Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Bay Area Civil War Via The New York Times

An article in today's New York Times highlights the tensions between Northern California's three biggest cities over a potential A's move. Here's an excerpt:

Mr. Wolff declined to comment on his plans for the A’s, but has said in recent interviews that the team’s decrepit stadium in southern Oakland prevents it from competing financially — and on the field. In interviews, he has also raised the specter that the team would move out of state rather than stay in Oakland.

“We have determined that San Jose is the only option for us in California,” Mr. Wolff told San Francisco magazine this month.

Find the full article here. And thanks to Marine Layer @ the excellent New A's Ballpark for the head's up.

In other news, Stand Up For San Jose (aka the San Francisco Giants) new claim is that the A's must "make up the difference if projected economic benefits for a downtown ballpark don't pan out." Now that the San Francisco Giants are also a San Jose taxpayers' advocacy group, we can all sleep a little better, right? Read their latest ridiculous claims @ The Mercury News.

Finally, may you have a happy and safe new year! And may 2010 be the year we finally welcome our San Jose A's!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

An Introduction and a Letter to Santa

Hi folks, I’m DH De La O, and I’m the newest contributor to the Baseball San Jose blog. I’m excited for the opportunity to help bring the Athletics to Silicon Valley.

As a lifelong resident of the valley, I’ve witnessed its amazing transformation over the years. Yes, the population has skyrocketed, a true city center has sprouted, and high tech has taken hold, but one of the most significant changes I’ve seen has been in the city’s attitude. Sure, there are still some who stubbornly cling to a Mayberry-like vision for the city, but now more than ever people here are finally ready for San Jose to take its place amongst the nation’s great cities. San Joseans are finally ready to step out of the shadows and into the national spotlight. Are the A’s the key to that? Well, no. That’s obviously a tall order for any team. But the A’s coming to San Jose would be yet another significant indication that this city will be a major 21st century player. There are other important initiatives for the city to follow through on, of course. But this is surely a worthy endeavor; one that will pays dividends for the city in many ways. So, I look forward to doing my part. And thanks to Jacquie for the opportunity to help.

And now, if I may, I’d like to end my first post by sharing my letter, on behalf of all of San Jose, to jolly old St. Nick:

Dear Santa Claus,

Hello, how are you? We hope the season is treating you well.

We, the citizens of fair San Jose, just wanted to let you know how very good we’ve been this year. As you know, we believe in helping those in need in our community. And as it turns out, the Oakland Athletics need a new home. We think we can give them a great home, full of love and support. To help them out, we’ve acquired land south of Diridon Station, produced a solid EIR (which we continue to refine), and are building a broad coalition of business, political, and neighborhood interests. We’ve been as busy as elves, trying to help the A’s come to San Jose.

But not everyone has been so nice this year, Santa. Some people who say they are standing up for San Jose are really just standing in the way. But that’s okay; we’ll keep busy on our plan.

So, dear Santa, all we ask for this year is a MLB team of our own. We promise to take good care of them.

Thanks so much. Keep up the good work!

San Jose, California

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Great piece by Purdy in SJ Merc: "Fraidy Giants"

Mark Purdy has a great piece in the SJ Merc today, and he appropriately renames the SF Giants "Fraidy Giants."  Here is a short excerpt:
Last spring, after the A's plans for a ballpark project in Fremont fell apart, baseball commissioner Bud Selig appointed a panel of "blue ribbon" experts to examine the team's future in the Bay Area. The panel has done diligent work in Oakland, Fremont and San Jose. It has twice met with San Jose city staff and Mayor Chuck Reed. The panel's report is expected to be filed early next year.

The Giants don't want to wait. They obviously are frightened that the panel will conclude that MLB will make the smart choice to permit negotiations between Wolff and San Jose. So instead of relying on MLB's authority, the Giants' honchos are attempting a panicky end-around. If this were second grade, I would use the term "fraidy-cats" to describe them. But since I probably write more at the fifth-grade level, I will refer to them as the Fraidy-Giants.

 And Purdy also notes that San Jose is not fooled by the "Stand for San Jose Money to SF Giants" group:
No savvy local fan would join a "coalition" that is being bankrolled out of San Francisco as a hidden-ball trick to benefit interests that lie nowhere near the South Bay.

If the Fraidy-Giants want to regain some respect, they need to make their own case and stop hiding behind Weyermann and Herrera. Because take it from at least one South Bay rube: That strategy won't hunt. And it is our territorial right to say so.

Way to go Purdy, while the SF Giants are striking out you clearly hit a home run. 

And it seems that this must be a very slow time for Bay Area City Attorneys.  On Friday we learned that the SF City Attorney is threatening to sue MLB, and now we see that Oakland's City Attorney John Russo has time to waste as well:
"I do know that over the years, the Giants relied upon that territory in creating their ballpark, Russo said. "I also know that here in Oakland we relied on certain representations by the A's in signing a very flexible and advantageous lease with them. And I'm looking into whether or not their clear, and very clear attempt to move to San Jose - and San Jose's attempts to lure the A's - whether or not those are interfering with our rights under the lease."
So now we have both SF and Oakland throwing spitters at MLB and San Jose.  Note to SF and Oakland: San Jose is not only going to get on base, we are going to end up with a grand slam.

