All sides, now

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.

119 thoughts on “All sides, now

  1. Selig sure has come a long way from “all territories are sacred, we can’t have anarchy in baseball” stuff of a few years back. Acknowledging why the TRights exist in the first place, and the “best interest of baseball” angle of Haas, is also refreshing to hear. Hearing from Selig on this sure beats “insider”nonsense any day of the week. Soon…very soon 😉

  2. Nice to see bs publicly discussing the situation and acknowledging that he is trying to broker a deal- also like the subtle dig at ints ownership when referencing Walter Haas as a wonderful owner who acted in the best interests of baseball-

  3. “who did things in the best interest of baseball”

    a dig at the giants by selig?

  4. Name one thing Selig’s done right. One.

  5. @J Canseco – He presided over unprecedented economic growth of MLB. Not a great commish, good CEO.

  6. Definitely a different tone to this most recent Selig statement than earlier ones. Definitely looks like he’s working on trying to broker an end to the impasse.

  7. Its a positive sign certainly that a deal is being discussed and there is an effort from Selig/MLB to broker it. Its just so frustrating, but I guess given the sensitive nature of the issue we will rarely hear about it. Nina’s interview was great. I guess the key issue in SJ is showing the voters that this isn’t going to be a cost to the city because of the stadium deal and that in the end it will be a benefit, which is unlike what has occurred in most other cities where the public footed much of the bill. Looking forward to her report again.

  8. Yes, Selig notes Haas did things in the best interests of baseball. Unlike the Giants…It’s becoming clear MLB knows it has to get out of Oakland but has locked itself into the place and given the Giants the keys.

  9. i wonder what position Wolff is entrenched in? Not giving the Giants anything at all?

  10. I don’t believe Wolff is the stubborn one here, at least not to the point of zero compensation. He’s a businessman, and he probably has his number. I am more inclined to think that the Giants are sticking to “the rights are not for sale.”

  11. Bud Selig… He really said that? Where are the spin doctors from the Giants hiding?

  12. ML, Do you think part of the BRC’s responsibilities was to try to determine how much the TR are worth to the Giants? I can almost see Selig forming another committee to study what would be the short and longer term effects on the Giants. Assuming the Giants and A’s are unable to agree on a deal, what happens next, arbitration?

  13. “Where are the spin doctors from the Giants hiding?”
    .
    Ted? Are you out there?

  14. I can only construe Selig’s comments, and especially his comment about the “best interests of baseball,” as an attempt to increase pressure on the Giants.

  15. @ML
    Once again, as I said in the previous thread where you initially linked it, thanks for bringing this up. This truely good news. At the very least, it shows that Selig is actively working on brokering a deal, and that he agrees with Wolff’s assesement that Haas gave permission contingent on the Giants moving to SCCO, and that Haas did it “for the good of baseball”, which that last bit is a big prop to the Haas and the A’s, and a big public dig on the Giants.
    .
    Throught the silence over the last couple of months (other than BS from Madden and others), I was starting to have slight doubts. But I have no doubt about it now. Selig is 100% on board with the A’s to SJ, and it’s only a matter of time before Selig brokers a deal.

  16. still believe selig has the 3/4 votes to get this approved but wants an all but 30-0 vote on the things which is his norm for “big decisions”.

  17. ML, I guess given the lack of progress with regard to a deal, neither the Giants and/or A’s are pleased with the committee’s findings. Of course from the Giants standpoint, they are in no rush to make a deal. They continue to sellout ATT, while the A’s draw < 10K.

  18. At the very least, I think it’s 26-4, or 27-3, the possible holdouts being the gnats (of course), Skanks, Mets, and possibly the Phillies. Maybe Boston. That would still be 25-5 max. They would need 23 for the 3/4.
    .
    But realistically, I see the gnats and skanks as the main holdouts. The Mets have bigger issues to deal with, and I don’t see Boston or Philly really caring. Nobody is going to possibly move into any existing established MLB markets, other than NJ. All other established MLB markets (ones with a team already) are financial non starters for adding another relocating team – nobody would do it because there would be no benefit to the relocating team.
    .
    Plus, anybody with half a brain can clearly see that the Bay Area T-rights issue is unprecedented (only two team market carved up) and does not constitue a team moving into a market for the first time. It’s an established team moving across town. If that makes the Skanks and Mets nervous about their own T-rights, then f&$% em, they’re too stupid to worry about getting the desired consensus.

  19. just too bad the rays could’t gave gotten a stadium deal done the past few years which would give no team any worries that a team would move into another team’s “territory” when the a’s were to move to sj.

  20. It appears to me that Selig doesn’t want it to go to vote, but wants to broker a deal.

  21. Given the price these teams have and will eventually sell for, I’m surprised no one has come down on MLB for market manipulation. Sure, on the surface, these are two teams struggling for a money grab of San Jose but ultimately they’re property of MLB. Regardless of who loses, MLB wins. I wish I could write my own rules determining my future financial prosperity.

  22. Good find. Selig has taken Alan Greenspan’s old job as the deliberately obtuse man in American, but it’s pretty clear from this he’s on the San Jose side.

  23. @nicosan,
    Just my opinion, but WHEN the deal is announced, I don’t think SJ will have a referendum for the ballpark deal; see buying or leasing land at market value AND private financing of Cisco Field. You really think that Selig/MLB will go through all of this trouble to allow Wolff/the A’s San Jose, only to see a ballpark shot down in a technically unnecessary referendum? Talk about having eggs on one’s face! My belief is also that the undercurrents with the City of SJ is that there will be no deal with the Giants UNLESS a ballpark can be 100% guaranteed by city. Once the deal is announced, its gonna be real interesting how the next chapter unfolds…

  24. No way he has even 20% of the Owners in his corner. These Owners know if they lean that way it may come back to haunt them and there respective Teams. This is why there are Territorial Rights. No matter how you obtained them.

