24 March 2006

Uh-oh, break out the conspiracy theories

The Wave Magazine's "The Buzz" column captured the anger of neighborhood groups around the Diridon South ballpark site, since it appeared that San Jose officials were trying the ram EIR through. It doesn't note that there are four community outreach meetings scheduled over the next month for neighborhood groups to talk about the EIR:
  • Tuesday, March 28 @ 7 p.m. @ City Hall Council Chambers
  • Saturday, April 1 @ 10 a.m. @ City Hall Council Chambers
  • Wednesday, April 19 @ 7 p.m. @ City Hall Council Chambers
  • Thursday, April 27 @ 6 p.m. @ City Hall Council Chambers

At least this time it won't be a matter of sending out last minute flyers to notify residents.

The juicy bits in the column come in the form of quotes by city council member/mayoral candidate/Baseball San Jose member Dave Cortese. Here's an excerpt:

... a rumor has surfaced that the Oakland A’s could be moving to San Jose. In fact, mayoral candidate and councilman Dave Cortese told The Wave he’s personally confident it’ll all work out.


Assuming the team’s negotiations with Oakland collapse, and the A’s decide to move to Fremont, Cortese conjectures that the Giants could then be persuaded to let the A’s move to San Jose in return for some territorial rights compensation.

“They’re going to lose the market either way, so would they prefer it with or without money?” Cortese asks. “We know the stage is probably being set along those lines. As we speak, wheels may be in motion to set up that quid pro quo – and if that happens, ultimately that’s the kind of scenario that would quite possibly result in the territorial rights issue being resolved in one way or other, and we think MLB would rather, if they’re going to be the San Jose A’s, [be in] a stadium [on] Montgomery Street than anywhere else.”

What does that sound like to you? Something who is expressing hope out of desperation? Or someone who knows something that we don't? Hmmm...

I'm keeping firm on my stance: I'll believe it when I see it.

Thanks to Tony D. for alerting me to the article.


Anonymous said...

Sounds more like wishful thinking to me on the part of cortese. If he really knew something, he'd probably wouldn't be rambling about potential back-room dealings. He comes accross as big of a clown as gonzalez with the baseball bat.

Jeff said...

Looks like those, "other hands" may be swirling the waters a little. I for one have always felt that SJ is the prize. It makes no sense for SJ to NOT be the destination. SJ politicos want the team, the team wants to be there, an it's good for MLB from the perspective of the other owners.

The only one who objects is McGowan. I can't blame him, but it's beginning to look as though his objections may be brushed aside. Look for MLB to foot the majority of the bill for the TR's to the area. Even the most objective amoung us would have to admit that the coincidences are beginning to mount exponentially ML. The timing for this little tidbit is awfully serendipitous. Didn't Lew just give Oakland the sweet kiss goodnight?

Remain skeptical if you will, but I think the tea leaves are beginning to offer their omens.

Georob said...

Okay, Rhamesis, at what point would it be(or have been) proper for Bud Selig to say "San Jose, stop it! You're not getting a team" ? It will be interesting to watch how far the San Jose events unfold before we hear something out of MLB, if at all.

But sorry, Jeff. Buying out those territorial rights will come at a hefty price for whoever does it, and the Giants would have every reason to seek legal damages if what they get in return is nothing less.

San Jose is NOT an untapped market. It's an underutilized part of an EXISTING market. Big difference, and the owners know that

Marine Layer said...

Rob, MLB owners can't sue MLB or each other. It's a very important part of the current MLB Constitution. It's also probably the reason why Magowan hasn't said anything about it currently. In the past Magowan has threatened to sue over the A's move to Santa Clara and over realignment. Selig probably decided he had enough of that and put that clause into the Constitution.

Remember when Peter Angelos was supposedly going to sue MLB over the Nats' move? He couldn't sue because he was bound by the MLB Constitution. Selig/Reinsdorf railroaded it through and gave Angelos the cable network and franchise value guarantee as indemnification. Ever spiteful, Angelos still was the lone dissenting vote. If Magowan wants to pull an antitrust lawsuit threat, it's going to turn ugly. If it even gets to the point where everyone has to talk, it will probably be done rather quietly. And I'm still not convinced a "huge cash payment" will be required simply because there's a lack of precedent.

