It’ll happen when it happens

Update 2/9 2:30 PM – KQED FM’s Nina Thorsen has posted a transcript of Wolff’s talk.

It seems that when Lew Wolff makes one of his frequent trips up from LA to the Bay Area, he tries to pack as many appointments as possible. I mentioned during the August interview that just after our discussion, he was going up to Oakland to chat with Mayor Jean Quan. When we met in 2009, it was just after he met with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. Today he discussed the A’s and Quakes at a San Jose Rotary lunch in downtown San Jose, a day after he appeared on Bloomberg TV. The better to save on jet fuel, I guess.

As usual, Wolff didn’t reveal in his talk with staunch ballpark proponent and Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone. Much of what he’s said we’ve written about, so I won’t both rehashing much of it. If you want a recap, read Merc scribe John Woolfork’s article. BANG A’s beat writer Joe Stiglich was there, as was KQED’s Nina Thorsen, mic in hand. The news of the day was this:

(Wolff) gave no indication why it wouldn’t go his way. But he also said nothing’s changed with regard to the Giants’ position that Santa Clara County is theirs alone. There’s been no discussion of a monetary figure for buying off the Giants’ territorial claims, though Wolff noted the Giants didn’t pay the A’s to acquire them.

Now I don’t expect MLB or Wolff to say anything about T-rights negotiations, however deep or frequent they’ve been. If the Giants hold fast to their no-negotiation stance, and the A’s believe that they shouldn’t have to pay for T-rights, then it’s difficult to see what Commissioner Bud Selig has to work with unless he decrees an amount or lets the matter go to arbitration.

Wolff also said that the team would be named the “San Jose Athletics”, which is no surprise. According to an AP report, there was Stomper doll on display with a San Jose Athletics uniform on. One unaffiliated company has gone as far as mocking up logos (non-MLB Properties infringing, of course) with San Jose and green and gold. The results look quite professional, I have to say.

Stiglich mentioned that Wolff would like to hear a decision in a couple of months. At some point we’re going to have to use Friedman Units or Kardashians in describing how long this is taking. Right now, it’s 6 FU’s. It’ll happen when it happens, I suppose. Wake me when there’s real news to report.

63 thoughts on “It’ll happen when it happens

  1. @#$%& the Giants! If Selig says that this issue is on the “frontburner” than why will this take a couple of months? I digress; a couple of months is a lot better than never (I guess). No way in hell do the Giants get their way on this. In the end they will accept some form of compensation and the A’s will “gladly” compensate. In closing, I extend the proverbial middle finger to Larry Baer and the Giants organization.

  2. While I would like to hear a decision sooner rather than later, I like your Kardashian idea RM! It would definitely help ease the pain 😉

  3. Et tu, Stomper? 😉

  4. @ML, The CA primary is June 5th. Would it be possible to get a ballpark measure on that ballot, and if so, what’s the latest we could hear from MLB? Stratigically, would that be the best election to have a ballpark vote, or would putting it on the November ballot be better?

  5. it gets old after 1060 days or two doesnt it???????

  6. love to see what that san jose athletics stomper looked like

  7. Ooops, that’s “strategically” would that be the best election to have a ballpark vote…

  8. If they miss March 9, they may as well wait for the November 4 election

  9. Man what I would give to see what that Stomper looked like…

  10. @daveybaby good find!

    I wonder if they’ll go with the official spelling of San José when it’s all said and done.

  11. Haha Friedman Units! Do we stay the course or surge?! Yeah, I think the more people get antsy about the personnel moves that the A’s make, the more need to just chill. None of these moves is going to be properly analyzed until we know if SJ is going to happen or not. Likewise Lew, Crowley, Reed are not going to say anything worth MAJOR consequence until a deal is sealed, so as not to risk. I firmly believe this is just going to happen in a flash at a later Spring date and we are going to find out via MLB press release or from a reporter.

  12. oh and @ML, I think we will get a decision within 1/3 a Friedman Unit. Maybe optimistic, but I got a good feeling. Tom Friedman had tea with Larry Baer, Lew, Bud and the Blue Ribbon Committee members. He can see the desire to complete the process and their dedication to truth, freedom and American way in their eyes. He knows they will drop their weapons and embrace freedom. We all win.

