KQED producer extraordinaire and friend-of-the-blog Nina Thorsen has been interviewing many people about the ballpark and potential relocation issue. Today she posted the second in a series, this one focusing on San Jose interests for and against Cisco Field. This follows up on last week’s Oakland-focused segment (which had a bit with our own Jeffrey). Next week will be a comparison of Oakland and San Jose from a bottom line standpoint. All of it is definitely worth a listen.
Something worth a read is a piece by Fox Sports’ Tracy Ringolsby from March 31. Somehow this article eluded me despite my best combing for news, and for that I apologize. Gojohn10 referred me to the article yesterday while we were at the game, and I was so astonished by the statement within that I couldn’t believe it. Sure enough, he brought up the article and I was very surprised. I posted the important blurb in the comments, but I’m putting it into this post so that front page readers will see it. Enjoy.
The challenges for Oakland A’s is not finding a buyer, but rather coming to agreement with the San Francisco Giants on the A’s desire to move their franchise to San Jose.
“Both sides are deeply positioned and I am in the middle of trying to fashion some type of an agreement,” Selig said. “It is very complicated.”
No other two-team market has territorial rights, but the Giants claim they control the San Jose area, and contend that was a critical part of their ability to finance AT&T Park. Giants officials also argue that Lewis Wolff and his partners were aware of that agreement at the time they purchased the franchise from the Haas Family, which is why they were able to buy the team for $180 million.
“It is different because in 1990 when Bob Lurie wanted to move the Giants to San Jose, Walter Haas, the wonderful owner of the Oakland club, who did things in the best interest of baseball, granted permission,” Selig said. “What got lost there is they didn’t feel it was permission in perpetuity. He gave Bob permission to go down there. Unfortunately or fortunately, it never got changed. We are dealing with a lot of history here.”
It’s part of the challenge of being commissioner.
“Nobody ever said it was going to be an easy job,” Selig said.
I’ve never heard or read Selig go into that much depth on the issue before. It’s a clear indicator that he is actually trying to broker a deal, which as I have written here repeatedly, would not be easy to do but could be done.