Baer reaffirms T-rights claim

On a panel at the 2012 IMG World Congress of Sports, Giants CEO/President Larry Baer continued to flog the idea that the Giants own Santa Clara County. Via Sports Business Journal:

During a panel discussion, he cited a “territorial grant” that allows the Giants to market to Santa Clara County. Baer said the Giants franchise depends on revenue derived from there, with 35 to 45 percent of its market coming from San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

I thought the number was 50%? Now it’s 35-45%. Two weeks ago it was 43% from Santa Clara County alone. No wonder we can’t keep these numbers straight. Baer can’t either.

Baer went on to cite how the Giants got it done with good ole’ sweat and gumption. He conveniently forgets one tiny little detail: When it comes to having billionaires ready to coalesce and save the franchise, Oakland is no San Francisco. The two groups that reportedly want to buy the A’s? Not from Oakland. Bob Piccinini? Not from Oakland. If the team is going to be saved in Oakland, someone will have to step up from Oakland. It’s one thing to talk about civic pride, another to have the means to act on it.

107 thoughts on “Baer reaffirms T-rights claim

  1. Same sh*t different day. Whens Bud going to act?

  2. Baer’s inaccurate nonsense is just that…NONSENSE! major revenue is derived from San Mateo and Santa Clara county (I’ll just put aside the SVLG poll for now)…AND?! at this point whatever crap comes out of Baer’s mouth is completely irrelevant. Wake me when Selig finally speaks….

  3. So by “good ole’ sweat and gumption” he means a generous freebie by Haas? Because without that generosity, he’d be short 50% of his revenue… or is that 43%… or is that 35-45%…

  4. Baer continually includes San Mateo county in his statements. He does this because San Mateo county is the corner piece of their fanbase. Remove SMC from the equation and you get a significantly lower number. Again, this is why he sounded like a jackass in the KQED interview. When is someone from the local media going to pin him down on this?
    .
    A ballpark in San Jose will not weaken the Giants’ fanbase, but it will strengthen the A’s. That’s what concerns the Giants.

  5. Here’s the thing thing that bugs me about this… Way back when there was an editorial piece in the Contra Costa Times that argued the A’s moving to San Jose would hurt the Giants because of the South Bay companies that would defect. The company they cited was Genetech, based in South San Francisco.
    .
    Fast forward a few years and you have Baer on KQED talking about the South Bay starting at the KQED studios… Now, he continues to lump San Mateo and Santa Clara counties together as a single source of revenue, as if they are the same place, as if San Jose is a direct neighbor to South San Francisco… This is typical PR bullcrap. When the story you want to tell isn’t good enough, find a way to tweak it so that it is.
    .
    I wonder what the split of the 35% (I don’t think he would say between 35% and 45% if the number was on the high side of the range, he’d tick the range up a bit) of revenue is between San Mateo and Santa Clara? I can almost guarantee you that the split heavily favors San Mateo or he would be talking specifically about Santa Clara.

  6. Bottom line–Baer will continue to spew shit and creatively crafted marketing bs until he is forced to stop…will Bud actually step up and do something—he is an absolute idiot if he leaves the silicon valley market relatively untapped like it is today—but hey–this guy has proven to be an idiot more than once—so tired of the game…maybe we need Tebow time at this point…

  7. I agree that SFG brass seems to be changing their argument on a weekly basis; but I disagree that a new ownership group must come from Oakland. If there is an explicit commitment from a new ownership group to keep the team in Oakland and build a new stadium, why does it matter where they or their $ comes from?

    Selig’s attempts at consensus building with the owners to open SJ to the A’s seemed to have failed, otherwise we would have heard something already. And with new ownership groups potentially interested in pursuing the A’s and keeping them in Oakland, it weakens Lew’s argument that Oakland is impossible. There are a lot of fans in/around Oakland who want to come root for their team, new stadium or not, but its not as fun when your team’s owner has now been saying for years that you’re not worth worrying about.

    • @JH510 – It’s because there are very few in and around baseball who believe in Oakland in the long run. It took leadership within Oakland to lure the A’s in the first place. It’ll take that same kind of leadership and resources to keep the team there.

  8. Baer is acting the way the MLB owners/Selig expect him to act. Likewise, the same goes for Wolff. If Baer were to say, “Sure, Lew. Let’s share SCCo,” what would that say to Selig/owners/Giant investors? It’s his job to fight tooth n’ nail for the well-being of his franchise. The whole”A’s vs. Giants” angle is fun for its dramatics, but it’s just a distraction from the real issue of MLB getting its shit straight.

  9. I agree with Jeffrey. 43% is SMC and SCC lumped together.

    Baer lumps both together because he feels people from the Peninsula will start heading to San Jose in the evening instead of SF for baseball.

    The guy is so dumb that he does not realize traffic is murder on 101 and 280 heading to Downtown San Jose from the Peninsula.

    People on the Peninsula will not start heading to San Jose because of traffic and practicality. Heading into SF is not a problem especially on 280 in the evening.

    San Jose would draw fans from SCC, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and the East Bay as traffic flows the other way from Downtown San Jose.

    I am a Giants fan like Ted but unlike Ted I see 100% that the Giants would not be affected by an A’s move to San Jose.

    What I do see is the Giants having a lower value in 5 years after Cisco Field is built than the A’s. That 75% of Silicon Valley companies is a huge untapped resource that scares the Giants.

    The Giants are not afraid of losing sponsors from SCC but are afraid the A’s will reap the 75% that is untapped and dwarf the Giants revenue wise from suite and premium seat sales.

    That is the ultimate issue and that is why Baer feels the Giants would become revenue sharing losers with a team in San Jose. He realizes San Jose is a far more lucrative market that is in reality untapped.

    On the contrary to what Baer believes the A’s in San Jose would be a huge revenue sharing winner and would be on equal footing with the Giants from day 1 of Cisco Field.

    That 75% of untapped corporations on top of the under served affluent fans in SCC would make the A’s a big market team in a blink of an eye.

    I wish the Giants would take the $$ and run. Sign a player or two in the FA market and make splash. That is what I would love to see as a Giants fan.

  10. When I say the Giants would not be affected I say by revenue and franchise value. I am stating that will stay the same or go a bit higher but the A’s will skyrocket in San Jose to the point where they may pass the Giants in both revenue and franchise value in 5 years.

  11. “It’s one thing to talk about civic pride, another to have the means to act on it.”

    Harumph!!! I’m with you.

  12. It’s actually entertaining, in a way, to hear Larry Baer talk about this stuff.
    .
    Always lumping San Mateo County in with Santa Clara county – hilarious. For one, the A’s don’t want to build on the peninsula, idiot Baer. Two, lumping San Mateo County in clearly shows that Santa Clara isn’t as crucial as Baer claims, and Baer desperately needs to spin it make it sound like it’s crucial. If Baer just said Santa Clara county, and said it’s actual, truthful % of Giants business, people would say “is that all?? what’s the big deal?”, and Larry Baer knows this. Thus, he has to lump in San Mateo county, to spin the numbers in his favor. It’s so obvious to anyone paying attention (which the stupid media doesn’t, or is too lazy and/or coddling to call him on it).
    .
    And always changing the % of revenue figure every time he talks about it. And one time he just said “tons”. Again, hilarious.
    .
    How about some real numbers for SCCO alone, Baer?? Afraid of the truth?
    .
    The dude should have been a politician. He’s a complete jack ass.

