Shaikin stirs it up again

Amidst all of the Lettergate hubbub (credit to Mike @muppet151 for the term), now comes an article from LA Times writer Bill Shaikin called MLB gives tentative guidelines for potential move to San Jose. There’s nothing revelatory in the article, and nothing to indicate that anything would happen soon. Yet the headline, much like this headline, seems aimed to inflame or at the very least act as clickbait.

Then again, the information seems to back many of the assertions I made when I wrote about the territorial rights saga last month. Whether there’s real fire to this smoke or this is part of an ongoing misinformation campaign (also exercised by the other side), we won’t know for certain until it’s all over.

This got me thinking about how much compensation should cost. Shaikin notes that determination of any compensation award would be entirely within the purview of the commissioner’s office. Then it occurred to me that when Lew Wolff presented the San Jose concept, it was thought that the A’s might move to San Jose after the current Coliseum lease expires, or the 2014 season. With the A’s unlikely to be able to move until 2018, that’s four full seasons of forgone revenue at Cisco Field, while the Giants continue to lap it up at AT&T Park. That “opportunity cost” is offset somewhat by ongoing revenue sharing in Oakland, which would go away after the new ballpark opened.

With the Giants able to maximize their hegemony over the region and the A’s continuing to limp on at the Coliseum, any thought of the A’s being any kind of financial threat to the Giants has evaporated. And that, right there, may well be the compensation in a sort of unstated, off-the-books form. An extra $40 million to the A’s via San Jose doesn’t necessarily mean it’s $40 million less for the Giants. But it does mean that no money moves in the current situation, which is just fine with the Giants. $160 million for those four years, without Bud Selig having to make the tough decision? Sounds like how baseball would work.

What would happen in 2018? That would be up to whoever is the commissioner, probably not Bud Selig. Maybe there’s some nominal amount of compensation. My argument for a while has been that there won’t be, not because of what Wally Haas did for the Giants 20 years ago, but because MLB and the owners don’t want to set a price for a territory. Doing so would set a precedent for future moves into other territories. In the Giants-A’s case, the situation is unique enough to be difficult to duplicate, and by not setting a real price for Santa Clara County, the owners don’t create a market.

I’m not the only person who thinks compensation will be a trivial matter:

 

This is one of those times I wish I had a time machine so I could tell you how it works out. For now we wait. Forever we wait.

66 thoughts on “Shaikin stirs it up again

  1. If Selig’s main concern is the financial viability of a San Jose ballpark, why would he require a large payout for TR compensation?

  2. @gojohn10 – That’s part of the calculus.

  3. Tentative guidelines for potential move: turn the Silicon Valley Leadership Group endorsement letter into actual financial commitments?

  4. Bud is telling LW : show me the money.

  5. Bleacher report weighed in and said their sources note no compensation for the Gnats…..

  6. @ Muppet – If the $130M Cisco naming rights isn’t sufficient up front commitment, I don’t know what is…

  7. This certainly fit into the narrative that Selig is just biding his time and waiting out the Giants to pay off their debt: The Giants won’t have any strong basis to argue for a large compensation package; compensation, if any, then is kept to a minimum; and territory is exchanged smoothly without setting a huge precedent or ticking off a legal mess. A win-win-win for all parties.

    What will be interesting to see, I think, is what sort of lasting effect this drama will have had on the A’s when its finally over. Surely it’ll mark a new era for the franchise, but will be the one we’ve so longingly envisioned and waited for, or will the damage that has been done throughout this saga cause San Jose to be somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory, a la the USFL?

  8. 2018? man that’s a long ways away. still if it takes 6 years, it’ll be well worth the wait. makes me wonder how many currently with the a’s org will still be around in 2018 once they finally make the move to sj.

    wolff/fisher likely will be the owners, but what about beane/melvin, heck and maybe more importantly what current players? at this time i doubt any of the players we see playing on the a’s team in 2013 will be around when hopefully the a’s are in sj. guess we can project possibly somebody like russell as a a’s player who could be on the a’s still once they make the move down to sj.