  13. I do not believe the A’s will compensate the Giants. It will be MLB for the error in their system.

    Had the Bay Area been shared like NY, CHI, and LA would this blog even exist? No, because the A’s would have moved to San Jose years ago and probably gotten some public money too.

    MLB setup the BRC so that they could explore all options. It is obvious there is nothing in the East Bay or another city outside the Bay Area with a subsidized ballpark or that would be option 1.

    Therefore MLB has to open up San Jose. Selig has dreaded this for years and now he must do is the best for baseball and as he did in the case of the Orioles, force the Giants to negotiate.

    The days go by and it is exasperating as Chuck Reed states. But in the end San Jose will get the team….It is only a matter of time.

  14. MLB and the A’s are painted into a corner, and their only way out is San Jose. Actually, it has to happen. No way MLB wants to continue forking out 30 million + to the A’s in revenue sharing, and have that eyesore embarrassment Coliseum as part of MLB schedule.
    I really really hope the Gnats receive extremely minimal, or no compensation. They did not pay for the T rights in the first place, received them out of generosity, and out of causal, flaky, off-hand comment by Haas (to the tune of, during a conversation in reference to the gnats moving to SC “I guess they can have south bay”).
    Really, all options are exhausted. MLB should pull the “good of baseball” clause, give a big FU to the gnats, and tell them to cooperate 100% or lose their franchise.

  15. Really ready to see this all come to an end. San Jose bound A”s

  16. …that could be the problem. If the Giants plan to gum up the San Jose move with lawsuit after lawsuit and pay for an anti-ballpark campaign, MLB might have to take the extreme step of ousting the current ownership of the Giants. A difficult move since the Giants paid for their own ballpark. Does Selig have the courage to both open up San Jose and tell the Giants to butt out or be evicted from the ownership club? MLB can’t have 29 franchises supporting an A’s move to San Jose and one actively trying to prevent it. How many more years does MLB want to fester in the Coliseum?

  17. A’s fan, actually both spellings of San Jose are still official. The city charter in particular still uses it without the mark. Also they might want to sew that “E” back on a bit better. Still, love to see they wouldn’t change too much about the look. It’s very encouraging.

  18. Even though I want the move to San Jose, that logo mock up looks so odd. Suppose I’ll eventually get used to it.

  19. The SJ Acorns logos are nice, but I’d like to see the A’s go 50’s retro if/when they move to San Jose. The A’s need a visual refresh regardless.

    BTW, are there two Dans? Big D, lil’ d?

  20. Why would you want the A’s to go blue or red? And yes there are two Dans

  21. Since I’m the late comer, I get to be the lil’ d. 🙂

  22. Stick with green and gold.

  23. I’m probably in the minority here, but would love them to go metalic dark green and gold ala the Sabercats….they need to shed the old cheapo image….

  24. @Dan: I mispoke. I want the A’s to keep the green & yellow. I meant I’d like to see their art design move to a 50’s vibe. Like the Fender spaghetti (50s) logo compared to their transition logo (60s/70s). The “Athletics” script logo could use some streamlining and for lack of better word, umph.

  25. Wherever they are in the upcoming years, they should stick to white shoes and add back the kelly green to go along with the gold (the army looking green they have now is pretty bad.) They should also keep the gold jerseys and never use those awful black ones again. I’d also like to see the single “A” on the home jersey instead of the Athletics script.

  26. Does the “Let’s go Oak-land” chant follow the team to San Jose? “Let’s go San Ho!” ?

  27. I’d like to see them keep everything the way they have it now (though maybe lighten the green back up to the transition color they had in the 80 between Kelly green and the current green). Otherwise, keep the white duds with the Athletics script, keep the green alt with Athletics, keep the gold with the A’s for those that like it (I’m not one), and change “Oakland” to “San Jose” on the road.

  28. Lets go San Ho!? I like that!

  29. Just my opinion, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Pacific Teal (ala Sharks) and gold. Pac Teal isn’t that much different from Forrest green.

  30. Interesting comment from Wolff:
    “I’m not going to continue this (waiting for permission to move) much longer. What we want is an answer. We want a “Yes, you can relocate, share the district, share the territory”. Or “You can’t.” We have a way of demanding a vote (from MLB) but that isn’t our nature. So the best thing for us to do in the next couple of months is see where we go. After that, though, I think I have to — I can’t even continue to come to these wonderful lunches, I’d feel like (Bernie) Madoff, or somebody”
    Will Wolff really try to force Selig’s hand? Given that most of the other owners will simply follow Selig’s lead, I wonder what would be Seligs recommendation?

