#BREAKING: The San Jose City Council has voted to sue #MLB for refusing to let the Oakland #Athletics move to San Jose.
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsBayArea) June 18, 2013
More from ABC 7:
So, the city has hired Peninsula attorney Joe Cotchett to file a lawsuit. “This is all about economics. And, you have a city like San Jose, the tenth largest city in the United States, cannot get a baseball club. I can name you other cities that are pulling for San Jose for the same reason. They want the right and the chance to bring a baseball team to their city, their county, whatever it might be,” he said.
A 2009 study found that a new ballpark for the A’s could pump $130 million a year into the San Jose economy. And, San Jose’s mayor has hinted in the past that he’s considered legal action, but the city has always deferred to the principal owner of the A’s — Lew Wolff.
The City has been talking to Cotchett for a while about prepping the lawsuit. I had also heard that Cotchett may be taking this case pro bono, but I can’t confirm that at the moment. Correction: Cotchett is taking the case on a contingency basis. Cotchett has a ton of experience with antitrust suits and sports, representing the Raiders and the NFL at different times.
The Merc’s John Woolfork also has an article with a primer.
And then there’s this.
Lawyer Joe Cotchett who is representing San Jose in antitrust lawsuit vs. MLB joins the show at 12:15 @957thegame http://t.co/UyktKQI7KP
— John Lund (@JohnLundRadio) June 18, 2013
The podcast of the Cotchett interview is available here.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed’s office put out the lawsuit press release:
For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2013
Michelle McGurk, Office of Mayor Reed
(408) 535-4840 or (408) 655-7332 (cell)
City Council Unanimously Authorizes Lawsuit to Allow A’s to Move to San Jose
San Jose, Calif. – The City of San Jose has filed legal action in federal court to eliminate the territorial restrictions that Major League Baseball has used to keep the A’s from moving to San Jose. The complaint was authorized by the City Council during closed session this morning.
“For more than four years, the City of San Jose has made an exhaustive effort to work with Major League Baseball to resolve any concerns about our city’s capacity to host a major league ballclub,” Mayor Chuck Reed said. “During that time, it has become abundantly clear that Major League Baseball prefers to use territorial restrictions as an excuse to restrict commerce and prevent the Athletics from relocating to San Jose. This restriction is costing San Jose residents millions of dollars in new annual tax revenues that could go towards funding more police officers, firefighters, libraries, gang prevention efforts, road repairs and other critical city services.”
The Oakland Athletics ownership group has expressed a desire to construct a new privately-financed and privately-operated ballpark in Downtown San Jose. While the City of San Jose has worked with the Athletics to facilitate the construction of a new ballpark, their efforts have been stalled by the San Francisco Giants’ claim of “territorial rights” to Santa Clara County. In 2009, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a special blue ribbon committee to analyze the Athletics’ options for a new ballpark. But after four years, there still has been no decision on whether the Athletics can relocate to San Jose.
According to an independent economic analysis report conducted by Conventions Sports & Leisure International, a new major league ballpark in Downtown San Jose would generate significant benefits, including:
$5 million per year in new tax revenues to the City and other local governments;
$130 million per year in total net new economic output; and
Nearly 1000 new full and part-time jobs.
San Jose has entered into an option agreement with the Athletics Investment Group, LLC, the California limited partnership that owns and operates the Oakland A’s, to purchase property for a ballpark in Downtown San Jose. According to the suit, Major League Baseball is interfering with this contract by refusing to allow the Oakland A’s Club to locate to the City of San Jose. San Jose seeks to restore competition among and between the clubs and their partners by ending MLB’s collusive agreements. The lawsuit outlines several practices that have resulted in an unreasonable restraint on competition, in violation of federal and California law, and constitute unlawful, unfair, and/or fraudulent business practices under California law, including violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, Tortious Interference with Contractual Advantage, and Tortious Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage, and for violation of the federal Sherman Act, and violation of California’s Cartwright Act.
The City of San Jose is being represented in this case by attorney Joseph W. Cotchett and the firm of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP. The firm is working on contingency.
Legal Action filed June 18, 2013: http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18492.
Economic Impact Analysis: http://www.sjredevelopment.org/ballpark/EI_Report_09022009.pdf
Ballpark archive, including renderings: http://www.sjredevelopment.org/ballpark.htm.
And now, MLB’s response:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – June 18, 2013
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STATEMENT
Major League Baseball Executive Vice President for Economics & League Affairs Rob Manfred issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit filed by the City of San Jose today:
“In considering the issues related to the Oakland Athletics, Major League Baseball has acted in the best interests of our fans, our communities and the league. The lawsuit is an unfounded attack on the fundamental structures of a professional sports league. It is regrettable that the city has resorted to litigation that has no basis in law or in fact.”
Additional comments from San Jose Councilmembers, who unanimously voted to approve the lawsuit:
Xavier Campos, Councilmember, District Five: “The Mayor and City Council want to send Major League Baseball a clear message that the future home for the Athletics is in San José. The new ballpark will draw more fans and generate additional revenues, and create jobs during the construction phase of the project as well as permanent jobs well into the future. It’s a win for San José and it’s a win for Major League Baseball.”
Kansen Chu, Councilmember, District Four: “I am disappointed Major League Baseball has prevented the A’s from moving to San José. Winning this lawsuit not only will provide a great economic impact for the City of San José but will also benefit Major League Baseball.”
Rose Herrera, Councilmember, District 8: “This is the right step to take on behalf of our residents to get the baseball team that we deserve.”
Ash Kalra, Councilmember, District 2: “Major League Baseball has given the city of San Jose no other option but to turn to the judicial system to have our concerns heard and this matter resolved. The lack of response from Major League Baseball has been extremely disrespectful to the efforts our city and community have made in creating an attractive environment for the Athletics, particularly since the team’s ownership agrees that San Jose, the Capital of Silicon Valley, is the ideal location for their great organization.”
Johnny Khamis, Councilmember, District 10: “I supported filing the lawsuit against Major League Baseball today because San Jose deserves economic justice.”
Sam Liccardo, Councilmember, District 3, “Our Downtown hotels, restaurants, shops, cafes, and clubs and their workers will benefit the tens of thousands of people attending each game at a Major League ballpark,” said Councilmember Sam Liccardo, who represents the Downtown. “Independent experts put the total economic impact at $130 million a year. But the wait staff and cooks at our local restaurants can tell you about the real impact professional sports have on a large-city economy. When the Sharks play, Downtown is packed with patrons. We expect an even bigger impact with baseball.”
Pierluigi Oliverio, Councilmember, District 6: “As the Councilmember representing the majority of the land where a future ballpark would be built, I support taking this action today. San Jose residents need resolution now. We have waited for four painful years, and the area surrounding the future stadium has languished due to years of indecision. In addition to Downtown, surrounding neighborhood business districts like The Alameda and West San Carlos will benefit from the economic revitalization that a major league ballpark will bring to the Diridon Station area.”
Donald Rocha, Councilmember, District 9: “Today’s legal action is hopefully the first step in a process which will bring the City, Major League Baseball, the Giants and the A’s to the table. I firmly believe that there is an opportunity for a positive outcome for all parties, and for too long we’ve all been so focused on our own best interests that we haven’t pursued that conversation.”
Further reading, if you’re interested:
- SF Chronicle editorial – San Jose cries foul over A’s
- SJ Councilman Sam Liccardo (San Jose Inside) – Why San Jose Sued Major League Baseball
- Jeff Passan (Yahoo!) – San Jose lawsuit at least provides some hope in putrid A’s situation
- Craig Calcaterra (NBC Hardball Talk) – The San Jose lawsuit against Major League Baseball should be thrown out of court
- Gwen Knapp (Sports On Earth) – Rotten In The State Of California
- Mark Purdy (Mercury News) – San Jose takes big swing at Major League Baseball
- Ray Ratto (CSN Bay Area) – Is closure coming to the San Jose saga?
- Wendy Thurm (Fangraphs) – San Jose Sues MLB To Get A’s, Charges Teams Conspire To Maintain Monopoly Power In Markets
- Nathan Donato-Weinstein (SV Business Journal) – Why the deck is stacked agaisnt San Jose in MLB lawsuit
- Jill Tucker & John Shea (Chron) – San Jose sues MLB over A’s move
- Karen Gullo (Businessweek) – Major League Baseball sued by San Jose over A’s relocation
- Background: Pumping up the antitrust threat (Newballpark.org)
- Background: Sick’s Stadium and relocation of Pilots from Seattle to Milwaukee (Wikipedia)
Commentary later tonight.
From SewerGate to Sue-erGate.
I have mixed ideas on this. Part of me is happy that something might get pushed through, but the other part of me thinks that this might just piss off MLB who wants things to happen at their own pace.
I await the comment from Lew Wolff that he is disappointed that SJ has decided to be impatient.
Best news of the day! About fracking time someone pushed the issue.
hmmm… invited to join an association and then trying to sue them is not a good move.
YES , finally !
The lawsuits worked very well for the Tampa Bay Rays owners – it will likely also work for the A’s. MLB may be reluctant to defend the giants owners’ lame arguments in a courtroom. The ATE is already on shaky ground. The giants arguments are foolish.
@David: Tampa got a team after sueing BS and MLB.
David, they were never invited to join by MLB. About damn time someone broke this logjam. MLB will cave just like they always do when ATE is under attack.
next step: Mayor Reed and Carl Guardino should try to convince the SVLG members to stop sending money to Frisco.
the distance between L.A. and Anaheim is 25 miles.
How far is the distance between San Jose & San Francisco? (47 mi.)
For how long can the snobs in the “City by the Bay” continue to claim all of the Peninsula + San Jose as their “own.”
Wow, we finally got to this point. Its a shame this had to eventually end up with a lawsuit, but we all saw this coming. If Wolff had had any dialog with Oakland officials in the last 4 years, he could have actually demonstrated his stance that there really were no viable sites in Oakland, and MLB would have forced an owners vote and/or gotten the Giants on board. Instead, for some reason Wolff refused to have those discussions, and MLB was content to sit on its hands. Now we get to see San Jose be the bad guy. Sort of a sour note to start off on for a new franchise.
of course a counter argument could include lost revenue to the City of Oakland.
Well, this takes it a whole new level. Bud can’t avoid the subject any longer. He’ll be called in to court, if this gets that far, even after his retirement. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only remedy that might work. It did for Tampa Bay. I’m sure San Jose’s legal experts are confident of their arguments and chances.
David: For you, if the lawsuit works, it means you have to go an extra 30 miles to see the A’s, and keep wearing the same “A’s” cap you already have. If the lawsuit fails, we’re back to MLB trying to get a ballpark done in Oakland, something that no one has been able to do for many years now, or the team gets relocated far away or contracted. Nobody wants to pay for a ballpark in Oakland, that’s the bottom line. Would MLB pay for it? Unlikely, given the nightmare precedent it sets for the owners and franchise values.
Not a good week for Bud so far – raw sewage at the Coliseum and now this. This is what he gets for doing nothing about this issue.
To quote Terry Hoitz from the “Other Guys”
“You keep hiding from shit in the world, and eventually the world comes to your front door.”
@pjkGood luck to san Jose. If lew Wolff doesn’t have the balls to support you guys through this, then time to sell and Oakland might succeed as the first MLB city to hold out for a free stadium.
Standfor: Frisco already did that – got a free stadium. So Oakland thinks it can, too. But there’s no indication such a move would be successful – as in pay for itself and not cause owners to lose many millions – in Oakland.
One way or another, shit’s about to go down.
Wait, this isn’t the sewage thread? Oops.
Seriously, in spite of saying yesterday that Wolff had to play nice just to be safe, I’m glad someone’s pushing the issue further now.
I would bet money that Selig will come out soon and say that the A’s were/are free to move to SJ but the team refused to accept the MLB conditions to the move. Then he will say that those conditions are proprietary. Thus, a City can not force a business to move into its territory if it doesn’t want to, it is a business decision.
I happened to hear Cotchett on the radio, 95.7, while running an errand, and he sounded a bit more excited about the state-law interference with contract claim than with the A/T claim. mlb’s lawyers are already preparing a motion to dismiss for lack of standing in the A/T action. If such a motion were successful, the federal judge could decline to hear the state claims, and San Jose would go to superior court with them, and without any threat to the A/T exemption.
Can’t wait to see a copy of the complaint. Strange strateg overall, but who knows — maybe mlb will cave and let the A’s move.
Comparisons with Tampa are off point. The thwarted purchasers of the Giants had no standing problem (and they sued in NJ). The Florida antitrust cases were decided under Florida law.
“The suit also claims that Major League Baseball’s constitution, the sport’s governing framework, expired last year and that owners failed to renew it. That meant any team’s territorial claims also expired, the suit says.”