  9. The Giants “compensation” will be an extra $20 million a year starting in 2018; no more annual debt payments of said amount. Then, SCCO will be reverted back to shared status, which won’t set a precedent one bit (see SCCO pre-1992 and other two-team markets). A’s in San Jose 2018.

  10. @letsogoas,
    I don’t think its to farfetched to envision Beane as the A’s “owner” post 2018; with BB becoming the face of the ownership group much like Wolff is today.

  11. And we are left to wonder a timeline for when their is stadium approval…. Probably a year or two from now?

  12. It doesn’t make sense for everybody, including Baer, to agree the A’s need a new ballpark and then strand them in a place where they will not get one. A solution is 30 miles away. Why does MLB allows this gross inequity in territories – 6 counties,including the Biggest $$ cites, for the Giants, and two counties for the A’s – to continue? Should have never been permitted in the first place. Maybe the plan is to wait it out and pray for Oakland to elect politicians willing to pay for a new ballpark. Anybody expect that to happen anytime soon? MLB says the A’s cannot and will not stay permanently in the Coliseum and then leaves a situation where that’s the only choice the A’s have – unless that Benevolent Billionaire shows up to save the day in Oakland. FWIW, if San Jose were willing to pay for the ballpark instead of just provide the land, the A’s would be building in San Jose, I’ll bet. But San Jose won’t pay for a ballpark anymore than Oakland.

  13. @pjk,
    Relax, San Jose is going to happen. Just not as soon ad any of us would’ve liked.
    Along those lines: @nicosan, if you think of Opening Day 2018 in San Jose, groundbreaking for our yard needs to happen in late 2015 or early 2016. So yes, we’re talking approval/design process of two years for Cisco Field: really not that much time if you think about.
    Agree with some of the above comments: this all boils down to proving it can work in San Jose. Land acquisitions, funding, possible referendum, NIMBY lawsuits, etc.
    IT’S GONNA HAPPEN!

  14. do you guys think Larry Baer is happy to accept “opportunity cost” as compensation? My guess in “no.”

    Only needing 8 teams to block the movement could be a high hurdle. I could imagine our division rivals: Angels, Rangers, Mariners might vote against because #1. it’s putting money into the pockets of your direct competitor and #2. all three team’s attendance numbers are tied to performance (good team = good attendance). So they benefit from weaker competition b/c It’s tough enough beating Billy Beane w/o a budget.

    I hope the owners see more money in an MLB squad sitting in SJ w/ silicon valley money being shared, but after 4 years and nothing worked out?

    • @RU155 – The big money teams are each paying about $5 million of the A’s annual revenue sharing check. The point of this is to stop subsidizing the A’s. Your argument is similar to the “don’t trade within the division” philosophy. Fact is teams do it quite frequently. The owners you cite are all indebted to Selig for allowing them into the Lodge. They won’t vote against him when the time comes.

      @510 Savage – It’s telling that instead of challenging Oakland’s politicians, you casually say they have their issues. That’s just pathetic. And of course San Jose is a rival. It’s trying to take the A’s. The sooner you understand the threat instead of dismissing it, the more you’ll know about what it takes to keep the team. Of course, if you want to remain a blind ignoramus, that’s your choice.

      BTW – OAKLAND LIED.

  15. That weaker A’s competition won the division last year. The A’s playing to 12,000 people a night so often is losing situation for all of MLB. That and the A’s are being subsidized by these other teams, who otherwise could use that money to sign Big $$ free agents themselves.

  16. @ RU155 – “I hope the owners see more money in an MLB squad sitting in SJ w/ silicon valley money being shared, but after 4 years and nothing worked out?” You do realize the BRC was enacted to look at sites in OAKLAND first, right? So after 4 years and nothing working out….

  17. Susan Slusser ‏@susanslusser
    @theoldgreywolf I think MLB has told A’s for 4 years what it will take, which makes sense. This isn’t new, according to those with team.

  18. Susan Slusser ‏@susanslusser
    Jarrod Parker says #DBacks (his former team) “built the mecca of meccas facilities and they can’t even use it. They’re slumming it today.”

