Battle: Field

Raiders owner Mark Davis was interviewed during Friday’s home exhibition opener at the Coliseum against the Cowboys. Davis left no doubt about how he felt about sharing the Coli with the A’s, calling the situation a “travesty“.

Just as the A’s and MLB complain about the state of the field when the Raiders invade the Coliseum every August, the Raiders and the NFL complain about the dirt infield dominating the football field. While that has proved to be something of a home field advantage because of Sebastian Janikowski’s well-developed skill in kicking off the brown stuff, the Polish cannon is not going to be around forever. Every other team has either a pristine grass or fake grass field, and frankly the Raiders should have the same conditions in today’s era.


The baseball configuration 96 hours after the first Raiders game doesn’t look that bad.

Three more conversions to the football setup are planned through the rest of the baseball regular season. Another two or three could occur if the A’s reach the postseason and go deep. There’s an especially tricky period from September 29 to October 6, which will have two Raiders home games sandwiching an indeterminate number of A’s home postseason games. The home dates could be a division tiebreaker, wild card game, part of the best-of-five divisional series.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the other franchise owners are monitoring the Oakland situation continually, with the knowledge that the Raiders’ lease expires at the end of the season. The ratcheted up rhetoric by Davis and the Raiders’ broadcast team is no coincidence. The state of the field is a wedge issue in lease negotiations for both tenants at the Coliseum, with both teams basically saying that they’d rather have the field in their preferred condition. Of course, the only way to truly get that is to get the other tenant to leave. The A’s and Raiders have a friendly and professional relationship so you won’t see them going after each other. Instead they’ll send their gripes the JPA’s way.

At the moment the Raiders have an advantage over the A’s in their respective lease talks due to their ongoing dialogue with the JPA over Coliseum City. However, the A’s need the field ready sooner because their season starts in April. In fact, lease decisions will have to be made in the fall because decisions have to be made about when to start growing grass and rebuilding the infield, a process that usually starts in late January or early February. And you can bet that MLB, which has stayed hands off for the moment, will have no choice but to get involved if there’s a threat of the A’s being “homeless” for 2014.

Davis has said previously that even a temporary lease at the Coliseum is tied to development of a new stadium at the Coliseum complex, which only serves to make negotiations even more complicated. Perhaps the Raiders can commit with only a tentative agreement on how to move forward with Coliseum City. The feasibility study should be complete in a month or so, whereas an EIR is still ongoing.

With all of the lease factors in play, let’s talk about what has to happen next. A Raiders lease extension will need to be finalized well before the end of the season, probably as early as November. The same goes for the A’s because of the earlier start. If the teams are forced to share, there may be a way to minimize the conversion impact. That would probably include the A’s playing late season games at AT&T Park, allowing for the “permanent” football conversion to commence earlier, or the Raiders playing preseason games in Santa Clara (which makes more sense for the A’s). The JPA has to be careful not to appear as if they’re playing favorites, considering that both tenants don’t need much impetus to bolt. Davis may not have formal discussions with anyone in LA, but he’s probably getting a lot of whispers. We know that Lew Wolff only wants to stay long enough to get a San Jose ballpark built.

For now, let’s shelve the possibility that one of the tenants will move. We’ll have the chance to talk about the more drastic scenarios in posts I’ve scheduled for the weekend. Let’s assume that both will stay for now. What do you think the JPA, Oakland, and Alameda County will need to do to keep the teams happy?

107 thoughts on “Battle: Field

  1. The situation exists because Selig has known about the A’s needs for years but chooses to do nothing about it, since it’s easier than taking on the Giants. It’s becoming comical – two teams in different sports stuck in an obsolete, decaying facility with no new stadiums in sight.

  2. This is a shame! I know Mark and Lew have to say certain things publically, I get that it’s about negotiations and leverage. Something has to be done, Oakland may be working a back room deal (out of the voting public’s view), but after all this time, it’s probably nothing more than the sound of cricks. I have said in the past, that it was a good thing, that the Warriors where trying to build at piers 30/32 in San Francisco I sure hope they get it done. Its gives Oakland the chance to concentrate on only two teams, but honestly can we just let the A’s play at AT&T for five years; till we get an A’s a new ballpark in San Jose. Then maybe, just maybe Oakland can somehow manage to get the Raiders a new stadium.

  3. The situation exists because Al Davis decided to move back into the Coliseum in 1995. The Raider choose to play at the Oakland Coliseum. If grass were that important to them, they would’ve stayed at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

    Sure, the condition of the playing field is an issue. However, it’s just a visible target for each team wanting a new facility. The NFL and MLB have enough cash to muscle new facilities through, but each league chooses to stand put. In the words of my favorite scholar, Mack Neal Babitt, “If you don’t change it, you choose it.”

  4. MLB subsidizes the poorly attended A’s. The Raiders, also attendance- and corporate-funding challenged, are the least-valuable NFL team, according to Forbes. Both teams have embarrassing tarps in place to cover up unsold seats. What’s the incentive for the two leagues to spend billions just to stay in the East Bay market? If we’re going to say “Let the leagues/team owners build their own stadiums,” we can’t also tell them “but you have to build it here, where you won’t make any money.”

