Selig slaps down Madden report

The Chronicle’s Giants beat writer Hank Schulman has the scoop directly from the commish’s office:

And, it is not true that Commissioner Bud Selig and baseball owners have all but decided to uphold the Giants’ territorial rights to San Jose, which would preclude the A’s from going there.

There are two schools of thought in how the owners operate in regards to these kinds of votes. One is that like other political bodies, there has to be some amount of lobbying – direct or indirect – to garner votes. That’s what a lot of the traditional media and Oakland-or-bust advocates say is the big obstacle for Lew Wolff in getting territorial rights to the South Bay granted to the A’s.

Then there’s the other school, proffered by many in the national media and the local beat writers, that Commissioner Bud Selig pulls all of the strings politically, and that a vote is effectively a formality, a formal show of unity. I subscribe to this view because Selig’s body of work is testament to it – witness how Selig pushed through the playoffs expansion. It took longer than most expected, but he waded through it and came up with short-term (2012 only) and long-term solutions.

LIke it or not, that’s how Selig works. He did the same thing with the Astros sale and coming move to the American League. It’s not that he’s rallying votes or support. He’s making the deal, or “engaging in shuttle diplomacy” as Schulman suggests. The owners begged Selig to continue as commissioner until he’s 80 years old at $20+ million per year. They’re paying him to act as a mediator, facilitator, and a leader for their cause (and to some degree, baseball’s). He’s there because the owners don’t have to deal with political infighting while he’s the commish because he arbitrates practically every major issue on their behalf. That, folks, is how The Lodge works.

Note: Remember how Selig’s extension was voted 29-1, with John Moores dissenting? They retook the vote ten days later, and the final tally was 30-0.

60 thoughts on “Selig slaps down Madden report

  1. There you have it, from none other than the Giants’ beat writer. Madden spends too much time prying hostile, ill-informed quotes from Pharaoh Hank Steinbrenner.

  2. Selig is the worst commissioner possible. Before him, dating back to Judge Kenshaw Mountain Lands, the commissioner’s office was suppose to be a third party whose job it was to steer baseball in the direction that is best for the MLB. With Selig they hired a fellow owner whose job it was to look out
    for the best interest of the owners.

  3. And under him the owners and players have made more money than they did under all the previous commissioners combined. Also under him we’ve had the longest labor peace in pro sports since free agency began, fans have had more great games to watch every season due to the expansion of the playoffs and the addition of new teams, and the game has expanded globally as never before… yeah he’s been a shitty commissioner.

    I’m sorry but despite the length of time it has taken to get the A’s situation squared away in the end it’s likely all been in the best interests of the game. Besides, the A’s made their own bed 20 years ago by giving away something for nothing. It was a dumb, short sighted move by Wally Haas that he didn’t think would come back to bite him or the A’s on the ass. Unfortunately he was either naive, or just didn’t care at the time.

  4. Bart Giamatti and Fay Vincent were ready to crack down. Pete Rose was just the start. Steroids were next. When Giamatti died, Viincent couldn’t maintain control himself. The owners staged a coup. It has been their dictatorship ever since. The steroid era, beginning with Selig’s refusal to enforce Vincent’s early efforts against the early-using teams, and exploding after the strike when HRs were key to renewed profits, will be Selig’s most enduring legacy.

    And the strike of 1994-95 resulted in cancellation of the WS for the first time since 1903. (I believe USSCt Justice Sotomayor ended the strike in spring 95 and prevent a season full of “replacement” players, by deciding that the owners had committed unfair labor practices.)

    Selig remains where he is because he helps everyone make money, lots of it. But without steroids, he would’ve failed after the srike.

  5. Without steroids anyone would have failed after the strike. It was Sosa and Big Mac’s drug fueled home run frenzy that brought everyone back. Without that no one would have been able to succeed. The dark truth about the drugs, is baseball would be a shadow of what it is today without them. That said, I’m not sure even Giamanti would have been able to push through reforms back then.

  6. Faye Vincent was a grossly incompetent commissioner. The commissioner’s job is not to be a neutral “third party.”. If that kind of thing ever made sense it was in the days before the MLBPA.
    The commissioner’s role in baseball is the same as in every other sport: he is the CEO of the league. He has to build the game’s popularity and profitability and sustain it. Selig has done that better than anyone else in baseball history. He keeps getting extensions because the owners realize that he will be nearly impossible to replace.

