17 May 2008

Neukom confirms territorial rights

Ann Killion's latest column on the demise of Peter Magowan has a little info on his successor, William Neukom. Not surprisingly, Neukom maintained the status quo:
Neukom was also adamant that nothing will change with the Giants' position on territorial rights, so the notion that Magowan's departure will hasten the A's move to Santa Clara County is a false one. He said that it's a significant part of the rights package that makes up the value of the franchise.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that the Giants would have to be major financial straits for territorial rights to become an issue. Will that happen? I doubt it.


Tony D. said...

I disagree that the Giants have to be in "financial straits" to revisit T Rights. With the real possibility of Fremont, and an A's ballpark 4 miles north of San Jose/Silicon Valley (wait, Pac Commons is Silicon Valley), it just makes business sense for the Giants and A's to become long term business partners in the area. The A's aren't going anywhere! Giants, do what's right for your business and investors and cede Santa Clara County to the A's. Better yet, just make the damn region a shared territory like NY, LA, and Chicago.

After reading the Neukem Merc column, I'll admit I was a little disappointed regarding his "supposed" stance on T-Rights. Then I read the actual Killion/Baggarly interview on the Merc's website; completely different tone than what was presented in print (no "adamant" or "fierce" protecting mentioned). Look, the man won't be owner until August and still needs approval by the leagues owners...what the hell else was he supposed to say! Imagine, standing next to Peter Magowan at yesterdays announcement: "I've (Neukum) always felt that our territorial rights to Santa Clara County were silly, especially in light of a possible A's ballpark just 4 miles from San Jose. I would be more than happy to accomodate the A's and in the process help our franchise financially." Get real people! Again, the man won't be owner until August...stay tuned all, AND GOOD BYE MAGOWAN!

Marine Layer said...

*shakes head slowly*

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Neukom the general counsel for Microsoft in the anti-trust trial? He probably just wants to innovate and compete.

Marine Layer said...

Indeed. Knowing how Neukom works from his past life, I can't see him as much of an improvement from Magowan regarding t-rights. He's all about maintaining competitive advantage.

Tony D. said...

People, can we please agree to disagree?!! While shaking your head slowly R.M., can you explain how the Giants keeping Santa Clara County as their territory "maintains their competitive advantage?" Especially in light of a possible Pacific Commons ballpark, in which the A's would market heavily to SC/SJ, and take on the SJ name. Last time I checked, I don't recall any of my local sales tax money going into the Giants coffers. Besides, the other two-team market franchises seem to be doing just fine financially in SHARED territories. Rhamesis, all of your recent responses to my thoughts regarding San Jose's possibilities beg the question: have you purchased property or invested in a business at Pacific Commons? You have definetely become the staunch Fremont/PC advocate, and any statements/thoughts that go against the plan get slammed! Just curious. And for the record, I'm also for the Fremont ballpark plan, but I just don't think San Jose is dead just yet. Peace brah!

Marine Layer said...

I get attacked in a previous thread for supposedly being pro-San Jose, then a San Jose partisan attacks me for being supposedly too pro-Fremont. Folks, please just take the rose-colored glasses off (this goes for both partisans of any stripe).

FWIW I have no personal stake in the Fremont site, I have not purchased any property there nor am I running any businesses there that would stand to benefit.

I've spent enough time on this topic. I won't post again on San Jose until I read/hear something substantive on it, not merely speculative.

Georob said...

I'm sorry Tony, but I think the tone of your postings over the last few days do nothing to help your cause and instead give the impression that San Jose supporters are just a bunch of selfish whiners.

You vascilate back and forth between your "eternal optimism", which sounds very noble; but you then go into your rants about SJ being "screwed over" by the Giants and all the "coulda-woulda-shoudas" about downtown. And when it starts getting ugly again, you try and smooth it over with "see you all at Pacific Commons, brah"

Rinse and repeat. It's getting old, and I think the poster that referred to it as "annoying" really struck a nerve.

But what really did it this time was the exchange between you and Anon-A-Mouse. ML should have killed it as soon as the first F-word was laid down, but you really exacerbated it by suggesting that he "not read this blog if he didn't like your opinions" Un-frickin-believable!!

I feel bad every time I say this, but I truly think that all you want is to see "San Jose" on a uniform despite the cost and political will it would take to pull it off.

Tony D. said...

