The Reckoning in May?

Update 3:45 PM – Slusser just tweeted that the issue will not be on the agenda even though Wolff has requested it. And the beat goes on…

Susan Slusser reports that the A’s are putting territorial rights on the owners meetings agenda next month. Will we finally get a resolution? We just might.

Back in December I had heard that ownership had the option to put the matter on the February meeting agenda. For whatever reason that didn’t happen. My guess is that the acceleration of the Dodgers’ sale and bankruptcy resolution came somewhat unexpectedly, which forced the A’s back onto the backburner once more.

There is an inherent amount of risk to making this move, as a vote could go against Lew Wolff and John Fisher. The big unknown is whether this vote is being shepherded by Bud Selig, who generally tries to build consensus before doing anything. Considering how long this has taken, anything’s possible. If this goes according to Selig’s M.O., he probably has both the votes and at least some kind of framework in place for a deal to compensate the Giants, whatever that is. If not, Wolff could lose and be left with no other option than to work something out in Oakland.

Slusser cites the Tracy Ringolsby article that we mentioned here last week, along with the threat of a San Jose antitrust lawsuit should the vote go against the A’s and San Jose.

Either way, I’m glad we’re finally getting somewhere with this. It promises to be a very exciting and newsworthy next couple of weeks. I’ll be back from San Diego the day before the meetings start, so I’ll be able to give it the attention it deserves.

P.S. – If you’re wondering whether or not a vote will actually be taken, just remember that the executive council had a report presented by Selig’s 3-man panel during the winter meetings. If the owners didn’t have the information necessary to vote on the issue before, they most assuredly do now.

114 thoughts on “The Reckoning in May?

  1. rather have an up or down vote and have this matter finally settled regardless of the outcome than have the franchise in limbo bleeding fans left and right

  2. What days in May are the meetings being held?

  3. @Nicosan – See calendar to right.

  4. Ml sorry for not paying closer attention. Thanks

  5. I’m assuming either the Giants won’t budge and this is the only option left or there is already an agreement with Bud that the outcome is guaranteed. Either way, as a guy who is still holding out hopes for the A’s to stay in the East Bay, I’ll be stewing in a pot of dread and curiosity until these meetings.

  6. Either way it’s good this is happening, FINALLY! Hopefully the A’s get their wish and there is a vote, regardless if it’s a Selig sanctioned one (decision has already been made, framework in place and it’s happening), or a forced one by the A’s. Enough with the indecision. If it’s going to happen, lets move the A’s on to the next phase and get going with a bright future in SJ. If SJ is not happening, lets find out so the A’s slow slog out of the Bay Area can begin and all of us can move on to being fans of other teams (or not at all).

  7. Too much at stake for such a high profile issue for bs not to know of the outcome already- no business leader would go ahead until the votes were secured-

  8. I want to see a lawsuit by SJ and am hoping Mayor Reed and the city council in SJ are lining up anti-trust lawyers. Lets go after the ATE and get rid of ATE.

    We should have a fund raising site for this. I will contribute what I can.

  9. @dan – There are plenty of business interests in the South Bay who’ll be able to contribute handsomely if a lawsuit were to arise. I don’t think you need to worry about that.

  10. Nervous times for A’s fans. If the vote succeeds, MLB has to slap down the Giants from trying to gum up the process with lawsuits. If it fails, then we will need to see quickly if there really is anyone willing to spend $1 billion to buy the A’s and build in Oakland. Or, let the team rot for several more years while an SJ lawsuit against the anti trust exemption goes through.

  11. i have full confidence if we can ever get far enough to the point of a vote, the votes are in our favor and we would easily pass. not only do we already have teams that have said they would vote in our favor but also there are teams that it seams obvious they would vote in our favor for example the yankees and mets. if they dont vote for us and then there would be a chance of the athletics moving into newark which is part of the NYC market

  12. What is the threshold for getting something on the agenda? Slusser just said an MLB source said its not guaranteed to get on the agenda and voted on.

  13. No I guess Commish decides it gets on. That will be the indicator if this has juice or not

  14. So a month from now. We may finally feel like we have a future or that day can feel like what Kings fans went through last week.
    F U Giants!

  15. I’m going to be on edge until then. Really at the end of the day we just want an answer so we can move on! I’m crossing my fingers for the vote because from the sounds of everything SJ would really help the A’s get some much needed revenue. We need to be able to compete.

  16. Excuse me for asking i’m still new to reading your Blog, you have probably have stated the answer in the past. When the A’s move to San Jose who will then own the rights to the East Bay? The A’s? The Giants? or still undecided?

  17. Armageddon approaches! Finally….

  18. Are you kidding me? Selig is going to dismiss out of hand our proposal?

    I’m almost at the point of giving up.

    • @G & G – That’s to be determined. It would be held by one of the two teams.

      @Johnny Cake – Not dismissing it. Waiting to vote until he has a deal in place. Just as with the Dodger situation, a lot can change in a month.

  19. “@susanslusser – I hear from an MLB source that the #Athletics stadium issue will NOT be on next owners meetings agenda, despite their desire to have it on.”

