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Major League Baseball has no idea what it's doing with the A's

Jul 28, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

Fans are crying up in Oakland. I hear campaign slogans in San Jose. Commissioner of mine, I think it's time you told the Giants what everyone seems to know.

It’s been sixteen months since Bud Selig announced the formation of a committee to study the Athletics’ stadium situation. Despite the fact that a focused task force could probably thoroughly analyze the situation and publish a glossy report on the matter in the space of a week with time left over for a happy hour on Friday, there is still no report from Bud’s experts. And no hint of when one will come out.

This has irked San Jose mayor Chuck Reed, who has wanted to put a stadium proposal on the fall ballot. Major League Baseball has told him not to, however, probably for fear that it will destroy the delicate alchemy in which Bud’s committee is engaged. Break their vacuum tubes and slide rules and whatnot.

Last week Reed said “screw it,” and announced that this fall’s ballot will have the stadium measure. Yesterday Major League Baseball’s Bob DuPuy told Reed that baseball would pay for the campaign.  To sum up:

  • Bud Selig’s college roommate/A’s owner Lew Wolf has repeatedly slammed Oakland and has said he wants to go to San Jose; and
  • San Jose’s mayor wants the A’s; and
  • Major League Baseball is going to fund the campaign for the ballot measure that will make moving the A’s to San Jose possible; but
  • Major League Baseball won’t simply say that the A’s are going to San Jose.

I imagine the reason for that last part is that baseball is afraid of the Giants’ territorial claim, but everything else they’re doing is consistent with baseball’s interest in disregarding it. Which they should do, because carving up the nation in arbitrary territories is stupid, anti-competitive and, in the long run, bad for business.  We know it would be outrageously difficult for a third team to relocate to New York now, but if it had happened 20 years ago as the stadium and RSN boom was getting underway, they’d be swimming in it now.

Grow a pair, Bud. Call the Giants on their bluff. If it gets ugly, it gets ugly, but the most you have to lose is an archaic system that is going to prevent your successor from helping baseball propel itself into the 21st century.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    “Grow a pair, Bud” Never happen.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    New York could have FIVE franchises, but still only one team.

  3. RichardInBigD - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    I agree with Chris. Has there EVER been a commissioner, of ANY sport, so constantly embroiled in contrversy as Selig? When will the owners arise from their deep slumber and trade the Budmeister in for someone who will be decisive? If they don’t want him to be an owner (perhaps they fear the competition), how about letting Mark Cuban be commissioner? He’d certainly stir things up quite a bit! We KNOW how he feels about bad officiating. I’m sure that umpire quality and use of replay would be high on his to do list… And as far as everyone being able to make money, that seems to be what Mark does best. Just a thought…

  4. RichardInBigD - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Yep. The METS! That other group of guys is a BUSINESS MACHINE!

  5. doctorfunke - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Wow.

  6. BC - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    This is the second time the A’s are getting jerked around. Wasn’t it 25 years ago or so that they wanted to move to Denver, and whoever the commissioner at the time was rallied the other owners and got it shot down?

  7. Stomper - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    No quarrels with Selig having botched this situation, Craig, but I think you’re misunderstanding this a bit. Selig is telling San Jose don’t put the issue on the ballot before we’ve made a decision. Even though that means missing the deadline for the regular November election and calling a costly special election in the spring, don’t worry, because if we approve the move, MLB will foot the bill. That may or may not mean that MLB is leaning toward approving the move. It may mean they want to give Oakland more time to put together a proposal of their own that would allow MLB to avoid picking a fight with Neukom and the Giants.

  8. Ditto65 - Jul 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Their bidness is winning.
    And bidness is good.

  9. espy70 - Jul 28, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    the A’s gave up the right’s to the south bay in order to help find a buyer and keep the Giants in SF.
    Now it’s like it never happened
    Do what’s right bud ( ya right ) give the rights back and move on.
    or keep all the A’s fans in limbo a few more #$#@!$@#!$ years

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