  25. “It appears to me that Selig doesn’t want it to go to vote, but wants to broker a deal.”
    .
    @jeff-athletic: MLB has never had a contested ownership vote on any issue, and there won’t be one here either. The Commissioner brokers deals on all difficult decisions, and ownership votes are a formality to ratify them. Vote counting is a silly excercise. Selig is not trying to bring the Yankees, Mets, etc. on board to get a 3/4 vote. He is trying to bring the Giants on board. The vote will come when that happens.
    .
    The MLB Prime Directive is never to have an unhappy team owner pissing inside the MLB tent, as used to happen in the bad-old-days when there were two separate leagues and Commissioners thought of themselves as ombudsman rather than CEOs.

  26. @GG- give me one example where bs did not get what he wants….just one

  27. @ J. Canseco: “Name one thing Selig’s done right. One.”
    .
    How about:
    (1) Presiding over the growth of the sport to unprecedented levels of attendance and revenue.
    (2) Coordinating construction of new or dramatically renovated state of the art ballparks for nearly every franchise.
    (3) Merging the American League and National League into a single league, MLB, so that the teams are working together for the growth of the game rather than viewing each other as business competitors.
    (4) Six divisions, wild card teams and interleague play — all controversial, but also all hugely popular.
    (5) Creation of MLB Advanced Media
    (6) Institution of revenue sharing and achievement of more competitive balance than baseball has had at most other times in its long history.
    (7) Finally returning major league baseball to Washington, D.C., which should have happend in the 1970s.
    (8) 17 years and counting of labor peace — unprecedented for a major sport since the creation of player unions.
    (9) Facilitating the stratospheric growth of franchise values and the value of TV rights for major league teams.
    .
    That’s just an off the cuff list. The man is attrocious at public relations. But overall we are experiencing baseball’s golden age right now, at least compared to anything that has happened since the mid-1920s.

  28. At this point, it seems like the A’s will have to pony up a ridiculous payoff for the San Jose market or the Giants simply won’t budge. Bud is just giving PC responses, such as “unfortunately or fortunately, it never got changed.” I’m sure he’s poking and prodding at possible scenarios for both clubs, but I really don’t see anything in the way of progress.

  29. GoA’s (great Handle)
    Bud gets his way when he makes money for the Owners, i mean lets face it, that’s why the Owners made him the Commissioner. Yes this might help the Finances for the rest of the Owners as far as revenue sharing. But i do not think enough for the Owners to give the Green Light on invading another Owners Territorial Rights…way to risky, because if you think about it there could be 4-5 Teams that may want to possibly move in the next Five Years. MLB does not want this precedent set.
    I think the Giants group are digging in deep for a long fight, and from what i have heard they have the support of quite a few powerful Owners. And one thing for sure. Bud does not like confrontation. He wants one big Happy Family.

  30. @Mr. G&G,
    please explain with facts how Selig (supposedly) doesn’t have 20% of the owners AND how reverting Santa Clara County back to pre-1992 shared status will come back to haunt them. Keep in mind that (other than perhaps the Rays) no other team is looking to relocate anytime soon (see new, renovated ballparks since 1992).
    @eb, of course you feel Selig is just giving “PC” responses and that you don’t see anything in the way of progress…because you personally refuse to see progress towards San Jose and don’t want to believe (or hear) what now comes out of Seligs mouth. Oh well, that’s your prerogative …

  31. @Mr. G&G,
    you are more than entitled to your own opinion…and that’s all you have is an opinion! (No facts!)
    Speaking of FACTS, perhaps the most powerful owner in MLB (and good friend of Seligs and Wolff’s) Jerry Rheinsdorf (White Sox) thinks the A’s should be in San Jose. That should tell you something! Lastly, the world isn’t black and white, and MLB understands the territorial situation in the Bay Area is unique amongst all of baseball; wouldn’t even come close to setting some “unicorn” precedent for MLB. By the way, welcome to the blog.

  32. @Tony The quote by Bud is as PC as you get. Where does he take a side in anything he said? I mean, that’s his job, to keep everyone happy. For SJ or against it, it seems pretty clear that the only way something happens is if the Giants agree to be bought off. A vote from the major clubs would leave some unhappy franchises either way it goes. Right now, it’s just primarily the A’s who are frustrated with their current status. Since when has the A’s concerns took precedent over anything else in MLB?

  33. Tony D
    No facts just talking to a few people i know that works inside the MLB (no one with real power) and gut feeling. I see your point on all the renovated parks, but just think for a minute if lets say the Royals want to move to the Chicago area. That area could support Three teams easily. They would make way more money there than in KC…See what i’m getting at?

  34. Isn’t it already set in the MLB constitution that only two teams are allowed in an area? By voting to overturn rights in Santa Clara, you still aren’t allowing anyone to move to NY or CHI or wherever.

  35. Thanks for the welcome Tony, I’ve read this Blog for awhile just never wrote anything. As far as my opinion your right it’s just an opinion…never the less an educated (I think) opinion. no real hard facts just rumors and small talk with my Buds.

  36. Lonestranger, I believe you are correct those are in the Bylaws. But i believe Territorial Rights are also in there.

  37. “Lonestranger, I believe you are correct those are in the Bylaws. But i believe Territorial Rights are also in there.”
    .
    Nevertheless, it does reinforce the point that the Bay Area situation is not precedent for any of those other situations.

  38. Right, a vote on allowing a team to move further away from the other team in the area it shares is completely different than the vote that would overturn the two team limit. That’s what makes me not believe they don’t have enough votes to overturn.
    .
    I think they’re waiting out the AT&T Park mortgage.

  39. Encouraging words from Bud for those of us that want that A’s in San Jose. But I’m not going to get too excited until there’s something more concrete.

  40. @eb,
    How is it “clear” that the only way something happens is if the Giants agree to be bought out? You’re stating this as FACT, so please provide said facts. Look, its really not that complicated: the A’s probably don’t want to pay anything and the Giants want Heaven and Earth for SJ/SV. Selig will (as he suggested) provide a middle ground where both teams will be happy. My prediction: A’s get SCCO as a shared territory and the Giants get 1) a guaranteed franchise value and 2) guaranteed revenue levels through 2017 (with A’s making up hypothetical difference). After 2017 and the final payoff of the Giants ballpark mortgage, its game on for Bay Area baseball…may the best team win!