For a copy of the complaint, go to this page and look at the “Cases of Interest” list in the lower right-hand corner:
Look at the complaint and you’ll see that the A/T claims are buried at the end, after the state-law claims. The Section 1 claim, which is the one that really concerns the A/T exemption and territorial division of comepetition, is dead last.
One other odd note: the section 17200 unfair competition cause of action looks wrong. I’ll double check, but last time I looked a public entity, such as a city, does not fall within the defintion of “person” in that statutory scheme, and, if I remember correctly, can’t assert that type of claim. If that’s still true, then wtf is Cotchett up to?
well of course listening to 95.7 papa the most anti a’s personality on radio here since he’s so butt hurt that the a’s dumped his ass after the 03 said nothing will come of this.
listening to bruce whos on the midgets payroll said he doesn’t think the midgets will ever let go of the tr nor should they. said the a’s made a bonehead decision to “give” the south bay to the midgets back in the early 90s and doesn’t think the midgets should do the same. he thinks now that the midgets are so all powerful that mlb will listen to them rather than the a’s because the midgets bring in money while the a’s take away money.
never mind if the a’s were to move to sj they’d bring in a hell of a lot more money than they would if they stayed in oakland where financially i don’t see a viable plan to build a half billion dollar new baseball park and they’d bring in money as a whole to mlb being part of a sj business environment that pretty much would stay away from mlb as i’d think a lot of businesses down in the south bay would only put money into mlb if the a’s moved to sj.
no surprise so far the local media has a back lash while looking at my twitter feed the national guys like olney, law and others seem to be rooting for the a’s to be allowd to move to sj.
Here is a direct link to the complaint: http://t.co/vQLuIgeErt
“The suit also claims that Major League Baseball’s constitution, the sport’s governing framework, expired last year and that owners failed to renew it. That meant any team’s territorial claims also expired, the suit says.”
Whoops. Looks like B&P sec. 17204 allows city attorneys to sue under sec. 17200 if they represent cities of 750,000 or more. San Jose beats that.
Wouldn’t it be hilarious if MLB’s constitution did actually expire because Selig is too incompetent to stay on top of that stuff? Guess the memo on that was on top of his desk, but he was hiding under his desk, fearing Giants lawyers approaching. Now he can deal with San Jose’s lawyers, instead.
One final note. The first claim for relief, interference with prospective economic advantage, requires proof of independently wrongful conduct beyond the interference. Here, plaintiff claims violations of the A/T law and unfair competition law constitute that wrongful conduct. This is a claim that discussion on this blog teased out as possible more than a year ago. So even if the state-law claim gets bounced back to state court, the A/T issues could simmmer–although a state-court decision in San Jose’s favor on such a claim probably would not put much of a dent in the A/T exemption.
I’m surprised anyone is taking this as good news. I’ve been enthusiastic about the Diridon ballpark possibility for years, but I interpret this lawsuit as bad news for any A’s fan. The City of San Jose would not take this course of action unless they felt they had to; in other words they were certain MLB would uphold the Giant’s claim on SCCo. This is a scorch the Earth tactic that may forever keep MLB away from SJ. The A’s future in the Bay Area is now more uncertain than ever.
Playing nice has gotten San Jose nowhere. Selig refuses to meet with the mayor? Blue Ribbon Panel looking at the East Bay, quickly expands its search to include San Jose and then reports nothing after 4+ years? Secret conditions Wolff is supposed to meet before a San Jose vote will be held? It’s time to move on this. Some of us would like to see an A’s game in a new stadium before we qualify for senior citizen discounts. We know nothing is happening in Oakland, where the Giants have boxed in the A’s because the Giants know nothing is going to happen with a new ballpark there. Pep rallies and press conferences,yes, but actual progress, no.
Great stuff guys. Sorry I can’t comment further. After these meetings end I’ll read the complaint and chime in.
A few thoughts of thoughts on this:
1. Wow – SJ went Defcon 1 and pulled out the Nuclear option from out of the blue. Say what you want to say about SJ, but the city government here actually is proactive (EIR, land acquisition, etc.) and has some cojones to stand up to Selig!
2. Could this lawsuit lead to the discovery disclosure of what the BRC has been doing all these years? I’m sure this will be explored and hopefully some info will leak out to the public on it.
3. Funny, the pro Oaklanders are crying foul of “suing their own association” while they continue to berate the same owner of the franchise that want to retain. Then again, I don’t blame then because what have they done the past decade plus? Why have rallies and drives when you can spend time instead doing actual EIRs, land acquisitions, and lawsuits…
4. I’m sure LW was consulted on this beforehand (even if he publicly condemns it), so it will be interesting to see his reaction. All told, SJ really has nothing to lose from this (since it doesn’t have a team) and went straight for MLB’s jugular / Achilles heal…..damn!
papa continues to spew out garbage from that huge hole located at the southern end of that melon shaped object attached to his neck that he calls a head when he said that the taxpayers will pay for this lawsuit.
Does Greg Papa work for the Giants now or something? I know he was fired by the A’s but his show is the most anti-A’s show on radio – and that includes KNBR programming.
A lot of bad information coming out of Papa’s mouth right now. He’s ranting on how San Jose will never win and about how much the suit will cost taxpayers. The fact is the lawfirm is will be representing San Jose on a contingency basis.
I have a feeling this lawsuit will be discussed at the August owner’s meeting even if it won’t be on the official agenda. Old Bud won’t be able to take the stand and say, ” I won’t give you a bleep answer on the A’s relocation”.
If it is true that MLB’s constitution has expired, than there is no reason why the A’s could not just leave Oakland at the end of the season.
he’s the pre/post game host on csnba for the midgets.
and yes he by far has been the most anti a’s media member here. even more than ralph doesn’t his peak anti a’s years on knbr.
hate to get political but papa is essentially tv political pundit morris, former clinton advisor back in the early 90s who clinton fired and morris has been anti-democrat ever since really. same thing has happened to papa, a’s fired him and he’s been on his anti a’s crusade ever since. papa has basically become a troll essentially. you wonder why he if he were so anti a’s that he decided to appear in the moneyball movie.
History of MLB getting sued in anti-trust fashion on location of teams has told us one thing:
-MLB would rather settle than fight in court to protect their A/T exemption at all costs.
The other owners are going to be fuming mad at Selig and guess who else? The San Francisco Giants….Winners of 2 of the last 3 World Series.
The lawsuit is being taken pro-bono because Joe Cotchett knows he will make a big name for himself and he has a great case.
I have been one clamoring for a lawsuit for years and this will speed things up big time.
Expect Selig and the Giants to come to resolution on this fast, the next owners meeting in August.
The other owners do not want to spend a dime on something this ridiculous as they are collectively MLB….including the A’s.
This should have been done years ago but by waiting it out for 4 years it shows San Jose was patient with the process and that helps their case even more.
Woo hoo! It is a great day for the people of San Jose!
It’s about time! The breakdown of the Bay Area into two distinctly different territories has always been a lot of crock. Finally, the Giants’ ownership, Selig, and a select group of other MLB privileged owners will be exposed for their collective selfish greed. This greed was done willfully at the expense of others in the greater MLB community. Today, San Jose made a huge step towards landing a well deserved MLB team, the San Jose Athletics.
If this lawsuit does go to court and is ruled in favor of San Jose, how does that secure the A’s move to San Jose?
@Chris.. I don’t follow Giants games much but as of last year Papa was still part of the Giants broadcasting team. Havent heard that he is fully gone or anything so believe he’s still there. Besides the pregame and post game stuff he does.
@ Briggs – it doesn’t secure anything. It allows LW freely to move his team at his will. In essence, SJ is also calling LW out on his commitment to SJ as well (although we’ve seen him deliver with the Quakes)…
@ Anon: The American in me is thrilled San Jose is standing up to rigid monopoly that stands in the way of free market and San Jose voters the right to help shape the future of their city. The A’s fan in me is very uneasy. If San Jose’s claim on the A’s is their tentative agreements with the Wolff/Fisher, how secure do you think their future is as MLB franchise owners?
ratto said even if sj wins mlb will drag this out in an appeals and this process could take as long as decade to settle.
but do you think mlb even wants to deal with this topic overe their heads for over a decade or will they finally do what they should’ve done years ago and that’s okay the a’s move to sj and not deal with all this lawyer talk.
I am on page 33 of this document out of 188 and let me say there is no way this was done overnight.
This was well thought out and San Jose has been preparing for this for quite some time.
BTW…Ray Ratto is pure moron. MLB will not let this go one day in court. Expect a resolution fast.
Go ahead and drag it out, MLB. The sewage is flowing at the stadium now. What’s it going to be like in 2, 3, 5, 10 years, since Oakland has no money to improve the facility? Meanwhile, all that Silicon Valley money sits on the table instead of circulating freely at an A’s San Jose ballpark, and subsidies for the A’s in Oakland will only grow larger. All this just to keep the Giants happy.
@pjk: This isn’t about keeping any one team happy. It’s about MLB retaining the power to do what it wants, when it wants.
Selig awarded the Tampa Bay owners group 1.5 years after they filed suit against the MLB ATE. The SJ lawsuit “dragging on years” nonsense by Ratto and other giants homers is likely false. Besides, it appears that Wolff is in this for the long haul.
Briggs, yes MLB can drag it out for decades if they wanted to. The reality is, if SJ can get some legal bite to the lawsuit at all, as in, not thrown out and a hearing that goes their way, you can pretty much count on MLB settling out of court. They won’t risk their ATE by fighting it for a decade. That being said, it’s no slam dunk and it gets in the way of any potential resolution from MLB on the issue (assuming their ever would have been which is tenuous at best) and on that basis, I agree with you on the uneasiness of this thing.
Just finished reading the 46 pages of the claim. MLB is in some deep shit.
6 counts against MLB? The Sherman Act Twice? And the Cartwright Act? Oh wow….Then of course San Jose did have a contractual agreement with the A’s with the land options as well….Forgot about how MLB delaying hurts the deal on the table.
MLB, dragging this on for 4 years with the BRC shows they know San Jose is the only way. If Oakland/East Bay had something feasible only then can they stand ground on this case.
Way to go Bud Selig! Way to create a shit storm right before your retirement and put the other owners in harm’s way.
I would not be surprised if some random owner in the lodge calls for a vote in August and tells Selig to screw himself and let the A’s into San Jose.
It only takes 1 guy to stand up and call for a vote….Selig is too cowardly to do it himself.
ratto saying there are no other cities/markets that wants a mlb team mainly because no other cities are willing to pony up the money to build a park. las vegas isn’t happening and charlotte which the twins used as possible threat to minnesota had it’s mayor basically say don’t come here because we’re not building a mlb park.
well charlotte with the possibility of renovating the current nfl stadium or building a new one all together probably is out of the picture anyways from being a city that would then spend another couple hundred million to build a mlb quality park.
not to mention ratto believes mia is dying as a baseball area and tb can’t draw. said mlb in the end shouldn’t have expanded back in the late 90s when they brought in the dbacks and rays.
went onto to say a’s ownership has always wanted sj due to them thinking they could get a lot more corporate money down there than if they were to build a park in oakland. well that’s nothing that we a’s fans who’ve been following this story have read numerous times.
byrnes also is cohost and sounds like he’s pretty receptive to the a’s moving to sj. this is a change considering early on in this process he was misinformed by the midgets org and media here that where he beleived that they had owned the tr since they came to the area back in the 50s but it was slusser later who informed him during his night time show a few years ago that no the two teams had shared the south bay up until the 90s and well you know the story.
Ratto’s ignorance of sports shows through any time he opens his mouth. MLB won’t let this get to trial. And they sure as hell won’t go back for round two. The worst thing MLB can have happen is their private communiques, financials, operating processes, etc… laid bare in a court of law for all to see. To say nothing of even hinting their ATE is vulnerable.
I’d feel a lot better about this law suit if Oakland had it’s shit together. Despite wishful thinking by Lew Wolff haters, they don’t. If they did, I wouldn’t feel like the future of the A’s in Bay Area is now on the clock…
@ briggs – selfishly, i’d like this to favor a move to san jose, however the a’s fan in me just wants this ordeal resolved once and for all, whether it is a move or not, and to put some action in place for a new A’s venue (be it in San Jose, Oakland, Fremont, or timbuktu). I’m tired of these endless oakland vs. san jose debate and hope the fan base can put all of this behind us and reunite as one again!
I’m trying to get this all straight in my mind head thing. So, S4SJ is suing San Jose based on their land-sale agreement with Wolff, which is anticompetitive? Then San Jose is suing MLB over anticompetitive practices? The nature and exact language of the SJ-A’s LLC agreement then becomes the area of focus.
