Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Of course, it wouldn't be the holidays without Scrooge. This season, he comes courtesy of the San Francisco Giants. In an interview with the Chronicle, Peter Magowan, former Giants managing partner, called an A's move to San Jose "wishful thinking." Still acting as if they alone control Santa Clara County's territorial rights, the Giants continue to display the worst of competitive sports. The real wishful thinking is the belief that San Joseans will simply hand over control of their city's destiny to a greedy team from 40 miles north.
Still, even the Giants can't kill our holiday fun. As we look forward to 2012, all indications are that MLB will grant this move. As always, we are ready. In fact, the champagne is already chilling.
You're up to bat, San Jose!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Tonight, the Mercury's Tracy Seipel wrote about the seemingly shadowy group known as Stand for San Jose. But unlike Anonymous or Skull and Bones or The Secret Society of Super Villains, there really is no mystery here. Plain and simple, SFSJ is a front group for the San Francisco Giants. Apparently, the real secret is its membership. In fact, it's such a secret that even its own members don't know when they're representing the group in court, as was the case with SFSJ member Eileen Hannan. Only recently did she learn that she was a plaintiff in the group's lawsuit against San Jose. That's a curious way to run an organization, but when you're not really made up of anyone real, what can you expect?
Ultimately, all of these are signs that the Giants are scared. Their grip on Silicon Valley is quickly loosening as signs point to a decision favoring San Jose within a month. The Giants' Santa Clara County territorial rights may soon be a thing of the past. And it is the truth that shall set them free.
You're up to bat, San Jose!
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
We had a fantastic turnout tonight for Baseball San Jose's special viewing of Moneyball. Thanks to all our great friends for their support; you're a big part of why the A's will ultimately call Silicon Valley home.
We believe that Billy Beane can, and will, win that last game of the season—in San Jose.
You're up to bat, San Jose!
Monday, September 26, 2011
When: Wednesday, September 28th
Time: 6:15 (movie starts at 6:50)
Where: Camera 12, 201 South 2nd Street, San Jose
Wear your Athletics or Baseball San Jose gear and receive $1 off the price of admission.
First 25 people who RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive one free ticket.
Monday, September 19, 2011
The latest Mercury News editorial about the never-ending A's-to-San Jose saga, pretty much says it all:
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The Mercury's Mark Purdy had tonight's big scoop when he reported that Bill Neukom, the San Francisco Giants' managing general partner and CEO, will not returning for the 2012 season.
What this will mean for the A's desired to move to San Jose is too early to tell. But what was seeming like another long, hopeless autumn is suddenly promising to be a lot more interesting. Has a major roadblock to the San Jose A's finally been lifted? Let's hope so.
You're up to bat, San Jose!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Sunday Oakland Athletics owner Lew Wolff became the first MLB owner to call on Frank McCourt to give up his fight to keep the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise. As you probably know, Frank McCourt is in the middle of a nasty divorce that has brought up questions of money taken out of the team for his personal use. Lew was prompted to speak out after a lawyer for McCourt argued in court that money his client took out of the Dodgers was far less than that which Selig took out of MLB. Quoted in the Los Angeles Times, Lew says, "For anyone to seek to diminish Bud's accomplishments in order to rationalize their own actions is, in my opinion, ludicrous and hugely disingenuous.”
Friday, July 29, 2011
The Tribune's Angela Woodall reports today on Oakland's latest effort to stop its hemorrhaging of sports teams. This time it's the Oakland Raiders that may be looking to Silicon Valley for a new home. As was recently revealed (but long suspected), the San Francisco 49ers have been in talks with the Raiders about the possibility of building a new joint stadium. The location of such a stadium is yet to be determined. However, the Niners seem keen to stay the course in Santa Clara, where, in 2010, voters approved $114 million in public funds. The team also recently announced $138 million in luxury box sales for their future Silicon Valley stadium. And Niners' owner Jed York believes the NFL's recent labor deal only helps his prospects in Santa Clara; with its so-called "stadium credits," the league will now set aside up to 1.5% of revenue for the construction of new stadiums.
True to form, Oakland has again shown up late to the party. Only now has the city's RDA appropriated $4 million for a coliseum design and environmental impact report (EIR). (And in case you're wondering, the city's other EIR—that of the fantasyland called Victory Court—is yet to be seen.) Of course, this will mean the involvement of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, the fine folks who triumphantly negotiated Overstock.com's recent naming rights deal. That cash cow will bring in a whopping $7 million for six years. Yes, you read that right: just $7 million for six years.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Tonight is the Major League Baseball All-Star Game marking the half-way point of the 2011 season. Thus far we have still yet to get a decision from Commissioner Selig on the territorial issue that has stalled any potential move of the Athletics to San Jose. Yesterday, during a Town Hall chat, the Commissioner was asked “What is the latest on the possible relocation to San Jose for the A's franchise”? In response he said,
Well, the latest is, I have a small committee who has really assessed that whole situation, Oakland, San Francisco, and it is complex. You talk about complex situations; they have done a terrific job. I know there are some people who think it's taken too long and I understand that. I'm willing to accept that. But you make decisions like this; I've always said, you'd better be careful. Better to get it done right than to get it done fast. But we'll make a decision that's based on logic and reason at the proper time.
Still no clear indication of when we can expect a decision or even a decision on a decision. With Selig continuing to dodge the territorial issue, the Athletics continue to experience dwindling attendance playing in one of the worst ballparks in Major League Baseball. As of the end of the first half, the Athletics are averaging a paltry 19,157 fans per game, coming in only above the Tampa Bay Rays (19,115) and the Florida Marlins (17,101).
On an All Star Game side note, you might recall this winter the Athletics were in pursuit of two high profile free agents to bolster their offense, Adrian Beltre and Lance Berkman. Both players decided against a move to Oakland, and in Berkman’s case even signed with the St. Louis Cardinals without any expectation of receiving regular playing time. It seems, according to the agent representing Adrian Beltre, who said in an interview in January with Fox Sport’s Ken Rosenthal, “It’s not the city. It’s not the team. It’s the ballpark. And there are no fans there.” Well it seems the decision by both players to skip on playing at the Coliseum played out well as both are starting in the All-Star Game this evening. So not only does the Coliseum keep fans away, but high-profile players. Given the Athletics anemic offense of late it seems they really could have used a couple of All-Stars in their lineup.
The second half starts on Friday for the Athletics, lets hope we can expect a turnaround for the team that takes them to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
You might recall that in May Mayor Reed sent Commissioner Selig a letter asking when he could expect a decision on territorial rights. As you know, the City of San Jose has already selected a site, purchased property, and completed an economic impact study. In short, the project is shovel-ready and just awaits the go ahead for conducting an election that would ask San Jose residents to approve construction of a ballpark. Alas, Mayor Reed has yet to get a response and it seems he’s becoming a bit antsy for a conversation and will just about resort to the most jovial of attempts to get it .
In today’s San Jose Mercury News, columnist Mark Purdy writes that Mayor Reed is considering a photo op with the commissioner, or at least with the statue of him that stands outside the Brewer’s ballpark in Milwaukee. Putting an A’s jersey on the statue, Mayor Reed would pose for a picture in an imaginary conversation.
Postulating about the committee formed to study the A’s stadium issue, Reed is quoted by Purdy as saying,
"I think they did all their work in six months," Reed said of the committee members. "And since then, it's been a dodge."
Mayor Reed’s frustrations are starting to make him wonder if it’s time to consider challenging Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption granted to them in 1922. The process would have to start with congressional hearings, and while the Mayor hasn’t had conversations with San Jose’s local delegation, might it be just around the corner? Mayor Reed says,
"We haven't gone down that path. Not that we won't. But if Lew hasn't wanted to do it, we don't want to do it. I think Lew should be steaming angry."
