It’s the All-Star Break, which means it’s time to take MLB’s temperature on the state of the A’s. To which, Commissioner Rob Manfred was only happy to oblige in an interview with the Chronicle’s John Shea.
Shea: You said in July of 2018 right here that “there is not another market in the United States that has the upside potential that Oakland has, and I think we would regret leaving Oakland if we did that.” Is that still true? What changed?
Manfred: Look, we have 100 percent made good on that point of view. John Fisher and Major League Baseball have done everything humanly possible to get a stadium built in Oakland. At the point in time that you come to the conclusion it can’t get done, whether you like the market or not, you have to find someplace else to play because you need a facility. It’s that simple.
If you’re reading the post, you’re probably a masochist. At least you certainly haven’t tired of this subject yet. To his credit, The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami has the pulse of the Bay Area with his incredulity:
For my part, I have to harken back to my own 2017 tweet:
The flip side of this is Sin City’s (sorry, Southern Nevada’s) role. They know they’re being used this time around. They also know that it worked when the Raiders came looking, though that took some serious effort and a Verbal Kint-Keyzer Soze turn of events to make it happen. It doesn’t appear those circumstances will line up that way this time around. Still, MLB knows the wound is still fresh from the Raiders’ relocation so they’ll do what they do. Manfred’s been spoiling for this for years. Now he’s got it.
Back in Oakland, what are they dealing with? The April term sheet is bunk, to be replaced with another term sheet that City staff are negotiating with the A’s as we speak. It’s due no later than Friday, to be voted on a week from today. Do you expect this all to be resolved in with some overly produced reality TV flourish in a week?
I sure don’t. Deals, especially ones like this which are extremely complex, generally don’t have breakthrough moments unless one side or another capitulates. The two sides are far enough apart that capitulation is unlikely. If Howard Terminal is going to be done, it will require further rounds of negotiation and some serious compromise that will make both sides and related parties very unhappy.
I look at all of this as a NRAF a few hundred miles away from the action and say, Good Luck. The Coliseum is still sitting there, unloved.
P.S. – ABC7’s Larry Beil and Casey Pratt had an insightful Howard Terminal discussion with Phil Matter today. You should check it out.