In case you’re wondering who wears the pants in this house…

… it’s Major League Baseball.

The fallout started early this morning, when KTVU reached out to the A’s to get their reaction to MLB’s threat to move the A’s to AT&T Park.

Statement from the A's via KTVU at 8:30 AM Monday.

Statement from the A’s via KTVU on Monday morning

That was followed by AP sports scribe Janie McCauley reporting something similar, but without the weaselly-sounding “intend to” in it. Included was a statement from the Coliseum Authority (JPA):

“We are working on a deal that we believe will be beneficial for both our tenant and the people of this community,” the statement said. “We are confident that everyone involved sees the value in continuing for as long as possible the 45-year relationship between the A’s and the City of Oakland. While we cannot comment on the specific issues now under discussion or on whether there is any basis to recent rumors that Major League Baseball has played a role in the discussions, we are optimistic that a final deal is close at hand.”

Later, BANG’s Matthew Artz dug deeper, picking up more sentiment from East Bay pols.

Sources with knowledge of the Coliseum authority’s private deliberations Friday said there was movement toward softening its stance that the A’s relinquish control over concessions and signage revenue at Coliseum, which comes at the expense of the Raiders.

“The key point is that the authority wants the A’s to stay in Oakland and is not willing to risk losing them over that issue,” said one source privy to the discussions.

Then Mark Purdy got into the JPA’s thinking in holding out over the extension:

Naturally, the A’s balked at the Coliseum’s original terms for a longer lease. Miley and his fellow board members reportedly held firm, believing that the A’s had no other options but to play at in 2014. And at that point, MLB voices tossed out the concept of the A’s playing temporarily at AT&T Park until a new ballpark project could be developed elsewhere.

Also, don’t forget that the JPA hasn’t exactly shown a lot of urgency on behalf of the A’s. Consider what JPA board member and Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan said a month ago:

And the six- to eight-year window should give Oakland plenty of time to get serious about building a replacement ballpark and luring the A’s to stay, Kaplan said.

You have to think that Selig’s threat action was motivated by this rather cavalier attitude towards the A’s.

It certainly appears that all that remains is for the A’s and JPA to make certain compromises and finalize the terms. One of the chief issues will be the $3 million in parking fees the A’s owe the JPA. A good compromise would be for the A’s to pay that money, which the JPA would turn around and use for the belated scoreboard revamp and other capital improvements. And the A’s should get that flexibility they’re seeking.

Concessions revenue is another matter. The A’s could retain control with their own cut of each beer or hot dog (this was originally negotiated when the A’s settled a lawsuit with the JPA after Mt. Davis was built). But how would the Raiders and Mark Davis react? Unlike the A’s, who are continuously profitable, the Raiders frequently flirt with the red – a seemingly impossible feat given the NFL’s extensive revenue sharing and TV contracts. Much of that is due to cap mismanagement during the Al Davis era. Some of that is attributable to lacking stadium revenues, especially concessions.  It seems unlikely that Mark Davis will bolt just because of maintaining the status quo, but he could also choose to build a case for leaving based on this. He and the NFL have been pushing the JPA on the Raiders’ own extension, Davis going so far as to prefer to demolish and build anew at the site of the current Coliseum. Such a plan would force the A’s out, a possibility that Lew Wolff has been rightly concerned about. MLB’s involvement has pushed the pendulum in the A’s direction.

It’s cruel that the NFL and MLB are (not so) stealthily playing tug-of-war with the JPA over the Coliseum. As the Giants would say regarding sharing AT&T Park or giving up territorial rights to the South Bay, It’s not personal, it’s business.

As for AT&T Park? Who knows, that threat may resurface down the road.

54 thoughts on “In case you’re wondering who wears the pants in this house…

  1. Given that bs can force the gints to accept the A’s at ATT makes me wonder if bs was sending a message to the gints as much as the JPA- keep dicking around with blocking an A’s move and this is what could happen.