  31. Sorry Tony, but pacific teal and ANY green are two VERY different colors.

  32. fc, it sounds like that is exactly what Wolff is saying. If baseball doesn’t decide soon, he’ll make them decide. Sounds like this will come to a head in the very near, very real future.

  33. @Dan,
    I did say different, but in my opinion slightly different. It’s not like (say) going from black to white.
    I still firmly believe that Wolff knows how this will all go down (or has gone down behind the scenes). Based on everything we’ve heard over the past few month, coupled with his relationship with Selig, I don’t see this going any other way than the A’s to SJ. Most likely the “delay” is the dotting of I’s, crossing of T’s of the territorial settlement/compensation deal with Gnats. Until that day we finally hear the decision, expect to hear the party line of “we waiting patiently for a decision from MLB/Selig.”

  34. I like T.D.’s idea. Pac teal.

  35. @Tony,
    It’s pretty clear San Jose is where Selig wants the A’s. Selig obviously has his reasons for delaying his decision. My onty question is whether Selig would be pissed if Wolff jumps the gun and calls for a vote?
    OT I know I’ll get slammed for this one, but I’d like to see blue back in the color scheme for the A’s. To me it’s a much stronger color, and will probably be better for merchandising. The marketing department could introduce the change as harkening back to the A’s roots in Philadelphia.

  36. Philly Fridays. Discount Cheesesteaks and Philly throwbacks.

  37. @fc- LW backed away from those comments later in the day saying he would follow the process underway-

  38. a’s need to keep green and gold, especially green. think they’re the only mlb team now that has green as a team color. would like to see gold used more in their color scheme. a’s will probably have an alternatve interlocking “SJ” cap they’ll use one they move.

    also wouldn’t mind if they went to a alternate vested unis like during home Sunday games. something like this with either san jose or athletics on the front of the uni tops.

  39. @letsgoas That hat and uniform are great. I’m in favor of more gold in the uni as well, but an all green and white hat like in the pic would be pretty sweet. It has a very clean and old school feel.

  40. What I like about green and gold is that they are the only team that doesn’t have either black, red, or blue, or white in their colors. At Baskin Robbins when they have their sundae caps, the A’s caps are very distinctive for that very reason.

  41. The website referenced in this article for the San Jose A’s (Acorns) is my site. I created for fun to create a fictional team for San Jose as I (along with everyone else) waits to hear from MLB and Bud about the A’s chances of moving down to the South Bay.

    Personally, I just wanted to have some San Jose baseball gear to wear… so I designed a few ideas and worked with a designer to turn my vision into some fun logos. 🙂

    Until we get an official team in San Jose… feel free to check out the t-shirts at

    Can’t wait until we finally know what’s gonna happen with the team.
    – Jay

  42. Hey out of curiosity does anyone know what the A’s TV deal is currently worth? Because rumor has it the Padres, in the 26th biggest media market, are about to sign a 1.5 billion dollar TV deal worth 75 million a year over 20 years.

  43. i listened to townsend’s show a few weeks back and he had verducci on and he said the nats are the team to watch in terms of the next big tv contract to be given out. wonder how that could be when along with the a’s they’ve had the lowest tv ratings over the past few years. unless strasburg and the team improving along with the possible call up of harper have or will boost their ratings enough to warrant a billion dollar tv contract.

  44. When is the A’s next contract up? I would imagine with SJ in place, they would get some better short term/long term deal.

  45. no No NO people. No changing the colors. And that’s final.
    If anyone changes colors, it should be the Sharks replacing that tertiary orange with a green or yellow.

  46. The A’s MUST keep the olde english style “A’s” logo. It dates back to the 1800s! I feel like the standard-bearer of tradition when I sport the same logo that Connie Mack did with the world-beating A’s of the 1920’s.

  47. I don’t expect Wolff to reveal any details of negotiations, but it is kind of disturbing to hear him saying that no negotiations or discussions have taken place.
    If there was serious activity behind the scenes, the normal answer would be “I can’t comment on that now.”

  48. @Simon,
    You really think Wolff would reveal to the media that negotiations, discussions are currently taking place with the Giants? IMHO, I think not. He says the end is near: that’s all we need to no right now.

