06 September 2006

Lew reveals tidbit on Extra Innings

Remember how Lew Wolff in the beginning of the season that he expects to make an announcement about the A's future home by the end of the season? Well, it appears that he now expects to push that date out until perhaps the end of the year. He admitted as much during Robert Buan's interview with him after today's comeback victory. Wolff said that things are progressing on the ballpark front, but didn't get into any specifics. He also mentioned that he's part of baseball's Enterprise committee (which covers branding among many business-related aspects), and that he wants to be part of the Advanced Media committee (internet).

Honestly, this shouldn't shock anyone. These deals can take a long time to gestate even if on the surface they appear simple. The possible delay may be interpreted any number of ways. I'll stay away from that kind of speculation for now.


Georob said...

Let's just get these out of the way:

SAN JOSE SUPPORTERS: "This means Lew Wolff hasn't given up on San Jose! After all, SAN JOSE IS THE PRIZE! It's the TENTH LARGEST CITY IN THE UNITED STATES. Viva San Jose!

OAKLAND SUPPORTERS: "Lew Wolff has come to his senses and realized that the A's fanbase will totally desert him if he STEPS ONE FOOT OUT OF OAKLAND. After all, it's not about baseball as much as it's about preserving the URBAN BASEBALL EXPERIENCE. And to move the A's to Fremont will be an insult to our diversity and an atrocity comparable to the Holoucast and Apartheid."

FREMONT SUPPORTERS: "Wait'll the REAL 510 hears about this!" And by the way, we're still getting the Raiders!"

murf said...

AND THE REST OF US: "This means nothing, and should have been expected all along."

Lew will make an announcement at the end of the season, one that says "We're still considering our opptions."

anthony dominguez said...

Rob's going to love this one...I believe Mr. Wolff will now just sit tight at the Coliseum (providing us with competitive A's teams) for the next 3-5 years. Then, after Barry Bonds has retired, AT&T's debt refinanced, and the 07 All Star game is safely behind us, he'll go back to Magowan/The Giants for a FOURTH OFFER for SJ! Diridon South should also be acquired by then, and the stench of Ron Gonzales will be long gone.

Georob said...

The longer the A's "sit tight" at the Coliseum, the longer they have to extend their lease there. Right now I think they're guaranteed through 2010 with options for another three years.

To ask for more years at the Coliseum really puts Oakland in a good bargaining position, while at the same time allowing Ron Dellums & Co. a chance to put something together.

It also opens the door for places like Portland and Las Vegas. I've always felt that if all of the A's sites in their own territory were exhausted, then MLB would ask that
Wolff next look outside the Bay Area before attempting to do a San Jose deal.

As for those competetive teams we'll see? Well, you have to wonder how much longer Billy Beane is going to be able to do what he does given the payroll he has to work with. Sooner or later he's going to hit a stretch where nothing works(it's happened to teams with payrolls far greater than the A's)

As it is I wonder how much longer Beane himself will be with the team. I don't believe for a second that he'll finish out his entire contract, and will more likely look at soccer (Earthquakes v 4.0) or something out of sports entirely. Guys like Beane want a challenge, and not necessarily the highest paying GM job.

Finally, Bud Selig wants a resolution. And while contraction is not the threat it was five years ago, the fact remains that many still feel that there are two many teams. Frankly, all it would take is a good, long, economic downturn for MLB to start the contraction talk again.

So while letting Wolff sit tight another 3-5 years may give hope to everyone, it also is a dangerous course that could leave us with no A's at all.

Marine Layer said...

Beane is part of the ownership group, not just GM, making his role more than merely a job. If anything, he may be poised for a larger President or Vice President of Sports Operations position or something like that, in which he'd oversee both the A's and the future Quakes. Then someone like David Forst would take over Beane's old job. While divesting Beane isn't a really big deal, it's not trivial either. It took a messy fallout with Abe Pollin for Michael Jordan to leave the Washington Wizards.

The A's current lease ends next season, with three team option years after that. The A's and the Coliseum Authority have been working on an extension. Both the A's and Raiders' future plans will have a bearing on any extension, whether it's three more years or something else. While the A's could conceivably have a gap between when they leave and when they move to Fremont or anywhere else, at least this time they have a backup stadium readily available: Raley Field. And if necessary, they can talk to the Giants about AT&T Park.

Georob said...

Rhamesis, do you honestly think that MLB would permit the A's to play in Raley Field for an entire season? It's one thing to play a few games in Vegas(when Mt. Davis was being built) or even play a big chunk of your schedule in Puerto Rico as the Expos did, but 81 games in a minor league facility?

As for San Francisco? The only way I see that happening is if the A's have a definite start date in Fremont. But to leave it open-ended while the A's are still "exploring options" wouldn't happen. Which is too bad, because the Giants could pay off the stadium sooner and invest the savings into player development.

Now, here's a thought: PLAY AT CANDLESTICK!(preferably day games) As long as the 49'ers are there the facility can't be in too bad a condition. Another wild idea would be to do what the Houston Astros(actually the Colt '45s) did the first few seasons before the Astrodome and that is to have a TEMPORARY STADIUM built. I think Montreal did the same thing.