    Don’t know if that was a huge praise to the DBacks ST home or a slight jab at the A’s complex in PHX, probably a bit of both? If it was some sort of negative insight about the A’s ST home, then it makes moving over to the Cubs ST complex at hohokam something i think the a’s org and especially the players are looking forward to.

  19. Definitely feels like it’s not a when not if proposition regarding San Jose. The when being dependent on the money more than anything else.

  20. @Marine Layer – that’s exactly what I’m getting at, and it’s more of a balancing act than roadblock. Though I have no read on whether these owners owe fealty to Selig on votes, all i know is he won’t bring a vote unless he’s got near unanimous support, with an obvious parallel in the 28-1 when Orioles opposed Nats moving.

    @Anon – I’m talking about the vote and whether it’s worth it to the other owners to approve the move. Wolff & Co are perfectly capable, and probably already have, a feasibility study completed for the other owners to review. This grant to move has always been the highest hurdle in the process. I assume that Selig never had the votes, otherwise this would have been finalized a while ago. How long did it take the Expos to get clearance to head to DC? Those owners have their own agendas and I’m sure they’re looking to protect their investments and markets.

    So – is it more profitable for the A’s to be blocked from moving into SF territory and protecting the precedent of their own territorial rights, or is it better to have the A’s be a contributor to the system by landing in corporate rich SJ?

  21. Timing is everything… I shall now crawl back into my hole and continue to be a blind ignoramus (awesome)

  22. The Expos move to DC was announced before the settlement terms with the Orioles… The whole process played out over 3 seasons, I think?

    • The Expos were purchased by MLB and the owners for $120 million in 2001. Once they found out they could get $500 million for the Nationals a few years later it was easy for the owners to sign off on the deal.

  23. @jeffrey – yeah, i went back to poke around.
    – Selig began the search in 2003
    – Announced the move Sep 29, 2004
    – Owners then approved 28-1 on Dec 5, 2004 (orioles against)
    – Orioles contend Baltimore & DC = 1 market, despite only have MLB Constitutional rights to Baltimore and surrounding area.
    – Orioles work out deal w/ MLB to protect against financial harm March 31, 2005 and work out deal on television network

  24. @Ru155,
    It’s always been to simplistic to state that if Selig had the votes this would have happened a long time ago. Think about it: San Jose STILL doesn’t have all the land for the ballpark, still has the shadow of the state threatening to seize the Diridon land, still insists (at least publicly) that a referendum will be needed (even if one isn’t technically needed). Also take into account that Wolff has been putting together the financing for the ballpark (selling off assets to build up private equity). As you can see, a lot of variables that have contributed to the delay. Again, way beyond merely having “votes” in the lodge.
    Look, it’s quite evident from the stories of the past month that San Jose is going to happen. We’re beyond “votes,” precedence, Giants obstruction, etc. All that’s left is the final compensation number for the Giants, Wolff ensuring viability, and San Jose making 100% sure the ballpark will happen.

  25. BTW,
    Dolich still spouting his bull shit about how Cisco Field is going to cost $650 million, even questioning where Wolff is going to get that money (oh boy!). Worse: he’s quoted as having extensive knowledge of this situation…WTF?!! Must have been a BANG writer from the Tribune who wrote that nonsense. See you in San Jose Andy!

    • @Tony D – I was told that Dolich’s extensive knowledge included complete ignorance about the A’s future revenue sharing situation.

  26. Think Dolich also claimed that the ‘9ers would never end up in Santa Clara. Gotta question why they invite a guy who is doing nothing more than marketing himself on the air.

  27. @ML, they also had the players union standing in the way of contraction.

    @Tony, I’m not trying to over simplify, just pointing to the definitive act that finally says “yay or nay” on Athletics to SJ. My reading on those challenges for Wolff you pointed out were part of the background to my comment that I doubt Baer will accept Wolff’s lost opportunity cost as compensation for the territorial rights.

