Manfred status quo on A’s in Oakland, considers expansion

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred held the first All Star Game press conference of his tenure Tuesday, and he seemed prepared for most every question asked of him. On the recent push for baseball to extend netting near the plate to protect fans, Manfred said that MLB was still studying the issue and can’t formally make any changes until 2016, although individual teams can choose to extend the nets if they wanted.

Manfred referred to a forthcoming domestic violence policy, the difficulty of shortening the schedule to 154 games, even machine-judged balls and strikes. The discussion eventually moved to the subject of franchises and cities. Montreal remains impressive, though trying to project fan support based on a couple exhibition games each year is taking things a bit far. There was a question about the A’s, too.

No change there.

Things got interesting when Manfred was asked about the possibility of expansion. His response?

“Maybe one of the reasons I got this job is, I’m bullish on this game. I think we are a growth business, broadly defined. And over an extended period of time, growth businesses look to get bigger. So yeah, I’m open to the idea that there will be a point in time where expansion may be possible.”

Manfred was careful not to provide a timetable for expansion or put it at a high priority, similar to stadium efforts in St. Petersburg and Oakland. Regardless, this is a major revelation and a complete turnabout from predecessor Bud Selig’s consistent no-expansion stance since the tense 2002 CBA talks.

It’s important not to read too much into Manfred’s statement, but it’s likely that his favorable view on expansion is fueled by a handful of factors:

  1. The American economy (at least capital) is surging, with many cities emerging from the recession potentially ready to entertain new stadium deals.
  2. Montreal functions as both a relocation candidate and an expansion candidate, taking the place of DC, which filled the role for more than three decades.
  3. Manfred’s continued hopeful statements about Oakland may be a sign that a resolution for at least one team (probably not the Rays) is coming.
  4. Like Roger Goodell, Manfred probably has revenue growth goals for MLB. With 28 new ballparks built, national TV deals locked in, and most RSN carriage deals maxed out, few other growth avenues exist. MLB AM is its own juggernaut, one that may spin out and go public in time. The obvious way to achieve bigger growth is to enter new markets by expansion.

Of course, the problem for baseball is that unlike the other three major sports, MLB’s every day scheduling requires that expansion comes in pairs of teams, not single teams. I’ve long been an advocate of a 32-team MLB, with 16 teams per league. It would create smaller, more manageable divisions and eliminate the need for interleague play throughout the entire year, though that would remain an option if The Lodge decided it worked for them economically.

Realignment could work with two leagues of four divisions each with heavily unbalanced schedules, or two leagues of two divisions each – the pre-interleague arrangement – with more balanced schedules.

realign-32

As usual, placement of teams is purely for discussion purposes and not based on any league reports or rumors

Amazingly, the landscape has changed for expansion city candidates. Assuming that Montreal is penciled in as the first expansion franchise, there would be a race to fill the other spot. Unlike the Expos’ barnstorming tour of a decade+ ago, there are far fewer candidates and many more questions to be answered by expansion candidate cities. Portland has given itself over to soccer and would have to build a new stadium in conjunction with landing a franchise, the same way the Dbacks and Chase Field were developed together. Las Vegas is no longer a player thanks to ongoing development, a loss of political will (Oscar Goodman), and a new arena being built on the Strip. Puerto Rico has become America’s own Greece. Monterrey, Mexico seems to have the market size and a ideal temporary stadium, but with some misgivings by the players’ union. Charlotte has a brand new AAA stadium and an overstretched market. Sacramento is now in the firm grasp of the Giants, who would fight any expansion franchise over TV rights (not stadium building rights).

Manfred’s statements are sure to get those dormant expand-to-my-home-city machines going again. And that’s just fine with him, since it will keep baseball in the news year-round. I have confidence that MLB will expand to 32 teams sometime in the next 10 years. If it doesn’t happen, it will be a sign that the owners’ collective greed goes completely unchecked despite an ever-expanding pie.

53 thoughts on “Manfred status quo on A’s in Oakland, considers expansion

  1. Honest question: Is Cuba an expansion candidate in 10-15 years? So many great players have come from Cuba and the D.R., I think it would incredible to have a team down there. It’s one of the new North American areas that meets the criteria of (1) loving baseball, (2) huge metro population, and (3) not in another team’s television area.