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but it's good to see Rob posting; you're alright and I appreciate your criticism, even if most of your posts I disagree with. But hey, isn't that what this forum is all about: putting out a topic and letting individuals express their opinions...without getting slammed, disrespected (shaking head?) or smeared with profanity?!! Rob, you know where I've always stood on the A's ballpark issue: pro SJ, pro Pacific Commons, and holding on to the belief that anythings possible (in terms of a SJ ballpark) until actual groundbreaking occurs in Fremont. Tell me pal, what is wrong with my position? As for my war of words with mouse, I wasn't even referring to his post when I stated "don't read this blog if you don't like my opinions;" I was referring to an anon who stated I was "annoying;" I sometimes type as if I'm speaking to the entire forum (which I guess he didn't pick up). Anyhow, I won't apologize for that fierce exchange. If anything Rob, I hope that civility and professionalism can come back to this forum; now wouldn't that be nice. By the way, I do want to see "San Jose" stitched across another Big Three uniform; don't feel bad for saying it!

Anonymous said...

Some folks are a bit delusional ... the quote below is from the Merc's interview. Not sure how much more clear he could be on the issue, but SJ just AIN'T a happenin'!!!!!

Q: What is your stance on the Giants’ territorial rights to Santa Clara County?
A: We want all those fans from Santa Clara County to continue to be loyal to the Giants. It’s a significant part of the value proposition that Peter’s group was entitled to when they bought the franchise in 1992, full stop. And it’s not a sudden revelation of his that there are a lot of people who don’t live in the peninsula. In 1992, it was a very fast growing community. Silicon Valley was roaring. It meant a lot then and it still does. This is not a Peter Magowan thing or a Bill Neukom thing. It’s part of the rights package that makes up the value of this franchise.

Tony D. said...

Thanks anon 8:40 for typing out Bill Neukom's answer to territorial rights. And like I stated in my first post, no mentioning of fierce protecting or adamant defense of: just plainly explaining what the rights have meant to the Giants since 1992. Also, I think he was referring to "Giants" fans of Santa Clara County, not all baseball fans in general (I tell yah what, if the G's keep playing the way they are currently, loyalty in SCCo. is going to get harder and harder). Also, Mr. Neukom is a Stanford Law Grad. (aka Smart as Hell!), so I'm confident he can read a map. He realizes that an A's ballpark just 4 miles north of SJ city limits will compromise fan "loyalty" just as much as a ballpark in downtown San Jose would. His "smartness" might be unveiled by the end of this year (hopefully).

Lastly on that Neukom territorial rights quote, here's Mr. Wolff's response:

SFGate, John Shea, Sunday 5/18/08:

"A's owner Lew Wolff got a kick out of Neukoms statement (on T Rights), saying 'The territorial rights are up to the commissioner, not up to the Giants or A's.'" Hmmm? My last glorious statement on this topic; have a great day all!

Anonymous said...

wow ... you and your bud purdy just won't quit ... he's a smart guy allright ... smart enough to know that giving up the rights to the sj market for a one-time payment is not a smart thing to do.


Jeffrey said...

In the very same article in which Lew made his statement about Territorial Rights (which isn't new, he has said that before and he also has said he tried to neogtiate but was done with that) Neokum is quoted as saying:

"explicitly and emphatically, and we intend to continue to take advantage of those rights."

Explicitly and emphatically sound like words that could describe a "fierce protection" no?

Anonymous said...

SJ advocates don't care about reality ... all they care about is pie in the sky false hopes.

Purdy is the biggest clown out there and folks who believe him should join his circus.

SJ no doubt a better location than Fremont (hell, Vegas is better than Fremont ... come to think of it, almost anywhere is better than Fremont) but that's beside the point.

These SJ geeksquad folks should just shut the hell up.

Anonymous said...

Not-So-Smart guy 2:04, why is giving up San Jose for a one-time payment not the smart thing to do? You must have been under a rock for the past three years, because the A's are planning a stadium just a few miles north of San Jose, and will market heavily to fans and businesses of Silicon Valley. They might even be called the San Jose A's! Maybe the new Giants owner realizes this and is smarter then you think. The "smart thing to do" would be to cash in on Santa Clara territory and improve your teams bottom line, or else give up your territory (with a fremont stadium) with nothing to show for it. Finally, "Explicitly and emphatically sound like words that could describe a 'fierce protection' no?" Uh, NO!

Anonymous said...

wow is right!

looks like we're not dealing with the sharpest tools in the shed based on T.D.'s and anon 10:06's comments.

wow, wow, wow!!

Jeffrey said...

explicit(ly)- fully and clearly expressed or demonstrated; leaving nothing merely implied; unequivocal

emphatic(ly)- uttered, or to be uttered, with emphasis; strongly expressive.

I probably shouldn't have assumed you knew what the words meant.

And Vegas is not a better location than Fremont, at least for a major league baseball team. Fremont will be just fine by me.

Georob said...