  2. Going back to your second to last paragraph RM: you know after all these years it’s never been proven (I.e. facts provided) that the A’s in San Jose, or making SCCO a shared territory, would negatively affect the Giants business. And I’m not talking about the countless talking points about cherished territories, heart of the fan base (?), appealing to fans, tech rich Silicon I a Slave to the Giants because they supposedly “own” me? MLB wears the pants in this house; Damn straight!

  3. what happens to the Stick after this season? Is it slated for immediate demo? Could Raiders play there if their lease is also not resigned

    • @Yee Yee – The ‘Stick is scheduled for demolition in the spring, after all the stuff that can be parted out and sold is sold.

  4. CBS5 sports dude, 1 minute ago: “About this ridiculous story regarding the A’s and Giants sharing a ballpark, there’s a better chance of Jeff Kent sharing a locker with Barry Bonds!”

    Who wears the pants in this house, Sir PostALot?

  5. It is certainly good news (if true) about the Concessions at the Coliseum. It also goes back to what I said about the Raiders, that what happens with them determines the A’s fate at the Coliseum. Think about it? If the JPA felt the Raiders probably were staying, does anyone think they would take something away from them and risk losing them? This takes us to the A’s if they felt certain they would stay (because there is no other option), of course, they would offer (and like get) great terms from the A’s). The “Wild Card” in this is of course, Jean Quan’s Reelection. I guarantee she will NOT be putting out this Campaign Slogan. “I know you are sad having no games at the Coliseum to see, but you will feel better after voting for me.” She cannot afford even a sliver of a chance that 2014 could mean no games in the Coliseum. If that would actually happen, she might as well start working on her concession (or resignation) speech right now. As for her “Legacy”, she would essentially have the “Legacy of Nero.” “Fiddled around while OAKLAND got burned.” There will be plenty of twists and turns to follow before Christmas, but as of now, it looks like A’s Coliseum 2014 (and beyond), and Raiders? To Be Determined.

  6. freddy, was 8th grade the last one you completed? Or maybe 7th?

  7. Can we put to bed this notion that the league would force the Giants to share AT&T Park. Would they facilitate a deal where the Giants are handsomely compensated for the inconvenience for a year or two? Sure. But they’d never force the A’s on the Giants. That’s never been MLB’s M.O. and it’s questionable as to whether even the MLB constitution would grant them that ability anyway.

  8. I think I have finally come to the point where I agree with Bud Selig. This shit is complicated.

  9. If the JPA were ready to begin constructing Coliseum City, then the A’s would be at AT&T Park whether the Giants liked it or not. This is like a fencing match where the contestants are using wet noodles. MLB has mishandled the A’s just as poorly as the JPA has handled keeping the Coliseum MLB-friendly.

  10. @ YeeYee – Even though nobody has come out and said that Candlestick Park is a possibility, it actually may well be feasible for a temporary baseball solution.

    We all know that the right field football rollouts are “frozen” in place – all that’s required to make the Stick baseball-ready is to just cut the rollouts away back to about row 25, put up the old gates, lay down some grass/fieldturf, and away you go. Hell, I’ll bet they even still have the old pillboxes somewhere in storage.

    Now, we all know that playing at the Stick is even less palatable to A’s fan than playing in the Phone Booth, but if Selig really wants to show the Pimp Hand, Candlestick Park is a possibility that could be explored.

  11. So if Selig shoehorns the A’s into Giants “territory” in Frisco, why should they be banned from San Jose because THAT is Giants territory?

  12. This whole thing really shines the spotlight on MLB’s bonehead move to give the Giants 6 counties to the A’s two, even if Haas signed off on it at the time. The territory division is obviously not working. The money the A’s get from league welfare, when they could be contributing $$ in San Jose, has done more than cancel out the franchise fees MLB collected from expansion in the 1990s. Will MLB keep paying the A’s $36 million a year in perpetuity while waiting endlessly for Oakland to come up with a site and public funding?