    I wonder if that could somehow be tethered to the International draft the owners want. Cuban players would lose hundreds of millions of dollars by being rolled into the amateur draft with strict slotting bonuses for perpetuity, and Cuba gets an expansion team without having to pay an expansion fee (~$400M). Is there a precedent for a country’s govt owning a professional team?

    • See article above regarding Puerto Rico being America’s Greece. Cuba would be Albania in this scenario.

  2. Expansion? I thought it was recognized that there were no viable markets left? (Not sure that is actually the case.) Of course its easier to get places like Oakland and Tampa to pay for stadiums if these cities no longer believe their teams are stuck with no place to go..

    • Yeah expansion won’t be on the table until the Oakland and Tampa situations are rectified. Any potential city is far more valuable as a threat right now than as an actual market. That said, I can’t help but think MLB talking about going to 32 is directly tied to the NHL saying the same. You can’t have the “weaker” smaller league like the NHL out expanding MLB in their minds I guess. The NFL being bigger makes some sense, it’s the larger sport in the American consciousness. But the NHL sure as hell isn’t.

      • Trouble being, outside of Montreal, what’s left as an obvious expansion target? Charlotte? Norfolk/Hampton Roads? A third New York team? Buffalo? Portland? OKC? Vancouver? San Antonio? Sacramento?

        Outside of Montreal, there’s not really anyplace else where you could put a MLB expansion team and have most folks say, “yeah, that makes sense.” On the list above, it’s full of cities where existing nearby fanbases will be encroached upon (SAC, SA, VAN, POR, BUF, 3NY), or the support for existing or prior AAA teams has been lukewarm at best (CLT, NOR, BUF, POR) – or they’re just out in the middle of facking nowhere (OKC).

        When people are bandying about the possibility of San Juan or Havana or Monterrey, that’s just an indication to me they have no earthly idea of where a new MLB team could go, or whether or not the market would even support two additional teams.

      • Expansion is not a question to be answered by today’s market conditions. Everyone should try to project 10 years down the road. Much can change in 10 years.

      • MLB will make lots of money in expansion fees, but as ML points out that’s a question for 10-15 years down the line given the demands that a metropolitan area would have to come up with to host a MLB team, or A’s and Rays if either or both eventually move to POR, SA, VAN, BUF, OKC, SAC, CHR, they will probably be end up being dependent on revenue sharing. I don’t think there is anywhere in the states that, you could expand to that would eventually not require revenue sharing. (A’s in San Jose)
        Perhaps that’s part of the reason MLB wants the A’s and Rays to stay in their current markets, although that is a bit of a misnomer with the A’s, the point being that they (MLB), already know any area they could move to would still require revenue sharing, and perhaps at least in the A’s case they would take a larger percentage of the revenue sharing pie if they were to move to any of those other markets.
        Oakland/East Bay is not San Jose/South Bay (surrounded by the rest of the Bay Area), but if done correctly it’s a better market then then 8-10 other current MLB markets.
        MIL, CLE, CIN, SD, KC, TB, PIT, MIA, and perhaps, MIN, COL.
        A second team in the Bay Area even if it’s in Oakland, has the chance to do better than a lot of current MLB markets, and is already better than any market they could reasonably move to POR, SA, VAN, OKC, and SAC.

  3. @Spartan – You should add Nashville to that list. They’re more viable than several cities you mentioned. The Nashville metro region alone is a top 30 TV market and a MLB team there would also be broadcast in the Knoxville and Chattanooga markets (#59 and #86 respectively) and probably also the Memphis market (#48). The Kansas City, Cincinnati and Milwaukee are smaller TV markets than Nashville. I think the combined Nashville/Knoxville/Chattanooga market would be greater than the San Diego/Imperial County market (the Padres’ limited market). Add the Memphis market into the equation (and maybe even Huntsville/Decatur), and you have a moderately sized MLB region. I can’t imagine the Braves would like this at all.

