All farce, no agreement

You may be familiar with a term called “business hours.” It usually runs during the daytime, 9-5 or thereabouts, the proper time for normal business to be conducted. The A’s have business offices that operate during normal business hours. The Coliseum Authority does as well, scheduling regular board meetings during the day. Despite all of the rancor and discord involving the A’s and Oakland, most of the stadium talk (with the exception of Lew Wolff appearing on a game broadcast or pro-Oakland groups doing night pep rallies) has happened during business hours. It’s a way to compartmentalize everything, just keep the business side separate from the baseball side.

Last night that line separating the two was crossed in a most disgusting manner. It started when, after weeks of Wolff saying that he made a lease extension offer to the Coliseum Authority (JPA), the JPA responded with its own offer to Wolff. It took mere minutes for Wolff to reject the JPA’s offer by having A’s PR man Bob Rose write up a terse press release to that effect. All of this, and the subsequent teeth-gnashing of fans, happened DURING THE GAME. Why? Because both sides knew that the assembled media in the press box and watching the game elsewhere would report on this. Wolff then asked for further negotiations not to be done through the media, even though he has talked several times in the past about this very problem. Neither side produced their lease offers, so we can’t evaluate them, but MLB has copies of everything. MLB is the true audience here, not us.

It’s not hard to see the motivations at work. Wolff wants to show MLB that the JPA prefers the Raiders over the A’s by a large margin, and their inaction on the lease extension offer along with previous stalling on previous offers is proof of that. The JPA is also trying to score points with MLB, providing baseball with a copy of their own agreement as a sort of make good. The JPA is already dealing with bad news related to Coliseum City, so there’s a chance for deflection. Meanwhile, MLB’s own track record has been to avoid these two parties like they were lepers, only coming in when talks completely broke down after the 2013 season. You have to wonder what kind of effort is being wasted by both sides, and what effect if any this is all having on MLB’s thoroughly inscrutable decision-making process. Adding to the confusion was the A’s citing an Athletics Nation article about Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, going so far as to saw that A’s ownership was in full agreement with it. Then earlier today, Wolff walked that back the same way Quan had to walk back her Crown Prince of Dubai claim.

All I can ask to both sides is: Was it worth it? I can’t imagine that this constant back-and-forth is creating any traction for your respective causes within The Lodge. MLB isn’t going to suddenly give San Jose to Wolff, and MLB has little power to force Wolff to sell as the pro-Oakland crowd desires. Since nothing actually came out of last night’s revelations other than the two sides pointing fingers yet again, how about a moratorium on interviews, press releases, and any other kinds of dispatches to the public until you actually get a lease extension done? I don’t think that’s too much to ask. I personally don’t mind if I have slightly less to write about, because at least I won’t be writing about nothing. Which is exactly what this 600-word post is about. Nothing. Thanks.

P.S. – If you do a Google News search on this subject today, there are a whopping two national articles providing no real information. Nobody cares outside of the Bay Area.

37 thoughts on “All farce, no agreement

  1. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you your 2017 Portland Athletics.

  2. Hmm…since the W’ are going to be called the S.F. Warriors soon, how about the A’s adopt the name “Golden State” A’s and then use different venues throughout the Bay Area as their home site? They’re not necessarily building a new stadium, so will continue to reap in MLB welfare. Since this cluster@#$ of a situation is getting worse and worse as the days go on, might as well make a farce out of the whole thing just to tick off MLB and everyone else! :p

  3. A’s say that the lease requirement was that the A’s build the stadium.

    Lew Wolff, Owner/Managing Partner, commented, “The Mayor conditions the A’s lease acceptance on us guaranteeing that the A’s build a new ballpark”. “Under no condition can I entertain such a requirement to enter into a lease, anywhere”.

  4. If only we knew what the relationship between Wolff and MLB was like. MLB swooped in when Frank McCourt’s affairs threatened to devalue the Dodgers. The A’s situation is that bad yet, but it’s at least a possibility and no one wants to see it play out. With 30 MLB team owners, I’m sure there’s a subset that wants to see Wolff make lemonade with his lemons in the East Bay.

  5. @Briggs – This situation is nowhere even close to the mess that the Dodgers were in. He was using team money to cover personal debts, there were contractual payments to players coming due with no money to pay them, and the franchise was losing money. The A’s are a profit generator and consistently put quality teams on the field.

  6. The A’s are a profit generator after their MLB welfare checks come in.

  7. @
    ML

    COLISEUM CITY still has a heartbeat

  8. JPA calls press conference to play more of this out in media- bs is an absolute fool to allow one of his franchises to be treated this way in the press- no wonder the W’s wanted out of dodge ASAP- Oakland/JPA is a cluster fuck right now-

  9. Lew Wolff….Jean Quan…..MLB….Bud Selig….JPA….Marc Davis =

    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and consciencious stupidity.”
    -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  10. Regarding the A’s future home, It looks more a more likely that nothing will happen until the issue is decided in the courts. Sadly, MLB will not resolve this issue until their hands are forced.

