Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Baseball San Jose

















We here at Baseball San Jose want to wish you all the best this Thanksgiving. We're thankful for the tremendous year we've had, but we're even more grateful for the support the community has shown us. Thank you to all of you who've volunteered your time or demonstrated your support. We're confident our efforts will soon bring the A's to San Jose!

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ready to Get to Work?

















An article this week by the Tribune's Angela Woodall has seemingly whipped the keep-the-A's-in-Oakland crowd into a frenzy. In her November 16th piece, Woodall reports on what's been known for some time, that the city of Oakland has finally decided on a single ballpark site, the so-called Victory Court. The site, overlooking the estuary, is one of the many locations (Jack London Square, 980, etc.) bandied about by Oakland supporters over the past year. Finally, the city is ready to move forward, so it's not surprising that Oaklanders are excited.

As Woodall reports:

Once the [environmental impact] report is completed, Oakland will be neck-and-neck with San Jose, where A's owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher want to relocate the team. A completed report would deprive San Jose of one of its arguments for putting the A's in Santa Clara County. Their battle to move the A's to San Jose is further complicated by the fact that the San Francisco Giants have territorial rights in the South Bay.

Sounds fantastic, right?

Except—

  • Woodall fails to mention that an environmental impact report (EIR) typically takes about two years to complete. Oakland, therefore, is looking at 2012, even 2013, to have its report finished. And that's if the process goes smoothly. Those familiar with how Oakland city officials operate know that it is often anything but smooth. And where is San Jose on its own Diridon Station EIR? Well, its long been completed, amended even, and has been available for some time at the SJRDA's ballpark site
  • The article also fails to mention that sources inside MLB have increasingly indicated that a final decision is imminent—possibly within weeks—and that it will favor San Jose. Just how a not-yet-started, two-year long, report positions Oakland so that it is "neck-and-neck" with San Jose is unclear. Is this ultimately an effort by Oakland leaders to save face when the team eventually moves?
  • That "a completed report would deprive San Jose of one of its arguments for putting the A's in Santa Clara County" is untrue. If anything, San Jose boosters welcome the city of Oakland finally committing to a single site. It's one thing to highlight a few sections of a map, it's quite another to commit city resources to formulating a plan. San Jose has done that; Cisco Field has been out there, free for anyone to scrutinize, for months.
  • It is true that the San Francisco Giants hold the territorial rights to Santa Clara County. However, territorial rights are the purview of Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB's team owners, 3/4 of whom must vote in favor of a change in territories. 
While we still agree with Larry Stone that "there is no competition, serious or otherwise, between Oakland and San Jose," we congratulate the city on finally rolling up its sleeves and getting to work. And we look forward to see how the city addresses stadium financing, land acquisitions, neighborhood concerns, and transportation needs, as well as what East Bay corporate support it can garner.  

Better late than never, no?

You're up to bat, San Jose! 

Is a Decision Coming Soon?











This week in Orlando, Major League Baseball held their GM Meetings with general managers and owners. Top on the agenda were discussions around expanding MLB playoffs from 8 teams to 10 and according to reports it seems inevitable that we could see a change by 2012. Now at Baseball San Jose we don’t spend too much time worrying about issues like whether the playoffs should be expanded (even though it seems kind of odd that "The Boys of Summer" already play into November) as we have been listening carefully for a decision on Santa Clara County territorial rights.

While there was no decision made this week, we are hopeful that at the Winter Meetings December 6th – 9th Bud Selig will once and for all end the suspense and reveal his decision. San Jose has been waiting a long time to to learn its fate and our desire for a Major League Baseball team hasn't faltered and in fact continues to grow. What a great early Christmas present it would be if Bud Selig chooses to lift the territorial rights the Giants have over us so that we can go to ballot early next year. This time next year let’s hope that we are giving thanks for San Jose being the future home of the A’s.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Congratulations on a Great Season, San Jose Earthquakes













Unfortunately, the Quakes' thrilling post-season run came to an end in Colorado last night.Though it was a disappointing elimination, the Quakes have every reason to be proud of their work this season. They have firmly reestablished themselves as major players in Major League Soccer, so watch for even bigger seasons ahead.

Speaking of upcoming seasons, Earthquakes (and A's) owner Lew Wolff announced this week that fans should have a new stadium in which to enjoy games by no later 2013. This is exciting news for Bay Area soccer fans, but it also bodes well for our own efforts to build a downtown ballpark. As with the Quakes, bigger seasons lie ahead for the A's—in San Jose.

You're up to bat, San Jose!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

With a Perspective ...

Jeffrey August, writer for Athletics Nation and newballpark.org, just submitted an editorial for KQED Radio's Perspective series. If you're familiar Jeffrey's work on those sites, you know that he's not a San Jose-booster per se—his preference, in fact, is for the team to stay put. Nonetheless, he is an A's loyalist. And as such, he understands the limitations inherent in the team staying in Oakland. This is what makes his particular point of view all the more compelling.

