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A’s vs. Giants in the fight for San Jose: “We’re talking about two immoveable objects”

Aug 9, 2012, 9:47 AM EDT

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Yahoo!’s Steve Henson gives us the state of the union over the MLB’s efforts to mediate the A’s-to-San Jose thing. The upshot: it’s ugly and there’s no easy solution, as the Giants aren’t even negotiating with the league over this, and some think they’ll sue if the A’s are allowed to move:

The Giants have attorneys close to their ownership group who made millions trying eminent domain cases. Owners agree not to sue MLB under any circumstances, but in that regard this could be ground-breaking if the A’s are allowed to break ground in San Jose.

“Some people believe the Giants would sue, other don’t think so,” the MLB executive said.

Call their bluff, Bud. Have your dormant committee release an actual report that outlines the actual need for the A’s to be in San Jose. Detail along with it the costs to the league if they don’t, the benefits to the league if they do and the costs to the Giants as well.  Then compare it to other potential relocation sites. I’m guessing the numbers point to it being a net gain for the A’s to be in San Jose as opposed to other markets, even if it costs the Giants some.

Point is: lay the groundwork for a compelling argument — both legally and on the public relations front — that the A’s moving to San Jose is the best for baseball overall.  Make a call that, even though it would cause short term strife for the Giants and other owners who fear for their territory rights, would, over time, pave the way for a more logical and economically beneficial arrangement of teams around population areas. Force the Giants to defend a stupid territorial system that promotes inefficiency.

Yes, this is a fantasy on my part. I don’t see Selig ever taking such a course of action.  Of course, given that he won’t, a franchise is being allowed to die on the vine, and I don’t know how anyone finds that acceptable.

  1. jarathen - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    I couldn’t imagine trying to be a fan of a team that the commissioner ignores like the Athletics. It’s a crime against the fanbase that this team is allowed to limp on in Oakland, in that “stadium”.

    • hcf95688 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      Its not easy, let me tell you. Add to that the fact that the current situation has fractured the fanbase along pro-SJ and Oakland-only lines. It’s ugly.

      • sjbryce - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        This whole thing is pretty ridiculous. First off, I am a Giants fan but I am in favor of the A’s moving to San Jose. I think that’s what is in the best interest of baseball. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to become an A’s fan just because they are now closer to me. But I do see the Giants point. I know the A’s gave up the rights to San Jose when the Giants were going to move to St Petersburg. That was a bad move on the A’s part. The Fiants aren’t dumb enough to make that same mistake.
        Now what pisses me off is that all these “A’s fans” wanna bash the Giants for not allowing them to move. If you guys are all such diehards, go support your team at the games even though the stadium sucks. That’s what a diehard fan does. I know there are still some of them out there and I commend them. But all these people that say they aren’t going because of the crappy stadium aren’t true fans. They also wanna talk about the “corporate Giants fans” that are always at the park. Wait till you get a new stadium. It happens to all fan bases.

      • clydeserra - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        sjbryce, that’s what my fellow under 10,000 have been doing. Going to the games. Its nice, there is always seats, and cheap.

        the problem, as was with candlestick, is the casual fan, who don’t show up because the stadium is unappealing.

    • hcf95688 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      Since 2006, The New Ballpark Blog (http://newballpark.org/) has been the best source for news about the A’s quest for a new home. Read any of the many articles for a taste of the frustration of being an A’s fan.

  2. paperlions - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    So….MLB wants to tell cities that don’t have a team, which out of market teams they have to be fans of, watch on TV, and spend money on? Really? Hubris much?

    • The Rabbit - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      It’s the same attitude and general principle as MLB’s blackout policy that only permits me (the baseball fan) to watch only the game that Fox chooses to televise. even though I have paid for access to the games via subscription.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      That’s not it at all. Both teams are on TV in San Jose but Santa Clara County is filled with Giants fans and lots of corporate dollars. Although the dynamics have changed with AT&T being in downtown San Francisco, when the Giants were at Candlestick something like 75% of their season ticket base was in Santa Clara County. It would be interesting to see if any of the corporate money in the South Bay ended up in Oakland if they had a new stadium there.