    Well BS just ended that idea quickly.. Now did the A’s just piss him off?

  20. I always wonder if this is gamesmanship to get Giants to talk.

  21. Dammit…if true that the vote will be delayed, it looks as if the A’s are now trying to force the issue, which is great! However, BS is still trying to broker an agreement with the Gnats in the interim.

  22. the only way to put pressure on BS and MLB is to sue them. In 1994, MLB had to award Tampa a team after Florida Scotus ruled against them in a 5-1 decision. MLB could have appealed to SCOTUS but they would not chance that. SCOTUS has always let Congress handle the ATE issue.

    SJ must use MLB. It is the only way.

  23. Mike, sounds like it assuming Selig doesn’t derail it. Hopefully they do vote and hopefully we get an answer one way or the other. One answer will provide a future for the team, the other will at least give A’s fans some closure and time to prepare for the inevitable end of the A’s in the Bay Area (as you say not unlike what Kings fans are now going through).

  24. R.M.,
    IF the A’s aren’t on the May agenda, what else could possibly be on it? Almost every major issue confronting MLB has been dealt with: Dodgers, Mets, Padres, etc. What else could possibly be discussed on May 16-17?

  25. What, Selig derailed it already? How can the team want it on the agenda and it just be taken off?

  26. You have to be optimistic that these drips lead to some action. It’s been over 15 years. Just a little while longer.

  27. For the record, Wolff and Co. are staying silent (the proverbial “I have no comment at this time, just following the process”), so who knows who the “source” was for the initial story. I would just caution everyone to just relax (I know it’s tough). Even if it doesn’t happen in May, I feel it will happen eventually, so after 7 years of this I’m remaining patient.
    On a lighter note, I read over at SFGate that sadly, the daughter of MLB committee member Cory Busch (Alexis) was lost at sea over the weekend near the Farallon Islands. Alexis was a former bat girl for the Giants and (as most of you are aware) her father Corey is a former Giants executive who (as well as being a committee member) once tried to get the team to San Jose himself. Wolff is quoted in the story as knowing Corey Busch for a long time and that he is deeply saddened for Mr. Busch’s loss. Perhaps this tragedy has put on hold any negotiations between the A’s, Giants and MLB (?).

  28. @Tony D. – Is it possible that they don’t anticipate having much to work on next month? I don’t know, but I can see the meetings occurring with something to the effect of, “we’ve settled most of our business to this point that can be settled, we’ll tidy up small things now and continue to monitor the development of larger projects.”

  29. Tony, how is a young woman dying tragically a “lighter” story than one about a stadium vote for a team that is ultimately playing a game?

  30. I for one don’t want a vote until Bud Selig calls for it. I don’t want to defend the guy but as was stated in the blog post, the other owners don’t have all the information. I believe the process was not a farce, very legit. The findings of the blue ribbon panel should be made available to the owners in full. I don’t see how Lew Wolff calling for a vote would guarantee that. Also, however this turns out, there should be some kind of strong recommendation from MLB as to the future direction of the franchise. A no vote could lead to legal proceedings that could in turn put the franchise back at square one; or at least right back to where they were when Mt. Davis was first built. What if lawsuits were filed by all parties and suits became so expensive and time consuming that Wolff and Fischer decided to pull out? That’s VERY unlikely, it might be enough of a possibility that Selig should want to avoid it all cost. The Athletics could become such a financial drain on MLB with no future stadium on the horizon that come the next negotiating period for the next CBA, the dreaded “C” word might get tossed around.
    This blog has been a godsend for facts. The facts of this matter of San Jose and Oakland have yet to change. San Jose’s Private Stadium financing vs. any financing in Oakland. Remaining on revenue sharing in Oakland vs. no longer receiving revenue sharing in San Jose. Bud Selig for all his many faults is committed to the financial well-being of baseball. Selig’s statements lately have seemed to suggest he’s leaning towards San Jose; because San Jose is better for business. I doubt very much Selig would deny a move to San Jose if the Giants were the biggest hurdle. As many commenters have mentioned for years on this blog, the legal headaches that could arise if San Jose is denied could be an even bigger problem for MLB. The financial findings of the blue ribbon panel should be presented in full to all the owners. Until that happens, I’d rather there not be a vote. The gears moving towards San Jose seem to be in motion now. That’s good enough for me.

  31. You’re tearing me apart!
    You say one thing, he said another, and everybody changes back again!

  32. Let’s face it: The A’s will never be allowed to move to San Jose. Either some magic billionaire comes forward ready to be a savior in Oakland, or the franchise gets moved or folded.

  33. There is probably negotiation going on and the A’s just weren’t happy with the progress (or lack thereof) so they want to call for a vote. I think Selig is probably delaying it because he still believes he could find a settlement soon. Either way, I think this is going to reach the point where we aren’t kidding around anymore. If the meetings pass and there is no resolution in sight, you can bet the A’s will push a lot harder for a vote. Otherwise we might see a settlement before the meetings. Which leads me to the question: can a vote be taken independent of the meetings?

  34. “can a vote be taken independent of the meetings?” – Yes.

  35. @Tim – Backing up Burton’s reply, the league frequently takes votes in conference calls outside the meetings.

  36. Dan is 100% correct a lawsuit is the only way.

    I have said this for 2 years that unless your force Selig’s hand nothing gets done because he believes in his own mind “his way is the right way” regardless of what everyone else tells him.

    Tampa Bay Rays only exist because Vincent Piazza had the balls to to sue MLB and was one step from the Supreme Court after he won in the Florida Supreme Court.

    Curt Flood Act in my opinion says to me the A’s to San Jose is a perfect example of why Congress pushed the Act through in the first place….too repeal not strengthen the MLB AE.

    San Jose should get the players union on their side and sue directly. The lawsuit would force the owners to push the Giants of the island and bring this to a swift conclusion.

    The lawsuit would not even be heard in court as Selig knows full well the AE will go down in flames unless he settles it fast.

    We are on 1128 and the time has been long overdue for the A’s to be in San Jose. 1128 days is ridiculous for any issue especially one of this nature.

    San Jose has a better case than Tampa Bay did. Why? Because a business only 35 miles away wants to move to their city not 3000 miles way like Tampa Bay.

    To restrict a business mobility wise is UN-American and it is time for the right thing to occur.

  37. Sid, not Dan, dan. I’m Dan. And I don’t think a lawsuit will ever happen. Nor would it solve the problem. Even in leagues w/o ATE’s teams don’t just “move” without some form of authorization from the leagues. Take the Kings last year. NBA doesn’t have an ATE and they still blocked the Kings move to Anaheim.

  38. Doesn’t seem like he’s speculating. Seems like that’s what he’s been told. Only issue I see though, is who do they expect to pay for a new SJ arena in 10 years to replace the HP Pavilion?

  39. At least Wolff/Fisher aren’t standing idly by anymore – the hiring of the hotshot lawyer, and now asking for the issue to be on the May owners meeting agenda.
    Also, at least Selig finally said something about the issue a few days ago, saying he’s working on a deal.
    It had been moving at a glacial pace, and now it seems like it’s picking a little steam.

  40. Another day, another tiny hint of progress smashed to pieces. Sometimes I think this will literally never end.

  41. Ratto has been trying for years to be funny like Scott Ostler . Ostler is so much better at writing funny/biting pieces.

  42. When are you guys to going to wake up and finally figure it out? This will end someday – when Lew steps aside or the Fishers cut the line.
    The poor fellow proved he was out of his league the very moment he took control of the team. Remember “reducing inventory increases scarcity and perceived value” and all that “intimate ballpark” hustle? Well that TARP deal didn’t work out so well.
    Now he’s busy adding another inch of paperwork to his binder – you know, the one that takes him two hours to go through page by page. The one that proves everyone else – the city of Oakland, the property owners between 66th and High, the Fremont NIMBYS, the SF Giants, etc. – are the ones to blame.
    I hate to disappoint all the loyal fans of San Jose, but he he has yet to propose a viable plan. On the field, off the field, moving the field, marketing, media… you name it. How could he he? He doesn’t know sports, he doesn’t know our area – he’s a real-estate developer from Southern California. He has never once displayed any accountability for the franchise he purchased – that which he owns. The territorial rights granted to his franchise are now scorched earth. He’s still busy plowing salt in that ground.
    So now he plans to buy lawyers with the revenue sharing money provided by the profitable owners to sue these owners, thus forcing them to dig back into their wallets to shell out for their own defense? Bad, bad move. The antitrust exemption is as key to the industry as home plate is to the game. His fratbuddy Bud or one of the other owners needs to take him aside, explain the rules of the game. Lew, first you gotta get on base before you can steal home.

  43. I disagree this story (if true) means BS has this largely worked out. It has for a long time and continues to be BS knows the vote is close but he is no where near certain. And BS’s reputation says he wants to be certain. Put another way, if BS had the votes he already would have leveraged the Giants a while back. Conversely, If the vote was not close going the other way, BS would have told the A’s “sorry” (it’s just a bridge to far).
    IMHO the story (again if true) and the announcement of the big legal guns being hired also means the vote is close. And the forcing of the vote and the hiring of the legal big guns means the A’s subtly strong arming the process. A “look, you know I have my legal team, now I want a vote!”.
    I do agree with other who say it is a risk. This is it! Unless a lawsuit can turn the decision around, if the A’s lose this vote they are not going to SCC (and no team will for a long long time if ever). I am glad to see the issue will be forced to a head (once again if the story is true).

  44. my apologies, I missed the update. I guess never mind 🙂

  45. Bud Selig said that there will be no vote when there is pending litigation on the stadium issue.

  46. @ Jesse – What is the “pending litigation” to which you are referring?

  47. @Dan way back,
    Are you seriously suggesting I’m putting the death of a human being on par (or close) to the A’s saga? Perhaps I should edit my earlier post, “on a much, much, much, much, much, much, lighter note…” Is that better for you?! C’mon man!
    That was hilarious! After today, I think we all needed that one.