  28. @ RU155 – If I am reading correctly, your position is why other owners would want to endorse the the A’s to SJ, if it could potentially hurt them, correct? Hmm, I could cite a few reasons:

    – Health of MLB taking off one team off of welfare
    – Further increasing frachise value for all MLB teams
    – Getting a foothold into one of the richest areas not directly represented
    – Taking off contraction off the table for a prominent team

    If owners are so stupid as to be shallow enough to think about just Wins and Loss for the vote, then the Dodgers would of been shot down because all NL West teams don’t want a NYY in their divison right?

    I think you’re trying to generate artificial evidence of why the A’s shouldn’t go to SJ from a fan standpoint, whereas owners will perceive this on a macro level as it affects the Lodge. JMHO

  29. Keeping the A’s out of San Jose benefits the Giants. That’s it.

  30. Wasn’t Andy Dolich saying the 49ers would never get Santa Clara underway at one point?
    .
    I respect Andy Dolich, he did great work for the A’s in the 80’s. But, I think in this case he is arguing from a weak position (which is the same weak position a lot of people argue from on this topic). It starts with “I know the answer, now let me go find data to back up that answer.”
    .
    That kind of logic means you will always have a narrow understanding of a particular situation. You can’t start with an answer and try to back into reasonable to data to back it up. That’s how people start arguing that dynamic ticket pricing is an affront to fans without really understanding how that is a new standard across the industry (all of sports) that ticket buyers will adapt to (and have adapted to)… It isn’t an attempt to diminish attendance, it is an attempt to maximize revenue AND bring in more fans on nonpeak nights (those games are now cheaper and presumably more affordable for a segment of fans).
    .
    Arguing that Cisco Field is going to be tough to do privately (financing) ignores the fact that Coliseum City is even more of a feat that requires a lot more complex financing (three privately financed sporting venues as part of the same plan require three different sports teams to come up with a lot of scratch from the same general target market). Which is a bigger roadblock? $2B with numerous stakeholders or $650M with one?

  31. @Anon – You are not reading me correctly. You’re mistaking my inquiry about factors surrounding an owner’s decision for a conclusion about what that decision will be.

    I’m indifferent about where the A’s land, provided it’s in the bay area.

    Without any numbers, your bullet points are simply unimpressive, and I don’t see how they would govern the decisions of Wolff’s competitors.

    Do the rich clubs get a cut of this San Jose money, or are the Athletics simply moved off the subsidy side of the equation?

    Let’s say I’m a selfish owner who doesn’t care about the baseball’s legacy, but how much profit I’m pulling in. I don’t need the A’s to be competitive to improve my fan support or franchise value. However, if I vote to undo the Giants’ territorial rights, I could be putting my territorial rights at risk against future expansion, if the other owners deem my market capable of sustaining a second or third franchise. How are the New York Knicks affected by the Brooklyn Nets coming to town (i don’t follow basketball, so i’m unfamiliar with their ownership and revenue structures)?

    It’s not just Wins and Losses, it’s what those wins and losses translate into at the ticket office. For the A’s, this site has pointed out the limited effect, but for the Dodgers, Angels, Rangers, Mariners you can see a huge difference in their bottom line.

    I’m operating within a closed market with a limited supply of resources. Now, is it to my advantage to prevent my competitors from gaining equal footing (ex. payroll and stadium)? Of course. The question is, how much does this cost me. If the A’s become a $100M payroll team, they are in contention for free agents: Adrian Beltre, Lance Berkman, Jason Giambi, Marco Scutaro, etc., who would not sign with Oakland, even if it was for more money. Is denying a direct competitor the opportunity of attaining resources I desire at the lowest possible price worth, say $5-10M per season to me if it means I’m in the playoffs and pulling in several sell out crowds and boosting my tv viewership numbers?

    I don’t know, that’s why i’m askin’ the freakin’ question.

  32. @Jefferey “Wasn’t Andy Dolich saying the 49ers would never get Santa Clara underway at one point?”….
    He was saying that a lot, even kept it up after the process was started down there. His takes the last decade seem that times have passed him by. He is set in a old way of thinking and not looking at how the culture of things have taken shape.