  13. It’s clear the Giants have no intention of negotiating so Selig should either shove a settlement down their throats or tell Wolff no, so he can sell the franchise back to MLB and San Jose can consider challenging the anti-trust exemption. I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that MLB is not stupid enough to leave all that Silicon Valley $$ on the table.

  14. Most of San Mateo County’s population is closer to AT&T than the Cisco Field site, so Baer is clearly not comfortable divulging the Santa Clara County revenue by itself.

  15. I’m wondering if Baer is just a puppet for the real ownership group’s insistence on SC rights. It was reported years ago that McGowan even offered SC for $50 million or so, and then suddenly Neukum, Mickeysoft’s previous legal counsel for anti-trust issue, became the managing partner. Now, we hear Baer continually trip over himself on quantifying SC’s contribution to the Gnats becausehe probably doesn’t know it first hand but is pushed from above his level…..

    @ Briggs – so Baer is paid to falsify…err stretch the facts? Then I guess you sympathize with Lew’s insistence of leaving Oakland, since he’s also paid to look out for the health of the franchise?
    @JH510 – “its not as fun when your team’s owner has now been saying for years that you’re not worth worrying about” The A’s owners may have been recently pushing for a divorce of Oakland, but it’s due years, but decades of neglect by Oakland itself as witness by the developments between Coliseum north, the construction of Mt. Davis, the dog and pony show that was VC, and now CC…..

    • @Anon

      @ Briggs – so Baer is paid to falsify…err stretch the facts? Then I guess you sympathize with Lew’s insistence of leaving Oakland, since he’s also paid to look out for the health of the franchise?

      That’s what you do with facts. You select, group and present facts in ways that best support your point. Both the A’s and the Giants are doing that. They’re expected to do that until their boss settles it.

  16. Last time I checked LW and JF were not from SJ either.

  17. @ ML – I’m also a bit confused about your statement that ownership “must” be from Oakland if they are to survive there. Piccinini is from Manteca, which, at least in years past, was a stronghold for both A’s and Raider fans. It’s that area of San Joaquin near Tracy and Stockton. The A’s class-A team is in Stockton, the Ports. My first job out of college in the early/mid 90’s was with a Fortune 500 company and I was required to attend a week long management seminar, which took place during the summer of all places at a hotel in Stockton. That area was overwhelmingly A’s/Raiders. Granted that was a long time ago and things may have changed. Piccinini lives in Modesto now because that is where SaveMart is HQ’d. Up until about 2005, there was the Modesto A’s. I’m not disputing your statement I’m just curious to know more what you mean. I haven’t looked into it yet but I’m going to guess that most MLB owners, or even owners in all Pro leagues are not from the city that the team is in. I know Al Davis, well his widow, still lives in Piedmont and has lived there for decades, even when they were in LA. By “Oakland” do you mean the city proper or somewhere within their defined territory of Alam/Contra Counties?

  18. I totally agree with all sentiments stated, that a) the City of Oakland, Coliseum Authority, and associated leadership haven’t been putting the A’s organization as its highest priority, and that has greatly diminished the prospects of the team both on the field and in the books; and b) there needs to be a spark of leadership and commitment from these same leaders to make Oakland an attractive long-term home.

    That being said, I still believe there is a stark difference between those leaders, and those of us who are fans that grew up rooting for the A’s in Oakland, and want to see that continue. Yes, we can attend meetings, go to rallies, sign petitions, and vote for certain local officials who we think suppor the A’s, but beyond that, we’re not the ones at the table meeting with MLB, owners, or other officials.

    My takeaway is, I hate to see the lack of energy and effort by Oakland’s city leadership over the years and mistakes they’ve made (Mt Davis, VC dog and pony, etc.) be construed as all A’s fans in Oakland/East Bay being apathetic about the team on the field.

    Rather, there are a lot of us who continue to love this team, but have been beaten down by both the City’s lack of commitment, and now an ownership group who wants to leave. There is an obvious conflict in my mind: I want to buy tickets to watch “my team” play on the field, but why am I going to put my $ in the pocket of owners who want to take “my team” away from me? For now, I’m still going to buy those tickets and see my team, but you can’t act surprised when overall attendance figures are down.

    If new owners came in and wanted to stay in Oakland, and the city actually had the guts and capacity to commit to a new stadium within city limits? I’m the first in line to buy season tickets, and I think there are a lot of long-term A’s fans in the 510/925/707 who would join me.

  19. @JH510 – You should tell all those who are reticent about buying STs to do so. It really does come down to attendance. The city admin aren’t going to fight for a team that 5K people see on a weeknight. Wolff isn’t going to spend his group’s money on that, either.

    People can say that if those groups showed them the green carpet, they’d be there, but they are the customer. Customers vote with their wallet. Unfortunately, by (not) doing so consistently over the recent years, the customers have helped to “vote” for the A’s looking somewhere else.

  20. If it’s a ‘territorial grant to market’ an area, why were they able to open a store in A’s territory? What would stop them from marketing in SCC if it was shared or given to the A’s? Again, their M.O. is to confuse the general public about the whole thing.

    • If it’s a ‘territorial grant to market’ an area, why were they able to open a store in A’s territory? What would stop them from marketing in SCC if it was shared or given to the A’s? Again, their M.O. is to confuse the general public about the whole thing.

      .

      Well said. I’m very eager to see how the A’s market themselves once SJ is approved. They’ll have 3 years to germinate warm fuzzy feelings from their prospective new(ish) fan base.

      .

      Personally, I feel like they’re shooting themselves in the foot by not starting that process now. They’re absolutely free to do so.

  21. @cuppingmaster – Totally agree, thats exactly the key point. I think the problem is, chicken or the egg? Both sides can make the same argument: I don’t go to games anymore because the stadium sucks and the owners want to leave, what’s the point? vs. Why would we build a new stadium for a fanbase that doesn’t want to come to the games?
    I’m just one A’s fan so I can’t speak for everyone, buy my biased opinion is: build a shiny new stadium, field a young team that’s winning ballgames and has the payroll to support it, and have owners committed to their city? You’ll get 35k people coming out to see that on a Tuesday night, whether in San Jose or Oakland. And over the long-term (see: Pirates, Pittsburgh) I think there is a fan base with a lot of pride in Oakland that will support that team for years to come.

  22. @JH510 – I applaud you on your dedication and enthusiasm while admitting the realities of the situation. If there were much more folks like you that speak with their $ as opposed to boycotting and playing the blame game with the A’s, it would go a long ways in demonstrating the viability of keeping the A’s in the East Bay.

