. Thus, I just don’t see re-upping Beane and Crowley unless there is some semblance of a future with this ownership group, meaning Cisco Field in San Jose.
    I just don’t see Billy Beane, who is quite famous now, and very well respected, and would very much be in demand if he weren’t committed to the A’s, signing a long term deal if there was no hope for this franchise (being stuck at the Coli, or being left in limbo indefinitely).
    Just think about it. Would you sign on for an additional 7 years of shitty hopelessness, when you could easily jump to greener pastures?
    And if you’re Wolff, if you had any inkling that SJ was a no-go, and you would likely sell if that was the case, why would you go through this exercise of re-signing these guys for an additional 7 years? What’s the point?

  13. Would Beane re sign for 7 years if there was uncertainty about the A’s being in the Bay Area (San Jose)? I think not. Why would he? Why wouldn’t he just wait the (relatively) small amount of time for Selig to make a decision? I think he knows…

  14. @Tony – That’s where the Bloomberg West studios are. No big deal.

  15. The guy on 95.7 – Greg Papa? – immediately started talking about how this keeps the two execs with the team if Wolff has to sell the team. In other words, Papa doesn’t want San Jose to happen.

  16. @pjk
    Papa is a douche.
    And that makes no sense whatsoever. If someone was interested in buying, they would want a say in the matter. And there is no (public) buyer out there, much less some other viable venue in another viable city.
    Oh yeah, Billy Beane willingly signs on for more shitty, crappy, hope against all hope, purgatory with no viable venue on the horizon, waiting for a new owner who has the money to build a new stadium in God knows what city. Yes Greg Papa, that just makes lots of sense.
    The Bay Area has some real doozies in the sports media – Poole, Papa, and others.
    Not only is Papa a douche, he’s a freaking ignoramus imbecile.

  17. @jeff-athletic I think Papa is the absolute best play by play guy in the Bay Area, bar none. He leans towards favoring the Giants as of late, but the guy is talented.
    I don’t know if this move signifies anything. I think people are just desperate for any sort of concrete info at this point.

  18. @eb
    I was just ragging on him for that nonsensical projection, and I probably went overboard. His stance that Beane’s re-signing means the A’s are not going to SJ, and they’re selling, just did not make any sense at all, and it just cracked me up that someone would come up with that.

  19. @Jeff-athletic I heard that segment. He wasn’t saying it was the case, he was playing devil’s advocate with the idea that this move means SJ is a go.

  20. Jeff: He immediately approached the news from the perspective of what this means if Wolff has to sell the team. The obvious conclusion – that this means San Jose is a step closer – will not be pondered by folks like him. Given Oakland’s big time political and financial problems and lack of a viable site, it seems baffling that supposed experts like Papa would remain in the Oakland-only, No-Way-San Jose-Under-Any-Circumstances camp. But they’re still in there. I wrote another of these folks about Victory Court dying and it’s been more than a week and this particular writer has yet to write Word One about it.

  21. @Marine Layer. Apologies for that. A case of mistaken identities. I’ll shut up now. Thank you so much for your hard work on this blog. The one TRUE source for all A’s to SJ news. You deserve every ounce of accolades and recognition that you have and continue to receive. Keep up the nice work.

  22. Yeah I heard the segment- pjk hit the nail on the head…

  23. I like the guy but Poppa does lean Giants for sure. And eb has a point that we might make too much out of nothing, but how do you find fault in this logic:

    I think that this is a sign that the A’s are gonna get approval to move to San Jose. With all of the instability and uncertainty surrounding the A’s, why would Billy re-up (he’s signed through 2014) when he could just wait for Selig to make his decision- at least you would know where you would be in 4 years. I think he knows…

  24. I stand corrected. So it seems Papa was playing devils advocate, apparently reluctantly admitting that the Beane signing is an indicator of SJ a go. Was going off of what I thought pjk was originally saying.
    But still, his stance of no way San Jose, Oakland only just isn’t realistic.
    And I’m wondering if his stance is based on loyalty to Oakland (admirable) or he’s a Giants guy all the way and doesn’t want the A’s to be successful (not so admirable). Anyone have any ideas?