  49. Also, if there’s been no discussion of a monetary figure to “buy out” the Giants, perhaps they won’t be bought out. Again, maybe we’re looking at a guaranteed franchise value and guaranteed revenue levels from years 2016-17 for the Giants. Since the Giants paid 0$ for SCCO., this would be a fair compensation package for sharing said county with the A’s. The end is near…

  50. The Giants are a bunch of greedy bastards. They paid NOTHING for those territorial rights back in the early 90’s when they were exploring options for a new ballpark in the San Jose area, because they threatening to move to Tampa Bay if they didn’t get a new ballpark here in the Bay. The A’s owners at the time were nice enough (or stupid enough) to let them have that territory to try and stay in the Bay Area.

    My question is, since the Giants ended up staying in the Bay Area and eventually built AT&T at the China Basin, then why weren’t those “territorial rights” to Santa Clara County REVOKED like they should have been by Faye Vincent or Bud Selig??

    Did they fall a sleep at the wheel? I would love to someone in the sports media here in the Bay Area on TV or more than likely on Radio to ask Faye Vincentt and Bud Selig this question. I want to hear the answer!

  51. @TonyD – I have always figured the compensation would be something other than straight cash — guaranteed franchise value, maybe a joint Giants/A’s RSN deal with terms favoring Giants, etc. Nobody involved in this deal has incentive to make a direct cash payment. If the A’s were getting a free ballpark from San Jose, they might be able to do that, but they aren’t. MLB won’t shell out one dime.

    But there’s a big difference between not revealing negotiations and actually stating that there have been no negotiations. Wolff is saying the latter, and that tells me the end is not very near. Also, if we were anywhere near resolution, Wolff wouldn’t be grumbling about how this can’t go on forever and maybe he could force an ownership vote even though it’s not his nature.
    Anyone expecting Bud to lay down the law and make a decision on his own, please note: the man wasn’t even willing to adjudicate the Theo Epstein compensation between the Red Sox and Cubs. He isn’t going to suddenly announce that T-rights are worth X and resolve this issue on his own without negotiations between the two clubs.

  52. Tony, I think your optimism is great, but unfounded. Wolff wouldn’t be bringing up the specter of forcing the vote if negotiations were occurring. Which means he’s very likely being truthful when he says none have occurred yet.

  53. Oh, it’s been in negotiations, or MLB is doing something –
    Selig, after the meeting with BRC – “The A’s stadium situation is on the front burner”.
    When asked if the situation was on third base, Selig shrugged and said “a baseball analogy is as good as any”. – Neither a confirmation nor a denial.
    The only thing Wolff said wasn’t talked about to him was Giants compensation. That doesn’t mean Selig is not doing anything, or that negotiations are not happening between he and the Giants, or he and the rest of the owners, or whatever. And it makes sense that Wolff has been talked to about Giants compensation, because if the Giants do get compensation, it shouldn’t be the A’s to pay it. The A’s gave them that territory in the first place, and it’s been MLB’s stupid rules and general incompetence that has allowed the gnats to keep those nefarious T-rights.
    It’s all behind the scenes, and and the only thing all of us can do is speculate.

  54. Could not have said it better myself JA! Facts are Selig said the issue is front and center and Wolff hinted yesterday he feels the end is near. I’ll just go with that for now. If we’re still talking about this come (say) summer or fall, then even I will start loosing hope.

  55. I also forgot to mention that Selig said, after the BRC presentation, that he wants to make sure that the Giants aren’t suing and slowing up the process.
    That’s overwhelming evidence that Selig wants to open up SJ to the A’s, and that he’s actively working on it, and is probably in negotiations with the gnats.

  56. You guys really believe that resolution is imminent even though Wolff says there have been no negotiations yet and he might have to resort to calling an ownership vote against Selig’s wishes?

  57. I remember coming out of Scottsdale hearing that there would be no negotiations until the Giants’ lawsuit was dropped.

  58. So it’s very likely no negotiations involving the A’s and Giants together at least have taken place. Which would track with what Wolff said. I think everyone’s desire to see this done has clouded them to the reality that even being on the front burner means we’ve still got a long way to go. Only difference is we’re now in time when progress might be made. Until January we weren’t even in a holding pattern. Until January we were a non-issue in MLB’s agenda book.

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