  23. In total agreement that the newowner does not need to be from Oakland. While that would help win local favor, somebody with a plan to engage the city with their plan for a ballpark and commit long term to Oakland is all that really matters.

    The fact is this – if Lew and Co. decide to sell and there are multiple bidders (from Oakland or elsewhere) that are willing to stake hundreds of millions of their own dollars on baseball having a future in Oakland, then you have to believe that the east bay can support the A’s. The pain of this all is that because Lew and Co. keep denying that Oakland is viable while at the same time denying selling the team, Oakland ends up looking like a dead end.

    Until the team is formally put up for sale and MLB states that the requirement is to keep the team in Oakland, we won’t know what the market will say. If the A’s are put up for sale with that requirement and nobody bites, well then we have our answer. I am willing to bet that there would be numourous groups interested even if they had to stay in Oakland.

    Additionally, with the value of the team as low as it is, there is something to be said for joining the ranks of MLB ownership at a bargain price.

    • @Columbo – There needs to be a civic champion as well as a political champion (preferably the mayor). Those two are the ones who have to deal with the slings and arrows. The civic champion doesn’t absolutely have to be from Oakland, yet he should be, more than in any other city. Why? Because that guy has a vested interest. He’ll have more pressure on him than an absentee owner would.

      @JohnintheDena – That’s not a fact all. We have no idea what patience or willingness any of these purported groups have. They’re complete wild cards at this point. And we also have no idea if they have the money or resources to pull anything. The “Anybody but Lew” strategy works hypothetically, as long as everything lines up exactly right. In practice it’s bound to be much more difficult than that.

  24. re: The fact is this – if Lew and Co. decide to sell and there are multiple bidders (from Oakland or elsewhere) that are willing to stake hundreds of millions of their own dollars on baseball having a future in Oakland,

    …. big, big, big if. Nobody is aware of such a person. The most likely buyer would be MLB itself, snce it will institute a requirement that a new ballpark be built in Oakland, and whoever buys the team has to find a way to do that. Once nobody buys the team under that condition, ML B takes it off Wolff’s hands. The A’s will attract buyers who want to move the team out of the Bay Area, though…

  25. No, an owner doesn’t need to be from Oakland. The reason people keep saying that is because it’s very easy for anyone to offer lip service to “keeping the team in Oakland” while on the outside looking in. Without access to the books, they don’t have a clue what the real numbers are. So , no, an owner does NOT need to be from a particular area to want to build in that particular area. But someone outside the area, when in business, is significantly more likely to want to build or move their business in an area that’s *best* suited for the success of that business. Plain and simple.

    Now does all that mean there aren’t/wouldn’t be other locations to build? Well, no. Does that mean Oakland couldn’t work? Again, no. But without the specific “Oakland Pride” that’s shared among Oakland Supporters from having grown up there and /or having deep connections to the place, no owner is going to put any stock in that emotional logic to keep the A’s in Oakland over a more practical business move of trying to move it to SJ.

    It’s likely to take more work and effort to get a stadium done in Oakland both financially and politically than it will SJ (and that’s including the 3 – 7+ years worth of T-rights arguments) as well as more work and effort (with no guarantee) to bring in the kind of profit you’d hope for all that financial commitment. So in order for someone to come in totally committed 100% to Oakland, they’d need to have a very deep emotional connection that would outweigh that practical business sense that made them the money they’ve earned to make a big purchase like that in first place. Wealthy businessmen/women just don’t make that kind of money by making $500k-$1000m purchases based on emotion.

  26. PJK –

    We are talking in hypotheticals since we can’t know what the result will be until they are put up for sale. My point is that the whole debate over whether Oakland can support a team or not has an answer if the team is put up for sale with that requirement. And of course, the team being sold is contingent on San Jose being off the table – Otherwise, why would Wolff and Co sell?

    The Dodgers had over a dozen bidders and the team is going to sell for a record amount of money despite a stadium that needs significant upgrades (and honestly should be torn down with a new stadium located elsewhere) – Now the A’s are not the Dodgers and Oakland is not Los Angeles, but the point is that there are many rich people who want in on professional sports.

  27. Marine Layer –

    You misread what I wrote. I am not talking about any group in particular.

    The fact is that if the A’s are put up for sale with the requirement that they stay in Oakland and there are bidders who want to buy the team with that requirement, then there is a market for baseball in Oakland. Simple as that.

    The problem is Wolff is denying Oakland is a possibility at the same time as denying to sell the team, so we cannot get the answer to that question.

    • @JohnintheDena – That condition you’re putting on the sale is not a given and is somewhat unrealistic. MLB will want to get Wolff top dollar for the franchise for all the crap he’s gone through. Hometown discounts are out of the question in this day and age.

  28. So much for MLB having less on their plates. News breaking out of San Diego is that Jeff Moorad has stepped down as the Padres CEO passing the position on to Tom Garfinkel. Everyone is still trying to pick up the pieces but the overwhelming feeling is that Moorad is out completely and will be withdrawing from his ownership group. What happens next is up in the air. Will Moorad’s group try to continue without him, will John Moores (who still owns 51% of the team) swoop back in as he’s been reportedly warming to the idea of owning the/a team again, or will Moores continue to sell to a third party. Either way, SD is now in an ownership pickle completely of MLB’s creation. However it may not be bad if Moorad really wasn’t financially viable as has been suggested.

    • @Dan – That’s tough. It was Moorad who brought many of those in the ownership group (including Bob Piccinini) in. Either he ran out of money or patience. It’s not good for the Pads.

  29. The A’s aren’t for sale. Why do some of you continue to harp on this mythical subject about potential buyers, staying/building in Oakland? (Oh well..)

  30. Sid, why would anyone from San Mateo drive to San Jose for a baseball game? I am a Giants fan and I have drove to the park exactly once (I was staying in SF for the weekend and drove from my hotel to the park on Sunday afternoon) and been a passenger in a car 2-3 other times. 99% of the time I take Caltrain and I assume that most on the Peninsula would do the same to get to A’s games in San Jose.

  31. @ML, I think it was more the writing being on the wall. The lodge was never going to sign off on Moorad, be it for financial reasons, because he’d been an agent, or because of the piss poor way he left Arizona (apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back from what the talking heads are hearing in SD). It may have been all 3 reasons. It may seem like bad news for the Pads initially, but if Moorad really couldn’t afford the team and was not going to work well with the lodge better the Padres be rid of him now rather than get him in and then have to suffer through him for years. Hopefully the rumors Moores wants back in are true. He’s always been a decent owner for the Pads and is plenty rich enough even post divorce, and most importantly the lodge loves him.

  32. @ML, the plot is thickening by the second down in SD. CBS is reporting that even John Moores ended up being against Moorad taking over. Don’t know WTF Moorad did or what they found out about him, but something seriously soured MLB to his bid for ownership. The Padres may have just dodged a bullet.

