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Bud Selig basically tells the A’s to dangle

May 17, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

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After three years of telling the A’s to hold tight, a special committee is looking into their desired move to San Jose, Bud Selig almost seemed to punt today when asked about the matter:

At the owners meeting Thursday in New York, Commissioner Bud Selig opened the door for the A’s to leave the Bay Area if they can’t resolve their territorial dispute with the Giants.

Selig said it’s up to A’s owner Lew Wolff to consider sites for a new stadium, even if that means giving up on San Jose and leaving the area completely.

Asked whether the A’s would consider other relocation possibilities, Selig responded: “You’d have to ask Lew Wolff. That’s really his decision to make.”

Selig added “they could be all over the world” if they wanted and that it just “depends where they want to be.”

Which takes a lot of chutzpah given that it’s abundantly clear where they want to be, it has been for some time and the league damn well knows it.  If they cant’ go to San Jose, say so, Bud. Or at least admit that the past three years have been a giant stalling technique.

  1. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - May 17, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Please, please move them to Portland.

    • ajcardsfan - May 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      Portland, ME? I agree, Maine gets over looked all to often…How would you like it if all you had to root for were Boston teams?

      • bigdicktater - May 17, 2012 at 9:22 PM

        I think they’d do more business in Portland, TN.

  2. The Common Man - May 17, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    “Bud Selig basically tells the A’s to dangle”

    They’re going to need bike shorts.

    • nolanwiffle - May 17, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      ….or rent “Miller’s Crossing”

  3. hep3 - May 17, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Bud Lite does what he does best; avoid a tough decision and show an appalling lack of leadership…….

  4. Gamera the Brave - May 17, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    “a giant stalling technique.”
    I think you mean “a Giants stalling technique”…

  5. higgy5353 - May 17, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Just leave Oakland. Nobody shows up to watch the A’s so they don’t deserve a team. And I’m an A’s fan.

  6. normcash - May 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    Exceptionally pathetic even by Selig standards…BTW, Portland is way too small to support MLB
    and they don’t have a park there either…yes, the population of the metro region is larger than
    Cincinnati & Milwaukee, but with the Mariners to the north, cows and desert to the east and evergreens to the south, they’d have no larger region to draw from—all this apart from the fact that they have no park….ditto Las Vegas. There really aren’t any good candidate cities other than San Jose…

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - May 17, 2012 at 4:14 PM

      …but San Jose is a non-candidate, because the Giants aren’t going to give up their market for nothing. Portland isn’t a perfect market, but Seattle isn’t that close (to put it in perspective, it is a longer drive than Cleveland-Pittsburgh, Philly-DC, Cleveland-Detroit…) and we are still the 23rd most populous metro area in the US (all but one of the 22 larger areas have an MLB franchise).

      • paperlions - May 17, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        …but the A’s can just ignore that, move to SJ and dare MLB to sue them….a suit that MLB would not bring because it would likely open jars, doors, and windows related to monopolies that they don’t want to open.

  7. stevem7 - May 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Lew should pull the moving vans up at 11:30PM, load up all the gear, and move to San Jose and tell Bud and the Giants to stick it. Al Davis moved to LA and told the NFL to stick it and guess what, legal precedence now exists cause Al won his case. Another shining example of a weak sister Commissioner who should have been let go almost before he was hired. Can’t make a decision on San Jose, can’t make a decision on Pete Rose, can’t hold incompetent umpires accountable. Exactly what purpose does Alan H Selig have?

    • paperlions - May 17, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      Selig’s job is to do what the owners (as a group) tell him to do.

    • bobulated - May 17, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      I live in the Bay Area and agree 100%; pack the vans up with all the white cleats and yellow jerseys, then head down 880 daring MLB and the Giants to try to stop it. Maybe even try to cut a deal with the Niners to use their new Santa Clara stadium until the sparkling new A’s park can be finished.

  8. kurtstallings - May 17, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    I would love to see an AL franchise move to Saint Louis and revive the Browns name, giving Baseball Town USA a proper two league presence. Unfortunately, given decades of population decline relative to other metropolitan markets, that makes about as much economic sense as opening the 2013 season in Barrow, Alaska. I say give Portland a shot, there’s a sound PCL (old independent league and now minor league) historical legacy there. Yes, there are market issues to debate, but an enthusiastic and knowledgeable fan base ought to have their shot at meeting the challenge of sustaining an MLB team there.