Oakland would have to be pretty PO'd to not renew the A's lease, though. Which may give fuel to the argument that the only reason Wolff pretended to work with them was to keep them happy. Long enough to keep renewing the Coliseum lease, that is.

Marine Layer said...

Once again, it's not just Oakland. The Coliseum Authority's board has pols from all over. Gail Steele is the Chair and is a AC supe. Her district is mostly Hayward, but in a bit of gerrymandering, also includes Pacific Commons. Larry Reid is a board member whose district includes the Coliseum, and he has been sounding the horn for Oaklanders to be prepared for the A's to leave. IDLF and Nate Miley are on the board as well, so it may be up to them (in conjunction with Dellums) to figure out a deal in Oakland. It's not likely that the Authority will refuse a deal out of spite, especially if they can get several million more dollars over a few years to help pay down the debt.

Candlestick isn't doable. I doubt that the retractable seats there can readily retract anymore. Raley would be a short-term option, say for 2-3 months as construction is being completed. Even then, a phased approach could be used a la the new Busch Stadium.

anthony dominguez said...

"Lew this...Lew that." One thing we should remember in these debates is that Mr. Wolff owns just 10% of the A's. The real man behind the organization is SF's John Fisher, with another chunk of ownership coming from SJ's most powerful family, The DiNapoli's. Throw in a little Beane and Santa Clara Schott, and you have the A's ownership group. My Lew really calling the shots, and do you really think the A's are going to leave the Bay? I think not! By the way R.M., like your A's playing at AT&T idea.

Anonymous said...

the only thing less likely than the a's ever securing a new ballpark in fremont (still believe it's a pie in the sky smoke-screen) is them playing a home game at at&t park. simply humorous to even pose such a possiblitiy!

bartleby66 said...

Why does it seem so implausible for the A's to play a season at AT&T? Stuff like this is done all the time. The Warriors played a season at San Jose Arena during the Coliseum Arena renovation. The Raiders played at Kezar stadium for a while. The New York Giants played at the Yale Bowl.

Granted, the scheduling is a little more difficult for baseball due to the number of games, but not impossible. As it stands, the A's and Giants are almost always scheduled so one is on the road while the other is at home anyway.

And as far as the Giants go, they're always scrambing to find new events to fill up the ballpark and help pay off their note. If they're so eager to host one-offs like the Emerald Walnut Bowl, Monster Truck Rallies, and Dave Matthews concerts, I imagine they'd jump at the chance to pick up 81 additional home dates. That's a lot of money.

bartleby66 said...

I would also point out, the Yankees played two seasons (74 and 75) at Shea while Yankee Stadium was being renovated.

NotBiasJustTrue said...

I just can't concieve how ridiculous some of these options are. Why would the A's play at Candlestick, Raley field or anywhere else if they can just stay at the Coliseum until something comes up. The Coliseum is definitely not the best ballpark in the League, we can all adhere to that. But the Coliseum really isn't as bad as some make it seem.

Why would anybody even mention Candlestick, when we all should know how the weather is over there. As i've said, the Coliseum is not beautiful, picturesque, or any of that glamorous stuff that AT&T is, but it DOES have great sound, great parking, and one of the best fields in the league (b4 late Aug and Sept). The Coliseum isn't the best, but it does serve it's purpose.

Anonymous said...

I read one poster's comment making reference to the Warriors playing at San Jose..but do you not remember why the Warriors played in San Jose? THE OAKLAND ARENA WAS GETTING RENOVATED! Professional sports teams rarely play anywhere other than thier home without viable reasons.

Marine Layer said...

This isn't about whether the Coliseum is adequate - which it is. It's about what happens if the lease runs out before the A's new home is finished, and that's a distinct possibility if no extension is made.

The Cactus Leaguer said...

I'm not sure that this is the case for the A's, but sometimes giving a year end deadline in an election year is a necessary evil to pull off a deal. Lame duck politicians with nothing to lose can be your best friends as the clock approaches midnight.

Anonymous said...

anybody else see that new A's ad in BART? Says at the bottom, below pictures of historic-looking memoribilia: Be a part of A's history, take BART to the game.


Anonymous said...

The only way I can see the A's playing a season at AT&T Park is if they have announced a move out of the area and Oakland/Alameda County have kicked them out of the Coliseum.

bartleby66 said...

The whole premise which started this alternate park discussion was that Oakland/Alameda County for some reason refuse to renew the A's lease. In fact, I think there is zero chance of this happening, whether the A's move to Fremont, Las Vegas, or Bangladesh. There's too much debt outstanding on the Coliseum, and the government entities are in no position to turn down millions of dollars just because their feelings are hurt.

What will actually happen is this: If the A's build a park in Fremont, they'll renew their lease at the Coliseum in the meantime. If they leave the area, they'll find an alternate ballpark wherever they're moving, so they can start developing their new fanbase (and because their attendance here would tank). But in the wildly hypothetical case they get locked out of Oakland and are building in Fremont, AT&T would be a realistic option.