  33. ouch…
    @Buster_ESPN
    MLB giving Athletics list of guidelines to meet for possible move to San Jose reminds me of getting my cat to chase a flashlight beam.

  34. Caught Dolich on Radnich’s show this morning. He conveniently side stepped Gary’s question about if he had a team would he move it to SJ. The man may have been successful 20 years ago in marketing the A’s, but the Bay Area sports environment has changed, and he’s now a man out of touch. Just like most of the Bay Area media, he offers up no specific solutions to the A’s problem.

  35. RU155, mainly the A’s in SJ gets them off welfare. But it does so by also adding another team to the payee side of the ledger and raising whatever everyone else is receiving/keeping as well. How much? Probably not a ton. What it does for the A’s franchise value is the real kicker. If it doubles or triples as a result (very possible), that has the potential to lift everyone’s franchise value as well. And that’s not a small thing. MLB made sure to get top dollar for the Dodgers for that very reason. And as long as it’s done in a way that minimizes the risk of further territorial rights encroachment, that could negate that risk.

  36. @ RU155 – Again, I think you’re looking at this from a myopic viewpoint of wins and losses where team management plays a much more critical role to impact things then just $$ (see: Billy Beane, Moneyball, Marlins). A strong and healthy league is in the best interests of Baseball at large; when any team wins and their attendance, merchandise, TV, etc. goes up, all of baseball wins (see national TV revenue). But, lets go down your path anyhow:
    The Expos move to DC and we see the franchise value and revenue of BOTH teams go up. Sure, the O’s are pissed and voted against the move, but why didn’t the other owners even though it did set a precedent? Because they can see the value of taking a team off of life support and making it a net gain for everyone. Both franchises are healthy now so it is a win-win situation for everyone.
    Coming back to the Bay Area, our situation is a little unique because 1) there were shared territory at one time and 2) it is essentially one market and not two. I don’t foresee this entering the thoughts of any other owners as well, as the O’s/W’s situation seem more relevant.
    Now, I don’t doubt the Gnats resolve to prevent this, but as it pertains to other owners, it hardly impacts them in the ways you think it would (do you have monetary figures yourself?).

  37. I drove past the Diridon site last and noticed that the welding supply business has moved. That just leaves one business left — AT&T.
    ML – do you know if said welding supply business sold their land?

    • @A’s Fan – I’d heard it might be happening at some point. Assessor records show a transfer date of 12/28/12. Not clear on anything beyond that. One other thing you’ll notice is that there are far fewer vans at the AT&T site than there used to be.

  38. @A’s fan,
    I’m at the Tank right now getting my Disney on Ice on. Can’t wait to get the A’s and our new yard down here!

  39. Well on the bright side it still gives Oakland 5 extra years to figure out a plan to keep the A’s…who knows the next mayor of Oakland could smooth things out with Lew Wolff and Maybe he could reconsider….did u see that coliseum city design for the A’s ballpark??? I liked it…no offense to the design of Cisco field but I think the C.C is better.

  40. Berry, what design are you talking about? As far as I can tell, that is just a placeholder.

  41. Well I know they just show the upper view of it, but I’m assuming the exterior of the A’s ballpark would be a brick-layered green gray and yellow …. Something artsy and creative that shows Oakland and A’s culture..there was talk about a museum of some sort so yeah I think it would look better then the Cisco field design.

  42. @Anon, for the love of God, your condescension is grating. It’s not just wins-losses, they are a factor, among many. This is about posing the hypothetical factors to an owners decision process. Myopic would be saying “keep the team in oakland because that’s where they belong” or “do it because it’s what’s best for baseball.”

    What’s the long term sound decision for an owner? If they don’t know the answer, often times the best decision is not to make one – no vote for 4 years. Does the marginalization of territorial sovereignty affect the value of your franchise dramatically, or are the potential returns from a healthy Athletics franchise enough to offset your risk?