    • paperlions - May 17, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      I would instantly become a dual fan and adopt the new “Browns” as my second favorite team….but really, not sure StL could support 2 teams…sure as hell can’t build another stadium.

    • jwbiii - May 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      And every time the Beavers had a game about 5,000 Portlanders would show up. I don’t imagine their TV rights would be all that lucrative, either. They’re certainly not going to build a stadium.

  9. mikeinthevine - May 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    The used car salesman( masquerading as baseball commissioner) is stumped for an answer. That’s because the owners weren’t around to tell him what to say. Bud Selig couldn’t lead a one car funeral.

  10. sisqsage - May 17, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Selig has always been easy to figure out, and I can’t believe you have wasted so many posts that never get to the heart of this matter.
    1) Selig doesn’t go the john without the OK by baseball’s most powerful owners (Reinsdorf et al)
    2) They obviously haven’t given the thumbs up on the San Jose site, so it will never come to a vote, leaving Bud to talk in vague generalities that lead to nowhere (nobody does it better than him)
    3) The A’s could have already broken ground on the Fremont site of a brand new Cisco Field, but ditched the plan over issues that could have been resolved. They got greedy and foolishly thought SJ would be a slam dunk.
    4) The Giants aren’t going to reliquish their claim to the SJ area because they need all of the marketing dollars they can get with an ownership group that demands a realistic budget every year to make a profit, a pitching staff they gets more expensive every year and continued debt service on AT&T Park…. all in a bad economy.
    5) Territorial rights for sports franchises are alot more valuable now than they were 20-30 years ago (when the A’s had SJ). The Giants have no economic incentive to hand them over now, and would be fiancially foolish to do so.
    6) Look at Lew’s record. He always needs a villain, and he would rather blame the Giants than be a good owner somewhere in the east bay.

  11. APBA Guy - May 17, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    A not surprising set of remarks from Air Bud. Conclusions:

    – the owners will not vote for an A’s move to SJ until the Giants have a compensation deal in place with the A’s
    – the Giants have no intention of making any such deal, preferring instead to drive the A’s from the market
    – Wolff/Fisher have mis-managed this process so badly one wonders if the whole “new stadium” concept isn’t more charade than substance
    – Yet because of the Dodgers sale, the value of the A’s franchise has actually risen
    – The few remaining A’s fans, the local media, and local politicians should begin actively calling for Wolff/Fisher to sell the team, preferably to local owners with the clout to deal with Oakland and get a new stadium/major renovation (ala Kaufmann Stadium) built on the existing site with improvements to the 880 ramps and BART access

  12. shawndc04 - May 17, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Montreal.

  13. stampede101 - May 17, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    As a Giants fan I find this upsetting. I like going to A’s games, and I wish they would get a stadium deal done at the current site, or Jack London Square. At the most, San Jose. The Giants should quit this petty crap and let them move. It would be terrible if the A’s left the Bay Area.

  14. JasonW in Miami - May 17, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    How hard is it to make a decision to revert San Jose/Santa Clara County to shared territory or as a matter of fact, the entire Bay Area? like it was at the time the Giants were still sobbing over the ’89 World Series and threatened to move to Tampa Bay because they wanted out of Candlestick and couldn’t get anything done at that point of time.

    The Late great Walter Haas had the decency to allow the Giants to explore a new ballpark in San Jose, that never happened and the Giants eventually got their new ballpark at China Basin but retained San Jose as exclusive territory, to the dismay of the previous and current A’s owners who are looking to explore the most advantageous option outside Alameda/Contra Costa Counties.

    The Bay Area is a Two Team market yet the Giants want it to themselves, that is all it comes down to and it will be pathetic beyond proportion if NorCal goes NL only. Publicly funded stadiums are non-starters in California, nevermind Oakland where they have more pressing issues to deal with not related to sports.

    There is almost no guarantee on a return of investment if there is to be a privately funded ballpark in Oakland, unlike in San Jose where its vast corporate support will catapult the A’s to a more competitive franchise.

    In this economy, absolutely no other city has the economic and statistical capacity to support a modern day MLB franchise like San Jose. This will be absolute injustice for San Jose if they are not awarded the A’s. I smell antitrust suit.