You can listen to his Perspective here, or read it below in its entirety:

Tuesday, Nov 9, 2010 

"Green, Gold, and Blue"
Jeffrey August doesn't share the orange glow of the Giants championship. He's an A's fan.

As an A's fan with many Giants fans among friends and family, the surge of Giants support has me struggling with two trains of thought. First, there is empathy for a lot of people I really like. Second, there is contempt for a group of folks I really don't.

My Uncle Larry has been a Giants fan as long as he can remember. It has always been fun to tease each other about our two teams' performances. He could point out that my team trades away all its good players. I could point out that I had at least experienced a World Series Championship. I guess I don't have that one to throw in his face anymore.

Knowing he and other long-suffering Giants fans are happy to see their team win the big one after 52 years of losing more than makes up for the partial loss of bragging rights. But this brings me to the contempt.
On the local news, a sportscaster proclaimed that the Giants had brought "The Bay Area its first ever World Series Championship." I guess the A's World Series wins in '72, '73, '74 and '89 never happened. This outright ignorance of the A's championship legacy is offensive to a hard core fan like me.

Add to that all this gushing is over a team that would rather see my A's disappear from the Bay Area. That is a fine way to pay back the neighbor that bent over backwards to keep the Giants here when indifference nearly drove the Giants away for good. In the early '90s, when the Giants had all but left for a different Bay Area in Florida, it was A's ownership that agreed to grant them exclusive rights to the South Bay so the Giants could explore all potential local sites for a new stadium.

The current Giants ownership is repaying this favor by blocking the A's from moving south, an effort designed to push them out of the region altogether.

Giants fans, congratulations on your first Bay Area World Series Championship. As you celebrate through the winter, keep in mind that without the generosity of the A's Wally Haas, you would not have had this experience. Now encourage Bill Nuekom and Larry Baer to return the favor to me and my fellow A's fans.

Keep the A's in the Bay Area.

With a Perspective, I'm Jeffrey August.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baseball San Jose on Comcast Newsmakers Segment

Baseball San Jose Co-Chair Michael Mulcahy talks with Maggie Scura about Baseball San Jose.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baseball San Jose hanging out at the Winter Tapestry Arts Festival.

What does Baseball San Jose do when things get a little slow at a festival? Record a video and talk about whatever comes to mind. There was no script or preparation, we just pressed record and chatted away. A few minutes after finishing this we were asked to record a segment for Comcast Spotlight TV.


Friday, November 5, 2010

The Question Remains















 How will the Giants winning the World Series affect an A's move to San Jose?

That's the question on the minds of A's fans and San Jose-boosters this week. As the ticker tape fell and the champagne poured, A's fans wanted to know how MLB would view the A's coming to Silicon Valley in light of the Giants' new success.

Even as the A's took out this ad in the Chronicle, Bud Selig was characteristically tight lipped. Nonetheless, the Mercury's Tracy Seipel took up the question by posing it to sports industry experts. The consensus: Giants' World Series success could boost chances for A's move to San Jose. As one expert put it, "To the extent that the commissioner's office would be concerned about the Giants' financial well-being if the A's were allowed to move to San Jose ... that concern would by allayed given the success the Giants have had."

Let's hope he's right!

In other news ...

Baseball San Jose got to spend an evening with fans at the Earthquakes' playoff home game at Santa Clara University last weekend. Quakes fans, eager for construction of their own soccer-specific stadium to begin, were no less enthusiastic about bringing the A's to town.

We look forward to meeting even more Quakes fans as the team continues on the road to their third MLS championship.

















Meanwhile, in Willow Glen, the Athletics' Stomper recently stopped by for Walk to School Day, a campaign to "encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bike to school." Stomper helped students safely navigate the neighborhood's busy streets on their way to their school.
















 
Finally, former State Senator Don Perata looks poised to become Oakland's next mayor.

You may recall that Perata recently remarked that he didn't think the A’s would stay in Oakland: "We can’t play in this game, putting up the money. We haven’t been smart with our franchises.”

Finally, an Oakland mayor who gets it?


You're up to bat, San Jose!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Did You Feel That?













Congratulations to the San Jose Earthquakes on their decisive win over the New York Red Bulls and their advancement to the Eastern Conference Final!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants


Baseball San Jose would like to congratulate the San Francisco Giants for their historic World Series victory last night. Your playoff run was watched enthusiastically in San Jose and we look forward to our own celebration here. While we won't have a parade through our own streets, we expect the atmosphere in San Jose will be just as boisterous as if we were in San Francisco
celebrating along with you. Despite our geographical distance the hearts and minds of baseball enthusiast in and around San Jose are with you, just as we know your's would be with us. Without a doubt the Bay Area is one in celebrating around its teams no matter whether a fan is from the North, South, West or East Bay. Congratulations and thank you for a year to remember.