The possibly-expired MLB Constitution is another very intriguing component to all of this. There are a lot of pieces in motion here and this is only the tip of the iceberg. I very much want Oakland to get its act together as a backup… as long as it’s not Coliseum City.
come on, we all know the people from frisco is using TR as an excuse to eliminate the A’s. The little people from frisco know the A’s don’t have other options. SJ or out of here for the A’s. that’s all.
Previous read on this site:
ratto says quan is basically useless because there is NO MONEY to get a park built essentially in oakland. even if they have a site they’d still have to get money from the city and or county to improve the infrastructure around the new park and right now the city/county doesn’t have the money for that. said the city of oakland foolishly hitched the wagon to the raiders.
he also pointed out the territorial rights are the midgets, they’re mlb’s and if they seem fit to believe letting the a’s move to sj is the best option then they’ll overturn the rights.
ratto did come out and say what the obvious is. the midgets don’t want the a’s to be “equal partners” when it comes with the silicon valley corporate money. in all honestly the midgets would want the a’s to die or move out of the area, but of course the option they’d don’t want to see is the a’s to move to sj.
that’s something i’ve posted a couple of times. a’s in terms of fans will likely will always be second in the bay area, but the midgets as a whole don’t even want the a’s to come close to off the field success with sponorship and such which would likely happen if the a’s move down to sj. if the midgets can’t have the money that’s sitting on the sidelines in sj and will never leave sj, then they sure don’t want the a’s to have it either.
SF Chronicle editorial: “It’s about time.” While it doesn’t directly endorse San Jose, note the direct criticism of Selig and not-too-veiled criticism of the Giants. A sign the Bay Area media are slowly coming around to the position that San Jose is the only viable option.
Where exactly do people think the A’s are going to go if SJ is not an option? What cities out there are bigger markets than the East Bay and also willing to spend several hundred million public dollars on a new stadium?
Original post updated with press releases and numerous links.
Tim, It’s not about a bigger market, it will be about public money.
Who is willing to pay for a new stadium? Well, Sacramento just agreed to. Portland Oregon had a bill pushed through the Oregon legislature that allowed the state to bond against team salaries for the specific use of building a stadium (this was passed during the Expos new city tour of 2000 through 2004, or whenever that was). As far as I remember, there was no sunset on that law. So there is at least one market that can contribute hundreds of millions to a new stadium and it doesn’t come from the team or league’s pocket. I plan on reading up on that at the Oregon Stadium Campaign website when I have a second.
Well Sacramento’s public stadium funds are obviously already spoken for, so that’s not an option. And I think the public opinion regarding tax dollars for sports stadia has changed quite a bit in the past ten years. I would doubt Portlanders would feel significantly different than Oaklanders in that regard. Maybe I’m wrong though
R.i.p saveoaklandsports….it was a fun ride.
To all my Oaklanders., we stikl have a legit chance to keep the Raiders…plz join my cause to get the Raiders a new stadium in Oakland.
@pjk, xoot, tony d, jh510, Jeff and others
Would u like to Join S.O.R??? save Oakland raiders
LOL @ MLB response : Our fans Who the F are our fans? what about us the A’s fans ?
Prediction for tomorrow:
– San Francisco sues San Jose for suing MLB who then sues S.F. for getting them into this mess
– Oakland holds a *gasp* press conference to proclaim how proud they are the Coliseum is still a dump with 2 tenants who want to leave
– SOS / BBO / LGO / OPD holds a rally bashing Lew Wolf and San Jose while accepting Bitcoin pledges
– Lew Wolff denies involvement in the lawsuit with a big smirk on his face
– The actual BRC team is revealed and is headed by former Solyndra, RIM, and Fisker CEOs
– Bud Selig decides to retire, but no before his final act as commission to deem that the Bay Area is actually one shared territory, forces the Giants to have the A’s as a permanent tenant, and in turn screws both San Jose and Oakland.
FYI: letsgoas – Here are attendance stats comparing the A’s and giants when the giants played at Candlestick, specifically these are the years the A’s drew better than the giants:
1970: Oakland 9,609, SF 9,145
1972: Oakland 11,888, SF 7,997
1973: Oakland 12,355, SF 10,299
1974: Oakland 10,441, SF 6,420
1975: Oakland 13,278, SF 6,456
1976: Oakland 9,697, SF 7,739
1981: Oakland 23,928, SF 7,806
1982: Oakland 21,426, SF 14,827
1983: Oakland 15,987, SF 15,451
1984: Oakland 16,707, SF 12,365
1985: Oakland 16,477, SF 10,107
1988: Oakland 28,239, SF 22,041
1989: Oakland 32,929, SF 25,428
1990: Oakland 35,805, SF 24,389
1991: Oakland 33,500, SF 21,450
1992: Oakland 30,792, SF 19,272
1995: Oakland 16,310, SF 15,327
The A’s achieved better attendance in 17 of the 32 years when the gnats played at the ‘stick – the A’s dominated the giants. Also, during the La Russa tenure, the A’s really dominated the giants – which is likely why Lurie gave up on the bay area and sold the team to the Tampa Bay group. The giants were an average, low profile MLB team when Lurie parted ways with the team. Once the giants slip back to under .500 and stay there for a few seasons, all their bandwagon fans will disappear. Once the A’s build the new ballpark, they will resume dominating the giants. It appears that you’ve been listening to KNBR and the giants propaganda spin too much.
You have mayor Johnson confused with mayor quan. Kj has the trust of the ppl to pull off public funding. If the nba would not have apporved, unless public funding wasn’t involved
Tim, you missed my point on Sacramento. It wasn’t that the A’s could move there, it’s that municipalities are still willing to pay for stadiums. Santa Clara is paying $115M in new taxes for the 49ers stadium. In fact, private financing is still the exception for most sports leagues, not the rule. There have only been 4 MLB stadiums built in the recent past with any significant private financing involved. And only 1 that was primarily privately financed since 1992 (AT&T).
The meme that Oakland boosters have passed around about this is off base. “Where they going to go?” “Nobody pays for it anymore!” “Sacramento made it happen, so can Oakland!” “Lew could build tomorrow in Oakland.” These are all platitudes that are not based in reality.
Make no mistake, I am all for an Oakland ballpark. But I am also realistic and not blinded by loyalty. Oakland has A LOT of work to do. They could have been doing this for years rather than just running a PR campaign against Lew Wolff. I fear, if they get their wish and Lew/Fish decides to sell, they won’t be prepared.
I am a Yankee fan, who has taken up the mantle of the A’s, for two reasons. 1: As a baseball fan, they are the most unappreciated Dynasty in baseball history(Jackson, Fingers, Hunter, and the rest should not be forgotten). 2: As a New York Islander fan (they of the FOUR Consecutive Stanley Cups), I saw how our version of the Giants (the New York Rangers), tried to erase our team and history from New York. They failed when they announced they are going to Brooklyn, and I want the same fate for the A’s. This entire issue comes down to two issues: One which I mentioned earlier today in a different article, which is the A’s being too damn nice. The other, is they are facing an enemy in the Giants who essentially want the A’s either out of the Bay Area or better yet, to go out of business, so they can pick up the casual Oakland (yes, Oakland) baseball fan. Basically, if the Giants were not so nasty and determined to follow through with their scorched earth policy, the A’s would have moved to San Jose 5 years ago, and this lawsuit would not be needed. Will the hard core A’s fan, root for SF? No but the casual fan will if fed a steady diet of Giants games, with no A’s alternative. I want the A’s fan, to be able to enjoy the A’s in the Bay Area, just like I will be able to enjoy the Islanders in Brooklyn…. It is only fair.
What xoot? San Jose clearly has standing. Mayor Reed specifically stated, during the press conference, that San Jose is suffering from a $5 mil. annual loss in taxes, a loss of a $130 mil. annual boost to the local economy, and 1,000 jobs because of the MLB collusion. San Jose’s case is stronger than the Tampa Bay owners was.
i know all about the a’s attendance advantage they had pre at&t, don’t need to be reminded of that.
but realistically the a’s will have to settle to be the #2 team in this market even if they do move off to sj. at&t was a game changer and then you add two world titles in a span of 3 years. lets face the facts the a’s can’t come close to the ratings both on tv and radio that the midgets have now. i remember some thinking after 07 that the a’s had a chance to take the hearts of the casual fans back after bonds retired and the midgets were facing some lean years ahead but again two world titles basically stopped any chance along with the a’s being rather mediocre during that timeframe from 2008 thru 2011. a’s had a great 2012 but it was imo too late, the casual fans have latched to the midgets for the most part.
now in terms of on the field i think a move to sj with a new park with the huge revenues that a move to the silicon valley could help the a’s be just as successful for a substainable time as the midgets have been but a’s are no different even if a move to sj happens than to what the chisox, mets, and even angels despite them spending huge contract on free agents and their success on the field for the past decade where all those teams are the #2 teams in a two team market.
@duffer- MLB could say that Oakland would suffer $5 mil annual loses, etc.
The litigation threat that led to the Devil Rays, was an expansion team. MLB could argue that the Bay Area isn’t a big enough market for three teams and moving the A’s would lock out Oakland.
Also, all of the SJ partisans who were sure there was a back-room deal to allow a move after the 5 year lease is signed, don’t look so informed right now. This is the ultimate “hail mary”.
Some A’s players’ (guarded) reactions re: DJ suit (from Susan Slusser:
David, there’s a big difference between Oakland and San Jose. Oakland is not blocked from putting together a stadium plan right now. And allowing San Jose to compete for a baseball team doesn’t stop Oakland from competing for the team. If they lose the team after open competition, they weren’t precluded from competing, they just lost.
San Jose is precluded from competing for the team. That difference is huge.
This is a big day for San Jose. When I read the news today I could not help but close my eyes and see what is developing right before our eyes.
People call me crazy for wanting to see the A’s in San Jose, but as ML put it in the post: Its ON!!!!
Let’s go San JO!!!! Way to have to confidence to challenge what we know is going to change our city forever.
Lets go San JO!
Oakland’s ballpark plan has remained consistent: Wait out Wolff and hope he sells to some billionaire willing to pick up 100 percent of the tab for a ballpark. Good luck with that…
re: MLB executive Rob Manfred said the league
“has acted in the best interests of our fans, our communities and the league” regarding the A’s ballpark needs
…Forcing the team to play in a rotting 47-year-old stadium with raw sewage flowing is in the best interests of the fans and communities? OK. If MLB says so.
Damn good editorial by the Chron calling out the gints, MLB and Selig- awesome!
Interesting analysis of the San Jose lawsuit against MLB by Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-san-jose-lawsuit-oakland-athletics-coyotes-20130618,0,6466847.story
@Matt – That’s pretty much it. I tweeted this 7 hours ago:
ESPN: Time for MLB to let the A’s move
“This is not a legal issue, this is a moral issue…” – Joe Cotchett
Why is the city taking legal action then?
“We want to know why major league baseball and their 30 owners are preventing the A’s from moving to San Jose…” – Joe Cotchett
Does that mean SJ knows that they won’t get the votes they need to approve this move from the owners?
…One things is certain, this is the most action we’ve had in years. Cheers!
Shakin is mistaken. The Coyotes went to “bankruptcy court” not “Anti-trust court” which is far different and higher level.
In the Coyotes case the judge realized he does not understand anti-trust law and saw too much crossover so he did the “easy thing”.
In this case, it is far more complicated. MLB is in direct violation of several anti-trust laws.
By waiting 4 years, San Jose has a case that will topple MLB’s AE. Selig essentially built San Jose’s case by stalling so long.
Any A/T judge is going to laugh at this and wonder why San Jose did not sue sooner.
Hence MLB at the next owners meeting will settle this. Expect outrage in the lodge directed at Selig and the Giants.
Do not be surprised if a vote is taken in August. Selig is at the end of his run and the other owners know it.
The Giants have one last shot to make a deal and get revenue sharing breaks. Winning the WS twice the last three years makes them look greedy and real bad.
Selig is too old to take this to the end and the other owners know letting the A’s into San Jose is the right thing to do as any man with an IQ of 75 can see.
This will be resolved fast. This worked for the A’s and San Jose with the timing of all of this.
Had they sued 4 years ago before the SVLG letter, the massive 4 year delay, the SewerGate incident, and the Giants winning 2 out the last 3 WS titles the lawsuit would not have looked as good.
Right now it looks “golden”….San Jose A’s are coming. It is only a matter of time. The unanimous vote by the San Jose City Council says it all.