  48. Stand for San Jose (run by the Gigantes) opened litigation claiming that the EIR certified by the city was invalid.

  49. BTW,
    I find it interesting that Slusser first stated that a “Major League source” stated the A’s wanted the stadium issue on the agenda, Wolff went on to state “I have no comment, we’re following the process,” YET it somehow turned into Wolff and the A’s wanting a vote on the stadium issue at the May meeting. Funny how that worked out…RELAX people!!

  50. @ Freddy aka JK-USA?!! –

    “Remember “reducing inventory increases scarcity and perceived value” and all that “intimate ballpark” hustle? Well that TARP deal didn’t work out so well.” Last year’s avg. / game attendance actually was higher than Haas last year owning the A’s. Also, interestingly enough it is only 1-2k less in attendance than 2000, when the A’s went to the ALDS pre-tarp and all.

    “Now he’s busy adding another inch of paperwork to his binder – you know, the one that takes him two hours to go through page by page. The one that proves everyone else – the city of Oakland, the property owners between 66th and High, the Fremont NIMBYS, the SF Giants, etc. – are the ones to blame.

    “He doesn’t know sports, he doesn’t know our area – he’s a real-estate developer from Southern California.” Um actually he does as he was a big south bay developer and owner of several hotels throughout the area.

    “He has never once displayed any accountability for the franchise he purchased – that which he owns.” Accountability in what terms? Retaining top talent at the executive level to oversee the franchise by offering them an unprecedented minority ownership? Having the audacity to take on addition player salaries if somehow the a’s were in striking distance of winning the division or supplementing talent? Or how about forking over their own money to acquire land in Fremont and striking lucrative deals with corporate partners like Cisco?

    “The territorial rights granted to his franchise are now scorched earth. He’s still busy plowing salt in that ground.” And easily overturned by the commissioner or by 75% of the owners.

    “So now he plans to buy lawyers with the revenue sharing money provided by the profitable owners to sue these owners, thus forcing them to dig back into their wallets to shell out for their own defense?” Are you realistically saying that the A’s are suing themselves? You do know who Stand For SJ is don’t you?

    “Bad, bad move. The antitrust exemption is as key to the industry as home plate is to the game.” It’s interesting that pro-Oaklanders only saving grace is the TR, which again can be overturned. Then again, didn’t MLB move the Expos into striking distance of the O’s? Are you really arguing that the Bay Area is somehow unique enough among 2 teams market to have the only defined TR, one that was given on the premise of a move down south?

    “His fratbuddy Bud or one of the other owners needs to take him aside, explain the rules of the game.” Actually, Bud is sympathizing with him or do you not keep up with the news beyond 1995?

    “Lew, first you gotta get on base before you can steal home.” Shouldn’t that be “Oakland, you can’t hit continue to try to hit 5 run homers in the bottom of the ninth in a 4-0 game.”?

  51. “Last year’s avg. / game attendance actually was higher than Haas last year owning the A’s. ” in 1995, the year after the baseball strike?

  52. @ eb – thanks you got me there….cupcakes for you to help you with your grieving in the next few months. 🙂

  53. “in 1995, the year after the baseball strike?”
    Yes, but continuing a consistent downward trend that began five years earlier.

  54. SCOTUS stands for “Supreme Court of the United States,” so called to distinguish it from the state supreme courts. Thus, there is no “Florida SCOTUS.”
    The Florida Supreme Court itself noted it’s decision was against the overwhelming weight of Federal precedent. The Florida decision itself would not be binding precedent anywhere except Florida state court, and would likely have been overturned had the case gone to the SCOTUS. I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on that decision vs. three U.S. Supreme Court decisions and something like seven consecutive Federal Circuit decisions.

  55. “Yes, but continuing a consistent downward trend that began five years earlier.” Sloping attendance that matched the team’s direction on the field. I’m not trying to get into this whole tarp stuff. Some people like them, some don’t. It’s become a running joke for many. Just pointing out the less than truthful nature of dear Anon’s point.

  56. @eb
    “Sloping attendance that matched the team’s direction on the field.” – With all due respect that’s not true. In 1991 after 3 straight World Series appearences, and despite having the highest payroll in baseball – attendance fell. In 1992 the A’s made the playoffs, attendance fell again. We can’t fool ourselves into thinking that we can dollar ticket or two dollar ticket our way to 2 million in attendance and better the on the field product; much less finance a stadium.

  57. @eb “Just pointing out the less than truthful nature of dear Anon’s point.”
    Not a fair comment. Anon’s statement was truthful; he pointed out a fact. You pointed out an additional factor that might partially account for that fact, but that doesn’t make the fact untruthful.
    It also remains true that during the four years prior to the strike Haas lost something like 2,500 to 5,000 per game every year. If it hadn’t been for the strike, it seems likely attendance still would have been down – maybe not by 5,000 (as it was), but at least by several thousand.
    As Burton points out, those weren’t all losing teams. And while every team’s attendance is affected by losing, Haas lost attendance at a much faster rate than Wolff has despite a less challenging competitive environment. So I’d say Anon’s point was quite defensible.