  13. @Dan,
    Who ever said the league would “force” the Giants to do anything? Again, that great unknown we love to speculate about. Just because a bunch of idiot traditional Bay Area journalists think they would be “forced” (speaking to you Dennis O’Donnell!) doesnt’ necessarily make it so. Again, the Giants had “no comment” on the sharing proposal. Forced?…

  14. Speaking hypothetically, if I were Larry Baer and MLB forced the A’s into AT&T Park, I’d find a way to challenge MLB’s ATE in court. Poetic justice.

  15. If I were Larry, I would move the Giants into just to make a point.

  16. Briggs, the consequences there for him and his franchise would be pretty brutal. McCourt attempted to challenge MLB and exposed the Selig’s nuclear option wrt to his franchise. And that doesn’t even get into anything that kills the ATE results in the A’s gaining SJ.

    Ivan, Larry couldn’t. It’s outside his territory. Just to try would kill any chance of retaining SJ.

  17. SS, Candlestick is a non-starter for the simple fact it will be gone by opening day. The old dump is scheduled to be leveled shortly after football season ends. And the developer isn’t going to delay because Bud Selig says so.

  18. A two year lease renewal for the A’s at the Coliseum should be the right amount of time needed for the A’s to have a new Bay Area ballpark plan approved and near shovel ready for construction. As for the Raiders, they seem to be hopeful in getting a new stadium for their team at the Coliseum site. As a result, the Raiders will show more patience than two years to get a new Coliseum stadium deal worked out. Whether the A’s do ultimately get a temporary home at AT&T Park will be determined by the time frame, if and when, the Raiders will be getting a new stadium at the Coliseum site, and the nature of a compensation package to the Giants for allowing the A’s to be short-term tenants.

  19. To the people wondering why the Giants would be opposed to a move to SJ and not to them sharing AT&T park, it’s because of the money. If the A’s move to SJ, the Giants are not guaranteed any increase in revenue and they believe that they will in fact lose money. But if the A’s play in AT&T park, they make money off of the A’s lease and they’ll probably also get to keep concessions revenue and portions of other game day revenue.

    I think ML has mentioned it before, but I think having the A’s play in AT&T park for a couple years while a new stadium is built in SJ is a perfect solution. The Giants get added revenue for those years to pay off their ballpark quicker and in return the A’s get the rights to Santa Clara County.

  20. The Warriors have announced they will cap the number of season tickets and start a waiting list. The A’s, meanwhile, rank 23rd in attendance and require MLB welfare to survive. So which of these teams is demonized for wanting to leave Oakland and which team gets a big yawn for doing the same thing?

  21. To: City of Oakland, City of San Jose, SF Giants, and Oakland Athletics

    All your base are belong to us.

    Bud “ATE” Selig

    • Ratto said this on YSTL on Monday:

      “The Giants have made their stand based on territorial rights, which Major League Baseball can take away with one quick vote. All they have to do is gather the 28 other owners in a room and just say, ‘So, what do you think? Should we screw these guys?’ They vote yes. They all go out for drinks, and at that point the Giants have lost their leverage, and once they lose their leverage then they really have nothing to stand on, so they’re not in a strong position here either so they would have to basically bite their lips, too”

  22. Is that…. wisdom…. from the lips of Ratto?

  23. Maybe it’s time for Bud to gather some investors to buy the Giants franchise from the current owners. If the current ownership does not want the A’s in San Jose, sell to new owners who won’t object. These new owners can continue raking in the big profits that the current ownership now enjoys so it might not be too hard to find such an ownership group. This is a much better idea than forcing a sale of the A’s to mythical investors ready to lose Big Big $$ privately financing a ballpark in Oakland. A sale of the A’s to supposedly Oakland-only investors would leave us in 5 years right where we are now, with the new owners re-concluding that a privately funded ballpark in Oakland is not doable.

  24. @ML, What Ratto stated was even more foolish, and there is no credibility to the logic of such a statement. The true fact is that none of the other three shared two team MLB markets(LA, NY, Chicago) are broken down into distinctly separate territories, as is the case of the Bay Area market. To make matters even worse, is the fact that the Bay Area market was subdivided in such a way as to give the Giants a huge territorial advantage in both total population and community wealth, as compared to the territory granted for the A’s. Mr. Ratto, the MLB franchise that had in actuality gotten screwed by MLB was in fact the A’s. Mr. Ratto, you seem to have a memory loss about that fact.