I’m try to sort out all the end game scenarios, and unfortunately there are more bad ones than actual good ones:
a) San Jose “wins” this lawsuit via judgement or settlement, and is granted the “opportunity to compete” for the A’s.
a1) StandForSF lawsuit may still block this move since it challenges the land acquisition contract. Worst case, it forces LW to buy the land at “idealized” market rate prices.
a2) If SFSF lawsuit fails, then a referendum would be placed for the stadium. SF Gnats may try to do their sly “push polling” tactics like they did before to dissuade public opinion against it (just because TR is lifted doesn’t mean Baer will back down and not try to cockblock the move). Best case scenario, LW buys out all the land and avoids the referendum altogether.
b) SJ’s ATE challenge is dismissed or fails in court.
b1) status quo continues as it doesn’t affirm Oakland as the victor, just reestablishes MLB’s authority to govern ATE and for BRC/BS to wait and wait. This is the most likely scenario to occur….
b2) MLB gets pissed off at SJ and denies LW’s move to SJ. And this is where it gets tricky or starts turning bad for everyone, especially Oakland (becareful what you wish for!).
b2a) LW decides to pursue some other place within East Bay TR (hello Fremont again!). This would be my second bet on likely scenario.
b2b) LW decides to move out of the Bay Area. This is highly unlikely given the available markets.
b2c) LW decides to do nothing and stay at the Coliseum milking the MLB welfare checks year after year letting the team languish and the playing conditions deteriorate while blaming the Coliseum Authority. I can see this scenario as well happening.
b2d) LW decides to build in Oakland due to either Oakland pitching in a subsidy (very unlikely) or on his own dime (even more unlikely). This is essentially asking for the moon and highly unlikely given choice b2c.
b2e) LW / JF decides to sell, which opens a whole other can of worms (see below). This is also unlikely given choice b2c.
b2e1) Oakland white knight DK buys the A’s for a “hometown discount” of $500M and decides to privately finance a stadium at preferred HT site for another $500M+. This is the ideal pro-Oakland scenario but also is one of the least likely to happen since a) it will cost $1B for DK to make HT happen, b) they won’t have $30M/year welfare checks to help with the new mortgage, and c) ticket prices will definitely go up to help pay off the new debt (which won’t go well with the general “hardcore” fans of Oakland).
b2e2) DK buys the A’s, but then pulls a fast one and demands the city to help subsidize HT site. All the while, they are now collecting their newfound MLB welfare checks until some traction in Oakland on the subsidy. If you think Schott and LW was cheap, typical corporate CEOs have no qualms with layoffs, cutbacks, etc. just to make the bottom line (see R&D center move from Oakland to Pleasanton).
b2e3) LW being pissed off at both MLB and Oakland decides to sell an outside investor who wants to move the team. There’s not going to be much stopping them, because there already has been historical precedence in this area (see Giants move to St. Petersburgh which prompted all this TR fiasco in the first place) and pro Oaklanders swears Selig admits A’s move to Oakland was a mistake anyways. I really doubt this would happen, but it is a plausible outcome.
All in all, this doesn’t bode well for Bay Area A’s fans in general, because out of all the realistic options, we’ll either a) be entertaining SJ with some legal challenges still from the Gnats, b) stuck in the same limbo we’ve been in for years, or c) see new owners who will be even cheaper or want to move the team. Let me know if I missed any other outcomes from this…..
Sid makes a great point about the Coyotes ruling. I’m not going to pretend to understand all this stuff but, Judge Redfield Baum in his ruling made it perfectly clear that the major reason he ruled the way he did was because there was a self-imposed deadline on the sale by Jim Balsillie who was trying to buy and move the team. Judge Redfield said this did not leave enough time to resolve all the issues in such a complex case, so Redfield ruled the way he did. In the end the Coyote case was a bankruptcy case that saw one party crap out – it wasn’t a case where relocation was denied therefore weakening future antitrust cases with regards to franchise relocation.
@RHandaKTVU: @MattMNunn definitely. Reed says he told Wolff last week this was coming. Plenty of time to figure out a ‘reaction’
M&R are reporting the sewage back-up was not due to the old pipes but rather something being put down a pipe clogging it.
The lawsuit is built upside down, with the state-law claims asserted most forcefully, based on the option agreement between San Jose and the A’s LLC. That’s a slim, uh, reed. What’re the total damages there? The interference with economic advantage claim does incorporate alleged A/T violations as the independently wrongful conduct necessary to allege the claim. But a victory on that claim alone won’t dent the A/T exemption.
The real issue is territorial division of competition–and that’s the Sherman Act section 1 claim (and the follow on Cartwright Act claim). As the lawyer interviewed in the SV Bus Journal said, and as I’ve been warning you for more than a year, San Jose won’t have either standing or the requisite antitrust injury to take those claims far.
Publicity and collateral pressure are the only reasons for this lawsuit. The true legal threat seems small; the embarassment to mlb may be large, however. Cotchett’s a heavyweight, both in court and in the political sphere (huge demo donor). And he’s not afraid of the cameras.
“Only a fool goes to court” or so the saying goes. I agree with Xoot, this is an attempt to force a settlement
Does anybody think San Jose’s aim is something other than a settlement that paves the way for the A’s to come to town?
Mystery mass under the Coliseum? I went to a mystery mass once. Everyone was wearing black robes and speaking in latin. A jackal gave birth to a human baby. No biggie.
I do wonder that some judge might say, if MLB prefers losing Big $$ in Oakland to making Big $$ in San Jose, that is MLB’s prerogative.
Also, if the case is thrown out and the judge decides San Jose has no standing and MLB is so furious it flat-out turns down San Jose, how does any of that provide for the $500 million+ needed to build in Oakland as well as a viable site there? All dismissing San Jose might do is end up with the next bidder city (San Antonio, perhaps) taking the A’s far away. The only way Oakland gets a new ballpark is if MLB agrees to pay for it. It won’t.
I’d like to know what the Tampa Bay Rays think of all of this.
The “mystery mass” thing is sort of laughable. There was a clog in the pipes… No way?!?!?!? it must be some kind of grand scheme… good grief, get a life.
some greedy billionaires from Frisco want to have Big $$$ for themselves. Sharing the wealth is a weird concept. They are not happy making 100mils.
I’m curious. The last time the ATE was brought to court (and when it was originally awarded) MLB was technically two separately operated leagues (American & National) working as one. Since then, not only have they taken their *business* globally, they’ve merged into one, single, company (MLB). Standing notwithstanding, doesn’t that throw previous court precedence out the window? In sense they’ve gone from a Trust to a Monopoly.
You gotta wonder if the “mystery mass” was the latest lease offer from the Coliseum JPA to Lew.
Mystery mass? RATTTTTTTTTTTTTOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
The “mystery mass” scandal is representative of the high school conspiracy theory mentality which makes this debate so tiresome. Nevermind the real world ramifications of an employer subjecting employees and the public to raw sewage, there must be some evil hijinks at play, right? I wonder what they think Wolff flushed as he cackled wickedly: a cherry bomb or bag of concrete?
Pieces of Al Davis’ black soul have been tearing away as his body decays deep within the tomb under Mt. Davis. They creep through the Coliseum, waiting for the day when the essence of their master is broken free from it’s corporeal prison to join them and begin the destruction of the world.
…starting with all iceplants. Muwahahahahahahaha!!!!
OH MY LORD, Al Davis is Mum-Ra?!?!?!?!?! Call Lion-O. Stat!
Lion-O is out of our price-range. How about Bobby Kielty? Close enough?
I don’t see where the “sewage conspiracy” is coming from. They thought it must have been a busted pipe, but ended up being a clog in the drain. I’m actually relieved that they don’t have to send crews in to replace the entire system.
Just to echo – standing is the high hurdle for SJ. I, just a pessimist on the A’s relocation saga, think MLB can probably get it tossed.
With each new kerfuffle over the years, MLB owners have grown thicker and thicker skin on this issue. A’s haven’t received a vote, (guessing) BRP is likely completed and owners know results don’t point to a guaranteed success in Oakland, but Giants have the allies to let it walk indefinitely.
I think the other owners, at least enough of them, are either ambivalent or possibly hostile to Wolff’s push for SJ.
Basically going into the meetings and saying, “Again with SJ?!? He knew the status of territory when he bought the team. So what if a new stadium in the east bay is an expensive proposition w/ a low chance of success? His club’s value has increased by several hundred million dollars just by sitting on his hands, while I’m out there risking hundreds of millions on player contracts. I’m not going to toss out the Giant’s, who took the risk and continue to invest, for a guy who showed up in time to ride the wave and still isn’t happy w/ his bounty.”
I have absolutely zero insight into these owners, but I just get the feeling that Wolff, at some point, lost the lodge-war.
“This will be resolved fast. This worked for the A’s and San Jose with the timing of all of this.
“Had they sued 4 years ago before the SVLG letter, the massive 4 year delay, the SewerGate incident, and the Giants winning 2 out the last 3 WS titles the lawsuit would not have looked as good.
Right now it looks “golden”….San Jose A’s are coming.”
I agree with Sid exactly. The greedy Giants had to pick a fight with their only shared Bay Area market franchise(Oakland A’s) competitor, and by blocking them from moving forty miles further away within this shared market, this only exposed the degree of restraint of trade resulting from MLB’s anti-trust exemption. Selig is a damn fool for allowing MLB to be bullied by the greedy Giants’ ownership group.
I hope it’s ok to post this link here. Interesting take on the lawsuit, with a link to another interesting take.
fine, take a vote. The NBA can do it in 6 months. If LW wants to sell, let him sell but BS and other owners must decide this issue now. Dragging it along won’t solve anything. The next owner meeting is coming up. Pass the hat around and vote.
Would love to see a vote. Our hopes up every year for the “A’s to SJ” making it onto the voting agenda, but always let down. I’d love to see a straight forward proposition to the A’s from the lodge about fair compensation to the Giants. At least then Wolff & Co. would have the parameters for a move, leaving them to make an official decision.
You’re right, dragging it along won’t solve anything. But as has been pointed out regularly over the years, Selig likes consensus, or near consensus, when putting items up for a vote. If 2/3 were in agreement for A’s to SJ, Selig could have used BRP (assuming it says Oak is low chance of success) and get remaining owners on board. 4 years(?) in and it’s still on the sidelines.
My guess is Selig went to bat for Wolff using the report, but some owners still balked, siding w/ Giants over rights. SJ lawsuit indicates to me that there is no backroom deal or secret handshake to lets A’s go to SJ after Giant’s stadium is paid off.
The only reason I disagree with you on the “Selig went to bat…” hypothesis is because, as it was widely reported last year, Lew Wolff moved to have a vote put on the agenda and it was blocked by Selig.
Selig doesn’t want a vote unless it’s near unanimous (and Giants approved). Wolff wants a vote only if he knows it’s at least 75% in his favor. The scenario that played out has me believe that 3/4 of owners will support it, the Giants don’t and Selig wants to avoid a law suit by the Giants.
I could see that – again, my thing is Selig wants near unanimous consent on these votes (exceeding 3/4 mark) because he doesn’t want the league to fracture. I’d assume a majority of owners have always been in favor of Wolff moving further away from the Giants, but i have this sneaking suspicion that there is a cadre of like-minded owners standing shoulder to shoulder w/ the Giants.
My comparison would be the SEC where Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina have the “unholy alliance” against admitting any member from one of those three states (Clemson, GaTech, or FSU).
I’d also think the Giants have a far better case than San Jose does, which would be the real threat for Selig.
I still think San Jose has one more nuclear bomb to play. If MLB can get the lawsuit dismissed quickly without any further progress on the A’s stadium, San Jose should just fold its tent and say that Diridon location is off the table.
I say this as a supporter of the A’s to San Jose. San Jose had a strategic plan for the Diridon area in 2003 before there was an A’s stadium in the plan. They should just go back to the original plan and see if there is any interest to start development in that area. I think San Jose has only done minimal work like the rerouting of Autumn St. while waiting for the A’s stadium decision.
I think the one thing that MLB doesn’t like is that Wolff plans to build with minimal subsidy from San Jose. If San Jose no longer supports the A’s to San Jose, you are left with the A’s needing a new stadium without any economically feaible plan to build one anywhere. This will mean that the A’s will need revenue sharing for the indefinite future.
Another strange aspect involved with this debacle is the number of giants fans such as RU155 who are so interested in this. As an A’s fan who dislikes the giants, I could less where the giants play and would prefer to forget about that team. The giants franchise is none of my business nor do I want it to be.
Oklahoma, Texas, U. of Miami and Florida St. should all be in the SEC for a football superconference, but yeah aint gonna happen.
@duffer: There are many Giants fans who share your attitude, but about the A’s. I admit that my stance on Giants fans has soften in recent years. I’ve downgraded being a Giants fan from “unforgivable crime” to “moderate character flaw.” That said, this is a fascinating issue and it doesn’t matter which team gets your happy happy. The outcome of this standoff shapes the future of both these franchises.
I guess if the lawsuit gambit pays off, we’ll both have answers sooner, rather than never.
Otherwise, we will probably never know.
seriously, this stoopid thing will be over tomorrow if LW or some owners start leaking insider info to the press. Once the information is out there , BS has to act. Right now, there is no pressure on BS to do anything so he just sat on it
swing and a miss. Nice little rush there to stigmatize a poster with a negative brand, and thus discredit any of the points I’m bringing up.
Not sure how my comments could possibly be interpreted as coming from a Giants fan, so i’ll just tell ya to throttle back on the hate.
You should keep your eye on the backroom politics – that’s the battlefield for this war. SJ’s lawsuit is a tough sell, and probably more distraction than anything else. Wolff needs to win the lodge, and if he can’t do that then there’s no way he’s going to get his wish.
Coliseum City for the Raiders. Let’s find investment plans for hotels , shopping and businesses to build around the coliseum. It’s going to take public, private and political support. Anthing less then we will lose all our teams. S.O.R!!!
sj mayor reed will be on with bruce on 1050 at 2:40 to discuss the lawsuit to bring the a’s to sj.
bruce as i mentioned yesterday is very anti a’s to sj though he was informed about a lot of info as are many here locally who just believes anything the midgets throw out there in the media.
To this day, we still don’t know exactly what The Lodge was thinking when they sat on the Dolich-Piccinini bid and let it lapse. No answers at all. A least a little sunshine would be nice.
didn’t piccinini say in an interview he thought one of the major reasons why he wasn’t allowed to buy the a’s is that he felt the midgets had something to do with it.
Wasn’t this the Giants as well? They were worried about the A’s coming in w/ new ownership willing to spend and build a product to compete w/ the upcoming PacBell Park?
Found the story from a few years ago. It’s all speclation from piccinini but considering how dirty and how low the midgets have gone and are still willing to go to not only keep the a’s out of sj but to drive the a’s out entirely from the bay area, i wouldn’t dismiss piccinini’s feelings regarding the whole situation.
More likely, Piccinini suspects the San Francisco Giants ownership had a hand in convincing Selig to make sure the deal never materialized, especially since Selig has called the A’s move from Kansas City to Oakland “a terrible mistake.”
“I can tell you there’s an executive with the Giants, who shall go unnamed,” Piccinini said. “I ran into him at a Warriors game. He said, ‘I hear you’re getting involved with the Padres. We want you in San Diego; we just didn’t want you here.’ ”
Piccinini owns “a little, tiny piece” of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and a “much larger piece, though not substantial” of the Padres. “And those applications sailed right on through,” he said. “So what’s the difference?”
The difference? They weren’t mailed from Oakland.
The fact that Piccinini was left speculating about a cause says everything.
A little background on that shot down deal for anyone not familiar:
(I vaguely remember it, as well as the aborted attempt in the early 2000’s to move to Santa Clara next to Great America that now of course has another team right there.)
@STH – Interesting play, however that would mean breaking the contract that was already signed with Wolff. I guess if SFSF was somehow successful in their lawsuit, then SJ could entertain that and give a big FU to MLB/BS but there’s more to lose then to gain out of that action. My gut feel is that MLB already knows the outcome out of this and is just biding its time (for whatever reason). Everybody involved from Baer, Wolff, and Selig seems very content with the status quo for some reason….
Townsend has interview with Mayor Reed right now on 95.7
The other owners in the lodge are not going to pay for a lawsuit to help one team…The Giants.
This lawsuit is San Jose vs. MLB which is all 30 teams. Why on god’s green earth would 28 other teams (not including the A’s)dole for out money to help the Giants make more money?
There is zero in this for all the other teams to pursue this lawsuit. If the lodge was not at least in 75% of support of the A’s moving to San Jose this lawsuit would have never happened.
I feel Wolff is “high fiving John Fisher” behind the scenes but in the public view is taking a neutral stance. If Wolff was not complicit with this lawsuit on some level San Jose would not do it as it would be too risky.
My feeling is Selig’s guidelines to Wolff he issued in February were unrealistic and Wolff got angry.
Wolff in privacy shared this document with San Jose behind closed doors and gave the green light for a lawsuit as he saw no other way either. San Jose gave Selig once last chance and he rebuffed them once again. That was the straw that broke the camels back.
If I was an owner of another team I would be fuming mad at Selig and the Giants. I would not want to spend a dime on something this ridiculous.
Even if they vote in August and it goes in the A’s favor, MLB still has to settle the suit. No matter what MLB has to dole out some money to San Jose and their legal firm.
Someone is calling for a vote in August…..I bet it will be Jerry Reisndorf. It has to be someone with seniority.
Yes, MLB will be fighting for the right to have the Giants continue to rake in money and for the profitable teams to continue propping up the A’s with millions of dollars in subsidies every year.
Sid, while privately they may fume over having to pay, they do have to worry about setting precedence. The break-even point on that still likely SJ passing the Standing test. The individual costs up to that would still likely be worth it to them. I wouldn’t count on a vote being made in August.
They’ve already set a precedent: TB interests sued them, starting making headway on the anti-trust issue and MLB caved and gave them a franchise. Once again, if San Jose has no standing, that still leaves MLB stuck in Oakland, where nobody has found a way to get a new ballpark after nearly 20 years.
pjk, the only reason they gave in in the TB case was because they actually lost. They’re not going to cower simply because someone brought up a lawsuit. You actually have to make headway there. And the standing here is different than in TB so it’s not a sure thing. SJ gets standing and it goes to discovery. MLB likely settles. If not, then MLB takes no action. They won’t blink prematurely.
@dmoas- MLB will not let this drag on. This is a serious threat to their precious A/T exemption.
The fact the A’s are trying to move 35 miles south in the same market shows how bad MLB’s argument is.
They are trying to hide behind their own rules that in reality when exposed in court MLB will be deemed a “cartel” making its own rules that are not consistent with American Anti-Trust Law.
MLB is made up of all the other owners, why would they pursue this? Selig is on his way out and this actually helps the league because the A’s would get a new stadium and create revenue for everyone.
Keep in mind, the road team gets a cut of the gate revenue. Right now that is minimal in Oakland. Why would the owners fight San Jose to keep subsidizing the A’s for the Giants?
PJK is right, Tampa Bay and Seattle paved the way for San Jose. In their cases they got expansion franchises. If you look at other sports leagues the Clippers and Raiders won their lawsuits easily in the 1980s.
The law firm representing San Jose actually defended the NFL against the Raiders and lost…..These lawyers know full well what they are up against having been on the losing side.
MLB will act quickly on this, no other owner in their right mind will want to pay for this when in fact they all make $$ if the A’s move to San Jose.
This will not go far, I predict the owners will vote in August to change the T-rights to being shared all the way across the Bay Area to make them consistent with LA, NY, and CHI.
They will then tell Wolff go build his stadium and if it does get built only then will they discuss some type of revenue sharing break for the Giants.
Selig has lost control, I expect the other owners to step and get this down in a swift fashion.
I agree with Sid, MLB will put this on the table this August. They would be a fool not to. This saga has gone on long enough.
Never underestimate the hubris of Major League Baseball.
Sid, this thing has been going on for four years. And they’re hardly scared of a legal challenge. Until SJ has standing, I doubt the others even care about it. Filing a legal challenge like this isn’t a threat to their ATE. SJ has to prove their case before and it can even remotely create a threat worth worrying about. You’re talking about a cabal of seriously wealthy people who likely get sued all the time and have legions of lawyers on retainer for exactly this sort of situation. To them, it’ll simply be viewed as part of the cost of doing business.
BS, this is on you! A shout out to LW for not pushing his so called ‘Pals’ but this is on BS FAR more than anyone. You had years to make a decision Bud. You could have said “do it, another new park and another payer not taker team”. Or you could have said “nope, SCC belongs to the Giants, that is what we all agreed to, end of the SJ story”. But nope, you acted like a kid who got an F on his report card and was doing everything he could not to tell his mom and dad.
Does the suit have merit? Maybe not. But even if a plethora of legal experts come on here and say “the suit’s a loser”, any lawyer will tell you when a case goes before a judge/jury there is always a level of uncertainty. And with MLB they have sooooooo much to lose….even if a long shot to lose it. Any aspect of baseball’s odd legal standing that is pared away is surely lost forever. It would change the business of baseball, to some degree, forever.
This will also now put it in the public eye, in the era of instant news. The story of how baseball enjoys ATE. Something, arguably, they have no business having in this day and age. Something with an under lining story that says a whole bunch of really rich guys have a law that extends to them favoritism that basically no one else gets and that helps keep them rich.
Why BS didn’t just make a decision, even one that SJ and the A’s wouldn’t like doesn’t make sense to me. I can see the reason for ignoring it for a while. But when SJ and LW wouldn;t back down from their effort, is BS and the Lodge so insulated from reality as to not know that when hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line, it will make people go to extremes to get it. Lawsuits for instance….especially when you leave the door open for hundreds of millions of dollars to come into their hands.
Lastly, the near unanimity of the Pols means business and labor in SJ are for the A’s to SJ idea and fight. No way they all go out on a limb without their supporters being asked about it. This means, likely, a more solidified SJ voting base in favor of the ultimate move (obviously only if MLB raises the white flag).
interesting idea on TR:
I always believe that if LW challenges TR , he would win. No, don’t challenge ATE, just TR
The ESPN story by Lester Munson depicts a gloomy outcome for MLB and the giants. It says that Justice Paul Stevens (of the Supreme Court) stated that MLB has little hope of retaining its anti trust exemption pertaining to franchise location. Also the NFL recently attempted to obtain a similiar anti trust exemption and was rejected 9-0 by the Supreme Court.
The story suggested that Selig would be wise to settle before the case goes to trial, otherwise Selig could look like a real dunce if he had to testify during the proceedings. The story also said that a court ruling against the MLB ATE could completely change the way MLB conducts business. As dmoas suggested, MLB might wait until the City of San Jose receives standing before caving in. This ESPN story isn’t a bunch of hot air though, it appears that Selig will cave in and approve the A’s move before it goes to trial.
Also RU155, sorry about the Giants fan reference, that could be considered very offensive.
And Briggs, some of these giants fans do have a tendency to over-react, so their being involved with the A’s business should not be suprising. Many giants fans likely have a built in inferiority complex because their two chief rivals, the A’s and Dodgers, have been far more successful than the Giants have been in the past.
I sort want to see old Bud on the stand. Just so he can say “I won’t give you a bleeping answer to the A’s relocation!” It’s his and MLBs fault that this saga has gone on. Only MLB takes 4+ years to make a decision. Time to make a decision one way or the other to resolve this matter.
There’s pretty good cause to believe that one way or the other, once they get into the ring, it’ll be a first round knock out.
two things a 50 years from now selig will be remembered for. steroids and the cancellation of the 94 world series due to MONEY. a world war couldn’t stop the world series but money and greed could.
nice legacy bud-lite.
@letsgoas – You forgot about Bud letting an All-Star game end in a tie which eventually led to the present World Series home field advantage rule.
“this time it COUNTS.”
@dmaos- All of MLB lawyers are funded by who? The 30 owners of the franchises that comprise of MLB.
San Jose is suing for 90M in damages. That accounts to 3M each team, including the A’s. Some teams 3M means a lot more than others. (Yankees compared to the Royals)
MLB will file a motion to dismiss the suit as expected to buy time. When the August meetings roll around this will be a topic and Selig will have to face it head on from the owners.
Selig has delayed too long and this lawsuit is 100% directly his fault because of his inability to solve the situation in 4 years plus.
There will be a vote because it does not make “business” sense for 29 of the owners to pursue the lawsuit because it does not make them any money….the 1-team it does help?
The Giants…..They are on a island right now in the eyes of most of the public, far more now than before.
These owners are businessmen and are not going to help the Giants nor are they going to follow Selig on this issue anymore. They will take matters into their own hands and I believe Jerry Reinsdorf will call for the vote.
He is the most senior owner in MLB and is a big proponent of the A’s moving to San Jose.
You find it ironic the same lawyers who lost to Al Davis in the 1980s defending the NFL trying to block the Raiders move are representing the City of San Jose on a contingency basis?
A’s are coming to San Jose, they will figure out compensation to the Giants once the ballpark is built and settle the lawsuit while it is cheap to do so.
The longer the lawsuit goes the more it cost to settle. Why pour money into something like this that does not help 29 teams out of 30?
San Jose did the right thing, Selig is a coward and has proven himself to be one by doing nothing in 4 years.
