Happy Anniversary Baseball San Jose! Today marks two years since MLB Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a committee to study the Athletics stadium options and it seems we aren’t the only ones frustrated with the delay in a decision. In an article appearing in the San Jose Mercury News, Tracy Seipel (attempting to explain the mystery as to why a decision is taking so long), quotes San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed:
"We're in the same place today that we were in two years ago, waiting for Bud Selig to make up his mind," San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said this week. "A snail could have made it from Oakland to San Jose in two years."
We here at Baseball San Jose are fans of Mayor Reed for his enthusiastic and unwavering support of bringing the Athletics to San Jose, but a snail to San Jose in two years? Accoringto Craig Calcaterra, writing on NBC Sports Hardball Talk, through extensive research he determined that it would take longer for a snail to make the trek down the 880 from Oakland to San Jose, writing:
… a snail travels at approximately 0.000362005 miles per hour (yes, I looked it up). Assuming the snail takes I-880 from the Oakland Coliseum to downtown San Jose, it’s a 35.2 mile trip. Assuming the snail never sleeps — which is hardly fair to the snail — it would thus take that snail 11.1 years to make the trip about which the Honorable Chuck Reed is complaining. Indeed, the snail would not yet even be to the Farnsworth Street exit in San Leanardo.
While Mayor Reed may be no expert in malacology, the point is clear; it’s still a mystery as to what could be taking so long for a decision from MLB. At this point finding an answer is just speculation and conjecture. One thing for sure, San Jose continues to be the most viable option for a ballpark.
Despite the threat by Governor Brown to shutter redevelopment agencies across the state, San Jose has approved their EIR, purchased most of the land (with in plans in place to purchase the remaining parcels) and in an effort to protect agency assets, recently transferred them to a separate city authority. This can’t be said for Oakland, who for months prior to the governor’s proposal continued to say how they were better off than San Jose given their abundance of redevelopment funds to support their own proposal. But since all they’ve done is approve starting the EIR process it seems it may be too little too late.
There is a lot at stake for Oakland, San Jose, the Athletics and the Giants. Each deserve to at least know the answer to the question: Will the Giants territorial rights over Santa Clara County be lifted so that the Athletics can pursue a move to San Jose? Yes? No? We sure hope the answer to that question is yes, but knowing one-way or the other will help each to begin the process of closure so they can move forward and plan their own futures.
In July 2010 after Mayor Reed became impatient waiting for a decision from MLB he announced he would pursue a ballpark measure on the November ballot. At this MLB asked the Mayor to postpone an election offering to help pay the estimated cost of $1 million-plus for the cost of a future one. Was this going to happen this Spring (which started March 20)? According to Tracy Seipel’s article, Mayor Reed thinks he should have asked, “Spring of what year?”. At this point a decision telling us when a decision is going to be made might be a nice consolation to the two years we’ve had to wait hearing nothing at all.
While we continue to wait, our desire for an Athletics move to San Jose hasn’t wavered, and neither should anyone else’s. When the time comes for Commissioner Selig to make a decision - and it's made in San Jose’s favor - we need to be prepared to do what’s necessary to ensure a successful ballot measure.
Continue to keep your fingers crossed, and should you happen to come across a snail traveling down the 880 on its way to San Jose be sure to avoid running it over, no need giving Commissioner Selig any excuses for delaying his decision any further.