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04 April 2006

Interesting sighting

Just after Rich Harden got out of a first inning jam by blowing away Jason Giambi with a 98 mph heater, a shot was shown of the seats behind the A's dugout. Lew Wolff was there, as would be expected. But who was that young guy seated next to Wolff? It was none other than San Jose mayoral candidate Michael Mulcahy. Mulcahy also happens to be part of Baseball San Jose and is a scion of the influential DiNapoli family - the same DiNapoli family that has done business with Wolff for years. I wonder what they were talking about...

47 comments:

Kevin said...

Man you don't miss a thing.

jrbh said...

Yeah, sharp observation.

And depressing.

Anonymous said...

yea Oakland doesn't deserve this. And the sad truth is that the A's don't care about us. If they really wanted to make a ballpark happen it would be happening. But they'll see what a big mistake Fremont is if they move there. And they'll be even more sorry when they realize it after they are trapped in their 30 year lease.

Anonymous said...

whats wrong with fremont?? im sorry but i odnt really see anytihng wrong with it other than the part that its not oakland....

Georob said...

"If they really wanted to make a ballpark happen it would be happening"

So, tell me: How do you know this?

How?

I'm waiting.....

Any time now

(crickets chirping)

gojohn10 said...

I posted in another thread that Wolff was at the Giants game with McGowen. Now with a SJ mayoral candidate. Hmmmm

Anonymous said...

Wolff has been disingeninous towards OAKLAND all this time. Fremont is a bedroom community, not a place were you want to build a ballpark. Also, the ballpark site does not have the infrastructure to support baseball games 81 days of the year. There is no BART station nearby and the closest one is Warm Springs, which has been proposed for the last 15 years. Also, 880 and 680 are a mess in Fremont during Rush Hour. This makes no sense. Wolff said the coliseum site was good for the transportation access.

THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLFF

Anonymous said...

San Jose A's! I can not wait. The south bay has everything it needs to be a great baseball community. What a great day for A's baseball if they get the oppurtunity to build a brand new stadium in the south bay. Spend the day at Great America, then head over to watch some A's baseball, sounds like a great day to me.

Anonymous said...

Oakland has missed their chance to retain the A's now we need to look at other bay area cities that have BART or Rail , buss and easy highway access or off to Las Vagas, Portland or some other city

Fremont is not a good baseball location for the A's since it does not have easy transit access and massive traffic jams during later afternoon / evening hours and the fans will find after a few games how difficult it will be to get to / from

Georob said...

The more I think of it, the more Fremont makes sense, as you tap into the South Bay while retaining a sizeable chunk of your East Bay fan base. Right now, I think San Jose is pretty much Giants country(and I don't mean territorial rights), and loyalties don't change overnight. The goal will obviously be to pick up the new and casual fans.

As for what the A's give up? Most likely Contra Costa fans. But with the opening of Pac Bell Park and it's accessibility by BART(kind of) that area has slowly turned Giant friendly, particularly in the more affluent suburbs. Which may be one reason that the A's attendance has been stuck at 2.2 mil the last few years.

And I know Rhamesis doesn't like when I bring this up, but I DID predict that the entire Yankees series wouldn't sell out. Now, the rain obviously plays a part here; but unless they only count people who showed up, all these games should have been sold out a week ago, especially with only 35K to sell.

Again, this team needs to get off to a good start.

Anonymous said...

Hey San Jose A's!!! Explain how the A's will get around the Giants' Territorial Rights to Santa Clara County? I don't think the A's or San Jose will want to sue MLB over the anti-trust exemption. Keep Dreaming Buddy!!!

gojohn10 said...

Here's a link to a picture comparing the distance from Montgomery street BART to AT&T and the distance from the Pacific Commons site to proposed Warm Springs BART site. The distance to BART at the Pacific Commons site is only a bit farther than AT&T to BART. And most people get off at Embarcadero which is actually farther than the Montgomery station.

Marine Layer said...