    • @Chris
      Thanks, I should have thought of that as well.

      • ‘I think we are a growth business’. That from Rob Manfred! And MLB hides behind an ATE that says baseball is not a business. Time for SCOTUS to finally correct this in SJ vs MLB! Mark your calendars for 9/28.

    • @ Chris – I admit Nashville hadn’t crossed my mind, but don’t be so quick to try to include Memphis in with any Nashville market considerations. Memphis is pretty locked down with the Cardinals, what with the Cards owning the Redbirds and a pretty solid Memphis AAA history at Autozone Park. I know that the NFL lumps Memphis in with the Titans’ fanbase, but I would be very hesitant to make that same connection where baseball’s concerned.

      • Forget about fans for this, think more in line of sponsorship and TV money.

      • You mean like FedEx, Holiday Inn, International Paper, Autozone, stuff like that? That’s just off the top of my head, but…

  4. I don’t know all the bylaws, but Nashville, Charlotte and Oklahoma city all have new triple A stadiums right downtown. Add the giants involvement with Sacramento, and that’s many of the cities that could be used as mlb cities. I am curious how mlb solves that riddle of you ever wanted expansion. If you are looking 10 years out, it was genius for the giants to get Sacramento. They blocked the 1% chance of the A’s or any other team from ever moving there. That region continues to grow, and almost connects to the east bay, and it’s owned by the giants.

    • My guess is if the A’s asked to move to Sacramento, the Giants would happily pay for the moving vans.

      But keep in mind the Giants have only an affiliation in Sacramento with an independently owned AAA team. They could not block the A’s from moving there. The A’s would just have to indemnify the River Cats for the territorial rights, but the River Cats as a AAA team could not refuse the compensation.

      Why the A’s would ever choose to move to Sacto is beyond me. I don’t see it happening.

      • “Why the A’s would ever choose to move to Sacto is beyond me. I don’t see it happening.”

        Perhaps because the land use costs will be much less expensive than building a new stadium in Oakland? Maybe the prospect of having a fan base encompassing six counties with an estimated population of 5+ million residents?

  5. The best candidates for successful expansion now — and probably 10 years down the road — are third teams in NY (Brooklyn or New Jersey) and Greater LA/Orange/Riverside.

    Of course, this wouldn’t even come up for discussion unless the public officials in those markets came up with a concrete plan for building a ballpark. And then you’d have to deal with, ahem, Territorial Rights.

    Great idea, but I don’t see it happening.

    • A team in Brooklyn with the Mets in Queens? Seems unlikely. Even New Jersey would be a stretch.

      • Brooklyn has around 2.6 million people. Queens has around 2.3 million. Each borough alone could easily support a MLB team. The problem wouldn’t be whether Brooklyn could support a team, but amending the MLB constitution to allow it and getting both the Yankees and Mets to allow it.

      • not likely. i doubt the nyy or num would allow another team to move into the market anymore than the midgets having kept the a’s out of the south bay for all these years.

  6. The Mets, with a new stadium and big borough and all, as currently 17th in attendance, even with a winning record. Think they’d allow another team to move in 5 miles away when they are already second fiddle to the Yankee$?

  7. Regarding your realignment structure, I don’t think they will go with two divisions in each league. Division championships are good for morale. They would choose more, not fewer.

    I think they would also continue to line up interleague rivals in corresponding divisions. Switch Cincinnati and St.Louis so that both Missouri teams are in South divisions and both Ohio teams are in Central (alternately North) divisions. Move Washington to the East for the same reason.

    I would also move Texas to the west so that both openings are in the South divisions. When Manfred talks about growth, I think he means internationally. The US market is saturated. The only viable place to expand here would be a third team in New York, but the MLB Rules prohibit more than two teams in a market.

    I don’t think they would start their international march in Asia or Europe because of the long travel times. I bet that the next expansion would be to Havana and Monterey, Mexico. I know the people there wouldn’t be able to afford luxury suites at the same rate as people here, but if you give them first dibs on undrafted Latin players I think they could still be viable teams. Remember that these teams would be much more regional than US teams. They would have an entire country (Mexico) and region (Caribbean) as fan bases.