      • paperlions - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:34 PM

        How is that not it? They are telling San Jose that they can’t have a team and should be Giants fans because they as an organization have arbitrarily said so.

      • hcf95688 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM

        So its OK for MLB and one of its member clubs to tell San Jose – the largest city in the Bay Area, the 10th largest city in the country – that it can not have a team?

      • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        No one is saying people in the South Bay can’t be A’s fans, it just so happens that going back decades they’ve been primarily Giants fans. Why should the Giants willingly give that up for the good of the A’s? It’s not like the A’s are doing anything to try and lure South Bay residents to Oakland. One team in the Bay Area spends a lot of time courting the South Bay and reaping the benefits while the other whines and cries about how unfair their situation is.

      • hcf95688 - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        …and no one would force all those alleged Giants fans to suddenly become fans of the Green & Gold. If they’re the Giants die-hards that you (and the media and the Giants) claim they are, why would they switch? What are the Giants afraid of? Let teh people decide!

      • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        I don’t think the change would be immediate but I could see it over time as generations pass and kids grow up with the A’s in their backyard. Again, the Giants have invested heavily in the South Bay going back to the days before silicon valley was Silicon Valley. Why shouldn’t they reap the benefits and rewards of that investment? Why should the A’s be rewarded for making no effort to succeed in Oakland? All I keep hearing is that it’s unfair for the A’s yet no one seems to want to deal with the fact that the A’s have played a huge part in creating their current situation.

        There’s no doubt the big loser in this whole mess is the city of San Jose. The problem is there are 3 cities and only 2 teams so someone is going to be left unhappy. If there’s a way to make San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose all happy then I’m all ears.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        One other thing I should add: the sale of the Dodgers for $2 billion this year did nothing to convince the Giants to relent on this issue. They know they’re going to need every available dollar to compete with the Dodgers going forward. As a fan I’ve always wanted them to set their sights on the Yankees, Sox, and Phillies but that’s just not this ownership groupu’s style. Having a potential juggernaut in their backyard though is a totally different issue for ownership.

      • clydeserra - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:53 PM

        seeingwhatsticks: there are plenty of reasons that the giants don’t want the A’s in SJ. But because they invested heavily there before silicon valley was Silicon Valley is not one of them. The A’s had the T-rights for San Jose then.

        They were given to the giants “for Free” in hopes that the giants would mover there, and I suspect in hopes that they A’s could then grab the attention of the newly abandoned Downtown SF $.

        I don’t know, maybe someone does, do territorial rights limit the way you can market your team? Can the A’s put up billboards in the giant’s territory without a waiver?

      • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        clydserra,

        As I said in another comment that’s exactly what the A’s did: gave up the South Bay so that they’d get fans from San Francisco taking BART to Oakland rather than driving down to Santa Clara. The decision by the A’s was a calculated business decision that backfired, not, as many would have you believe, a charitable act that was made purely for “the best interests of the game.” I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone make a compelling argument for why the Giants should be responsible for fixing a mistake the A’s made 25 years ago.

        And I think the fact that the Giants invested in and developed a loyal following in the South Bay is very relevant. They put in the time and the money and rely on the fans and money coming up north. What have the A’s done to earn the fans and the support and why should it just be handed to them? Because they decided that Oakland can’t work and it’s not even worth trying? Lew Wolff has done to Oakland almost exactly what Loria did to Montreal and the only reason Lew’s not equally reviled is that he was at least smart enough not to be so openly dickish about it (and his college pal is Bud Selig).

      • jkcalhoun - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        The A’s had the T-rights for San Jose then.

        As I mentioned earlier (but below), this isn’t true. Here’s an informative and well-focused article on the history of the territorial rights in the area from the New York Times, published this April. It makes clear the fact that no territorial rights to San Jose were assigned prior to 1990.

  3. Ben - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    I’d bet the Giants fight this one to the death. This isn’t about territory, it’s about where Silicon Valley companies spend their box seat money.

    • crisisjunky - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      Absolutely, the G’s are more concerned about the penninsula overlap.
      OTO, they could move the class A ballclub to Napa!