  33. No mention was ever made of a hometown discount, and I don’t think anybody would expect that. While the A’s aren’t for sale right now, if SJ goes off the table then that is the next logical step. If MLB wants to keep the A’s in Oakland, then that is by no means an unrealistic condition.

    PS – I don’t think there is much sympathy for Wolff and “all the crap he has gone through.”

    It’s been fun, back to work.

  34. @ML, no kidding. Sounds like Moorad is out completely, except for maintaining a vice-chairmanship in charge of the team’s deal with Fox Sports Net? Seems to me Moorad really never had any interest in the team but rather in making a shitload of money off their TV deal. MLB may have been dead right in this case. Which puts me in the strange position of hating Selig on one hand as an A’s fan, but wanting to kiss his boots as a Padres fan.

  35. I think JohnintheDena brings up an interesting point. Yes, my earlier comments were somewhat based on “emotion”, in that I personally believe there is still strong support from the A’s in their current East Bay territory. I wish I could wave my magic wand and get 30k to the Coliseum every night, but I can’t.
    .
    What JitD is talking about actually takes emotion out of completely, and makes it a business question. Wolff thinks the team can only thrive in SJ, fine. As of March 2012, MLB has an issue with the A’s playing in SJ, for whatever reason, logical or not. Maybe that changes tomorrow, maybe it doesn’t. Regardless, as of today, one thing we do know is that MLB does not have a problem with the A’s playing in Oakland. What they have a problem with is the facility they play in, as its obvious its not sustainable for the long-term health of the franchise or MLB.
    .
    So where does that leave us? Clearly none of us know about “phantom” ownership groups, financial backing, and other details. All we’ve heard is that there are reports they are “out there…”, whatever that means. So how do we find out if they’re real? JitD’s suggestion nails it on the head: open the team up for potential sale, saying SJ is not an option, but you can buy the team if you commit to Oakland as your long-term home (new stadium, working with city, strength of fan base). If these “phantom” buyers appear, identify it as an attractive purchase and pursue it, there is your answer. If none of these groups appear, then there’s your answer, and if anything, strengthens Lew’s argument for SJ.
    .
    I think JitD’s point is, if SJ isn’t happening (and as of today, its not) why not investigate Oakland one last time as an option to see if any ownership groups who think they can make Oakland work do exist. As JitD point out, its easy for Lew to say Oakland is not feasible, while also saying the team isn’t for sale and quashing any potential interest in taking a new look at it from another perspective.

  36. And, just wanted to mention, I’m new to the board but longtime reader, and want to say thanks to ML for hosting a forum to all us A’s fans to discuss all angles of this really interesting issue, and thanks to all commenters for the opportunity to have a good debate. Here’s to a great 2012 season, see you at the Coliseum!

  37. Didn’t Andy Dolich say he would be interested in buying the team if the A’s were “officially” for sale? What other potential owners is he/has been affiliated with?

  38. Tony D., yes, the a’s aren’t for sale but they can’t move to SJ either but that doesn’t stop you and others from opining as to how successful they’ll be, how perfect a downtown SJ stadium will be. Thus, people are discussing the potential for a sale in the same way. What’s the big deal?

  39. @ ML – With all due respect, I see what you’re saying about the “Lodge” is what counts and that is probably very true. The average fan reads that same thing as “we must not count then,” and we probably don’t in the grand scheme of things because it’s all about money. In reality they probably don’t give a crap about the fan who pays $100 for a family of four as they actually rely on the corporation who is buying suites at $3,000 per game. As Bartleby is always saying, it’s the corporate dollars and rich-folk who matter. That’s what MLB is today. This is why I will sometimes watch old baseball movies, even from the 30’s and 40’s, because it was a different time where players had to work during the off-season to pay bills and poor little boys could buy game tickets for 50 cents. It makes me feel good to watch these movies because it was all about baseball. The game, the excitement, the smell of the grass, the fun. Don’t get me wrong. I would be a hypocrite if I said the owner’s shouldn’t make money because I have a comfortable lifestyle myself and the business I’m in is, well, greedy. I guess I just happen to believe that there should be a happy medium, i.e. a win-win for the owners, players, and fans together. As Bud Fox once said, “Gordon, how many yachts can you water-ski behind, how much is enough?”

    • @Columbo – I have to remind you that Lew Wolff is offering to privately finance Cisco Field. That’s not chopped liver. If a potential buyer says they’re willing to do the same in Oakland, then it’ll be worth listening to them.

      @Stanley Stanson – I don’t have a problem with a little speculation. Let’s get it all out in the open.

      @eb – Dolich did say that. He was part of the failed Fred Claire bid for the Dodgers.

  40. If San somehow goes off the table, it will then be all about Fremont and PacCommons.
    @Stanley, those in charge have suggested San Jose will be the choice (frontburner anyone? Reinsdorf anyone?), renderings of Cisco Field have been presented, etc etc. Hence why we talkcoming about San Jose. Nothing official has EVER come out about the A’s being for sale. In fact, the idea has been shot down by Wolff himself. Yet somehow you think the two are comparable? WOW! But I digress; go ahead and talk about it all you want, its a free country after all (thanks to me and millions of other Americans who served, are serving in the armed forces 😉

  41. Should be “Jose” after San and no “coming” after talk. Damn Droid and its corrections!

  42. JH510,
    “Regardless, as of today, one thing we do know is that MLB does not have a problem with the A’s playing in Oakland.”
    .
    We actually know that this isn’t true. They may put up with it now and they *may* be willing to put up with it in the future, but if the above had any truth to it, MLB would have said so 3 years ago, would be saying so a few months ago, and would be saying so right now. The fact remains, they haven’t.
    .
    There is ZERO chance MLB tells a future ownership group they can only build in Oakland. Zero. Now there *IS* a chance they come back and say no to SJ. But if things come to a head and SJ & Wolff give up completely (which may very well likely also consist of a failed anti-trust lawsuit, etc.), then any future ownership group bidding on the A’s would be looking all across the country (and possibly North America) to see whether they can make it work elsewhere (in addition to possibly Oakland). MLB may even do that themselves as part of the sales process. But either way, no way a condition of Oakland-only gets added.

  43. @dmoas. I appreciate your point, and I agree that MLB has been working far too long on deciding this issue, wherever the A’s may play. My point was simply that right now the A’s are in Oakland, and if MLB really did not think Oakland was a potential home for the team over the long-term, they would have said so 3 years ago, and found a way to move to San Jose. As you correctly point out, 3 years later and literally nothing as happened (at least from an outside perspective), which includes moving to SJ.
    .
    And to the point that JitD was making regarding the Oakland condition, which I agree with: I don’t think he believes “Oakland or nothing” is a realistic approach to take with prospective owners, just as you point out. What he’s saying is, at least put it on the table for discussion, to see if a local group Oakland-focused steps forward. For better or worse, the A’s play in Oakland right now, and that is the path of least resistance from the MLB perspective, if it works financially. How do you know if it works financially? Finding an owner who’s willing to commit to keeping the team in Oakland indefinitely. I’m not saying that’s likely, or even possible, but you have to at least let that question be answered before assuming that SJ (or somewhere else in North America) is better.