  5. Well to answer the short term lease question posed by ML I’m going to have to get sacrilegious given the pristine nature of the Coliseum field 2/3rds of the year… Fieldturf. Fake grass would solve one of the major field complaints that both teams have. It would lower the authorities costs in having to grow that new grass every year and maintain it. It would speed the conversion process both in season for MLB and at the end of the season when they go football for good. And it can be had for a reasonably affordable price that could offset the city’s buy in costs even over the course of a short lease.

    Now I’m not sure either team would go for it (though I suspect the Raiders probably would more so than the A’s). And I’m certain it’s not what the fans want to see since fake grass is an abomination in baseball that MLB has been working to eliminate. And functionally it’s doesn’t play the same as grass and it gets hot in summer. But it’s an option that they could consider along with my a fore mentioned almost free idea of pulling down the spite fences on the concourse.

  6. @Dan: Interesting idea. For the sake of field conversation, wouldn’t it create more work?
    1995- Initially, crews would remove the pitching/bullpen mounds, and configure the seats.
    2005- Then came the tarp removals.
    2013- Then came tarp replacement.
    20XX- Now, it’s be turf replacement.

    I don’t have any idea how much it costs to maintain a grass field compared to an artificial turf field (vaccuuming/storage/repair/etc.), but in terms of time and recources, it might be a wash.

  7. This whole situation just continues to downright suck; for both the A’s and Raiders. Crappy facility aside, what’s interesting is that we’re hearing nothing on the lease extension front; NOTHING! And I’m not sensing any sense of urgency from Mr. Wolff on this front in the media or elsewhere. Could this be their final season in Oakland? If not the coliseum, where?

    There’s a quarterly owners meeting happening right now, and we know Selig, Wolff and Baer are in attendance. We know they have to be talking in some room about the A’s stadium situation: committee report, sewage leaks, chewed up field, lawsuits, etc…”some day this war’s gonna end…”

  8. Briggs, you misunderstand me. It wouldn’t be a turf replacement thing… it would be a permanent field turf installation. The A’s would play on it too. The only things to remove come football gametime would be the base cutouts (ala Toronto). It would eliminate the dead grass problem in the outfield which is the A’s main complaint while removing the dirt infield which is the Raiders main complaint.

    The cost savings would come in the form of not having to water the grass field, not having to regrow and replant the outfield every off season nor grow and replace patches after the football stands are removed during the NFL preseason and early season and replace patches during the NFL season as well. That’s a pretty significant cost savings long term which is why most high schools have switched to artificial turf particularly on their football fields.

  9. The only way both the A’s and Raiders renew their respective leases at the Coliseum is for both teams to be given short-term bargain rate lease renewals with an escape clause after two seasons. As of now, the Raiders have the most leverage to not renew their lease, since they will have a viable temporary option next season to move in as tenants of the 49ers at the new Santa Clara stadium. As for the A’s, until MLB puts pressure on the Giants, the A’s will have no leverage in negotiating even a short-term lease renewal at the Coliseum.

  10. “The A’s,” Selig said, “cannot and will not continue indefinitely in their current situation.” – Bud Selig, March 2009. So here we are, nearly 4.5 years later, with the A’s continuing indefinitely in their current situation.

  11. According to one of the tweets bs is going to intervene in rays stadium situatuon saying current situation is “troubling”? Really wtf- he can’t solve the A’s after 4 years- what makes him think he can solve this one? If anything his indecision for the A’s only empowers the St Pete leaders to hold out till 2027 since they know he doesn’t have any balls to make a decision-

  12. The A’s play in a usually-three-quarters-empty. sewage-spewing, nearly-50-year-old football stadium and Selig does nothing about that. He won’t do anything in Tampa, either. Their lease runs another 14 years. What’s he going to do? Form a committee to look at the Rays ballpark options in their current territory?

  13. @mike- liked the overall article- don’t agree with conclusion that LW will sell- I think he and his family are in for the long haul and will eventually get what they want. Now if for some reason he is denied SJ then I would think he might consider it because the investment of private funds in Oakland is much too risky- as the article points out.

  14. @Tony D.
    Re: This whole situation just continues to downright suck; for both the A’s and Raiders.
    Dude I am so mad I don’t know what to do. I am sure one day we will all look back on this, as a dark period (stadium wise), for both franchises, but it really does not help at the moment.
    It was not cool when Oakland was right there, with San Diego, San Francisco, and Miami, as the only two sport stadiums left, but with the Dolphins and Marlins playing in two different venues, it’s just deplorable. To Santa Clara (Raiders), San Francisco (Warriors), and San Jose (A’s), please help my struggling home town, so that the teams I love can have new homes in the Bay Area.

  15. Wolff isn’t going to sell. He and Keith are in it for the long haul. Besides, San Jose interests are A’s owners as well (DiNapoli Family) and Wolff’s real estate “home” is downtown San Jose.

  16. Given the San Jose lawsuit and the new pressure on Tampa, msybe MLB might just prepare the nuclear option: Tell Oakland and Tampa to approve publicly funded ballpark plans in short order or have your franchises contracted. I don’t know. Waiting for miracles in both cities has produced nothing.