  7. ML is absolutely right that the T rights issue will be decided by Selig, not by Wolff or the Giants lobbying their fellow owners. That said, Selig will not do anything, on this or any other contentious issue, until he is able to build a consensus, or something very close to consensus.
    Madden was only repeating idle chatter. But the unnamed MLB lawyer is correct that big market owners will not take kindly to the idea of the Giants having part of their official territory taken away involuntarily. If it happens in the Bay Area it will eventually happen in New York, where the market would support a third team better than many current markets support one. And outlandish though it may be, without the territorial veto of the Phillies, a return to the Philly market would be one of the better long term optionsfor the A’s franchise, and maybe for MLB overall.
    I still think they’ll end up in SJ after some kind of deal that lines the Giants’ pockets. But the notion that Selig will just cram this down Larry Baer’s throat out of some “best interest of baseball” notion is delusional.

  8. Hopefully, Larry Baer takes a leisurely swim around the Farallon Islands about October or so.
    C’mon Larry – it’s really refreshing! The sea lions love it there. There’s nothing dangerous lurking underneath, honest! And the Frallon’s are within SF city limits, part of your territory! It must be great, and safe.
    I like baseball, but I really frickin’ hate mlb. This monopoly “lodge” bullshit is, well, bullshit. It’s a ridiculous way to do business. If Selig can’t rule in favor of the A’s in SJ, I hope it all just blows up, namely lawsuits (from San Jose, the A’s, whatever), and it goes to higher court, and BOOM! mlb loses is stupid, asinine anti-trust exemption. Then franchises can operate as businesses, and compete in an open market just like everyone else in this country.
    That said, regardless of what happens, the A’s aren’t getting contracted – MLBPA won’t allow it, and “the lodge” won’t want to fork out 1/2 billion to buy out Wolff/Fisher. And, there are no other locales that are good to go (no ballpark prospects in Portland, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Charlotte, wherever), nor are there any would be ownership groups ready to step there. Nor would any of those cities provide the corporate base, population base, or media market to take the A’s off revenue sharing.
    So the A’s are going to be in the Bay Area for a very long time. If Selig rules against, then Wolff/Fisher will sell, either to MLB, or direct to another ownership group (probably MLB). Then it would be possible to sell to owners out of the bay area, but MLB would be hesitant due to revenue sharing, and no ballpark prospects.

  9. I’m pro Oakland and all that, but this feels like that report that came out a few months ago about how the famous committee recommended an Oakland location for a ballpark and not San Jose. It blew up like nobody’s business giving Oaklanders false hope for about two seconds before it was quickly swatted away. I’d sure like to believe it, but reality can be a mother too. We’ll find out when we find out I suppose.

  10. Recommended what Oakland location? The committee has been looking for an Oakland location for three years. They can’t find one. And we know this committee – formed to investigate ballpark possibilities in the A’s current territory – quickly expanded its search to include San Jose. That should tell you how feasible Oakland is.

  11. Dan: “Without steroids anyone would have failed after the strike.” Without the owners’ coup and Selig in charge, the strike probably wouldn’t have occurred, and steroids could’ve been banned, and the ban enforced, in the early 90s. But it all goes back to Giamatti’s heart attack. Vincent was great as Giamatti’s consigliore (I exaggerate), but not as commish.

  12. Bill Madden on KNBR this morning. Madden says the story is not his opinion, that it is based on conversations he has had with various people around baseball. Then he goes on to explain how these conversations has lead him to the conclusion (i.e. opinion) that the A’s won’t be able to move to SJ. Then they go on to discuss how the A’s can be contracted. Murph & Mac’s conclusion…”pretty definitive.” Amazing.
    What I got out of it is that Madden has talked to the NY teams and they aren’t too thrilled about setting TR precedent. Seems they’d rather solve the problem by contracting of the A’s and Rays. It’s funny because my solution is actually quite similar: contraction of the Giants and Yankees.

  13. I love that they keep bringing up contraction when they know it’s not possible. The MLBPA will NEVER agree to contraction. They won’t cut that many starting positions out of MLB and thus lower their own payment potentials. Even the owners realize this won’t happen including Hank which is why I still think Madden is pulling all of this out of his ass.

  14. Andy Dolich is on KNBR discussing the situation. He’s basically calling out A’s ownership, saying their priorities are out of whack.

  15. @#$%& Giants-backed KNBR!!