  25. I didn’t hear Papa this morning but it is pretty evident that he still holds a grudge against the A’s. Furthermore, regarding this whole A’s to San Jose subject, Papa lacks insight and doesn’t do any research/preparation. In September on his 95.7 show Papa said (paraphrasing) “The A’s aren’t going to San Jose because the Giants will just sue them.” There was no mention of MLB anti-trust laws or the best interest of baseball clause. He said it as if the Giants would just sue the A’s and that would be enough to keep the A’s out of San Jose.

  26. Yeah it’s a good point- just because someone on the radio has an opinion, it doesn’t mean he knows what the hell he’s talking about or has done any research.

    • Yeah it’s a good point- just because someone on the radio has an opinion, it doesn’t mean he knows what the hell he’s talking about or has done any research.

      Yup. These guys are paid to yack opinions not to be real journalists.

  27. @RM,
    Thanks for the clarification. Answer became pretty obvious after I watched the clip above. Hey, good to see Bloomberg refer to SJ as “San Jose,” not “San Jose, California.” We’re making progress! (Lol)
    Re: Greg Pappa,
    He’s a great announcer for the Raiders, but he also works for the Giants, so can you really blame him for his stance? As I’ve said in the past, its completely ridiculous (borderline insane) to think that MLB would force Wolff to sell just to protect the Giants equally ridiculous claim to SJ/SCCO. At this point we are waaay past all that garbage people.

  28. a lot of media members here locally are totally uninformed about the whole sj issue. i mentioned here maybe a month ago how byrnes on his night time radio show on 680 didn’t know that the a’s gave their half of the south bay rights to sf as he thought sf has the rights the entire time here and it wasn’t until slusser emailed him the true facts about the story about the a’s “gesture” two decades ago.

    agree with those who think this is just another good sign that sj will happen. just too many things happening in the past handful of months both on and off the field signal that beane is trying to build a team entering a new park in the middle part of this decade.

  29. I remember Papa saying once on The Wheelhouse that he had lost respect for A’s ownership during the Schott-Hofmann era. That might’ve been over the whole A’s-Raiders dual gigs issue. Not sure if that grudge extends to the current day. Papa knows that the only organizations he can work for these days are the Raiders and Comcast Sportsnet. It’s too bad. IMHO he was a far better basketball play-by-play guy than a football announcer.

  30. Papa, Poole, Dickey, etc, will be dragged kicking and screaming to Cisco Field…

  31. @pjk Can’t we just leave them behind?

  32. @jeff-athletic “MLB would likely buy back the A’s, to then sell to another buyer who would then move them out of the area. There is no way MLB is going to keep the A’s in the Coli forever.”

    Of course the Coli is out, but I’ve heard that suggestion thrown out over the years bunches of times but never any clear destination. If you believe that to be the case, then where do you think the A’s are going to go and how do they deal with acquiring land and ballpark construction? I’d be interested in some Metro areas that have the land/means to get a stadium deal done or even the land in place right now (other than 5000 Coliseum Way) were MLB in fact willing to buy the A’s (if the Wolff group is in fact willing to sell), then build a $500mil-$1bil stadium, plunk the A;s in it and then sell the franchise. The pricetag on all that is steep so that really severely limits that possibility IMO to a major area with an immediate big gate and some kind of lucrative TV deal. There aren’t many situations like DC out there and even that took negotiations and ramming it down Baltimmores throat not unlike what the A’s are stuck with now dealing with that nameless group of shitheads in Frisco.

  33. Well, I don’t think there is any other viable option, anywhere, besides Cisco Field in San Jose. For the A’s and MLB, it’s SJ or bust. Thus the reason it’s going to happen.

  34. Just to clarify what I just wrote, SJ is the likely destination since nothing makes sense in Oakland by now. I just have questions for those saying the next step will be the A’s to move out the Bay Area completely as the Plan B if SJ fails.

  35. If it were an easy profitable venture to up and move the A’s to (insert destination here), it would probably have been done by now.

  36. Blasting Papa because he disagrees with the SJ move? Get over yourselves fellas.

  37. well, while I’m resigned to the SJ move, ya gotta give Oakland credit for throwing up the “Hail Mary”

    It’s clear that somebody had to come and explain the hit that Oakland would take if the A’s, Raiders and Warriors left. While this is just wistful thinking on my part, it would be cool if something was figured out: build the Coliseum City and new Tech Park across the freeway, bring in some new tech companies to fill the park and add new corporate sponsors through that.