  17. pjk, That will never happen. The MLBPA won’t allow it. Particularly since both Tampa and the A’s are not in quite as dire situations as we all like to think they are. Sure neither is independently profitable (or so we’ve been told), but with revenue sharing they’re both running in the black and actually turning a profit for their respective ownership groups.

    That and the Tampa situation is really just beginning. St. Pete just opened up to the idea of allowing the team to explore options across the water in Tampa itself. Until the last month or so the Rays hands were tied and they were unable to explore Tampa (which is ultimately where they want to be). So we could literally be 5-10 years from Tampa being truly “critical” like the A’s situation is portrayed as today.

  18. I love the A’s, but ultimately the A’s are MLB, and MLB (like any other pro sports league) will slap cities around because they can get away with it. If the A’s move to San Jose, it’s only a matter of time before the A’s pull something shadey or hold SJ at gun point over something.

    The post WWI United States set a precedent where cities pay for pro sports venues in hopes of luring a pro team to their city. The era of expansion is over, but teams still expect cities to front enormous amount of resources so that these pro team can live in their dream homes.

  19. The owners are getting sick of subsidizing these teams, and to what end? Both are welfare-receiving embarrassments, thanks to their sad stadium situations that have festered for years and years. MLB could expand rosters to save jobs (although two sets of higher paying starting jobs would be eliminated by folding the two teams).

  20. If and when the SCOTUS gets involved with SJ vs MLB – it’ll be game over for MLB and the giants owner’s group. The S4SJ lawsuits would likely be insignificant and pushed aside. The A’s would likely be granted injuctions by judges and continue building the SJ ballpark.

    What Selig is referring to is likely Tampa Bay moving to Montreal – not contraction of the A’s and the Rays. Contraction of the A’s and Tampa Bay would be extremely costly – more costly than the current MLB revenue sharing plan. MLB would be required to pay Wolff and the Tampa Bay owners a huge sum for contracting the two teams. Also the powerful MLB players Union would create a big fuss over eliminating franchises and MLB jobs – likely arguing that Montreal or a new A’s ballpark would be better options than contracting.

    Also, MLB would suffer the stigma of being the only major sports league to contract teams – which would demonstrate that the league’s popularity is declining. (In the past, sports leagues which have contracted any of their teams have typically soon folded afterwards) The NFL, NHL, and NBA, if anything, are looking to expand – not contract. MLB’s image would take a hit big time if it contracted any teams.

  21. The last team to “fold” in any major sports league? The Cleveland Barons, previously known as the Oakland Seals, were “merged” with the Minnesota North Stars around 1977. The NHL lost a team.

  22. @Dan @pjk
    I agree with Dan the Player union, would never let that happen, but pjk has a point. If Oakland/Alameda Co. actually thought the threat of contraction was real, they might just do something, and that still probably will not be enough. Guys there is a lot of blame to go around, with the Raiders Al Davis never thought he had to properly market his team, and once he moved back to the Bay Area, the organization still did not embrace it, like it was going to be their long term home. There was always the underling threat of moving back to LA. Al thought winning was all the marketing he needed to do, but he was under the allusion that he was still wining. Perhaps he wanted the team to forever be in Oakland, once he came back and his not embracing the community was something he felt he had to do for future negotiations sake, but it did not help. With Lew we could argue all day as to whether he gave a real effort in Oakland, and as I have said before the Giants do a better job of marketing to the east bay then the A’s do. I am not happy with either teams, ownership for various reasons, but Oakland Alameda Co. has to bear the brunt of this situation. You can come up with all the excuses in the world, not enough fortune 500 companies in the east bay, the A’s will not talk to us, the Raiders are coy, MLB or NFL need to do more, Brown did not support uptown, after some time its BS. Oakland/Alameda Co. needs to have a plan any kind of plan, hell they don’t even have a bad plan (coliseum city is not a plan without financing), just nothing. I say this being born raised and proud of Oakland, well most of it.

  23. I believe if Oakland’s backs are pushed against the wall ( as in, build a stadium with taxpayer $$ or the team folds), then the team would fold. When the city is laying off police officers, there is simply no way it can spend any $$ on as ballpark.

  24. @pjk: I that case, I’d love to see Oakland call MLB’s bluff. We all know contraction is as likely as Adam Rosales being inducted into The Hall of Fame. I like that San Jose has gone the “take no shit” approach and dropped a lawsuit on MLB.

    I’m giving Oakland the benefit of the doubt. Oakland is mustering up the best offer they can to the NFL and MLB. It’s a pretty pathetic offer, but whatever. It’s the best they can do at this time. If MLB and NFL don’t like it, they’re free to take their business elsewhere. When cities bend over and take it up the bum to keep their team, it really compromises the bargaining position of other cities negotiating with their own team.

  25. @pjk
    There are always ways you can come up with new taxes, hotel, taxi, or car rental etc. I don’t think that alone will do it, but there are plenty of ways, that it can be done. This is where Oakland Alameda Co. need a willing partner, in either of the three teams, right now Warriors no, A’s no, Raiders even look a little shaky. I don’t think you believe it, but there is way this can happen.

  26. What’s the demand for hotels, taxis and rental cars in Oakland? Is it enough that they can levy massive taxes on all of it? The teams visiting the A’s don’t even stay in Oakland, right?

