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MLB threatens Oakland that the A’s could play in San Francisco next year

Nov 4, 2013, 7:02 AM EST

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Major League Baseball has told the Oakland Coliseum Authority that unless the Authority renews the A’s lease in Oakland for only two years — which the A’s and MLB want — instead of five — which the Authority wants — that the A’s could move to AT&T Park in San Francisco and play its home games as early as next year.

Fun threat! And the visuals on that would be amazing, of course. Especially on those days when the A’s and Giants both play at home on the same day as they do a handful of times each year.

Of course, how realistic a threat it is is another story. The logistics would be hard. But much harder would be getting the Giants approval, which would be required. The same Giants which are objecting to the A’s playing in San Jose as it is. This sort of approval would have a totally different set of incentives, though. For one thing the A’s would presumably pay the Giants huge rent. For another thing, it’d, by definition, be a temporary move. And one that one would assume would end up with the A’s out of town entirely to the first available permanent home than it would end up with them in San Jose, which the Giants don’t want.

One other fun thing: If the threat works and the A’s get only a two-year lease extension, figure on the Coliseum becoming even more intolerable a place for baseball. Think about it: the Coliseum Authority will have a short-timer tenant who likes to play hardball. Think they’ll go out of their way for the A’s in that situation? I probably wouldn’t.

Anyway, I wouldn’t bank on the A’s playing in San Francisco next year. But the relatively audacious nature of this threat will probably lead to many more fun twists and turns as we creep toward the end game in this sad affair.

  1. chill1184 - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    I can’t be the only one who thinks this threat can backfire in MLB’s faces in a big way right?

  2. cur68 - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    What we need here is for a charming ex-basketball player to swoop in with a mega-bucks rich consortium, buy the team and save the day. Then move it to Vancouver and re-name it The Beavers. I think that’s a far more interesting and viable option that annoying The Giants and continuing to play in that ever-suffering old stadium.

    • chacochicken - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:30 AM

      How about the Canadian version of the Fish Who Saved Pittsburgh with a washed up hockey player?

    • Kevin S. - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Were you thinking Big Country Reeves or Shareef Abdur-Rahim?

      • cur68 - Nov 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM

        I think The Chicken is right: a Hockey guy and then move it to Canada. Bring Billy Beane, too. Team won’t be the same without The Great & Powerful Beane. Imagine what TG&PB could do with a Canadian Dollar backed team! The New Market Inefficiency: ball players that can fight because they’re all converted hockey players. It’ll be like Slapshot, only with baseball. Keanu Reeves can play TG&PB in the movie.

  3. stex52 - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    Here’s a hint for all you Oakland players and coaches. I wouldn’t be running around on that floor barefoot. I would invest in some Lysol for my locker, too.

    At least you will have one franchise that prefers the road trips to being home.

    • cur68 - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Yep. That’s a team that’ll change clothes real fast and go home to bathe after games.

  4. chacochicken - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    I suggest placing a ball field on an enormous barge in the Pacific. The A;s can just sail or anchor where ever they like since MLB has no interest in the actual current fans of the Oakland Athletics.

    • 4d3fect - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      The real purpose of the Google barges? not rooftop parties?

      • chacochicken - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:04 AM

        Refugees from O.co. I can picture a beleaguered Bartolo Colon, Coco, and the Joshes getting on the barge, swaddled in blankets, and looking for the promise of freedom.

  5. Francisco (FC) - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    Fun threat! And the visuals on that would be amazing, of course. Especially on those days when the A’s and Giants both play at home on the same day as they do a handful of times each year.
    In Winter Ball, two teams routinely share the stadium and have been doing it for some 20 odd years so far. The novelty wears off fairly quickly.

  6. Francisco (FC) - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Think about it: the Coliseum Authority will have a short-timer tenant who likes to play hardball.

    Hah! Pun intended I presume.

  7. paperlions - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    The Coliseum Authority should just reply, “Enjoy.”