Rob, you are right and I stand corrected. I thought you were saying that Opening Day wouldn't be sold out when you in fact said that at least one of the games during the series wouldn't be sold out.

However, I'm pretty certain that if the weather were decent, there would've plenty of walk-up crowd to sell out the stadium. Walk-up tends to be the most fairweather of fans and if the weather is literally foul, they won't come. Tonight's game will tell the tale.

Anonymous said...

It was reported last night that two guys behind the A's dugout kept yelling "San Jose! San Jose!" That's a low blow to all you Oaklanders (sorry). As for how the A's COULD get around the Giants STUPID territorial rights to San Jose/SCC...$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$! Let me count the ways...

Anonymous said...

All those $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ could be spent on a ballpark instead of a LAWSUIT buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kevin said...

Anonymous

"Wolff said the coliseum site was good for the transportation access."

What does it tell you when you have a ballpark located next to a freeway, a huge parking lot, BART and you still only draw 15K for a sunny Sunday game against the Rangers?

Access to the ballpark is important. But fan and corporate support is important too. I still haven't heard anyone respond to rob's question. How do you make it happen in Oakland?

Anonymous said...

"How do you make it happen in Oakland?"

I'll tell ya how.....Fully commit to building in OAKLAND. Stop coming up with stupid ideas such as moving dozens of factory owners to build when a builpark when you have plenty of open parking lot space right next door at the Coliseum. Stop talkin to other cities and get SERIOUS about your business...That's how you get a ballpark built in Oakland.

Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Kevin-

When Schott bought the team from Hass, to keep it in Oakland, the next year he was courting Santa Clara. You want Oakland support, here is the solution. For those have just jumped on the move the A's bandwagon.
•Stop saying you are going to move every year.
•Stop courting other cities every year.
•Stop doing city council presentations in Santa Clara.
•Stop jacking up playoff ticket prices to the highest mlb (2002) then quip that they don't come anyway (schott).
•Stop having the commissioner of baseball say that A’s moving to Oakland was a horrible mistake.
•Stop saying there is no future for the A's in Oakland.
•Stop letting fan favorites walk away, even after wanting to stay in Oakland at a hometown discount. Then right before the season begins telling the media we are not going to attempt to sign no. 4 (Tejada).
•Stop blowing off political will in Oakland, by stiffing Jerry Brown to do a flyover of potential sites in Oakland.
•Stop no showing/commenting at city hall when Oakland hires HOK to do a ballpark study. Where polls were indicating a ballpark passing by vote.
•Stop the collusion of Selig and co. when there was a local buyer for the team, but the blue ribbon panel (magown) shelved the deal. With Brown and Lee promoting the ownership.
•Stop stiff arming Oakland corporate/city welcomes the new ownership and tries to help secure a new stadium in Oakland.
•Stop lying about how you are going build a stadium in Oakland.
•Stop putting a tarp over affordable seats.
•Stop spending more time doing interviews with every other town’s paper instead of planning a suitable memorial service for Bill King that fans could attend and morn.
•Stop spending more time talking about the MLS instead of working with the City of Oakland on moving these businesses.
•Stop announcing at the beginning of the season at the height of fandom that Oakland isn’t a priority.
This has been going on for the last 10 years. We yet we still come. You had corporate and fan support until schott/wolf had systematically dismantled that.

drummer510 said...

Oakland didnt blow the chance to keep the A's, Wolff made it impossible for them to keep the A's. This is all Wolff's big show to get outta the East Bay and go to Las Vegas or Portland. Think about people, Oakland makes the most sense for the A's to play, and Wolff is an idiot for saying there isnt enough room for a ball park, has he ever been through Oakland. The A's have been part of the East Bay for a long time and to move a team with the second most World Series wins, is ludacris. The A's have a rich history and so does Oakland. I find it appalling that people don't see this and think it's ok that Wolff moves the team just like that.

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, OAKLAND is the biggest city in Alameda County and the East Bay.