And our own Larry Stone once again shows why he is a Major League Player:
Stone says he gained further insight into the Giants' state of mind last month, when he and wife Carmen attended the San Francisco 49ers-Tennessee Titans game in owner Jed York's suite at Candlestick Park. Among York's other guests was Giants President Larry Baer, who toward the end of the game approached Stone and asked, "What's going on with the A's?"

Stone said he told him the team's fate was up to Selig, to which Baer replied, "The commissioner will never rescind those rights."

"I said, 'Oh, really?' " recalled Stone, who asked Baer why Selig would appoint a committee to study all the options for the A's if he wasn't prepared to let the team move to San Jose.
Baer countered that the panel was appointed solely to study options for the A's in the East Bay, outside of the Giants' territorial rights. "And I said, 'That's funny, because just last week the panel and consultants were meeting with the mayor of San Jose and staff from the redevelopment agency and looking at the potential site in San Jose,' " Stone recalled. He added that Baer seemed surprised by the news and walked away.
Stone: Home Run  Baer: Strike Out

Last, but never least, a bit of housekeeping.  You can now follow Baseball San Jose on twitter, click here to sign up as a follower.  And a huge thank you to all those who have helped increase our Facebook Group numbers!  In the last few days we have added almost 60 new people!  Good job and please continue to spread the word. 

Play ball San Jose.

Friday, December 18, 2009

"Stand for San Jose Money to SF Giants": Don't be fooled by their agenda

Seems that we have a new anti-stadium group, "Stand for San Jose."   This group is rumored to be funded by the San Francisco Giants who do not want to see our area benefit from having our own MLB team.  A better (and more honest) name for the anti-stadium folks would be "Stand for San Jose Money to SF Giants."

Here is a bit more information about this group:
A special San Jose City Hall meeting Wednesday night to discuss a revised environmental impact report brought out dozens of people, including supporters and a handful of critics from a new San Jose Giants-backed coalition opposed to any taxpayer money that might fund the ballpark.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on Wednesday said he found the coalition's position "odd" considering that the city — which owns Municipal Stadium, where the minor league San Jose Giants play — has forked over almost $1 million in the past two years to pay for upgrades and repairs to the stadium. On Tuesday, the City Council, acting as the redevelopment agency board, signed off on $300,000 for electrical improvements at the stadium.

"They ought to know about the funding of the stadium because isn't that who this group is? Did they not notice the million dollars we spent on Muni Stadium? It's kind of funny," Reed noted. "But I don't expect people to be consistent when it gets to these political issues."

Jim Weyermann, president and chief executive of the San Jose Giants and a member of the coalition, said Municipal Stadium is a city asset that has not had major repairs over the decades. He said the team has spent more than $2 million of its own money on repairs."

 So, if we follow the reasoning of the anti-stadium folks (aka SF Giants) we have this:  San Jose should not invest in MLB which would bring in millions of dollars to our economy because the San Jose Giants bring in thousands of dollars to our economy.  The fact that the San Jose Giants play at "Municipal" stadium is of course lost on this new group, the irony is simply amazing.

What "Stand for San Jose Money to SF Giants" wants you to ignore is the amount of money that leaves our city and county every time someone attends a game in San Francisco or Oakland.  Who benefits the most if things stay the way they are now?  The SF Giants, the city and county of San Francisco, and the losers are the residents of San Jose and Santa Clara County.

And we should also not ignore the fact that the San Francisco Giants are insisting that they "own" San Jose, yes, they own us.  The taxpayers and residents of San Jose has no right to make their own choice, no right to seek economic improvements in our area, those of us who live and work in San Jose should just realize that what is best for the San Francisco Giants somehow is all that matters.  I.  Think.  Not.

We need to show this new group that we are not fooled by their lies and deception. Take some time today and encourage your friends and family members to sign up for our Facebook group, "Baseball San Jose."  Right now we are at 901 members and with your help we can easily double that number.  

And along with "Stand for San Jose Money to SF Giants" we also have the City of San Francisco jumping into this mess, check out the letter they just sent to Bud Sellig
“Yet, tampering with the Giants’ established territorial rights would be just the sort of action that the City believed Major League Baseball was in effect promising it would not do,” Herrera’s letter contends. “As the City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, I am entrusted under the San Francisco Charter with the obligation to protect the City’s legal interests and to represent the City when a cause of action exists in its favor. I write to you now to make clear up front the legal concerns I have on behalf of the City should Major League Baseball tamper with the Giant’s territorial rights.”
The bottom line is that the SF Giants', "Stand for San Jose Money to SF Giants," and now the City of San Francisco, are all working together to protect the SF Giants in their misguided attempt to dominate and rule over San Jose residents and tax payers.

As a San Jose resident and taxpayer I am not fooled by any of this, and I know you are not either.  This is not rocket science, rather it is a simple and clear issue:  Does San Jose, the 10th largest city in the nation, a city with over one million residents, belong to San Francisco?  Do the residents and tax payers of San Jose have the right to make decisions about what is best for their (our) economy?

While the weather outside is getting chilly things are heating up here in San Jose, and I think that January is going to be one very hot month.

Again, I know this is a busy time for everyone but it only takes a minute to help us get more people to sign up for our Facebook group.

Play ball San Jose.