  58. @Burton Now, I was still a very young man at that point, but if I remember the vibe correctly, people were exasperated after only winning one title and the writing was very much on the wall for that dynastic A’s team. Established fixtures on the team were aging or being traded or free agents (Jose, Stew, Ricky, Carney, etc.) It was clear the team was on a downward spiral, which is why I think attendance started to roll back from its pinnacle.

  59. @bartleby Anon was trying to illustrate the perceived effectiveness of the tarps by comparing it to the last season of the Haas tenure, which happened to follow an incredibly unpopular strike year at the end of the great A’s teams run. You don’t think that doesn’t seem like closing an eye to suit one’s argument? Yes, factually it’s true, but it is not a very nuanced way of looking at what really happened and, really, I don’t even know what it is supposed to prove anyway.

  60. BTW, ” I was still a very young man at that point” means I was a teenager (Christ, I’m even starting to type like I’m no longer young.) Anyways, carry on.

  61. @ eb – as usual, you’re getting emotional and sensitive over 1 point. I even gave you the benefit of a doubt even though the rest of AL was still outpacing the A’s. However, as usual you fail to understand the big picture including my statement about the 2000 year: it was barely better than last year. You can continue to nitpick at the minutest detail and ignore tge big picture, but in the end the only person you’ll fool is yourself. And no, i won’t go into the middle of Oakland and say that, so you don’t have to resort to the tough guy act okay? 😡

  62. Wait a minute, so if the A’s are allowed to move to SJ the East Bay territory may be given to the Giants? Can somebody please explain to me why that isn’t a stupid idea? All I’ve heard from pro-SJers is that moving the A’s to San Jose will expand the fan base and make things equal in the Bay Area. How does trading one territory for another make things equal, especially when the Giants will still be entitled to more area?

  63. @Booster: The A’s are proposing the Bay Area be shared. Specifically, T-right only restrict where a ballpark can be built. The Giants and A’s are currently free to market anywhere they want. This won’t change if the A’s are given the option to build in SJ.

  64. The legislative history of the Curt Flood Act of 1998 shows that Congress was well aware that some recent court decisions had taken a very narrow view of the A/T exemption. Congress went out of its way to explain that the CFA had no bearing on any aspect of the A/T issues beyond the player-focused provision in its text. Congress neither endorsed nor disapproved of any specific version of the A/T exemption, as it was (and still is) developing in the courts.
    Some courts have taken a very narrow view of the A/T exemption; others have taken a broader view. Personally, I think mlb generally wants to avoid litigating the scope of the exemption, because it’s just too risky to do so. Originally, I thought that the Giants were cooking up ways to threaten mlb with an A/T challenge over territorial division, if mlb decided to give San Jose to the A’s. Perhaps under Neukom they were. Now that mlb seems to be stiffing the A’s, it appears that the A’s may be making A/T threats.
    The A’s new lawyer Ruby is not an A/T lawyer, but he has plenty of help at his current firm. The law firm representing the Giants (and the plaintiffs in the little writ proceeding currently pending in SCCounty Superior Court) began litigating A/T matters almost moments after the Sherman Act became law 120 years ago, and they’ve been at it ever since. The other mlb owners are probably taking the dispute between the A’s and the Giants very seriously. I wonder how they’ll react to the most recent aggressive moves from the A’s.

  65. eb, if the reason for the 90’s slide was because fans “were exasperated after only winning one title and the writing was very much on the wall for that dynastic A’s team” you’re basically proving the point. There are very, very few teams capable of consistently throwing around enough money to consistently be playoff contenders. The Yankees have done it for nearly 15 years but look at their payroll over the period. If you’re saying the only way people will support an Oakland team is if they’re winning, well, that’s not exactly endearing to anyone trying to build a team. You’re going to have down years, that’s just a reality unless you’re the Yankees or Red Sox.

  66. Compare the A’s attendance slide in the 90s to the Giants. Even with Candlestick Park as home, the Giants pulled out of the post-strike depression quickly and rose toward 2M (finally hitting it in 99). Meanwhile, the A’s barely topped 1M (although they hit 1.4M in 99). The group that saved the Giants for SF in 92 turned the team around. They obviously invested in Barry Bonds, and the investment paid off immediately — 93 was a thrilling year (Bonds and Matt Williams back to back in the LU). The ownership group came out of the strike with the same attitude (the Matt Williams for Jeff Kent deal in 97, e.g.). The team was both exciting and successful and momentum was growing just when the new ballpark opened.
    The A’s attendance slid in the 90s because they did nothing comparable. By the time the A’s were competitive again, in 2000, the Giants new park was open. For what it’s worth, I do not see anything in the Wolff/Fisher/Beane approach to the A’s that compares to the Giants of the 90s. Even if the A’s get consent to move to San Jose, they’ll be coming to town without the sort of momentum that made the Giants move so successful.