NOT Fremont!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

AMEN

Marine Layer said...

I like the passion I'm hearing from the Oakland-first/OAFC crowd. But how about some solutions? Ones that don't involve ill-fated ownership groups from several years ago. It's cool to go down fighting, but to what end?

Anonymous said...

a little blurb from Mulcahy's web site:
"With the right economics, sports can be a tremendous stimulus to economic growth. I am a charter member of Baseball San Jose, and I have studied the economic vitality created in Denver, San Diego and San Francisco by new baseball parks.

Beyond the immediate economic benefits and neighborhood revitalization, pro sports create millions of dollars of publicity for their host cities. When the San Jose Athletics play in a world series, millions of Americans will see that San Jose is a wonderful place to do business and to visit. And beyond all of the economic benefits, there is a profound social benefit. Sports unite us all. People from every generation, race, neighborhood and background come together to enjoy sports. In a world in which we have so few things that bring us together, we should make this unifying activity a high priority for our city."

jrbh said...

I don't know what the solution is for a park in Oakland, but I do know this: neither of the recent ownership groups has sought one.

Schott and Hoffman, famously, told the city they'd have to come up with $300M if they wanted to keep the A's. That's an obvious non-starter. Wolff has come up with one proposal, which, because he ruled out asking for the use of eminant domain, was ridiculously unlikely. (Why no E.D.? Civic mindedness? Shucks, Gomer, that must be it.)

There are a number of different ways to go about a new park in Oakland. For example, a joint Raiders/A's project for a whole new Coliseum complex, with both of them playing in the West Bay for a year or two while it gets done. For example, a ballpark on the Kaiser Auditorium/Laney College footprint. For example, involving the Port of Oakland in getting something done on the waterfront near Jack London Square. Or even, for example, and for god's sake, Emeryville, where you can do anything you want development-wise if you bring a wheelbarrow of cash to give to the city council and the sheriff.

All of these ideas have challenges, of course, but so do potential sites in San Jose, Fremont, Portland and Las Vegas. The key is an ownership group motivated to get something done.

Which we certainly don't have, and haven't had for eleven years now. The problem is with the last two A's ownership groups, not the City of Oakland or Oakland voters or A's fans.

Oakland is unworkable right now for the sole reason that Wolff doesn't want it to work. I hope he rots in hell.

jrbh said...

I followed the link to Mulcahy's web site and was kind of astonished to read that he'd been quoted correctly.

No matter how you stand on where the A's should go, we should all agree that politicians who say stuff like that are too stupid to deserve public office. Not one single thing he said about the economics of sports franchises is demonstrably true, and almost all of it is demonstrably false.

Anonymous said...

Marine Layer-

I have given soultions 'til im blue in the face. I have written Wolff himself, no answer yet (no surprise there). I have written to each city council member. I have been in the newspaper several times re. this issue. I have talked to IDLF for 1/2hour on this. There is still policital will in Oakland for all those naysayers. There are still areas to build in Oakland, Wolff just needs to step out of the Coliseum parking lot to find it, and no he won't have any help. (he is on the job 3 years and comes up with, stadium in existing parking lot, stadium just south of existing stadium, stadium just north of existing stadium) Did he spit to find these locations?

Auto row- is viable area and will become more so as the dealerships start to move.

Across the freeway from the Coliseum, there is a large empty lot where the carinval always sets up shop. Buy the EBMUD Corp yard that is ajacent. You may equal the swath of land that the size of 66th to high st. You can have your village there wolfie.

The will has to be on the owner, and there doesn't appear to be any. He is supposed to be the creative real estate, he comes up with those 3 lousy options and settles with the move 80 buisnesses in 8 months or I move your team. A team that has been there for nearly 40 years. Comeon wolf (this what angers oaklanders, for those who dont understand)

It wasn't that long ago that we were under the Schott regime, in fact he is still part of this ownership group. And we still have the bruises.

