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Sounds like Bud Selig will try to force some compromise on the A’s and Giants over San Jose

Sep 17, 2012, 2:34 PM EDT

San Jose postcard

Bill Shaikin has a story up from over the weekend about the State of the A’s.  The baseball state: good, obviously. The business state: nothing new, but we’re given the added color that some of the playoff tickets now on sale are going for $10.  Ten bucks for the playoffs. Mercy.

Of course at the heart of it all is the whole San Jose Limbo and everything associated with it.  On that, Shaikin offers the following nugget on how Bud Selig may try to resolve the three and a half year impasse:

There are indications Selig might rule by the end of the year. Yet, rather than say yes or no, Selig appears to be considering a ruling that could challenge both the A’s and Giants to fulfill certain criteria.

“I think there will be an effort to be Solomonesque,” said someone who has spoken with Selig but declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. “This is not a ‘yes or no’ sort of thing.”

Except that if the Giants are unwilling to compromise now, why would they enter into some sort of situation that requires them to “fulfill certain criteria?”  Which is another way of saying “compromise.”

Given the long, rich history of Major League Baseball supporting these antiquated, anti-competitive territorial rights, why on Earth would the Giants not just sit back and wait to sue?  And if you’re baseball or the A’s, why don’t you just force the move and see if the Giants do it?

I’m no advocate for war, but I can’t see how this gets resolved absent some shooting.

  1. kevinleaptrot - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Bud Selig attempting to be “Solomonesque.” This has “Colossal Foul Up” dripping from it. Send lawyers, guns and money.

    • mazblast - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:32 AM

      Thumbs up for the Warren Zevon reference.

  2. voteforno6 - Sep 17, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    I’m sure he’ll make a decision, right after he settles the MASN negotiations between the Orioles & Nats.

  3. simon94022 - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    The question hanging over the A’s is whether they can develop a real fan base in the Bay Area, regardless of where they play.

    A new ballpark will provide a huge revenue boost in the short run. But who says the San Jose A’s won’t be selling $10 playoff tickets in 2022?

    The big problem with this franchise has been the same for the past 45 years: the A’s are not very popular in Northern California.

    For whatever reason, the Giants dominate the market even more than the Cubs dominate the White Sox. Lew Wolff needs to convince Selig that a rebranding in San Jose will change all that. It’s not obvious that it will.

    • vegaloco - Sep 17, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      Clearly you’re either extremely ignorant or completely incompetent, the A’s have consistently outdrawn the Giants for the majority of their time in OAkland until the recent success(2010) and PAC bell being built. Although in 2006 and other playoff seasons the A’s still outdrew the giants while they played in PAC bell. Have you ever even been to the Bay Area because your uneducated opinion seems like its coming from an outsider?

      • jkcalhoun - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        Not that it really matters to the subject at hand, but the A’s have not outdrawn the Giants in any season since the new park opened in San Francisco, with the difference being at least 1 million every year.

        In 2006, the’s A’s drew 1,976,625 while the Giants drew 3,130,313.

        In fact the A’s have not outdrawn the Giants since the Giants’ current ownership group took over the franchise in 1993, even during the years the Giants were still using Candlestick Park. The A’s last outdrew the Giants in 1992.

        Prior to that it was very common for the A’s to outdraw the Giants. Overall, they did that 17 times in the 25 years from 1968 through 1992.

      • vegaloco - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:05 PM

        Either way the A’s were able to draw over 2million playing in that dump more than once during the years of 2000-2011 and the giants attendance spikes are a direct correlation to 2 things, PAC bell and Barry bonds! A new ballpark anywhere in the bay area and the A’s would once again consistently outdraw the giants, not to mention billy would build a winner especially with the extra funds

      • jkcalhoun - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:37 PM

        You’re absolutely right that the A’s have drawn extremely well in Oakland in the years they have generated lots of excitement among their fans, mostly by winning a lot. It makes me hopeful that they can continue to do that, should they fail to wrest territorial rights away from the Giants. (I’m one of the Giants fans who doesn’t want to see them go — except to a new ballpark in their existing territory — and wish them well in maintaining their traditional strengths.)

        On the other side, the Giants are long past the typical “attendance bump” associated with a new ballpark. Even in their 10th season in that park when the novelty was long gone, which was also their 6th consecutive season missing the playoffs and the 2nd season after they cut ties with Barry Bonds, the Giants still drew 2.86 million fans, only a 13.7% drop from the park’s inaugural season. And just two years later (no doubt thanks to the championship) they made all that up again and more and set a new attendance record for the franchise. Maybe it’s the garlic fries, or maybe it’s the Panda hats, but however they’re doing it, they look to any unbiased observer like a perennial attraction.

        That’s not to say that the A’s can’t also draw well. I think it’s clear that they can do that in Oakland, in fact.

      • ceadderman - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:42 PM

        Gotta love stupid A’s fans. Cause without them their Organization would be a pile of smoking rubble by now.

        They COULD draw more than the Giants. EXCEPT…

        They cover up seats and REFUSE to sell them. Kind of hard for the A’s to outsell the Giants and has been for quite some time because they’re playing “oh poor us, look what the big bad Giants have done…” pity party. Barry Bonds has not been a Giant going on what 5 years now? Pretty sad when the Giants basically leaned on Panda during that stretch and STILL outsold the oldie moldy Athletics organization seat for seat. You can say it was the Pennant that did it, but the truth of the matter is one pennant isn’t going to make THAT kind of impact.

