10 October 2006

Purdy: Magowan blew it

As usual, Merc columnist Mark Purdy does little to make Oakland partisans happy. In Purdy's most recent piece, he sets his sights squarely on Giants owner Peter Magowan:

Something else I know: The Giants are concerned about the A's possible move. Team owner Peter Magowan has stubbornly invoked his territorial rights clause to prevent the A's from moving to Santa Clara County. However, Magowan can do nothing to stop Wolff from going right to the county line and snatching away consumers on the other side.

How about this? About six weeks ago, Magowan and Giants executive Larry Baer were spotted in a vehicle in Fremont, eyeballing the A's potential new home. A tipster saw them stop for coffee at Starbucks, drive around the proposed ballpark site in their SUV, then hit the freeway.

When Baer was recently asked to confirm this sighting, he jokingly asked whether someone had placed a tracking chip in the vehicle.

And then Baer said: "I can neither confirm nor deny that it happened."

In other words, it happened.

Purdy points to a parade happening in San Jose, in 2010. If the A's are having trouble figuring out the right city (Oakland, Fremont, San Jose), perhaps the best place to have a parade would be San Francisco - just to rub it in.

A's buying land next to Pacific Commons

Foreshadowing? Maybe.

The Trib's Paul T. Rosynsky and Chris De Benedetti report that a firm acting as a front for Maritz, Wolff, and Co. has recently bought 10 acres of land across the street from the target Pacific Commons site. No, it's not the land that I pointed out last week, but it's immediately adjacent. The assessed value of the land is $5.9 million, though the purchase price was not disclosed. Unlike the target site, this land is largely occupied by, coincidentally, high tech companies (listing/aerial photo).

Just to show how much Lew Wolff is trying to keep this under wraps, the reporters disclosed how Wolff initially didn't confirm that the company had bought the land, then confirmed it several hours later. If they haven't yet bought the concrete plant, news about the purchase of nearby parcels certainly won't help keep the prices low.

From the article:

Speculation that the team would build a ballpark in Fremont intensified the day Wolff was hired by former owners Steve Schott and Ken Hoffman as vice president of venue development.

Although Wolff promised to search for sites in Oakland first, he never gave up the idea of building a ballpark in Fremont. Its proximity to San Jose and open tracts of land always kept it a contender as a future A's home.

Then in March, Wolff declared that Oakland did not have the time or space for a new ballpark.

That certainly gives credence to the notion that the ballpark effort hasn't exactly been Oakland-or-bust.