While Lew isn’t steaming angry he has every right to feel as frustrated as Mayor Reed. One way or another, Commissioner Selig should be as diligent in dealing with the A’s stadium issue as he has been about the ownership issues surrounding the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. Baseball fans in San Jose and Oakland deserve a decision so we can enjoy the game on the field without the distraction of wondering where the A’s will next be playing.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
It's been a hot one in Silicon Valley this week. And while the heat has a way of making some people feel listless or languid, it can make others agitated and distressed. Lately, waiting on a decision from MLB Commissioner Bud Selig inspires more of the latter. To illustrate this, NewBallpark.org, probably the definitive guide for the Athletics' stadium
At Facebook, there are signs posted all around the place that say “Done is Better Than Perfect.” I think Bud needs to visit and catch a glimpse of how business is done these days. At Pandora, I am sure that copyright law policy and advertising sales campaigns and boosting subscription service account holders are all issues worked in unison. No, the “Dodgers and Mets have really screwed up… everything else is on hold” sort of dalliances don’t usually hold muster at companies that own the future.
Having a consensus builder at the helm isn’t exactly like having a visionary running the show. Having a man who can’t make a decision without the approval of those he “leads” is cutting into our fan base. And by our, I mean we. Me and you and all of us who should be preparing for a new yard instead of bickering about where that home should be.
Imagine if Selig had treated the A's with half of the urgency he's given the Dodgers. Instead, every day that passes without a decision, the Athletics are left to wither on the vine just a little bit more. Selig's impotence has put the team in a increasingly precarious position. Let's face it, soon more and more doors will be closing for the A's. Howard Bryant's excellent article on ESPN.com last week only further confirmed this impending sense of doom:
The ultimate decision of whether the A's will be allowed to move to San Jose belongs to Bud Selig alone, but pressure has created a four-way, high-stakes game of chicken between Selig and the A's, the A's and the Giants, Selig and San Jose and Wolff and Oakland. The one absolute to the convolution is that the Oakland A's are cornered -- to the south by Selig and in Oakland by the combination of Wolff's conviction that no workable site exists in the city and an expiring lease in a stadium that is unlikely to be renewed while Wolff intimates that he wants to leave town.
But out of this gloomy scenario has sprung an interesting Facebook group, Hey Bud, PleA'se Stop the TeA'se. It's the brainchild of Athletics Nation's emperor nobody and borne out of frustration from Bud Selig's seeming lack of initiative, leadership, and care. The group is a sort of neutral zone for A's stadium boosters, advocating for neither San Jose or Oakland specifically, but simply for a decision from Bud Selig—one way or the other:
We come to you today to ask you to set aside your nominal differences and your petty divisions as fans and embrace with us this program of building a movement to get Commissioner Selig to make a decision ... We also feel that as complex as all this is, the simple core of it is that Bud and Bud alone has the power to make it come unstuck, by whatever means he has at his disposal to do so in his role as head of MLB. We are looking for him to exercise his office and do his job, and to do whatever it is going to take to show leadership in these circumstances so the A's can emerge out of their current wilderness—itself a result in no small way of this pattern of neglect and diffidence—as a product, as a team, and as a proud and historic franchise.
So Commissioner Selig, it's getting hot. And we're getting restless. Make it official already. The San Jose A's are ready to go.
You're up to bat, San Jose!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Last Friday MLB Network Analyst and Hall of Fame Baseball writer Peter Gammons talked to the Murph and Mac Show on KNBR about Athletics issues, including the recent firing of Manager Bob Geren, Billy Beane, payroll and the Coliseum.
On the Coliseum Peter doesn’t have the kindest of words calling it the “Al Davis Dump”. When asked why the Athletics payroll doesn’t reflect their owners (John Fisher) riches, he says,
“Because nobody goes to the ballpark, there are no TV radio rights, and there not going to lose their shirts. The Oakland A’s either have to move or be retraced. They can’t exist in the dump. There’s no chance of succeeding there”.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Yesterday Major League Baseball opened up their First-Year Player Draft. With the 18th pick the Athletics selected Vanderbilt pitcher Sonny Gray who just completed his junior season with a record of 11 -2 and a 2.01 ERA. At 5-11 he is being compared to former Athletics ace Tim Hudson (currently with the Atlanta Braves) and Philadelphia’s Roy Oswalt. Given the pitching talent the Athletics currently have on their roster, Sonny Gray would be a great addition, as according to Athletics scouting director Eric Kubot, Gray is an “incredible competitor”. With talent running thin in the Athletics farm system, Baseball America ranked the system 28th, there is defiantly room for improvement throughout the system. The next pick for the Athletics won’t be until third round (105th overall), having traded this year’s second pick to the Tampa Bay Rays for Grant Balfour.
