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San Jose is trying to sniff out Giants infiltration of an anti-A’s group

Sep 5, 2012, 2:02 PM EDT

San Jose postcard

Confused? You won’t be, after the next episode of Soap!

While San Jose’s hopes for bringing the A’s baseball team to a downtown ballpark remain in limbo, the city is toughening its stance toward opponents of the move from Oakland … Last week the city filed for a court order allowing it to examine the organizational structure — and any Giants ties — of Stand For San Jose, a community group whose lawsuit over the proposed ballpark has raised questions about the San Jose plan’s viability.

I’m generally pro-A’s-to-San Jose, but I’m struggling to think of why it’s at all relevant if the Giants are behind some community group which opposes the A’s move. They’re overtly hostile to the move already, to the point where they’ve threatened litigation. If they’re also covertly hostile, so what?

The answer is politics, of course, as I’m assuming there are politicians in San Jose who would find it in their best interests to paint opposition to their stadium plans as some corporate conspiracy. But why that justifies the use of pubic legal resources to sniff such associations out is beyond me.

Fine, there may be a legal standing argument to be made — the litigation against San Jose was allegedly initiated by San Jose residents —  but unless the Giants are absolutely stupid, even if they were secretly behind a push to stop the move, they’d do what every other litigant in history has done and get some bona fide local residents on the case to establish standing.

And my pro-A’s-to-San Jose leanings aside, I’m sure there are a LOT of people in San Jose who don’t want the A’s there, especially if it means the use of any kind of public money or land. So it’s not like any and all opposition to this stuff is a sham.

  1. embinoratsicus - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    As a longtime A’s season ticket holder, I would just add that the situation on the ground, and the part that is never mentioned is the fact that the ownsership group is holding a new stadium up because of the fact that the housing development that is to be attached to the park is more important to them than the team or its fans.

    The Oakland Coliseum is old, and somewhat boring, but the attendance problem is more related to the fact that Lew Wolff, Michael Crowley, and Billy Beane are fixated on the south bay and are not that interested in winning now. The equation is simple: better team leads to higher attendance. Spend the money to make money. Spend smart like you did in the early to mid 2000s, and you will be successful. Then build a stadium in Oakland. Or sell the team to someone who will.

    • DJ MC - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      You mean the early-to-mid 2000s when they were over .500 for eight straight years, won 90+ six times, made four straight playoff appearances, had two hundred-win seasons and one of the best rotations of the decade and finished in the top-half of AL attendance…three times?

    • SOBEIT - Sep 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM

      It’s funny how the Warriors pretty much did the same poor team management as the A’s. Hard for fans to love a team when the best players get shipped off for prospects or terrible players. But the Warriors have a loyal fan base and high attendance. It is not the market or stadium that is the problem…it is how the A’s have not respected their fan base for too many years and marketed to them properly. They never developed the fan base! The As have made it to playoffs and won championships…the Warriors are perennial losers. But the fans are in full force for Warriors games. The owners need to look in the mirror because the same low attendance in Oakland will follow them to San Jose. The As management and the group pushing the move to SJ need to look in the mirror because that is where the problem starts.

      Look at the Marlins…brand spanking new ballpark and partime night club…no one shows up. Location and new ballpark do not solve attendance problems.

    • thermalito - Sep 6, 2012 at 10:42 PM

      The reason they are fixated on the South Bay is because it is a better sports market than the East Bay. Oakland has never really supported the A’s. Even when they were winning three straight championships in the 70’s they had some of the lowest attendance in the majors. San Jose is a better option and would make the A’s as a franchise relevant again.

  2. nategearhart - Sep 5, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    “But why that justifies the use of PUBIC legal resources to sniff such associations out is beyond me.”

    Best typo ever, Craig! :)

  3. jkcalhoun - Sep 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Agent Aubrey Huff faked his knee injury in order to buy time to engage in covert operations in the South Bay this summer.

  4. APBA Guy - Sep 5, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    From the real authority on this issue, Rhamesis Muncada:

    “Activity regarding the astroturf group Stand for San Jose‘s lawsuit challenging the A’s Diridon land deal appears to have picked up in the last week, as the respondents, the City of San Jose and the A’s, have submitted a request to depose Stand for San Jose and its members. I’ve uploaded a copy of the motion (6 MB PDF) for your perusal.

    The thrust of the City’s argument is that it complied with S4SJ’s numerous information requests, while asserting that it has the right to request information about S4SJ’s inner workings to determine if S4SJ has standing. The motion asks for relevant documents related to the operation of S4SJ, as well as a person to represent the group in a deposition. This maneuver comes after repeated requests made by the City for this information. Through attorney Geoffrey L. Robinson from the A’s-hired firm Perkins Coie, the motion asks for some in-depth information.”

    http://newballpark.org/2012/09/03/city-of-san-jose-seeks-to-depose-stand-for-san-jose/

    As Rhamesis says in his piece, it would be amusing if he ant-SJ group were found to be non-SJ residents funded by the Giants.

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