We've reduced ourselves to arguing over the difference between "explicitly" and "emphatically".

This is the B.S. your "Eternal Optimism" brings to the table, Tony.

Anonymous said...

At least Vegas has public transit and fans that might go to games.

A's don't seem to have many fans in the Bay Area. And most baseball fans in the South Bay are Giants fans. Those casual ones that get stuck in 880 traffic might choose another form of entertainment.

Tony D. said...

Respectfully (in defense of anon 10:06), I think we SHOULD HAVE ASSUMED you actually read Neukoms comment: "The Giants 1992 purchase (from Lurie) involved the territorial rights 'explicitly' and 'emphatically.'" HE WAS REFERRING ONLY TO THE ACTUALL PURCHASE 16 YEARS AGO!! Not some current or future defense of. And I still have yet to hear an answer to how the Giants are "taking advantage" of those stupid rights, or how dealing them would affect their "competitive advantage." All I'm getting (again) are childish remarks and comments (you're not smart, you're a geek, blah blah blah). Cmon people, if you have a different opinion, fine...just back it up intelligently. By the way Rhamesis, how are the Giants, currently 12 games out of first/under .500 with a 6 game losing streak, protecting their "competitive advantage?" Co-worker/Giants season-ticket holder states that AT&T is usually half-full (not the 34-36k reported in the paper). By the way, he thinks the T-Rights are a crock of $hit (from a Giants fan!). I would think that fielding a competitive team, and putting more butt's in the seats, would be more in the Giants interest than "defending" some territory that doesn't pitch, field, or hit; some Giants fans have actually stated such on other forums (SFGate). Also, read Lew Wolff's response to Neukom again (which was stated this weekend only, not in the past Jeff); Mr. Wolff is almost implying that the new owner is full of $hit in regards to territories (got a kick out of?)...and he's probably right. lastly Rhamesis, thank God for the news of last week, because with nothing going on on the Cisco field/Pac Commons front, there would be absolutley nothing to blog/debate about! Peace.

Marine Layer said...

If the Giants limit the options the A's have for building a ballpark, they are maintaining their competitive advantage. While the A's are virtually infringing by moving within a stone's throw, there's nothing the Giants can do about Fremont.

Tony, you're very hopeful about some kind of "partnership." Can you name an instance in recent pro sports business in which a partnership was willingly entered by two teams/parties? FWIW the O's cable situation was not willingly entered into by the Nats. The Nats had no say in the matter. The Jets only crawled back to the Meadowlands after the Dolans and MSG sunk the West Side Stadium project. Competing franchises simply aren't accustomed to partnering on anything beyond leaguewide revenue sharing. To do so would set yet another precedent.

Tony D. said...

Rob, how on Earth can you blame all this "B.S." on my hopes and optimism for San Jose? Good grief!! Lay the blame at those who put out the B.S., not me! Kind of like blaming a liquor store for someone's alcoholism. Anyhow, thanks Rhamesis for the kind (and shall I say good) response (finally!). I would argue that the situation in the Bay Area is the most unique in all of MLB (all of sports for that matter): a two team market where the territory's are split/not shared, where one team is moving geographically further from the other, and where the largest city is banned from obtaining a MLB franchise. This isn't some team trying to move to SJ or Fremont from 1,000 miles out (Expos/Nats), and the Jets/"NY Football" Giants have been playing at the ML together for how many years now? Anyhow, I'm throwing up the white flag. I've finally come to the realization that I'm wrong and everyone else is right. Cisco Field in Fremont will be the most beautiful ballpark in all the land, and the Giants territorial rights to San Jose/SCCo. is the most powerful force in the universe; never to be reckoned with! Now, let's move on to some news/developments on Cisco Field at Pacific Commons, future home of the "San Jose Athletics of Fremont!"

Jeffrey said...


Like I have said before... if the A's end up in San Jose, great as long as they are in the bay area.

Wolff has mentioned territorial rights and the fact that they can e over turned, and the fact that he ahs tried to negotiate them many times. He restated his opinion in the context of the Neukom announcement. That isn't fresh news. Nor is it fresh news that he would prefer a stadium in downtown san jose.

It is extremely naive to say that Neukom mentioned explicitly and emphatically not because he meant them, but because that was part of the original agreement. The guy made it clear he isn't letting go. And he doesn't have to unless 75% of the other owners say so.

I find it funny that you say I need to read something (which I did read by the way) when you are taking crap right of a muck raking speculative Mark Purdy column and putting it forward as some evidence that the A's will end up in San Jose. Maybe you should take of the rose colored glasses and look at the situation for what it is.

Georob said...

Tony, they're not going to be the San Jose A's.