Sid, you’re making a lot of false assumptions here. Namely that it doesn’t help the other teams. MLB has a central fund for something like this. That’s where the money will come from. If the other 28 owners didn’t care about T-Rights, this thing would have been over 4 years ago. Like I said earlier, this is all about Standing. If, and only if, SJ gets Standing in this lawsuit, this thing will be over fast. MLB won’t blink before then. And I seriously doubt this thing ever reaches a point where $90 ever exchanges hands. The cost to fight the first round will be negligible and the owners will wait for that to play out before acting. Simple as that.
The Giants would prefer the A’s left. The A’s would prefer the Giants leave. Youre viewing it from an Athletics-only perspective. Every team wants the market to themselves.
The A’s have been bitter for YEARS about the bay area being heavily skewed to the Giants in fan population. Thats just the way it is. The Giants came first, and they captured the loyalty of the bay area early on with Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, Marichal, Perry, etc. They play in the most iconic city in the bay area, and have made it a point to put the best product possible out on the field every year.
The A’s have some nerve to say the SJ territory was given as a gift in 1992. The entire bay area was originally the Giants’.
If this whole situation was really just about finding a new home, the A’s wouldnt have put all their eggs in the San Jose basket. They covet SJ because they have dollar signs in their eyes looking in that direction. They can keep being hypocrites by making the Giants out as the villain, but the ulterior motive of the A’s is to get their foot in the door of the Giants success as a business, and siphon money away from them and into their own pockets.
Its all just business. The Giants have a great model going, and the A’s want a part of it. The Giants would rather have the bay area to themselves, but would be fine with the A’s just staying on their side of the line and figuring out their own business model. It sucks that Oakland is a pit, but thats how it is.
Major League Baseball hasnt forced the Giants to do anything because theyre one of the top “model” franchises that make the league money. They win, they have the longest current sellout streak in baseball (200) in the best ballpark in the Majors, they have a large fanbase, they have a broad fanbase around the country that buys tickets when they come to town, theyre a top merchandise seller, theyre one of the leading organizations in marketing and social media, etc.
The A’s dont make much money, they dont spend much money on the team, they dont have a huge fanbase, they dont have many star players, etc. Baseball isnt going to do anything to drag the Giants business down. They stand to lose on that deal, which is why its been 5+ years of radio silence on the matter.
mlb won’t care about the cost of defense. They will care about the publicity and the potential threat, however faint, to the A/T exemption. It’s going to be fascinating to watch the way they handle the lawsuit.
Interesting assessment by Roger Noll in field of schemes blog- also saw comments from Joe Alioto that felt that SJ definitely has standing-
The San Jose Rays has a pretty good ring to it.
The problem with the territorial rights issue is that MLB has carried this issue to the extreme, which was not its original intention. The TR issue was meant to prevent any team(franchise) from one market just on its own whim to move to another market with an already existing team(franchise). In the case of the Bay Area market, it should never have been subdivided into two separate distinctive territories. In MLB’s, other two team markets of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles their respective markets and territories are one and the same. The same holds true with the two team markets in the NFL, NBA, and NHL. As a result, teams have moved anywhere within their respective markets without opposition from the other team in their market. For example, the Nets and Islanders, moved or will move, from the suburbs of NY to Brooklyn. In this case both teams will be playing in an arena only a few miles from Madison Square Garden. This is much closer to the Knicks an Rangers with whom they share the NY market with. Yet, neither the Knicks nor the Rangers had blocked these moves. The bottom line is that no team is hurt, if teams in the same market move around within that same market.
Mr. Haas was nice enough to give his blessing to the Giants, if they wanted to move to the South Bay. The fact that it never did happen should have meant that the South Bay should have remained shared territory for both the Giants and A’s. The fact that MLB reaffirmed the Suth Bay to the Giants was a major mistake that blatantly had a negative impact on the A’s by putting the team in a great competitive disadvantage within their Bay Area market. It is time for MLB to correct this mistake by granting the entire Bay Area market as one shared territory for both the Giants and A’s.
Former SF mayor Joe Alioto I’m pretty sure has been deceased for over 15 years….
SCOTUS Justice Samuel Alito though is still very much alive and was @ the A’s Rangers games yesterday according to Slusser. Hmmmm….
When the A’s move to san Jose. Would the A’s have to share the east bay market with the SF Giants, or do the A’s get both san Jose + east bay market.
The idea is to have the Bay Area be a shared market.
@sfcc Aaron – It’s not like the territory definitions stop either team from marketing or selling tickets outside of that territory. The only thing the TR do is limit where a stadium can go.
So for right now, it doesn’t matter what the defined territories are, as long as the A’s can build in Santa Clara County. However, in the long run–thirty, forty years–it just might matter.
In that case, MLB shouldn’t just give Santa Clara County to the A’s they should rule all of the counties in the Bay Area (and Monterrey) as shared territory.
@A’s fan- pretty sure it is his son- supreme court justice isn’t going to weigh in on a case in public- here is link to article- http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/athletics/2013/06/18/calif-city-sues-mlb-over-as-proposed-move/2434871/
@ duffer – you can be interested in the A’s stadium situation and be a Giants fan…it’s not a mutually exclusive thing.
I am a Giants fan, and I don’t really like the A’s – but I also grew up in San Jose, and as you may guess from my nick I did my time at SJSU and got the worthless framed parchment to show for it. I’m of the mind that a MLB Stadium and franchise in San Jose would be a Good Thing for my hometown, and I’m all for it – even if I’m agnostic at best on the team that’ll live there.
I also want to see this stadium go through (whether in Oakland or in SJ, but preferably SJ) because I see what’s going on in Oakland through the eyes of my in-laws who are die-hard A’s fans but hate to go to the games now because of the condition of – and neighborhood around – the E.Coliseum. And having done my time in Purgatory (a/k/a Candlestick), I can definitely relate. If San Jose happens and my in-laws are still on this side of the Pearly Gates, their game attendance will go up drastically even though it’ll be an hour farther for them to drive – or they’ll just stay down in the Valley with some friends.
I just hope that at the new stadium the guys in 149 and 150 stay together, because Balfour Rage is way cool.
@ LoneStranger – I’ve been pounding that drum for a while now. The combined population of ALA and CC counties is greater than that of SC County. If you toss in (for both teams) Solano and Sonoma and San Benito to the already-defined territory of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, that more than makes up for any marketing strength “loss” that SFG may suffer.
If MLB makes that small change in the Constitution, the suit goes away, and the A’s move to San Jose. Sucks for Oakland, but it’s the best solution all-around, unless of course somebody with some insane amount of F-You money decides to build the A’s a new stadium in Oakland on their own hook. (*cough*LarryEllison*cough*)
@GoA’s thanks for clarifying that. Justice Alito though was at the A’s/Rangers game yesterday (threw out the first pitch) and surprisingly (or unsurprisingly) none of the local media bothered to ask him re: the SJ v. MLB suit especially with the A’s right there as the visiting team, though I doubt he would’ve weighed in heavily on it anyways since there is still the potential he might have to adjudcate on the matter in the near future…
Really? Larry Baer (judging by your comment, you actually could be Larry Baer) So much for your theory that Giants have been the “bay area favorite” (when the Giants played at the Stick, the A’s beat them at attendance 17 of the 32 years, When La Russa was manager, the A’s really dominated, the giants organization gave up on the bay area and sold to the current Tampa Bay group – the “bay area favorite” – giving up on the bay area and selling the team to an out of state interest?
Also the A’s ownership did not try to run the giants out of town when the giants were struggling – in fact, the Haas ownership (being good sports, unlike the giants organization) gave the struggling giants permission to relocate to attempt a move to San Jose. On the other hand, the giants ownership is certainly doing everything in their power to boot the A’s out of town. Here are the stats when the A’s beat the giants in attendance (17 out of the 32 years when the Giants played at Candlestick):
1970: Oakland 9,609, SF 9,145
1972: Oakland 11,888, SF 7,997
1973: Oakland 12,355, SF 10,299
1974: Oakland 10,441, SF 6,420
1975: Oakland 13,278, SF 6,456
1976: Oakland 9,697, SF 7,739
1981: Oakland 23,928, SF 7,806
1982: Oakland 21,426, SF 14,827
1983: Oakland 15,987, SF 15,451
1984: Oakland 16,707, SF 12,365
1985: Oakland 16,477, SF 10,107
1988: Oakland 28,239, SF 22,041
1989: Oakland 32,929, SF 25,428
1990: Oakland 35,805, SF 24,389
1991: Oakland 33,500, SF 21,450
1992: Oakland 30,792, SF 19,272
1995: Oakland 16,310, SF 15,327
Futhermore, this not “just business”, the giants monopolistic ways are illegal in the actual business world, and judging on how they conduct their business, I sure would, for example, avoid being a business partner with the giants organization.
@ Duffer: I have to make a few corrections to your comments below:
“Futhermore, this not “just business”, MLB’s monopolistic ways are illegal in the actual business world, and judging on how they conduct their business, I sure would, for example, avoid being a business partner with MLB.”
There we go… perfect.
@LB & Duffer
While I’m not sure how the SJ lawsuit will play out after standing is determined, LB’s comments are the arguments that make me so pessimistic about the A’s winning this fight – it’s the backroom charm offensive that’s taken 4 years.
The Giants have built an empire, reignited passion in the city’s team, and built a national product that draws wherever they go. The Reds, Rangers, Tigers, Nationals, and Orioles have done likewise, and I don’t know if those owners are really looking to slap the Giant’s wrist for being successful.
I don’t begrudge Wolff for operating the team within it’s budget, but to the other owners, he’s not taking the same risks everyone else is.
Right or wrong, MLB affirmed Giants TR w/ SJ in ’92 and as part of Wolff’s agreement to assuming ownership of the team, SJ was off limits for a new stadium.
With those two points in the Giant’s favor, Wolff has a high hurdle to overcome.
I hope Marine Layer is right: Wolff has won the owners over, but the Giants have their finger on the button. If that’s the case, then i can see this getting resolved when the Giant’s stadium is paid off. However, the issuance of dueling press releases last year(?) gives me pause. LW had no reason to issue a release unless he was losing behind closed doors – he had been (and as you can see from his recent interview) and still is very disciplined with his public statements. Ali didn’t go swinging wildly at Frazier, he stayed tight, worked the edges and kept his eye on the big prize – waiting for his moment.
If he signed onto the SJ case, then yes i would feel the end is in sight, but he’s not and I’ve sat through too many rounds to get punchy.
As far as Selig losing the public on this…. I’m not sure public sentiment is going to really jump in as a factor. Any time you have millionaires fighting with billionaires for public funding, etc. the Average Joe tends to tell them both to go to hell.
I think the sf giants are not going to get any compensation now since the lawsuit is in full effect. It’s good to see point to all the probelms, but Oakland has had many chances to get a stadium. But either the politics or public kills it, so maybe there just is not a strong enough market for the A’s in eastbay. It’s a Raiders and Warriors town now , so A’s to San Jose.
Besides the sf giants will grab all the hurt and scorned east bay fair weather fans, I can see Oakland immature enough to even let the Giants have a store out in Oakland.smh. So it will take time for the san Jose A’s to regain east bay love…but they will compensate with new south bay fans and pennisula.
@ duffer – all those numbers comparing attendance at the Coliseum versus Candlestick are great and all, but there’s one thing you keep leaving out…the Giants haven’t played a game at Candlestick since 1999. In the 13+ years since, the composite average for the Giants has been roughly 40K per game, a figure that Oakland will never even touch. All those folks are not all just going out to see the Coke bottle for the first time at an average of 40K game-in game-out for going on 14 years now.
With the currently planned capacity of Cisco Field, the A’s will never touch that level of attendance without some drastic design changes.
You hate the Giants – that’s cool. But if you want to start tossing around attendance stats, I’d probably be more comfortable with the past running decade, although I suspect you may not be, considering the probable outcome. I suppose the same would go for the TV viewership between the two teams as well.
There’s nothing wrong with being the #2 team in a large market, especially when your team has a much better track record of recent on-the-field success in the prior several decades. You can ask the Chicago White Sox about that.
Murray Chass chimes in: http://www.murraychass.com/?p=6289
Nice to see Fay Vincent, commissioner of baseball at the time, confirm that Haas was a gentleman in trying to help the gints and it was never intended to be the gints only territory. Amazing how the gints continue to claim that fact is an urban legend. And the fact that bs himself was an owner in the room and knows the truth just shows how lame this guy is. What the f* were the owners paying $25M a year to do- incredible!
@ SFCC Aaron,
Giants getting zero compensation?
I’d bet you dollars to doughnuts Giants get a huge compensation package from the A’s, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit – MLB owners would expect to see a package that reaffirms the value of their own territory.