    I think they are done with Montreal. Look how they’ve done everything they can to keep the A’s in the Bay Area, even with a resident team that would like to see them move. Without any internal pressure to move, they didn’t do anything to keep the Expos in Montreal. They just dropped the mic and yelled Peace. Out. They wouldn’t have done that if they had any interest in having a team there. In hindsight, I think they see putting a team there as a mistake.

    Outside of a 20 year window (1953-72) when MLB chased the demographics of the country, Montreal is the only city to lose a team since 1903 when the AL was still a fledgling, uncertain entity. Of course, MLB would never admit they have no interest. They like having it as a possible destination for threat purposes.

  8. The Mets and Yankees would never allow a third team in the NY metropolitan area market. That said, neither the Mets nor Yankees would never restrict where each could have their respective ballparks located within the NY market, as what the Giants are doing with the A’s within their shared Bay Area market. Case example in NY regarding other professional sports teams: The Knicks and Rangers allowed the Nets and Islanders respectively to move from the NY suburbs to NYC(Brooklyn) without any objection or compensation, despite moving now in very close proximity to Madison Squared Garden. On the other hand, and to the contrary, the Giants are blocking the A’s from moving some forty miles further away from the Giants, in relation to where the A’s are presently located in Oakland.

    • Because MLB has set up amazingly unfair territories: 6 counties, including the two largest cities, for the Giants, 2 counties for the A’s. That’s why if MLB wants the A’s to stay in Oakland, then it should be prepared to keep paying revenue-sharing even in a new ballpark. Of course, it remains to be seen what Manfred does when he digests the reality that Oakland is not going to help pay for a ballpark. Which is probably why he’s talking about all these so-called expansion markets. Oakland won’t pay? Then we’ll see if New Jersey, Portland, Montreal or Charlotte will.

      • @ pjk
        I would think he, and all of MLB would know that by this point. (Oakland not going to help pay for ballpark) But, whatever…

  9. The model has changed in recent years. It is not about a new stadium anymore but about TV and media rights dollars.

    The NBA is losing money with several teams because they always used the mindset of a new arena cures all. Straight stupidity, David Stern is the one to blame.

    Look at Oklahoma City for example, the NBA would kill to go back in time and return the team to Seattle. The media dollars in Seattle dwarf OKC big time, even playing in shit Key Arena.

    Memphis, Sacramento, Indiana, Milwaukee, Utah, Orlando, Charlotte, New Orleans, and Minnesota should not have teams period. They are too small market and there is no TV money to be had.

    Do not get me started on the NHL….Gary Bettman is a utter moron for thinking hockey would thrive in the South/Southwest vs. Canada. SMH

    MLB on the other hand is in all the right markets, you notice in the list I have above only Milwaukee and Minnesota have MLB teams. They almost contracted Minnesota years ago too.

    Only Tampa Bay and Oakland have issues with stadiums. Both the A’s and Rays are in the right market just in the wrong part of it. If you move the Rays to Tampa and the A’s to San Jose now MLB is picture perfect on location of teams.

    In fact, the A’s would be revenue sharing payers not payees in San Jose. The Rays could break even in Tampa.

    Expansion would be foolish by MLB, it would create more revenue sharing losers which would suck away any expansion fees over time.

    • You are certainly right that MLB will only be interested in expansion teams that are net payers to revenue sharing, not takers. That’s why the small markets like Portland, San Antonio, Nashville, Vegas, etc. are not realistic candidates — unless one of them offers MLB a fully publicly financed, state of the art ballpark. It’s also why cities outside the U.S. or Canada are non-starters.

      Which brings us back to NY and LA. And the Territorial Rights issue makes those markets unavailable. So no matter what Manfred is chatting up, we are not going to see expansion for the next 25 years or longer.

    • Expansion would absolutely be foolish for MLB at this time.

  10. Keep in mind that expansion has a troubled history in MLB. In 1961-62, franchises were added in Minnesota (with the expansion level talent going to Washington), LA, NY and Houston. Overall a very successful round, even though the Angels couldn’t really break into the Dodgers market and were eventually consigned to Orange County; and the Minnesota-Washington switcheroo probably killed the Senators.