While MLB can't stop Wolff from doing it, the fact remains that the city of San Jose is still in the Giants territory and because of that; Bud Selig will likely put pressure on his ex-college roomate to do something else.

And that something else might well be "Silicon Valley". It ackowledges the corporate and South Bay support the Wolff seeks and is not even a dishonest label; as Fremont and much of southern Alameda county is now considered a part of Silicon Valley.

And though you've been an "Oakland" A's supporter for many years, I'm still skeptical about that support continuing if "SJ" isn't part of the name once the team is in Fremont. For as you yourself have admitted, getting the name on the Jersey is priority one for you.

Anonymous said...

I still think it will be the "Vegas A's" ...

... in fact I'm willing to "bet" on it!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, lots of emotion here. Let's face it, these are businessmen, and money talks. Neukom will budge if he gets some $$$ out of the deal. (from the A's) He knows the G's get bubkus should the A's move to Fremont. Wolfe would give up Fremont if he had a SJ deal or if Fremont didn't 'move faster'.

By the way, the A's and Giants were CO-OWNERS of the Santa Clara County rights pre-1992. The Haas family (god bless them) gave (yes, zero $), GAVE the Giants the rights for the failed 1992 SJ ballot attempt.

FYI, Wolfe's Fremont bid is not a ruse.(ie: to get to Vegas) You don't spend that much money on a project (Fremont/Cisco), as a ruse to 'say you tried'. Come on. If they wanted Vegas, they would have just moved. Wolfe is a developer, and there's plenty to develop in the Silicon Valley- even in Fremont!

Anonymous said...

Funny no one has mentioned it, but Wolfe's and Neukem's exchange via the media looks like long distance negotiating to me. Not that I think Wolfe is really all that interested in SJ anymore considering what he has invested in Fremont.

Neukem has stated he "values" the T/R's to SJ and won't part with them willingly. He most certainly hasn't stated he won't part with them under any circumstances. Wolfe made a point of Neukum's position being at the sole discretion of MLB. In other words, the value he's talking about is something he's beholden to others for and not a commodity that he has full control over.

It seems to me that these two are definatley tap dancing around each other via the media. Who knows, maybe there's hope for Tony yet. Wolfe is smart enough to hedge his bets lest the Fremont deal run into any unseen obstacles.

Just my opinion.


Georob said...

I think Anon 9:15 is incorrect. I believe that NO ONE had territorial rights over Santa Clara County before the Giants asked for them. However, since it was within 100 miles of the A's, the Giants had to secure Haas' permission to get it.

I also remember reading that when Finley moved the A's to Oakland in '68, all he needed at the time was the approval of the American League. Therefore, at some point a decision was made by MLB to split the Bay Area into two different parts as opposed to sharing it like NY, Chicago and LA does.

But by the time that Bob Lurie wanted to move the Giants to Santa Clara, I think he had SF/San Mateo/Marin, and the A's had Alameda/Contra Costa.

Marine Layer, if there's some way we can get an accurate timeline on all this, it would dispel a lot of misinformation. I think it would also answer a lot of questions as to why the TR's exist today as they do.

Tony D. said...

adding the the "TR history," I believe the Bay Area was once part of the Boston Red Sox territory pre-Giants; the SF Seals were reportedly part of the RS minor league system. Can you believe that one!

Tony D. said...

Also Rob,
You bring up an interesting point. At some point after the A's move in 68, a decision was made to split the Bay Area vs. NY, Chi, and LA. The question: when and why? As for the shared territories of NY, Chi, and LA, also at some point the original owners of these teams and the ones that followed opted to share all surrounding counties/territories. Why the Bay Area has been relegated to this split state is beyond me. Even as these two-team markets set a precedent for shared territories, the Bay Area proves that MLB can do whatever the hell it wants/when it wants, precedent be damned! Stay tuned...

BleacherDave said...

Q: What is your stance on the Giants’ territorial rights to Santa Clara County?
A: We want all those fans from Santa Clara County to continue to be loyal to the Giants. It’s a significant part of the value proposition that Peter’s group was entitled to when they bought the franchise in 1992, full stop.

I don't believe that is a true statement. As touched on elsewhere in this thread, the Giants acquired the rights to SC County late in the game, with the acquiescence of the A's. My understanding is that it required a unanimous vote of all the owners, and there were no objectors - Haas family included.

In essence, the A's are the reason the Giants aren't playing in Florida right now. In return, the Giants would love to drive the A's out of the area.

As was once said, no good deed goes unpunished.

But hey, like my mama always say, "God don't like ugly."

The Giants will suffer from the Curse of Santa Clara County until the get right.

The Curse Lives!