    This site, it’s chronicled everything, so i haven’t missed much. Theoretical, to plans, to failed plans, to new plans, and finally SJ set firmly in the crosshairs. Then, how does Wolff compensation the Giants to drop the protest? On, and on, and on. They’ve done nothing but great work, and spent some time on franchise value. Then it’s about piecing together the puzzle for a shift to SJ. But we’re 4 years into a fake BRP and no movement. Hell, last year A’s leadership was all about the 2015-16 target date, now it’s suddenly 2018+. Wolff is no fool and he’s done land deals in CA for decades, surely he wouldn’t have trouble ironing out the details or financing.

    So what’s stopping it? You say it’s an easy a no-brainer, well 4 years of BRP to point out Oakland isn’t profitable (even though Wolff already did it) says something isn’t falling into place.

    If Selig has the votes, has 4 years of a BRP, and a baseball-wins solution, what’s holding them back?

    The Expos? Selig had no trouble getting the owners to vote for that move because it made everyone a lot of money, and didn’t require the other owners to vote to remove the territorial rights of another member. Cities submitted proposals, baseball voted, and the Orioles were compensated all within roughly 2 years.

    Solve for X.

    @ML thanks for the percentage. But my point is that I’m not sure we can get a read on how much certain owners value their franchise territorial rights, otherwise, I’m sure they would have had a vote a while ago.

    • @RU155 – I would caution against trying to divine anything from the private thoughts of any single owner. My point is that there’s no basis to do it.

  43. nice to see movement with the remaining parcels—was at a Sharks game a few weeks ago and the welding company was still there–so things have happened recently with the move—and with EQ stadium construction starting next week I finally feel like some momentum is building…

  44. @ RU155 – Myopic is basing an argument based solely on a single point of self-interest. You hypothesize one view of a club’s self-interest, then now contradict saying that the W’s move made everyone money. You criticize me for not having other “factors” figured in when i easily pointed out several (revenue sharing, franchise values, additional corporate sponsorships, etc.), yet you threw out only a club’s W-L vs. gate receipt. I bring up the case of uniqueness in this TR (pre-shared, single market), yet you dismiss without argument and cite the DC/O’s case as unrelated in terms of financials. Okay…your mind is wide open there…. fyi – i never said it was a no brainer, just counterpoints to your “i only care about my own ballclub $$” arguments”, but thanks for trying anyways….

  45. Now – if you want a legit counterpoint and concern, here’s one: the 49ers. The 400lb. gorilla moved into SJ’s backyard, taking it with it valuable corporate sponsorship as well as fan $$$. Yes, it’s only 10 games a year and it doesn’t really overlap baseball, but those are still lots of money being thrown at their new stadium and many folks and companies won’t be able to fork over the dough for both sports. That may have thrown a wrench in all the planning and convinced MLB to ensure a viable plan is in place for the A’s as well.

  46. Just left a packed Tank full of screaming kids (my daughter included). Welding business, GONE! Once AT&T parcel is acquired…by golly Diridon South will have FINALLY been fully assembled after all these years! I can still hear Ron Gonzalez back in 05 stating Diridon South would be fully acquired soon. Now, about that possible state seizure…

  47. RM,
    Perhaps at your convenience you could do a thread with a Diridon South update, including any info (if any) on a possible state seizure of former RDA lands.

  48. @Anon – dude, W-L and gate reciepts are one factor on the bottom line, but the mythical value is territorial rights. There is a number for every owner that will lead to an owner’s approval or veto. Whatever has gone on behind the scenes ends with the approval of the owners. Will they vote to grant the A’s permission to occupy territory that is specifically designated to the Giants in the MLB Constitution. Do owners in specific markets value their territorial rights so highly that even making the A’s profitable would hurt their own club’s value?

    Expos did not move into the Orioles designated territory, so I see the A’s/Giants situation differently.

    Just because it was a pre-shared market hasn’t softened the Giants position. I believe they’ve been able to successfully lobby their counterparts to caution against infringing upon the Giants’ territory, so what turns the tide in the A’s favor?