Selig's not going to say anything now since it would kill Wolff's leverage locally. He apparently trusts Wolff enough to get it done since MLB hasn't been directly involved with the A's efforts. For the Marlins and Royals, MLB has been involved. If MLB gets involved in the future, it's a sign that the A's are looking beyond the Bay Area.

Anonymous said...

Gee, imagine that. The incredible streak of unrelated coincidences grows longer still. And the possible end result...A's in the best local market, where Wolff's from, where Bud visited, which is acquiring land...this couldn't perhaps maybe have been Wolff's preferred result all along? Seriously, and no disrespect intended to anyone, but why is that so hard to concede? Especially for those of you who want the A's in SJ?

It's not a conspiracy theory if it's the most reasonable confluence of mutual's just common sense.

murf said...

I doubt Cortese is privy to information that we aren't; I line up more with anon 12:58, though I would say Cortese is being speculative rather than having wishful thinking. Wishful thinking implies an inherent unlikelihood, and the situation Cortese describes doesn't sound all that ridiculous.

That being said, if that were the plan all along, and Cortese and the rest of the City Council were in cahoots with Wolff on the plan, Cortese would not go public with it. Why not? Because it could be potentially damaging politically if he became labeled as a back-room type of guy.

tony d. said...

Respectfully brother Murf,
If it took "back-room" dealings to get the A's to San Jose, I don't necessarily think it would be a bad thing. Garbage contracts?...yes...bringing MLB to San Jose, don't think so. It wasn't until recently that we learned Sharks ownership had secretly courted three NBA teams (Sonics included) to relocate to HP Pavilion. If one of the teams had succesfully relocated, "back-room" dealings would have brought NBA hoops to San Jose. And besides, isn't the "back-room" the location where many pro sports decisions are made? One thing I will say is that if Dave Cortese is privy to info. that we aren't, I would hope he wouldn't go leaking what he knows to the local media. Have a great weekend all, and stay dry!

Anonymous said...

Political deals aren't usually so blatant as collusion among office holders. For one thing, it's generally illegal in CA for multiple elected officials to meet together without public notice and access (Brown Act and Sunshine law, among others). What usually happens are staff-level discussions and phone calls relaying messages through intermediaries. So there is no "conspiracy" in the sense that Wolff and Selig have met with the SJ power structure and reached an accord. But shared understandings within the confines of the law are another thing entirely. Not a 100% done deal, naturally, but not starting from scratch either.

murf said...

Tony, You're right about back-room courtships and their occurance in sports deals. You mention the Sharks, and they very well could discuss anything they wanted to with NBA franchises behind closed doors because not they, nor SVSE, are elected officials. They can do what they please and the public can't give two sniffs towards it as long as they aren't breaking the law. You know I'm in your corner and want to see MLB in SJ, but I would not be in favor of closed-door government actions, even if it were done to advance a cause that I support.

BTW, it would be perfectly legal under the Brown Act for Wolff to meet with a group smaller than a quorum of Council members (up to 5 in SJ's case) at one time. I think this falls into what you're getting at anon 8:47, but in my experience people of a specific business interest with Wolff's clout can certainly gain an audience of electeds, and won't even bother dealing with staff, save the city manager. I don't beleive Wolff has done so, but he could if he wanted to.

Georob said...

Ben Fong Torres has an interesting article in today's Chron where he interviews Bob Agnew, formerly of KNBR, now in charge of KNEW and KQKE for Clear Channel. He asks why the A's weren't considered for those stations.

His reply is essentially that the A's were too cheap. I posted a diary about it on AthleticsNation:

tony d. said...

Here's some Monday food for thought for all Conspiracy Theorists...and please correct me if I'm wrong Rhamesis, Murf (or anyone else in this forum). I believe over the past few months San Jose officials have met numerous times with Lew discuss a Downtown soccer stadium and expansion MLS team. Now, is there anyone out there that thinks all they talked about was Earthquakes III?

Georob said...

Let's try that again: