20 July 2007

First poll results

Voting for the first poll is now closed. Here are the results:

  • A. Outright betrayal - 12 (10%)
  • B. Necessary but unsavory - 23 (20%)
  • C. Little to no difference to me - 3 (2%)
  • D. Fine as long as they stay in the Bay - 44 (38%)
  • E. Extremely positive - 33 (28%)
I didn't notice until after I posted the poll that options B and D were actually similar but shaded and framed in different ways. For that reason only A and E are considered definitive positions, while B-D are rather gray. As a result, I will not "pool" the responses and declare a winner. The very unscientific result speaks for itself.

The next poll topic comes courtesy of a Georob comment from this morning regarding the ill-fated Piccinini group. Save Mart owner Piccinini put together a prospective ownership group that would've included Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer, former A's marketing veep Andy Dolich, and Reggie Jackson (preceded by Joe Morgan). In 1999 the group was on the verge of buying the A's from the Schott-Hofmann group but a vote of all MLB team owners resulted in a 28-2 decision to table the sale pending the Blue Ribbon committee's further study. The bid subsequently died on the vine, and the rest is history.

The question: How would have the Piccinini group been different?

  • A. Downtown Oakland ballpark
  • B. New Coliseum lot ballpark
  • C. Stayed in Coliseum indefinitely
  • D. Moved elsewhere in Bay Area
  • E. Moved out of Bay Area

If you like, you can post a comment here to go with your vote. Cheers.


anthony dominguez said...

Can you say YOUR LAS VEGAS ATHLETICS! From ESPN the Magazine, Peter Keating "The Biz," August 29, 2005: "Last year, Reggie Jackson put together an investor group that was willing to beat any offer for the Athletics by $25M. Jackson says Selig and his deputy, Bob DuPuy, asked him to hold off on calling the A's so they could contact the team for him. An MLB official says baseball was cool to Jackson's proposal because he wanted to move the club to Vegas. But whatever the reason, one things clear: while the eager Jackson waited, the A's were sold for $180m to Lewis Wolff, an old frat brother of Bud's."

R.M., do you think SJ will get a new arena within the next 10 years (lots of developable land at Diridon South)?

Georob said...

Here I was worried that you'd admonish me for going off topic and instead you devote a whole thread to the Piccinini saga. I guess that happens when you're 12 games out of first place on a slow news day :)

So what would have been different? Let's start with the Downtown Oakland site. Jerry Brown would have still been mayor, still stubborn as ever, and still pushing his "10,000 new downtown residents" agenda. And because of that I doubt that even Andy Dolich and Joe Morgan could have gotten the uptown site we all thought was perfect.

Where this group could have made a difference was the Coliseum parking lot site and that's where I cast my vote. From the very start my gut feeling was that a new A's stadium would go there, as the county already had the land, they could have acquired some additional parking parcels on the outskirts and something along the lines of Anaheim's "Downtown Disney could have been developed between the three venues.

Wolff never really considered this, probably due to his need for a ballpark village. However, it may have also had to do with his reluctance to negotiate with Al Davis, the Warriors, and God knows who else. However, Dolich, Morgan/Jackson, and Piccinini might have had the public goodwill and negotiating patience to see it through. (not to mention get more $$ from the city and county)

As for Beane and Morgan? It would have depended upon just how much of a stake Joe had in the group. After all, it's one thing to make comments on ESPN, another when it's your own money on the table. Beane's contract allowed him to leave after an ownership change, but maybe Dolich could have talked him into staying. Suffice to say Beane's reluctance to bring Rickey Henderson back would have been overridden.

Back to the ownership thing. I'm absolutely convinced that at that time(and probably today) Selig was trying to protect the Giants and wanted to move or contract the A's. And it was only when both of those solutions appeared unfeasible (MLB needed to move the Expos first) that he brought Wolff in.

Would Piccinini have tried to go to San Jose? Likely not. If anyone was going to get the A's to SJ, it would have been Lew Wolff; and he couldn't do it. Instead, we might have seen a closer look at a Pleasanton/Dublin site; which would have been closer to Piccinini's Central Valley base.

...or they could have gone to Fremont.

Anonymous said...

Joe Morgan had to drop out of the group because of a conflict of interest with his broadcasting job on ESPN. Jeff Goodby was also a member of the group that got back doored by Selig.

anthony dominguez said...