  67. Up until recently, I just figured that Wolff was just a rich, greedy front man for an even richer, greedier majority partner who didn’t care about anything but moving the team out of Oakland and putting together a stadium/development deal so they could get even richer. Now I realize that he is an incompetent idiot for getting himself into this situation without having all his ducks lined up and without getting assurances that he could bank on from Selig. After all, Selig was his long-time frat buddy who went with Lew and Fisher despite having local interests who wanted to buy the team and keep it in Oakland, people who really cared about the A’s and their great tradition in Oakland. Now he looks like a total fool he had no clue about what he was getting into and was duped or betrayed by his good friend Bud. And, as usual, it is the fans who have to suffer. What a complete disgrace what these owners have done to the franchise and to the fans! But no problem, they can still sell the team for a handsome profit and move on to some other half-assed venture while we fans have to worry about the fate of the A’s.

  68. Would those people who really care about the A’s kindly go to the games? 5,000 fans a night like the A’s were getting last week won’t cut it. This assures the A’s will have to leave. Want to defeat any arguments that Oakland can’t support MLB? Put 25,000 people in the stands every night, not just when the Yankee$ Red $ox or Giants are in town. The 5,000 I saw (officially 10,000 but it wasn’t close to that much) at the ballpark last week is pathetic. Right now it’s all a bunch of “You can’t take our A’s away! But I don’t go to the games anyway….Have these so-called local buyers ever made a public commitment to privately funding a new ballpark in Oakland, whjch will be necessary since Oakland has had hundreds of millions of dollars for new facilities for the Raiders and Warriors but $0.00 for the A’s? Didn’t think so.

  69. @dmoas “If you’re saying the only way people will support an Oakland team is if they’re winning, well, that’s not exactly endearing to anyone trying to build a team” There are very few areas in this country that have supported their baseball teams in huge numbers during non winning seasons, especially if they play in an outdated venue. The areas that do are not the norm, but the exception. And, yes, A’s attendance has never been anything to brag about in general. I’m not claiming that the A’s fan base has been some dominant, loyal force. TV ratings, radio, attendance has shown that’s not the case and that falls on all of us as A’s fans. Hopefully, a new yard will turn that around.
    @Anon You were doing so well.

  70. Greg Papa just made a joke on 95.7 that made me cringe, if the San Jose deal does not get the green light…The A’s move back to Philadelphia, The North Philly A’s. Lets hope something happens.

  71. @Jerry,
    Wolff an “incompetent idiot”? Perhaps you should be referring to Oakland politician’s of the past 16 years when using such descriptions. BTW, your post was also hilarious; keep em coming!

  72. @xootsuit – “Even if the A’s get consent to move to San Jose, they’ll be coming to town without the sort of momentum that made the Giants move so successful.”
    I think once the decision is made to open up TR in Santa Clara, the A’s will begin that push. Maybe they already have with the Cespedes signing. Too early to tell, since so much is still in flux.

  73. re: Wolff was just a rich, greedy front man for an even richer, greedier majority partner

    …it’s now fashionable to refer to the mega-successful as rich, greedy and evil. Problem is, I don’t think any poor people have the capital to purchase sports franchises.

  74. @lone: I don’t think the A’s can generate that sort of momentum in two or three years. They would have to invest dramatically (as the Giants new owners did in 92). Cespedes is impressive, but he’s not a proven MVP-caliber star. He’s not leading the league in SOs this morning only because he did not play last night. Maybe the market is different today than it was 20 years ago; cable tv certainly is. Maybe the A’s can ramp up quickly once they get to San Jose. If they get consent to move, I hope they do invest enough to put a first-rate team on the field. The worst thing for the Bay Area would be an empty Coliseum in Oakland and a mediocre team in San Jose. If Wolff and Fisher intend to generate profit from properties and developments tangential to the new ballpark, a mediocre team might be good enough to support those efforts. As you can see, I have no faith in Lew Wolff’s commitment to baseball.

  75. @ pjk – “it’s now fashionable to refer to the mega-successful as rich, greedy and evil.” I suppose it depends on what your definition is of “mega-successful.” If you make $850k per year you probably feel pretty good about yourself and believe you are part of the 1%, which is true…to a degree. There is another level of this 1% that sits toward the top whose earnings are in the stratosphere. I like to call them the ultras and they have simple dividends from holdings that spin off hundreds of millions of dollars per year or more and they can influence major policy. IMHO, there is a difference between the ultras and a guy like LW, someone I’ve never considered evil. Greedy? Yes, but not evil. When someone says “The 1% vs everyone else,” I laugh because I think it’s more like the .00001% vs everyone else.

  76. eb, I’m not disagreeing that that’s the ultimate reality of attendance. The problem I have is the open requirement that ownership throw money at creating a competitive team before the team is supported. I have no problem with fans saying “You know what, this team sucks, I have no interest in showing up to watch this.” That’s every fans’ right. Hell, I’ve done it myself. But the open blame and accusations that spins ownership as evil when they’re not willing to take heavily losses just to “prove” some sort of commitment to winning before they *might* consider showing up is out of line.
    In reality they will only show up if that money spent by ownership leads to actual on-field success. I just call BS on that. Fans can’t have it both ways. They can try, mind you, but if they expect anyone to take them seriously or care, they’re out of their minds.
    And for what it’s worth, I don’t lump you into that crowd, my comments are more a reaction to the notion of “win or I don’t show” fairweatherness being the sole responsibility of ownership in a game designed not to be that simple that drives me nuts. It’s just a very short-sighted stance to take.