    But after that it gets ugly.

    1969: baseball adds Kansas City, Seattle, Montreal and San Diego. Only Kansas City turns out to be a financially stable franchise, and it’s not exactly a large market.

    1977: AL tries again in Seattle and also adds Toronto. Results for the first 10-15 years are okay, not great.

    1993: NL adds Colorado (a huge success) and Miami (a chronic financial weakling).

    1998: MLB adds Arizona (mediocre at best) and Tampa Bay (a disaster).

    It’s hard to look back at that track record and imagine the lords of baseball having an appetite for much more expansion.

    • I thought the Senators moved to Minnestoa around 1960, and were replaced in Washington by a second Senators franchise that ended up moving to Arlington, Texas after the 1971 season?…Yes, you are correct in that baseball has been a failure in Florida. The Marlins are 28th and the Rays dead-last in attendance, despite a brand new ballpark in Miami. Both teams largely serve the purpose of giving transplanted northeasterners and chance to root for for their REAL teams – the Yankees and Red Sox.

    • Agreed with your logic, MLB and expansion have been troublesome at best.

      But the league is profitable and revenue sharing is working but at the expense of parity between the teams.

      You have to spend big to win big in MLB, teams like the Rays, Padres, Royals etc…can only dream of winning it all.

      Last year big market SF takes down small market KC in Game 7 on the road. Why? Payroll, the Giants can afford to have veterans with WS experience while KC cannot.

      While during the regular season it does not show up always, the A’s have won way more than a lot of big market teams but during the playoffs you need big name veteran players to win it all.

      • The Giants are just lucky in the playoffs, B. Beane has mentioned that MLB playoffs are a crapshoot – the giants are proof that that. They are not an overpowering team. Their revenue does not match several teams, including both LA teams, Texas, Boston, the Yankees, etc, so they can’t match those team’s payrolls, they have won a few WS titles recently – however shouldn’t be considered a dynasty. (they don’t even come close to winning their division each year)

      • Fisher and Wolff are rich…but are cheap. Not spending money to keep good talent around is utterly dumb and blowing it up every 3 years is stupidity. Than you have Beane being overzealous making the wrong trades. Ugh. No guarantee whatsoever that if Fisher and Wolff get their ballpark they will start to spend.

      • @duffer- you hate big time on the Giants.

        They are a dynasty, 3 in 5 years in no fluke.

        -They clinched all 3 WS on the road
        -Won Game 7 on the road when the last 9 teams lost
        -Since 2009 only 1 losing season (2013)
        -Won 6 elimination games in 2012 (4 on the road)
        -Won the NL pennant on a walk off last year
        -Beat Atlanta, Philadelphia, Texas, Cincinnati, St. Louis (twice), Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington and Kansas City. 9 teams have ate it against the Giants.
        -Have not been favored in any playoff series but won all 10
        -Same manager for all 3 titles

        You call this luck? It’s being that damn good.

        Billy Beane is wrong on the playoffs being a crapshoot. It’s cause he is small market.

        Big market teams always win in the playoffs, the Giants are now 4th in value according to Forbes.

        As long as no salary cap exists nothing will change this. Big market teams rule while small market drools…

      • @Sid: Give a me a break – a team which typically plays .540 pct. baseball (this year even worse) and be typically six or more games out of 1st place is not a dynasty. The Giants are an over-hyped franchise.

        Also they are very likely displeased with Manfred’s efforts at getting the A’s to build a new stadium in Oakland (Baer and his stooge, Ray Ratto have commented that the bay area is a 1 MLB team market only – and that the A’s should move elsewhere. The Giants don’t want the A’s building a new ballpark in Oakland. Also, their false. bush league “Stand for San Jose” front group (their behavior is almost comical)

  11. MLB sure has hell does not want SCOTUS ot hear SJ case. Hence why Manfred has said a few times that with SJ moving forward with the lawsuit….they are just delaying things even more. So does Manfred mean if the SJ dropped the lawsuit…MLB would work with opening up SJ to have the A’s? Or is Manfred just talking out of both sides if his crooked mouth?