Hey Rob,
Do you think Bud Selig realizes the A's moving to Fremont hurts the Giants just as much (if not more) than a move to downtown San Jose? If he's so eager to protect the Giants as you say he is, you'd think he'd work out compensation for the Giants (Nationals/Orioles) for the A's moving SO CLOSE to their "territory." And yes Rob, you'll have to deal with my SAN JOSE ISN'T DEAD YET optimism for another two years. By the way, as it stands now, the Giants are filthy rich (Barry Z and B contracts, AT&T Park improvements, radio station, etc.)...why do they need protection in the first place?

Georob said...

Tony, can you please get it into your head that the Giants want the A's GONE? That means no San Jose, no Fremont, no Oakland, nowhere!. However, as territorial rights keep the A's out of San Jose, they also prevent the Giants from stopping a Fremont move.

Peter Magowan knows full well that the Bay Area is still the smallest of the two team markets and that no amount of compensation for territorial rights would be the same as having Northern California to himself. And if Fremont falls apart, that can still happen.
So if you're the Giants, why do ANYTHING to make life easy for the A's?

Of course, I feel like I'm wasting words here. All you want is the name "San Jose" on a major league sports franchise and everything else is just noise. Am I right?

Anonymous said...

BREAKING: A's to speak to Fremont City Council again.

shows there would be about 520,000 square feet of commercial space adjacent to the ballpark. That area north and east of Cisco Field would include:

* A movie theater.

* A hotel.

* A 6,000-square-foot restaurant.

* Five multilevel parking garages, and two one-level garages.

* 582 housing units, including 12 each behind the left- and right-field bleachers.

Georob said...

I don't know about a movie theatre. It seems to me that they have a shelf life of about 10 years or so until the next "latest, greatest, hottest, biggest" concept comes along and opens down the road. You're then left with an empty building likely to be converted into a Bass Pro Shop or something.

Here's a thought, though I don't know how commercially viable it would be: How about creating a "Tony LaRussa Center For The Performing Arts"? After all, he still lives in the East Bay, is a huge contributor to the arts, and you couldn't ask for a better A's tie in.

Jeff P said...


I agree with your premise that Mcgowan would like nothing more than for the A's to leave altogether. But I doubt that Selig is willing conspirator. Contraction was a negotiating ploy with the MLBPA, nothing more. Selig and company knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it would never happen, and to be honest it's probably not something that they would like to see come to fruition.

I don't think Bud views the A's with any rancor at all. From his position as commissioner he must look out for the benefit of the league as a whole. I don't think he was ever personally hostile to the A's moving to SJ. But he knows for a fact that McGowan would be, and the one thing he will not do is create dissent amongst the owners. It has taken him years to build consensus and cooperation. He won't risk that stability to improve the A's lot in life. However, I have little doubt that he is actively supporting Wolfe in marketing the A's as SJ's team. He is just as adamant about supporting the A's right to move within their territory as he is supporting the rights of the Giants. From a marketing strategic point of view, he has boxed McGowan neatly into a corner. The A's will get the lions share of the SJ market eventually, forcing the Giants to market heavily to the north/east bay. From a market point of view, he has bifurcated the area neatly.

Fremont may be a compromise, but it's one that is doable. In the end I think that's all that really mattered.

anthony dominguez said...

Good points Jeff,
And Rob, why the hostility to my last post? I was just questioning your assertion as to why Bud Selig supposedly favors the Giants over the A's...THAT'S IT! Maybe I wasn't clear enough. Again, just wanted to hear your opinion. As for the Giants wanting the A's out of the Bay Area, it's already in my thick skull! I was making that claim way back when blogging was going full throttle at the now defunct Baseball San Jose site (way before your name appeared on this site). Others, including SCCo Assessor Larry Stone, have said the same. Lastly, it is my right to want my hometown to have more than one team from the BIG FOUR (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL)...what the hell is wrong with that! Look, if I want to hold out hope for San Jose landing a MLB team, that's on me. But I'm a realist, and Fremont is where the A's will eventually end up. At least give me this Rob...San Jose was screwed by being placed in Giants territory, without the consent of SJ politicians or citizens.

Anonymous said...


With the Sharks Downtown, the A's in Fremont, and the Niners in Santa Clara; one could easily say that your home town will have 3 of your so-called "big four"
Of course, if only one of them goes by San Jose, the other two might as well be playing on Mars, is that it?

Remember, its what's best for the TEAM.

Ramon said...

Well, you at least gotta give Tony credit for having civic pride, even if it sometimes goes a bit overboard.

It makes me wonder if whenever Tony shops at Valley Fair Mall he only stays on the east side of the complex. You know, the part that's actually IN San Jose?