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.