  41. The idea that only 20% of the owners support an A’s move to SJ is nonsensical. If that were the case, we would not be having this discussion. The proposed move to SJ would be dead.

  42. @Tony “Seems pretty clear” is hardly an endorsement of fact. Selig is saying himself that he’s trying to bridge the two parties and that can’t happen unless the Giants get paid. As for your scenario, where is Wolff going to get this excess revenue to pay the Giants before the park is built and than finance a new stadium? I also really don’t think the Giants would be satisfied with a mid to low sum of money for only five years. From everything they have said, credible or not, they view the South Bay as being vital to their long term success. They’re probably going to want either an extremely large figure or a a deal that lasts for a prolonged period. Heck, maybe they don’t even want to give up their territory at all, no matter the riches flashed before them. That seems to be a strategy that’s working for them as of now. I know you’re frustrated, but so are most A’s fans. Look, I’m in a place where I hate the Giants, really dislike the current A’s ownership and it’s looking grim for my team getting something done in Oakland anytime soon or ever.

  43. @ Tony D. – I’m not trying to answer for eb at all, mind you. But the reality is that we have two ownership groups who want the same area. I think I’m correct at least on that assertion. LW/JF/BB/MC wanted to get out of Oakland from the get-go so I think that point is clear enough. They wanted SJ, which was SF territory (no matter how you spin the historical info) when they bought the team. The fact is that they bought the team knowing this. I don’t think I need to elaborate further on this but, if need be, I will. SF ownership bought the group knowing that SJ was part of their “territory.” I’ts not a dig against SJ, in fact it’s a compliment. SJ is wanted by both franchises (SJ is wanted for their corporate dollars not the average fan). SF, at least for now, has the rights to that area. In my humble opinion, the ownership should have looked at alternatives besides invading SF territory, i.e. other Oakland locations, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Concord, etc. Based on what I have read there are several ownership groups who have looked at the data and believe they could make it work in the east bay. This is not about city vs city, i.e. SJ getting major league status. This is about doing things according to what has transpired in the past. You can say all day long how unfair the 1990 Haas agreement was not for “perpetuity” but the fact remains the Giants ownership took advantage of it and capitalized on it. Why are the current A’s owners not capitalizing on their current situation? I work in marketing and sales and I can tell you that, with the right management and foresight, the A’s could be a powerhouse in Oakland, or another city in the east bay. I’ll be honest. I have a client who owns a certain company who told me that he is unwilling to commit to premium seats, boxes, etc. simply because he doesn’t trust ownership. I won’t tell you what his net worth is obviously but it’s nothing compared to JF (inheritance, thank you!). However, this guy is loaded and hates the Giants. Yet he’s not buying premium seats for the A’s. Ok. I’m going to be honest here. If I were the A’s owner, knowing I bought the team at a discount for the lack of SJ rights I would be all over looking for east bay locations to build a park. That’s just me though. There are nearly 3 million people in the east bay. There are at least 1 mil or more in the northern areas that are die-hard fans. From a marketing person’s perspective, how difficult is it to just build in your own area like the Giants are saying? The truth, in my opinion, is that if the A’s built in Oakland (like they should), the Giants would be screwed. If they build in SJ, we’re talking about the Cubs for the next 50 years. It’s a great place for hockey and soccer but not a great place for MLB. I honestly don’t know what in the hell Selig is even debating. Oakland has always outperformed the Giants and an Oakland stadium would solidify that, especially a Jack London Square Park, right near the water. An SJ Park, eh, it would be alright but I highly doubt they would ever exceed the A’s dominance like we saw in the 80’s and early 90’s, when it was cool to be an A’s fan and an insult to be a Giants fan.

  44. @Columbo – You have bought into the Giants propaganda hook, line, and sinker. That’s fine for you since it serves your interests. But looking at it objectively, it’s terribly disappointing. The Giants are not on your side. Just remember that.

  45. ML, Columbo’s point about the Giants being purchased with SCCTR and the A’s being purchased without them isn’t propaganda, it is fact. Is that what you were calling propaganda?

  46. @eb and Columbo,
    No need to get into long winded debates with both of you. It’s quite obvious both of you want the A’s to remain in Oakland, as your OPINIONS both show (emphasis on “OPINIONS”). That of course is both your right, so no need to try and counter your arguments against Wolff, San Jose or what Selig had to say recently. I’ll just say this: forget the past in terms of 1992, the Giants current ownership group buying with the T-Rights in existence, the fact that Wolff knew about the T-Rights when he bought the A’s, the fact that private financing of a ballpark won’t work in any of the areas you mentioned, all of it! Ask yourself this…What’s best for the A’s and MLB NOW AND GOING FORWARD?! Again, this is all about THE FUTURE of the A’s franchise and health of ALL OF MLB (not just the Giants). Selig appears to believe that what’s best is an A’s franchise in San Jose, and despite some desperately closing their eyes to reality, it looks like he will make it happen. Going forward: facts, reality and the future…that’s all that matter now.

    • @Ted,
      I include you to (the previous) post as well.

      Ed. – There’s no need to blockquote yourself Tony.

  47. @Ted – Not fact at all. It’s just what the Giants have been saying. As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, the Angels were sold for virtually the same price as the A’s, yet the Angels had all of the LA/OC market to share with the Dodgers. Where’s the discount there?

  48. @R.M.,
    How in the heck did the above happen (double quotes)? My bad!

  49. Even if the “discount” argument were true, that only suggests that compensation should be paid (and not necessarily to the Giants — perhaps to the previous As ownership group).
    .
    It does not support the argument that the As should not be allowed to move.

  50. Tony D, I have no reason to believe that a ballpark cannot be financed in Oakland, in fact I am quite sure that Wolff and Fischer could do it quite easily. The health of the Giants is as at least as important to MLB as the health of the A’s.
    ML, the Giants had territorial rights to SCC when the team was purchased. You don’t think they knew that they had these rights? We also know that Wolff knew that the A’s had rights to Alameda and CC County but not SCC. Those are basic facts not propaganda. I am not going to speculate about discounts.