I appauld your site.I appreciate your non bias approach and the considable ammount of work you do on telling the story. I just wish some of these people had their history straight. It would explain the Oakland stance better.
Maybe we are grasping at straws,I open you website each day and hope for positive news on the Oakland front. Alas there may never be. The signs will still be posted in the coliseum, people will give up on this team. I was walking arround lake merritt this sat, there are all these flags downtown that proclaim, "Oakland Celebrates the A's". I just wish the A's celebrated Oakland.

Anonymous said...

Above poster: Great Comment

I have some questions...I'm not trying to be funny or sacastic or anyhing but why in the world would any team want to play in Fremont? First of all, it's a suburb that is not really known well for anything more than being a city in the Bay Area. Secondly, besides those of us who live in the Bay Area, who really knows that Fremont exist? What is there to do in Fremont? How could a city like Fremont attract and support a big event like say, an All-Star game?

My opinion is Pro-sports especially MLB Baseball belongs in metropolitan cities that are regional landmarks and are easily accesible by the region that the city is apart of. Fremont just doesn't make much sense. Anyone have an answer to why the A's would go there?

jrbh said...

Another interesting sighting? The A's logo on the KICU broadcast tonight wasn't the traditional script "A" surrounded by a circular, block-letter "Oakland Athletics," but rather a script "A" without any reference to Oakland.

Anonymous said...

Man, between Mulcahy literally sharing front row seats with Wolff, and the Cortese "wheels may be in motion" quotes last month, one might almost think these SJ folks felt they were on track to nab the A's. You know, having gotten the requisite assurances, attaboys, and/or winks-n-nods. Maybe the secret handshake. This remarkable string of unrelated coincidences continues...

Georob said...

Lew Wolff has a lot of contacts in the San Jose business community that long predate his involvement with the A's. We knew this when he came on board and many speculated then that it looked suspicious.

So to all you budding detectives out there, quit acting like you just found the Maltese Falcon.

OMIGAWD! Wolff just picked up a
copy of the Mercury News...while KISSING DIONNE WARWICK.

It's Over....

Anonymous said...

My Question still has not been answered.....Guess that says something

murf said...

It's difficult to know which question you're refering to, anon 9:18, since so many posters are choosing not to identify themselves.

I'm impressed by the volume of pro-Oakland responses, but I'm still confused as to why Wolff is targeted as the bad guy for considering other locations. Do any pro-Oaklanders have a site suggestion for a new stadium within the Oakland city limits that is available, economically feasible, close to transit, not already slated for other types of development, and is worthy enough for city leaders to back and push public money towards at the sacrifice of other needs of their constituents? If you can't provide an idea that fits the above pre-reqs, you shouldn't be bashing Wolff. He is just a scapegoat for your frustrations.

Kevin said...

Amen Murph. I couldn't have said it any better.

ML, any thoughts on requiring posters to select a screen name? The discussion can get confusing at times.

Anonymous said...

If Wolff says Oakland is built up, then explain how SF was able to build a new ballpark. Obviously, SF is more built up than Oakland since SF is a very small, compact city with very few large pieces of land available. That obviously didn't stop Magowan and the Giants from building in SF. Believe me, NYC is more built up, but if they want to build anything, they'll find a way. So Mr. Wolff, explain why Oakland is built up? Last time I checked, the Wayans brothers were interested in building a movie studio/entertainment complex in Oakland. Obviously, the "built up" factor did not hinder their option to explore OAKLAND.

THE OLD MAN WHO CRIED WOLFF

Marine Layer said...

I decided a while back that I'm not going to moderate comments or require logins. If someone wants to write a screed they're entitled. If the discourse degrades into petty city-bashing or profanity every other word. then I'll act on it. Otherwise I'm leaving it alone.

Anonymous said...

I am pro-oakland, but more importantly, pro-a's, pro-bay area, and at heart pro-south bay. I think the south bay community has a lot to show not only the baseball community but the country as a whole. The south bay has done amazing things for the economic health of this country over the past half a century and having a franchise like the A's would be a great way of rewarding the region that houses so many important industries.

