MLB nudges A's to San Jose, but SF Giants will fight it

MLB shows A's the way to San Jose, but SF Giants have not yet begun to fight

2/22/13 in MLB   |   JoeKukura   |   447 respect

Blog Photo - MLB nudges A's to San Jose, but SG Giants will fight itThere was a watershed development yesterday in the Oakland A's efforts to move out of Oakland and into a baseball-only stadium -- an effort which is now in it's baffling seventh full year. Major League Baseball has finally ruled on the matter, but they've done so in the most classic passive-aggressive Bud Selig fashion possible.

Major League Baseball has given the Athletics organization ownership a set of secret guidelines which the ballclub can meet to pursue their desire move to San Jose. MLB did not publicize what these guidelines are, they merely released a one-sentence statement.

The statement, written by MLB spokesman Pat Courtney and reported in the Los Angeles Times, says, "The committee continues to work hard on this very complex, complicated situation."

Oh, that is hard-hitting Bud Selig management style at it's finest.

The "committee" referred to is the secret blue-ribbon committee Selig appointed to determine whether the Oakland Athlethics could be allowed to move the San Jose -- an area to which the San Francisco Giants own territorial rights. The committee was appointed in 2009. Four years later, they still haven't made a decision.

The A's have been trying to move out of Oakland since 2006. They'd had a location nailed down in Fremont, CA -- some 23 miles to the south of Oakland -- but that plan was thwarted by a local Toyota manufacturing plant that did not want the extra traffic. That Toyota plant is now closed, but still forced the A's to ditch their plans and look to San Jose.

Blog Photo - MLB nudges A's to San Jose, but SG Giants will fight itSan Jose would welcome the team with open arms, and A's owner Lew Wolff has insisted he would pay for the whole $500 million ballpark out of his own pocket. The only problem?  The city of San Jose is within that orange area to the right  which the San Francisco Giants can rightfully claim territorial rights. The Giants are unwilling to let another MLB team move there.

If you think San Jose is a just tiny town, think again. San Jose is, in fact, by far the largest city in the entire San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area. Take a look at California cities listed by population. San Jose has 100,000 more residents than San Francisco -- and more than double the population of Oakland.

San Jose is also located much closer to Silicon Valley bigwigs like Apple, Google, Cisco, and Adobe. Imagine what a ballclub could charge for brand new loge seating to corporate clients like Google and Apple. That explains why the A's owner would offer to pay for the ballpark from his own pocket.

That also explains why the San Francisco Giants would fight the A's so hard on this one. Right now, the Giants get that Silicon Valley money. "The Giants argued that those rights should be upheld and that they could suffer significant economic damage if the Santa Clara County fans and businesses that support their team switch their financial allegiance to the A's," the Los Angeles Times said.

So merely cutting the Giants a nice check would not suffice. The Giants are unlikely to consent to the A's moving to San Jose, under any circumstances. The A's and Giants' most epic battles won't be in Interleague Play -- their most epic battles will probably be in a courtroom.
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2/22/13   |   ML31   |   3615 respect

Clarifying...  The Toyota plant had ZERO to do with the A's failed Fremont move.  It had everything to do with the NIMBY mentality in Fremont.  They made the A's jump through a hundred hoops that Wolf dis so willingly.  But then the BART extension came through.  Wolf wanted to move the stadium site.  But he ran into a ton of locals who didn't want it.  At that point, he abandoned Fremont. 

Next, the territorial rights thing does not mean at all that companies located in the Silicon Valley are barred from advertising or working with the A's.  They are free to work with whoever they choose.  The territory rights thing applies ONLY to where another MLB team moves.  They feel that if a team moves into San Jose it would give that team a leg up on deals with silicon valley companies merely based on Geography.  Or they may deal less with the Giants and more with the A's.  It's not necessarily true, but it is a real concern. 

Personally, I'd rather not see the A's in San Jose.  I like having the minor league team here in SJ.  I love minor league baseball and the Single A Giants would move if the A's came to town.