No argument that Oakland politicians have done the A’s no favors, but I don’t think that’s the crux of the matter. It’s whether the owners will vote in favor of letting the A’s move outside the East Bay and into the South.
This site has put out numerous reports about the ratings and attendance figures for both clubs throught the years. ML & Jeffrey make the point that even when Giants were drawing poorly at Candlestick, they still wildly outdrew the A’s in TV & Radio ratings.
Haas was not being purely altruistic. At the time the A’s were the dominant team in the Bay Area. The Giants were hurting. Two ballot measures had failed in San Francisco. It looked like the Giants were going to be leaving San Francisco. The further the Giants got from San Francisco the better for the A’s. The Coliseum is under 20 miles away from the Financial District of San Francisco with also easy BART access. San Jose Giants would have meant the A’s would likely have gained casual fans from San Francisco and the SF corporate support, i.e., more money for the A’s. Of course, Haas was hoping and betting that the Giants would leave the Bay Area altogether. The Giants staying in San Francisco was seen as unlikely. Haas thought he had a lot to gain and little to lose by giving up rights to Santa Clara and having the Giants’ territorial rights including Santa Clara county. Even better he looked like (and still does) a stand-up guy who couldn’t be blamed if the Giants did leave the Bay Area.
The gnats are cut-throat monopolists, through and through.
Basically, this poster posing as Larry Baer (although I have no doubt that Larry Baer feels exactly that way), is saying that the gnats are incapable of competing if the A’s are not held back.
It’s like a boxer that is only willing to go into the ring if his opponent has one hand tied behind his back.
And he has a lot of nerve saying the the A’s have a lot of nerve because they want to be as successful as possible. The warped logic just astounds.
And he has even more nerve naming off old gnats greats like Mays and McCovey, implying that since they had those guys, all the bay area should belong to the gnats. How ’bout Jackson, Fingers,Blue, Hunter, Henderson, Eck, Thomas, Giambi, Lansford, Cancesco, McGwire, North, Green, Murphy, Armas, Steward, Welch, Cespedes, Beene (as best GM in baseball right now), just to name a smattering of A’s greats. How ’bout 4-2 – 4 WS victories for A’s, vs 2 for gnats? Plus the one head to head A’s vs gnats WS, the A’s absolutely obliterated the gnats in a 4-0 sweep.
And the simple fact is that the A’s have always been able to do more with less. So the implication that they haven’t always tried their best, while the gnats have, is ludicrous.
And, the simple fact is that A’s fans don’t care one way or the other how successful the gnats are, or that the A’s are second banana in the bay area, since they came to the bay area second. We don’t care about that. We don’t care if the gnats are a big business juggernaut or are successful on the field. None of that detracts from our love of the A’s, or the A’s being as great as they are (again – achieve more with less than the gnats).
We simply want our team to be able to compete fairly, without being held back by MLB or the gnats T-rights.
Finally, it’s a simple fact that there is plenty of wealth and population base and media market in the Bay area for both teams to be fabulously successful. There is no need to hold one of the teams back.
C’mon gnats – stop being total cry-babby wussy losers – you can still be successful even if the A’s are also successful.
And Larry Baer, please go take a swim out at the Farollon Islands. There are some friendly creatures in the water there that would love to see you!
that poster is a midgets fan who also spends time at the 49erswebzone site who actually posted the same exact response in the a’s thread when the discussion began a few days ago about the a’s to sj lawsuit took place.
seems like there is a wide range from “lawyers” regarding this topic. guy from nbcsportswork believes this suit won’t result in much and then you got espn’s defactor lawyer saying this could be a huge win for essentially the city of sj and the a’s.
@letsgoas- agree on all the differing opinions but when you have the likes of Roger Noll, Joe Alioto and the firm that agreed to take the case on contingency I have to believe there is enough there to at least get to the discovery phase which would be fascinating if MLB allowed it to go there-
Imagine Selig on the stand giving testimony:
Cotchett: What was the purpose of putting together this commission of 3 people in 2009?
Selig: To examine the A’s stadium situation in the SF Bay Area.
Cotchett: Mr. Selig, Why has this commission failed to make a recommendation in 4 years on the A’s stadium situation?
Selig: Uh, it is a very complex issue.
Cotchett: Please elaborate….
Selig: Uh…….This affects two franchises and we have get this right.
Cotchett: Why are the other 2-team markets in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago markets shared while the Bay Area is not?
Selig: The old A’s owner Walter Haas gave the rights to Santa Clara County to the SF Giants. I know that is not a good answer but that is the history.
Selig: So the Giants could try to move to Santa Clara County after several failed efforts in SF.
Cotchett: The Giants, from my record built a new stadium in 2000 out in San Francisco. Is this true?
Cotchett: Do you agree the A’s have exhausted all possible sites in their designated territory of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties?
Cotchett: Do you agree the current stadium, O.co coliseum is outdated and needs to be replaced?
Cotchett: Do you also agree the only feasible site in the Bay Area is San Jose CA?
Selig: You have to ask my commission for the answer to that.
Cotchett: Really Mr. Selig? Has this commission not reported any findings in 4 years?
Selig: Uh……It is still under investigation.
You guys see where this is going?
MLB has no good arguments to defeat San Jose in court. Selig has acted like he runs a “cartel” and plays by his own rules.
Because of the Raiders, Rays, Clippers and Mariners cases in the past the Judge will hear the case out in which case MLB will look extremely bad in court.
No city has ever lost in this situation. Clippers won, Raiders won, Tampa Bay won, and Seattle won.
Why? All the sports leagues realized it is better to settle it and let these cities have teams rather than fight a cause that makes no sense.
Unlike all these other cities San Jose exists in the same market as the A’s and people can watch the A’s on TV.
This plus the A’s are getting subsidized by the league right now anyways. They want to be revenue sharing contributors and I am sure Wolff would sign paperwork (a la Ranadive and the Kings) stating he would not taking any checks going foward.
I would love to see Selig get roasted in court….It would teach the coward humility.
Objection! Counsel is leading the witness.
Well, BIG surprise:
Insiders in the courtroom I like your dialogue…yeah selig is screwed.
Hey San Jose, you guys better sell.out games for the A’s. It is going to recieve some backslash from Oakland and San Francisco casual fans , so it important the san Jose fans sell out games since your getting a free stadium
@ A’s fan
Isn’t that the comment Selig has been using for the past 4 years? It fits perfectly atm.
Agree with Sid, Selig certainly would have plenty of explaining to do in a courtroom. Also the fact that a Supreme Court justice commented that MLB has little chance of retaining its ATE pertaining to territorial rights, and the the Supreme Court recently voted 9-0 against the NFL attempting to broaden its anti-trust status (MLB and the gnats cannot overcome that – especially with the gnats goofy arguments, which Selig would be required to defend)
Sid, first you have to get to a position where Selig may have to take the stand. And before you can do that… yup, that’s right, you have to get past a summary dismissal of the case on grounds of no standing. You don’t get to question Selig on the stand unless/until you can prove you have standing for the lawsuit to go forward. Simple as that. And experts are pretty split on whether SJ has standing.
ru155, you keep making this argument that other owners don’t live within a budget and resent Lew Wolff for sticking to his and not “taking a risk.” This is absolutely wrong. Owners get chastised for going OVER budgets, not for living within them. Almost all teams spend about 50% of revenue on Major League payroll. This isn’t a coincidence.
OT but Oakland is in the news again for being the 3rd most violent city in the US. Not a good week for the city. E-coligate, SJ lawsuit, and now being ranked 3rd for the most violent place to live.
Here is a comment about the issue from Stanford Economist Roger Noll: “San Jose does potentially have standing to sue here, thanks to the $50,000 option that A’s owner Lew Wolff paid the city for the stadium site. In any case, says Noll, “The issue is not really standing, but whether the business interest of a plaintiff is speculative (based on business that was not and may never be done). Surely this will be part of a motion to dismiss, but the existence of an agreement and detailed stadium plans strengthens San Jose’s case.”
I don’t think that third most violent city is all that big of a deal. Half of the top 10 are MLB cities.
Would u agree for public funding for Coliseum City Raiders???? Museum/Convention Center New stadium in the east bay. I’m sure we can add a wnba team to oracle arena. What do you say???? I say yes.
I can geek out on the stadium issues (in a vacuum), but I can’t think of anything more boring than speculating on legal issues. If this all that’s going to be discussed for the foreseeable future (re: an A’s stadium) – count me out.
duff, that’s not antitrust standing or antitrust injury. That’s standing for the state-law none A/T claims.
david, the two types of issues are intertwined here, and the legal issues are fairly exotic.
Wolff and San Jose made a transaction for the land purchase option, one would think a judge would need to bend over backwards not to see that there is strong evidence that San Jose would be harmed by the Giants blocking the A’s move to SJ.
Yes, duff, that’s whay San Jose probably has standing to assert the purely non-A/T state-law claims. The A/T claims, which have strict standing requirements and the requirement of “antitrust injury,” are different. The rules are set up to keep A/T cases out of court. I’m not endorsing those rules, I’m just referring to them. google em.
Xoot says “”mlb won’t care about the cost of defense. They will care about the publicity and the potential threat””
Completely agree. The legal defense cost of this is of no real concern to MLB and will not be much, if any, of a factor in their deciding what direction to take the defense (and how long to keep fighting it…if the case does proceed). It’s the publicity of ATE and the fear of the potential repercussions is where the meat of this thing exists right this moment (without knowing the viability of the actual suit). For example some pundit at CSN Bay Area was writing about how ridiculous San Jose is for bringing an unfounded case. I think it is fair to guess he is a MLB/Giants/Oakland supporter. But within his story, even someone supporting MLB, said (not verbatim) *This isn’t the right suit to challenge it but ATE is wrong and is undeserved and I don’t like it at all*. Thousands of people read that story, some of them had no idea about ATE. Now they know and think it is bad. Many more stories will be written about ATE because of this lawsuit. Thousands and thousands and thousands of people who had little to no knowledge of MLB’S unique ATE will now know about it and most will come away thinking it is bad. For MLB, they should be paranoid about this. Deep down they have to know that their argument for their unique ATE, at best, is tenuous. They have to know that the more people who know of it, the more it becomes susceptible to paring down.
Until SJ starts winning some motions, as the months go on, will the suit itself start getting MLB significantly nervous (and will likely start the settlement negotiations in full). Right now it is the publicity of ATE that should cause MLB nerves. Though a VERY extreme comparison, this is like John Gotti being on the cover of Time magazine. There was no upside for publicity/people to know about what he did for a living. For MLB there is no upside for publicity/people to become aware of their ATE.
I’m not suggesting that the spotlight on ATE is fearsome and that MLB should run screaming to SJ asking to settle. I am suggesting that it is a negative to some unknown degree for it to be in the spotlight. And it is this, right now, that is probably giving MLB a bit of pause on how to proceed with the case. Yet when, IF, the first reporter asks BS or a high profile owner about why they are granted such an exotic business privilege with ATE that essentially no other sport or business gets, it is at that time (especially if the response is noteworthy) that the spotlight on the ATE will grow beyond just a bit of concern.
not the argument i was making. It’s not resentment for Wolff, it’s that to help him, they have to vote against the Giants.
We keep spinning our wheels, as fans, trying to sort out why nothing has changed for our team.
What we know is that he has not received approval to relocate, not even a vote, and all this has been at the discretion of the owners.
Disclaimer: this is not my view but one I think is a plausible view for some owners to have declined the vote on SJ TR. I assume if everyone was on board, minus the Giants, they would have had a Nats-Orioles style resolution by now (using the BRP as the guiding document).
Wolff does not exist in a vacuum where there is a Yes/No answer on spending. Giants are a model ballclub. They spend a lot, they invest a lot, and they’ve built a team MLB can market as a premier team. Wolff has done enough to keep the lights on in Oakland, and been through a search that he says leads to SJ-or-Bust. To give Wolff keys to a huge pay day, I have to actively harm a fellow member that has been nothing but the perfect model for revitalizing a franchise (and one that many use to extol the virtues of a ballpark to politicians).
As an owner, would i be comfortable with this vote? Maybe not.
Now, i don’t play in their sandbox – i deal with a completely different paradigm, and having gone a bit stir crazy waiting for any resolution for the past decade, so I’ve taken to try and rationalize WHY Wolff has been iced out by the owners.
Jeffrey, maybe you have intel you can’t share, but we know Selig tends towards unanimity on big votes and, as i understand, pulled the item from the agenda. As ML suggested, Wolff had the 3/4 to get it approved, but some rift led Selig to cancel.