  16. I’m at a point now of just wanting an answer. If it’s “no”, then fine. Let the A’s move on from there, and maybe Wolff/Fisher sell, or just suck it up and find a way to make it work in Oakland.
    True, due to the south bay market, SJ is the best option.
    However, let’s say the BRC figured out some viable alternative, let’s say somewhere along the 580 between Oakland and Dublin (there’s open land there, and if Fremont was viable, why not here?), or even at the current coliseum site. What’s to stop the A’s from heavily marketing to the South Bay corporations and populace? The Giants claim they have a lot of corporate support and fan base in the South Bay. So, if that’s true (and I believe it is), that means, regardless of where the A’s build a new stadium, they could pull more from the South Bay too. The South Bay market is clearly not fully tapped by either club. But, again, if the Giants can pull from it as much as they say they are, why not the A’s.
    Unfortunately, I think the Madden thing might have some legitimacy (unless he’s lying due to an agenda – ties to the Giants or Skankees, whatever). I could see some owners not wanting to overrule the Giants’ T-rights due to precedent. And the Giants are not going to negotiate anything unless there is leverage, and if there aren’t enough votes from the owners, then there isn’t much leverage. This, unless Selig makes a recommendation, or pulls the “good of baseball” clause, and drawing the distinction that these T-rights are different, because the A’s are already in the area, and the owners go along with it because he’s made them boatloads of money. That’s the only way I see this happening. If that happens, then there is leverage for negotiating with the Giants.
    And again, contraction is a very very very long shot. Contracting the A’s and Rays would cost all the other owners a billion dollars, would run afoul of the MLBPA, and be horrible publicity.
    And I don’t think the A’s will be going anywhere either, unless some ownership group steps up with a privately financed ballpark plan in someplace like Portland, LV, SA, Charlotte, or one of those cities become “unbroke” and publicly finance a ballpark (when pigs fly).
    Sometimes I just wish Wolff/Fisher just went all in on building in the East Bay.

  17. The Raiders already tried Dublin and were told no way no how not ever by the mayor. Think Dublin wants the A’s coming in instead, taking up 10 times the dates as the Raiders?…if Wolff/Fischer could privately finance in the East Bay, why wouldn’t they do it? They won’t because it’s just not feasible.

  18. People calling out “contraction,” shouldn’t be taken seriously. Unless they’re pregnant.

  19. Wait, KNBR gave Bill Madden a platform to spew his already refuted report? No way!

    • Wait, KNBR gave Bill Madden a platform to spew his already refuted report? No way!

      Yeah. Who would have thought, right? Bill Madden’s OPINION was already refuted by Bud Selig, yet KNBR is still running away with it and even calling it “pretty definitive” – as Murph and Mac said this morning.

  20. @jeff-athletic “let’s say somewhere along the 580 between Oakland and Dublin (there’s open land there, and if Fremont was viable, why not here?)”
    Because a privately financed ballpark doesn’t work without massive corporate support. Ground zero for that support is Silicon Valley. From Silicon Valley, Fremont is a big improvement in convenience over Oakland. Dublin/Pleasanton, OTOH, and anywhere along that 580 corridor, is MASSIVELY worse (and also worse for people coming from SF or the North Bay). Dublin/Pleasanton is even less economically viable than the Coli site.
    “or even at the current coliseum site. What’s to stop the A’s from heavily marketing to the South Bay corporations and populace?”
    Nothing stops them from marketing. They can market all they want, but you can’t get around how long it takes to get to the Coli from the South Bay. This is a major obstacle, especially for the target market (e.g. non fans looking to entertain their corporate clients).
    Most MLB games are played on weeknights. Because the South Bay is the region’s main job center and the East Bay has the cheapest housing, that’s the way the traffic goes. So fans coming to games in Oakland are forced to fight some of the Bay Area’s worse traffic, and without a convenient, direct transit option.
    “The Giants claim they have a lot of corporate support and fan base in the South Bay. So, if that’s true (and I believe it is), that means, regardless of where the A’s build a new stadium, they could pull more from the South Bay too.”
    More, maybe, but not much more.
    “The South Bay market is clearly not fully tapped by either club. But, again, if the Giants can pull from it as much as they say they are, why not the A’s.”
    From someplace like Palo Alto, Cupertino or Menlo Park, you can make it to AT&T in less than an hour, even during rush hour. You also have Caltrain as an option, which drops you right on the steps of the ballpark in less than an hour. To get to the Coliseum you must fight either bridge or 237 traffic, which can easily take a very painful ninety minutes to two hours. And BART is of limited help, because you must fight the worst of the traffic before you can even get to BART, plus it’s quite a ways off the freeway.
    In addition to that, the Giants start from a position of being the more glamorous team and having a larger base of support in the South Bay than the A’s. If the A’s physically moved there, that gives locals a reason to adopt the A’s as their team or at least adopt them as a second team. Otherwise, they have little reason to make the trek. To say the A’s face an uphill climb in trying to draw more fans from the South Bay is an understatement.

