Monte Poole at the Mercury News must have been on vacation the week the baseball world was all abuzz with news that Athletics owner Lew Wolff might be interested in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for contraction of the Athletics. Those rumors were quickly dispelled in an Athletics press release that said:
There is no truth to this report. Mr. Wolff has no interest whatsoever in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise. Furthermore, he has no knowledge of the source of any such rumor, and he has informed Major League Baseball and Dodgers ownership of his position.
And so with that we figured discussion on this topic, at least in the Bay Area, would cease and we could stick to the real issue, lifting the Giants territorial rights and thus allowing a move of the Athletics to San Jose.
However, Monte Poole seems less enthralled with sticking to the issue at hand and instead writes about a told before story that Weekend Update’s Anthony Crispino would be proud of. Monte says, “… there's a nasty whisper circulating about baseball that it might be neither, that the A's could be devoured by their associates”. Click here for the full article.
Contraction is far more complicated than just transferring ownership from one team to another. At issue would be convincing the MLBPA to go along with displacing 50 of its players (rumored contraction talks also include the Tampa Bay Rays). Not to mention what to do with the numerous minor league affiliates, the ripple effects it would have on those communities home to affiliates and what would happen to spring training facilities.
So you see, there is a lot more to the issue than just saying to ownership: we’ll just give you another team in exchange for allowing us to contract.
We get it, it's been two years since Bud Selig appointed a committee to study the Athletics stadium options and frankly we are all getting a little antsy waiting on a decision. The angst we feel drives us to speculating and conjuring up stories for the sake of finding answers, but sometimes it can be taken a little to far.
Baseball San Jose continues to be focused on making our case as to why an Athletics move to San Jose makes sense for Baseball, the Athletics and the entire Bay Area and to us talk of contraction is just that, talk.