  77. papa on 95.7 just said he doesn’t think the a’s have the votes to get the green light to sj. i don’t know where he gets this info from. although i really shouldn’t expect to listen to anything on 95.7 that is “pro a’s” or “pro sj a’s” other than townsend/tittle are on. papa i’ve yet to hear anything positive about the a’s come out of his mouth be it on tv or radio over the years.

    it hasn’t been said much recently here but fuck the midgets! those selfish greedy bastards all can take a long walk off a short pier. my disgust and hatred for that team will never go away even if the a’s do move down to sj. just too bad not many here in the local media will call them out because they’re all scared they’ll get the cold shoulder from that dirtbag franchise. go a’s!!

  78. Midgets? Oh, Giants. That’s a nice change of pace from people calling them the “gints” or the “gnats.” I’m not really a Giants hater, but I’m still waiting for the clever soul who’ll call them the va’giants.


    This prob doesn’t mean anything to anyone here, but I scored tickets to Pulp tonight at The Warfield. I was just thinking that similar to the A’s, I’ll be among three thousand people there to see a group that hasn’t done anything worth mentioning since the early 2000s.

  79. @letsgoas
    Papa is an idiot. He has no substance or logic to any conclusory opinions he blabs.
    Agree wholeheartedly with your second assessment. I’ve always had a disgust for the va’giants – not the players, but the management (specifically Baer), the ownership and the fans are all collectively appalling.
    Oh, and the black and orange halloween costumes are repugnant as well.
    AT&T”s architecture and design and location are fine, but it’s never pleasant (no matter where you are) watching a baseball game in June when it’s freaking 48 degrees with 20 mph winds. Just doesn’t work.

  80. Question for the more optimistic A’s fans here: If the A’s don’t get to move to San Jose, what exactly is their future? Wolff will sell, I get that. But then what?

  81. RC, none of us know.
    Speculative answer: Wolff/Fischer sell to one of two kinds of groups : 1. Those that want to stay in the Bay, 2. Those that want to pretend to want to stay in the bay but really want to move somewhere like San Antonio, Portland, etc.
    If it is 1, I imagine whoever buys will have had advanced discussions with some city in Contra Costa/Alameda and thinks they can get ‘er done. In which case I say “hell yes!”
    If it is 2, I am getting a Guy Fawkes mask and hitting MLB’s headquarters.

  82. @ Jeffrey – They can “get’ er done” in Ala/CC counties. Dare I say it would be a bigger “Splash Hit” than AT&T Park for many reasons.

  83. @RC,
    The A’s WILL get to move to San Jose! And no amount of “insider” speculation and threads gone awry is going to change that. In Wolff, Selig, Reinsdorf, Raij and Busch I trust…

  84. One day, back in the summer of 1989, while in high school, I was driving down 880 from San Leandro to Alameda to get to my part-time job in Alameda (at a gym). I remember driving my 1968 bug with 15″ woofers and a 500 watt Rockford Fosgate amp past the Coliseum blasting “Painkiller” by Westworld and saw the temperature displayed as +100 degrees. After work, at around 4pm, I had to go pick up my then-girlfriend at Pier 39 in SF. When I arrived in SF it was foggy with a wind chill that had to be in the 50’s. We returned to sunny skies and warm temps in Oakland. I’m not saying Oakland doesn’t get cold but I think a JLS ballpark would be head-and-shoulders above AT&T any day of the week. Coliseum City, meh, it would be less attractive but, IMHO, better than AT&T (assuming the entire area is revamped, i.e. with things to do before and after games).

  85. @ Tony D – I admire your persistence and faith. That is something that is lacking in the world today.

  86. Jerry,
    I think you make a very valid point.
    As far as Greg Papa remarks, if he would have said anything remotely positive about the possible move to San Jose…all of you would be popping the Champagne, claiming there must be something happening, someone with Papa’s stature would not say this without knowing something.

  87. @ Columbo- Actually, I admire your optimism. And yeah, a ballpark at JLS would be cool. I couldn’t even imagine the timeline on something like that considering the past and where we are now. And being more popular than AT&T? With talk of leaving the state and contraction, you are definitely on the other end of the scale. Thanks everyone.

  88. Greg Papa knows nothing.

  89. @ Jeffrey- yeah that actually makes sense- no one buys the team without at least some advanced discussion with a city (wherever that may be). With the variables involved in Coliseum City, it seems like a non SJ solution is far off, maybe end of the decade far. I hope I am wrong.

  90. If Oakland really really wanted a new ballpark at Jack London Square, it would offer $$ not just for the site but for actual construction. Instead, Oakland offers only the Coliseum parking lot and $0.00 for ballpark construction.

  91. @john sports (who are these people?),
    Jerry does make valid points…if you’re into comedy! Alas, most SJ partisans (who are actually pro A’s ballpark in the Bay Area in our lifetime partisans) have become immune to “insider” and columnist speculation, even if its so-called pro-SJ. When Wolff or Selig finally talk, we will listen.