    • There aren’t enough hotel rooms in Oakland or Alameda County to raise a lot of money. A while back I figured that a 2% hike in Oakland’s TOT would yield around $3 million a year. SF could pull it off because it has around 10X the number of rooms that Oakland has. Hotel and car rental taxes work best in places that are tourist/convention locales with wide pull, such as Phoenix or Miami. That’s not Oakland.

  27. I recall the Red Sox radio team saying they stay in San Francisco when the team plays Oakland.

  28. @Briggs

    Most if not all sports teams that visit the Bay Area stay in SF.

  29. I stayed at a Best Western right across from Disneyland a couple weeks ago, where the hotel tax was something like $23 a night. Of course, Anaheim can get away with this given the huge, year-round demand for lodgings near the amusement park. Oakland? Not so much.

  30. @Briggs
    Hay if Lew wanted, and was willing he could build a nice hotel on those 50 acres at HT next to his new ballpark, and tell MLB owners, hay you made me stay in Oakland, so the rest of you have to as well, It is sad that out of town teams (MLB will not let the A’s out of Oakland, but will not stay there themselves.) stay in SF, kind of a double standard. I think the NBA stays in SF, probably NFL as well. I would guess the NHL teams stay in SJ. They would probably stay in SF., themselves if it was closer to HP.
    Yes, you are correct, but I am talking about Oakland and Alameda Co., admittedly still not as much demand as San Francisco Co., or Santa Clara Co., but it’s a start, and like I said that probable will not be enough. I have said several times that Oakland/Alameda Co. will have to be creative, even to keep one team, I just don’t think its imposable, as you seem to think, but I respect your option. I love this blog, because most people here have valid points, as you do. We just disagree on whether Oakland/Alameda can make anything at all happen I think (hope) they can, you don’t seem to think they can walk and chew gum, a reputation well deserved, but it’s not imposable. Hay they may lose all three, in large part to their own inaction, but in fairness they have not had the most willing of partners. It can happen in Oakland, and happen well, attest that’s what I believe. Do I think it can happen in San Jose, yes I do I believe it could happen better in San Jose then I do in Oakland, all I am saying is it can happen, and happen well..

  31. SFO is a major hub for all airlines. Airlines don’t fly into smaller places like SJC or Oakland. ANA is flying daily from SJ to Tokyo this year using Boeing 787 and that is the only international route

  32. I wonder if teams flying in to play the 49ers next year will stay at the Santa Clara hotels a few yards from the stadium or if they will continue to stay in Frisco. I’ll bet it’ll be the latter. Apparently, a bunch of teams visiting the Sharks stay at the Santana Row hotel(s) these days, given there’s not much to do in downtown San Jose outside of going to a Sharks game.

  33. @Dan said – “The cost savings would come in the form of not having to water the grass field, not having to regrow and replant the outfield every off season nor grow and replace patches after the football stands are removed during the NFL preseason and early season and replace patches during the NFL season as well.”

    Clay Wood just shed a tear.

  34. @pjk- teams will stay local- recall LW bought the St Claire hotel downtown and is in the process of refurbishing it. Also, you been to San Pedro Square lately- lots going on- and as I recall after the 9ers won the NFC title game they flew into SJC and partied in downtown SJ-

  35. niners held their draft party this past april at san pedro square too.

  36. @pjk: I’d assume they’d stay in SF. These are young guys with a ton of disposable cash. Given that they arrive a few days ahead of the game, they have a handful of nights to party it up. If you were earning 30k a paycheck and 24 years old, would you be down to clown in Santa Clara?

    It makes sense that visiting NHL teams stay in Santana Row. It’s compact with things to do. It’s a real shame Santana Row isn’t in DT San Jose. SJ needs a center of gravity.

  37. re: they have a handful of nights to party it up.

    …For keeping order, maybe the teams should stay in Santa Clara? There’s always the amusement park right there for the guys to kill a few hours – harmless fun. And no worries about a 43-mile bus ride that begins in congested downtown Frisco. Just stay at the Santa Clara Hyatt or Hilton and walk to the stadium. But you’re right, they’ll probably stay in Frisco just the same. It might be an advantage for the 49ers that opposing teams take an hour-long bus ride to the stadium (even though there are fabulous hotels within walking distance of the new field).

  38. “daniel says: SFO is a major hub for all airlines. Airlines don’t fly into smaller places like SJC or Oakland. ANA is flying daily from SJ to Tokyo this year using Boeing 787 and that is the only international route.”

    Unless we annexed Mexico recently, Alaska Airlines and Volaris at SJC would dispute that last sentence. OAK has similar flights plus service to Amsterdam.

  39. pjk- DTSJ is starting to pop. Nice little restaurant/beer scene going on. Nothing like SF, but it’s deff improved over the last few years.

  40. i think many 49ers players like willis and v.davis who now live in the bay area do take residence down in the south bay.

  41. SJ really screwed up giving all that money for private developers to build (and profit from) Santana Row without requiring that it be downtown. Not only does downtown still suck, but they’ve made the bad traffic by Valley Fair worse.

  42. F**kin bullshit! Selig/MLB are going to intervene in the Rays stadium situation!? What about us!? Sternberg a few years back stated our situation was close to being rectified and that the Rays “would be the last man standing” re new ballpark…WTF!?