  51. PSA, let’s all stop with the cloak and dagger bull crap. If you have posted here under one name, you shouldn’t change it to give the impression that you are someone else. Just FYI, we can track where people post from.
    .
    We now return you to your usual debate.

  52. Steve, how about compensation for the Giants for the A’s moving into the Giants territory in ’68?

  53. Ted,
    I recommend you get up to speed on the correlation between 1) privately financing a ballpark and 2) a markets corporate support; you’ll then understand why it cant’ work in Oakland.
    “The health of the Giants is as at least as important to MLB as the health of the A’s”; wow, for once I actually agree with you! And a compensation deal (which I desribed earlier) will insure the Giants won’t be hurt with the A’s in San Jose; again, a win, win all around!
    Lastly, forget the past and who knew what, who bought what knowing what, what “facts” you subscribe to, etc: The FUTURE of the A’s franchise and ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL…including the Giants!

  54. Ted, how about compensation for the Red Sox for the New York Giants moving into the BoSox territory in 1958? (do you know your MLB history Ted?)

  55. “You have bought into the Giants propaganda hook, line, and sinker. That’s fine for you since it serves your interests. But looking at it objectively, it’s terribly disappointing. The Giants are not on your side. Just remember that.”
    As an A’s fan whose primary hope is that they stay in Oakland/East Bay, who, in a position of power, is on our side? The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? Discontent with A’s management can make strange bedfellows, but you are right, if given the opportunity the Giants would wipe out the A’s altogether. It’s all a confusing, disjointed mess.

  56. Ted, can you elaborate on financing? Here is my detailed speculation 🙂
    .
    Also, in 1968 there was no “Territorial Rights.” At least not like there are now… The Territories were assigned by the League (American or National, not Major).
    .
    I have been biting my tongue, but I think we should pay attention to what Bud Selig actually said… Especially how it sounds exactly like something Lew Wolff has been saying repeatedly (my biggest shock when reading that quote was that it sounded like Lew Wolff handed him a cue card). Bud doesn’t operate in a heavy handed fashion, if he did I am fairly certain he would have already had a vote. His history is pretty clear, when he worked to get the Expos moved to Washington, he didn’t have to do a single thing to appease Peter Angelos and the Orioles but he did. He didn’t have to reduce the sale price of the Astros to move them to the AL, he could have just made it a condition of the purchase… But he did. He is an appeaser and he is working through a justifiable appeasement right now.
    .
    It’s also important to note that the only owners to have talked about this publicly (Reinsdorf and Loria) were both in favor of the A’s moving to San Jose. One of those owners happens to be the owner of a team that most speculate should be against setting a precedent that puts their existing market at risk.
    .
    The Giants will get compensation, but it won’t be some ridiculous number no matter what they want. I am more convinced that the A’s will be in San Jose than I ever have been before (i’d say 70/30 the A’s will move to San Jose by 2016). Maybe that’s putting too much stock into a single quote from Bud Selig. But when you take everything into consideration (perhaps most importantly that if status quo was going to happen, it already would have)

  57. Tony, there is no need to be condescending. You are speculating rather than working with concrete facts. Fischer and Wolff likely have the resources to build a park without involving a bank and a new stadium in Oakland would attract corporate sponsors.Lots of MLB cities lack the corporate base than SCC has and they get by. Five years of compensation and a guarantee that the franchise will not lose value is a joke. The Dodgers just sold for more than 5 times what they were purchased for 8 years ago. Guaranteeing that the Giants won’t drop in value over five years isn’t guaranteeing anything of value. Teams are skyrocketing in value and revenue and the Giants should expect that will continue for them not just for five years bit for 10, 15 or 20 years if they agree to let the A’s into their territory.
    My point about compensation in 1968 was in response to the idea that the A’s should have been compensated for what they “gave up” (a misnomer, they simply didn’t fight the Giants getting something) in 1990.

  58. jeffrey, Your link didn’t work for me but I am sure that Fischer and Wolff could scrape together the money to build a stadium in Oakland if they wanted to but they never wanted to do that becfause they have always wanted SCC to be taken from the Giants and given to them by Wolff’s frat brother. Loria and Reinsdorf? Come on, they are two of the worst owners in sports, along with Wolff.
    I won’t deny that there is a good chance that Selig will screw the A’s and that San Jose will let Wolff do what he wants.

  59. Whatever you say Ted. By the way…STANDING AND APPLAUDING LOUDLY FOR THAT OUTSTANDING POST BY JEFFREY!!! You nailed it again my friend! Looking forward to having some cold one’s with you at Cisco Field (do plan on getting up to the Coli a few times this year, so maybe even sooner 😉

  60. Tony D, you should have said “Whatever Lew Wolff says”

  61. Ted, I fixed the link… It isn’t about “scratching money” together. There is a table in the link that shows you how teams have paid for stadiums. No team, including the Giants, has built a stadium from their own bank account. The A’s won’t be any different.
    .
    So, regardless of what we all think of Reinsdorf or Loria (I especially agree on Loria, that guy is a jerk)… it remains true that while “G & G” claims to talk to his buddies who are on the inside of MLB and the Giants have powerful owners on their side… Reinsdorf is one of the most powerful/influential owners in all of the game and he is one of only two owners to speak out publicly on the topic. He didn’t agree with the Giants. He is currently in a two team market (which most people keep speculating are the markets that would vote no) and has no concern that a bad precedent is being set, at least not to the point where he wouldn’t support the move.

  62. Can’t read all the comments yet since at warriors game but just before I got here. CT said he was having Peter Gammons to talk about new A’s territorial info. Not sure if that has been mentioned or if he has been on yet.

  63. @Ted – Of course they knew. Here are the facts.

    1993 – Giants sold for $100 million, slightly more than prices for expansion franchises Colorado and Florida.
    1995 – A’s sold for $85 million.
    Giants have never been officially sold since then, even though partners have been switched more often than at a massage parlor. A’s have for $180 million in 2003.