        I’m reasonably sure that the Giants farm club in San Jose outsells the A’s at this point. That’s not the Giants fault. That’s the A’s fault. All that money saved from their payroll every year and they couldn’t get their own plot of land in Fremont or Hayward? How did the Giants organization get the old Railyard and fix up into a prime piece of Real Estate with solid business infrastructure and the A’s can’t?

        Oh boo hoo lemme cry you a river that Oakland didn’t want to cave and buy your A’s a new ballpark. There is a time when the Organization has to do it on their own. Look at what Jed York has done since he started running the 49ers? A team that has more Championships and Winning seasons than the Raiduhs, Warriors, and A’s have COMBINED. There is a time to whine and a time to take your dump and get off the pot. Jed told those fools where to go. It’s time for the A’s to fish or cut bait. Stop waiting for the Giants to hand over their rights to San Jose and figure something else out. Billy Beane was both good and bad for the A’s. Nobody is stupid enough to believe that the A’s don’t make money. There is NO WAY their Payroll is so large they can’t afford to find a piece of useable land and build their own stadium without encroaching on the Giants farm club territory…

        Hell, if they can’t then whoever owns that crappy team should sell it to someone that CAN afford to do so and stop subjecting the Giants and their fans to this pity party. We ain’t buyin what you’re sellin.

  4. Tim OShenko - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Selig’s gonna cut San Jose in half?

    • bennoj - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      No, Pablo Sandoval.

  5. umrguy42 - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    They gotta go to the mattresses…

    Michael: How bad do you think it’s gonna be?
    Clemenza: Pretty goddam bad. Probably all the other Families will line up against us. That’s all right. These things gotta happen every five years or so, ten years. Helps to get rid of the bad blood. Been ten years since the last one. You know, you gotta stop them at the beginning.

  6. cosanostra71 - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    more proof we don’t need instant replay

  7. The Dangerous Mabry - Sep 17, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Perhaps the spin will be that fans have been complaining about high ticket prices for years, and this market is giving them the low-price tickets they crave, so it would hurt the fans to change things.

  8. simon94022 - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    The Giants spent 40 seasons at Candlestick Park, which suppressed attendance far more than O.co ever has. If you look at the media position of the two franchises — TV and radio ratings, rights fees, media companies bidding for rights to games — the story has been constant and overwhelming dominance of the market by the Giants since the A’s arrived from Kansas City.

    Charlie Finley’s teams won 3 straight World Series in the early 70s, but were a marketing and financial disaster. Finley had to buy up tickets in 1974 so his last World Championship team could finally claim 1 million in “attendance”. The team bounced around the TV and radio dial from year to year, and briefly ended up on a college amateur station in 1979.

    The Haas family ran the A’s as a loss leader, and for fans it was certainly a golden age. But even in the 80s the Will Clark Hum Baby Giants were more popular in the Bay Area than the Bash Brothers. I remember reading in 1992 that for the first time ever A’s TV rating had drawn even with those of the Giants. This while the A’s were winning a 4th division title in 5 years, and the last place Giants had announced a move to Tampa Bay.

    Then the Giants were sold locally, dramatically raised their revenues, and eventually built the ballpark which more than erased their Candlestick handicap. That was 20 years ago, and the A’s have been in oblivion the entire time.

    I am an A’s FAN. But there aren’t very many of us and never have been. This is a hard truth that needs to be acknowledged if this franchise is going to find a way forward.

  9. mazblast - Sep 18, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Take the respective owners/managing partners/whatever. One person each side. Give it the Thunderdome treatment–“Two men go in. One man comes out.” Whichever man comes out, his team gets its way.

    Failing that, lock the two guys in an overheated room. Tell them, “You get food, water, and cool air when you have a signed deal.”

    When I was a corporate middle manager back in the 1980s, I used to have staff meetings in which I sat in the only chair in the room. It was interesting how much ground we covered and how many decisions got made quickly when everyone else had to stand.

  10. jkcalhoun - Sep 18, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    While reviewing all those attendance figures yesterday, I forgot to ask this:

    What “criteria” could Selig possibly impose on the Giants in order to retain the territorial rights that have already been assigned to them under the MLB constitution? “You can keep this sacrosanct thing you already have if…” what? Where’s the leverage? If enough votes among the owners aren’t there, the MLB constitution isn’t going to be amended, the the Giants don’t have to change their position on the matter.

    This sounds to me like someone going out of market to plant a non-story in someone’s ear with the purpose of keeping a dying hope alive. Lew Wollf really doesn’t have anything to lose by it, and his holdings in San Jose will gain substantial value if some miracle occurs to break the stalemate. So, may as well make it look like something may yet be feasible, even if it isn’t.

    Meanwhile, A’s fans suffer, many with false hope about San Jose, many with false hope that their current owner has the franchise’s best interests at heart.

    Here’s how I think you can know what ownership intends to do in the future: they’ll already be doing it. As an example, the Giants turned their franchise around before the new ballpark was approved and built. They improved the experience at Candlestick, put money into the payroll, boosted attendance, and made the most of what they had. The A’s need an owner who will do that until the “new ballpark” becomes a reality. In other words, not Lew Wolff.

  11. bigmacmantle - Oct 5, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    “Oh boo hoo lemme cry you a river that Oakland didn’t want to cave and buy your A’s a new ballpark. There is a time when the Organization has to do it on their own.”

    That’s the last thing Selig would want to happen. He and most owners don’t want to see anything like what the Giants did happen again, they want hand outs from cities.

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