      • Ben - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        Thing is, while I want to see the A’s move to SJ, I sort of get the Giant’s perspective here for one big reason–the Giants did the decent thing and actually paid for their stadium rather than extorting taxpayers. For a lot of teams, since their stadiums are mostly paid for by taxpayers, actual ticket revenue is just gravy whereas for the Giants that Silicon Valley box revenue matters.

      • quintjs - Aug 9, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        Ben, this is probably why MLB wants to move the A’s to SJ – to punish the Giants for not spending taxpayer dollars.

    • pipkin42 - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      I live in Santa Clara County – People down here love the Sharks. You see “Sharks Country” stuff all the time. I bet the same thing would happen with a San Jose baseball team.

      The more pressing concern for us Santa Clara County residents, though, is that with the 49ers moving to Santa Clara, do we want all these damn sports teams overloading the already terrible public transit system down here? I, as a fan of East Coast teams, do not.

    • jwbmgb1218 - Aug 10, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      This article is BS. First of all, Lew Wolf is the closest owner to Frank Mccourt, low budget and getting money from other owners…Secondly the Giants are paying for their stadium, A’s are using tax- payer money..Giants have a right to protect their investment, and Three…Haas did give San Jose BACK to Giants in the 90’s. Horace Stoneham took the risk to bring the Giants to the Bay Area and had the entire Bay Area..he thought. That was until Mr. Finley took over part of his base. How many times are the A’s going to infringe on Giants territiry?

      What Wolf does have, however, is a FRAT BROTHER as Commish.

  4. delawarephilliesfan - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    I thinkall parties invloved should just mellow out, gather in Bud office, and just enjoy the music while they work out there differences…..

  5. hcf95688 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    For those of you that may not be aware…

    1. The Bay Area is the only two team market that territorial rights pertains to. The Mets can build next door to Yankee Stadium. Ditto Chicago. The Angels have actually mentioned moving out of Anaheim, closer to downtown LA. the league would have no problem with that.

    2. The south bay (read, San Jose), was once A’s territory. Former owner Walter Haas ceded the territory (for free!) to the Gaints when they were looking to build there, prior to AT&T Park. Why? Because they asked and he felt it was in the best interests in baseball.

    3. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose is all one media market. There would be no change as far as TV/radio broadcasting rights are concerned.

    4. The A’s are actually trying to move FURTHER AWAY from teh Giants: The Oakland Coliseum is ~15 miles from from AT&T Park. Downtown San Jose is ~40 miles away.

    5. Yes, A’s ownership certainly has an eye on big-time corporate money, but thats not the only reason to leave. Oakland has historically not been a good draw. Oakland has only finished in the top half of the league in attendance seven times since moving from Kansas City in 1968. This, despite four World Series Champions, six AL pennants and fourteen division titles.

    • b7p19 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      I’m sold. Until i see a better argument against the move, my wagon will be hitched to the San Jose horse.

    • jkcalhoun - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      The south bay (read, San Jose), was once A’s territory. Former owner Walter Haas ceded the territory (for free!) to the Gaints

      This is not accurate. Under the MLB constitution neither club had specific operating rights to Santa Clara Country until the revision of 1990, which assigned them to the Giants. Although the A’s had previously operated a minor league club in San Jose, Santa Clara County was never an assigned “operating territory” of the A’s for major league baseball.

      So while it’s true that Walter Haas acted magnanimously when allowing those rights to be assigned to the Giants without demanding a concession to the A’s of something similarly valuable, rather than saying that he ceded those rights, it’s more accurate to say is that he made no claim to them when the assignment was made.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Walter Haas absolutely did not give the Giants rights to the South Bay for the good of baseball, he did it for the good of himself and the A’s. With the Giants in Santa Clara, which had no public transportation connection to San Francisco at the time and is an hour’s drive from the city when traffic is light, the A’s would be the closest and most accessible baseball team to the city of San Francisco. In other words, Haas was willing to let the Giants have Santa Clara County because he wanted the A’s to wind up with San Francisco. That’s not a magnanimous act, that’s a business calculation that backfired when the South Bay exploded and became the population and business center of the Bay Area.