  12. Imagine how much crime will increase if Oakland really does lose all of 3 of sports teams. It’ll set the city back without a doubt. If stadiums can’t be built on that existing CC site…than a huge mall and movie theater need to go up without a doubt. Low income housing/section 8 will do nothing for the city in the long run but have the potential for more crime to occur.

    • I don’t see any particular reason crime would go up as a result of Oakland losing sports teams. There may be an affordable housing component to whatever new development goes in there, but they’re not going to make the whole thing a giant, old-school Cabrini-Green Homes.

  13. KA
    July 15, 2015
    5:34 pm ‘I think we are a growth business’. That from Rob Manfred! And MLB hides behind an ATE that says baseball is not a business. Time for SCOTUS to finally correct this in SJ vs MLB! Mark your calendars for 9/28.

    ^^^^^^^
    Yup!!

  14. what’s the significance of 9/28 for the SJ lawsuit?

    • It’s the date SCOTUS has said they will review the case “in conference” which in theory means that we’ll know whether or not they will hear the case on this date. They can always push out the in conference date though.

      • Thanks Slacker–missed that update–also no news from yesterday Oakland meeting other than carry on for Kephardt?

  15. GoA’s,

    I’m sure Kephart and other Council Members wanted to find out the source the of the unprofessional leak of the first 19 pages of the initial CC development proposal.

  16. re: Wolff Interview – We continue to respect the desire of the Raiders for a new football-only venue, while we of course would like to play in a new or vastly improved baseball-only venue.

    Are we waiting to see what direction the Raiders take? Yes, we are.

    Do I believe that two new venues can be built, financed, and operated on the available Coliseum land? No, I do not.

    …So we already knew he didn’t think there could be two new stadiums built at the Coliseum, which sounds reasonable. But what’s this about either a new or “vastly improved baseball-only venue”? Maybe since he knows there is no public money and not enough private money in the East Bay, Wolff is looking some sort of massive renovation of the Coliseum for a $200 million or so? If MLB does not want the A’s going to San Jose, which has the corporate money, then MLB may have to settle for a revamped Coliseum. But the Raiders have to go first, obviously.

    • @pjk
      Wolff: “Are we waiting to see what direction the Raiders take? Yes, we are.”
      About a year ago I labeled this the “Wait Davis out strategy”, but was considered by some as not being fare to Wolff? Now it’s fairly common and expectable that Wolff is waiting, and considered a good strategy. Over the last year I often said that Oakland did not have a ‘CHOICE’ (as it were) between the Raiders and A’s, and yet that’s how the media and some here chose to view it.
      You being among those that often said Oakland should choose the A’s over the Raiders, as if the choice was that simple.
      The fact is Oakland has no proposal from the Raiders or the A’s, and as I have continued to say (then and now), Oakland will choice whomever choses them, if anyone dose at all.
      It was even said that Oakland was unfair to Wolff for choosing to deal with the Raiders, while excluding Wolff from the table, through a non-binding ENA with New City as if Wolff could not have presented a proposal at any time.
      Even ML, mentioned some time back (if I’m correct), that he felt (expected) something to be forthcoming by the A’s around the beginning of the 2015 season. (When he was answering someone’s question, about why the A’s hadn’t proposed anything up to that point)
      We still don’t know if Wolff is even willing to build at the site, or just stalling with the ten year lease in hopes of getting San Jose (which would not be a surprise to anyone), yet we are constantly told that Oakland should chose the A’s over the Raiders?
      If Oakland had a choice at this point it should be the Raiders, because what would they actually be getting if they chose the A’s?
      A promise that Wolff would make a “REAL” effort at a site, and in a city he has made no secret that he wants no part of?

      • @Lakeshore – You could post the exact same comment, flipping the A’s and the Raiders and it would be equally as true. There are no guarantees that the Raiders will build at the site either.

        This is where Oakland is to blame. Coliseum City is a completely unrealistic plan. The A’s, Raiders, MLB and the NFL don’t want it. Continuing down the Coliseum City route was just a political move to show that they are trying to keep all of the teams, rather than admitting that the one site can’t accommodate all teams and one of them (I’m assuming the Warriors are gone regardless) will be out.