  43. @Brian,
    Downtown San Jose still sucks? You obviously haven’t been there in years. I’ll give you the opportunity to visit San Pedro Square or SoFa before you have to apologize or retract that comment. And yes, the Niners chose to have their Draft party at SPSM in downtown SJ. Not a Niners fan, but I can appreciate how they’ve made San Jose/the South Bay their true home..

  44. Is the TB thing a spiteful move? By prioritizing Tampa, Selig gets his shots in at both Oakland (for doing absolutely nothing to make a new A’s ballpark happen) and San Jose (for filing a lawsuit against MLB). This is, after all, the same guy who told a media member he would not get a “f***ing answer” about the A’s and then refused to accept service of San Jose’s legal papers. He’s not exactly Mr. Professional. I wouldn’t want him running a lemonade stand in front of my house. As far as us A’s fans, Selig couldn’t care less – there’s simply not enough of us for him to care.

  45. @pjk,
    Yeah, but by getting his supposed “shots” in to Oakland and San Jose he’s screwing one of his franchises and a fellow owner (who’s his good friend btw). Selig/MLB probably don’t give a rats ass about any particular city, but I’m sure they care about their franchises/owners. If Wolff isn’t kicking and screaming at the owners meeting, not demanding that SJ drop its laswuit and (as always) is looking as calm as ever, well…(damn I wish I knew what was going on)

  46. forbes came out with their franchise value of nfl teams recently.

    niners franchise worth 1.224 billion ranking 10th. back in 2011 they were 22nd, see how a newly built stadium can greatly change the perception of your franchise.

    raiders franchise worth 825 million ranking 32nd dead last in the nfl.

  47. boy i remember back in on christmas eve of 2011 there was a report by nigtengale i think or some other national guy who said the a’s would get the green light to sj. well 20 months later and nothing. a’s will move to sj but it’s comical it’s taking this long when for all sides other than those greedy bastard migdts it’s a good thing for the a’s and mlb.

  48. The Raiders should at the very least play preseason games at Levi’s Stadium starting next year to mitigate the field problem by going back and forth between them and the A’s.

    Then again….The Raiders should just play in Santa Clara full time and this problem would be solved after this season. Logic! But we are talking about the Raiders here!

    As for the A’s, they cannot play at ATT Park for the same reason they cannot play in San Jose….T-rights.

    By letting the A’s play at ATT Park it would be in direct violation of Bud Selig is holding so sacred in “his own mind”. So the A’s are stuck indefinitely at the Coliseum while the Raiders have options.

    Now Selig wants to help the Rays? Good lord someone slap that guy in the face! What a moron, 4.5 years after he commissions his BRC and nothing happens now he wants to take on the Rays issues? SMH

    The A’s will get to San Jose, MLB will be forced to settle this by the end of this year just to avoid the embarrassment and $$ of litigating this. San Jose is not paying a dime for this so they can sit back and take it all the way while the collective owners of MLB will dish out $$ to protect the Giants and Selig.

  49. @brian- personally I like Santana Row being separate- city’s always have distinct neighborhoods like Willow Glen in addition to their downtowns? As SJ continues to urbanize Santana Row will evolve as a distinct neighborhood and downtown will be just fine-

  50. The Raiders playing elsewhere for their preseason games is not only long overdue, but it’s a marketing opportunity that they’re completely missing out on. They should be looking to attract wider audiences by going down to Fresno and playing a preseason game at Bulldog Stadium, or play at Stanford Stadium to appeal to the San Jose market, or…dare I say it…play a game at the LA Coliseum or the Rose Bowl.

    The A’s would love it because they’d get to keep their immaculate field for another month. The Raiders should love it because it’s basically a free marketing opportunity and they’d probably draw better crowds barnstorming, if you will,than they would for a preseason game at the Coliseum.

    Plus, nobody has to pay for the conversion. Boom.

  51. What if the A’s were to play with a grass infield with just dirt around home, the mound, and the bases similar to how turf stadiums are designed. You’d still get the dirt patches, but it would be less prominent. And as Lev noted, the pre-season barnstorming would actually be to the Raiders benefit even if they intend to play at the Coli.

  52. OT Selig has announced that he’ll retire at the end of next season. So hopefully we get to see him squirm on a witness stand in 2014.

    If the A’s and Raiders are stuck in the Coliseum for a couple more years I don’t see why they can’t use Field Turf or grow grass outside the stadium like the Giants and Jets used to do at the old Giant Stadium. I thought it was funny that the Raider’s network (Greg Papa)said it was a travesty that they shared a stadium with the A’s. The true travesty is that the A’s are the ones that are forced to share a stadium with the Raiders.

  53. OT: folks all over the Internet are slamming my Raiders for being the lowest valued NFL team, but really, is being worth $825 million (in a depressed market and no new stadium in site) really something to laugh at? It would be akin to slamming me over coming in last in the 100 meter dash, yet I finished a half second behind the sprinter who took first.

  54. @Tony

    Forbes list is just meaningless numbers. Sort of like the one it releases every year for the fictional value of movie heroes and villains. Pretty sure that if Raiders are sold it could go anywhere between 500 million to 1 billion dollars. I am willing to bet that if the Raiders moved to LA and they would jump from #32 to somewhere in the top 5.