  25. iipec, what was inaccurate about what Ratto said? It would take a 2/3 vote to overturn the Giants rights. That’s a fundamentally true statement.

  26. Ratto’s statement assumes the owners would vote for the move . . no factual teeth in that. Only one way to find out though, put ’em to a vote Bud.

  27. Apparently, Bud might need 75% of the owners to vote to remove the territorial rights but maybe only 51% to impose the A’s on the Giants at AT&T Park. If the Giants don’t like it, they can sell (see my post above). They can’t sue MLB, since it would be a violation of their franchise agreement. This is all starting to look like a plan. If MLB doesn’t want to move the A’s out of the Bay Area, can’t get a new stadium done in Oakland and the Giants hold on to San Jose like spoiled children, then just house the A’s long-term at the state-of-the-art stadium already in the Bay Area and be done with it.

  28. When does the A’s lease expire? 12:00AM, December 31st 2013?

  29. So again I ask; how would the Giants be “screwed” if SCCo became a shared territory and the A’s were allowed SJ? As I implied above, this question had never been answered except with half-ass talking points (i.e. lies!) from the likes of Ratto, M&R, and the rest of the clowns from the traditional Bay Area media. Heck, I’ll say such a question can’t be answered because no facts exist for such bull shit. And again, why do the Giants have exclusive rights to SCCo? I’m still searching for that 42,000 seat Giants ballpark in North San Jose…
    Are the Yankees and Mets screwing each other by sharing the NYC metro? Cubs and White Sox? Dodgers Angels? It’s amazing that some of us have far better insight to the reality of this situation than folks with media access. Idiots!

  30. @Tony I think I need clarification. Are you trying to infer that if a baseball team moves into another baseball team’s (existing) territory, there would be no loss of revenue for the team that was there first?

  31. Ivan, not to speak for Tony… But, what I believe he is saying is… “The A’s aren’t new to the market. They aren’t moving from another market into an existing market.”

  32. First of all Ivan, the Giants weren’t “here first” because THEY’RE NOT HERE AT ALL! They play in SF, 30-40 miles to the north/northwest of SCCo and SJ. Second, as I’ve stated ad naseum, the Giants loosing revenue because of the A’s relocating to SJ is a big fat myth. No facts have ever been provided to back up this assertion. So no, there would be no loss of revenue. Now, if the Giants were the only team in the Bay Area and the A’s were hypothetically trying to move to SJ from (say) Calgary, Canada then perhaps they would have a “revenue loosing” argument; creating a whole new fan base, attracting whole new sponsorships, etc. kind of like the Expos moving to DC and Orioles saga. But guess what; the A’s and Giants have coexisted here together since 1968. The fan bases are set and the ENTIRE Bay Area corporate pie is big enough for both teams. Hopefully this answered your question.

  33. @Jeffrey,
    You nailed it (as always 😉

  34. @pjk
    It would sure serve the Giants right, “here if you refuse to give them San Jose, then let them share with you”, if that happened it sure as hell would not take another 10 years to figure this mess out, would it?

    @Tony D.
    You have not got a good answer, because as you know, there is not a good one, hell there is not even a bad one that makes just a little sense. I have no problem with a little rivalry. Hay little Raiders vs. 49ers, or Cal vs. Stanford, I have no problem weather it’s the Bay Area or say Giants vs. Dodgers, 49ers vs. Seahawks (recently), Raiders vs. Patriots, Stallers, or Broncos. I can’t believe I am throwing this in but Warriors vs. Clippers, Sharks vs. Canucks, point being what the San Francisco Giants and MLB are doing to the A’s should be criminal, yeah I would like to see something get done in Oakland, but the San Francisco Giants, IMHO are not trying to keep the A’s just from San Jose, they are trying to keep them from the hole Bay Area, I know it’s not much, I am only one fan but if the A’s leave the San Francisco Bay Area I will not spend one dime on MLB as a product, for the rest of my life.