    If I adjust that difference in 1993/1995 sales prices for inflation, in today’s dollars it’s worth $23 million. If I extrapolate that as 16% of the Giants’ current Forbes valuation, that’s $103 million. The real value is somewhere in between, because the Giants will retain some percentage of their legacy fanbase in the South Bay. Now if you want to argue that one way or the other that’s fine. The Giants have repeatedly refused to enter a discussion, and that is definitely not in the best interests of baseball, only the Giants. And if the Giants want to stay unreasonable like that, then well, they deserve to have a resolution imposed on them.

  64. yeah gammons was on with townsend maybe 15-20 minutes and said the a’s are on the same boat as cle/tb in terms of teams with bad attendance and are in bad shape off the field i guess you could say. he did say that the a’s probably will likely be allowed to move down to sj and that mlb probably is waiting for at&t to be damn near fully paid off so they don’t have to work out a huge compensation package for allowing the a’s to move down to sj.

  65. also in the interview gammons said something could be settled during the owners’ meetings in may. gammons thinks territorial rights to sj were temporary and sfg needed it to have leverage to get at&t built without public funds.

    sf will get compesnation, maybe breaks off from the luxury tax. sf will be a great franchise regardless of the a’s moving to sj.

  66. Jeffrey, thanks for the link to a well thought out article. I have no doubt that San Jose would be easier than Oakland but I don’t believe Oakland is impossible.
    ML, the Giants would be insane to take any different stance. The A’s want a chunk of current and future Giants customers and corporate dollars from Gilroy to San Mateo. Will San Jose make the A’s a top 10 or 15 franchise or will they end up like Baltimore, Cleveland or Pittsburgh while taking future revenue from the Giants?
    About the AT&T mortgage…Why is that relevant?

  67. @Ted – The A’s are projecting they’ll be a midrange revenue team. #15 is there. More important, it’s a ton more competitive than they are right now. And by paying for their own park – just as the Giants have done and many other teams have not – they’ll be doing it the right way.

    The mortgage is important because the Giants’ argument against a T-rights change has been until recently centered around their ability to pay off the loan being threatened, which given the team’s other revenue streams, is B.S.

  68. ML, thanks for pointing that out to me. I know that the Giants are going to provide as many reasons for not giving them away as possible but the Giants only argument should only need to be we bought them, we own them and it will cost us money for decades if we lose them.

  69. How much did the Giants pay for the t rights, Ted? Oh that’s right – $0.00.

  70. @Ted,
    The Giants don’t “own” the territorial rights to San Jose/Silicon Valley. MLB owns ALL territories (be it geographic or television) and licenses them to the individual franchises. But that line of the Giants “owning” them gets thrown around a lot like a Mitt Romney lie, so understandable that you would believe it.
    By the way, you keep assuming that the A’s in San Jose would “steal” fans and corporate support from the Giants, as if the A’s didn’t already exist in the Bay Area (they’re not moving to San Jose from Canada) and fans like me didn’t already exist (I wont even mention the already proven miniscule corporate support the Giants get from Silicon Valley proper)…why?

  71. pjk, they were granted rights to SCC from MLB.
    Tony D., I have never heard TR described as something that is licensed to each team but it really doesn’t change the notion that the Giants owners have them and got them when they bought the team. You don’t think the A’s and Giants are assuming that the A’s will go after fans that currently attend games at AT&T park and businesses spend corporate dollars on the Giants? Come on, the A’s don’t just want customers today and in the future that would have never gone to a Giants game or corporate dollars that wouldn’t have been spent they want some of the money that is currently going to the Giants. It would be stupid for them not to be after that.
    About the “miniscule corporate support argument. I have never seen any proof of that. Just because only a certain percentage of organizations (organizations that include community college and other school districts as well as companies that are based and operated for the most part elsewhere) that are part of SVLG claim to do business wi9th the Giants it by no means indicates that the Giants do business with a percentage of Silicon Valley businesses that is smaller than the national average.

  72. “”The Giants want to get paid” (regarding “negotiations”). I don’t agree. I took BS’s comment to mean the Giants remain in their “its our territory, period” barricade. It’s isn’t about an extra 50 or 75 million in “compensation” it is about the Giants fighting for sole supremacy of the Bay Area. They, and everyone else, know the A’s are very likely leaving the bay area if they can’t get into the San Jose market. Taking a guess at 50 million per year average increase in revenue if the Giants have no competition, that’s a billion over the next 20 years (and over the next 30 or 40 or 50 years?). Why would the Giants give their stamp of approval for an extra 50 or 100 or even 200 million when they have visions of the B word bouncing around in their heads?
    I still believe the A’s will be given the OK to go to SJ based on it being good business for MLB. But I do not believe it will be because the Giants will come to a honest position of bargaining. MLB is going to have to impose it. When the Giants sense that is coming they will sit down and work from their new position of “getting paid”. The question that remains is, can the A’s wait and withstand this?

  73. @ ML – Respectfully, as you know, I do disagree. I don’t believe I’m buying into Giants propaganda one bit. Look at the history. SF has always been a “world-class” city and Oakland has always been the stepchild. Yet the A’s have always persevered in spite of this. Somehow, some way, if Oakland could build a waterfront ballpark for the A’s (or even this Coliseum City thing), I sincerely believe the Giants would be screwed. A columnist (I don’t remember who) actually made the point that, if the Giants defend their rights to SJ, they will be sorry because the A’s will soar in a new ballpark in Oakland. I’m not taking his word as gospel but I have always thought that myself because of the history. The Giants cannot match up to the A’s when they are firing on all cylinders and this has been proven over decades. I can literally remember in high school that nobody would dare wear Giants gear for fear of being made fun of. The tables have now turned but that doesn’t mean Oakland can’t reclaim its former glory.