  92. @ pjk – I think that is what they’re working on, i.e., money for construction. Somebody (whether you believe they are delusional or not) believes it can work in Oakland, specifically a downtown ballpark near the water. We shall see……if MLB allows it this time.

  93. Tony-D
    Just my opinion on Jerry’s points, I love hearing both sides of this ongoing saga.
    I do agree with you when you say “When Wolff or Selig finally talk we will listen.”

  94. @Tony D- Yeah, I still think the A’s have a fair shot at SJ. And anything the A’s can do to piss off the Giants is great in my book. But I am worried, worried about my team if they don’t get SJ. How many years in limbo do we have to wait until the A’s can really compete again? The fact is, Coliseum City is the only backup plan we have that is more than just an idea like JLS. How long would it take for the A’s to find new ownership, then get the W’s and the Raiders on board for Coliseum City (and the W’s already want to leave) and agree on a final plan, and each find financing for said plan? Then, of course, build the thing. Am I wrong in thinking 2018? What do the A’s do until then?

  95. Columbo, getting ‘er done in Alameda COntra Costa hasn’t happened yet, not sure we should be optimistic that it eventually will.
    As for JLS… Despite the fact that there are significant issues with the only two JLS sites (you can go back and read about them when I researched them long ago) and the fact that one was too complicated to happen while the other cost too much ($250M just to prepare Victory Court)… I certainly agree that if they are to stay in Oakland, it shouldn’t be at the Coliseum site.
    A development like Coliseum City wouldn’t even begin construction until 5-7 years from now. I am pretty certain that if that is the plan (Coliseum City), it won’t happen at all.


    BS in 2001 . I heard it on 95.7 today.

    I watched 32 years ago the Kansas City A’s move to Oakland. They hurt the Giants badly. They never really did very well themselves. It was a horrible mistake.”
    – Bud Selig, 6/2001, annual congressional baseball, Washington, D.C.

    BS will let the A’s slowly die . Lew and Fisher have a decision to make: sell or move the team to somewhere else, not SJ.

  97. @Jeffrey “A development like Coliseum City wouldn’t even begin construction until 5-7 years from now.”
    Why do you think it would take that long to get started building?

  98. BS on youtube in 2001 too.

    horrrible mistake

    the A’s hurt the G’s badly

  99. @eb- Are you more optimistic about Coliseum City? What kind of time line would you put it at? I was thinking 2018.

  100. eb, because that has been the pattern with other mega developments all over the place. How long did LA Live take? That’s what it is patterned after. How bout the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn? (This was announced as a plan in 2003 and will open in 2012).
    On top of that, it is very complicated by both the number of moving pieces and the overall cost. It might move faster if the Warriors and Raiders (or A’s, but we all know that ain’t happening) get behind the project, but without those key anchor tenants to help push it along it will take a while.

  101. G & G and John Sports… Whoever you are, stick to one name. And is there a reason you need to post from a proxy server in Witchita, KS?

  102. Daniel, so you feel like a quote (from more than a decade ago) trumpeted by everyone on the OAFC web site since it was made is more important than everything that has transpired since? Interesting…

  103. @daniel- Thanks for the link, that is interesting that he would single out the A’s like that. Still, I’m not sure that that changes anything. The A’s still need a ballpark, and I don’t think BS has the ability to kick them out of their own territory. As for SJ, I think that it depends on how you look at it. If he hates having the team in Oakland, he may like SJ better since the two teams would be 45 miles apart- not unlike BAL-WAS. Who knows what he thinks.

  104. @ Jeffrey- I agree that there are a LOT of moving parts for Coliseum City and that it could take the better part of a decade to be built. And setting aside JLS for potential problems (though remaining unrealistically optimistic ’cause that’s a great location), what are we looking at here for plan C? What can we offer a potential new ownership group? The East Bay is a big place, surely there must be something

  105. The worst part of Coli City is that you’d almost have to have most of the “City” built up before you open up the new park in order to truly maximize it’s profitability.

  106. @Daniel (who are these people?),
    BS quotes from 2001? Really? Perhaps Selig’s recent comments reported by Tracy Ringolsby have more relevance being that they were made in 2012? (Yah think?)

  107. Jeffery,I don”t know JS, but i have read his comments. As far as a “proxy server” i am not a very savvy computer user to know what that means. (maybe to old) but i have driven through Kansas.back to what this is all about.
    Daniel, i heard the same thing from the Commissioner today on the radio, what a bunch of BULL!!! the A,s hurt the stinkin Giants badly…Really…I guess we hurt them by winning 4 World Series, oh yeah one of them was a sweep against them. We will hurt them (hopefully) even more when they move to SJ.
    My biggest fear is if they do not get the OK to move to San Jose, then what? San Antonio? Portland?
    Las Vegas? if any of these happen i do not know if i could remain an A’s fan.

  108. Well looky here:

    UPDATE: I am told that despite the A’s desire to get their stadium issue onto the agenda, it will not be added. Two sources have told me that wanting to get something on the agenda and actually getting it placed on the agenda are two different things, and MLB has no current plans to delve into the matter next month.

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