  35. re: if the A’s leave the San Francisco Bay Area I will not spend one dime on MLB as a product, for the rest of my life.

    …Exactly. I had an MLB official on the phone once and even told him this. I said if the A’s leave the Bay Area, I’m done with MLB.

  36. @Ivan – the logic of some of you gnats (or anti-San Jose A’s fans) is humorous. How exactly are the A’s moving into “giants territory” by moving 35 miles further away from phone booth park to San Jose? It is very funny that many gnats fans and some anti-San Jose A’s fans don’t seem to grasp that basic concept.

    Furthermore, unlike some gnats fans, the giants mgt. very much wants the A’s out of the bay area so the giants could then monopolize the whole bay area MLB fanbase for themselves. The giants owners would very much like run the A’s out of town if they could. They fear a new A’s ballpark in Oakland as much as Cisco Field in San Jose – and know that the Oakland city officials have done nada for the A’s in almost 19 years, so there will be no new A’s ballpark in Oakland. If the giants mgt. believes they can block the A’s move to San Jose – then the giants mgt. will force the A’s to bolt out of town – rooting for the giants meddling efforts to block the A’s from the San Jose move so the A’s remain in Oakland is very naive.

  37. Duffer, that is exactly right and it has been my point in the past. The Giants know they will not get the HARD CORE A’s fan but the casual baseball fan in Oakland, that person can be captured (not to mention putting Giant Games on CSN (or whatever Network picks up the Games) in Oakland which makes them more money when the TV Contract expires). All they need to do is keep saying NO. No to AT&T, no to San Jose, and because of the conditions of the Coliseum, and (or) the Raiders, it will eventually mean NO to the Coliseum as well. The Giants also know that Selig is like a terrier, all bark and no bite, and will be retiring soon enough (another point of mine), so it makes sense to take the chance that the A’s can actually be sent out of the Bay Area, by doing nothing more than a simple no.

  38. David and Duffer nail it. The Giants know there is little to no the chance of the A’s getting a new ballpark in Oakland so by refusing to let them go to San Jose, they confine the A’s to their current substandard stadium and eventually force them out of the Bay Area altogether. Meanwhile, Selig fiddles and does nothing. All this fantasy talk of the A’s building at HT, which would probably be the most expensive ballpark ever in a place lacking corporate and public dollars to pay for it, is just that – a fantasy. And the Coliseum parking lot is not desirable and also suffers from a lack of finances.

  39. I’ll just say that the Giants can “want” all they want (if that is truly the case; none of us really know). What really counts is what MLB wants because again, no team is sacred and above/beyond the rest. The best interest of baseball, not one team. Enough from me on this thread…

  40. @duffer

    I’m not a gnats fan, I’m an A’s fan. I think you are trying to make an argument that San Jose is not Giants territory because . . well … it’s not close. I can understand that, but that wasn’t really what I was inquiring to @Tony about. I was inquiring about revenue loss.

    @Tony already responded and @Tony thank you kind sir.

    @duffer the answer to your question is, the A’s moving 35 miles south to SJ is Giants territory because . . it is. You can disagree with that all you want, won’t change anything. SJ belongs to another town and I wouldn’t be mad if SJ obtained an expansion team . . but the Oakland A’s, come on…really? Didn’t the Giants have an opportunity to move the team to SJ when they got the territory? Why didn’t they? hmmmmmmmm

    The Monopoly Theory: SF Giants want the whole Bay Area to themselves!

    So the Giants wouldn’t lose revenue if another baseball team moved into their territory but …they want the whole market to themselves. I’m sure I’m the only person that sees the contradictory in this theory so I won’t even ask…moving on.

    @duffer Saying Oakland won’t get a ballpark doesn’t mean anything, just like me saying SJ will never get one. Statements like these are meaningless and empty which is why I fray from them. Free country though, do as you will.