  74. dude if the a’s lost revenue sharing because of this move, paid a loan on a new ballpark, and paid some sort of indemnity to the Giants for their potential loss, would they really be better off in the first place?

    the numbers dont add up, considering they have a fairly long term TV deal and cant look to that for added revenue…………

    the number (in the millions upon millions) of dollars the Giants will demand for those rights are whats holding this thing up- lets face it- the A’s might actually be worse off down there, particularly without revenue sharing after 2016 if they do move…….

  75. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    -Albert Einstein

  76. @Columbo – I would have some faith in Oakland if they had conducted themselves over the last year or two the way the City of Sacramento has. Sacramento is not only sympathetic because of the way Kings ownership has handled it, they’re sympathetic because the City is trying their best. When Oakland starts making moves to show they’re serious, they can be taken seriously. Denying SJ to Wolff/Fisher does not mean the A’s stay in Oakland permanently. Far from it. Billionaires like Walter Shorenstein and Don Fisher saved the Giants in SF. Who will save the A’s for Oakland, especially with the other two Oakland franchises competing for the same resources? I don’t come at this with an axe to grind against Oakland. I’m a pragmatist. This is not the time for flights of fancy. It’s time for real, doable solutions.

    @David – You mean like continuing to tout the number of Facebook likes on a group?

  77. @Ted,
    Simply amazing (flabbergasted!) That you could just dismiss the SVLG poll just because it doesn’t conform to your view of the world. Are you also going to dismiss the SVLG letter that stated they want BOTH the A’s and Giants to be successful? Again, simply amazing!
    @David,
    Huh? Perhaps you’re referring to the city of Oakland constantly giving the A’s the middle finger for 16 years AND expecting them to still build a free ballpark within their city limits? Yeah, that would be insane!

  78. By the way, reading some of the San Jose “naysayer” posts (Ted, eb, Columbo) was starting to get to me…so I then decided to read the thread topic again; Selig is working out a deal to get the A’s to San Jose. YEAH!!! When in doubt or frustrated, just go back to the reality at hand 😉

  79. Any fans and revenue the Giants lose in SJ will be made up from the East Bay. Isn’t Oakland a viable place for baseball? So the Giants should be ecstatic that the A’s are leaving this rich, nearby territory all for them.

    Of course, the Giants realize that if the A’s continue to fester in the Coli (because the city of Oakland is putting all its effort into the Coliseum City pipe dream and no owner will build a privately-financed ballpark in that scenario), the Giants can have both SJ and the East Bay, with the A’s as nothing but a discount alternative for a few eccentrics. The ultimate goal being of eventually pushing the A’s out of the market altogether.

  80. Oh, and I use the term”effort” in the above post very loosely!

  81. I have only recently just started commenting on this Blog, but have read it and a lot of other Blogs for awhile. This seems to be well written and informative…and i just want to give Columbo and eb there Props for having an intelligent (though not popular with other comm-enters ) side to this whole mess that Mr. Wolff and company has gotten this Team into. I understand that the People on this Blog are always Demanding the Facts, when it suits them. when it does not suit them they always throw the precursor out there that “this is there opinion”. Witch is certainly there prerogative. But my opinion is…
    For those who want to deal in only fact instead of Reality will be doomed to do nothing but state facts and never step into Reality… I can’t take credit for that someone else wrote that.
    Peace

  82. Wow, G&G, I don’t mean to be cruel, but you really need to learn to write English a little better before you start posting on blogs. Start with the capitalization rules.

  83. “Oakland Ballpark Movement: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Fixed for you….

  84. Hey- according to Columbo Bud gets what Bud wants and Bud just publicly stated for the firs time that hens actively working to open up SJ for the A’s- so at least Columbo seems to acknowledge the reality- which isn’t close to GG’s “reality”

  85. We should not get to excited, there was nothing on the news or in any of the local Newspapers. (That i could see)
    Usually when Bud even makes a hint at coming to a conclusion 95.7 reports it immediately.
    bAyCoMuTeR sorry for my horrible grammar, i hope you can trudge through it. Wow cutting up on some ones writing on a Blog…Really, Someone has to much time on there hands.

  86. Seriously, you come in here and start talking about your buddies who are in the know with MLB and you don’t know the difference between their, there and they’re? Or when to use to v. too? I’ll admit my grammar sucks, but c’mon man…

  87. So, in the event Cisco Field’s opening is pushed into 2017, I guess the A’s residence at the Coliseum depends on how Oakland proceeds with the Raiders’ stadium/Coliseum City sans ballpark.

  88. Don’t worry G&G, when the news becomes official you’ll see a lot of excitement here! In the interim, seeing that BS is actually working through the deal is good news in itself; more of a relief than full-blown excitement. BTW, how do your “MLB insider” friends feel about Seligs actions re the A’s and SJ?

  89. Grammar is very important. There’s a difference between knowing your shit, and knowing you’re shit.

  90. @Briggs,
    Opening Day 2017? Wow, that would suck if it were true, but 5-years away is a lot better than never. If they can’t play in Oakland while we wait for Cisco Field, I say 1) try to shack up in SF for a few years or 2) shack up in Sac at a temporarily expanded Raley Field. We shall see..

  91. Unless I’m missing something, SJ and the A’s would really have to haul ass to make a 2016 Opening Day, right? Also, there can’t be hiccups? By the time any new A’s ballpark opens, it’ll be very sobering to realize the amount of time that would’ve passed between then and whenever you first searched the web for A’s ballpark news.

  92. Tony D,
    Not really insiders, just a few College Buddies working within the MLB. They have said (this could be encouraging) that as soon as the whole Dodger mess worked itself out this would be back on the front burner. And if you think of it that’s pretty understandable, that whole deal WAS a debacle.
    Sooo who knows this could be the start of what will eventually be the word everyone has been waiting for. Lets hope so.
    Jeffrey thanks for the grammar lesson, i will try my hardest to rite a hole bunch bedder in da futuure.

