12 March 2006

Purdy: San Jose A's of Fremont?

More grist for the mill: Give Mark Purdy some credit for not spending the entire week on the Bonds saga, not that he won't revisit it as the season goes on. In Sunday's column, Purdy writes about a discussion he had with Wolff, and throws out some conjecture to boot. It's no secret that Purdy has been the Bay Area media's biggest booster of the baseball-in-San Jose effort, even to the detriment of the San Jose Earthquakes, who are, of course, non-existent for the time being.

The concepts:
  • Even though the A's move to Fremont, they'll be called the San Jose Athletics of Fremont. Now that certainly won't go over well with the keep-em-in-Oakland crowd. I'm not even sure how it fits into Fremont's goal of getting on the map. Since I'm not privy to the different conversations being held by the dealmakers, I can't say how likely or unlikely it is. There are certain "currencies" that could be in play to make this happen, but I'll believe it when I see it.
  • Moving to Fremont is a leverage ploy to force the Giants to discuss territorial rights, with the idea that if the A's move to Fremont the Giants wouldn't get any compensation or indemnification even though the A's would be physically located in Silicon Valley. Purdy himself admits this is a bit "out there." It's an idea that has been around for some time in the South Bay, but it would require a chain of events to occur that currently shows few signs of happening. For good measure, he even links the A's pursuit of the Earthquakes 3.0 and a downtown soccer stadium.
Wolff, for his part, couched his words carefully, though there is definitely a pattern of him letting the words "South Bay" and "San Jose" to occur more frequently in his quotes. No one should be surprised by this, since the corporate interests in the Valley are the big prize when all is said and done.

This is all speculation. Purdy does nail one point right on the head, that "even though the A's ballpark issue has been around for years, the ride is really just starting." In all likelihood, April 3rd won't be the day everything is resolved. It'll be around that time that things get thrown wide open.


Jeff said...

As I said before, I hope Fremont gets a fair shot at aquiring the team. But it wouldn't be that shocking if they are merely being used as leverage for a move to SJ. Fremont has much to offer, LARGE amounts of land for a park and commercial/retail development, BART extension in the near future? I am starting to pin my hopes on Fremont. It would be so much easier to navigate my way to the park in a less crowded urban development with access to public transportation. Anyone notice that Wolfe is no longer parrotting the, "Oakland only mantra"? Every interview includes the idea that the team will actively pursue an "Alameda county" option. This is the first time I have heard him use the term "South Bay" in a potential move. Those coencentric rings of relocation appear to be expanding. Care to read anything into that particular use of the lexicon? Is he being "politic" in keeping the Oakland option on life support?

Georob said...

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the workings of San Jose politics, or much about San Jose other than driving through it many times.

In fact the only San Jose resident I know is Sarah Winchester, and she's been dead over 80 years

(crickets chirping)

But I digress. Somehow, I just cannot picture San Jose, the largest city in the Bay Area, third largest in California, and self-proclaimed "capital of the Silicon Valley" just rolling over to let Fremont house ITS BASEBALL TEAM. Santa Clara maybe; but not a city in a different county that is still technically part of the East Bay according to the census bureau.

At least not after a very long and protracted struggle through which it's determined that a ballpark within SJ city limits just isn't going to happen. And wouldn't even the USE of the name "San Jose" in Fremont breach territorial rights?

Mark Purdy's dead on about one thing: It IS going to be a long journey, with many alternatives thrown on and off the table before San Jose ever becomes a serious

So Jeff, don't be too quick to either anoint OR discard San Jose as a future home for the A's. In fact, "quick" is a word we pretty much need to discard for this whole topic.

tony d. said...

Like Jeff, I am slowly starting to pin my hopes on Fremont. I figure if Dallas' MLB team can play 15 miles to the west in Arlington, then "our team" can play 11 miles north of DSJ. Although I am a proud San Josean, I don't necessarily buy into the idea that they should have "San Jose" in the name (Kind of like the Rangers are "Texas," not Dallas). Where would they have the parade if the "San Jose A's of Fremont" won the World Series? Like Rhamesis told me awhile back, it's all about the A's staying in the Bay Area. As for our effort down here, I still feel SJ should continue the land acquisition for our "Ballpark." Who knows, the T rights issue might get resolved in the near future (just like I might win the Lotto next week)...miracles can happen! But based on the situation as it is today, the hope is now on the "Fremont A's of Silicon Valley!" And for the record, SJ should continue the acquisition of lands at Diridon South (Future soccer, housing, retail, Century Theater, Arena Village, etc.)...lot's of money to be made at Diridon South!!

tony d. said...