    MLB is just stalling until a shake down works to get 100s of millions of dollars in handouts and tax breaks at a time when the economy is in the tank (and no one seems to be willing to do what needs to be done to change that) and MLB is making more money than ever.

    • 18thstreet - Nov 4, 2013 at 11:03 AM

      I would love to see the City of Oakland just say no.

  8. dondada10 - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    The Yankees and Mets shared Shea for two years in the early 70s. It’s doable.

    • jkcalhoun - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      Elliott Maddox disagrees.

  9. temporarilyexiled - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Philadelphia, Kansas City, Oakland…Honolulu?

    • NatsLady - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Go West, young men, go West.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        Any more west and they’ll be playing, literally, under the Bay.

      • jimeejohnson - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        I did.

  10. jkcalhoun - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    The Yankees were the Giants’ tenant at the Polo Grounds, 1913-1922, and in their next phase they became the most successful team of the 20th century.

    So how about it, A’s? Could this also be your waystation until you find your metaphorical Bronx?

  11. jlinatl - Nov 4, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Gee… it is so hard to see the 3 year agreement with specific renovations agreement coming.

  12. 21stnprime - Nov 4, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Just move the A’s to Vegas.

  13. hank10 - Nov 4, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    As a franchise, this wouldn’t be the first time the A’s shared a ballpark. From 1938 until 1953 they and the Phillies both played at Shibe Park after the Phil’s moved from the Baker Bowl. (The Eagles also played at Shibe Park from 1940 until 1953.)

  14. metalhead65 - Nov 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    please call their bluff Oakland! the poor A’s could not afford to pay the giants the rent and their is no way the other owners are going to spend a penny of their own money to help.

  15. Tick - Nov 4, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Look, Bud has been kowtowing to the Giants from the very beginning and it’s obvious the goal is to drive the A’s out of Oakland. Just quit dragging it out and get it over with already. The fans deserve better than this, but they’re obviously not going to get it. Just do the merciful thing and end the charade.

  16. kane337 - Nov 4, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    The Sacramento A’s sound good.

    • 4d3fect - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      Rivercats want a few words with you.

  17. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Nov 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Who determines the length the lease is renewed for? Is it up to the Stadium Authority to pick from several options, or is it something that has to be negotiated between the two parties? If all of the power comes from the Stadium Authority and they renew for 5 years, then isn’t MLB forced by contract to stay in Oakland? Does this treat MLB is lobbying have any teeth behind it what-so-ever?

  18. APBA Guy - Nov 4, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    It’s always a good idea to hear from Rhamesis Muncada at Newballpark.org on all things related to the A’s and where they play:

    http://newballpark.org/

    While some of the comments above are understandable from the perspective of a fan or borne out of frustration, this is obviously an extremely complicated situation made more so by the City of Oakland remaining deeply in thrall to the Raiders and their wishes at the expense of the beloved A’s.

    While personally as a peninsula resident I’d love to take Caltrain and have it drop me off in front of one of the top 5 baseball stadia in the country to watch the A’s play a team other than the Giants, I don’t actually think it will happen. I think the A’s and Oakland will do a two year ease with 3 option years that includes mandated improvements and an out clause if the Raiders get their preferred demolition option. That kicks the can down the road, which makes the politicians happy and brings the A’s owners closer to the day when they can sell the franchise for their targeted profit.

    • Dogsweat - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      They put Tarps up at the “Obsolete” Stadium because the loyal Raisen fans couldn’t even sell out a 64,000 stadium. Even Jacksonville has a higher attendance. They have tarps as well, but their venue held almost 80,000. Jacksonville is a tiny market.

      In case you don’t understand, the Tarps were put up for lack of attendance at games, and to make the venue smaller down to 52,000- which doesn’t make the NFL’s standard for attendance. No owner can make any money with that kind of attendance.

      Maybe adding an EBT machine to Obsolete Stadium will help increase the attendance.