        There’s a huge difference between an ENA that doesn’t block the city from talking directly to the A’s and the Raiders, vs a clearly defined path for submitting a proposal for the site. Not blocking discussions with the A’s and Raiders is more a CYA move on the part of the city, just to avoid New City suing, even over something like lease negotiations with the A’s and/or Raiders.

        Oakland should have defined criteria for the A’s, Raiders, New City, and potentially anyone else, to submit proposals for the site. This would have forced both the A’s and the Raiders to show their cards.

      • @ Slacker
        “You could post the exact same comment, flipping the A’s and the Raiders and it would be equally as true. There are no guarantees that the Raiders will build at the site either.”
        You’re correct it would be factually true, but actually I believe Davis dose want to be at the site (unlike Wolff), he just doesn’t have the juice to make it work.
        As I have said in the past, you may have a situation where you have one owner that wants the site, but can’t make it work (in Davis), and another owner that could make it work, but doesn’t want the site (in Wolff), quite ironic.
        You’re focusing on Oakland, which is fine I have plenty of problems with the city, my comment to pjk was focusing on Wolff, whom I think gets a complete pass often, and by pjk specifically.
        Wolff is often looked at as a victim (IMHO), who is caught between MLB and the Giants, and any reasonable person should see why he wants and should be awarded San Jose, even though he purchased a team with the knowledge of the TR situation. I’m not saying that there is no truth to the fact that Wolff is in a difficult situation, but these same people turn around (including pjk), and claim “Oakland has a victim’s mentality”, or “Oakland wants something for free”
        Which I also think there is some truth to, but Wolff is viewed in a vary sympathetic view here (IMHO), and as I have been consistent in saying all hands are dirty here Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, the Raiders, the Warriors, the Giants, the A’s, Mark Davis, a thousand other people (excluding Robert Bobb), and the saintly Mr. Lew Wolff as well.
        It’s easy to put down Oakland (which I have highly criticized myself), without even handily looking at all the other players involved, or in the case of Wolff giving him a complete pass. (IMHO)

      • @ Slacker
        BTW: Davis is not actively waiting Wolff out, for a site he posable doesn’t want, and may not be willing to build on which was my original point.
        The same point that Wolff confirmed (the wanting potion), again as I suggested moth’s ago “Waiting Davis out strategy”, which I was consistently told,” No Oakland has to make a choice”, not that they don’t but as I have also said it’s not a straight forward choice , as many would like to think.

      • @ Slacker
        I agree Oakland should have “defined criteria for the A’s, Raiders, New City, and potentially anyone else”; I’m not so sure force the A’s or Raiders to show their cards, unfortunately.
        The Raiders and A’s should also have more defined criteria for what they want, other than in the Raiders case someone other than them paying for it, and in the A’s case not that’s ok, we are just acting like we have criteria, because we are wanting around long enough so we can go somewhere other than here. (Potentially)

    • @pjk—agree on the revamp—most likely the outcome is a remodeled Coli for the A’s; from my perspective Oakland will have lost the W’s, the Raiders, and only have a revamped Coli surrounded by parking to show for it. They could have been so much more strategic in their approach and kept all teams in the Bay Area—

      • @ GoA’s
        “They could have been so much more strategic in their approach and kept all teams in the Bay Area—“
        Oakland certainly could have been more strategic, it’s a shame they have not been, but in your described scenario two of the three teams would still be in the Bay Area, only the Raiders would be out of it. (Most likely)
        Not the worst outcome. Perhaps you meant kept all three teams in Oakland, which would make it a bit more painful for those that think any of these teams moving other places within the Bay Area (same market), is actually relocating.

      • ML (and Wolff) would likely disagree with the idea of a retooled baseball only Coliseum. It is basically a football stadium and impossible to convert into a baseball only ballpark (too costly). – the whole facility would likely need to be demolished – and a new ballpark built from the ground up – that would likely be more cost effective than redoing it for baseball only.

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