  41. Perhaps Selig is getting miffed at the giants organization (Selig threatening to temporarily move the A’s to SF if the Coliseum lease can’t be worked out may be evidence of that)- now that he will be forced to explain how badly MLB has bungled the A’s situation to a judge, and being grilled by the Cotchett law firm isn’t something Selig will relish. This situation may be resolved sooner than we think.

  42. Maybe Selig will tell the judge “You’re not going to get a f***g answer” and “It’s complicated.”

  43. @pjk
    That was hell of funny, good stuff.

  44. re: Saying Oakland won’t get a ballpark doesn’t mean anything

    …How many more decades will Oakland need? It’s been 20 years of neglecting the A’s.

  45. “To paraphrase Jack Nicholson: You want the truth (about why the A’s are stuck in a dump), you can’t handle the truth ( Selig is basically clueless about the everyday A’s reality, until he actually had to visit the Coliseum)., The reality of the matter is everyone ( who pays attention to this issue), will know within the next 6 weeks about the fate of the A’s and Raiders. The thing I am watching for is to see if Mayor Groundhog oops Quan will finally show up to let people know when and if something will happen? Like the real groundhog, when she finally appears and speaks then we see if the shadow ( over the A’s) disappears or not?

  46. @pjk at least Oakland didn’t let another city claim them huh. Why don’t you ever bash former SJ politicos for not standing up for their city and telling Bud and the Giants to f-off, when the whole transaction was going down? Nahhh you wouldn’t want to bring that up (too easy) @pjk

    Now you want to come back and wag your finger like you are entitled to steal a team from another city, because your SJ politicians were napping while business was being conducted.

    Sorry, I don’t feel remorse for the nappers.

    So I ask you a question. SJ is a great city, so how long will it take for SJ to request an expansion team, since you now have SJ politico’s with eyes wide open finally?

  47. re: Why don’t you ever bash former SJ politicos for not standing up for their city and telling Bud and the Giants to f-off, when the whole transaction was going down?

    …Maybe that’s what San Jose should have done, in retrospect, instead of waiting patiently for a ruling that is never going to come. Chuck Reed, at the announcement of the lawsuit filing, noted the city had been waiting more than four years for an answer from MLB but it had become clear “we’re not going to get an answer.”…Which city feels entitled to the team – San Jose, which did an EIR and found a site regardless of all the obstacles involved, or Oakland, which has done nothing for the team but ruin the stadium, play the victim card and hold pep rallies? Oakland HAS the team and could keep it by building a new ballpark. But Oakland has made it clear it is not going to pay for ballpark and expects the owners to do it, regardless of financial viability.

  48. re: But Oakland has made it clear it is not going to pay for ballpark and expects the owners to do it, regardless of financial viability.

    I’m glad you brought this up. Why is it, that LW is willing to privately finance a ballpark in SJ, but not Oakland? Oakland has to pay but SJ gets a free pass. Sound fair to you @ pjk?

  49. re:Why is it, that LW is willing to privately finance a ballpark in SJ, but not Oakland? Oakland has to pay but SJ gets a free pass. Sound fair to you @ pjk?

    …for the 10,000th time: San Jose has a large corporate base that could pay for the ballpark via suite rentals and sponsorships; Oakland does not. Did you see Mark Davis’s recent map of where the corporations are in the Bay Area? Lots and lots of them in San Jose and the South Bay, almost none in Oakland. And what’s there is probably already supporting ATT Park. Without this corporate base, a privately financed ballpark has to rely solely on the generosity of the owners, ie, they’d have to be willing to lots and lots of money. Good luck with that. Without this corporate base to pay for the ballpark in Oakland, taxpayer money is needed and it is not forthcoming. Is it fair that San Jose can privately finance a ballpark and Oakland can’t? Absolutely not. But it is the reality.

  50. Ivan: Oakland has basically told the A’s owner to build his own damn stadium. His response has been he is willing to do so, but in a location where it is financially viable. (Which banks would underwrite a $500-$700 million ballpark in Oakland given the current economics there? Not any, I’ll bet.) Are you saying, Oakland should be able to tell the owner to build his own damn stadium but he has to do it in a place where he’d lose lots of money?

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