    Is a block of owners (7-8) that would choose to scuttle approval, because the A’s projections will not (in their minds) fairly compensate them for crossing the rubicon of territorial rights infringement. Projected revenue from their competitive team (W-L) is just one line of the ledger, much like concessions, television revenue, merchandise, profit sharing, etc. Total that up, and balance against the benefits of granting A’s permission falls under yea-nay.

    Now we get a nugget saying that MLB has laid out parameters for the A’s (though SuSlu says it’s been there a while) to move to SJ. Are those parameters based upon what owners have told Selig it will take to get their vote to approval a move? Are those parameters reasonable, or would Wolff owe a pound of flesh; is it simply a matter of securing the land and funding?

  49. RU155 – Wow, I’ve never seen someone talk so much, yet provide so little in actual details. Bro, you really need to stop going back and forth between the Giants argument (i already agreed they would protest) and hypothetical selfish mindset of 7-8 owners. We all know the questions already put forth to the other owners as ML has gone into details ad naseum on it over the years. I’ve given you several reasons for why an owner would grant the A’s the TR (based on comments on actual owners like Reisndorf), yet all you can keep on doing is dwelling on the aspect “fair compensation” of some transcendent line that will put MLB into supposed chaos, yet provide no evidence thereof of even one other club thinking this. Anyhow….

  50. Please RU155 – You even have mentioned that Selig wont’ take a vote on an MLB issue unless he’s got the votes to win. The fact that MLB has went public about the A’s move to SJ is significant – MLB didn’t make that comment idly.

  51. I believe MLB’s decision to provide guidelines for the A’s to possibly move to San Jose is a major breakthrough towards the resolution to this longtime ongoing stalemate. I also believe that this information would not have been leaked out, hadn’t the Giants already given MLB reluctant allowance, under certain preconditions, for the A’s to move to San Jose. It is likely that one of the preconditions is for the A’s to not be able to move before the 2018 season. These so called “guidelines” will also have the affect of stretching out the time required to get everything in order for the move of the A’s to San Jose, and not before the 2018 season.

  52. @Anon, and yet 4 years and no vote.

    With Reisndorf was pro-SJ (2011), probably having seen a report that was clear as day, why no vote?

    All I posited was that if a bigger paycheck and the rising tide for all boats hasn’t worked, there is some combination of interests among 7-8 owners that have made them hesitant to grant the A’s to SJ. Perhaps it’s for competitive advantage, or because they don’t want to go down the path of revoking a team’s territorial rights, or they could just be playing wait and see.

    Point being the Giants may have an alliance that is unmoved, so far, by the A’s projected revenue stream. If that’s the case, how do you break the logjam?

  53. @ RU155 – For a guy who asks others to look at the possibilities in the delay, you sure are fixated on the Gnats portion of it only, but lets go along with this strawmans argument. First, let’s be clear: all our discussion is just pure speculation as we can only pretend to know what Selig, Lew, or 7-8 other teams are thinking. Secondarily, let’s pretend that these new “guidelines” are the signal of MLB’s willingness to move to SJ (although as SuSlu notes, it’s old news to the team), and with it, that there are no compensation for the table for the Gnats. Now, if true, let’s address your concern about some hypothetical 7-8 teams. Their concerns are as you stated: TR precedent, competitive advantage, and financials.

    – TR precedent: only teams that previously had shared territory and 2 separate territories in the same market (that isn’t shared). It is unique, period. The W’s / O’s situation is more along the lines of what may transpire in the future and you can see how that was handled (and voted on by the owners).

    – Competitive advantage: you talk about other teams worried that the A’s would have the resources to finally attract free agents and make them competitive. I think the additional revenue, if anything, would make them be able to keep their own free agents, ones that flood the market to other competing teams. But how have the A’s fared the past decade plus? Pretty well considering the numerous playoff appearances with a shoestring budget. Case in point: it goes down to organizational management for a competitive team, not just revenue generation. If anything, i think the message was clear from A’s management: even if they get a new venue they were going to be shrewd with how they spend their income, but it gives them additional resources to lock up home grown talent.