    • bigleagues - May 17, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      I agree the Giants do want the SF/Oak market all to themselves. That market is on the 2nd tier of large markets that Cities like Philadelphia and Boston occupy. Yet, the Giants have not been able to rake in the level of revenue that the Phillies and Red Sox do. By being the sole MLB team in that market, they would greatly benefit from additional sponsorship and ad revenue.

      San Jose, while very closely located and tied to the SF/Oak market, remains its own separate media market. Maintaining dominion over that market only enhances the Giants long term revenue portfolio.

      The Giants most definitely want to see the A’s gone altogether. And quite honestly, at this point, right or wrong, I don’t see how this resolves itself any other way.

      • bayarea510 - May 17, 2012 at 6:33 PM

        “San Jose, while very closely located and tied to the SF/Oak market, remains its own separate media market”

        Ummmm WHAT? When did San Jose become it’s own Media market? Lived in the Bay Area for 26 years and thats news to me. SF, Oakland, AND San Jose all share the same radio stations, t.v stations and newspapers. The Bay Area only has ONE media market and it includes SF, Oakland, San Jose and all the Bay Area suburbs. The SF-Oak-SJ media market is the 6th largest media market in the nation.

      • bigleagues - May 17, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        BayArea,

        You’re right, as far as Nielsen and the FCC are concerned SJ is considered part of the San Fran/Oak DMA & TMA. Which, as a resident of the Northeast, seems kind of ridiculous considering how fractured and overlapped our various media markets are here.

        As I often do, I was typing in a hurry and meant to state MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area).

        The US Office of Management and Budget determines Metro Statistical Areas and Combined Statistical Areas. They study a region’s demographics, economics, geography and the infrastructure that connects it to other neighboring metro areas.

        So far as the Federal Government is concerned San Jose is it’s own Metro Statistical Area. And as someone from the area, you well know that San Jose proper is now one of the largest cities in the country and a self-sustaining economic engine in its own right.

        MSA demographics are among the most important factors that are considered when locating a franchise.

        As far as media goes, that you receive SF TV & radio stations in San Jose is less important when determining a franchise location. It’s overlap.

        TV Media Markets are defined by the FCC (TMA’s) and Nielsen (DMA’s). But TV media markets are not necessarily reflective of the MSA of a particular economic region. And when we are talking broadcasting pro sports on cable and satellite – TV markets are even less relevant.

        The Red Sox, for example, market NESN to all of New England even though the Boston media market only covers Eastern & Southern MA, Southern NH & ME.

        What matters most are the regional demographics. The number of people, the the regional GDP, media income, corporate base and the infrastructure.

        Right now the Giants are sharing all of that with the A’s. If the A’s move to San Jose, even though that’s still in the “Bay Area” then the Giants ability to capitalize on the entirety of the Bay Area market will be diminished.

  15. slavetothetrafficlight - May 17, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Y’all just keep on overlooking Charlotte. It’s got the population base and a healthy economy. Picture the A’s moving back east, to a Shibe Park -esque downtown ballpark.

  16. buffalomafia - May 17, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Do I hear Buffalo?

  17. sabatimus - May 17, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    The A’s don’t deserve a new park. They pretend to contend year in and year out, only to sell everyone before the trading deadline. If there were ever a team that lived off the league revenue sharing, it’s the A’s. At least these days, teams like the Pirates are actually trying to build a team that wins.

    • Loren - May 17, 2012 at 7:06 PM

      I don’t even know where to start… Oh wait, yes I do! How about the five times the A’s have been to the playoffs since the Pirates last had a winning season?

  18. ndnut - May 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Is Sacramento out of the question?

  19. keepthisrealbro - May 18, 2012 at 3:08 AM

    So what happens to the San Jose Giants? Don’t forget about them

  20. hdmet78 - May 18, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    C’mon MLB – the “San JosA’s” must become a reality!

  21. smussato - May 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Largest unoccupied metro areas:

    12. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 4.3 million
    23. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR 2.3 million
    24. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 2.2 million
    25. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA 2.2 million
    26. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 2.2 million
    30. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 2.0 million
    31. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 1.9 million

    Could Southern California support four baseball teams? Probably.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_United_States_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas

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