      The A’s in San Jose would absolutely be further away from the Giants in San Francisco but as I pointed out above, the South Bay has traditionally been filled with Giants fans (and season ticket holders) going back to the Candlestick days and the Giants don’t want to give up the money they get from the South Bay either in terms of season ticket sales or corporate sponsorships.

      The A’s have been mismanaged for at least 2 decades, with equal parts incompetence and apathy on display from ownership and management. When the franchise itself doesn’t seem to care about its community or fanbase why should the locals turn around and care about the team? There’s no doubt that the A’s being such a struggling franchise is bad for baseball, I’m just still unclear why it’s the Giants’ responsibility to fix the problem. If the A’s being stronger is in the best interests of baseball shouldn’t the rest of baseball step up and share the burden of fixing the problem equally?

      • jkcalhoun - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        Yes, the A’s stood to gain a greater following from portions of the Bay Area if the Giants had moved to the South Bay. But it’s nonetheless significant that he allowed the assignment territorial rights to occur without condition. He could have leveraged his position by demanding that portions of the Giants operating area be reassigned to the A’s after the move had been accomplished or, if the Giants ultimately built a new ballpark or signed a new lease somewhere other than in the South Bay, that the rights to Santa Clara County revert to their previous unassigned status. Nothing like that occurred, and that’s why I think it’s very appropriate to consider his gesture magnanimous.

        This does not mean that I think the Giants, on the basis of “morality” or any other basis, are bound to cede their rights now in order to effect a similar magnanimity. Because that wouldn’t be magnanimity; that would be stupidity. It would result in two franchises with a weak outlook where there was previously only one. A’s fans hate the Giants ownership now? Just think of how much more they’ll hate them if they’re fighting tooth and nail for the same resources in the same corner of the Bay, while for a significant period owing the Giants a good chunk of their revenue according to whatever settlement MLB imposes. My advice: get your owner to sell, A’s fans, to someone who’s willing to make a go of it where you already are. Nobody opposes that except the A’s current ownership.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 9, 2012 at 5:55 PM

        I think a new stadium in a central location (aka nowhere near the current one) would be a huge boost for revitalizing Oakland, a city which has some really cool up and coming areas despite the city’s best efforts to be terrible at everything. I also hate to see teams move even when they aren’t leaving the area so as a traditionalist I’d love to see the A’s stay in Oakland (I also hate seeing the 49ers move to Santa Clara rather than finding a location in San Francisco).

        I guess where we disagree is on what Haas did 25 years ago. What you see as magnanimous I see as shortsighted and stupid. Haas could have (and should have) put all kinds of requirements and restrictions into the deal to cede the territory to the Giants but he didn’t. Tomato tomahto I guess.

        What I’m sure we can both agree on is that Lew Wolff knew all of this when he bought the team. He knew the Giants owned the South Bay. He knew the A’s needed a new ballpark. He knew that if he wanted to move this fight was coming, yet he bought the team and cried poor and unfair anyway.

      • jkcalhoun - Aug 9, 2012 at 6:25 PM

        One thing we agree on: Lew Wolff is the right target for the A’s fan’s ire, not the Giants.

        They should be wary of what they wish for: it’s quite possible for a move to San Jose to benefit Wolff, a major real estate developer in the South Bay, without resulting in a revenue stream that allows them to compete any more readily than they have done in the recent past, depending on what it takes for them to settle the matter of territorial rights with the Giants. Joining the NBA effectively cost the Nets Julius Erving — would the A’s be similarly hamstrung in order to pay off the Giants for the valuable South Bay territory? After watching him cry poor in Oakland for years, I wouldn’t take it on faith that Wolff has the A’s fans’ interests in mind.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM

        Funny, I’ve actually tried to make the same point in the past. The A’s in San Jose compare favorably to the Padres in San Diego: new stadium, cities are roughly the same size, and while the Bay Area as a whole is a larger media market than San Diego San Jose isn’t a central location for a lot of people and the Padres don’t share the market with another team. The Padres are basically at the same level the A’s are now in terms of salary and I’d say they have an equal or possibly better situation than the A’s would have in San Jose (obviously tech money, if it abandoned the Giants and embraced the A’s could be the great equalizer but I digress).