Sorry for any redundancy in my last post!

Jeff said...

Hey Rob, sorry to hear your only friend in SJ is not only dead, but was probably schizophrenic while she lived! Interesting architect though.

Surely you speak words of wisdom in dispensing with the word "quick" throughout this process. It just may turn out to be a very protracted struggle. On the other hand, things may not be as they appear. No doubt that there is/will be a struggle within the owners group concerning a move to SJ by the A's. I doubt however that Mcgowan will attempt to block a move should there prove to be a consensus amoung the owners that a move by the A's makes fiscal sense for the rest of MLB. No doubt he will resist the idea as far as reasonable for him to do so, once/if the decision is made, he will demand his pound of flesh....and he will get it.

If SJ is the brass ring gleaming in Wolfe's eye, then the whole Fremont tangent may be one of the cruelest hoax's ever played on a city in MLB history. Imagine Mcgowans dilema if he perceive's the A's are serious. If the A's move, they gain most of the advantages of being in SJ by virtue of their physical location. Far easier to drive to Fremont to catch a game than all the way to SF. It's still part of the Silicon valley, with ready access to all those corporate interests that MLB craves so deeply. And he gets nothing. I like his quote that the Giants have no objection to a move to Fremont by the A's. Anyone believe that? Calling Lew's bluff maybe? Or is he waiting to see if the issue gains traction before he speaks out about some imagined/perceived violation of the sanctity of his Giants? Then again, if agrees to dispense with the nonsense that is the TR agreement, perhaps he gets paid for loosing something he had no legitimate claim to. It's going to get interesting, on that we can all agree.

I would not be adverse to a move to SJ...but the more I think about it, the more Fremont makes sense.

Marine Layer said...

One thing to look for: San Jose Water Company appears to have a buyer for their 8-acres near the HP Pavilion/Diridon South. But they haven't disclosed who the buyer is. If the buyer ends up being a "familiar name," there will be a major piece of circumstantial evidence on how San Jose and the A's are proceeding. The SJWC site is compelling because it's a potentially attractive spot for a million-square-foot corporate HQ mini-campus. It would also have the distinct advantage of being clearly visible in the outfield should the ballpark have a northeast orientation.

Anonymous said...

You've got to be kidding me. This is the stupidest thing EVER!! What are we the Angels now? Why would you ever put the name of a city you don't play in.... in name of your team?!?! Rediculous. These San Jose enthusiasts just keep sounding lamer and lamer as their weak attempts to lure the A's out of Oakland continue.

Jeff said...

Ridiculous? Depends on your point of view. If your the owner of a sports franchise who spend almost 200 million dollars to aquire the team, and from a marketing point of view the name change can be shown to have made you money, then no, it's not ridiculous at all. It would probably be considered the opposite of ridiculous. It may in fact be genius. If you live 40 miles away in the city that the team bears, then it may appear perplexing. But if it's a question of money, you figure out what trumps what.

Anonymous said...

Fremont is in Alameda County. Get it! The A's will still be in Oakland playing in a new ball park. Where? Most likely in the south lot of their current home.

Kevin said...


Are you suggesting that the A's may be the buyers of the SJWC parcel? IF this is true, I guess MLB doesn't have any restriction regarding owning property in another team's territory. Also if this is true, what kind of message does this send Fremont?

Marine Layer said...

Not necessarily the A's, but other local developers who have been affiliated with Wolff for a long time - and who would likely be investors in the ballpark village wherever it ends up.

Kevin said...

Any idea as to when we may know who the buyer is?

Marine Layer said...

SJWC hasn't said when they'll announce the buyer and it doesn't look like they're in a hurry to get construction started. Maybe soon, maybe not.

Jeff said...

Just to be clear, I am not opposed to the A's remaining in Oakland. Heck, personally I am not opposed to them staying in the Coliseum. But that is just not a realistic option in my opinion based on the transactions to date. I honestly feel for the die hard Oakland partisans. I know how I would feel if my locality was faced with the prospect of loosing their franchise. But....reality would seem to indicate that it is almost a foregone conclusion that the A's will be out of Oakland sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

can someone explain the situation going on with the A's name, if they were to set up shop in Fremont? would Fremont accept the SJ title? and is it possible they would become the Fremont A's, the way i think it should be. being a giants fan and living in Fremont, i would still like Fremont to get the credit it would deserve if the were to land the team.