  55. The Raiders playing on a baseball diamond, with tarped, empty seats, in Oakland, are worth less than other teams. The Raiders in LA? They’d be instantaneously a Top 5 team in value.

  56. the next nfl team that gets sold will garner 1 billion dollars. owning a sports team espcially in the big 3 of mlb, nfl, and nba but especially the nfl is one of the most lucrative ways to make money these days with these massive tv deals.

    heck the kings who probably ranked near the bottom of value in the nba sold for what 535 million and that wasn’t even the highest offer on the table which was from the sea group.

  57. Just think about it the Raider’s brand is worth 825 million alone in a shitty stadium. So if a new Raider stadium cost x-amount of dollars that is what forbes is going to add to the value of the team. They stay in Oakland with a new stadium they would jump from last to middle of the pack. Move to LA they would be in the top 5 just from location alone. Outside of Dallas, NE, the NJ teams I would not get heart broken what order forbes ranks the teams. Hell if Jacksonville moved to London they would be in the top 10.

    • @Mike2 – That’s not really how it works. Forbes derives their numbers from each team’s revenue. The stadium is only good as its ability to add revenue. The Raiders are the least valuable franchise because they make half as much local revenue as, for instance, the Packers. Even if the Raiders were to get a new stadium, if revenue (net of stadium costs) only improved by 15%, expect the franchise valuation to reflect that.

      Regarding artificial turf, the idea doesn’t really help anyone. It’s a lot more preferable for the Raiders than the A’s and has a large capital cost ($3-5 million). Because of the labor-intensive nature of the conversion, the only savings will be in not having to plant sod, which is minimal compared to everything else. Plus I can’t imagine individual players or the union being interested in this as any kind of solution (Coco Crisp missed the entire Houston series because of a turf-related wrist injury).

  58. Why don’t the Raiders play their preseason games at the newly upgraded Cal Memorial Stadium?

    • @KC – There is a limit to the number of games and large events that can be held at Memorial Stadium. The agreement was made to settle a lawsuit filed by stadium neighbors.

  59. I do not believe for one nanosecond that Selig is going to do anything about the Rays situation (be is basically blowing smoke out his A** on his way to retirement). We have seen how weak and pathetic he is when it comes to taking on the Giants. Here is another example: When it came to Alex Rodriguez and Steroids, the very reason why he did not use “The best interest of baseball” clause, and ban him ASAP, is he was simply bluffing with the 211 Game ban, and did not want to get B***H slapped even worse than Goddell was over the Saints suspension. I can think of three possibilities the arbitrator can decide to give Rodriguez: 1: 50 Games. 2: > 50 Games. 3: < 50 Games. I am predicting Option 3 (less than 50 Games), and the threat of a Lawsuit by Rodriguez against MLB (possibly taking away his precious Supreme Court Exemption), might have Selig accept a ZERO Game punishment. Based on Selig's History, anything he says when it comes to the Rays, A's or Rodriguez, has a credibility level of about zero.

  60. If Selig really, really wants the A’s to stay in Oakland, there is a simple solution MLB can implement: Pay for site preparations and a stadium in Oakland. But that is not likely to ever be considered. So instead he forms committees, runs in fear of the Giants and makes meaningless statements that the A’s “cannot and will not continue indefinitely” in their current situation. Meanwhile, the A’s continue indefinitely in their current situation. I agree – he won’t do anything in Tampa, either.

  61. Getting back to The Raiders, it’s comical comparing the Texans’ new video board to the video boards at the Coliseum– which have more in common with Sega Game Gears than they do with modern video boards.

  62. ARat’s people did him no favors. The arbitrator (or the panel, if either mlb or the union want a panel–they each pick a panel member, so the permanent arbitrator ends up making the decision anyway) is bound by the terms of the agreements (the JDA and the CBA), so perhaps the sleazy and unethical conduct won’t much factor in. Solid arbitration decisions don’t get overturned in court.

    Please do not talk about more turf. Get rid of the crap in Toronto and Tampa Bay, one way or another. Dump the DH, while you’re at it.

    Any truth to the rumor that all revenue generated next year from the extra commercials played during replay review will go to pay the Giants for the SJ territory?

  63. re: Dump the DH

    …Yes, we all need for the American League to add the “excitement” of a pitcher, who has no business in a major league batter’s box, standing there and holding a bat for three strikes.

  64. @xoot

    Dump the DH, talk about another thing the player union will not go for. I am with pjk on this one, dude I know it takes some of the strategy away from the game, but really a pitcher batting, that’s almost as bad as watching Monta Ellis play defense.

  65. Besides the fact that 80% of organized baseball is using the DH – the NL is one of the few holdouts not using it.

  66. @ Lakeshore/Neil:
    ” dude I know it takes some of the strategy away from the game…”

    Dude, the DH does not take away the strategy of managing a baseball game. AL managers are always “down a man” on the bench because someone is the starting DH. Pitchers face tougher hitters generally. Defensive wizards who suck at hitting get more spot starts.

    All in all, it raises the level of competition because all the players on the field are there because they’re good at what they do.