  44. @ JH510 – “I think JitD’s point is, if SJ isn’t happening (and as of today, its not) why not investigate Oakland one last time as an option to see if any ownership groups who think they can make Oakland work do exist.” But what if LW doesn’t want to sell? I’m sure he has assessed his goals for the franchise, given his advanced age and wants to see it through?
    But, let’s play this scenario out anyway. What positive and negative outcomes be for such a move? Would it realistically change anything? Say, no one bites at his asking price (lets say $500 million) + the legal agreement to buy the land and build a new stadium locally in oakland at another $500 million. Then what? Would that increase fan attendance? Would it make people have warm fuzzies talking about the A’s?
    Now, let’s say for the sake of argument someone did step up and did commit to all the following. The white knight scenario all pro-Oaklanders dream of. However, to cover the huge $1billion dollar risk, they impose the Al Davis agreement, where the city guarantees a certain attendance while the new owner(s) are paying off the mortgage since the corporate base isn’t there (SVLG has never endorsed Oakland, nor Cisco specifically themselves). Ticket prices would undoubtedly go up as well as possibly the implementing the dreaded PSLs. Would the average fan be willing to pay 2-3X the price now (thats the disparity between Gnats vs. A’s fan expenditure) and have the city take on the risks associated with it to satisfy this Champion of Oakland that risks all their fortune on a hunch? I’m not trying to squash the proposal, but being realistic about if this fantasy ever occur and how much risk the EB fans are willing to take on just to prove their point that “Oakland is viable”.

  45. @ eb – Dolich also recently mentioned that after the Niners stadium, there will not be another publicly funded stadium in Nor Cal ever. Food for thought.

  46. @Anon: totally agree, I think these are all key issues. And I’m not pretending to be an expert on any of the specifics you bring up, and if anything the pro-Oakland argument is more likely a pipe dream than not once the numbers are crunched. All I’m saying is that if there is a shred of truth to something like this (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/11/BAAV1NIOMK.DTL), then why not let these “interested groups” explore this in more detail? Maybe they crunch the numbers exactly how you lay out, and say “no way Oakland is every going to work.” That’s a tough pill to swallow, but us Oakland fans will swallow it. But when all Oakland fans hear is “I want to move the team to San Jose. And I’m not selling to anyone”, that doesn’t make it seem like we’re ever going to escape this stalemate anytime soon, which doesn’t help anyone.

  47. And just to clarify, as a “pro-Oaklander” I have absolutely no illusions about any kind of stadium scenario that is at ALL reminiscent of the Raiders deal every getting anywhere in Oakland. And any new prospective owners are going to know that as well. Rather, they’ll investigate themselves and see what the scenarios are, and decide if it works. If it doesn’t, so be it.

  48. @ JH510 – We discussed that this last week and LW responded in kind that 1) No one has contacted him and 2) the team wasn’t for sale. Unfortunately, it’s a catch 22, since all pro-Oakland folks will discount what he says already, it wouldn’t matter any way. Probably the best way to gauge actual interest is for the embattled Jean Quan to reach out to M&R to find out those people and see how realistic the interest was. But she has enough to do already and has shown she can’t even get an EIR started properly much less ask billionaires to invest a risky proposition in Oakland. Instead of focusing on people that will fall on deaf ears to Oakland dreams, the citizens should rely on its government to get things done for things they want….but then again, we’ve seen where that has gone in the past decade plus of this ordeal.

    Also, as I noted above, with LW getting older and his son taking over the issue of a new venue, it looks like LW wants to hold onto the A’s as one final lasting accomplishment in his vast development career. So it makes the conversation of selling the A’s just more fodder the Gnats wanted to introduce in the first place.

  49. Wolff selling to some other group that also can’t find a solution in Oakland is just postponing dealing with the problem. Wolff has noted a bunch of times that nobody in MLB has approached him about an opportunity he missed in Oakland. He asked MLB to come out and look at the situation for themselves. It formed a committee to explore ballpark possibilities in the A’s current territory – 3+ years later, they have nothing positive to report.

  50. @JH510
    I think the real crux of the issue is that it’s going to be extremely hard to except anyone’s word that Oakland won’t work. Not Wolffs’. Not MLB’s. And not another ownership group, who actually owns them team. These are all wealthy business people who’s decisions will be made strictly from a business position. There’s really no set amount of time or effort that will ever be deemed enough to move on. After 15+ years of A’s ownership groups trying to come up with something, nothing has shown up as plausible (including Wolff’s ridiculous plan).
    .
    Personally, I don’t think Oakland is “impossible” at all. I just think when it pencils out, it’s just too risky a gamble where betting on revenue sharing and waiting for either SJ to open up or another market to emerge is just the better bet.

  51. @ Anon – “all pro-Oakland folks will discount what he says already, it wouldn’t matter any way.” I can only speak for myself in that I have only seen and read what has transpired and formed my opinions based on that. For me it’s not a conspiracy theory against LW. It’s about all of those things put together that just didn’t seem to add up. I can’t speak for all pro-Oak people though. Just as one small example that has no relation to the A’s whatsoever: LW just sold his Fairmont in SF. From what I’ve read the original agreement had some kind of stipulation that the hotel would not be turned into condos. If he signed that document then it seemed that it was a binding contract. From what I’ve read Wolff soon thereafter started saying that the hotel couldn’t financially survive and the only way to save it was to turn it into condos. Apparently there was much opposition and he was eventually blocked and forced to sell. The new owners are going to keep the hotel as it is. What does this have to do with the A’s? Nothing. But it does show a certain mindset that some pro-Oak people have about LW. Was he telling the truth about the Fairmont? Why would new investors agree to the no-condo clause if they didn’t think the hotel would be o.k.? Why sign an agreement only to go back on your word? Perhaps only time will tell if these new Fairmont owners will profit from this venture. Who knows? Bottom-line for me anyway is that it’s not a conspiracy against LW. It’s more about the actual effort and if there was some kind of agenda behind certain decisions. I don’t know LW. He’s probably a great guy. I’m speaking strictly for myself that I’ve never quite believed everything that has been said. Similarly, I don’t think the Oak pols have been honest either. I think it’s a 2-way street here and there’s plenty of blame on that side as well to me anyway. But that’s just my opinion and, since I’m not in the “Lodge,” it won’t matter anyway.

  52. @ Columbo – fair enough and thanks for sharing and elaborating, however that was a more recent case. How was your opinion of him as a carpetbagger formed before this event? People often cherry pick events just to support and rationalize their own opinions formed beforehand….

  53. I didn’t know Wolff was from San Jose.

  54. I believe Wolff operates out of LA.

  55. If Oakland’s last chance is Coliseum City… I am all for the team finding a way to stay in Oakland, but it isn’t like there is a plethora of options for making something happen. Without RDA funds, it is pretty much build on the Coliseum parking lot or bust. I don’t think it benefits the city or the team to be at the Coliseum complex.