  11. I thought the A’s just signed a two year lease after last season? Why does everyone seem to think the A’s are homeless after this season? My math skills aren’t great, but 2 years from last fall is 2015, not 2014.

  12. Dan, the article that was linked was from May 2013.

  13. Was just stating how much B.S is being thrown around the JPA was dumb for this PR ploy and to think it will work in there favor, I posted the article showing that there still crying over old news/ as its the same issue in the last agreement. Pretty embarrassing as a whole. Time for Big Nate and Old Larry to get it together or go. they really haven’t brought anything new to the table for years, for the city/East Oakland, or the sports franchises. Stuck in the there old ways. Can’t teach a old dog new tricks and this pretty much sums it up lol

  14. So no further negotiations according to Crowley- this relationship is beyond repair- is the JPA looking for the A’s to say they want out to cover their political asses so they didn’t have to choose between the A’s and Raiders? Makes me wonder…. Looks like Larry might have to open the doors to his kingdom- wouldn’t mind going to ATT to watch the A’s-

  15. No one to blame but MLB for perpetuating this mess. In no way would the Coliseum Authority act in such a belligerent manner, especially through the media, unless they had reassurances that MLB would hold the A’s to their East Bay territory.

  16. @IIpec I could not agree more

  17. I hope Crowley means that. At this point I’m beyond caring how this farce ends, just that it does. If the Coliseum is out at least it starts the process of the A’s moving, be it to San Jose, Pac Bell or out of the Bay Area entirely. But at least it would be progress.

  18. I. With you Dan- since bs/gints/MLB have created the mess the A’s should play at ATT until they figure out what’s next- would be a good first step to getting the hell out of Oakland

  19. FWIW, if Oakland’s lease proposal says what we suspect it says, as in “The A’s must pay for their own new stadium in Oakland,” then this might, just might, sway some owners into voting to get the A’s out of there and let them go to San Jose.

  20. Guess what? I don’t give a rat’s ass whether they stay in Oakland or where they play!

  21. @stan I am surely stating to care a hole lot less, then I have in the past.

  22. @stan I think most casual A’s fans are already reaching this point.

    Oakland is setting itself up to be the first city in the history of the US to lose all of its sports teams.

    Can someone help me answer this question?

    Why can a bankrupt city like Detroit have 4 new venues built for their sports teams (Tigers, Red Wings, Pistons and Lions) and Oakland can’t? They all have new venues (Red Wings will get theirs soon).

    Oakland is a complete joke.

  23. @pjk Well we have debated this stuff a lot, at times stubbornly disagreeing but we have both repeatedly said (without tax money),there would be a good chance they would leave the Bay Area. What do you think San Antonio, or Portland?

  24. @ Alex: answer: Oakland has JQ ! nuff said

    Replacing JQ w/ KJ, whoala, stuff will happen.

    Sacto will build a brand spanking new arena. I believe they start in few months after the city council signs off on the revised deal.

  25. btw, to build big projects like sports stadiums/arenas, you got to have competent and engaging mayors. Mayor McEnery helped build the Sharks tank. Recently, SC mayor Mahan helped build Levi’s Stadium. KJ helped in Sacto

    Unless the citizens of Oakland replace its leader, nothing will happen or change.

  26. Alex: Detroit gets big $ from the state of michigan, I believe,, to pay for new stadiums. Oakland gets nothing from California

  27. Neil, based on the news out of San Antonio today regarding their desire to build a replacement venue for the Missions that would attract a AAA or larger team… my money is on San Antonio. They have the will, the money, and the backers to make such a move happen.

  28. Dumpster fire…. Pretty fuckin depressing.

  29. bs needs to introduce some optionality for the A’s near term otherwise the JPA/Oakland will only continue to fuck with them—lb should be forced to hammer out an agreement that allows the A’s to play at ATT until their future is decided. Getting ridiculous–still amazes me that mlb/bs would allow one of its franchises to be trashed like this so that it can appease another greedy franchise–what happend to the “best intersts of baseball clause?” guess it went out the door with bud’s brain–

  30. Larry this is why I started following the Padres when I moved to San Diego. They may be pathetic on field, but they have a gorgeous palace of a ballpark, a beer selection second to none, and they’re not going anywhere. Some stability goes a long way toward happiness.

  31. Heck, why not the Montreal A’s? Maybe they’ll just shake up an old Yoda doll, remember the ones that were basically a magic 8 ball “going on journey you are”

  32. “Getting ridiculous–still amazes me that mlb/bs would allow one of its franchises to be trashed like this so that it can appease another greedy franchise–what happend to the “best intersts of baseball clause?” guess it went out the door with bud’s brain–”

    @GoA’s, You hit the nail right on the head. I place the total blame on Selig/MLB for both creating and perpetuating this mess. All MLB had to do was treat the two team Bay Area market as truly one shared market, as they do with MLB’s three other two team markets.

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