  67. Briggs, you forgot that the tactic of bunting is tantamount to strategy.

  68. Jeez. I was joking. The DH isn’t going anywhere, unfortunately, except eventually into the NL. The last three WS have demonstrated how interesting NL baseball is, btw, especially with DHs forced to play the field. 🙂

  69. @xoot
    Ok I am sorry, can’t gage the inflection of what a person is meaning, when reading it.
    Good points.
    I think (we)the A’s, need to bunt a hell of a lot more than they do. Dont you?

  70. and lest we all forget, bunting tantamount to strategy.

  71. An anecdote about bunting:
    My brother, Uncle and I were sitting in the stands at Sunken Diamond for the NCCAA Regionals. My Uncle’s son, our cousin, was playing for the Stanford Cardinal as they battled the UC Davis Aggies for a chance to go to Fullerton for a Super Regional, followed by an eventual trip to the College World Series if they could win in Fullerton.
    UC Davis was up by a run in the 7th inning. there was a runner on first and second. There were no outs and Brent Milleville, a guy with power, was at the plate. My Uncle, and about everyone around us, was excited when he squared to bunt… and pissed as hell when he fouled it off. My brother and I were pissed as hell when he squared to bunt and happy when he fouled it off.
    My Uncle asked us what was wrong with us and my brother responded “Math proves you should almost never bunt and it’s just ludicrous to bunt with a guy who could hit a 3 run bomb and send you on your way.”
    Another pitch. Another fouled bunt.
    0-2 pitch. 3 run jack. Cardinal roll into Fullerton and on to Omaha where they play great but eventually get eliminated by the Georgia Bulldogs (and Short Stop phenom Gordon Beckham)
    No. I don’t think any team should bunt more. Ever.

  72. xoot, I’d argue that the past three world series have shown how awesome it is to watch mostly well played baseball (emphasis on pitching and fielding, good base running, occasional three home run games at opportune times against a world dominating pitcher), and how stupid it is that two leagues play by different rules. Some years it favors the NL, others the AL… But it shouldn’t exist. Personally, I’d much rather watch Justin Verlander face Pablo Sandoval than Justin Verlander face Matt Cain. But I’d be okay if there was no DH. I just want the rules to be the same.

  73. Bunting has it’s place. But mostly to force the infield to question what the batter might do. It’s huge advantage if the defense thinks you’re bunting when you’re swinging away. The goal is to show bunt often enough to get your opponent to bite and no more.

    As for sticking DHs on the field. That’s as bad and stupid has putting pitchers in the batter’s box. Not interesting at all.

  74. jeffrey, that’s a well-stated opinion. I don’t like the DH, but I don’t like instant replay either. The way the LU cycles down to the pitcher’s spot, at least in the first few innings, is an integral part of the NL rhythm. The umps’ mistakes are just as much a part of the game as a blinding high sky, a strong wind to LF, or a bad hop when the ball hits a cleat divot on the IF. Obviously, I’m just going to have to adjust.

  75. @xoot
    Totally agree with you, on the rhythm of the NL game, high sky, a strong wind to LF, or a bad hop when the ball hits a cleat divot on the IF, but intent repay not so much, there is enough of the human element, or unpredictability in the game. I would rather the calls actually be correct, but you make some really good points.

  76. Lakeshore, I’m fine with replays that fix mistakes by turning live balls into dead balls (drive bounces off the top of the wall, after review turns out to be a HR so everyone trots home; ump calls the ball fair on the line, turns out to be foul so everyone trots back to do it again), or by turning one type of dead ball to another (HR/foul near the pole). But I hate giving the umps discretion to turn a dead ball live and then “place” runners where it’s likely they would’ve been, etc. Doesn’t that just replace one opportunity for human error with another?

  77. @xoot Yes, I could not agree more. That scenario does bother me, and please let’s not even talk about balls and strikes. I would have a fit if they took that out of the umpire’s control. Like you said, I’m fine with replays that fix mistakes by turning live balls into dead balls. The “in place”, as you says I don’t like either.

  78. It’s impossible to eliminate the opportunity for human error. However, I think it works to minimize any negative effects a blown call can have on a game.

    I like the element of fallable umpires. However, it’d time to use contemporary technology to make sure the right call is made. Baseball evolves regardless. At least this evolution will be a step in the right direction.

  79. reports are the w’s are now worth 800 million, they were sold by cohan to the lacob and company for 450 million. how can your franchise rise in 2+ years by 44%, are they taking in the account that the w’s plan to build their own arena across the bay?

  80. Yes, we all need for the American League to add the “excitement” of a pitcher, who has no business in a major league batter’s box, standing there and holding a bat for three strikes.

    Same thing could be said about most catchers and 1/2 of the A’s lineup. We might as well just have 9 DHes by your logic.

  81. re: We might as well just have 9 DHes by your logic.

    Patrick Corbin, the 12-3 pitcher for the Dbacks, has a .135 batting average. Shouldn’t the Dbacks release him? He’s not meeting his responsibilities at the plate. Well, as a pitching specialist, he’s not expected to be adept at batting. Position players, on the other hand, are required to be adept at hitting. A Gold Glove shortstop who can only hit .135 won’t last long in pro baseball. A Cy Young-level pitcher who only hits .135 is a different story. So if a pitcher is not expected to be able to hit, why bother sending him to an MLB batter’s box to face off against the greatest pitchers on the planet? It’s a comical exercise.