        Plus, given the history of the A’s under Wolff and before, do we have any reason to expect Wolff to significantly increase payroll or marketing efforts? Or will he just take the extra profits and put them directly in his own pocket?

      • jkcalhoun - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        Do we have reason to expect Wolff to significantly increase payroll or marketing efforts? Perhaps the best answer is: once a Loria, always a Loria.

  6. stex52 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Ah, the vain thought that Bud would actually do something involving integrity. What a concept!

    • cur68 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      Yep. Craig being all reasonable and on point will have no bearing on Bud doing a dang thing. In fact, I bet what he’ll do is make with a statement about attendance and say “there is no appetite”. Funny thing is, if he ACTUALLY looked at attendance he’d find “there damn well IS some appetite for this move”.

      Hell, the really smart move would be to move one of the California teams to Vancouver. Is there an appetite? Ever watch a Mariners game when the Beaver Men are in town? Its like a home game for the visiting club. Stands are packed with The Blue waiving red leaves around. The home team fans (both of them) try to get a “USA!” chant going, and they make a commendable effort, but its hard for 2 guys to sustain for any length of time.

      But no one mind me on this issue. Just belabour away the need for more baseball in California.

  7. cackalackyank - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Well, I said it before and will say it again. IF I owned the A’s and this continued much longer I would say to my peers “I get to move or you guys get to buy me out.” It is clearly NOT in the best intrest of MLB for the A’s to languish in the Oakland dump. If the Giants do NOT care about what is BEST for MLB than their ownership can lump it. BUT, as difficult as it is to get public money for stadiums etc. these days I bet that there are some cities out there that would LOVE to have an MLB team. San Jose is not the only dot on a map.

  8. giant4life - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    This will give us a new meaning for “moneyball”.

  9. natslady - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    He won’t because Orioles attendance has sunk to a trickle despite a contending team and extensive renovations to a park that is easy to access–and historical. I understand the Rays and the M’s aren’t great draws, but they are struggling to get 20K for any team not named the New York Yankees. Combined with the endless, nasty fight over MASN-TV and Selig ain’t making any more deals like that. I’m not an Orioles fan but it’s a shame that with an exciting team they drew 15K and 17K this week.

  10. APBA Guy - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Best summary I’ve seen on the Territorial Rights issue, with lots of historical context:

    http://www.athleticsnation.com/2012/4/18/2958535/territorial-rights-a-not-so-brief-history

    It’s a long read, but the bottom line is the rights thing is a mess.

    The current Giants ownership wants to drive the A’s out of town. That is their principal aim. They could then raise prices astronomically. Their fall back is to effect intransigence and get the best deal possible for themselves in any territorial rights settlement. And why not? From a narrow business perspective, currently in fashion in the US, their actions are understandable, and some people would even say commendable.

    But baseball ownership, as Haas showed when he agreed to the territory rights split in the early ’90’s to help the Giants, isn’t just about narrow interests. It’s also about what’s good for the fans and good for the game. And on this level the current Giants ownership fails miserably.

    It’s up to the commissioner to arbitrate these things. But as the article points out, it took 25 years for the Giants to move out of Candlestick. Selig is clearly in no hurry. Unfortunately for the A’s.

    • jkcalhoun - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      With all due respect, the comparison of Haas’ actions in 1990 to the Giants ownerships’ actions now is a load of horse-hockey. Haas made no claim to something he assessed as having little value to his club and in which he had made no appreciable investment; in contrast, the Giants ownership is reinforcing their claim to something they judge to have a very high value to their club and in which they have made a very significant investment.

      Further, while it’s obviously true that keeping all of its franchises strong is in the best interest of the fans and of the game as a whole, it’s not at all obvious to me that it’s necessary to strengthen the A’s franchise by weakening the Giants. If the A’s really must move out of Oakland, why not weaken an even stronger franchise somewhere else? For example, New Jersey beckons (although unfortunately it may take 25 years to sort our their Sports & Exposition Authority boondoggles in order to construct a baseball stadium there).

