Friday, March 13, 2009

A's to Oakland: thanks, but no thanks

The A's have sent out a statement by Lew Wolff today telling Oakland, thanks, but no thanks:
"We have fully exhausted our time and resources over the years with the city of Oakland, dating back to previous A's ownership," he said in the statement. "We recognize conditions have not changed. Letters to Major League Baseball offer nothing new or of any real substance. Outside stimulation to have us continue to play in an aging and shared facility may generate press and 'sound-bite' opportunities, but do not provide any tangible alterations in the circumstances we face."
Click here to read the entire statement.

The above statement comes on the heels of this story:

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and City Council President Jane Brunner appealed Thursday to the commissioner of Major League Baseball to do what he can to work with the city to keep the A's in Oakland.

Dellums and Brunner made their pitch in writing after plans to build a ballpark for the A's in Fremont fell apart last month, and as San Jose officials take steps toward luring the A's to their city.

"We are writing on behalf of the city of Oakland to make clear that we are prepared to do everything reasonably possible to keep the Oakland A's in Oakland," the letter from Dellums and Brunner said. "We are committed to working with Major League Baseball and the A's owners to keep the team in Oakland."

And:

Ken Pries, the A's vice president of communications and broadcasting, said in an e-mail that A's owner Lew Wolff was aware of the letter. "He has no comment at this time and his focus now is on the team and the start of the 2009 season," Pries wrote. "His goal and desire for the organization is to determine a way to keep the team in Northern California. A goal that has not changed."

At the top of the Merc's website is this story:

Plans for the A's to move to Fremont fell apart last month, and San Jose is viewed by many people as the leading contender to and the team. But the San Francisco Giants hold territorial rights to Santa Clara County, meaning Selig may have to get involved if the A's are allowed to move to San Jose.

Wolff's letter noted attendance and season ticket holders in Oakland are both among the lowest in baseball — even when the A's are playing well on the field.

"Our goal and desire for the organization is to determine a way to keep the team in Northern California," Wolff wrote. "That goal has not changed. We have no interest in covering old ground again, as we need to move forward in finding a future home for our team."

Dellums' office did not immediately comment.

Interesting to note that yesterday Wolff had no comment, and today he makes a very strong statement that his energy isn't going to be in negotiating plans he has already rejected. Oakland now finds itself at the bottom of the ninth, two outs and no one on base.

How does this play for San Jose? First of all it indicates that moving the A's to our city is much more then a 50/50 proposition, I would say we are now looking at 80/20, the biggest caveat being territorial rights, and the second hurdle being the building of the stadium.

Given that MLB is a business, their bottom line is profit, and if it makes financial sense to move the A's to San Jose, those territorial rights are going to disappear. In my opinion moving the A's to San Jose may well increase the overall profits for MLB and the owners who are now subsidizing teams like the A's.

As to the building of the stadium we shall have to see what our electeds and business leaders come up with by way of funding. A best case would be if a majority, if not all, of the funding will be private funding with some taxpayer money used for improvements to the site. Given that there is no proposal on the table anything written at this point is a guess, so we shall have to wait and see what our city and the "A's to San Jose Study Group" comes up with by way of funding.

And once again you all amaze me! Our facebook group is now well on the way to 600 members! Way to go everyone! Keep on inviting your friends and family.

Don't forget: April 7th is the day we will need to show up at city hall, mark you calendar and plan to be there to show your support for MLB coming to San Jose.

Play ball San Jose.

4 comments:

  1. I want the A's to stay local and I believe San Jose is the answer. Please let me know what those of us who are not residents can do to support a move to San Jose.

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  2. Jacquie,
    Anthony Dominguez here. Unfortunately, do to work schedule, I can't make the April 7 event. Hopefully SJ baseball supporters will show up in force to demonstrate our yearning for MLB; and to also counter some of the misinformed NIMBY's. I will however make future events, guaranteed! Go San Jose and Go A's!

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  3. Hi there John. If you want to show your support for bringing the A's to San Jose, please come to City Hall on April 7th. If you can't make the meeting, send the mayor and city council a letter of support, snail mail would be better then an email, but email will work as well.

    Also, keep watching the blog for events and meetings, we will try to get our group together in real time before the City Hall event.

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  4. Jacquie- things have gone very quiet again in your blog--reminds me of last time when San Jose was taken off the table because of territorial rights--seems as if alot has gone on over the past several weeks---but nothing new posted--

    Is the territorial rights going to shut it down a second time?

    ReplyDelete

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