In other Athletics related news…
If you are planning on attending an upcoming game at Overstock.com Coliseum, you’ll have a hard time finding the stadium as beginning today it will be known as O.co Coliseum. Don’t fret though, Overstock.com hasn’t reneged on the six year deal it signed at the end of April, it’s just part of a shift in branding by the company.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Does San Jose have a sustainable fan base to support a Major League Baseball team? As the U.S. Census Bureau reported in its 2o10 Census, San Jose has a population of 945,942,making it the 10th largest city in the U.S., so it would be easy to argue then that San Jose has a large pool of potential baseball fans to pull from. However, population alone isn’t a strong enough argument to make in the strength of a city’s fan base, as cities such as Minneapolis (48th) home of the Twins and Milwaukee ( 28th) home of the Brewers are experiencing good attendance, 4th and 9th respectively. In comparison, much larger cities such as Houston (4th) home of the Astros, Phoenix (6th) home of the Diamondbacks and San Diego (8th) home of the Padres are experiencing less success in filling their respective stadiums.
So how else can we determine whether San Joseans would support a Major League Baseball team? Perhaps by looking at attendance data for the four professional sports teams housed in San Jose, the Sharks (NHL), Giants (California League), SaberCats (AFL), and Earthquakes (MLS) and see where they rank in their respective leagues. These teams represent distinctly different sports, varying fans and popularity in their sport that can vary depending on local (ex. Hockey is much more popular in Canada than Northern California, in part because of their differences in whether).
Taking into account that teams play in facilities of varying size, total attendance and average attendance can skew results in favor of teams with larger facilities. This can present a false impression that fan support is much stronger than that of other teams playing in smaller facilities. So instead, for the purpose of this analysis, average capacity is used (including those examples above) which in our opinion is better reflective of each communities support of their particular team, as a stadium that is 100% full is a much more enjoyable experience than one that isn’t fulfilling its potential capacity.
As the proposed baseball stadium in San Jose shows, while it would be the smallest in Major League Baseball, it would bring a uniquely different experience that would further support there being an active and supportive fan base, but do San Joseans have the fortitude to be a perennial baseball fan for 81 games a year?
As mentioned above, currently there are four professional sports teams that call San Jose home, looking at their attendance – again, based on average capacity - each team in their most current season is averaging attendance in the top 1/3 of their respective leagues, above the average*.
Regardless of the sport, San Jose has constantly and consistently supported its local teams and in return has been rewarded with successes on the field/ice, with multiple championships being brought to San Jose over the years. Since 2000 the Giants have won 5 California League Championships (’01, ’05, ’07, ’09 and ’10), the SaberCats have won 3 Arena Bowls (’02, ’04, and ’07) and the Earthquakes (in their earlier adaptation) won 2 MLS Cups (’01 and ’03). San Jose still awaits the Sharks to bring home the Stanley Cup, but despite this they consistently are an NHL powerhouse, the last two years appearing in the Western Conference Finals and receiving the President’s Trophy for having the league’s most points during the 2008-09 season.
San Jose and Major League Baseball makes sense, more specifically the Athletics in San Jose. The support San Jose could give in filling an Athletics stadium is just another reason why Major League Baseball should lift territorial rights and open the door for an Athletics move.
* We acknowledge that the San Jose Earthquakes attendance is skewed given they play in the smallest stadium in the league - more than twice as small as the league average – however, it’s an experience that is unique to San Jose (yes, we know they play at Buck Shaw stadium in Santa Clara, but even when they move into their new home, capacity will only be slightly larger at approximately 15,000).