      • hcf95688 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:55 PM

        Once upon a time I had no real feelings either way on the Giants. I’m an A’s fan; the Giants were the other team in the market. If they won, good for them and my many Giants-fan friends.

        Now? With the Giants stated goal to drive MY team out of the area or watch it die a slow death? Fuck them. I sincerley hope every executive in the Giants front office dies of brain cancer.

      • jkcalhoun - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        Te Giants have stated a goal of driving your team out of the area? I sincerely doubt that, since the A’s are also assigned an operating territory by the MLB constitution, by which both clubs must abide.

      • APBA Guy - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:13 PM

        You present zero evidence for your assertion that Haas assessed Santa Clara County as having little value. On the other hand, the retrospective work cited in my post makes clear that Haas saw value in Santa Clara but ceded the rights anyway.

        As I said in my comment, some will find the Giants intransigence acceptable based as it is on the winner-take-all mentality pervasive today in American business.

        My point is that Haas didn’t act with that mentality. Far from it.

      • jkcalhoun - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:40 PM

        The retrospective work cited in your post says nothing at all about Haas’ view of the value of Santa Clara or the South Bay to the A’s franchise. My evidence that he rated its value as low is based on the cultural status quo; the area has always identified itself much more closely with San Francisco and the Peninsula, and the Giants have always had a much stronger following there than the A’s. Do you have evidence that the A’s had made a promotional push to alter that?

        Whatever his assessment of its value, please don’t get me wrong: because Haas had leverage in the situation and could probably have extracted some kind of concession from MLB even if what he was “giving up” was of little direct value to the A’s, I agree that his “mentality” in that transaction was unselfish.

      • clydeserra - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        I agree with a lot of this, but I don’t think the Giants ownership actually put much weight into the sale price. I think that is a clever way to frame it now.

  11. jm884 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Why should the Giants be faulted for trying to protect their business interests? The A’s ceded the South Bay to the Giants willingly, and the Giants have spent millions of dollars on a new ballpark, marketing along the Peninsula and in the South Bay and, yes, on players so the team could be successful as a business and cultural enterprise. Meanwhile, Lew Wolff bought a team that in the early 2000s was winning 100 games a season and selling out the Coliseum and has run it into the ground with his quest to move the team to San Jose and his annual fire sale of young players. Wolff knew about the territorial rights when he purchased the team, and then decided they shouldn’t be honored. That’s like me buying land I know has an easement on it and then getting pissed off when I can’t build on it. If Wolff doesn’t want to abide by the territorial agreement, he shouldn’t have bought the team.

    • clydeserra - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      “selling out the Coliseum”

      Hardly. Doing better than now, yes, but still in the lower tier as far as overall attendance.

  12. bigleagues - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Well, let’s be honest, unless your owner is a guy like Frank McCourt – no franchise can ‘die on the vine’ under MLB’s current economics.

    Yet a team can find itself in an environment where it cannot flourish . . . which is the problem that the A’s have been enduring for the past 30 or so years.

    Again, I will say this . . . it’s clear as pie to me that the Giants have no intention of doing anything, unless the A’s somehow gain MLB approval to move to San Jose without their (Giants) consent. The Giants clearly support the status quo and likely hope to force the A’s to move out of the Bay Area altogether – that way it’s ALL theirs.

    This is all market strategy now folks, nothing more, nothing less.

  13. kevinbnyc - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I see a lot of unfair criticism for the commissioner here.
    Mr. Selig and other MLB executives have carefully listened to the fans, and they know there is no appetite for baseball in San Jose.
    Just like nobody wants instant replay.

  14. humanexcrement - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Lost in all of this is that the Giants are indirectly part of the reason the A’s are in such bad shape. They got their brand new beautiful stadium and had Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron’s record while A’s fans got to sit in that ugly, cavernous dump of a stadium watching a punchless also-ran try to eke out victories by taking walks. A good number of fans wisely made the trip across the bay. Now all the A’s want is their own nice stadium in a better part of California. For those of us who grew up with the Oakland A’s being one of the most fascinating teams in baseball, it’s really sad to see this team rot, and it would be really good to see them thrive again. And “San Jose Athletics” sounds pretty cool to me.