  82. So again, we might as well have 9 DHes by your logic. I don’t see why you have a problem with this? If 1 DH is better than none. Then certainly 9 will be better than 1. Why not have a completely different team for offense and defense? The MLBPA would love that.

  83. Ezra, because pitchers pitch and play defense. Fielders hit and play defense. You could make the argument that they could drop the DH AND pitcher from hitting and then everyone would be responsible for two parts of the game. But suggesting having only guys who field and only guys who hit is a little foolish.

  84. The AL is the better league, and most superstar players reside in the AL – the DH may be a factor. For example, the Dodgers are interesting, however most NL teams are very boring (the 2012 gnats, and current St. Louis Cards, Pittsburgh,for example) Who would fork over $30-$40 to see those teams play, or even view them on tv? not very compelling teams. No wonder most nationally televised MLB games feature AL teams (the NL likely needs to beg for air time!)

    The only useful function when a .100 BA pitcher is batting is that it’s a good time to take a break for a snack, beer, etc. – other than that – pitchers batting are very dull. Fans don’t enjoying paying admission to view .100 BA pitchers bat.

  85. because pitchers pitch and play defense

    Hmm… maybe we should get a designated fielder out there for the pitchers too?

    Fielders hit and play defense.[…] But suggesting having only guys who field and only guys who hit is a little foolish.

    Why? To stick to tradition? Just because that’s how the game’s always been played?

  86. duff, the national network tv audience is not known for its baseball acumen. In fact, it’s the Arena League bs that entices them to watch a few of the commercials. Hence, the Yankers/BoSox preference, etc. As to the fan attendance at the parks of mlb teams, the numbers speak for themselves. Right now the dogers, Cardinals and Giants are the top three so far this season.

    Do you really invite this stuff?

  87. More excuses from gnats fans attempting do a spin job with facts. Actually your comment has some validity though. Gnats fans think very highly of their team – fans outside of SF? – not so much.

  88. Ezra. Why? Because that’s game. The DH isn’t going anywhere. I think you need to get over that.

    Duff, unfortunately Xoot is correct. They’re #3 in road attendance. Somehow I doubt they will be next year though.

  89. The gnats post season ratings set record lows for television viewers. The 2010 viewer ratings were bizzare because while the NL post season ratings were way down – the AL ratings were up. The attendance figures are an odd exception and can’t be explained (similiar to the cubs – bad team, good attendance)

  90. @duffer- you can’t be serious- Who just signed the most lucrative tv contact in the history of sports- the dodgers-

  91. My comment did not apply to the Dodgers – only the Gnats. the Dodgers would likely achieve better post reason ratings than the Giants have.

  92. Why? Because that’s game.

    No, you can’t argue that there will only be 1 DH “because that’s the game.” That’s what people said before there was 1 DH and you’re saying they were wrong, so you can not argue the same point. So please, try again: why can’t we have 9 DHes?

    The DH isn’t going anywhere.

    Who said anything about that? I’m advocating for 9 DHes. Please go back and re-read my statements.

    I think you need to get over that.

    No… I think you need to take reading comprehension and debate classes. It’s a contradiction to argue for keeping the game the same just because that’s how it is if you support any change to the game, whether you’re for the DH, for instant replay, or for interleague play.

  93. It.’s about expectations. Position players are expected to get hits. Pitchers are not. So why make them bat at all?

  94. Ezra, your entire argument has no rational basis. So making the claim I need to take debate courses is just downright idiotic. The whole reason for the DH in the first place is to increase offense. Why? Because pitchers can’t hit. The qualities that make up the average pitcher are not the qualities that make a good hitter. Conversely the same thing can’t be said about the average fielder.

  95. “More excuses from gnats fans attempting do a spin job with facts”

    Lesson: If you start with the facts, you’ll at least have an argument. If, on the other hand, you start with nothing but spite and bias, you’ll end up looking, well, spiteful and biased.

  96. @ Ezra The Point has been brought up, but there is no reason to hit for the players, that play in the field, because they can hit, generaly speeking. I dont know where you would even find 9 other hitters, good enough to bat for an avarage MLB team. I get what your saying, but I think you have taken this one, as fare as it can go.

  97. dmoas: Why 9? If you want to keep the outdated 1-9 fielding arrangement, fine. But if none of them are going to hit, why have 9 batters? Let’s speed the game up. 9 in the field, five in the batting LU–all great hitters.

    Hey, while we’re at it, let’s allow robotic closers–one inning of 110 mph heat.

  98. @xoot You are funny

  99. @xoot
    New proposed change of the SF gnats official title: The San Francisco Giants of San Jose/San Mateo/the peninsula/Oakland/and the east bay

  100. I read this blog because of the wealth of interesting information it offers. And I don’t post here to fight. I should have just ignored the jab about the Giants.

  101. @xoot dont let them get to you, I find your comments to be vary smat, and I like the fact that your a Giants fan, it adds somthing to the post, that we dont have. plus, some of my best friends are Giants fans (-:

Comments are closed.