  21. Fremont is viable from an economic standpoint. I have hypothesized many times that that is really the A’s only feasible Plan B. However, that was before Fremont got a baseball-hostile mayor; certainly that doesn’t help Fremont’s chances.

  22. You guys are all correct, of course, and it’s all stuff I’ve read, written, heard before, and that I understand and agree with.
    And this nonsense from Madden seems to have an agenda, and of course gnats backed KNBR is happy to run with it. Someone in the other thread said “poison pill”, which looks likely what it is.

  23. ML, many of us had an iron clad stomach when this saga began 16 years ago. But even the strongest stomachs are going to be getting ulcers at this point. Or at the very least indigestion. This mess has dragged on for far too long and has had far too little movement in any direction from any side. About the only thing we’ve gotten out of the last 16 years is a slew of stadium renderings and lines drawn around various spots on maps.

  24. When I first read Madden’s article it sounded to me like a lot of us on here over the years. I think he first saw the light at the end of the tunnel awhile back. Then when nothing happened after several months and his anticipated timeline came and went, he threw up his hands and assumed it’s all dead because it didn’t happen when he thought it would. (I went through something like that about 2 years ago. Now I’m so numb to it all that nothing really fazes me.)
    Anyway, I think it’s safe to assume he was shocked it didn’t happen, leading to the thought that something must be up. Then he talked to someone in the Giants’ org who planted this seed of big market teams not approving, which he quickly “confirmed” with the Yankees and/or Mets — they won’t comment on the A’s specifically, so it had to be a general question like: are you against changing territorial rights to allow a third team to move into your territory? Why yes, yes we are. Bingo: his dopey story from the other day. Much ado about nothing.

  25. Madden coming on 95.7 the Game in 10 minutes. Interested to hear the contrast with the KNBR interview, although Tierney is a Yanks fan…

  26. Let us know what the fool says.

  27. What’s the saying . . . “Not deciding is deciding.” Who knows anymore.

  28. With the way KNBR is running with this thing, could the “poison pill” be directed at San Jose residents looking to influence the future vote on the ballpark?

    • With the way KNBR is running with this thing, could the “poison pill” be directed at San Jose residents looking to influence the future vote on the ballpark?

      I wouldn’t think so. If San Jose residents ever be given the option to vote on the issue, presumably the t-rights issue will’ve been resolved.

  29. “I wouldn’t think so. If San Jose residents ever be given the option to vote on the issue, presumably the t-rights issue will’ve been resolved.”

    Yes, but with all this KNBR doom and gloom they wouldn’t know it, or would be confused, which is what the Giants would love as it would undermine any kind of enthusiasm for a new stadium.

  30. Hey guys, i’m just catching up on this (was coincidently in NYC but the only news I heard was about Ike Davis’ Valley Fever), but I deal a little bit w/ media & unnamed sources etc. and had a few quick thoughts
    Maddon appears to be a well respected writer in NYC. I don’t think he has any skin in the game regarding territorial rights. If he wanted to write some sensational stuff to fill space, he’s got the Yankees/Mets at his fingertips during spring training. Basically, he’s not hurting for material. Maddon said on the linked KNBR interview that he spoke with several sources vs. the 1 baseball lawyer he sited in his article.
    Based upon his article and coming on the air to speak about what his sources are saying AFTER Selig denied it, I won’t be so quick to disregard him.
    Yes, Selig came out and denied Maddon’s report. But when does bad news get corroborated by the CEO? I’m not saying that we’re screwed for the SJ move, but I worry more when insiders and sources are telling reporters “it ain’t gonna happen” because those may be preliminary to any official vote, but the writing is on the wall.
    Now, i hope I’m wrong, but my impression is that Selig AT LEAST has a very steep hill to climb to help Wolff move the team and I’m not sure this gets done anymore.
    I’d love to see it finally happen, but I think with the issue jumping to the front burner, Selig has built the best case he can and some of the ownership groups were not swayed by the initial presentation.

