27 February 2009

Lew to SJ: "Slow your roll"

In an effort to contain communications, Lew Wolff asked San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed to keep city officials from contacting Major League Baseball about the city potentially getting the A's. This may be to avoid the spectacle caused by former Mayor Ron Gonzales, when in 2005, he staged a press conference complete with unconvincing signage in front of Phoenix Muni in an effort to convince MLB that San Jose was a worthy city. The event didn't hold a candle to Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman's use of showgirls a few months earlier at the 2004 winter meetings. Goodman repeated the performance in a misdirected manner last December, in front of a bunch of minor league moguls.

Back in 2005, both the mayor and the now-defunct Baseball San Jose group lobbied hard on San Jose's behalf. There was talk of liberation for San Jose. Some suggested legal means to loosen the Giants' grip on Santa Clara County's territorial rights. Wolff had not yet assumed control of the A's, and the city's efforts were confusingly, yet transparently non-specific.

This time, it's clear who's going to talk and how it's going to progress. If there's anything we've learned about the last few years, it's that MLB doesn't like to be shown up. Even Bud Selig's continued stubborn defense of his tenure during the steroid era shows the need to control the message, no matter how absurd it sounds.

As the San Jose saga begins in earnest, expect the communications to be tight. No room for overeager types looking to earn political points, no need to stray from whatever blueprint is/will be in place. If San Jose is, as Roger Noll says, the last chance to keep the A's in the Bay Area - and more importantly Wolff believes it - Lew's not taking chances.


Tony D. said...

Well, it could be worse. Lew Wolff could be telling SJ officials that "San Jose is not an option due to territorial rights."

But seriously, this is the right message for Mr. Wolff to send to SJ officials.

(Kind of like a blogosphere friend I know who helped contain my excitement and optimism ;o)

For SJ, just focus on what you need to do in the near future: the site, adjacent development opportunities, corporate support, possible financing methods (Mello Roos district for both Convention Center expansion and Ballpark?), community support, etc.

Most importantly, be patient! The Man is giving us a chance for MLB...DON'T BLOW IT!

Anonymous said...

Even though Lew and Al aren't the best of buds, Lew's new mantra is "Just win baby!"

Anonymous said...

Its now 4:1 odds Wolffs going to Sacramento- Cal Expo site

You heard it hear First
The Insider

Jeffrey said...

Hey Insider--- any idea how you fit a state fairground, densely packed neighborhood, entertainment district and a baseball stadium all on that spot?

FC said...


Is 2014 truly the earliest we could expect to see a ballpark (anywhere)? That's five year out. Assuming it takes 2 1/2 years to construct the park, that would leave 2 1/2 years to deal with the city and get the necessary approvals. That seems a bit long.

Jesse said...

That email makes me chuckle. San Jose politicians collectively are like a kid in the candy store right now.

A year ago, I used to feel a teeny bit sad for the guys who posted on this board and were holding onto baseball in San Jose because I thought Fremont was a lock. I'm not going to laugh at Sacramento. Anything is possible, Wolff said "Northern California" not the bay area.

Marine Layer said...

Trying to err on the conservative side.

FC said...

If San Jose is opened up to the A's, do you think it's possible to have a shovel in the ground by summer 2010?

Anonymous said...

anon 10:19,
Sac aint happening! Story over.

Anonymous said...

Come on folks, let's get real. There will be no ballpark built anywhere in the near future in these terrible economic times. The Oakland A's will stay in Oakland and will eventually build a ballpark in Uptown Oakland or near Jack London Square when the economy improves. As a matter of fact, Oakland has officially resumed talks with the Oakland A's.

Anonymous said...

Latest announcement from the VTA ( Valley Transportion Authority ) after their meeting yesterday , as reported in this AM's SJ Mercury News :
earliest date for BART to reach downtown SJ : 2025 .

It will be a LONG time before current East Bay fans can take BART from San Ramon Valley/East Bay to a downtown SJ Stadium if the LW group thinks BART will help fill their stadium with them at Diridon site .
Most south bay residents will just drive there - as Silicon Valley , like LA , is very car oriented because the tech companies are spread over hundreds of square miles , compared to many in the East Bay who have been conditioned to commuting by BART to work into downtown Oakland/downtown San Francisco for decades .
A free shuttle system from BART Warm Springs to the Pacific Commons site would have put more East Bay butts in the seats sooner actually .
I wonder if the current LW investment group plan to own this team 16 years from now - when they can leverage BART at Diridon in sales price . Doubt it-probably will be on third subseq owner by then.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:12, link please

Anonymous said...

Oakland has resumed talks with the Oakland A's.

Anonymous said...

880 with updated exits from 238 south,680,ACE,Capital Cirridor,101,280,87 VTA Bus/Light Rail, caltrain. East Bay people will be fine until 2025. Most people in the Soth Bay would probably agree the Baseball Thing will probably happen before Bart. I guess we should just wait till 2025 and hope for Expansion? Nice Bit of freeway, the Nimitz between 66th and JLS. By my estamation the worst stretch of Freeway in the Bay Area. I hear caltrans should have that stretch updated about the same time Bart will be in San Jose. JLS does have Ferry Sevice for all the A's fans in downtown SF.

Marine Layer said...

I wouldn't bet on Summer 2010. Too many moving parts to the deal.

Anonymous said...

Folks keep in mind that there are alot of strategies associated with the stimulus plan--with quite a bit of this money going towards transportation issues. Look at the funding HSR is getting in the stimulus package---and there is a reasonable possibility that BART to SJ will also benefit, especially since it is showing a deficit in terms of funding--no different than the re-do of Doyle Drive in SF which had no funding source before the stimulus and now is a top priority and ready to go forward.