----

Why is building a stadium in the parking lot out of the question. That is probably one of the biggest questions to this that I have not heard a great answer to. Not only are there two sides of lots to work with, but there is also lots of land south of the stadium as I remember. Back in high school (5-6 years ago) I would go to raves at an old wherehouse that had a huge dirt parking lot just south of the A's lot. Has the been permenantly developed yet? And the point about auto row (and the other commercial interests that scatter the Jack in the Box - north to the parking lot land) being used for Ballpark space is very valid I think.

-------

For Sale: $750,000 1,200 Sq. Foot condo. New Construction, Great Location. Lovely view of 880 and auto malls for as long as the eye can see. No immediate access to schools, but fireworks are legal so you no longer need to take the 40 minute drive north from Sunnyvale to buy sparklers and spinny things. Love excitement? Well 81 days a year, 36,00 completely respectful and quite sports fans will make your backyard there personal barbeque pit. If you love finding hot dog buns, charcoal, and the occasional miller lite bottle in your front yard, then this is the property for you. And since you probably don't work anywhere near Fremont and want to afford this house, you will have a lovely commute south on 880 into the south bay, or a wonderful 1.5 hour bart ride with 2 transfers and a muni ride to get into the financial district. Please call Lewis Wolff to make your deposit today.

Sounds like a great investment!

--------------

Oakland (the city) doesn't deserve to have it's most succesfull sports franchise turn its back on it. But Oakland (the team, and fans) deserve a chance to stay economically competitive with the Angels and Mariners. Sports are two things, escapism for the lower-middle class, and a toy for the upperclass. Club seats, luxury boxes, $400 bottles of champagne and a bitching buffet are all a part of the current baseball culture. Parks are being built with smaller capacity because you can get as much out of 4 club seats season tickets sold to www.yourcompanynamehere.com as you could out of the entire bleacher section full of amazingly loyal flag wavers and dudes dressed up as "A's fan wearing hockey goalie mask representing the Five One O".
Oakland, San Jose, Fremont, Vallejo, all have the ability to generate the type of revenue that LAA, SEA, SF, BOS does, but it needs the ability to sell those high ticket seats and boxes to do so. THE GIANTS SUCK, and have nothing compared to oak when it comes to success (present, past, and future) yet they make crazy jack on their new stadium featuring wireless dsl access, etc.

-----------

From a thought on another post about building a movie studio in the area. Didn't the car chase scene from the Matrix 3 get filmed on a fake freeway built in oakland west of 880? That seems like it would be enough space.

gojohn10 said...

The Matrix (2 & 3) were filmed on the old Alameda Air station naval base.

Marine Layer said...

First of all, should a ballpark get built in Fremont there won't be huge parking lots that promote tailgating. In fact, I can safely say that once the A's leave the Coliseum, the days of tailgating will be over.

Second, it's possible that the residential development could be quite tall - 12-20 stories or higher. Should that occur, residents could have fantastic views of the bay as it gets cleaned up and transformed back into the pristine wetlands state seen several decades ago. And why look down at the highway when you can look east at some beautiful green hills?

A stadium on Alameda NAS isn't happening. Unless someone wants to foot the bill for more bridges and tunnels.

drummer510 said...

Wut about the 66th street and telegraph area around the fox theatre? That would be an amazing place for the A's to play at. Or what about the OAkland Army Base? Or what about JAck London Square? Or any of the Oakland sites described on this blog. I feel moving the A's south, is not a good idea, nor a good solution to the stadium issue.

Marine Layer said...

Unfortunately, most of those areas are spoken for. The Uptown site (next to the Fox Theater) is being developed. JLS is a classic example of a location that's "built up", and the one large piece of land suitable for a ballpark, Howard Terminal, was bought two years ago. The Oakland Army Base is mostly going to be used for an expansion of the Port, leaving a small amount of available land for development. I've heard that the developable portion should be ready late this year, but it's at the north end of the property - at the foot of the Bay Bridge - and there's no BART there.