  93. @Ted “I have no reason to believe that a ballpark cannot be financed in Oakland, in fact I am quite sure that Wolff and Fischer could do it quite easily.”
    .
    This is an intellectually dishonest argument. No owner in the modern era has ever, or will ever, pay cash out of pocket for a stadium – especially if the need to do so is driven by levels of risk that would prevent banks from offering financing. You don’t get to be a billionaire – or remain a billionaire – doing business this way.
    .
    The issue is, and has always been, that the East Bay has insufficient corporate base to support a second MLB team in direct competition with the Giants 12 miles away. If it were remotely plausible that Oakland could actually support a team under these circumstances, the Giants would be packing the A’s moving van to get to San Jose and you would be advocating for it, because an Oakland ballpark would hurt the Giants far more than a San Jose ballpark. As has been pointed out by others, the East Bay has more people than the South Bay and is on average a lot closer to AT&T Park.
    .
    Why don’t you just admit that you just don’t care what happens to the A’s, and you’d like to see them either crippled in Oakland or out of the area because you have some kind of fantasy that this will turn the Giants into the Yankees.
    .
    “The health of the Giants is as at least as important to MLB as the health of the A’s.”.
    .
    The difference between the Giants remaining “insanely successful” as opposed to dropping back to merely “wildly successful” is of far less importance to MLB than the difference between the A’s being “successful” versus “failing and needing a subsidy.”
    .
    “ML, the Giants had territorial rights to SCC when the team was purchased. You don’t think they knew that they had these rights? We also know that Wolff knew that the A’s had rights to Alameda and CC County but not SCC. Those are basic facts not propaganda.”
    .
    The territorial rights are not property rights, they are contractual rights subject to termination at any time. In my experience, if a contact has a clause for termination for convenience on ninety day notice, it is valued as a ninety day deal. If it is a one year deal renewing for additional one year periods, it gets valued as a one year deal. The Giants knew when they purchased the team that these rights were not property rights and could be terminated at any time.
    .
    “I am not going to speculate about discounts.”
    .
    Of course not, because the evidence that the A’s received any kind of discount is limited to ipse dixit statements from the Giants, and the actual financial data suggests the contrary.

  94. “They have said (this could be encouraging) that as soon as the whole Dodger mess worked itself out this would be back on the front burner.”
    .
    Isn’t this pretty much what Bud Selig said a couple months ago?
    .
    Selig Says A’s Future Is Taking Priority
    .
    “Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the Oakland A’s move to San Jose is “really on the front burner” with baseball owners.”
    .
    Your inside information isn’t so inside.

  95. @Briggs,
    2016 is 4-years away, and it takes roughly 2-years to build a MLB ballpark. With 2-years to play before an actual groundbreaking would need to occur, why do you feel the A’s and SJ would need to haul ass to make 2016 happen? Just curious of your thinking on that one.

  96. Lonestranger,
    I have never said that my Buddies are “insiders” the Dodger thing is something they mentioned to me when that whole thing with them was blowing up last year. What is with some of you people?… do you just read peoples posts waiting for bad grammar, or someone to make a statement like “I have a few Buddies that work within the MLB” and try to turn it into..Wow this guy is an idiot, he thinks he has insiders. Some of you seem real cool and very insightful, Tony D, Columbo, GOA’s just to name a few.
    But some of you need to get a life

  97. @TonyD – 2.5 to 3 years is more realistic for building a park. So, let’s see: In May the owners vote to change TR. In November the city of SJ votes to approve the park. Spring 2013 they start building it. Spring 2014, Spring 2015…. it could be ready near the end of the 2015 season, and they could move in halfway through the season if it ends up that the Coli Authority decides to be dicks about the lease (or they start tearing it down for a new Raiders stadium) and the A’s have to patch together some home locations. More likely Opening Day 2016.
    .
    These were conservative estimations. It could be sooner, say if the owners vote via phone earlier or SJ does a special election. Perhaps it could be ready for Opening Day 2015. More likely though, I see Bud sitting on this a while longer before it all starts to move forward, killing more time on the AT&T Park mortgage.

  98. Sorry G&G. I must have misinterpreted when you said you had buddies inside MLB. I thought you were considering their information special and as coming from the inside.
    .
    But again, you accuse me of calling someone an idiot. I’m waiting for the quote where I actually called someone an idiot or stupid…. either a quote or an apology.

  99. Lonestranger.
    I thought i made it clear when i wrote my first post that my friends were in no position of power, no real inside info just rumors. (and some pretty funny stories)
    I never called you an Idiot, not my style to call people that i do not know names. (my MAMA taught be better)
    I did mention (in a humorous way) that you needed a hobby.
    Peace.

  100. Seriously people, cut it out.

  101. “The territorial rights are not property rights, they are contractual rights subject to termination at any time. In my experience, if a contact has a clause for termination for convenience on ninety day notice, it is valued as a ninety day deal. . . .”
    .
    That’s the wrong way to analyze the T rights. The mlb constitution established the rights, and it cannot be “terminated for convenience” unilaterally, as many contracts can be. 3/4 of the teams in mlb must agree to any change of the constitution (and, separately, to any geographical move by a team).
    .
    I logged on here specifically to see what reaction you all had to Selig’s rather remarkable recent comments on the San Jose issue. You guys don’t disappoint. Although Selig qualified his statement a bit with that “[u]nfortunately or fortunately, they never got changed” remark, generally he seemed to be signalling progress toward a deal. Wolff and Fisher will have to pay, and they may have to put construction off for a year or two, but I think they’ll make a deal with the Giants. By the way, Larry Baere said on his KNBR radio spot yesterday that the Giants do not intend to wait until 2017 to pay off their mortgage. They intend to refinance before then. From their perspective, it’s all about competing with the rich teams. Selling the rights to San Jose for a guaranteed future income stream makes a lot of sense.

  102. Interesting. A Giants refinance might allow the A’s to pay off the compensation in lower amounts, albeit for a longer number of years. That way, the A’s don’t have to cripple themselves by trying to repay a large amount over two years while at the same time build up a team to keep the fans coming back to the new park.
    .
    As far as the MLB Constitution goes, I think it’s been pointed out it’s not really a constitution like the US has, it’s really just a glorified contract between the teams. Bartleby wasn’t saying that the MLB constitution has a ‘termination for convenience’ clause. He’s saying that because 3/4 of the owners can vote for change, it means none of it is etched in stone, and you can only be guaranteed that it will remain unchanged only up to the next owners meetings. Maybe not even until then, if voting by phone without a meeting is possible.