    • clydeserra - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      How are the A’s in bad shape? They have a competitive team that was last in the playoffs 6 years ago. Two years ago they were .500, this year much better.

      they have made money for their ownership group. Attendance did bottom out, but, as I recall, it was up last year and is up again this year.

  15. athleticsdiehard - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    It is time to address the taboo subject of…… Oakland, CA.
    As I drove through downtown Oakland this afternoon, I was greeted by massive graffiti, thugs walking around with no jobs and an overall feeling of Blight and Despair.

    Oakland is about as ghetto as Detroit, Baltimore and New Orleans. The “Occupy” protesters in Oakland are violent and the Mayor of Oakland endorses these criminals.

    The Oakland Coliseum is a perfect monument to the Welfare piece of trash city that we call…. Oakland.

    Enough is enough Bud Selig! I am a lifelong, Diehard A’s Fan and am sick and tired of your indecision. Selig was the commissioner that once wondered if the baseballs were “juiced” and even toured the facility where the baseballs are made. This whole time, we all knew that it was the massive giant-looking PLAYERS THAT WERE JUICING. It is time for the MLB Owners to call for a vote of no-confidence of Bud Selig and replace him with a REAL MAN THAT WILL GIVE THE A’s A YES OR NO.

    This hellhole of Blight and Crime that we call Oakland is getting what it deserves! The Warriors are moving, the Raiders (if they have any sense) will move to either Santa Clara or Los Angeles and the A’s want to move. Nobody even feels safe staying at one of the hotels near the Oakland Airport. When you gas up your car on Hegenberger, you are often met by scary-looking lazy men that refuse to work and would rather beg you for money.

    I know that thousands of good, honest, tax-paying citizens of the Bay Area agree with me, MOVE THE A’s OUT OF OAKLAND… NOW!

    • jkcalhoun - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      What do the tax-paying citizens of the Bay Area have to do with it? Bay Area voters regularly reject — and rightfully so — publicly financed stadiums for privately held sports teams. If the taxpayers decide they want to foot the bill for a new palace for the A’s somewhere within their territory, I’m sure things can be worked out. How about it, Walnut Creek? Are you in, Concord?

      For what it’s worth, Bud has already delivered the decision you’re asking for. In May he said it was up to Lew Wolff, subject to the normal approval process, for the A’s to move out of Oakland. In other words, the commissioner is not standing in the way. The hold-up, of course, is that Lew Wolff is interested in moving the A’s only to San Jose, which has the major inconvenience of being located within the territory of another major league franchise. He may as well as set his sights on a location further along Yawkey Way, or maybe just up Waveland Avenue.

  16. seannyz89 - Aug 10, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    In the early 90’s when the Giants were on the verge of moving the team to Tampa, Mr Haas relinquished the rights to SJ to save the Giants and keep them here in the Bay Area because it was the best thing for baseball. The Giants are a classless orginization along with their bandwagon fans. Giants fans act like they are so loyal. Laughable at best. Candlestick was a shithole and before the Raiders came back, the Coliseum was actually a nice park. The A’s constantly outdrew the Giants until they built At&T park. Fuck the Giants and their pansyass fans!!

    • jkcalhoun - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:47 AM

      The upside here is that even if Oakland is untenable and the A’s have to move out of the Bay Area, the team that really gets this guy’s blood moving will still be right here.

  17. Terry Preston - Aug 10, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    A’s to San Jose is not Bud Selig’s personal call. A supermajority of owners would have to approve it. Selig’s not going to make a recommendation for a move unless he has the votes to approve already n hand. The Giants’ best defense is that owners don’t like to vote against their brethren in commerce. If it’s the Giants today, it’ll be me tomorrow, they likely feel. The Giants also have little to sue over. Territorial rights are granted, not entitled. The MLB giveth and it can take away, however unlikely that is.

    The A’s don’t lose money in Oakland. They can limp along on MLB’s revenue sharing checks for some time. I see Selig stalling for time, hoping an opening for another option opens up, either a stadium in Oakland or a move somewhere else. This is just going to drag on and on.

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