    – Financials: A team going of MLB welfare is definite a net win for everyone, although not as large (probably $5-9M). This can’t be understated, as it is specifically mentioned in the CBA. But a competitive team also goes a long way in the popularity of MLB which factors a lot into negotiations of large TV contracts (estimated at $35-40M for each team). I won’t even get into the hypothetical scenario where SJ fails, the team goes into life support in Oakland (because of non-availability of public subsidies) or essentially becomes the Expos West. Or the nuclear winter option of challenging MLB’s ATE.

    So with those things in consideration, there is probably a larger gating item for the delay: Oakland itself. As originally stated by MLB, the BRC was really commissioned not if SJ was viable, but whether there were any sites in Oakland that LW may have missed. Given the dysfunctional and/or inept Oakland government who have jumped from one proposition to another, I don’t necessarily blame delays on this (hell it took VC how long before it was unofficially killed?!). This was probably the key data they needed, since it would obviously be the first question on the owners mind: why can’t they make it work there, since the city wants to keep the team, right?! With CC looking more like a pipedream then ever before and having so many moving parts in the Raiders and W’s involvement, this issue looks like it may have finally come to some conclusion: Oakland can’t do it as they have stated.

    Now you may wonder, if all those issues are addressed and seemingly put to bed, what are these guidelines about? I have a theory: stadium precedent. Sure, the Gnats were one of the first to build their own stadium on their dime, but now you’re asking the other owners to grant
    you an actual TR based on your promise. Remember, many other owners are not as fortunate as our Bay Area teams and require public subsidy (see Jeff Loria / Marlins). If you want to build your own stadium, fine you can do that without your own authority, but if you ask the others, they’re going to balk back especially as it goes before the larger group making it more of an internal political vote it seems. With this in mind, MLB had to establish specific guidelines on what it required: upfront corporate sponsorship, firm financing, land acquisitions, government/public support, etc. The last thing they want to see is another McCourt bailout sob story, even if Fischer is filthy rich.

    I think there are some owners on the fence, but not necessarily opposing this move. However, as noted many times, Selig wants a unanimous majority (sans the Giants – see DC/O’s again) so is working every detail to appease the last bit of concern. It has been a long drawn process, no doubt. But when you look at all the different things going on (especially on the Oakland front), i think it makes more sense….

  54. @ru155,
    Sorry brah, but you’ve lost this argument (nice try though). See you in San Jose as well!

  55. Perfectly reasonable cause for drawing out the process. Hope the vote goes through, but like you said it’s an “internal political vote” that puts the onus on Wolff to wrangle his relationships within the lodge. I don’t know if your TR explanation is as easy a sell to an old boys club. But I only see TR being an issue for 3-6 owners, leaving that last 2 as the margin Wolff can clear by putting out a profitable plan.

  56. @ RU155 – glad we can agree that this this issue is more complex than it appears on the surface. Only when a decision is made, can we hope to understand all the machinations that went on behind it form both the lodge, the BRC, Giants, A’s, and Oakland perspective. Would make a great book IMHO lol!

    • @RU155/Anon – You two are arguing about a democratic process that, based on prior evidence and dealings, doesn’t really occur among the MLB owners. They may take votes, but there’s a reason they’re called “The Lodge” and not “The Senate”. Maybe this is different. Somehow I doubt it.

  57. We gotta stop the sf giants this year in the series…set the tone.

  58. @ML – I realize this and could envision a bunch of rich fat guys smoking Cubans talking amongst one another when someone (maybe Loria) shouts: “dammit Lew, first Peter (McGowan) builds a waterfront park on his own dime to make us look bad. Now, you want to do the same thing AND ask for a bigger pie in Apple-Google country?! What’s next? Eliminating PSLs and dynamic pricing? Why should I care about you and Larry’s (Baer) squabble?” I realize this old boys network takes care of matters differently, hence my comment on the private financing irking some there and establishing a different kind of precedent that can have even bigger ramifications for other owners then merely a TR debate. This, of course, is JMHO….

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