Jeff said...

I have empathy for those loyal Oakland fans who are enraged that the team is most likely leaving. But I don't agree with the Wolfe bashing. He is a business man engaged in a business activity. The truth of the matter is that Wolfe and Fischer paid millions for the team. They are entitled to attempt to maximize their investment. Oakland has made it abundantly clear that they want the A's....on their terms. In other words, they will not put their money where their mouth is. You can decry subsidies for sports franchises all you want, but the common practice is that cities who want teams are expected to pay. Oakland is not willing to engage in quid pro quo in order to keep the team. Fault your local politicians if you must assign blame....but to denounce Wolfe for being exactly what he claims to be is more that a little disengenious.

Anonymous said...

How can you possibly say that Oakland is not willing to "put their money where their mouth is" when we renovated the Coliseum for the Raiders and completly renovated the Arena and built a new practice facility for the Warriors? We do care about all of our teams its just the whining we can't stand.

Jeff said...

Those renovations for the Raiders can legitimately said to have hurt the A's. Baseball has been steadily moving away from the cookie cutter multi use stadiums that were en vogue in the sixties. Who really believes that these parks were good for baseball? The nostalgia for the parks of old was and is palpable. Those parks were disasters for baseball. As it stands now I think the only two that are left are Shea and the Coliseum. And Shea's days are numbered. So it seems is the Coliseum. And good riddance as far as the baseball "experience" is concerned.

If Oakland were serious about the A's, they would let Wolfe know that they will contribute to the costs of a new park. And that means angering a lot of voters who could care less about baseball. That is just not an option that falls within the purview of political reality in Oakland. I honestly do feel for the die hard loyal fans in Oakland. I know how I would feel. I wouldn't like it one bit. But I wouldn't hate Wolfe because he is what he says he is. I would focus my vitriol on the politicians. THAT kind of pressure would produce the best odds for keeping the team. As long as the blame is placed on Wolfe by city residents, the pols need do nothing. And they won't. However, if the voting public expresses their displeasure with city hall, they may actually gain traction in keeping the team. But given Oaklands civic predilections, thats not likely to happen. So the team goes. The pols have the political cover they need, and Wolfe gets his ballpark in less competitive market. He is not going to lose sleep because he is demonized in Oakland. Especially since he is going to be loved in SJ.

Anonymous said...

"Especially since he is going to be loved in SJ."

I wouldn't bet my money on it. San Jose is Giants territory both territorial and factual. San Jose's Minor League team name is the Giants for cryin out loud. The A's may have an even tougher time selling out there. People down there are SF washed and just because the A's build a stadium closer to San Jose does NOT mean that the 1 million or so residents in SJ will automatically fall in love with the A's. So that whole love affair u refer to may or may not come to be.

Jeff said...

There is little fear of that. The old baseball maxim, "If you build it, they will come" will apply. SJ is a huge metropolitan area that watches the Giants because they are the only game in town. True, Oakland is just as close, but given a choice as to which venue would you opt to see a game in? Pac Bell wins hands down. No, there is little reason to doubt that the fans will flock to the newest best thing. It's human nature. And a team with your city's name on it will draw much stronger than one 50 miles away. Especially one in a city that can legitimately be viewed as a competitor city. SJ will not long be satisfied with the status quo in terms of being dominated by their neighbor to the north. Can anyone seriously doubt that a metropolitan area as large as SJ cannot support its own MLB franchise? Build a park in SJ and it will fill up.

Anonymous said...

"Build a park in SJ and it will fill up."

"And a team with your city's name on it will draw much stronger than one 50 miles away."

But whoever said the ballpark would be built in San Jose? Who said that San Jose would even have their name on anything?

Jeff said...

Wolfe did. If he is successful in building in the SJ market, have no fear that he won't capitilize on the market. He has already made it clear the team name is negotiable.