  56. Wolff has plenty of holdings in San Jose, and several of the members of his ownership group live in the South Bay. You can’t have it both ways… You can’t call him a carpetbagger for wanting to steal Oakland’s team and support his business interests in San Jose and then claim he isn’t “from” San Jose.

  57. @ Anon – Very good question. I’m not real sure when things started feeling funny to me. When LW/JF bought the team I was actually excited because I felt that the previous ownership was less than adequate. Four times and we can’t get past the first round? We had a way better team than the G’s at that time. I guess I would have to say that, around the time of the Fremont thing, I started thinking things were not quite right. To me I look at logic and that has been my downfall on many occasions in my life. I guess, when reminiscing, I would say at some point I began asking why would an owner buy a team knowing his options are limited to a certain territory and then try to get away from that. Honestly, I don’t know when I began to feel that way. I am a businessman personally and I just thought why would someone sign a contract knowing what the contract states? For a moment put aside personal opinions, i.e. territorial rights are unfair, SJ is better, etc. I’m just saying why, as a businessman, would I knowingly agree to something that I would eventually back out of? Unless…. I had assurance from somewhere that there was a possibility that things would change. It may sound conspiratorial but, Anon, I’m not like that at all. I don’t hate LW and I wish him no ill. I guess I just like honesty. If LW’s been honest then great! If he hasn’t then I wouldn’t feel too good about a new ballpark. Not that you would do this but, you can check the posting history and I’ve always maintained that, IF Oakland was absolutely not viable, I would have no problem embracing SJ. Again, I can’t speak for others but my personal issue is that I’m not quite convinced the east bay wouldn’t work.

  58. Hey hey HEY!!!

    C’mon now Anon and Columbo, can’t we just get back to insulting one another? LOL. Seriously though, I have appreciated the thoughtful conversations that have sprung up on this thread as well as the last couple. Well done guys, I could learn from your example myself.

  59. @Ted – I was being facetious.

  60. @ plrraz – LOL. Ok, you SJ guys are, um, uh, well, let me see, I can’t think of anything right now, sorry. Seriously, we all have our opinions, desires, and needs. I have no issue with SJ whatsoever. Never have.

  61. @Columbo To try to answer your question, contracts are not commandments, they get renegotiated all the time. And when not negotiated, they often get breached. In fact, there’s a whole strain of legal thought that if it is more economically advantageous to breach a contract and pay the other guy his damages, you should do it, because that is more economically efficient. Assets should be put to their “most productive use.”
    .
    In fact, if I were the A’s, and this were just a matter of a contract between the Giants and A’s, I’d seriously consider just building the damn thing in San Jose and let the chips fall where they may. Even if the Giants sued, it’s questionable they could get an injunction. This would leave them just with money damages as a remedy, which they’d have to prove. If their business didn’t suffer dramatically in the first few years, they’d have a decent chance of getting nothing.

  62. @ bartleby – I appreciate your reply and that’s exactly what I figured. I guess I come from the old school train of thought. I’m only 40, I do quite well for myself, I have lots of attorney clients, but I still believe in that old handshake, integrity thing. Hey, it is what it is. “Most productive use.” I’m very familiar with this in my business but I just dislike the whole concept when it comes to sports. It’s kind of odd but that sounds socialistic even when I say it to myself, and I am a big capitalist. Go figure. I

  63. just happen to believe that sports is built around its fans. Without the fans you may have corporate dollars but, then, what is the point? When I was young I used to go see Rickey, Tony Armas, Dwayne Murphy, et al. Maybe some of you are too young to remember these guys but these are the guys that brought fans to the stadium. My personal feeling is that it’s sad that major league sports has evolved into more of a business than a sport. Me and my buddies used to say (when we were young) that we’d play for free. It was the love of the game period. Well, times have changed and I’ve gotten older. Today’s sports are more about money than the game itself, unfortunately to me anyway. Hey, if corporate dollars and such are what’s driving the teams then, o.k., SJ it is. Right now there are 48 bilionaires in the bay area, the overwhelming majority being in San Mateo County and SF. In fact, there are only a couple that I see that are in the east bay and about about 9 in SCL county (mostly Palo Alto). I am the coach of my 6-year old’s tee-ball team and I get enough joy out of watching these kids trying to play than I ever will at AT&T park, the O.Co Coliseum, or some future ballpark in SJ.

  64. I just noticed my two posts were separated. I probably hit a button I shouldn’t have. Anyway, you see what I’m getting at. If the corporate dollars are all that matter, which it surely seems like it does, then SJ is the place to be. This is not to say that there are not genuine fans in the south bay. But from a purely business standpoint LW is doing what he believes will yield the greatest return. If you knew my occupation you’d ask how I could not be in favor of that. I mean, who would blame him? Answer: Sports, to me, is sports period. Yes, it’s a business but it’s about providing entertainment to fans while allowing players to achieve their dreams. I won’t say names but I knew an owner of team who made most of his money (80% or more) on outside businesses. He/She loved the idea of owning a team. Granted, nobody wants a losing business, whether it’s pro sports or something else. But these people in particular weren’t worried about money because they became wealthy elsewhere and looked at ownership as icing on their very large cake that they built. The game and winning was all that mattered and I completely respect that.

  65. @ Columbo – thanks for sharing your background and insight into your unique perspective on the situation. I guess for myself being an engineer in the technical field, i tend to look at it too logically and rationalize everything from time to time and fail to understand the emotional aspects that come into play. Maybe it’s because I came to terms early with the new business of sports after seeing McGwire leave and then became further detached witnessing Giambi go the Yankees because of the money. Funny, but I still have to often explain to some of my foreign colleagues why our sports athletes make millions of dollars playing a children’s game. We really live in a whole new world these days. But, I too yearn for the days of owners like DeBartalo and Haas who had an all out approach to winning, though I am content with Wolf for now after experiencing the frugalness of Schott. I know we’re far removed from those past owners, but i think once all the dust settles on fixing the foundation of our franchise, we’ll make great strides towards a good compromise between the business and entertainment side of things as LW has demonstrated that he is willing to spend given the right circumstances.

  66. @ plrraz – “C’mon now Anon and Columbo, can’t we just get back to insulting one another?” hey now, i wasn’t always anti-Oakland, I was just anti-pipedreams that’s all. Although I have a lot of civic pride in my city, I’ve always been favor of a new venue anywhere as long as i gets done and not perpetually delayed. I guess having annoying Gnats fans amongst us now has brung back the realization that we’re all A’s fan in the end….now where’s JK-USA when you need him?! :X

  67. @bartleby – I wonder if that’s not somewhere in the cards for Wolff re: just building it. That would necessarily trigger legal and MLB processes that are likely to be favorable to the A’s. Didn’t an NBA team do that semi-recently?

  68. @Columbo, I am old enough to remember all three of those players, and oddly enough I remember being sad when two of the three were traded back in the early 80’s (I was ecstatic when one came back)… seems like we have been on this treadmill for a loooooong time.

  69. @cuppingmaster That would be fun, but I don’t see it happening. For one thing, it’s not Wolff’s style. For another thing, it would be one thing if it were just A’s v Giants, but it would be A’s v MLB and the A’s are just too dependent on MLB in too many ways for success. Finally, that scenario would work better if there was an MLB-ready venue in SC County for the A’s to move to while a new ballpark was built, as there was for the Zombie Sonics in OK City. It that case, one of the things the ZSonics had going for them in court was the difficulty in unraveling what had already been done. It made court far more likely to say, “We’ll award money damages, but we’re not going to order ZSonics back to Seattle.”
    .
    Of course, in that case the ZSonics had the full support of the NBA, making it a totally different scenario.

  70. @cuppingmaster I do agree though, that there would be advantages to taking on the AE in a defensive posture rather than an offensive posture. A lower court could effectively neutralize the Trights simply by refusing to issue an injunction on other grounds. It’s hard to get an injunction; it’s even harder to overturn a lower court refusal to issue one. The Giants/MLB could still pursue damages, but would be little upside at that point and lots of downside over just settling. At that point the discussion would switch from “should this be allowed to happen” to “how much compensation is due.” And I think the A’s would have some leverage in that theoretical scenario.

  71. @cuppingmaster I think a somewhat more likely scenario is that at some point if he gets frustrated enough Wolff just forces a vote of owners. Though I don’t really that will happen, either.

  72. The A’s should move to Salt Lake City! It is a big enough city to support a team, and there is not competition close by.

  73. @Swhite: I’m sure Ranger and Astro fans will appreciate that. Having most of their away starts at 9:00pm is brutal.

  74. Salt Lake City is the smallest market in the NBA. Not a chance it gets MLB.

  75. Way OT – I have a serious question. Let me preface this by saying that I’m not seeking arguments, pissing matches, etc. I’m seriously looking for dialogue on a matter that has just perplexed me for years. Without trying to re-hash ancient history, we all know the Piccinini/Dolich group was close to buying the A’s in 1999. This was eventually blocked by MLB. So be it. The one thing that has always bothered me is the quote Piccinini gave afterward when he said that an unnamed Giants executive told him that they wanted him in MLB but not in Oakland. These are some serious businessmen. Piccinini and Dolich are both very successful and have the track records to show it. So, what is the question? Well, if this group felt that Oakland would work back then, why did they think that? Again, these are some pretty great business people that studied the situation for a year, according to Piccinini. Without sounding like I’m starting an argument, does LW/JF have information now that contradicts what this group had? More importantly, why would the Giants not want Piccinini to be the owner of the A’s in Oakland? What was their fear? I guess what I’m saying is I’m confused on this whole thing. There is an element who feels Oakland’s dead in the water and that SJ is the answer. There is another element who feels Oakland is viable. The arguments from the SJ side have always been that Oakland would result in small market, revenue sharing, etc. Now we see the Giants blocking SJ. Obviously there’s a reason for that. But this same team allegedly blocked Piccinini’s group from the Oakland option. Now with LW at the helm, the Giants are blocking SJ and stating that the A’s should build in their own territory, which is what Piccinini was going to do a decade ago. Why were they opposed to it then and why would they be open to that now? I realize AT&T was opened in 2000 and that might have something to do with it. But it just doesn’t add up to me. Piccinini vowed to stay in the east bay but the Giants didn’t want him as an owner. Now it seems they are o.k. with the current ownership group while blocking SJ. WTF is going on? I’m not quite understanding the politics behind this? What were the Giants afraid of if Piccinini took control of the A’s and remained in their own territory? Similarly, why are they now o.k. with LW/JF? These are a lot of questions. I’ll give you my personal opinions. I think the Giants were afraid that Piccinini and Dolich, both brilliant businessmen with ties to the east bay, would once again make the A’s the team of the bay area right when AT&T was opening. Now that the A’s are the red-headed stepchild of the bay area, they seem to feel comfortable with the current ownership as long as they stay in their territory. In short, I’m trying to ask realistically what did the Piccinini group know about east bay profitability that conflicts with the current ownership? Sorry for the long post.

    • @Columbo – I think there’s a huge difference between whatever data Dolich-Piccinini gathered in 1998-99 and what Wolff accrued from 2003 to now. If you take away the politics of doing a deal in the shadow of the Mt. Davis debacle, there were avenues by which a ballpark could be built in Oakland, whether at Uptown or the Coliseum. Changes within the industry, economy, and in governments have been so vast that it he two situations are practically incomparable. That said, I have a feeling that both groups are/were correct in their assessments in their respective eras.

      Piccinini’s assertion is impossible to prove or disprove. It indicates that the only possible outcome would’ve been for the A’s to leave the Bay Area completely, since Piccinini wasn’t wanted for Oakland and San Jose was out of bounds. I also remember a situation in which under Piccinini’s leadership, the A’s could’ve moved to the Fairfield/Vacaville area, which practically surrenders the bulk of he Bay Area to the Giants in exchange for getting more fans from Sacramento. I’d caution against giving too much weight on one or two statements. As the man can probably attest given his experience with the Padres, becoming an owner isn’t easy.

  76. Let me just add a couple of things. I know that building a new stadium (which is what they planned on) would have been less costly than now. Also, I know the markets have changed since then. I’m aware of those things but I’m just trying to see what the Piccinini group’s data was versus the LW/JF data.

  77. @ ML – Thanks for the elaborate response. I’m just curious what your personal opinion is as to why the Giants would have not wanted Piccinini in Oakland (assuming he’s being truthful) at that time but seem to be quite comfortable now with the A’s in their “territory.” What were they afraid of in your opinion?

  78. “@ ML – I forgot to ask something about one of your statements that I copied below. If Piccinini might have moved the A’s to the Fairfield area, that would have given the Giants nearly exclusive bay area access. Again, I just can’t imagine why they’d want to block his bid for the ownership if they would end up with virtually the entire market. Similarly, if Piccinini believed Oak wasn’t viable and wanted to leave the bay area, the Giants would also benefit. I personally know of no evidence that Piccinini was going to move the A’s anywhere, which leads me to the confusion that the Giants blocked in 1990 exactly what they’re supporting now, i.e. staying in the east bay. The difference obviously is the ownership group. That is what I’m trying to wrap my mind around. “I also remember a situation in which under Piccinini’s leadership, the A’s could’ve moved to the Fairfield/Vacaville area, which practically surrenders the bulk of he Bay Area to the Giants in exchange for getting more fans from Sacramento.”

  79. I meant to say “the Giants blocked in 1999, not 1990.”

  80. Without really knowing I’d venture to guess that the common thread is that the Giants don’t want the A’s in the Bay Area at all.
    .
    They blocked someone who would keep the team in Oakland.
    .
    They are now trying to block the A’s from building a new stadium in the Bay Area.

  81. As for Fairfiled, etc. I don’t really remember that ever happening (but if ML says he does, I believe him). Imagine the Giants TV Territory with the A’s out of the Northern California altogether… To be honest, it’s the only thing the Giants have been consistent about throughout this process. They want the market for themselves.

  82. @ Jeffrey – It sure seems like that to me also. They would certainly inherit a huge market if the A’s were gone. I’m still confused though as to why they’re o.k. with current ownership in the exact same territory that they weren’t o.k. with a decade ago with a different owner. If anything the A’s territory has increased in population and potential (I know some here will disagree with that). I suppose the major difference is redev, or lack thereof. Not to mention they have nearly solidified their following since AT&T opened. I mean if Piccinini agreed to stay in Oakland with zero threat to SJ why would the Giants care enough at that time to block it? What’s more perplexing is that the Giants are now in favor of the A’s building in their territory, the exact opposite of their previous stance. It’s almost as if the Giants are saying, “Sure, go ahead and stay and build in the east bay, just do it without Piccinini.” It simply makes me wonder what kind of a threat Piccinini presented to the Giants by staying in Oakland versus the current situation where they actually want the A’s to stay there. Who knows? Oh well, anyway. Why rehash old stuff? I’m done asking questions about this. Thanks for the replies.

  83. @Columbo/Jeffrey – The Fairfield/Vacaville concept came from KRON news report that aired around that time. I wish I could find it.

  84. @Columbo, I think they realize that current ownership can’t get it done in Oakland for whatever reason. Lack of redev, unrealistic plans like Coliseum City, unwillingness by the owners… I have no inside knowledge, but I imagine they see it as “San Jose or bust” for all of these reasons.
    .
    I guess we will only really know if they are successful at blocking San Jose and then they try to block an ownership group that wants to keep the team in Oakland from taking the helm (as they did last time). I hope this saga is over through some other means way before that.

  85. @ ML – Thanks. @ Jeffrey – Agreed.

  86. Nice find pjk! While they article is right on point about a deal needing to be done asap, this part was way off: the Giants worked hard at developing the South Bay market (?). Huhh?! I just wish once and for all the myths regarding the Giants and Silicon Valley would go away. Perhaps when the deal is finally announced.

  87. Rosenthal offers nothing new in that article, except maybe this:
    “I also spoke with an expert in the field, Tulane law professor Gabe Feldman, who said that such a suit would be a “real longshot.” Even if the Supreme Court allowed San Jose to challenge baseball’s antitrust exemption, Feldman said, the city would face a second hurdle — other legal precedent that allows sports leagues to place reasonable restrictions on relocation”

  88. While maybe not offering anything new he confirms what we all know- Oakland is not a viable market–and for MLB not to take advantage of silicon valley would be horrible from a business acumen perspective- if bs knows how to lead there is no way he leaves a franchise to continue to rot in Oakland receiving annual welfare checks– NFL has already beat them- if Larry Ellison has his way the NBA will be next- come on bud- your peers are blowing your doors off- time to get it done!

  89. but MLB IS serving Silicon Valley, don’t you know? They have a team just 40 miles away! Still not seeing any evidence MLB is not stupid enough to leave all the Silicon Valley $$ on the table. Selig and MLB continue to act in the best interest of the Giants, not in the best interests of MLB.

  90. @pjk- Selig, while an idiot in my book, is not stupid. He knows what needs to happen and he will make it happen at some point- and while Baer likes to combine SM and SC counties in his marketing spin you know that MLB knows what the split is- silicon valley has significant untapped potential- and it’s only getting bigger—

  91. Good article. Obviously there is no such thing as completely unbiased, however, Rosenthal made a good effort to look at the realities. And as irritating and unfair as the Giants behavior is, it is a fair point to not only say that the Giants did their business planning including SCC but that they would be on the losing end of an A’s move to SJ ((I do disgree with the writer that the Giants made a strong effort to develop SCC. Actually the Giants didn’t until the A’s to SJ became a real posibility)).

    The thing I would highlight from his article is the point of Oakland being non viable. That is an un-profound statement to say the least. I know conversation can steer into an area then become a seemingly viable question of A or B. Hey, the A’s have been in Oakland for many years so why wouldn’t the conversation be ‘Should they stay in Oakland or leave’. This simply is not the real question and hasn’t been for some years . It is tantamount to a mid 90’s discussion about whether a computer factory should stay in the Bay Area or move overseas. The reality was the computer factory’s time in the Bay Area was over. It was mere emotion that even kept the question alive. The economics simply did not work for a computer factory in the Bay Area. This is the same truth of the A’s being in Oakland in 2012 (though the economics are quite as stark). Baseball in Oakland is done. Any wealthy individual with any business acumen knows healthy, robust business and franchise value lives elsewhere. Yap it up all you want but the real question is are the A’s going to San Jose, a third option such as Fremont, or leaving the Bay Area. The question of whether they will stay in Oakland is answered……it is just that no one in authority has the guts to say it to the public.

  92. So will folks like Kawakami and M&R blow up this Rosenthal piece like they did the Madden one?…NAAAH!!

  93. @ TW – I won’t comment anymore about the Oakland viability situation but I did want to address your comment about the computer factory going overseas. Without trying to start a political discussion, this is exactly why the US has become a consumer nation rather than a producing one. I firmly believe that this has been negative for this country economically. The business itself? Sure, it’s making money but the resources are now in a foreign land and the US consumes the product. Lots of US jobs have been given away overseas, which in my opinion at least, is unhealthy for our nation’s prosperity. I’m speaking simply as an American whose occupation includes the analysis of things like this and I can make a pretty sound argument against what has transpired since the 90’s. Our currency is on the brink of disaster and we have massive levels of debt and future entitlements that will handicap future generations, i.e. our children, grandchildren, etc. Again, this comment is just toward the jobs overseas comment, not the A’s situation.

  94. Columbo, you missed my point. I am all for jobs remaining in the USA (fyi, I was gainfully employed at one of those factories in the early 90’s. It is a point close to my heart). But, again, that isn’t the point. The point is economic viability. A computer factory that remained in the Bay Area was a guarantee of that factory going out of business. It was a simple matter of bottom line math. And while the A’s remaining in Oakland is not so final as the computer factory analogy, the issue of bottom line math is germane. The A’s in Oakland = a perpetual poor team. LW knows it, MLB knows it, the Giants know it, SJ knows it, the sports writers who base their thinking on logic (versus emotionalism or Giant suck up-ism) know it, even Oakland Pols probably know it. This is why I made the comment that the issue of ‘in Oakland or not’ is not a valid argument. Whether LW or someone else, no businessman with any level of business acumen is going to keep the team in Oakland. There is too much value elsewhere. The A’s leaving Oakland is a 95% concluded issue. The valid question to be discussed is SJ, a dark horse like Fremont or somewhere outside the Bay Area.

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