All this speculation is useless fan banter as this will be decided behind closed doors, but when it’s your team you want to know what the hell is taking so long.
Is there a chance the Golden State Warriors can get Lebron James??? Stephen Curry + King James would be huge for the bay area and any New potential arena in San Francisco or Oakland ( if they get a second chance)
He’s taking his talents to North Beach? (couldn’t resist)
Doubt it. King James likes to ride his bicycle to games during the regular season. Don’t think he can do that in Oakland.
Can you believe these Jean Quan quotes? Mayor Jean Quan said in a statement. “We’ve offered two sites: Howard Terminal is a beautiful waterfront location facing the Bay, and Coliseum City is one of the great development projects of our time. Both would make fantastic sites for a new stadium.”
…No mention of the massive, deal-killer environmental and railroad obstruction issues facing Howard Terminal or the fact that Coliseum City is a pie-in-the-sky idea for which there is no funding.
“No mention of the massive, deal-killer environmental and railroad obstruction issues facing Howard Terminal or the fact that Coliseum City is a pie-in-the-sky idea for which there is no funding.”
One can’t help but cringe
Also, no mention of Oakland’s planned financial contribution toward the actual construction of the ballpark: $0.00.
pjk, what do we expect? The folks who should be asking her those questions blindly repeat bullshit talking points on twitter all day long. If those who should really care don’t, why does anyone expect her to care?
Same old, same old. Instead of dogging the public officials about this mess, it’s the A’s owners who take the heat. Somebody should show this Quan quote to Bud Selig, who already has been fully briefed on the inadequacies of Coliseum City and Howard Terminal. This is what Oakland is offering, Bud. Two already-rejected sites and no money. Can you make that work, Bud? Or perhaps he’s just biding time until San Antonio, Portland, wherever, comes through with a publicly funded ballpark proposal. That’s been the problem with San Jose’s proposal all along: no public $$ toward construction, which is sacrilegious to the lodge.
From Oakland perspective, it’ll take a Earth-shattering lawsuit to make San Jose MLB available. Otherwise, MLB would take-on the task of relocation. Washington DC and Tampa were long-time bait because they had MLB-ready parks. That’s not the case anymore. Charlotte, Portland, Indianapolis, San Antonio aren’t particularly tempting locations. In Oakland’s eyes, they see all these threats around them as survivable situations, and therefore will not act unless their back is to the wall. Until the day when MLB/Wolff says, “The Athletics are moving to (fill in the black),” Oakland isn’t going to do a thing. That’s not what anyone of us want, but that’s the reality of how governments function. Governments are almost never proactive. They’re reactive by nature
Ok, here are a couple of questions for our more learned folks:
1: Couldn’t standing be attained, not by the mere idea of projected loss of revenue but because the city of San Jose is unable to even get into the game due to MLB’s monopoly behavior?
2: Wasn’t the anti Microsoft case like that? (Have not looked at that one in a long time and don’t recall the specifics).
The US vs. MS trial was over the bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows, which at the time must’ve had like 97% OS market share. They settled when MS shared its API with third-parties. Man… those were the dark ages of personal computers.
Oh, I guess if MLB is like Windows and T-rights are like IE, then it’s kinda like SJ vs. MLB. SJ wants a team, but MLB’s OS says you can’t have a team unless you’re using IE, which we’re not going to let you have. Eh…. that’s the best I got.
@Briggs, that was kinda my point. Microsoft wasn’t allowing others to play in the sandbox much the same way MLB won’t let other cities play in theirs. Perhaps the issues are too dissimilar and I’m just being too general.
It’s not a matter of being learned, just experienced. There were many A/T cases vs. Microsoft, but the big one was the fed gov — DOJ. Different A/T standing rules apply to the DOJ and to attorneys general. Other states and cities followed on after the DOJ case vs. Microsoft, but as I recall the one that I saw in SF Superior Court was a state-law (Cartwright Act) case the public entities could assert because they were purchasers of Microsoft products. (Consumers, or indirect purchasers, often can’t sue under the federal Sherman/Clayton Act(s) A/T laws. See http://blj.ucdavis.edu/archives/vol-7-no-1/The-Politics-of-Antitrust.html )
Compare San Jose’s situation with the LA Coliseum Authority (or whatever it’s precise name is) that sued NFL over the Raiders move to LA. The LA Coliseum entity had a stadium and a contract with the Raiders to play in that existing stadium. The LA Col. Auth. competed in the market for NFL franchises and NFL stifled its rights to compete. (Also, of course, NFL had no A/T exemption, but for purposes of analyzing standing and the separate requirement of “antitrust injury,” the exemption’s not important.)
I’m serious. Just google “antitrust standing” and “antitrust injury.” The literature is vast.
Thanks Xoot, I actually read decisions as a sick hobby but it is mostly labor rulings. Admittedly I don’t read anti-trust issues hence my serious lack of knowledge on the subject.
Also speculation of course but I think the bigger hang up with other owners in regards to San Jose is the private financing of the stadium. I think the other owners like the current paradigm where cities pay for stadiums as opposed to owners and having another (hopefully successful) privately funded stadium makes it less likely that cities elsewhere in the country would continue to fund stadiums.
One detail I just noticed — one of the Cotchett firm’s attorneys listed on the caption page of the San Jose complaint is Frank Damrell. He recently retired after quite a few years on the federal bench in the Calif. Eastern District (Sacramento, etc.). He knows federal subject matter jurisdiction inside and out, and I’m sure he saw his share of A/T cases.
There’s a reason the state-law tort claims are batting at the top of the line-up in the San Jose complaint.
one thing everyone should be able to agree upon is the legal team representing SJ are definetely heavy weights and relish taking on the big battles. If I am one of the 29 owners of baseball, other than SF, I have to question whether or not I want to risk what I have today for 1 greedy team who is already sharing a territory with a team including tv, marketing etc. and only wants to restrict them from locating a ballpark further away from ours in our current shared territory. Personally, I would be all over the gints to get their asses to the table and figure it out before the courts do on your behalf.
It can be argued that the expansion fees the owners happily accepted in the 1990s for franchises in places such as Miami, Colorado and Phoenix are now being canceled out by the A’s subsidies owners are paying. Oakland isn’t moving anywhere on getting a new stadium, Selig is too terrified of the Giants and there’s no cities left that are slam-dunks for relocation. So the A’s are stuck seemingly forever in their current situation, despite Selig’s bombastic claims that the A’s cannot and will not stay in their current situation. The NFL always has the threat of an LA move to get cities in line with NFL stadium expectations. MLB only has second-tier markets like San Antonio.
To reiterate what I’ve posted before, MLB foolishly went way overboard in using the territorial rights issue as it applies between each of the two teams in the Bay Area market, as part of their claim that this is justified on the basis of MLB’s anti-trust exemption. The actual intention of territorial rights should apply only to protect teams currently in one market from having other teams move into that same market. In the case of the Bay Area, both the A’s and the Giants share the market together. Both teams are able to broadcast games and promote their respective teams throughout the entire Bay Area market. In that case, each team should also be allowed to have their ballpark located anywhere within that same geographical market. The term market and territory is meant to be one and the same. Therefore, the Giants and A’s do share the same territorial rights to the exact same area.
The divided territory in the Bay Area is a historical accident. The Giants have the coast counties. When the A’s arrived in 68, they got Alameda and CC counties. No one cared about Santa Clara County and neither team had it. The story about Lurie asking Haas to consent to SF taking it is true. (Earlier, Lurie had offered Haas a million bucks to move the A’s. Of course, Haas bought the team in the first place to thwart Finley’s plan to have the team leave Oakland. Haas wasn’t interested in Lurie’s deal. Lurie was singularly ineffectual, btw.) By 92, however, the ownership group that purchased the Giants to keep them here had a better idea of SV’s potential value. So . . . .
Now, even mlb itself considers the Bay Area a single territory for revenue-sharing purposes. (See the CBA. That’s why the A’s change from a revenue-receiver to a revenue-payor as soon as they have a new ballpark–anywhere in the Bay Area, which is designated a major mlb market.) There’s good reason to merge the entire market and allow the A’s to move within it. But as with the analogous deal mlb made with O’s to install the Nats in DC, the Giants will get some comp.
It is why the negotiations and details should be made public. The public need to know how much the greedy Gs are asking for and LW responses. Maybe LW is too greedy too because he wants it for free. Fine, lets get it out on the open. Instead we got a fucking no answer from that bastard BS.
@xoot- Your history is correct and you are right the Bay Area is a major MLB market as it is the wealthiest market in the US.
In the case of the O’s and Nats, they are separate media markets. Therefore the O’s could have split the TV market with no bleeding into each other or take control of both teams and share it. They decided to share the TV market like the Giants/A’s do, therefore Nats games are televised in Baltimore and vice versa.
Washington got a 100% free ballpark via the taxpayers. Therefore they were in position to be able to give up TV revenue to the O’s to appease them. Currently both teams are in a big argument over the deal because of TV rights $$ skyrocketing. MLB is dragging their feet on that one too.
The A’s are trying to build 100% privately with the city only providing minimum infrastructure. This is the main reason MLB and Selig delay. They do not want a privately built ballpark period in San Jose because one already exists in San Francisco.
Selig, does not want to see two privately built ballparks in the same market. He wants the taxpayers to foot the bill, he would rather have MLB loan money for a Oakland ballpark (which would be unprecedented) than have San Jose build privately and deal with the Giants.
There is no way the A’s can compensate the Giants and pay for the ballpark itself. Hence Selig cannot broker a deal in this case between the teams unless the ballpark was free in San Jose.
This is why MLB’s case is so shaky. When deposed Selig or MLB cannot say they want a tax payer funded ballpark in California….That shows clearly they are acting as a “cartel” by not letting a privately controlled franchise (A’s) move because of demanding a “handout”.
Selig and MLB have no other logical explanation on why the BRC has taken 4 years to issue even a recommendation.
Also, the BRC was supposed to examine all sites in the East Bay or current A’s territory to see if Lew Wolff missed something. The fact in 4 years they have not found anything also makes MLB’s case shakier.
When this all comes to the forefront it will show MLB is in violation of several anti-trust laws and they are guilty of acting as a “cartel” with this anti-competitive behavior.
The only way the Giants can get compensated is through the revenue sharing system.
That can only occur once the ballpark open in San Jose.
Only then can the Giants expect any kickback. Because of the lawsuit this is what MLB will have to do.
Let Wolff build his ballpark in San Jose then try to compensate the Giants later. If Wolff fails to build in San Jose then it is all a moot point.
By letting Wolff try to build it at least settles the lawsuit and kicks compensating the Giants down the line.
Since we are all internet lawyers this is all moot until the dust settles. One way or other one city is going to win and another is going to lose big time. Hopefully this saga ends with the A’s staying in the Bay Area and an end to baseball’s AT exemption.
The A’s can soften the blow to the Giants by becoming temporary tenants of the Giants at AT&T park until the new San Jose ballpark is completed. This is an indirect way of compensating the Giants, while the A’s can save face on the compensation issue. The Giants will get a significant cut of the concessions, plus the rent and parking. For four or five seasons this could add up as a hefty amount to the Giants. Also, the A’s would no longer feel that they are being used by the Coliseum Authority to pay off the Mt. Davis debt, and they will no longer have to deal with the conditions at the Coliseum.
It feels like some of you are rewriting history. When the A’s arrived the American League and National League were entirely separate entities, so there was no dividing of the Bay Area between coastal counties and other counties. The A’s had rights to the territory for the AL and the Giants for NL. There was no division between the two teams because they were completely separate leagues back then. American League owners solely approved the A’s move to Oakland and the Giants had zero say in the matter. The leagues merged way after all that took place. I don’t believe the division of the territory was formalized until Haas allowed the Giants sole possession of Santa Clara when the Giants attempted to move there. Please correct me if I am misinterpreting your comments.
@turin–you’re basically right. The historical accident was the result of the AL and NL territories being assigned without regard to the Bay Area “market.” But as the leagues cooordinated during the 90s, the territorial decisions coordinated, too. Agreements and “constitutions” from those days aren’t available, I believe. The way the leagues collaborated (or, according to the City of San Jose, conspired) in those days isn’t clear. Still, the history about the Giants acquiring rights to SC County is well settled. For example, Berkeley’s Bancroft Library has an oral history page devoted to Wally Haas; he recounts the events. And the famous 1990 “minutes” of mlb’s collective meeting where the owners approved the territorial grant of SC County to the Giants are the centerpiece of the A’s claims. The result now is that the Giants have the coastal counties (Monterey to Marin) PLUS SC County, and the A’s have only Alameda and CoCo counties.
@turin/xoot – Not exactly. Gene Autry paid $2.1 million as an expansion fee for the Angels.