    Certainly not the value that SJ can offer the club, but as a long time fan, it’s hard to give up the nostalgic love for the A’s in Oakland.

  38. Whats the running off posters all about? Im just a reader, and im on the East Coast for the time being, so I have no power on that.

    Hey, what was the background story about Papa being let go as A’s announcer? I never really read that Is Glen Kuiper going to be it for the foreseeable future? He has been around for a few years now. I don’t watch much of the A’s on TV unless Im visiting my parents. I can’t afford Extra Innings, so I rely on the Ken Korach, which is a win for my pocketbook and my ears.

    Its all a guessing game as to when MLB decides but still seems like an April or May final decision on this. I’m sure MLB will leak that a tentative deal is in place sooner, but final deal will probably worked out on compensation (Barry Zito to OAK, right ML?) in that time period.

  39. @DJr,
    Its one thing to personally disagree with an A’s move to SJ. Its another to give pathetic reasons on why they shouldn’t move: “the A’s can’t move to SJ, that’s Giants territory; Wolff should sell the team to someone who will keep them in Oakland; blah blah blah..”

  40. @eb,
    Still hoping for San Jose to fail, are we. So they have “option years” with their extensions; so @#$%& what!

  41. Well, I do give credit to the Oakland folks for trying, even it is just to save face. What they really need is a completed EIR, and a real, tangible, viable, financing plan. Obviously, the city of Oakland doesn’t have any money, nor can anyone expect the Raiders, A’s, and Warriors to throw in billions entirely on their own. What they should be looking at is stuff like leasing out parking garages, selling off other publicly owned parcels, parking and ticket surcharges, hotel tax, foreign investment, etc etc. I.E. – creative solutions – not just
    “here teams, we’ve got this really cool Coliseum City plan that will cost multiple billions, doesn’t it look great!? … and by the way, we expect you guys to foot the bill entirely … no problem, right???”

  42. I must be missing something. Why bother with having HKS design a new stadium and sports complex when there’s no reasonable way to pay for a new stadium and sports complex? Waste of time and money at this point? Or maybe it’s one of those things where, down the road, Oakland city officials will be able to claim they tried to keep the A’s in Oakland…

  43. I think it’s both. It’s a waste of 3 million they need to use up from their redev fund, and it’s a face saving measure to claim they tried. Frankly it’s been one face saving measure after another with Oakland and it ends up costing Oakland money because they keep having to fund the face saving measures with a million here (VC), 3 million there (Coliseum City). Wish they’d just officially give up, since they already have unofficially. It’ll make MLB’s decision easier/quicker and it would save the Oakland taxpayers a few bucks.

  44. They never even spent the $750,000 on VC. It was all talk. Oakland was given its chance by MLB to get something done with VC and whiffed. When is Selig going to give San Jose the go-ahead?

  45. The Beane deal shows San Jose is in the works and Selig has given private assurances to the A’s that the green light is coming.

    Right now I think he is negotiating with the Giants privately as that is the last step. It is obvious he has the votes to move forward he is hammering out a compensation plan where MLB pays the Giants some $$ to get out of the way.

    That may take some time considering how slow this process has gone. It took 3 years or 1000 days for this thing round third base. I heard 1st two weeks of February a decision was going to be made but I would not be surprised if it is longer because of how slow Selig works.

    In any case, we should all hold tight as the end is near.

  46. I’m not that optimistic about a deal with the Giants being reached soon. It’s three months after Theo Epstein went to Chicago, and there’s still no compensation (and the commissioner’s office is waiting for written arguments). That case is easy compared to this one– pick a number of non-roster players, tell the Cubs to protect that many, and let the Red Sox have their pick of the rest.

  47. If Oakland could at least get a new stadium for the Raiders (A’s and Warriors are waaay gone), the more power to them (but that’s probably a long shot as well).

  48. @BC,
    Selig said himself the issue is now on the frontburner. It will happen soon my friend.

  49. @Tony. May be on front burner, but he cooks with Sterno.

  50. @baycommuter That was funny.

  51. I think the issue is in the crock pot, where it can continue to sit for a long time…

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