Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 7th Rally and City Hall Council Meeting and some news

Join us at Billy Berks, 99 S 1st St, San Jose, CA 95113, on Tuesday, April 7th at 5:30 p.m. for a pre City Council meeting rally. We will be joined by Michael Mulcahy, co-chair of the study group looking at the feasibility of bringing MLB to San Jose.

After a short meeting/rally we will walk over to city hall for the council meeting. If you are planning on attending either the pre meeting rally at Billy Berks or the city council meeting, please RSVP on facebook, or send me an email Jacquie at baseballsanjose.com.

Wear a hat to show your support for MLB in San Jose. Last, if you live near the proposed stadium (downtown San Jose, Willow Glen, Rosegarden, etc., please email me if you will be attending either of the meetings). Now, onto some news.

Lots of news appearing lately, first off the Giants buying an interest in the San Jose Giants:

Amid a threat to their territorial rights in Santa Clara County, the Giants are moving to fortify their baseball outpost in the region.

The major league club has reached agreement to purchase a 25 percent stake in its Class A minor league affiliate in San Jose, club and industry officials told the Mercury News on Wednesday.

Does this mean the Giants now "own" more of San Jose? No, and this move isn't going to help or hinder the current drive to bring MLB to San Jose.

And of course those ugly "territorial rights" keep popping up:

The geography is simple: Downtown San Jose sits 38 miles from the Oakland A's current stadium and 51 miles from the San Francisco Giants' popular bayfront ballpark.

But the calculus is far less clear: Exactly how much is the capital of Silicon Valley worth to the two big-league baseball teams — the A's, who hope to move here, and the Giants, who are fiercely guarding territorial rights to the city?

From the same article, a bit of history:

In many ways, the current tussle over Santa Clara County — handed to the Giants on June 14, 1990, with the A's blessing — reflects an ironic twist in the fortunes of the two teams.

Back then, before Barry Bonds and their retro ballpark on San Francisco's waterfront, it was the Giants who found themselves looking to the South Bay for salvation, desperate to escape a decrepit, sparsely attended stadium.

And it was the A's who reigned as the Bay Area's baseball darlings, flush with record turnout — some 2.9 million fans alone in 1990 — and owners, the Haas family, who spent heavily on players to keep those fans coming back.

But while the South Bay was already well on the way to becoming the economic powerhouse it is today, ceding it seemed a no-brainer for A's officials tempted by the prospect of having San Francisco and the North Bay all to themselves. It wasn't until years later, baseball sources say, that the A's realized what keeping a piece of Santa Clara County could have been worth.

Ultimately, the Giants never did make their way south, losing a fourth and final ballot measure in 1992 that would have committed San Jose tax money to a new stadium.

The bottom line is what makes the best business sense for all of MLB, not simply the Giants, and my guess is that moving the A's to San Jose is going to improve MLB's balance sheet.

Don't forget: RSVP for Tuesday, see you there!

Play ball San Jose.

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