      The San Francisco have been sold out for years, and have a waiting list, and no we don’t want Raisen fans jumping ship.

      • Dogsweat - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        ****49ers***

  19. Dogsweat - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    The A’s (even with a winning season) sometimes would draw around 5,000. There is is YT videos – which show that number may be inflated. Unless the Yankees and Red Sox(Yankee and Red Sox fans buy up the tickets) are in town, the place is empty.

    It’s time to move. Try Portland. They love the color green and gold, and the name Portland A’s even sounds good. They don’t have to switch divisions, and everybody is happy. Portland would fill up the seats win or lose.

    The A’s and their owner can’t take a hint- they are not wanted. They will never play at the beautiful AT&T park. Giants fans will not tolerate the A’s playing there.

    • rmcd13 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      The A’s lowest attendance figure in 2013 was 10,689, not 5,000. The A’s average attendance in 2013 was 22,337.

      • Dogsweat - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Thanks for proving my point and making the “Triple” A’s fans look even more moronic.

        2013 the A’s won their division and went to the playoffs, and look at the pathetic attendance numbers!. The Bay Area as a whole is the 4th-5th largest market with over 7 million persons plus and continuing to grow. Which makes the “Triple” A’s attendance even worse. And those numbers you mentioned were inflated. They may have had 10,000 reported, but only 2- 5 thousand showed up.

        We have several videos where that number could even be lower. One video has- half the stadium light up, because of he emptiness of seats was the majority- and to save money. When the Yankees, Red Sox, Giants are in town the place gets full , but this only 24 times out of the year. And these aren’t “Triple” A’s fans buying up the tickets, these are extra home games for the Yankees, Red Sox and Giants fans. The “Triple” A’s have the worst fans in the league, next to the Rays. But, the Rays haven’t won anything and don’t go the playoffs yearly. The “Triple” A’s are always at or near the bottom of attendance every year even in season where they go to the playoffs.

        The Bay Area as a whole is owned by the San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, Sa Jose Sharks and the future San Francisco Warriors which will be in the greatest city by 2017. Sprinkle in some Yankee and Red Sox and Cowboy and Steeler fans as well.

        Take a hint and realize the East Bay is where the “dumb and dumber” dwell. San Francisco is the boss of the Bay Area. The “Triple” A’s will be gone soon- and so will the Raisin Nation- going back to the gang capital- L.A.

        The 49ers will going to another Super Bowl, while the Raisins will be in last place. Once again take a hint from your masters of the Bay Area and take a walk. When both teams leave the toilet known as the “O” which stands for Obsolete will be destroyed and be replaced with something else. Maybe a Super Wal Mart?

        BTW

        The Giants average over 38,000 in a season where the finished near last. And the 49ers will be playing in a luxury stadium(next season) in the Silicon Valley with a luxury mall beside the venue, and no Raisin parasites are not welcomed at Levi’s stadium. Raisin fans need learn to bathe and brush their teeth and eat a salad. San Francisco 49ers 2014 World Champs!!!

        Portland A’s?

        Charlotte A’s?

        San Antonio A’s?

        The writing has been on the wall for a decade!!

        Raisin Nation!!!!!! Nice game against Philly!!!!

  20. dirtydrew - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    The A’s can’t get San Jose, so the league tries to make the Giants host these low budget clowns. Not likely .

    • Dogsweat - Nov 7, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Giants and their fans will never let the “Triple” A’s parasites enter into the best stadium in all of baseball.

      The Lemonheads can go to Portland.

  21. wkl21 - Nov 5, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    if the giants would just give back the territorial right to San Jose that the A’s gavethem when they were thinking of moving in the early 90′s everything would be fine (but were talking about the giants).

  22. cackalackyank - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Yeah, this may be the leverage the A’s need to let those rights back for San Jose. It would be the ultimate douche bag move to say no to sharing the stadium AND no to giving back the rights to San Jose. A move like that might be enough to get a judge to take a new look at a law suit if it were brought again.

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