  31. So now it looks like it’s a matter of the A’s festering in the Coliseum until some other city in some other part of the country provides them a new home.

  32. funny that when nightengale tweeted back around christmas time that the a’s would be allowed to move to sj, knbr kept completely quiet and didn’t mention it at all let alone put nightengale on the air like 95.7 did. but the moment there is some “bad press” about the a’s to sj, they immediately put this maddon guy on air on the very first show of the week following the weekend article.

    what a joke knbr has become in their anti a’s movement. i thought it was bad for much of the past decade when they pretty much ignored the a’s even when they were doing well but i could easily see knbr pushing a team’s agenda in getting rid of the a’s.

    even guys who i respected in recent years like bruce whos show i’ve listened to less and less in recent weeks has become more anti a’s with his rants both on radio and tv.

  33. Bill Madden is saying a baseball lawyer is telling him that the votes aren’t there, which could be true. But I think MLs point is right. For the right deal with SF, an agreement can happen and the votes will fall in place. I do think Ratto has a point that this could push for a deal to be done but I know Wollff and Fisher know that such a deal needs to happen. I still think this is coming from an ownership person from another team to bring doubt to other voters. That’s all that matters. The question is when does Bud sit Wolff and Johnson down to begin mediation of a deal.

  34. Funny how this story has not been corroborated with any other report, blog, column. It’s one guy, who has said he’s talked some people, and speculated, and then a decidedly pro Giants and anti A’s station (KNBR) takes it and runs with it and states it as “pretty definitive”. Hmmm.
    Meanwhile, Selig flatly denied Madden’s report.
    Tastes like poison pill strategy to me.

  35. So it seems like this all comes down to the A’s either giving the Giants one whopping payoff or they somehow acquire enough league votes (which some argue they can get and some argue they can’t.) Christ, this thing is a mess. I hope they didn’t put a bulge on that Selig statue in Milwaukee.

  36. ML, I’ve heard the number $250 million being tossed around by various talking heads. Do you think Wolff/Fischer would pay that amount or anything near it, to get SJ than shell out for a new park?

  37. Yes they will “fester” in the same coliseum where they averaged 25,500 per game while the A’s were .597 versus (when LW took over) barely above 20,000 when the team went .496. Take out the 2006 ALCS and they A’s drew 19,500 while playing at .471 under LW. Let us not forget that the 2000-2004 figures above include the “Grand Opening of Pac-Ball, AT&T, Whatever Park”, “Barry Bonds Mania”, “Giants WS”, and the fact that the A’s couldn’t get out of the Wildcard round 4 straight years. Personally, I like AT&T Park very much on a nice sunny Saturday afternoon but I think it’s uncomfortable at any other time, especially night games. Serious question here — do you see a correlation between a winning team (or at least one that is trying to win) and higher attendance versus a team that doesn’t care all that much? Let’s hypothesize. 1) PacBell park was never built and the G’s were still at Candlestick. 2) The A’s made the playoffs 4 years in a row. Based on baseball history here in the bay area, who would have had the higher attendance even with that eyesore Mt. Davis? IMHO, I think the A’s would have had the higher attendance of the two teams. I think the Giants having Bonds would have made it closer but the A’s would have had the edge. As I’ve always said, the A’s need a new stadium…not a new city because people will show up.

  38. And since the city they’re in can’t work either for a privately or publicly funded ballpark, they need a new city. The A’s history of poor attendance in Oakland (7 times in te top half of attendance in 44 years, despite 15 playofff appearances) has been well-documented here.

  39. Colombo, How then, do you explain the Warriors terrible winning percentage and their great attendance?

  40. In all seriousness, do you believe a new, state-of-the-art ballpark in Oakland wouldn’t draw fans? I’m not asking about the financing. I’m saying, IF it could get built, will people show up?

  41. It would draw fans. But who pays for it? Oakland can’t. There’s not enough corporate support that could be derived to pay for it. So we’re left with MLB itself (which has never paid for a ballpark) and some mysterious charitable billionaire. No one has surfaced willing to take on that role…What’s the point of asking who would theoretically show up if there’s no one willing to pay for the place?

  42. ..and, of course, there’s no site left but the Coliseum parking lot, which MLB doesn’t want.

  43. If Selig does say San Jose is a no go, my question would be if his “ruling” would be against the findings of the “blue ribbon panel.” And if San Jose is given a thumbs down, will all the specific findings of the panel be made public? I’d love to hear in financial detail how continuing to work with Oakland is a greater financial benefit than dealing with a phony anti A’s to San Jose front group. If Madden did speak anyone with the Yankees or any other team, I doubt they have the specific background information to really be taken seriously enough to doubt a future in San Jose. All I got from the Madden article is that we may be in limbo past late spring on this matter, and 2016 may be the more realistic opening date after all.

  44. If/when San Jose is rejected, the next question is: Will San Jose sue MLB and the Giants over this?

  45. Yeah God help the A’s if they aren’t allowed to move to San Jose. That redevelopment money vanished like a fart in the wind. And Coliseum City is kind of a joke. Then they would need a new “white knight” ownership group that is not only willing to buy the A’s, but buy them a ballpark in Oakland, which is a smaller market 15 miles away from arguably the nicest ballpark in the MLB (At&T) with almost no corporate support and a history of middling attendance at best! The A’s become a permanent welfare team that the others owners have to support. I shudder to think- it has to be San Jose

  46. If San Jose is rejected, Lew Wolff would put up pressure on MLB to buy the team and let MLB find a new owner or try and get a stadium built. This would mean the team would move outside of California because I don’t believe city within California would help subsidize a stadium.

  47. pjk, we can hope. A great parting shot/spite move to all of this would be for San Jose to singlehandedly end the anti-trust exemption and open up ALL moves to whomever wants to make them.

  48. I want to meet the future owner of the team who is willing to not only buy the A’s, but willing to build a new stadium in Oakland, a smaller market, 15 miles away from arguably the nicest ballpark in the league (AT&T), with little corporate sponsorship and and a history of middling attendance, even when they were good. I shudder to think. The A’s become a permanent welfare franchise the second San Jose is rejected.

  49. Pretty much what I’ve been saying since San Jose became the front runner. If SJ doesn’t happen, the A’s leave, it’s as simple as that. Be it 1, 3, 5, 10 years, they’ll be gone. Which is exactly what the Giants have always wanted.

  50. Oops, repeated myself a little there. But with all of the sports’ franchises moving around and finding homes in smaller markets, you might get the impression that the A’s are an ownership change away from a domed stadium in Vegas (or wherever). But MLB has much higher attendance demands than say the NBA, who has half the games and half the seating capacity in their arena of an MLB franchise. There are no obvious baseball markets left, and the only major city with plans to build a new baseball stadium is San Jose!

  51. @Dan Yeah your right. The A’s will just sit there festering in Oakland for years, collecting welfare, until someone deems it worth the risk to put the team in a non traditional market. Sounds like a sound business strategy, Mr. Selig.

  52. @ Juan – That’s easy. They’re the only NBA game in town, like the NHL. I’m not sure this area is large enough to support 2 teams in those leagues.

  53. @RC, there are plenty of markets left that could support MLB under the right circumstances. I mean heck the smallest media market in MLB right now is Cincinnati at 34th and Milwaukee is just ahead of it at 33rd. There are currently 8 cities on the top 50 list ahead of those two MLB markets with the top 5 being Sacramento, Orlando, Portland, Indy and Charlotte. Orlando is too small a city population wise, however the Sac, Indy, Charlotte and Portland metro areas are all plenty big enough to support a team population as well as media wise. And all only have one team as competition in the markets. And all 4 are far bigger than several current MLB markets by both measures.

    So there are options out there. All it will take is either an owner in one of those regions willing to make a go of it (or Wolff on the outside chance he’s tired of working with California’s ass backward/progressive bureaucracy). And all but Sac are in states where it is FAR easier to get something like a stadium built, possibly even with public funds.

  54. One interesting way around the TR’s argument is to agree with the concept. The Rights are indeed sacrosanct, and should never have been tampered with in the first place. By cedeing the rights back to the A’s, Selig can honestly claim he’s upholding the very core values enspoused by the big market teams. That way there is no “prescedent” being set. I wonder if their was a vote by the other owners when the rights were granted to the Giants?

    Anyway, I think Madden is off base in the first place. Sounds to me like a prominent Giants attorney got his ear and fed him a line, and he was off to the races. KNBR seemed to be all to prepared for this “breaking story” for me to buy into the notion that there isn’t some sort of manipulation going on here.

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