  103. Agree with xootsuit. The A’s moving to San Jose is a Pareto efficient solution option, in that the A’s COULD pay the Giants a sum (x) that would make both parties would be better off than they are today. No other option would produce as much revenue for MLB. The Giants’ argument should be over what x is, not holding out for the A’s to leave town. The A’s argument should be that x is lower, not that the Giants’ TR’s aren’t legitimate, whatever the history, at this point they are.

  104. “it’s really just a glorified contract”
    Oh, I agree with that. But the value is in the “glory.” Rough analogy: a lecturer re-hired every semester, but at will vs. a fully tenured university professor.

  105. @xootsuit “That’s the wrong way to analyze the T rights. The mlb constitution established the rights, and it cannot be “terminated for convenience” unilaterally, as many contracts can be. 3/4 of the teams in mlb must agree to any change of the constitution (and, separately, to any geographical move by a team).”
    .
    This is a distinction without a difference. MLB is basically a partnership, and the MLB constitution functions as a partnership agreement. That agreement specifies that T rights can be terminated for convenience unilaterally by the partnership. The fact that major decisions of the partnership must be approved by a supermajority is typical of partnership agreements. It does not change the fundamental nature of the relevant provisions.
    .
    The point is, the T rights are not a vested right in the same way a property right typically is, and as Ted likes to portray them.

  106. “Rough analogy: a lecturer re-hired every semester, but at will vs. a fully tenured university professor.”
    .
    This is a poor analogy. The MLB Constitution says T rights can be terminated for any reason (i.e. for convenience) as long as the governing body (the MLB partnership) agrees. A tenured professor can be terminated only for cause, regardless of what the governing body (the University) wants.

  107. I think what is getting lost here is the comment by Selig that Walter Haas (the A’s) did what was best for baseball but that they didn’t give up those rights in perpetuity.

    I took that to mean that the Gnats were not dealing fairly behind the scenes. I just hope 3/4 of the owners see this also.

  108. @Steve510 – “I think what is getting lost here is the comment by Selig that Walter Haas (the A’s) did what was best for baseball but that they didn’t give up those rights in perpetuity.
    I took that to mean that the Gnats were not dealing fairly behind the scenes. I just hope 3/4 of the owners see this also.” Bingo, and fortunately it looks like BS is seeing through this TR farce by the Gnats and the owners will rally around whatever BS decides!

  109. Reading between the lines, there might be some reason to believe the Giants are going to be forced or are being forced to bargain (maybe even in good faith?). Unfortunately some are taking that and getting ahead of themselves. I hate to be the one to rain on the parade but Cisco field will take a public vote. And with every stadium — especially in California’s most populated cities — anti stadium forces will kick into high gear. And even if the Giants bow out of their clandestine anti stadium efforts, many of the Bay area’s main stream sports media will be against it (making the task to win the vote considerably harder). IMHO, getting MLB’s ok to relocate to SJ is an easier win than winning the public vote (I think the public vote has about a 55% chance of passing).

  110. it’s basically the same plan as at&t was when they put that up to a ballot measure back in what 97 and that passed by over 20%. what will be the arguement used against those who oppose the project if those who are for it point to the success both on and especially off the field that at&t has brought to both the franchise and city of sf that the same could happen to the a’s and downtown sj?

  111. I agree with both TW and Letsgoas on the vote thing,
    Yes: basically the same deal SF had in getting then PacBell Park approved by SF voters, an excellent deal at that. should be a no brainer and should be approved in a landslide, but…
    Yes: in true “GOP” fashion, ballpark opponents will lie through their teeth to try and influence SJ voters (I will be one again in two months). i.e. “why build ballparks when the city is broke and needs money for police, libraries and pot holes.” This is my greatest fear of a ballpark referendum; the public being influenced by straight up lies!
    Just my opinion, but it is that slim chance of ballpark opponents influencing the SJ electorate that I’m against a referendum and feel it should be avoided. And purely technically speaking, I’m on the right side of that argument; privately financed ballpark, no free land (perhaps even bought at market value). Something I hope the city and A’s will seriously consider; no vote!

  112. @ TW – I respectfully disagree. I think that SB residents will look at the deal and risk involved with the Niners and contrast it with the private financing with the A’s and see how much of an opportunity it is for the city.

    @ TonyD – Fortunately, it won’t be the “GOP” you’ll have to worry about but rather the left wing Unions that will put forth biggest challenge, especially in light of all the pension reforms that are going on today. They’ll do anything (sue, lie, etc.) just to keep taxpayer’s money in their own pockets instead of contributing it back to the city.

  113. Anon, on the face of it I agree with what you say. However, as Tony D points out (though I would strongly disagree that only ‘GOP’ lie to win the political argument — both sides clearly outdo themselves in their lack of integrity), the reasons and even lies that will be used will be thick as a cement wall. Everything from “we should be spending it on libraries and parks’ to ‘it will bring crime and lower property values’ to a a claim of certainty that the deal ‘will be a money loser for taxpayers and taxpayers will have to pay higher taxes” to ‘it will be an eyesore and environmental disaster’ for the neighborhood. Plus keep in mind there are media people who have shown truth is nothing more than an inconvenience who will push the above anti stadium lines (Monte Poole, are you reading this?).
    ML had an article a few weeks back that highlighted the big wildcard, unions. The unions would have a real quagmire on their hands with the stadium project. One the one hand, a prime job of a union is to increase its ranks. A ball park will mean more union members within several unions (not to mention union jobs for a couple of years for the unionized construction workers). On the flip side the unions passionately hate Reed. The question becomes do the unions go with their heads or their hearts? IMHO having the unions behind the project makes the likelihood of the public vote succeeding considerably higher (maybe from 55% to 70%). One cannot say enough about the power of the union backing or their working against it.

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